Saturday, June 29, 2013

Does your Worship make God smile?

Our Worship is something that God enjoys. It is communion with Him and we were made for that sole purpose. It makes God happy to receive worship. It is all that we actually own and can give to Him. Everything else, he gave to us. Worship is our only real gift to God.

So does your worship make God happy? Or does it make Him cringe and want to move away? Let me explain. God abhors sin. He can't dwell where sin is. Therefore, if your worship is from a life filled with sin, then you've got a problem.

You see, our first act of worship, before we lift our hands and sing, is the way we live our lives. God is honoured when we choose to obey Him. He is honoured when we choose to love others and He is honoured when we choose to live right. That is our first act of worship.  If our lives don't line up to His word, His will and His commands, it does not make him smile. Our songs will be like screeches in His ears simply because they are not truth.

John 4:24 reminds us that we are to worship God in spirit and in truth. That simply means that what we say should match what we do. That is the only way our worship will make God smile.

I don't know about you, but I love the fact that my worship can make such a wonderful God smile and it scares me that sometimes I open my mouth and He cringes.

To start off your day, here's the song that inspired this post.


Devotions like this one and others can be found in a handy collection in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab your copy, click here. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Real Reality

So today, we're going to step away from the usual focus of this blog for just a little bit, but don't worry, I promise that you will still learn something.

Last year around this time, I released a new novel called Finding Romeo, a fictional story centered around two Christian young people. It's a romance novel, but I like to call it real life romance, cause let's face it, this stuff really happens in real life. In order for you to see where I'm going with this post, I gotta tell you a little bit about what happens in the novel so bear with me just a little bit.

See, my heroine, Daynia, is a Christian young woman with a desire to get married, just like most Christian young women her age, but she's been hurt before, also just like other young women her age, so she's a bit vulnerable. In comes Mr. Prince Charming himself, ready to sweep her off her feet. Richard (his name) is a church goer, so in Daynia's mind he must be a Christian right? decide. Anyways, they meet, they date and Daynia falls in love and (GASP)....Daynia let's her guard down and THEY HAVE SEX!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I did it! I dared to put a sex scene (watered wayyyyy down of course) in a "Christian Romance Novel". Why you ask? Because in real life, people who are struggling to live a Christian life make dumb mistakes and have sex. Trust me, it happens. How do I know? CAUSE IT HAPPENED TO ME!

So what's all this about today you ask? Well, you see... I was pretty discouraged about this book less than one month after it's release. I submitted it to fellow Christian authors for their honest review and THREE of them came back saying that they would NOT review the book. Why you ask? Because two Christians (dramatic gasp) had SEX! How dare me right?

Well yes I dared! Now that I've had a whole year to stew on my decision, I stand by it. You see, when I wrote this book, I had no plans for it to be another wishy washy romance novel where characters face unrealistic situations, hate each other for a while and then finally fall in love and ride into the sunset. There is more than enough of that out there. Several years ago, when God gave me the mandate for my life, it was to help others with my experiences. Well, Finding Romeo is my experience. Daynia is me.

You see in real life, we do dumb things. Really, really dumb things. We don't pay attention to warning signs, or to God's voice for that matter. We plunge ahead with decisions without thinking and we put ourselves in situations that are down right dangerous. Finding Romeo is my reminder to other young Christian women my age of the crappy stuff that happens to us if we don't pay attention or take heed. Daynia gave in to her beau and gave him herself, over and over again as a matter of fact. In return, she had to sacrifice her spiritual life and her heart. Richard didn't love her, as a matter of fact, he only kind of liked her. She was the girl he filled his spare time with whilst he tried desperately to get his ex back, the real love of his life. Daynia was warned but she ignored her friends. Like I said, Daynia is me (the exact details of her story aren't quite mine but you get the point).

So Christians, ladies, friends. Christianity has rules, things we should do and things we should stay away from, but let's be honest with our selves. We break the rules ALL THE TIME. Can we stop pretending that we don't and deal with the issues that cause us to break the rules. There's always a reason that we end up doing something that we really didn't want to do. Sit back a moment and consider the root cause of some of your actions. You'll find it so much easier not to make the same mistake twice, or three or four in my case.

Be blessed today folks and have a good one. Oh and if you're interested in reading my Christian novel where two Christians are dumb enough to have SEX (dramatic gasp) then you can click on the cover below and get yourself a copy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Doing what you Believe

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21
It's easy to talk Christianity. Throw in a few catch phrases, quote a few scripture verses, talk about an experience from ten years ago and you'll sound like you've got it right. It's a completely different thing to live the life of a Christian though. 

Throughout the New Testament we are reminded that it's our actions and the state of the heart that determines the state of a man, not what we say. You see, what we do cannot be separate from what we believe. If we say we believe something then our actions should follow in line with what we believe. I've said this before and I'll say it again, the world shuns Christianity simply because of the Christians. We preach one thing but live completely contrary to what we say. People can't see our God portrayed in us, nor can they see the changes in our lives that we claim He can make in theirs. They don't see it not because our God can't do it, but because we refuse to let Him. God won't do anything in us we don't allow or we don't ask for. So whilst He's waiting for permission to move in our lives, those on the outside looking in are wondering what the big commotion is all about. They see no change. 

