That Old Rugged Cross

The message of the cross is offensive, a fallacy, a fantasy and downright silly. No one believes in that story anymore. There is no God, no heaven or hell and definitely no Jesus who died on the cross to save mankind from their sins. That is totally some concocted story to control and threaten people to behave certain ways.

It is an old wives tale. It happened more than two thousand years ago and no longer applies to us now.  This is the generation and era of modern technology and self-sufficiency. We are able to achieve great things we never imagined would be possible. We can do anything we want, we take control of our bodies. This is the era of choice, of freedom, entitlement. We need to stay positive and happy.  We are who we are and we will live our lives unrestricted, to the fullest.

Is that weird?  It is to some, but not to many. No one wants to believe and follow God anymore because they look at it as a structured way to control. A distorted view of God is being preached and people run away with it as the truth.

The so-called religious gurus and preachers of today don’t preach about sin, nor the cross nor Jesus. “God wants you to reach your full potential and wants to bless you and enrich you”, is the common theme. No one preaches about being a sinner or calling out sin and asking people to repent and bringing people to Jesus for fear of offending them and leaving their churches.

The apostle Paul said:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.”-1 Corinthians 1:18

It is not religion we are preaching. Religion sucks. One can have a religion and still be totally lost without a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not the wedding, it is the marriage. It is not the cross, it’s who died at the cross and the message of  the cross.

Don’t empty the cross of its power by not preaching Jesus and the message of the cross.

The Incorrectness of Political Correctness

Wikipedia defines Politics as the practice and theory of influencing other people. It refers to achieving and exercising organized control over a human community. It is a practice of distributing power.

Political correctness has overtaken our society that almost everyone is afraid to say something that might offend someone. It does make sense that the term was coined because it aims to influence the majority and at least I can say that it is being used to exercise control over me as a minute unit of our society.

I “can’t” say certain things because it might offend someone. I can’t do certain things because it might offend someone. I remember a story several years back when a teacher punished a student for using a spoon and a fork, instead of just a fork and a knife. It was offensive to him  and that the child was not conforming to Canada’s way of life. How about a grocery store putting out a watch list for Christians? Or I can’t say “menopause” anymore, instead it is a “change of life”. Please.

I am getting tired of people getting offended for the sake of being offended.

As Christians, we are to preach Jesus-his death, his resurrection and his death for salvation.  Are you offended because of that? News flash: The apostle Paul said it rather succinctly in 1 Corinthians 1:23:

but we preach Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.

People are gonna be offended no matter what, preach Him anyway.

Those who preach just to tickle the ears don’t preach about sin. They don’t preach about self-denial and are just there to tell you what you want to hear. If you need political correctness in what you want to hear so you are not offended, I pray that you will have an awakening one day (although the day is getting shorter), and a change of heart. Don’t take my word for it, do your due diligence and discover for yourself.

I’d rather hear that I suck and move me to change than hear what I want to hear and sit while I rot away.

Just saying.

Robin: A Lesson or Two

american robinI am privileged to see American Robins hanging out in our yard. Our regular visitors are a couple but the other day, I saw a teeny one frolicking in the back yard, too. Not only that, they sing all the time and the quietness of our neighborhood provides the perfect backdrop for the performance.

They love bathing in the bin at the end of our rain chain. Every time I am outside  they come out of nowhere to hang out with me. My little orange friends, I found out, enjoy the shower I provide them with my water hose!

This rainy morning didn’t prevent my little friends from their regular visit. They reminded me of Matthew 6:26. Day in and day out, they are just happy to sing, pulling out worms out of the ground and not a care in the world.I thought of buying them their own bird bath and feeder, and yet the scripture is alive and reminded me of how my Heavenly Father takes care of the birds and me!

It’s all perspective, sometimes defective
Grandiose illusion and twisted perception
Appreciate ev’ry small wonder
The Goodness of God, I ponder.

He provides for me, like the robin upon a tree
Singing gleefully and fed heartily
Father, please forgive me
I thought you didn’t care for me.

My wonderful Savior did me a favor
with singing robins of infectious ardor
Appreciate, be mindful that I have ample
I’m valuable than the birds,  and I am grateful.
-prodigal daughter

I’m A Christian First

…every other stuff second.

I am a follower of Jesus.  I  am governed by Jesus, in thought, speech and deed. Although I am in this world, my citizenship is in Heaven. I am a Christian first, my other citizenship second.

At the crossroad, I am a Christian first,  not to be self-righteous and judgmental but to love others and be compassionate as well. Not to recompensate evil for evil, but will be honest in the sight of men.

