Unity

“It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

I think this is one of the most popular things we as Christians like to say. Yet, we do not live life like we have a relationship with our Creator and we don’t treat others as if they are important in this relationship.

Mark 12:30-31

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Over the years I have seen “Christians” treat other Christians like trash. And said Christians are often worse to the lost world.

We talk about how many people we have in our church, how many baptisms we had in the year, how many buildings we can build, and what the youth group did for “fun.”

None of these things are bad… but they all over shadow our purpose. We bring kids though the baptismal waters like herding cattle, but we don’t stop to help the same children in their day to day lives. If it’s a “bad” kid, we ignore them completely and simply state that they will end up _________________, shrug and move on. We “pity” their life. But do we get on our knees and pray? Do we see the situations and try and take action? Or do we just ignore it and not try at all? Leaving that person in the cold, in the dark… feeling shunned and alone.

My heart is burdened and hurt by what I have seen and experienced.

It is only by God’s grace I have not left the church myself.

Satan has successfully torn us to shreds. We fight over clothes, music, Sunday schools and Bible studies. Instead of going to the Bible… we just fight. Instead of loving and being an example, we fight. Instead of prayer, the most powerful tool of a Christian… we fight. We have lost the mind of Christ so much so that the unity seen in Acts 2:1 is lost in today’s church.

A couple months back, I sat in a church listening while two preachers have a discussion. Unity amongst the believers has been on my heart and the hearts of many around me. As I listened one of the preachers said something about the lack of unity… he barely got his thought out and was cut of by the other saying that “each church has a different calling…” and continued along this thought process pushing aside the problem that the churches are not working together and instead of helping each other, we are fighting each other. My spirit recoiled and I went home thinking about what I had just heard. If you know me, you know I don’t just spit something out when I disagree… I think about it, sometimes for months, before I will know my own thoughts and feelings and if they line up with Christ. I had so been burdened by the lack of unity and then so shocked by one man of God’s complete disregard for the other man standing there and his heart for unity that it has taken quite a while for me to come to this conclusion. I went home and prayed. What else could I do? I realize that each church has different strong suits. So does each Christian. So what about unity?

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

Here we see that there are different “gifts,” but all these gifts come from the same “mind.”

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

NIV says it like this:

Philippians 2:5

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”

Jesus Himself prayed for unity amongst His people. He wanted us to have His mind and be one with Him and with God.

John 17:20-23

 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

This doesn’t mean we do the same things the same way. We will see things others don’t. God will show us something and then we may share it with someone else, but it is our job to follow through. Unity means having the same mind and the same goal.

Matthew 28:18-20

“ Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is our goal. We will all have a different role to play, but most will not work with someone else because, “they don’t do it the way I think it should be done.” Well thank God for that! He doesn’t give us all the same gifts to share the same way! We are different, but we can be unified in Christ! Unity is not a cookie cutter!

So, in closing let me say that the problem is not our programs, or the size of the church. It’s not the money we have or the money we don’t. It’s not what you wear to Sunday services or what music is playing. The problem is that the church is not being the church to the church… and if we can’t be the church to each other, how will we be the church to a world destined for hell? How will we, if we are not one in Christ, stand against the devil and the storm of tribulation coming to our Body and our nation? How can we love, if you do not love each other?

Rain

As I sit in my apartment this morning and listen to the rainfall outside, my mind is brought back to a late night conversation in a parking lot of a hamburger and ice cream shop. A much wiser person than I began speaking such truth into me… my whole outlook changed in that short time.

I had shared of a prayer group I was in and played a part in starting. Around 10-14 days after a handful of people started doing business with God and praying for mercy in our lives and on our nation rain began to fall, and it hasn’t stopped.

If revival will come, it will start in the house of God.

“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household” -1 Peter 4:17

Revival does not start in the lost world, it starts with the people of God letting go of their idols and giving up their sins so they can truly be God’s people wholly and fully.

This was not a new or strange concept when I called my friend and told her we had to start a prayer group for our small town in western Oklahoma… I also knew that if I wanted revival, it meant a fight, one that I know has only just begun.

I understood that if I wanted to see a change in the world around me, there would have to be change in me first. The prayers prayed for me have become more of “revive ME again, Lord. Change ME. Break MY heart.” Only when we start to see how messed up we are, can we give our messed up selves to God and He can truly use us. I had no idea that what this small group was praying would lead to a downpouring on a land that was suffering because of the people who were dwelling in their sin on that land.

This wise brother looked at me and said, “Do you know what rain is prophetically?”

I just stared at him… I really wasn’t sure what he meant. I had learned in the last few months that Water was a sign of the Holy Spirit… but rain wasn’t quite the same, and I knew that, but had no idea what the difference was.

He was understanding and brought me back to earth as I was standing there trying to figure out if there was a prophecy in scripture about the end times and rain!!! (there isn’t as far as I know… he wasn’t speaking of the future)

“What was the rain during the time of Noah for?”

That was easy… too easy and unsettling as the answer sat in my head and popped out of my mouth, mist falling on us chilling all who stood around to the bone.

“Judgment.”

My heart sunk… “judgment” was never a good thing in my mind. Not until that conversation and now I want to sing! It’s like I was given the most amazing precious gift.

He explained that judgment is a serious look at something. A judgment can be good, or bad.

Judgment is simply the answer that we are looking for.

