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The Conservative, the True Believer, and a Much Needed Conversation

Posted by forthemission247 on June 29, 2015

This post is dedicated to all Believers who find themselves having to defend their faith to Conservative Churchgoers.

To understand the difference, let me help you out. A Believer is Born Again and have the biblical faith in Jesus the Word emphasizes. There is either God’s way or no way. Yahweh or the highway. Get it?

Conservative Church Goers regularly attend church. They tend to boast about money, power and politics. Jesus’ teachings are cast aside as mere moral thoughts and ancient at best. Those who are followers of Christ are put under the bus by Conservatives because they may have less. Conservatives are your modern day Pharisees.

Where can you find these conservatives? In the news talking about politics, money, and business. You may even find them on the silver screen helping others who are as affluent as themselves.

Let me back up a sec.

I stand as a sinner who has been Born Again and am deserving of punishment. And I believe in the power of the Redeeming Blood and thank God for the gift of Repentance.

And I also know that people will see my fruit and ask if I am really who I say I am.

Our fruit(Matthew 7:16) is how people will know where we stand. God took the guesswork out of learning who is for Him. It does not take being a psychic. It is really simple. If I see your actions, then I know your character. If I know your character, I know your thoughts.

Why am I writing this?

To some people, my husband and I appear to be “monks”(and we are far from it) but the fact that we love Christ and try to walk like Him we are persecuted verbally.

And so I write this to inform you, beloved that your battle will not just be against the powers and principalities of this world. There are those who proclaim to be in the faith but are instead false teachers. Wolves in sheep clothing. Stand on the Rock. Continue to watch and pray and worship the one true God over all.

Blessings :)

Posted in Church, Community Walk, The Christian Walk | Leave a Comment »

Charleston, NC Shooting: Skin Syndrome, or the Sin Syndrome?

Posted by forthemission247 on June 25, 2015

As funeral plans begin for the nine souls slain at the Emanuel Episcopal Church in Charleston, NC. The whole horrific ordeal poses questions and sparks debate about one issue in America.

Race.

The gunman, a young white male, took the guessing out of the issue. He blatantly stated he wants a race war to happen. And in my opinion, the only difference between him and the others shooting blacks, is that he said it out loud what he wanted to do.

Yes, People Do Kill People, but…

Bill O’Reilly (I usually like listening to him but even he made slip ups last night). He states,

“Black Americans’ problems stem more from poverty and high crime rates in their own communities. This is not a war on blacks by the whites”(paraphrased).

True.

But what is troubling here in America,  is when you are killed because of something you cannot control: Your skin color. Your history. Your culture.

And this is what makes America so sick and in need of Jesus. This is a country labeled as “united” states, but we are only united when terrible things happen to us from outsiders. Why can’t we be united at all times?

So is this just a sin problem? What is the root of it all?

If you are a believer then you know that hate, lust, greed and all other kinds of bad fruit stem from bad roots.

And let us be very real and clear. America does have a sordid history: Slavery. Capitalism. Rich gets richer, poor get poorer- get the picture?

And then the random police shootings of African Americans…

Geesh. If you are brown then you can’t possibly step back and say “ Hey. They are just doing their jobs.”

And if you are brown you have to also acknowledge some of your part in this.

It is sin, then skin. We should not be shooting each other. And African Americans need to learn to help each other out; feed one another and encourage one another to do great things and promote peace.

What that sociopath pulled at the church was wicked.

And wickedness is birthed in all our hearts. It is only because of love we have for Christ and each other why we don’t pull craziness like that.

So let’s try not to look at this as 100% race, although it is clear what it is.

What is the root?

Pull it up and what will you see?

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From The Rising of the Sun…

Posted by forthemission247 on June 9, 2015

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8 NIV

I was jumping from Scripture to Scripture today just reading these gems of wisdom because I love it. So, when I came across Psalm 143. The Psalm of David. I was tickled.

David was definitely in a reflective mood- and more than likely being chased by someone. I don’t claim to know what inspired every psalm, but I do know that there is something about the morning that is special. And David knew this as well.

And I am NOT a morning person. I am a Night Owl.

But this powerful verse pinched my spiritual elbow because we are supposed to want God like our very next breath. We wait anxiously for a Word from him. For his justice. And for his mercy. We already have His love.

But David says, “I have put my trust in you.”

