Be Present

As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I’ve been reminded of the importance of being present to those around. Available. Listening. Being slow to respond.

In our fast-paced, hyperactive, overloaded society, we often hop in our cars ready to “get’er done.” It’s a mentality that we all have shared. The moment we crawl out of bed, we have things racing through our heads.

The lunchboxes to pack.

The laundry to get done.

The groceries to shop.

The phone calls to return.

The bills to pay.

The errands to run.

It’s difficult to put aside the chase that occurs within. However, not long ago, during a summer book club, I personally was challenged to “Be present” more. To put aside FacebookInstagram, and searching the web. To look in the eyes of the people around instead. To have meaningful conversations with those who are in my world. The people I see every day…at HEB, the neighborhood, and of course…in my own hood.

Our people need us. They really do. The children we raise and the husband we wed. The people we lock arms with to do ministry…they need us too. They need us to give them 100%. Is that what you do?

I wonder what would happen if we put our phones away. Stop obsessing with who’s who and Hollywood. Put aside politics and the daily news. And rather…start looking across the table. Listening to what is being said.

I wonder if deep, meaningful conversations would begin? Relationships strengthened. Marriages healed. Children would be known. Neighbors no longer ignored.

By doing so…we think of ourselves less…and more of those around.

This reminds me of a bible verse that you probably can recite from memory, “Love God, love others” (Mark 12:30-31)…but oh, how easily we forget.

What is your biggest challenge in loving others well? What does it look like to “Be Present” to you?

Abortion: Is it Really Necessary?

In the nearing end of 2018, and in the coming day of Thanksgiving, we need to be thankful that everything this Christian Nation has built is not yet destroyed. Though hard to picture or even think of anything to be thankful for due to this Age of the End Times, it is healthy for a Christian man, woman, teen and child to remember what we do have left. But this article is not talking about Thanksgiving, this article was made to remind us what the bible says about sin and mercy, and I will cover both in this article about Abortion.

Abortion is manually and scientifically removing an unborn-developed organism or removing the chance of any life in the belly of a woman.

The Bible says that life is precious, and detrimental if we choose to murder or play like we are “gods of our life.” For God is the only Lord of our life. However, just as in the Garden of Eden, God did not kill Adam and Eve he showed mercy. So God will not say to you young teen, single parent, or rapist survivor, to teach the child, but to give the baby life. The best you can do is to send the newborn to adoption/foster care. If you are a married couple who only want sex or a prostitute, well, you need to rethink what society has fantasize to you about sex. In all kindness I plead you get purity counseling, perhaps a pastor or a Christian counselor to rearrange what you think about love and adulting.

For love is more than sex.

Sincerely,

BGM LIfe

Fear Not

“Fear not . . .”  Isaiah 43:1

“Fear not” — words that make us stand a little straighter and feel a little stronger.  “Fear not,” (and words of a similar context) are found in the Bible more than a hundred times.[1]  We’re taught that fear and faith cannot coexist.  A fearful saint is not a faithful saint. But if you — like me — find yourself in a tumultuous situation, that contrast between the two extremes is a very real and present tension.  Like the father in Mark 9, we find ourselves pleading — “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (v. 24).  Over and over I pray: “God, I know You’ve got this.  I know you are faithful.  I know You will never leave me nor forsake me.  But I’m scared God.  I don’t want to be.  I’m trying not to be.  But I am.”  And He understands.  He doesn’t chide or rebuke me — He just gives me reasons not to fear.

Fear not . . . for God has heard (Gen. 21:18)

Fear not for I am with you (Gen. 26:24) (My favorite)

Do not be afraid, the Lord will fight for you (Deut. 3:22)

Do not be afraid . . . for the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6)

Fear not; I will help you (Isa. 41:13)

Today, at the suggestion of my sister-in-love, I’ve been meditating in Isaiah 43 and found some incredible words of hope that fit my life perfectly:

“This is what the Lord says — He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters” (v. 16); “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (v. 19).

