The Prodigal God

Most of us have read The Parable (Luke 15). Many of us could give a summary of what that Parable was about. Most of us know the meaning and the true message of The Parable, right? It’s about how a father welcomes his younger son back with loving arms, right? Well, if you were like me, before I took a deeper look at it, then yes. This story is not just about the younger son. It is about how both of the fathers sons are spiritually lost, both of their lives are at dead ends, and all that they thought about how to connect to God was wrong. I said it, wrong!

How crazy, I thought when reading, that the elder brothers life was just as in danger as the younger. I could identify more with the elder brother. He stayed closer to his family, obey parental standards, and over all a parent-pleaser. The elder brother saves his wealth and works hard. The younger brother wants his share of the estate. Once he has it, he leaves and spends it all! I mean, looking at this, the elder brother has this one in the bag!! Wrong!

When the Parable starts, the scene displayed is two groups of people. The tax collectors and the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. The Pharisees were also called the “sinners”. Wouldn’t the tax collectors be the people most in need of God? As I stated in the paragraph above, both groups are in need. You may be wondering to yourself, how could this be? If you follow the Bible and the laws, doesn’t that make you a better person? All that I thought I knew regarding my connection with God, was wrong up until now. So what is the real message here? Jesus wants to show this group of people their blindness, narrowness and self-righteousness are destroying their lives. To be more correct, it was destroying their souls and the people around them. It takes work everyday to connect with God.

Just because I read my Bible yesterday, does not mean that I do not need to read it today. I feel sin working in my life everyday. That is why I need a does of God everyday. I am far from perfect, and the sooner I realized that, the sooner I fell to my knees. Here is a prime example of just how imperfect I am. I am embarrassed to share that, I read “Fifty Shades of Gray”. I thought that it was okay considering, I go to Church and pray…I am still a good person. A friend pointed out that on my Facebook, I had “Liked” a “Fifty Shades of Gray” page. I was super embarrassed. I could not believe I had been so careless with my mouse clicking. I did not even give it a second thought. I corrected this mistake right away. Something like this, I feel, taints my character; that is the last thing I want. The devil has used the same tricks for centuries. He knows when and how to creep in. It helps to be surrounded by people who keep you grounded.

To end, here is a prayer that I found helpful as a reminder that we are all in need:

Good morning Lord, you have ushered in another beautiful day, untouched and freshly new.

So I come Dear Father, to ask you if you’ll renew me too.

Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday, but help me walk Dear Father, closer in your way.

For Father I am well aware I can’t make it on my own so take my hands and hold them close, for we can’t walk alone.

-The Organic Christian

Captivating: The mystery of a woman’s soul

When I was younger, I wanted to be precious to someone, especially my father! A father is his daughter’s first sight into how a man is supposed to treat her. As we grow older, the desire matures into longing to be pursued, desired , and wanted as a woman. This is about discovering who you already are, the woman God had in mind when he made you … glorious, powerful, and captivating. The longings God has written deep in your heart are telling you something essential about what it means to be a woman, and the life he meant for you to live.

Every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things:

  1. To be romanced
  2. To play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure
  3. To unveil beauty

God knows us most intimately; he holds and guides us as a woman. -Ps. 139: 1-12

Whatever it means to bear God’s image, you do so as woman. Think about it. God created you as a woman. God created man in his own image … male and female. God knows us intimately; he holds and guides us by his hands. You’ll discover that God is relational to his core, that he has a heart for romance! He longs to share adventures with us. Adventures that you cannot accomplish without him. God has a beauty to unveil. A beauty that is captivating and powerfully redemptive!

The Organic Christian

That special someone God has chosen for me

I am tired of aimlessly dating! It has brought me nothing but tears on my pillow and a heavy heart. As I indicated in my last post, patterns need to change. I want to take things slow. I want to get to know someone and their values. Far too often, I would jump into a relationship, letting my heart take the lead. Not anymore! I am letting God lead that area. I know what some of you must be thinking. Isn’t that kinda scary or hard to do? My answer is yes. However, that fear is not from God. In II Timothy 1:7 the main message is that God does not give fear. God will give me direction, he will supply all my needs and all things are possible through Him. I think if he made me, he knows my heart better than any man ever could. I will wait for the man God has intended me to marry.

