Tag Archives: Love

Happy Resurrection Sunday All! Jesus IS Risen!

Hey everyone, this #ResurrectionSunday (Easter), I want to share a worship song from Brian Littrell called Wish. The link is to a music video on YouTube of Brian singing how he wishes he had been there when Jesus was growing up, when He lay down His life for us, and is risen again. This song makes me cry every time because I actually imagine Jesus laying His will down at the garden where He prayed moments before being betrayed, asking the Father to please take the cup of grief from Him if possible, but not His (Jesus) will be done, but the Father’s will. (Luke 22:41-44)

He lay down His life for you and for me, and Brian paints a clear picture of Jesus’ life and betrayal that led to Him hanging on a cross, dying for us so we could be saved. And He is Risen TODAY, 3 days later, to reconcile us to God through Him, and also He gave us victory over death.

Take a moment and pray with me please: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your only Begotten Son, Jesus, to die for us. Jesus thank You for dying for me and for the whole world and being risen by the power of the Holy Spirit on this day over 2000 years ago to reconcile us to God and to conquer death once and for all for us. Thank You for bearing our sins and wounds and sicknesses so we could be healed by Your wounds, so the power of sin could be broken in our lives, and so we can live peaceful lives here on Earth and then spend eternity in Heaven with You and the Father.

And now I ask in Your Beloved Name for you to draw us all close to You and let those not saved take the steps to be saved, and let those of us who are saved be so close to Your heart that we will not be led astray. Forgive us all for all of our sins, cleanse us and create pure and undivided hearts in us, let us lean into Your faithful love and promises for protection, healing, and provision instead of giving in to any further panic the CV pandemic has caused all around the world, and like You withered the tree that would not give You a fig from the roots up, may You do the same with this virus and others like Cancer and Lupus, and Celiac Disease. Make it safe to give and receive hugs, kisses and other personal touches that allow us to feel the love others have for us, as well as Your love for us. Let Your love and light shine in our darkness and make all darkness disappear from our hearts, minds, and from our lives. Amen

Isaiah 53:5 tells us that “by His wounds you are healed.” If you need healing today, let what Jesus did for us on the cross over 2000 years ago, and his being risen back to life again open your hearts and minds to receive the healing Jesus wants to give you, and believe it is possible. It may not happen immediately, but You will notice a part of you healed whether physically, mentally and emotionally, or spiritually and let that give you hope that in His time, you will be fully healed. And ask Him what you are meant to learn or teach others through this pain and consider that God may be preparing to show His glory through You like in John 9 when Jesus healed a man blind from birth and told the disciples it was done (the man being born blind) for the glory of the Father. When His disciples and others saw the man being healed, everyone (including the man healed from his physical blindness) was amazed and people were praising God for the miracle they had witnessed. And the Pharisees wanted to know who had healed him and it was revealed eventually it was Jesus who did it and then He addressed the Pharisees about their spiritual blindness.

Now I admit, I am still asking God what the point of letting me be hit by a car but not bringing me Home to Heaven, but instead allowing me to suffer in immense chronic physical pain and anguish over it is. And someone spoke a healing prayer and did like a healing the way Peter did in the NT and I expected the healing to work. It worked a little bit for a brief time. I did what the man told me to do but I need to believe there is a reason it did not work and why I am not healed. It is possible that hurts from traumas in my past are stopping the healing from working, and God is working with me to heal from my past. So something good did come out of that healing prayer.

It is also possible to that people who are not focused on the negative or how things are now from a visual point if view could also look at me and marvel that I am still fighting the enemy daily to hold on to my faith and hope in Jesus, and be encouraged by it, and I am hoping that is true, so that my suffering can serve a positive purpose while I wait on God to be ready to fully heal me completely in every single way.

Brian ends his song Wish with the conviction (like he believes it without a doubt) that someday he WILL see Jesus and His mercy and grace, that he will see Jesus face-to-face. And the truth is, that when Jesus comes back, we will ALL see Him face to face. In the meantime, we live like Jesus (the best we can, with help from the Holy Spirit), believe His promises are for us, receive and accept His love and forgiveness for our sins in our hearts and love Him back with our whole being, and trust in His goodness and trust that He will heal the sick (including you if you need any form of healing), protect us from deadly plague and harm (read Psalms 91), and will provide us each with everything we need as we need it (Philippians 4:19). Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday everyone.