I have the freedom to speak, not the freedom to disrespect other people. I am not holier than the rest of the world. I am a guiding light, I am firm but uncompromising with evil.

My actions are always purposeful, to share with the lost and glorify my Creator. It’s not my job to save the world nor to condemn,  for I was once lost and condemned as well, but Jesus found me.

What separates me from the rest is not tolerance. It is the compassion and the heart to share the good news of redemption and salvation. I pray that people will listen and if not, that is God’s problem, not mine.

I won’t provoke others nor will I defend the faith.  God is my advocate and battles for me.” I know the ending and it is a victory!

May I conquer through gentle kindness, compassion and love. Jesus would do the same thing if He were on earth right now.

People are lost, I will try and guide them so they find the path to truth. I don’t share their lifestyle and principles, but won’t alienate them, either.

If I am persecuted because of my faith, I remember Timothy.

If the world hates me, I marvel not. I’m only second Jesus experienced it first.

I am a Christian first and eight times I am blessed.

 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.-Matthew 5:46

Bundle Blunder

Bundling, what a concept. More products for less fee and consumers are likely to say no.

Last Christmas while shopping, I encountered the funniest sales pitch ever.Yoga pants were on sale for $20.00 for 2 pairs. The sales clerk came up to me all perky and in her valley girl voice, she said: “These are a really great bargain. They’re $20 dollars for 2, but if you buy 1, it is for $10.00″. I said: “okay, thanks”, looked at the tags and the retail price for a pair was really $10! Despite her conviction and upbeat demeanor, it didn’t make sense at all.

I ran out of the store laughing that my husband thought I was crazy (coming out of the store empty-handed and still laughing??) I told him what happened inside the store and we both walked away laughing saying “but if you buy 3, it’s $30 bux”.

I can say that Christianity is not a popular “commodity” because it is a stand-alone product. It is not bundled with perks and other useless services. Some people approach Christianity as a club membership application. Just pay the fee and enjoy the facilities.

Unlike your regular country club, Christianity is less prestigious. Members are sinners, flawed and imperfect. Some facilities are not as modern and great looking. Although the fee had been paid off by Jesus’ death, membership requires obedience, endurance to oppression and a possibility of being an outcast by friends, family, and society.

It is never a bundle. You can’t be living a certain lifestyle and still go to heaven. You can’t claim to be a Christian and not follow Christ. You can’t buy Jesus and bundle him with other ideologies to suit your need.

God’s justification is freely given by GRACE,(emphasis mine) through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23-24)

So, regardless of how lucrative Christianity is presented by some preachers and how they lure people to join for prosperity and  economic gain without touching on sins and salvation; and if Jesus is not preached, the only bundle one will get is the bundle of emptiness, deception and condemnation.

Pride Is A Lonely Word

Pride is always tough to combat.  Pride (like anger) is like ingesting poison and expecting the other person to die.

Throughout the scriptures, pride is a major factor in man’s downfall. The Tower of Babel is one. People drowned because they mocked Noah and refuse to enter the ark.  Pharaoh experienced a lot of troubles and lost his son because of his pride.

Pride breeds disagreement and strife.  Pride goes before destruction. Some family members are estranged due to pride. A project is put in the back burner because of pride. Some people kill for pride.

Our Father detests pride.  Yet, we hold on to dear pride. Why?

I used to have that problem. I still struggle with it sometimes because every now and then, I would feel indignant over a correction or a criticism. Moving on is hard if the heart is not in its right place. I can say that about me. I refuse to compromise, I refuse to continue and I end up resentful.

The other day, I had an attitude adjustment when my devotion lead me to Philippians 2. The night before that, I received an email containing 15 bulleted items of feedback, instructions, criticism on a project I’ve been working on. The long and short of it, it didn’t sit well with me for a lot of reasons. While the feedback was constructive and helpful, I was a bit pissed because, at the inception of the project, those very same items had been suggested but happily extirpated. Correcting me for something I had known (but didn’t do per instruction) left a bitter taste in my mouth. I went to bed stressed out and mad.

So the following day, the Lord dealt with me and reminded me via Philippians 2 of the principle I used to apply at the workplace-servant leadership. Our Heavenly Father said to me “consider others better than yourself, don’t be conceited”. Ouch.

...consider others better than yourselves.-Philippians 2:3
…consider others better than yourselves.-Philippians 2:3

It hurt me more going to bed upset than being corrected by our Father,  and like I said after my devotion I was able to respond to the email appropriately, professionally and was able to do the necessary adjustments without harboring resentment.

You are halfway through your day and maybe someone is gonna cause you stress and grief. If you need an attitude adjustment, read Philippians 2. It is a game changer.

Happy Monday.