At this moment I am both drowning in the sea and wandering through a desert.  Seems as odd as faith mingled with fear but let me explain.  My emotions seem like an overflowing river, thoughts rushing this way and that, pulling me under and threatening to take my very breath.  For a split second I come up for air — “I believe!”  In the next the waves crash over my head again — “But I am afraid!”  God promises to make a way — a path through the waters of fearful thoughts and discouragement that threaten to drown me.  He promises dry ground to cross over to the other side.

Yet I am in the desert where nothing grows and all seems lost — walking through a season of drought.  Health issues.  Disability.  Unemployment.   Multiple applications with no nibbles.  Interviews with “no thank you.”  Watching the funds dwindle as the provisions dry up.  The reality of what we’re facing beats down like the scorching sun as we wander looking for an oasis.  God promises to make a way here too — to provide streams in this wasteland .  Mind you not to drown us like the sea, but to refresh and restore us.

He meets our needs for rescue and refreshing.  He gives us dry ground and cool springs.  He never fails to notice us wherever we are — even when we’re in two places at once.  Oh, my drowning, wandering friend — let me throw you a lifeline of hope.  You don’t have to fear because God hears you, He is with you, He fights for you, He will never leave nor forsake you, and He promises to help you.  He knows where you are right now, and He knows what you need right here.  He will make a way.

 

[1] The NIV records some 110 references; other translations will have a slightly different word count.  Despite how good is sounds, there are actually not 365 “Fear not” verses.

Go Unsatisfied

Matthew 5:12 says  Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven…”

When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 He essentially told his followers that the life of one who lives for God is characterized by an expectation of receiving satisfaction in the future…not in the present.  It is the life of faith that pleases God, not the life that expects sight now (Hebrews 11:6).   Remember what Jesus said to Thomas after He appeared to him while they were in hiding:  “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed” (John 20:29). Jesus made it clear that He wants His followers to trust in what He says and who He is based on His credibility–which is awesome!  We take Jesus’ words to the bank based on a handshake alone; we do not wonder if He will follow through.  Ironically, when one waits on the Lord IN FAITH they experience His peace which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  We are at peace because we truly trust in Him.  We we do not have peace we are missing the trust and are therefore unsatisfied for a totally different reason–it is because our spirit AND our flesh are left wanting.  Conversely, if the flesh is left unsatisfied, but the spirit is fulfilled, one can die in peace knowing that their soul will meet God almighty and be eternally loved and taken care of.

If we do not wait IN FAITH, then we will not have peace.  That means we will be waiting with a spirit of complaining, of grumbling, and of whining because we are not getting what we think we deserve.  We know that God commands us not to live as whiners (Philippians 2:14).  Therefore, living IN FAITH means that we consciously understand that we expect to be satisfied at a future date, a day determined by God, and the truth is that the day of our reward may not be until after our death.  In fact, we will never be completely satisfied until we reach our final destination–the presence of God.

Understand that it is our humanity that will suffer when we wait IN FAITH.  It is our temporary sense of justice, of harmony, of emotion, that suffers when we allow room for God’s work to be done.  God calls us to let our earthly nature die and embrace the Spirit of Jesus which has little regard for earthly comfort when God’s truth is at stake.  Remember how God the Father treated God the Son: “It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…” (Isaiah 53:10).

When we undertake love as a Christ follower we are guaranteed to be persecuted.  Our love will often not be received because it sheds light on the failure of people to love God and one another.  Those who desire to please God will be encouraged by our love, but those who are enemies of God will punish us because we stand for Him (Matthew 10:22).  But remember, the reward comes later.  Suffer now and go unsatisfied now–that is living IN FAITH.  But when you demonstrate that type of faith, the Spirit of God will minister to you and remind you that you are in God’s will, which will make every suffering worthwhile as it happens. After the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus assured us of this fact.

Matthew 5:11-12 “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”