Being One’s True Self

Being One’s True Self

It is often written about in Bible plans, that it is important to be one’s true authentic self, which means talking about what is going on in your mind, expressing your feelings, confessing failures or other sins, admitting to doubts, and acknowledging your weaknesses. The world is all about idle chit-chat and keep conversation that is comfortable for you, and spending time with someone else when convenient for that person.

But deep conversations can become uncomfortable and outright gut-wrenching at times. And authentic friendships and other forms of authentic relationships are often inconvenient because emergencies arise, crises happen, and when someone needs you, it is not always going to be at a time that is convenient for you. You could be sleeping or at work, but if a family member, friend, or someone else in your life needs you then you need to be willing to stop what you are doing and be there for them, because someday the roles may be reversed and you may find yourself needing that person or someone else and they may be already busy doing something (or sleeping), but when you need help in a crisis then you expect the person you contact/go to, to drop everything and help. But if you are unwilling to help someone in need when they need you, why should they or anyone else drop what they are doing when it is you who needs them or someone else? The person you call on, if you are blessed beyond what you deserve, will come to your aid at once when you call them to, so why wait for that scenario to happen to you before you even consider why it is important to be there for the person who is calling on you in their time of need?

Yet this is what has been happening to me all too often. I used to have grear friends always there for me and let me be there for them, trusted me to be there for them through the good, the bad, the worst, and everything in-between.

And then one day after a few tragedies have occurred, they suddenly lock away their hearts and no longer trust me to be there for them and are unwilling to be there for me. I have no idea why the tragedies in our lives made them retreat, or how to get them back. I pray day and night for them to unlock their hearts and give them first to Jesus and for them, and me (I have trouble with the following as well) to have the blocks removed from our hearts preventing us receiving God’s love and forgiveness and for Him to mend our broken hearts and souls, crushed spirits, damaged minds and psyches and heal our bodies from all brokenness, all sickness, all disease, and all pain, injuries and wounds – known and unknown – and make our hearts able to receive and accept God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance of us and to accept and receive the healing He promises us.

Not much has changed for some of them, and nothing appears have for 1 person in particular and it is frustrating because I expressed how I feel to him and my needs from him even on a friendship level, but received nothing in return. And with the stuff going on in thr world right now, I reached out (again) but this time to ask how he and his family are doing and make sure they are safe and getting all their physical needs met. And I’ve been praying without ceasing for him to open his heart to Jesus and also to me and to respond and for our relationship to be mended at whatever level God wants it to be. And I have been spending this extra free time I have lately to be in God’s Word more and meditate on the verses that “jump out” at me and make prayers out of them, in addition to the prayers I already pray for everyone all around the world in addition to those I care about. I also speak God’s promises out loud (softly), for others as well as for myself.

But it is not just older/longtime friendships that are disappearing, or where the person is abandoning me and not telling me why. Church family and other “Christians” I met online through a Christian support group I created about 3 and a half years ago who were helping me run the group and support and guide me in private too for a period of time but then ditched me withour a word. So whether someone has known me for more than 26 years or for 6 months, the 1 thing these relationships appear to have in common is that once they know me, they get sick of me being my genuine authentic self and trusting them with what is going on in my mind, heart, and life and no longer trusting me for reasons unknown, with what is going on inside their minds, hearts, or lives. So I am left with the bite of info I knew from before they acted that way, or what they posted online, and wondering what I did wrong to make them not want to be around me and to not trust me anymore.

I am human, I make mistakes. I’m not perfect, but I never claimed to ne or acted like I was. I make mistakes, I have feelings, I have a hard time handling stressful situations/circumstances, and need someone I can trust to help me even just by listening and being there, and who trusts me to be there and listen without judgment because I am not Jesus that I have the right to judge anyone else.

And that has been an issue in some of these relationships where I got abandoned! The other person mistook my caring about them and my concern for their hearts, souls, and wellbeing for judgment and refused to consider they were wrong and misunderstood me and were not interested in making amends because they were more interested in being right so they could justify in their minds their horrible behavior towards me. But the problem is they were completely wrong but no one likes hearing they are wrong and few admit it. I do. When I am wrong, I say it. I admit it completely and ask for forgiveness be it from God, the other person, or Both.