And I say I don’t want the sun to go down on my anger(Ephesians 4:26), because when it rises again, I want to face the Lord having  fully repented and washed perfectly clean from any sin.

I know.

It can be a hard task to follow. As a wonderful pastor said this past Sunday, David certainly had his faults but he was still after God’s own heart. He loved God and fully repented. Turning away completely from his sin.

But the morning always have good news when we wake up, doesn’t it?

There is this one bird that sings the same, beautiful song every morning near our window(is it the same bird though? I don’t know) and the squirrels are out playing, running around the bushes and under people’s cars.

And there is that new breath, fresh from sleep- opening my eyes again to a BRAND. NEW DAY.

A new day to worship. A new day to work. A new day to meditate. To pray. To have fun.

Partaking in God’s unfailing love.

Copyright 2015 Erica Jean Smith

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Africa: To Be, Or Not to Be…Secularized

Posted by forthemission247 on May 22, 2015

“Brighter Brains Institute is interested in secularizing Africa because we believe this would tremendously benefit the continent intellectually, socially, and economically”[See Brighter Brains Interview with Jd Otit]

Africa

Here are some reasons(paraphrased)they feel Africa should be secularized:

  • Christianity and Islam are worse and more evil than worship of African gods.
  • Christianity and Islam have divided Africa.
  • The people are no longer labeled as “African” but either Christian or Islamic.
  • The Ebola crisis: If Africa would stop praying and start studying, they can prosper…

Has this gotten you mad yet?

I cannot comment on what atrocities Islamic forces or “false Christians have committed upon Africa. I do not live there. I can only go off news reports and bad guesses.

But when it comes to these “free thinkers” and atheistic top heads, they should remember that believing in Christ is not the bad part. It is bad people who make bad decisions and getting rid of a religion is not the first step.

I am not saying that the article is wrong on all counts. Sure people should educate themselves and study what is wrong and make sound economic decisions. But to say that Christianity is part of Africa’s problem and then lump it in the same group as Islam is plain foul and illogical.

Another point I agree on in the article is that there is a “greedy top few” who control the resources and unfortunately this rips Africa apart. However, since when is praying about that situation the wrong thing to do?

And America is not too far behind either with its greedy top few and denouncement of Christian ideals, promotion of sexual immorality and the swiping of bibles out of the school system. In fact the separation here seems to be Us versus Them.

There is only one true religion which beats out modern, Westernized Christianity, Islam, Atheism, etc. Check it out:

John 14:6(ESV)-“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Micah 6:8-“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

1 John 3:8-“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Brighter Brains Institute may make sense to some who wants a radical healing and adjustment for Africa.  I know I would like Africa and everyone across the globe to become better, but letting go of pure ideals set by Christ and telling people praying is wrong is not the way to win a battle. We must lean on hope and wisdom- and wisdom will lead the way.

Because without hope, what are we left with?

Please subscribe, comment and share if this post has touched you in some way. :)

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Parasites, Demons, and Zombies

Posted by forthemission247 on May 16, 2015

Ever watch horror movies and you see a scene and go, “Ew! Yuck! How can she/he/they do that?” And when the movie is over you are glad you do not live in world like that?

Wake up call.

We do.

What I am about to reveal is the truth: We are surrounded by parasites, demons and zombies and it will literally take a full bath of repentance to get us back in order.

Don’t believe me? Check out some horrid facts from recent news headlines:

A man mows down a family of ducks in cold blood

A hurt, injured man is shot and killed by a cop

A Mom is accused of trespassing and assaulting a student

parasites

Migi from Parasyte:The Maxim| Image found on sbs.com

In the anime, Parasyte: The Maxim, a small parasite named “Migi” becomes attached to Shinichi’s right hand. Shinichi calls the parasite a demon, but according to Migi’s internet research humans are closer to demons than even he. [See: Fact Check Migi’s Claim]

In Night of the Zombies, a neighbor needed help and she banged on her neighbor’s door for assistance. The neighbor’s mother said, “Don’t let her in!” And so the girl was eaten by zombies.

You are a parasite if you…

  • Are living in a symbiotic relationship where you are benefiting at the expense of the other.
  • Take advantage of members of a certain group
  • Use people then kill them(figuratively speaking).

