Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feeling Persecuted

I was raised to be tolerant of others beliefs. As such, I tend to avoid discussions of politics and religion, especially in social media such as Facebook. I even have friends that have somehow missed that I'm Christian because I don't really talk about my beliefs except to Christian family members and friends. Usually, religious discussions with my friends are "Are you happy with your belief system? Okay then. I'm happy with mine too. We're good."

I have a 'friend' (more of an acquaintance really) who is obviously anti-Christian. I had hidden more than one of her Facebook posts and moved on. Until last night.

Last night, I check my Facebook via phone before bed to find several shared anti-Christian photos in my feed. And my phone doesn't have the ability to hide posts. 

This upset me because I sincerely try not to attack anyone for what they believe. Anyone. No matter what they believe. No matter what they do. Unless they ask me, then I will give an honest opinion. But I keep politics and religion off of my page. Pretty much completely. So to feel like my beliefs were being attacked by this person was pretty upsetting, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I contemplated posting on one of her posts and saying something along the lines of 'you know, not all Christians think that' or posting on my page about how devastating it is to log into your account and feel attacked. Instead, I reached for my Bible and turned to the Beatitudes. 

And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

Luke 6:20-22 (NASB)

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10-12
 This morning, I defriended this person. I am trying to make my life better and don't need to have exposure to repeated posts in my feed. Not if they are going to upset me. 

A girl can only be expected to take so much.

I know that I'll be persecuted for my beliefs. Some by non-Christians who don't understand. Some by fellow Christians that don't think I'm doing it right. And I'm okay with that. Because persecution just equals a greater reward in heaven.

More Bible Verses!

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB) 

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:27-39

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ephesians 4:22-24

Ephesians 4:22-24

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,  and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Friday, November 9, 2012

An Unaccepting Heart

I'm just gonna put this here for you all to read... I want to post every verse from today's devotional because they're all good ones, figured posting the whole devotional was easier. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Matthew 6:24

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Isaiah 9:6

"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)

This is getting me in the mood for Christmas... :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reading the Bible in a Year Post #2

Well, as you can expect, Mom and I have read A LOT since June.

We finished Numbers, and have read Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, 1 Kings, Obadiah, and Jonah. We've also read parts of Psalms and are currently in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. So out of the thirty nine books of the Old Testament we have read eighteen and are currently reading three others. That puts us about halfway finished with the Old Testament.

Our chronological reading plan has us jumping around a lot. I think I have like four different bookmarks in my Bible right now.
It was decided to wait to read the Apocrypha because my mother hasn't gotten the book yet. I'm going to get it for her for Christmas. So after that, we'll have to make a reading schedule for the Apocrypha on its own. I'll probably be reading some of it, because there are sections that are parts of OT books, like the extended versions of Esther and Daniel. She'll just have to catch up if we read those before Christmas.

So far, Proverbs was probably my favorite. But I already knew loved that book, its always been a favorite. Psalms has been harder than expected to get through, it helps if I read it aloud. Joshua was more boring than I thought it would be, so that was a bit of a disappointment, as was Jonah. I was all excited to read about the fish / whale and all that happened was "Jonah was swallowed by a fish. Jonah prayed. The fish spit him out." I was expecting a little more excitement.

Tonight, we start reading Isaiah.

Exciting Life Changes (I Think)

A few weeks ago, I  had an epiphany. Okay, not really a sudden epiphany, it was more of a 'finally listening to God' epiphany.

What can I say? I'm stubborn.

Anyways, I realized that if I'm unhappy in my life then the first thing I need to do is get things right with God. I've been resisting giving things up that 'made me happy' and God finally got through to me that they aren't making me happy.

So I'm changing. Or at least trying to.

And of course, there's so much to work on. First thing I did was go through and delete a bunch of friends from Facebook. I'm leaving a group that I'm part of because I don't approve of several members lifestyles. Violently disapprove might be a better phrase. I'm trying not to judge but I think that what they're doing is wrong. So, leaving that group of friends.