Is there someone in my life now? Maybe. It is far too soon to tell. As I said, we are going very slow and getting to know each other. I met him on Christianmingle.com about a week ago and we have been communicating. We have not even talked about a relationship yet. One big thing I want to mention is, do not leave your family out of this process. They are an important part of your life and some day, the life of you and your husband. I think it is vital to have them in the loop about who you are considering. Some of the things I wanted to know about him were:

  1. Is he a believer in God? Does he know how to love God?
  2. Does he have a vision for his life of doing great things for God?
  3. Is he free of harmful addictions such as, alcohol, drugs, immortality…
  4. Is he given to anger, bitterness, greed or envy?
  5. Is he wise with his finances?
  6. Does he love children?
  7. Is he a man of character, showing initiative, creativity, diligence, enthusiasm and wisdom?
  8. Does he have similar convictions and standards to mine?
  9. Does he accept me just the way I am?
  10. Could I say he loves God more than he would love me?
  11. Will he draw me closer to God?

Because this guy has caught my eye, and we both have shown interest in each other, and there could be potential, I ask my family what they think. The people I know are a great judge of character. Their input matters. I guess what I am in now, would be a pre-courtship phase. We shall see where the Lord takes this. I pray to God every day, asking him about the conversation I had just had and what other questions should I ask. I think long and hard about his answers to things and figure out where his heart is.

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

I Timothy 4:12

The Organic Christian

Patterns are made to be broken

Being in a relationship, whether that is personal or business, do not forget that you can not go into it thinking you can change someone. We as humans are free to choose. We have all been in positions where we have tried to control a situation or person. How has that worked out for you? God has designed us and given us choices. We can choose to follow him, choice A, or we can not, choice B. (Galatians 5:1) The choice to come to him is more meaningful this way. I am willing to bet, you either have a boyfriend/girlfriend, child/children, husband/wife or business partner you are thinking about right now. You have probably asked them a question in which the words, “You need … ” were said. When you pose a question to someone, they can freely decided if that is a priority to them. Let me guess, they did not do what you wanted. Why? Because it was something that that person felt they did not have to do. Frustrated? I am here to tell you how I have changed my “Patterns” and broke them to stay on the path God has called me to.

Let me pose few examples to you.

  1. You tell your husband/wife, child/children, boyfriend/girlfriend that they NEED to clean up their “insert item here”.
  2. You tell your child/children, you NEED to do their homework and chores.
  3. You tell your business partner that they NEED to get those reports done.

Notice the word need. That is what is wrong. You can not control them. God created us to be freedom agents! From this point on, I am outlawing the words “You Need … ” Try this instead, “If you want to go do ______ , ________has to get done. If it is disagreeable to you to go to ___________, then _____________ is going to happen.

Let me give you a scenario my pastor gave in church.

  • There was a family, and the father had bought tickets to go to see the Bears play. The game was on Saturday, and today was Friday. He instructed his children that if they wanted to go to the Bears game, their homework and chores need to be done. If it is disagreeable for anyone of you to go, then Alice the babysitter will be here to look after you. I have already called her, and she is available.

In that example he gave, no where in that paragraph did the words, “you need” come out. However, you need to be prepared if they do not do what you are asking. If one of the fathers children did not get those things done, then he would have to follow through on getting the babysitter there on Sunday, and not let that child go to the game. When we phrase things like in the example above, it give that other person the ability to make their own choices. In that child’s mind, the light bulb turns on and suddenly, they feel the need to get _________ done. This goes for your relationships as well.

