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Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

~ Written by Tabby McMonagle

I witness the most in my powder room. Yes, you read that correctly! It is in that room the walls are plastered with inspirational scriptures and thought-provoking questions about life. I did it more for me, but has been noted by visitors.

One picture says: “What will you choose? Love, Hate; Rejoice, Wallow; Gentle, Harsh; Surrender, Control; Prayer, Anxious; Forgive, Resent; Teach, Condemn; Pause, Rush.”

There are many things during this Covid season which are out of my control. As these things pile up, the weight of them has me feeling out of control! What can I do? Everything is at God’s mercy. I have felt overwhelmed with my feelings, and they have been going crazy with irrational thoughts. I feel out of control—so I am. I feel all is lost—so it is.

We are powerless when it comes to many things. Yet from the beginning of time, choice is the one thing God told us we have.

I have a choice. I can’t control the virus. I can’t control people around me. I can’t control how other people feel and act. I can’t control the decisions made by my leaders. I can’t control what people say.

I can, however,  control how I respond. I can chose humility over pride. I can chose obedience over disobedience. I can chose prayer over anxiety.

I can chose to seek and trust God over my fears and insecurities. I can chose to allow others to be who they are, even if I don’t understand the side of them I am seeing. I can chose love over hate. I can chose to love my enemies rather than condemn them. I can chose to get up and read my bible and seek truth over the lies from the devil. I can chose to praise God when I am feeling empty or full. I can chose gratitude over grumbling.

I can choose grace over judgment. I have a choice! What will you choose?

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~ Written by Viki Rife

The past ten days or so have shaken us as a nation as we watch news of one mass shooting after another. We’re horrified, and the outcry for gun control is becoming louder in the wake of such tragedies.

As politicians, pundits and the population debate gun control, there’s a huge factor that no one seems to be paying much attention to. Something has changed about us as a society.

I remember as a child that my siblings and myself, as well as most of our friends, were taught never, ever to point a toy gun at a human being (an exception was made if we had an approved water-gun fight). My dad explained that even the act of pointing a toy gun at a person might cause our brain to start thinking it was okay. If he saw us start to do so, he’d quickly warn, “Don’t even think of it!”

Fast forward to when our children were growing up and video games became the rage. All of a sudden, children were playing games in which the objective was to shoot an opponent. Our son once saved his money and, without consulting us, purchased a video game in which blood splattered everywhere as you shot your enemy for points. We confiscated the game. For a long time he resented our meddling with a possession he had bought with his hard-earned money.

Now that he’s a dad, however, he has actually thanked us for that move. He believes it protected him during a very vulnerable time in his life, and has even commented that he realizes the condition of his heart at the time was leading him into dangerous territory. He says giving up violent games was one of the best things that could have happened to him!

The problem with guns is about more than the weapon itself—it is a reflection of what is happening in a human soul. Before we waste time arguing about gun control, let’s talk about violence control—in video games, in movies and TV shows, and in the home. That’s where the heart of the matter lies. Our job is to direct our children’s hearts as they are shaping their worldview so that using a gun against someone isn’t even a consideration.

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~ Written by Cassie Harris

I shrieked when I saw it. The temperature was bearable! For the last week, Indiana had been seeing temperatures which would make even Alaskans cringe. I was getting tired of feeling as if I was having an asthma attack just because I stepped outside to get to my car. But finally. My phone boasted the truth:

It was warm enough to snow.

When I stepped out my front door, I was met with a wintery wind. Still, I celebrated the relative warmth. I then promptly turned around to get my hat and gloves. Sure, it was warm. It wasn’t that warm.

I can sometimes treat my spiritual growth the same way I treat the weather. I see some type of breakthrough in a sin cycle and I want to act as if that simple crack in the rock means the mountain of sin is no longer there. I celebrate the shift in action for a day, maybe a week, before I’m met with sin’s blustery reality.

Yes, because of Christ, I saw victory in my ungodly habits, but I’m still a sinner.

I have a choice. I can either stand in the “wintery winds” of my sinfulness and eventually die of hopelessness. Or, I can turn around and look at my Savior and allow Him to give me what I need to be prepared for what lies before me spiritually.

Just like the weather warming up, our sanctification is a process. Allow God to be a part of that process. He is not shocked when the winds of life take our breath away.

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~ Written by Viki Rife

There are more divorces in your church than you think. The legal documents only represent a very small part of what is happening. Yes, there are couples who are still married but who do not work together as partners. Still, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Ask yourself: is there anyone within my church I wouldn’t want to partner with in a project? When we don’t want to partner with someone, we start disengaging from them. If we disengage from others, we are heading down the path of divorcing ourselves from the Church.

It’s the way we divorce ourselves from other humans that ends up causing disunity in the church. And we must remember that Jesus prayed, above all, for unity among His people. If our love for each other is supposed to be a witness to a lost world, how effective are we?

I’d like to propose a radical therapy approach to dealing with disunity of any kind. When you feel tension in your relationship with another person, before it builds any more, ask if they will commit to praying half an hour a week with you. That time of prayer could be in person or over the phone. Share prayer requests with each other and pray about them together. There is something powerful about prayer as we enter God’s presence together. We begin to understand each other, and to actually want the good we are praying for them to happen to them.

