Something disturbed me today. I heard the chuckle of the spirit of deception.
Sometimes we think we are righteous, but how often do we check that righteousness against scripture. You see there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).
We have the blood of millions and millions of babies on our head. We have let American Christianity be watered down to just “be a good person” and “don’t judge anyone”. We turn our back on our neighbors in need. We have let our streets, our children, our schools, our country go to the dogs.
We’ve divorced ourselves from God, and we have worshiped the idol of self. We have let the enemy live among us, because he is a good sweet talker. He tells us what we want to hear. So, he has coddled us into blindness now we have deaf ears. We have become sheep led astray.
Wake up church. Wake up. We’re being laughed at by the enemy, because he has done such a good job deceiving us.
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Stop turning away from evil –confront it. Where there is light there can be no darkness. Where there is truth the lies cannot stand. Don’t be deceived any longer.
So, this was so last minute guys, but I knew I had to do this. NANORIMO! I know my schedule is super packed, but I’ve just got to try. I’ve registered under Rodrigeye at the Nanorimo website.
I’ve started pinning stuff on Pinterest like crazy, and I’ve got some solid ideas. I’m going by the seat of my pants though. I’ll definitely be updating you guys on how it’s going.
Right now I’ve got this idea that got sparked from this prompt:
We shall see where it goes.
So, I heard a phrase the other day that didn’t really sit well with me. It related to a church event, and was along the lines of “let’s try not to waste money, because you know it’s our tithe money.” Three words I want to hone in on are “our tithe money”. Context really isn’t important for this discussion, because I’ve heard (as I’m sure you have) people talk about tithe with a sort of ownership time and time again.
People talking about not being happy about how money is spent in the church, or feeling they should have more of a say in how much money goes to what and who and when and where… .°(ಗдಗ。)°. Just stop there is no “our tithe money”. It doesn’t belong to you, I, or anyone else that gives a tithe. There is no dual ownership just because we may feel like we’re giving money we worked hard for and therefore earned a say in how churches spend it.
The tithe we “give” to the church is God’s and His alone. 「”Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord ‘s; it is holy to the Lord.」
Yes, sometimes churches misuse God’s money, but don’t you think God can handle his own finances? He’s good at dealing with flaued, misled, and messed up people. And at the end of the day they have to answer to Him for how they spend His money.
So let’s all learn to let go of the idea that tithe money is really “our money”.
Geez, that took like twenty minutes to write, and yes I wrote down the first things that came to mind. 「ごめんなさい。」Anyway, if you guys want to be part of my missions newsletter that I am putting together specifically for my Japan trip email me at email@example.com (put “mission newsletter” in the subject so I don’t toss it) and I’ll be sure to add you too that. It hasn’t gone out yet, but I’m hoping to have it out next week.
All that aside, what are your guys thoughts on Halloween? As Christians how should we approach this holiday. I used to be super into it, mainly because I loved anything that involved dressing up, candy, and spookiness. But, now I’m questioning my low key favorite.
Now just a disclaimer I’m not advocating either way if you should celebrate Halloween or not. I’m going to talk about what I’ve been feeling about it. I do recognize it’s an awesome opportunity to reach out and share Christ and be generous (aka lights in the darkness). However way you lean talk to God about it anyway and He’ll guide you.
Now, what made me approach it differently is when one night I had an encounter with a demonic force. I’m not really sure it’s a good idea to share the details of it. I’m not trying to give anything more recognition or power than it deserves. Jesus is Lord in any situation.
Nevertheless, this experience got me thinking why have I been so into horror and disturbing things?? It isn’t fun, cute, or a rush of adrenaline when you’re actually in the situation. I’ve been questioning why would I want to celebrate the things that go bump in the night?
There was something inherently twisted in me that actually liked getting disturbed by those shows or movies. Even today I was watching Higurashi: When they cry and then I asked myself “why?”. Since when did fear start masquerading itself as fun to me? I’m realizing I don’t want anything to do with fear and it’s master.
「for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.」
2 Timothy 1:7
So, I had another (completely different) blog done for today, but for some reason it just didn’t work when I posted it. しょうがない (it can’t be helped).