It’s the “judgment call” on everything we did. Most people just think “guilty”, but sometimes it’s “not guilty” too.

As I sat there and he explained the purpose of rain I literally felt I would explode! I became so excited!

I had been looking at the rain as a sign from God, but my view was shallow and was leaving me with not enough answer, not enough understanding… just empty and wanting more.

Rain comes down and where you see the grass it has been nourished and brought to life, but sometimes it has to wash things away cleansing the land of the old, useless things, the ugly, dead, sinful stuff we don’t need anymore. Two sides to judgment. Both ending in a beautiful world. It washes the dirt and grime away leaving life behind.

As the ponds, lakes and rivers fill, my heart and life is being filled with the spirit. As His rain gently washes out the stuff I don’t need anymore, new life springs up and replaces the death  that had been allowed to grow there for far too long. His spirit has begun to fill the land, if you have eyes to see it, you will.

You may think it’s crazy, but I believe it. A man said the rain wouldn’t stop for a while… and I believe him. It’s what God has shown to me. When God starts a work He finishes it.

For years as we sat in drought we prayed for rain, but how many people got down on their knees before a holy God and didn’t ask for things around them to change, but asked that they would be changed? Few.

I have been a Christian most of my life and raised in the church the entirety of it. I knew that revival took a change in my heart… I would sit in revival meetings looking at the Christians around me praying the lost would be found, but not once did they take a hard look at themselves and I sure wasn’t going to lead out in that! I was cool with my life, but God wasn’t, and as He has lead me He has lead others to do the same. To stop looking at the rest of the world and thinking they should change, but rather looking inward and asking God to change them… Rain.

Believe what you want. But I urge you as a sister in Christ… He died for you, just take some time to let Him shine a light in your life. If you don’t “feel like it” ask Him to give you a desire for Him. He will. Is it raining in your life yet? Don’t miss out on it, He wants to wash away the old stuff to make room for new growth. Will you step into the rain and let Him do that?

Come play in His rain, jump in His puddles, and then watch the flowers bloom as the Son comes out.

Judgment… He is taking a serious look at us. So what will He see? How will we respond?

rain

I can do what I want… or can I?

There is this idea going around lately, well, for a while but it is this thought, an answer to everything we want to do goes like this:
“It’s my body and I can do what I want.” or, “It’s my life I can do what I want.”
And these are Christians I am hearing say this. I expect it from the world, but from a Christian? Guess it should not surprise me, I have thought the same thing at times. It sometimes feels like it justifies a decision we know is not quite up to par.

But is this really true? 1 Corinthians 6:19 &20 tells us otherwise.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

So, what do you think? Do you really belong to yourself? It’s a hard one to swallow isn’t it? We are a proud people… but if we are not careful, we will find ourselves in places we did not really intend to go.

Share with me what you think, I would love to hear from you.

Winter

Winter is one of my four favorite seasons!

The cold seems to push us all inside by the fire, and we all grumble and complain.

The sad thing about winter is that everything seems so dead. Have you ever noticed? So cold and dead.

But I was reminded of something the other day as winter is nearing and things are getting colder, leaves have now left the trees and the flowers have gone.

I looked down, and what did I see? Winter grass. Life. And if you stop and think about it, there is a lot of life during the winter. The evergreen trees, holly, and mistletoe. The things we all think of around Christmas.

Have you ever thought, if we did not have Winter, Spring would not be as glorious! Would not be so looked forward to, bring such happy joy to those who understand the value of life.

And I was thinking, isn’t life like that? Winter comes in our life, blowing cold air and making us hide within ourselves. But there is still life, sometimes it is just covered by snow for a while. Sometimes we stay inside too long to see it. And then, at the end, Spring.

Sometimes things happen in our life that cause a sudden Winter to fall over our lives. Loss of a job, sickness, or the loss of a loved one.

But Spring will come. Sometimes when we are not looking for it.

Our world is in that place right now. Have you noticed how cold it is? And I don’t mean literally cold. Spiritually cold. And it is like only the Christians have the eyes to see it, or the ability to feel it. And I am afraid the winter will get far worse before Spring comes, but it will come, I have no doubt of that. Maybe it will be a revival, a chance for others to come and know the joy of our Saviour before it is too late. Or, it could be when He comes to take us home, where winter will never come again. A spring that will never end. Where all our sad winters will be left behind to find glorious new life!

I don’t know if you understand what I am trying to say, but if you do, I hope that the thought of Winter only brings joy as you think of what is ahead.

 

 

Sugar!!!!!!

Okay… So I have started a journey to take sugar out of my life… Not an easy thing to do! Do you know what sugar is in?!?! Just start reading the labels… ugh.
Anyway, I have not had any sugar for… well, a week! =) And I am doing okay!

We have Stevia to sweeten things with, and Mom found some recipe books that use Stevia instead of sugar!!! YAY!!!So when I start trying things out I will let you know what the family thinks! =)
Right now Mom and I are on a No-carb, no-fat, no-sugar program. Maybe more like boot camp! We are doing our best to break some of the addictions we have. We started Monday… so seven days without anything… normal. But we are doing great!!! I am really feeling good!!! We have two weeks and three days on this part of the program and then we get all of the fats back! Milk, cheese, butter, oils and so on.
This has not been easy… but we are going to make it!!!
So the beginning of my life without the drug… Sugar!

Keep coming back to see how life goes!! =)

~Hannah