[Information found on Wikipedia, “parasitism”]

You are demonic if you…

  • Rebel against God(big one there)
  • Kill
  • Steal
  • Destroy

You are a zombie if you…

  • Are not aware(very important here).
  • You operate on autopilot.
  • Consume large quantities of whatever it  is: tv, food, sex as if that is your sole purpose in life.
  • You show no affection, no regard for life or peace.(The bible calls this “waxing cold”)

Night of the Living Dead image found on moviepostershop.com

Seems pretty glum, huh?

What’s even sadder is that these attributes can be applicable to “Christians” as well.

But. There is a solution that Hollywood will not offer.

It is a solution that has been tried and true over 2,000 years. Beggers, hookers, thieves, and tax collectors went from parasitic zombie demonic folks to loving followers of Jesus Christ.

Accept Him now and receive your new heart:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9 NIV)

He is the remedy.

Share across your networks and spread the cure.

Blessings :)

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Dump the Windows 8.1 Upgrade and Get the Romans 12:1 Version

Posted by forthemission247 on May 8, 2015

The new Windows 8.1 upgrade is a trip isn’t it? Aren’t upgrades supposed to be better? You can’t play DVDs no more unless you pay for a DVD playback software and the new Intel Rapid Storage Technology has a few hiccups on this new upgrade.

If you are like me, then you rarely trust upgrades anymore. Any renewing done to our machines may be okay in some ways but bad in others.

Our spirituality is like that.

When we were first saved, the sun seemed brighter, we wanted to hug it.

And hug even our enemies, including the bully, the mean mom and absentee dad, or bad sister. We had love for everyone.

We felt God for the first time and could not think of ever letting Him go.

But what happens when we get older and more mature? Do we stay positive and hold on to the faith or let it go because of addiction, afflictions and (gulp!) education? And can we ever get that hope back?

I propose, we go get that Romans 12:1 upgrade.  But first let’s see what happened when we gave ourselves to God- the first time.

Temptation Got Worse.

You know it did. If you were a child/teen when you were first saved then when puberty struck, you were surrounded by different friends, new media, and developed new feelings. God suddenly took a back seat. You didn’t mean for it to happen, it just- kind of did. The euphoric medicine called lust came into play and gave immediate gratification and we still loved God, just loved It more. This goes for sex, money, drugs, food, whatever.

We Lost Someone.

Classic case.

When we lose someone, it hurts and it hurts bad. We want them back. Why haven’t our prayers reached God. Did He not hear us?

Ever been down that road before?

I have.

After all our pleas, we still lost our loved ones.

What happened?

We Philosophized Our Way Right Out of the Word.

I will be honest and say I love school. I love learning math, science, I love to write.

Even better. I love studying other religions and philosophies.

But when does too much education become way too much?

When we become too big headed to pick up our bibles anymore. And the gap between us and the Lord widens.

Without using too much of my own opinion, I can offer some suggestions to get back on track with the Lord, because as you well know, we are the ones who leave Him and although the Lord can and does work through us, we have to be pliable.

  • Fellowship: Power is drawn from those around us who are also saved. In this way you can connect with others who can pray for you and who may have been through the same issues but they have to be godly- and fellowship does not always mean you will find these folk in a church building.

  • Bible Study:  You know when I was a teen, the only counselor I had was the Word. Next to me on my pillow was my teen study bible and the words were golden to me. I fell even harder for Jesus on those confusing nights and you know what? You can reconnect with Him too by reading the Word. Even reading other Christians’ memoirs and self help books are so encouraging to me.

  • Prayer: Highly important. This is your communication time with God. Your time of peace and meditation. And personally, I like to incorporate The Lord’s Prayer with my daily morning routine because it pretty much covers the praise and adoration part(“Our Father who art..”, “Hallowed be your name.”), our daily provisions(“Our daily bread”), and spiritual warfare(“deliver us from evil…”). And there are other prayers you can pick from the bible to be your model prayers-Psalms for example. Even better- let the Holy Spirit guide you.

And let us not forget those other helpful nuggets like faith, love, and being sure to repent.

 Ready for that upgrade?

Romans 12:1 says,

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”(NIV)

Warranty Notice: Forever.

We welcome your comments, questions and if you can add anything else of value which you have learned, don’t be shy. Share it!