So where does that leave me? I apoligize even when I am not wrong because the friendship means more to me than being right, but that rarely ever matters to the other person so I keep being left alone, miserable, confused, hurt, and wondering why God keeps letting people abandon me when I do the best I can to be faithful and loyal to God and to these abandoners and everyone else too.

So let’s finally get to the point of this post. God calls us to be our true, authentic selves with Him and with others, especially in our close relationships! So why is it that the more myself I try to be, the lonelier I get as people continue to abandon me despite how kind, caring, loyal, faithful, and supportive I was to them? Why is it so many people, even those who call themselves Christians bail at the first sign of trouble, or when feelings get too messy and too negative, when a person appears to be too needy? I am not a selfish person all about take take take! I give a whole lot more than I tend to get back in return, and when it is the other person I notice having a bad day or in some form of crisis mode, I ask what is going on, listen, and do my best to be encouraging and uplifting, and supportive of them. Yet at some point, I keep getting abandoned by these people.

I understand that feelings can get messy and negative, and can become uncomfortable since we do not like negative stuff, but you will not find a life, including your own, that is 100% sunshine, rainbows, and (hypoallergenic) puppies and there is happiness all the time! That is simply not how life works, not on this side of life, anyway. People get into disagreements, misunderstandings happen and feelings get hurt, life and relationships get messy, and people make mistakes! Everyone goes through difficult situations and needs people who will be there for them during those times and not only for the good times. More importantly, we alm need God and Jesus during these times as well as during the good times and the in-between.

We need Jesus always. And open communication that is honest, respectful, kind, conoassionate, and thoughtful is a key to healthy relationships. Love and trust are also very important keys. However, love without trust kills the love and kills the relationship eventually if the things causing the trust issues are not properly dealt with. And it will not just be the other person you are leaving all alone, but one day you will be all alone because you will have pushed everyone who ever caree about you away, including God. And what good is that for you? Relying on yourself will not get you far and will never get you solutions to the problems and difficult situations you encounter.

Some Bible verses that go along with this post are James 2:18-26 (faith without works is dead. Emphasis added by me. But that is what those verses are about), James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins to one another and pray for each other so we can be healed. The earnest orayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.“, Galatians 6:1-2 tells us to help others who are overcome so they are not led astray and to share each other’s burdens, Romans 12:9-20 and 1 John in multiple different verses advises us that our love for others needs to be genuine and to express our love through action. The action can be as simple as being there in the other person’s life, listening, or more active like helping in whatever way you can, even if only through prayer, but in the ways God has blessed you to be able to help the friend or family member or other loved one (or sometimes a stranger or an enemy) needs your help.

And if you are being your true authentic self and allowing the people in your life to be their true authentic selves without bulking and running off when feelings and stuff gets too deep and situations- whether theirs, yours, or in both your lives – get complicated or sticky, staying is what is the true, authentic thing to do. Some days you may not be able to handle someone else’s problems because you are already overwhelmed by what is going on inside of you and in your life, and that is okay. But let the other person who is also struggling know in a gentle way and then you can each pray for each other and continue to check in regularly so you see how they are doing and let them know how you are doing so anxiety does not take over when someone begins to imagine worst case scenario like you are laying dead in a ditch or something because they are worried about you and have not heard from you in a long time but knew you were going through a rough time.

Yes, that has happened with me before with one or more of the relationships I mentioned where I was abandoned, and until I saw them post a status on Facebook, I was worried they were dead or in hospital sick or severely wounded in an accident or something. I have bad, debilitating anxiety so when I do not hear from someone for an extended period of time, my mind goes into panic mode on what is making them suddenly drop off the face of the earth (or offline and out of most people who care about them’s lives) until they are back online or a mutual friend hears from them. It comes with the territory of caring. People in your life need to know that you’re OK or what is making you not be okay so they can pray for you, and whenever it is possible, be of help even just by listening if in no other way.