Other things I'm trying to work on: dressing more modestly (although my mom says I don't dress that immodestly to begin with because I'm always conscious of my tattoos), watching my language, being a better daughter and a better friend, praying more, going to church more often and paying more attention in church and...

I joined a Bible study group! This makes me super happy because I have so few Christian friends and it gives me the chance to concentrate more on God. So far, I'm liking it. It's a group of mid twenties to upper thirties women, and we're all in different places in our lives. But we still have a lot in common.

The first book we chose to read was "Unglued" and let me say, it is the PERFECT book for me. I have major emotional issues. I'm four chapters in so far - Have one more to read by Monday. Quote that I loved from the fourth chapter: "My issues are a part of the equation but not the sum total"

After making the decision to change my life, I go to church and the sermon is on Romans 12.  

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Do NOT be conformed to this world. That's the line that really spoke to me.  I've been conforming. And I really need to live a separate life. I am one of God's chosen. And I need to show it. Proudly. And if I lose friends, I lose friends. 

I'm striving to live a better life right now. And to walk with God, every minute of every day. Will I be perfect and never make a mistake in this walk? Of course not. But I'm going to try. Because until I get things right with the man upstairs, nothing in my life is going to get better.

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” the last part of Joshua 24:15 

God's Plans...Again :)

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:9

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some Verses for Thought

Since it's been a long time, time to post all the verses I bookmarked for posting! lol

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

From my daily devotional, the New Living Translation is a little easier to understand:
 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

                              My thoughts: Don't worry. Pray.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (NASB)

                I'm gonna make a whole post about this one cuz its really speaking to me right now.

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
1 Peter 2:16 (NASB)

               This daily devotional was about wearing a piece of jewelry (the author wears a toe ring) or a           piercing to symbolize every day to yourself that you a slave of God. I kinda liked the sentiment.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 (NASB)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
Ecclesiastes 3:1

                  I think this falls into that re-occuring theme of "God's Plans"

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:9 (NASB)

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:2 (NASB)

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 
James 1:12 (NASB)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  
Matthew 5:38-39

My devotional had this verse from the Message and I kinda of liked that version: "Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.'" Matthew 5:38 (MSG)

and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.  
2 Chronicles 20:15 (NASB) -- bold text added by me :)

Okay, there's that! Tomorrow I'll try to post an update on my Bible reading along w my growth in my walk with Christ, cuz let me tell ya, there's been some changes! And I'm excited to share them!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reading the Bible in a Year Post #1

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but a month or two back, I was looking into reading the Bible in a year following a plan available online. When my mom found out, she decided she wanted to read with me. We decided on one of the plans that goes along chronologically. And I incorporated the Apocrypha volume that I own as well as the gnostic gospels that I also own where I could work them in. It'll take us more than a year to get through everything, but Mama and I are fine with that.

So far we've read Genesis, Job (took a break from Genesis to read), Exodus, Leviticus and we just started Numbers. Surprisingly, Leviticus which I was expecting to hate, is probably my favorite so far. Job took some getting used to, but I eventually grew to like the poetry. I found Exodus to be boring and repetitive. Numbers is not impressing either of us, Mama and I both find it boring.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Leviticus 19:28 - My thoughts

Time for a little thought provoking passage.

You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:28 (NASB)

King James (which may be a more accurate translation): Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

I was reading about this today, and there is some research to support that what was being forbidden was the practice of cutting yourself and rubbing ash into the cuts as an act of mourning.  Also, Egyptians tattooed themselves so to forbid it set the Israelites apart, which seems to be a recurrent theme in Leviticus.

 I am a Christian and I have tattoos. I love my tattoos. I think they're beautiful and they make ME feel beautiful after years of suffering with eczema and feeling ugly most of the time. (side note - the eczema probably would've branded me a leper according to Leviticus) To me, God doesn't care if I have tattoos. He loves me anyways. I think that the main purpose of Leviticus 19:28 was to set the Israelites apart from the others that they were surrounded by and I don't think the prohibition applies today. Of course then you could argue that no prohibitions in the Old Testament should matter, but honestly the only other one I have an issue with so far is not eating pork. Every thing else kinda makes sense.