Why not try some radical therapy this week? I can assure you that God will honor your commitment to unity. You will wonder why you didn’t engage in this blessing sooner!

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~ Written by Cassie Harris 

​I noticed something this weekend about womankind’s need to gossip. We gossip most when we’re extremely hurt and we feel emotionally violated. 

We need to tell someone how wretched “so-n-so” is. But, we know gossip is wrong. So instead, we approach it from the perspective of “needing prayer.” But we gently use phrases like, “I’m not sure, but I think they… (insert opinions here.)”

​Before we know it, what we are confiding to a friend as a “prayer request” becomes a chance to recount every bitter corner of our wounded pride. By the time we’re done telling our story, we’re too bitter to pray. We’re too bitter to hear truth.

​Because of that bitterness, our prayers for the people who have offended us become prayers about them, not for them. Prayers like Change them, God, they’re not who I once knew become thrown at the Heavens with bitter authoritative pride. The reality is, there is more power praying God, they need you. What can I do to overcome evil with good?

​As a kid, I was always taught not to gossip because it made people “feel bad.” May I take it a step further and suggest that gossiping disables us in the Throne Room by clothing us with a prideful arrogance over the people in our lives who are hard to love?

​We’re women, made in the image of God. Our words are powerful. Let’s use them wisely.

 

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~ Written by Cassie Harris

Anticipation. It made me slightly resent the four hour long drive required to get me to my destination. I found myself longing for the day teleportation isn’t stuck in the world of Science Fiction. My loved ones were waiting for me at the other end of the car trip. I spent the first twenty minutes in the car watching the clock and praying the minutes would click by faster.

Just when I thought I would lose my mind, my friends in the car with me started talking about what God was doing in their lives. Before I knew it, I had completely forgotten about the clock and was joining them in the conversation. I silently chided myself for being so caught up in the destination I forgot to enjoy the journey.

Actually, it was much more than that. I was so caught up in the future destination I wasn’t investing in the people God had in front of me at that very moment. I was so frustrated over needing to wait for what I didn’t have yet and ignoring the blessings God had given me right now.

Oh, may we as children of God never be so caught up in pointing out the things which frustrate us that we stop being blessed by the little things we often take for granted. With God, everything is a process. Even our sanctification and imitation of Jesus Christ is a process. Patience is always required, but so is the ability to shine for God while we wait for the desires of our heart to be met.

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~ Written by Cassie Harris

“If you’re getting married, you’ll never have a career.”

“If you have a career, you shouldn’t have kids.”

I’ve heard both these statements countless times. Each warning brings its own set of resentments, questions and frustrations. If I’m called to my future husband, why can’t I also be called to my passion in the workplace? If my calling includes a career, why can’t I believe God may someday give me the strength to fulfill both roles as  wife and mother and as a professional?

These questions, along with many others, are getting louder as the definition of gender roles gets redefined yet again. Young adult women are telling each other to go and ‘take the world by the tail.’ Older and wiser adults look at young women and worry over a very real possibility of traditions and Biblical values being lost in the chaos.

At 25, I’m faced with a desire to answer these questions both as a Christian and as a woman. Each time I tread on that dangerous ground, I’m reminded of 1st Thessalonians 5:24 which states, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely bring it to pass.” Not once does God only relegate His providential call to men. 

Whatever He calls me to, whether it makes sense to my culture or not, will be “brought to pass.” It has been my joy to discover God takes me out of my comfort zone in order to break my desire for control, all the while proving He has a plan for my life that will glorify Him. 

It’s not about gender roles. It’s about allowing Him to work within my weaknesses to magnify His strength. No matter what I may want from my future, God asks me to hold it with open hands so He can do with it as He wills. It may be my life, but it’s His story.

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~ Written by Cassie Harris

“Will sign language be in Heaven?” As a deaf interpreter, that question gets asked by Christians quite often. It’s a good question. Why would a language formed for the deaf be used if no one is deaf? It’s such a joy to explain how Sign Language is more than just a necessity here in the fallen world; it’s heart-deep communion with Yahweh.

Many of my friends dependent on Sign Language have expressed the fact that, although Sign Language may not be needed in Heaven, it’s the language they have used to fall in love with their Savior. What will it be like for them to stand before their Savior knowing full well He knows their language, doesn’t need it, but allows them to use it because it was within that special Language He was made real to them as Savior?

Recently, when asked again about my opinion on the matter, I was struck with how many other things many people may think aren’t necessary while in Heaven. Then, just as quickly, I was overwhelmed with the reminder that all of us are created in God’s image. Each one of us has a different way of fulfilling that description. All of us have different ways of exuding love and serving the Lord. 

What will it be like to have every language understood and every different aspect of God’s character perfectly shown in our fellow Christians around the Throne of God? How beautiful will it be to see certain Godly characteristics in our brothers and sisters, fully understanding their necessity? Oh, how awesome it will be! 

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