So how about instead of running away from being their true authentic selves and seeing it as complaining, being too negative, or attention-seeking, you see it how it is meant to be seen: as the person trusting you, drowning and needing someone who cares to listen and be there in their life, and being their true self and not hiding anything from you? Secrets, especially things that have the potential to effect the other person, can damage the trust and endanger the relationship. That is why people like me try to be authentic and not hide things from our loved ones, especially things we think might effect you in some way. Instead of running away from autentic people being their true selves and trusting you to be able to handle it without running or abandoning them, how about you try being your true authentic self and remember truth, trust, kindness, respect, compassion and understanding, and forgiveness when necessary? Perhaps if everyone learned to accept and love themselves in healthy ways, and could be loving and accepting of everyone they care about, then we could all be free to be our true authentic selves and instead of anxiety, stress, and depression we could feel peace, comforted, loved, acceptrd, misunderstood, and everyone could get along and love would spread all around the world instead of hate, distrust, anxiety, depression and selfishness. Love and peace make the world around us a better place to live, and make our relationships healthy. Connect to Jesus first, then yourself with genuine love and proper self-care and then to others from a place of abundant love and inner peace of mind and heart.

Consider this: whenever discord, hate, mistrust, anxiety, fepressiondepression greed, and selfishness flourish, Satan wins. However, when love, trust, peace, patience, forgiveness and understanding, acceptance, kindness, compassion, respect, and open honest (and respectful) communication flourish, God’s Kingdom advances and He receives glory and honor and blesses our relationships, health, finances, and all other areas of our lives because He is pleased by the way we are conducting ourselves and living our lives. So what do you want to flourish: Satan’s schemes, which lead to destruction and death, or God’s purpose for us in all areas of our lives where peace through all circumstances results? Think about it please, and choose wisely – not according to worldly wisdom, but God’s wisdom.

I am not sitting hear judging anyone who abandoned me or anyone else. I do understand what it is like to be overwhelmed and not be able to handle anything going on with you, much less someone else’s problems. But that is when you gently let the person know you are sorry but at this time you cannot handle anything and you pray for them and give them the chance to pray for you, instead of just disappearing for long periods of time or completely abandoning them with no notice or reason why. Trust them to understand and give you the space you need, and check in with them regularly so they know you’re alive and still in their life and want to be. Trust them to respond in love and understanding.

Thank you to all who took time to read this, and for those who will actually take time to think about and reflect in what I had to say about being your true self always, and allowing everyone in your life to be their true authentic selves without running or abandoning them when they need you. God bless!

Jesus Is THE Solution

When will all of this violence end?! Jesus is the solution because everyone who has Jesus has love in their hearts because Jesus is God (as well as the Son of God) and God IS love. How about instead of spreading hate we spread love? How about instead of continuing to ban Jesus and God and the Bible and prayer and anything to do with God or Jesus in public, we bring Jesus and God BACK into EVERY SINGLE AREA of our lives, and into our hearts.

People who shoot other people, especially innocent people do NOT have Jesus in their hearts. This is a hate crime and they need to STOP!! When will people wake up and realize the problem and also realize what the solution is and actually APPLY the solution?! How many more people have to DIE?!

Jesus is not just the solution for hate, but for fear too. Jesus is the son of God so anyone who acknowledges that and has God and Jesus in their hearts has love in their hearts because “God is love and all who live in love live in God and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16), so you will live in love when you have God in your hearts! And Perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18) Read ALL of 1 John, which is 5 chapters and it is all about love verses hate and sin verses living for God and with God in you and how you show that God lives in you and that you live in God. Let’s put God and Jesus in our hearts and back into EVERY AREA of our lives both public and private and conquer hate and fear with LOVE because love conquers both! This solution is so simple yet there are so many people who do not want to acknowledge it and there are many different reasons why ranging from pride (like Satan), to fear that they have been too evil for God to possibly forgive and love them, but God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

So let’s STOP burying our heads in the sand and stubbornly refusing to accept the solution and APPLY the solution by letting God and His love into your hearts and letting it shine through to everyone in your life and then it reaches everyone in the world if we ALL apply this solution. And guess what happens when we spread love instead of hate? We stop violent crimes, war, poverty, hunger, and a multitude of other problems that exist because of hatred and fear. So let’s band together in LOVE, PEACE, and Harmony as ONE in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who died for EVERYONE (including for YOU) to save us from our sins, and was raised 3 days later to CONQUER death and also to conquer Satan and his evil plans.