Do not ever forget to do your due diligence. What do I mean? Here is one other example:

  • There was a man, and he really wanted to fill a position in his company. It was down to the wire! He got a resume of an individual that seemed to be what he had asked for. So, without a second thought, he hired him! A month later, that person was not cutting it. Now, he needs to go back to the drawing board again.

In your life, figure out what it is going to take. With this example, I thought of a relationship. Sometimes, when we are focused on getting a boyfriend/girlfriend or getting married, our vision gets cloudy. We want a relationship so bad, that we do not do out due diligence. If you have children, as a parent, never neglect to do your due diligence. I call this the ready … aim … FIRE approach.

Lastly, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What area of life, do you have pain in and you want to stop?
  2. What area are you not getting what you want?
  3. Are some of my pain, in the patterns I continue to do, causing a loved one pain?

Choose to be an open system. When you close yourself off to others or God, you are going to run out of energy. When you open yourself up, and allow God in you create energy and new intelligence. Surround yourself with God centered people. Do not let the old wiring you have, the old patterns you have, dictate tomorrow. You are loved!

-The Organic Christian

Under the Influence of Good Music and Fellowship

Good afternoon everyone,

It has been some time since my last blog post and I am very sorry about that. Life has gotten busy! We run around meeting people, doing errand’s, driving our children to activities, picking up groceries and much more. With that being said, we seem to be spending more time in our cars then actually at home. For a moment, I would like you to think about your experience when you are in your car. What comes to mind? I bet you first thought about traffic! What about the drive-through? Do you have music in the background? My point here is, they probably are not positive things.

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting my friend Katherine for coffee. We fellowshipped as we sipped on coffee and ate some delicious blueberry muffins! “These can’t be good for you … they are way too GOOD” Katherine said after just one bite! I have to agree with that statement! As we talked the subject of influence we felt by our culture came up. The situation I asked you to think about regarding your experience in the car, was to ask you this: What type of music are you listening to when you are rushing about? For some it could be rock, hip hop, classical. How many said Christian music? I know I didn’t.

Now, few people are like my friend Katherine. She listens to really nothing but Christian music. I thought about the affect music can bring on our mood. Typically, when I am in the car, I listen to the Mix (101.1). It’s not bad, but it could be better. This morning I listened to K-Love, a Christian station preprogramed in my car. I noticed my mood change as I was driving. With listening to the positive messages my mood was uplifted. Even while you are driving, leaving positive music, more specifically Christian music on, your mood will change. 

I will admit, I swear when I drive. That is wrong! I get worked up over the little things. Example, people who do not understand what a signal is for. This upsets me which leads to swearing. I know they can’t hear me, so why should it matter? It is the way we conduct ourselves. The way we act in a church should not just be thrown out the window when we are not. The way we conduct ourselves should be universal.

Because I think change is needed I am issuing a challenge:

  1. Nothing but a Christian music for a week! This means at home, in the car, at the gym … everywhere!
  2. No swearing! If you wouldn’t say it at Church … don’t say it at all!

To start the challenge off right, I have pre-programed by Pandora to only Christian stations. I have deleted all other stations so there is no temptation. I have also deleted all other music I have added to my personal library on my phone. Don’t freak out people, it can be put back on later!!!! Lastly, I have told my friends and family what I plan to do so they can hold me accountable. Let’s go people!!! I hope you a blessed day. Remember, you are loved.

The Organic Christian  

Why?

This has to be, the most asked question on the face of this planet. We often walk around with this, chip, on our shoulder. This “why” question is something we lug around with us. Why did this happen to me? Why would God allow this to happen? I have a question for you, could all this be your fault? Before you go and get mad, hear me out. When you ask the question “why”, I would like you to go through some questions of your own to figure out where to place the blame. These question were posed first by Senior Pastor Bill Hybil, and they are as follows:

1. Did I cause this pain?

2. Is this pain a result of another humans carelessness?

– My parents made the decision to get a divorce, I had to live with the results of that choice.