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Movie Review: ‘God’s Not Dead’ is An Ideal That Can Be Attained

Posted by forthemission247 on April 22, 2015

Image found on courageouschristianfather.com/Pureflix Films

A student’s first day in Philosophy class will make any honest Christian sweat. His college professor tells everyone to write on a piece of paper, “God Is Dead” and to sign their name at the bottom. This obviously Christian  student defies him and so the professor tells him he has to give his defense of God and convince him and the other students to believe God’s Not Dead.

Tough call.

Sublots Made the Movie.

But the movie held my interest from beginning to end(with amazing acting and great storyline) and what makes this movie particularly special are the “sub plots and minor characters” who aren’t really minor at all but contribute to the soul of the story.

I can’t explain all of this without giving too much away but I will say there is a young Muslim woman in here controlled by religion and her dad, then there is  a girl who does not realize that her boyfriend should follow God first and only, and there is the Japanese student who is falling in love with Philosophy class now that there is a God debate going on.

Are Non-Christians Made to Appear Horrible in the Film…?

This movie has taken some criticism, of course saying that the non-Christians are made to look greedy and pompous.

But when I saw the film myself I wondered. How many true Christians are there really?

In most Christian films, Christians are made to look very holy and forgiving and always giving the Word of God to someone and to be honest I have seen this but only in select churches. And sometimes, other Christians act worse than non-Christians(I know this from experience as well).

Perhaps “clean” films like this one wish to paint a picture of what holiness should look like. Some characters in the film played greedy roles but others just did not know God, leading a life of nonchalance or agnosticism.

The Verdict.

However the message was very clear in the film and you will admire the chutzpa of the student as he pores over Scriptures and over his heart to proclaim boldly, God is Not Dead!”

Posted in Pure Movies, The Christian Walk | Leave a Comment »

8 Hardcore Reasons Why Christianity is the Toughest Religion

Posted by forthemission247 on April 16, 2015

Image found on cebufinest.com/Paramount Pictures, The Ten Commandments

If you are like me, then you have a least a small fascination with understanding why others gravitate towards other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, or atheism, etc. and also if you are like me you will soon realize that perhaps it is because Christianity really tests your flesh and makes no excuses. Here are the reasons:

*

  1. Forgiveness. What other religion will say you have to forgive your enemies or the ones who murdered your family member, or that spouse that cheated on you. Yep. You have to forgive them too and yourself. (Acts 26:18)
  2. Lust ≠ Love.  Welcome to Christianity 101. Now, depending on your knowledge of the bible and theology in general, sex before marriage is not encouraged in this religion. If it happens(none of us are perfect) then you may now consider that person your spouse. No more hopping from shell to shell to fulfill your needs. (Galatians 5:16)
  3. Caring for the Poor. Of course most religions are not completely set up to ignore the poor and needy. It just seems that Christianity as  whole believes in this one hundred percent…now do Christians actually believe and practice this is the bigger question. (Galatians 2:10)
  4. Fellowship. I don’t like being around people all the time. Sorry. That is my personality type, but as a God fearing lady I am called to fellowship with others and when I do, I draw strength from them. As Christians we believe in community, not just society. (2 Corinthians 8)
  5. Following the Ten Commandments. Hard isn’t it? All of those Thou Shalt Nots. But you know what? If it allows us to have our Sabbath days free to honor Him and reminds us to love others and not commit adultery then it can’t be all that bad. (Exodus 20:1-17)
  6. Thou Shalt be Controversial. As a Christian you are Mr. and Mrs. Controversy by default. Because whatever God hates, we hate. What He loves, we love. End of story.
  7. Believing He Exists—-In Three Persons. Ouch! Yeah, this is troubling especially for monotheists. We can believe in God, El Elyon all day long, but where does Christ and the Holy Spirit come in the picture? It takes philosophy and lots of prayer to get others to understand that God exists in three persons without seeming like we are polytheists.
  8. Faith, Hope and Love When the World is Dark. If you are a Christian, you can easily let the world kick you down to the point you revert to old habits and addictions, but, Christianity is hard to follow because you are told to hold on fast to faith. No. Matter. What. (Luke 23:30)

See what I mean?

You have to literally be a Bible Warrior with a Spirit of Steel to make it out here in a world where it is super easy to be mean, lazy and selfish.

We are not called to that. We are called to be “the salt of the earth”(Matthew 5:13 NIV), “the beacon on a hill”(v.14).

Scared yet?

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What Does Resurrection Sunday Mean to Me Now?