So what if I have tattoos? No one but God can judge me anyways.

And to paraphrase my tattoo artist and dear friend, my body is a temple, I'm just choosing to have some stained glass windows installed for decoration.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hebrews 11:1

Today's devotional definitely spoke to me, with all that I've been going through lately. When everything goes up in flames, give God the ashes of your life and He'll make something beautiful from them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans: 5:1-5 (NASB) - italics added

This is definitely a good verse for me today. Celebrate your troubles, because they bring you closer to God.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life Changes

My life is going through a major change at the moment. I had been living with my boyfriend for about six months. Since we'd been dating for almost two years and were discussing marriage, it seemed like a good idea when my former roommate asked me to move out.

It wasn't.

"Beau" (as I've dubbed him on my sewing blog) ... has issues. A lot of them. I knew that he battled anger management troubles already and living with him, it just became more and more apparent how out of control he was. We would have the worst fights over the most trivial things. After a month, I started looking for a place to live. And I kept looking, quietly asking around if anyone wanted a roommate, checking Craigslist, checking Christian classifieds, checking apartment websites. Three weeks ago today, I finally found a place. A coworker said she had a spare room when I casually mentioned how miserable I was.

A few days later, I went and checked it out and we discussed becoming roommates. We decided to go for it and the planning began. My original plan was to move out without telling "Beau", mainly based on his aforementioned anger issues.

All that went to the wayside last Monday. We had a fight, and it all came out -- my plan to leave and how extremely unhappy I was. He said he'd get help, and took the first steps towards that goal on Monday, but on Tuesday I decided that I did need to leave. And I told him so. I did leave it open that if he gets help and gets better, we'd talk.

He's convinced we'll get back together. I however am not.

I want to get married and have a family and I want to live and love and raise my children in a Christian household. Even if "Beau" seeks help, goes on medication, and so forth, I do not want to risk it, especially with the idea of children.

I lived for two years and three months dating a man that I adored and loved but who was when it comes down to it, emotionally and mentally abusive. I cannot go back to that.

I hope that he does get help and that he gets his issues taken care of, but I cannot be a part of his life anymore.

Now that I've moved out, with the help of my friends and my family, and have settled in for the most part to my new place, it is time to turn my attention to getting my life back in order. I'm going to pick up more hours at my part time job. I'm going to start going to church again. I'm going to get my faith realigned. I'm going to try to read one chapter a night of a devotional book, I have several that my mother has passed on to me. (Last night's chapter was particularly applicable to me right now, I'll post about it later) I'm going to start doing yoga again. And spend more time with my friends. And generally just spend more time doing things that I like to do.

Even though I'm a bit scatterbrained, and my sleeping hasn't been the best, I feel like I'm handling this pretty well. I had a mini breakdown today, but that's not unexpected considering the situation. I feel...relieved, honestly. Like all this weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. And I like the way I feel - free of him and free to live my life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bible Verses

When I get one of my devotional emails, sometimes I just leave it in my inbox, planning to make a blog post that never materializes. So here's a bunch of verses that spoke to me that I found still waiting in my inbox:

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 (NASB)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2 (NASB)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 (NASB) - Sounds like another one of those "God's plans" verses

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB) - One of the things that got me through law school and that continues to get me through life is that God will never give you more than you can handle. This verse exemplifies that idea to me.

Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 18:12 (NASB)

I like the New Living Translation a little better (copied from my devotional email):

“Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.” Proverbs 18:12 (NLT) - Reminds you a little of my favorite verse doesn't it?

My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.

Psalm 38:5 (NASB)

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 18:6 (NASB)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bible Verses

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35 (NASB)

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Philippians 1:19-20 (NASB)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

Zephaniah 3:17 (NASB)