3. Are these acts of God (natural disasters)?

4. Did this come straight from evil himself?

The question I ask all the time is, God, why do you allow such horrible things to happen in this world? Aside from the presence of an evil being, I can not figure out how an adult can harm a child. Who tells you, “tell that lie”?  Who put the idea into Hitlers head to gas millions of people? BLUE PRINTS WERE DRAWN UP!!!!! There were people sitting around who build those machines for the sole purpose of killing other people. And a lot of people ask, “Why would God allow this?” God made us to have free will. God could have made us like robots, serving him. How meaningful would that be? By us coming to him, by our own will, means so much more.

There are four truths that I believe you can hold onto when things get hard.

1. God is never the author or evil.

-John 1:5 ( The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.)

2. God will always limit the amount of evil that will come your way.

-God knows better then anyone else, the limits you have. When you find yourself thinking that you just cannot take it anymore remember something, that is you and I saying this … You need to trust in God and know that he will limit the evil that comes your way.

3. Gods presence is never more real than in the eye of the storm. 

-Psalm 34:18 (The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.)

4. God will eventually weave the pain into a blessing.

-Romans 8:28 ( And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.)

I asked a lot of questions to God. I bet you have too. Remember, in the moments where you feel like you could not handle anymore, God is there and he will help you. It is by free will he has made you, and by this token, how he has made others. Do not be frustrated by the choices of others. Simply know that God is with you and will turn this pain into a blessing.

-The Organic Christian

Pshhh, man of steel? Try convictions of steel!

Good evening everyone! Nothing leaves me more energized and ready to take on the always hated Monday, then spending my Sunday immersed in God’s word. Today, I was left strengthened by a message I heard while listening to  Pastor Steve Carter. His message was titled, ” Convictions of Steel”. Just the way that sounds makes me want to flex, my faith muscle that is! But really, when I heard the title of his message, it made look at God like a super hero. Who needs the Man of Steel anyway? Keep Superman, I have God.

In Matthew 7:13-20 it says, ” Stay true to your convictions.” What does this mean? Well, to me, the obvious is to stay true to what you believe in. The second is, I see my convictions as the steel frame work of my faith that God is helping me build. So, while sitting and listening to the message, I began to think about my convictions. How often do I choose fear, over love? When I worry, it implies to God that I don’t think he is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in my lives.

Before I started this blog, I really never had any intention on starting one in the first place. I have a lot on my plate. I graduated with my bachelors in psychology and am finishing my paralegal certificate right now. I am trying to balance homework, due dates, my job and all that I have taken on there … the point is, I never felt like this would ever fit in with all the other stuff going on. When I prayed at night, writing in my journal, I felt a pull on connecting people with God. I did not so much ask God to give me a sign as, I just thought it and kept going. He laid on my heart to start a blog! CRAZY! Doesn’t he know how busy I am? Pshh, there is no way, he has got to be kidding. Guess what? He wasn’t.

The saying goes, “If you want to leave a footprint, don’t drag your feet.” So, I started to look for a place to start a blog. This was not the first place I choose to start the blog. There was another site I came across first. I just scanned it over and said, “good enough.” Let me let you in on a little secret, God does not like good enough! Would you believe that I wrote the first entry, clicked submit, and it was GONE!? It was deleted! I spent an hour writing it. So I tried again. This same thing happened 3 times! God was testing me. That was not the website God wanted me to post on … he made that known!

I was beyond frustrated. I was ready to throw my laptop down and not even do it. Then something happened. The Holy Spirit entered me and I could feel myself strengthen. It was like God was breathing into me and strengthening my frame work! These were my convictions. Faith is having the courage to let God have control. Just like Matthew says, I have to stay true to my convictions. Hebrews 11:40 says, ” God’s plan is better and greater than any plan we’ve ever made for ourselves.” As I listened to God and what he wanted me to do, there was a sense of calm around me. He told me what to name it, and even what to have my first blog entry about. Worrying doesn’t change anything, but trusting in God changes everything.

-The Organic Christian