Posted by forthemission247 on March 30, 2015

Kind of looks like the Easter bunny in there :-)

Image by Clearly Ambiguous for Flickr.com

As we enter into another season of Resurrection Sunday, churches are putting together programs, cleaning up, gearing up and praying up- ready for that special day that Christ rose from the grave.

But I wonder: What does Easter mean to me? Or what should it mean to me?

As a child, Easter meant I will decorate those eggs, hunt for them wear frilly dresses to church service, and receive a gift basket from mom and dad with more goodies.

That was Easter to me back then.

As an adult, Easter Sunday was still “Easter” and it meant going to church and learning about Jesus and his many miracles, impending sacrifice and being raised from the dead. And yet I don’t think I fully understood it then either. Yes, even as a Believer in Christ Jesus I still had not fully grasped what my Savior did for me.

Then, an epiphany…

After church yesterday, I thought of all those Easters and films I watched and The Passion of Christ is the only film I remember to evoke severe gratitude in me and surprising sadness. Do I really know what crossed Jesus’ mind when he was betrayed? While washing his disciples’ feet? The ones he called friend? His suffering on the way to the cross and on the cross?

If that was me, would I do it?

Then a resounding answer, like a church bell rang inside of me: It had to be Jesus. As God’s son, the Sacrificial Lamb, the one whose blood was shed for all of us- we know deep down that it could not- would not have been us to walk those grounds knowing what was next.

I just want to take the time and praise God for sending His Son down here not to condemn the world but to save it and He is my constant friend who has always been there for me, blessed me with a  wonderful, beautiful husband who loves Him too.

Happy Resurrection Sunday to You All :)

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‘GMO…OMG’, Someone’s Playing God With My Food

Posted by forthemission247 on March 19, 2015

A few days ago I watched a documentary by Jeremy Seifert titled GMO…OMG: Is this the End of Real Food? The basis for the film is his quest on finding out what is really in all this stuff we dump into our bellies. And while we are at it, why are people splicing DNA in food?

A Little about GMO(Genetically Modified Organism)

“GMOs emerged in the 90s as the industry’s most advanced weapon against nature”touts the film’s director. In other words, to combat the herbicides being sprayed on our  fruits and veggies they must be “designed” to be resistant to it.

Because of our polluted air and other factors, scientists have taken it upon themselves to blast lasers or whatever at seeds and turn them into Frankenfood.

All natural is not really natural.

Some foods are making us ill, read: The Truth about Blue Bell Ice Cream and Listeria.

Forget Playing With Our Food, They Play God

There was a point in the film where Jeremy was astute enough to ask the famer: “Do you have any moral belief or religion?”

The farmer replies, “Yes. I have not been to church the last two times though.”

Jeremy says that was besides the point. The point is that everything is made for a  purpose in a certain way and by us not knowing what exactly these “changes” can do to our bodies, is that safe? Changing DNA of food seems to disrupt an order, or play God so to speak. Why are we trying to mix and match?(I’m paraphrasing him here).

Here is my summation of the whole GMO deal: I like food very much and currently my husband and I have made slight changes to our diet and we feel healthier for it. Are we obsessed with this GMO stuff? Not really, but there are days when I wonder what my ketchup is truly made of and is my ice cream really all natural?

And why do organic, healthier food cost so much?

But Didn’t Jesus Declare All Food Clean?

The one argument we will hear from serious foodies is: Didn’t the Lord declare all food clean?

What people are referring to is Acts 10:15 and Mark 7:19.

In Acts,  Peter goes up on a roof to pray and while praying, he falls into a “deep trance” where he sees heaven opening up and a large sheet falls to the ground containing all kinds of four footed animals and reptiles and the Lord says “Kill and eat”, Peter declines that offer and the same Voice says,  “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean”(NIV)

On further reading, this happens at least three times.

Do you watch Bizarre Foods America? Then you know that Andrew Zimmern definitely does not question God about what he eats-  he eats any animal offered to him including reptilian ones(I am not so sure he should be eating blood sausages and blood brownies though) Great show.

In Mark 7:19, we are reminded that it is not what goes into our bodies that is unclean but what comes out.

Think about it.

God made our food and it is clean, but I believe we should question these hybrid foods out there, made by man’s hands.

What do you believe? Should we start sifting through all the food labels, get rid of quick meals and fast foods all together? Should we just be observant about what is in our foods- or ignore it?

 

 

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