Change always starts with one person taking stock of what needs to change and making it happen. If if person works on themselves soon the whole will be changed. Let today be the day we decide to stop talking church and start living like Christ. Not only should we strive to be like Him but we should also allow Him the time and free reign to work on us. Allow his will to be done in our lives and follow his directions as He gives it. 

Today, let us not only talk Christianity but let us also live it.

Devotions like this one and others can be found in a handy collection in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab your copy, click here. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Remembering what you've Prayed for

Aren't we all delighted when God answers our prayers? I know I am. But what happens when we have forgotten what we've prayed for?

Let me explain what I mean. Several years ago, I was going through a particularly difficult situation. Coming out of it was hard but it was a decision that I had to make. I knew that in my own strength it was a lost cause, so I looked to God. I prayed really earnestly one particular night. It was a desperate plea as I walked head first into my situation planning to take the bull by the horns. God came through for me that night and I walked away slightly damaged but no worse for the wear. However, three weeks later, I was a total mess. I was crying, asking God why He didn't work things out differently or why he didn't change the things in the situation instead of pulling me out of it completely. I was a royal mess. That's when God reminded me of that night when I prayed. He had answered my prayer exactly as I prayed it because in that moment when I prayed, my heart was most desperate and I was the most honest with myself. See, when we have had a chance to think about certain things, we tend to try to tailor or prayers to something that we can comfortably handle when that may not necessarily be what we need.

God reminded me of that day years ago because today I'm praying for something similar. I giggled when He reminded me that in about two weeks, I would need to remember what I prayed for today. God hears our prayers when they are in their most honest form and He answers them. Don't let depression or desperation or simple distraction from the enemy cause you to renege on God and question an answer to a prayer that YOU prayed.

Sometimes we really do know what's best for us, we just have to be honest with ourselves about it. Don't develop amnesia and forget what you prayed for when you realise that a thing you really liked is gone. Trust God to do His job because He always does it right.

Have a blessed day!

Devotions like this one and others can be found in a handy collection in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab your copy, click here. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Living like Christ

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 
Matthew 3:8

Christianity is a lot more than just mere words. Saying that you are a Christian and doing the complete opposite may gain you recognition with your friends but it won't get you very far with God. Even your friends after a while will notice that you are a phony and will call you out.

Professing to be a Christian and then not living like one benefits no one. As a matter of fact, you are doing yourself a disservice. Christianity is more than just the name of a religion or something to identify with, it is about living a life that is like Christ's. To call yourself a Christian is to say "I plan to live like Christ". Therefore, if you are not living like Christ you turn yourself into a liar.

Today's challenge is to live your Christianity. Let it be more than just the word you fill in on the forms that ask for your religion. Let it also be more than just the thing you do on Sunday mornings or whatever other day you choose to worship. Let it be the thing that drives you. Let it be your way of life, the code you live by, t
he thing that pushes every decision you make. Study Christ and how he lived. It's the only way that you can be Christ-like. If you don't know Him, then you can't be like Him.

Have a blessed Christ-centered day!

Devotions like this one and others can be found in a handy collection in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab your copy, click here. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

It begins with you!

There are a lot of things wrong with the way we behave in the body of Christ, there's no doubt about that. Nothing is wrong with the church that Christ built, however we are mere humans marred by sin and we have weaknesses.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me a story. He said to me that one day, a lady at church simply walked up to him and invited him and his siblings to lunch. My friend was overwhelmed and quite frankly, suspicious of the lady's motives. He asked many questions about her, trying to figure out what she really was up to. Finding nothing that worried him, he finally accepted the invitation.

My friend's behaviour may be a bit paranoid, but when you really think about it, there's a reason for that. Kindness is missing in the body of Christ so much so that when it is offered to us, we find it strange. We see each others needs, (emotional, spiritual and physical) and we simply offer to pray, most of the time forgetting to actually pray for that person.

So the body of Christ is sick. No every joint is supplying and instead of doing our part we look to the person sitting next to us in the pews or even to church leadership. We have grown into a society that cares more for our own well being than that of others. We have lost our empathy.

Things can change in the body of Christ very easily. All it takes is each person working on himself. Each person seeing where they have erred and making a move to fix it. Each person showing kindness to the next, or love to the next or extending forgiveness to the next. That's how the body of Christ would return to proper functionality.

Ever wonder why it's so hard to convince others of the love of Christ? It's because we do not show that love. We talk about it but people do not feel it coming out of us. We are Christ's hands here on earth. We are the ones that are to show forth his love. People get to know Him through us. When we begin to show Christ's love tangibly, our buildings will become too small to hold the flock.

So today, let us not go about complaining about all the things we see that are wrong in our own local churches, but let us start to make the necessary changes individually. Before long, we will see the change we have always wished to see in the entire body. 

It begins with you!

Devotions like this one and others can be found in a handy collection in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab your copy, click here.