I just got home from a rough band practice, which has left me exhausted while being disheartened. I really thought I had been making progress, but I’ve got a long way to go. *deep sigh* It’s hard for me not to put pressure on myself when it comes to music. I just want to do well so badly that I end up doing poorly. #irony
This can apply to anything in life, really. When we try to hold onto something so desperately, but we end up losing it anyway. Or, when we tie our worth to how others perceive us.
I’m trying to hold onto the ability to play what I “think” is good, rather than playing what I know I can “actually” play well. I’ve been tying up my worth with how well I preform, and that’s why I’m taking this failure so hard. I feel like exploding or crying from all the expectations I put on myself.
I just can’t play the way I want, but that’s okay. Some day I will. Until then, God will have to get me through.
You too! Give yourselves permission to not be perfect juuuuust yet.
I haven’t been posting much this month, because (as you’ve noticed) I’ve redone the whole website. It took a lot, but be expecting a good deal more content!
Some new features are a more robust gallery. I’ve included my business email (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the the bottom of the gallery for any of you who would like to order a commission. I’ve also added the ability for you guys to check out my latest Instagram posts on the home page, which I hope for those who don’t have Instagram it will help you stay connected!
I’m really excited to continue making cool things for you all.
I’ve been having these crazy body spasms for the past week or so, and they usually come on the most noticeable when I wake up or go to bed. As I get things in order to further my journey toward Japan little things like that have come up. What is it showing me? That I’m stressed. Every time I refocus and turn to God the spasms go away, but as soon as I look at the waves and the wind (like Peter did) I feel like I’m sinking again.
Now each morning, night, and several times in between I have been praying to God telling Him all the things I’m surrendering. Because, in all reality, I can’t make Japan happen. I can’t get the things I need to get done done in the time frame we’re currently looking at. It is simply not in my realm of possibility, but it is in God’s.
As soon as I declare that “I’m letting go” all the anxieties leave, and mountains get moved. I get phone calls I needed, and resources I had to have. I’m coming to the knowledge that the more I strive the less I go anywhere, and the further it takes me away from full dependency on Christ. I only make progress when I rest in His Spirit, which is completely counterintuitive!
I can only go when I stop.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Those words happen to be in red letters, which means Jesus spoke them. Notice how people will know you are Jesus’ disciples not by your love for unsaved people, but by your love for each other (your brothers and sisiters in Christ). It’s often times a lot easier to love a perfect stranger than your blood relatives. Same goes for your Christ-born relatives. We tend to have a great deal more grace for a nonbeliever than for our wayward brother or our doubting sister.
It’s easy to believe we don’t mean anything to our church body when we’re struggling. Often times we’re so busy trying to get people to fill the seats, rather than nurturing the souls already sitting in them (which makes it easy for one to feel forgotten or disconnected). Church we can’t overlook the one siting next to us in the pew, or the one who hasn’t been to church for awhile.
We need to pursue each other in love. Don’t just call up an absent brother accusing them of being wayward. Seek them, be there for them, see if they need anything, because they are your family too. The person sitting across from you see how they’re doing, if they need prayer support, or invite them out after church for lunch. Do something. Don’t overlook your family anymore –show the world what love looks like.
My journey toward Japan is accelerating at a rapid pace, and so I’ve taken steps to up my language game. Some of those steps have been changing the language settings on my phone to Japanese, reading literature in Japanese, and watching early learning programming for Japanese children to name a few. I can tell you there has been a ton of improvement in my comprehension.
I’ve been getting familiar with kanji, and they’re not as scary as they used to be to me (except this dude「尽」o.O). I’m still working on building sentences and vocab, but being able to read things and listen to things over and over again has helped. I think I’m going to try watching some Studio Ghibli movies over and over again in Japanese to build in that repetition.
This whole process has been super exciting! Thank you all for taking the journey with me!!
I’m moved to tears when you hear my voice and come running.
I adore how your hair moves with the wind as you rush to me.
I long to hold you in my arms as the daylight fails.
The emotion in your doe eyes, causes my heart to skip.
The sound of your laugh takes my breath away.
Your hands are worn by your trade, yet remain soft and delicate in mine.
You are my heart’s desire.
I formed you.
I wooed you.
I don’t want to live without you.
You don’t need to speak just lay here with me.
Lay in the fields and let me sing over you.
You are my beloved.
Look out among the flowers; your beauty surpases these.
Kiss me, my love.
Kiss me again…
By Abigail Rodriguez