Can You Be Worldly As A Christian?

people at concert
Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Pexels.com

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

This is just a snippet of the verse from James 4:4  the full verse is the following: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

There is a real sense of urgency in the tone of that particular verse from James’ epistle.

To put it simply the world hates God and doesn’t care to obey Him. We as Christians are to be a people set apart. We are called to love everyone, but we are not to approve of their sinful deeds – by doing so we are aligning ourselves with the world and showing ourselves to be God’s enemy.

The people and material things of this world can be very enticing but consider what Mark 8:36 has to say about this issue: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” In the end, nothing is more valuable than your soul – not even your life, why? because souls are eternal but our lives on earth are temporary.

I know that sometimes we just want to fit in and not make any big statements about our faith; it can seem like the path of least resistance, however, we are commanded by God to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, wherever God has put us.

We serve the King of Kings, we are to obey Him with a spirit of excellence, He does not want us to serve another master or be lukewarm, we are royalty when we belong to Him. The world is lost and in darkness, we are the light of the world, and our unsaved family and friends are watching us. Dear believer, our lives are to be a picture of the Gospel.

Speaking from personal experience, the more that I have matured in my walk with the Lord, the less I care to be worldly. If you love Jesus, the desires of this world will go and that’s when you will really enjoy the fullness of being set free.

black and white cemetery christ church
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

My Views On Halloween As A Believer

pexels-photo-1480861.jpeg
Photo by Александар Цветановић on Pexels.com

Is It Ok For A Christian To Celebrate Halloween?

In my opinion, it really is a matter of conscience. I think if you feel unsure, you should pray about it and see what the Lord reveals to you. By no means am I judging anybody who does celebrate Halloween – this is my own personal conviction, I hold a similar belief as Martin Luther, who said:  “To act against conscience is neither right nor safe.”

It’s challenging for a Christian to determine how to be in the world but not of the world. While we do have freedom in Christ,  we don’t have the freedom to sin; so we need to be conscientious of this and seek to please the Lord and not ourselves in everything we do.

Personally, I can’t ignore a verse like:  “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 

I know that Halloween can present a challenge, especially when young children are involved. Some families come up with wonderful alternatives to Halloween and use them as a creative method of sharing the Gospel with others.

My daughter just turned two, and I’m really keen to avoid Halloween but I do want to explore other options that are just as fun, if not more so.

So in my search for wholesome Christian alternatives, I came across this great website and  was impressed with the suggestions on it, check them out:  https://www.learnreligions.com/christian-halloween-alternatives-700777

I would love to hear your views on Halloween, and if you do anything differently, please let me know in the comments section. God bless you.

When The Intentions Of Others Are Not Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Dealing with emotional abuse as a Christian

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself From Emotional Abuse

If you have ever had to be on the receiving end of snarky remarks and passive-aggressive behaviours, you know how hurtful and discouraging it can be; whatever you do, don’t believe for one minute that it comes from a place of love, or that the person means well, in fact, the person more than likely doesn’t mean well and is intentional about trying to tear you down with not-so-subtle jabs.

These people make you feel like your opinion doesn’t matter, that they are all-knowing and wise, you must live your life to please them. They are critical about your life choices on parenting, work, study, friendships and so on, you’ll never do anything right, according to them. This type of bullying can easily be done by those closest to you, who gas-light you by trying to convince you that they only have good intentions as if it’s just a loving concern for your life.

They do not have good intentions, acknowledge this negativity towards you for what it is; it’s a way for the person to get in your head and control you, it’s emotional abuse – the bible warns us about the hearts of men…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9,)

Luke 6:45 speaks of what is truly in the heart of sinful man…

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”

This type of negativity is sin, don’t make excuses for the person and whatever you do, do not take ownership, leave the toxicity where it belongs – squarely with the wrongdoer and lean into the Lord, He will take care of the situation if you put your trust in him.

Do not retaliate, if standing up for yourself is not an option, keep your distance and tell spend time with God, He will renew your strength and…

 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”(Romans12:21

Pray for them, and pray for yourself that you do not turn out like them.

Remember that snarks and childish, passive-aggressive behaviour has no place in God’s kingdom. Godly people encourage others and build them up.

 

My Thoughts On The Movie Unplanned

unplanned
Unplanned – The Abby Johnson Story

Unplanned Film – Promoting Pro-Life Values

 

Unplanned trailer

I remember feeling absolutely elated upon hearing that the pro-life film Unplanned – The Abby Johnson Story, would be showing in cinemas across Ireland, it was such a ray of hope.

Talk about a real boost for pro-lifers across the country, it was originally to be shown for just a few days, it was then extended for another week and surprisingly, extended again in Dublin, and as I write this, I think the film has a few days left, I really believe that this has been the Lord’s doing.

Here’s What I Thought About Unplanned 

The tagline of the movie is “what she saw changed everything” and I found that the movie didn’t condemn anyone, it was handled with sensitivity and showed both sides of the divide. All it took was for one simple moment to convert the staunch pro-choicer, ABBY, to being such a strong advocate for the preborn.

Some scenes were hard to watch, but were relevant and needed to be shown. I won’t give a graphic description, but those scenes really exposed the true nature of abortion, it’s an act of violence on the mother as well as the baby.

The actors did a wonderful job portraying the real people involved in Abby’s conversion and I thought that Robia Scott, who plays Cheryl the ruthless clinic director was outstanding, especially considering that she’s a Christian and pro-life advocate in real life.

I really appreciated that it was a clean movie, no foul language or blasphemy, it showed the horror of abortion and dealt with sexual sin without being crude. If you didn’t get a chance to see Unplanned in the cinema, I would recommend getting it on DVD.

If you are pro-choice or unsure, I think that this movie could help you to understand where the pro-life side is coming from and hopefully, it could lead to both sides having an open and honest conversation while being respectful of one another which is more than what our government has done.

They and our mainstream media were so one-sided and divisive leading up to the repeal of the 8th amendment. They just wanted an abortion and paraded it as the solution to the plight of women and even homelessness, but I digress, Unplanned was fantastic, God honouring and it showed the heart of the pro-life movement.

Abby Johnson, was the youngest planned parenthood director and was extremely successful in her life and had it all together until she watched a baby fighting for its life while being ripped out of the mother’s womb – this is what led to her conversion.

This movie, for me, was God’s way of saying that He can convert the hard-hearted. He really speaks throughout the whole film, for me anyway.

If it’s on where you are, go watch it or get it on DVD it’s a must-see.

 

 

 

What Children Need To Hear From Their Parents

person reading a book
Children need to be loved and receive positive affirmations

Children Need To Know That Their Worth Is In Christ

Some children grow up believing that they aren’t good enough, not smart, creative or confident enough, all of which is a lie as children are so precious to God, they bear God’s image. 

All children need to feel loved and valued in order to thrive; they need to be getting this from those involved in their childhood like teachers, relatives but especially parents.

Godly parents need to tell their children that Jesus loves them and that while, yes they are sinners, ( we all are) they are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image and likeness, and that their worth and identity is in Christ, not in what they do.

They need to be made aware that nobody is superior to anyone else, we all have different abilities – these are gifts given to us by God to bring glory to His kingdom. We do our children a disservice by viewing them as extensions of ourselves.

As parents, it’s important that our children see us living out our faith, not being critical of ourselves or others as this can negatively affect their perception of the nature of God. They need to see that we love Jesus, family, friends and enemies and that we value ourselves in Christ too. 

I believe a good prayer, in regards to living out the Gospel, around children is: “let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer” ( psalm 19:14)

Teach your children to…

“Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established” proverbs 16:3

If you could go back to your childhood, what advice would you give yourself?

Pregnancy And Infant Loss In Light Of The Gospel

close up of candle over black background
Wave of light 2019

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness

October is a month marked by pregnancy and infant loss awareness; as someone who lost a son at birth, I feel that having an entire month dedicated to remembering our babies, who couldn’t be here, means so much.

It’s been three and a half years since my husband and I said goodbye to our firstborn, Tom Luke, not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, no matter how busy I am he is always on my mind. 

The truth is a loving parent never forgets, they never stop missing, loving and grieving their angel. I very much long to embrace my son.

Grieving the loss of an infant, that died due to a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death is the only right thing a parent can do for their angel. This is love, this is the heart of a mother and father. 

Whether you are a person of faith or not, deep down we all have a sense of the intrinsic value of human life – as a Christian, I firmly believe this. That is why loss is so painful at every stage of life, born and pre-born.

I remember, at my son’s funeral, reading from Psalm 139, where verse 14 says “I praise you, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, we all bear God’s image right from conception. Our value comes from our creator.

God is a loving father, who understands our pain. 2 Corinthians 1:3, describe God as being compassionate, He understands the human condition “praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that we receive from God”

God knew the pain of losing his beloved son.

Many people, say to the bereaved regarding the deceased love one, that it was God’s will, they may mean well, and while pain and suffering is guaranteed in this broken world, 1 Corinthians 15:26 says that “death is the last enemy to be destroyed”, death is unnatural our God is living, He is about life, not death. God is alongside us, weeping with us, wanting us to draw close to Him.

Sadly, while disease, death and sorrow are part of this world, God made a provision for us to have a new and eternal life with Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is our hope and salvation if we would repent and believe in what He did on our behalf, on the cross at Calvary.

I know that one day I will be with Jesus and my son, Tom Luke in heaven, not because of any of my works but because of Jesus’s work, out of His infinite love for me. 

In the early days of my grief, I was as far away from God, at least that’s what I thought, I was angry with Him, I would ask Him – why did my baby have to die? How could you let this happen? And while I will never know the answer, I know I can trust Him.

I remember in the midst of all the chaos going on in my mind, that still small voice saying, “come to me” it was so full of fatherly love.

I am thankful that God has been patient with me and has loved me and been gentle with me through my sorrow, pain and anger, and I’m doing better, I will always grieve the loss of my son, but I have a hope and a future.

I want to mention that, I didn’t have much counselling because I wasn’t really ready to communicate my feelings to anybody, I just felt anger. I do plan to speak with someone when I feel ready, it’s an important thing to do because infant loss is a great tragedy.

God bless

Lisa

 

 

 

 

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

sky sunset person silhouette
As a Christian, you are called to follow Jesus and daily take up your cross and walk

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian? What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

The word Christianity means different things to different people in today’s world, many people believe that being a Christian simply means being a good person –  doing good deeds; this is not true, because the Bible tells us that we are not good people (Romans 3:10).

Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead and forgave sins (something only God could do) he did all these wonderful things, he was perfect, never committed a single sin (unlike us) yet he had to die a criminals death. What was it all for, if salvation is based upon on our deeds?

We Are Saved By Grace Through Faith

It is because salvation is not based on what we do, but in what Christ has done for us, salvation is to be found in the completed work of Jesus Christ  (John 14:6).

God required a lamb to atone for our sins and Jesus was that lamb. In the old-testament God’s chosen people, the children of Israel had to sacrifice animals as an offering for their sins.

Christ’s death on the cross completed this – once and for all.

I for one am thankful to God that salvation is not a meritocracy, we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). 

Christians Are Imperfect People 

What non-believers should know about Christians is that we are not perfect people, this is why we follow Jesus – we need Him and we need the Holy Spirit to take permanent residence in our hearts – God is the one who changes us, He is the one who sanctifies us daily.

A Christian is someone who has been convicted of their sinful nature, repented and turned their lives over to Jesus – we believe in the Gospel, as it is the power of God onto Salvation.

God gives everyone a chance to repent and turn to Him, He is a forgiving and loving Father – we can trust Him implicitly. 

God saved us for good works not by good works.

Counting The Cost

Being a Christian means submitting yourself to Christ; it is by no means easy to be a Christian in our sinful world. There is a cost to following Christ – we are commanded to die to self, take up our cross and walk, daily.