For those who like me, do not have their heads buried in the sand, I dare you to share this post, and more importantly, to apply the solution in your life. In Romans 12:18 (and really I encourage you to read verses 16-20), God tells us through the Apostle Paul to do everything within OUR POWER (emphasis made by me) to live in peace with EVERYONE (again the emphasis was done by me). I actually encourage you to read all of Romans chapter 12 whether before or after the whole Book of 1 John. And this is to everybody reading this, that I encourage to do this reading from the Bible.

 

And let us all please pray for those who lost their lives or were severely injured in the massive shooting in El Paso, Texas at Walmart, and for their families and loved ones too.

Candle for shooting at Walmart in El Paso Texas

Reasons to Get My Book (I talk about Hurricane Relief too)

Dear faithful readers,

despite what haters think, I am not begging anyone to get my book. Nor am I being calculating or insincere! I truly care! I did however, think of something inspiring and awesome to do and want to share with you! If you are able to purchase my book in either of the 2 formats it is available in (eBook on Kindle or paperback), I will be able to better help people in need like with Hurricane Relief! Watch and listen what I have to say please!

Reasons to get my book

As mentioned in my video, those affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, flooding, or any natural disasters I am continuing to pray for you and will not cease from praying until God has restored what’s been lost, healed those who lost loved ones, and everyone is safe! If you need me to pray personally for you, please do not hesitate to ask me and I will gladly do it! Jesus loves you! Let’s draw closer to Jesus and help one another rebuild lives that were taken or destroyed (homes, cars, jobs, etc.) ! Together we can make a difference!!!!

Proverbs 11:25 says that “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

And let’s remember Matthew 18:19-20‘s promise that “where two or more agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather as my followers, I am there among them.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before You in the name in Jesus asking You to open the hearts and minds of everyone so that they are open to learning the truth contained in Your Word, and also are willing to help others in need during this difficult time after all the Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and floods that have taken lives and destroyed others’ ways of living (homes, jobs, transportation, etc.). For those who are in need, may You intervene personally in each of their lives and restore double what was taken from them (Zechariah 9:12), heal and comfort those who lost loved ones, find those who were lost in Hurricane Irma or any of the other natural disasters, and draw us all closer to You in love and truth. In Jesus’ name! Amen

Links to my book:

 

amazon.com/dp/1975611586

https://www.createspace.com/7483987

In a previous post I did a couple of weeks ago, I provided a link that had a list of all countries my eBook is available in, and in a separate post I have links for all countries where my paperback is currently available! If you need these links again let me know please, if you cannot find them!

God bless to everyone who will help me contribute to those in need from natural disaster/Hurricane relief and to everyone who is praying for those in need! And if you are in need, may God bless you to get the help you need!

I am being completely sincere! I cannot work because of disability, so I can’t really help much right now. But with royalties that come to me through sales of my book, I will be able to help more than I can now, and you will be helping too! I am sure there are those of you who have already made donations directly either to Red Cross or family members or friends who have fundraisers to help them get back on their feet, and that is awesome! What I am asking is for you to help me be able to help too because I want to do more and am currently limited in what I can do! It hurts my heart that I can’t do more! Can we please help one another?! I care about everyone, including everyone affected by the Hurricanes and other natural disasters/fires and stuff! I care about all of you and whether or not your soul is/gets saved and you make it to Heaven! Help me spread my love, and let’s all spread our love, to others and to one another! God bless!

Wr1ghtLexi

September 12, 2017

I just got a mean and spiteful comment from someone.

Let me make something crystal clear to you (the jerk who tried posting a rude unkind and probably untrue comment on my previous post), and to anyone like him who does NOT have Jesus in their heart or lives:

I write for Jesus and for those who are interested in hearing the truth about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Bible and myself the Scripture contained in it. I write for those who have Jesus in their hearts or who want to have Jesus in their hearts and part of their every day life. 

So if you have no interest in hearing or reading about anything having to do with God or Jesus then you have the option to keep scrolling and to the not read my blogs. But I posted a few years back that I will not tolerate unkindness or rudeness or anyone being mean, and I’m not about to change that now. If you aren’t interested in God or Jesus or anything the Bible has to say, don’t read my blogs. And if you do read it and have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. I don’t write to please everyone, I write to please God and to share my experiences in my walk with Jesus, and to teach those who don’t know the truth but want to, and who seek the truth and who need encouragement and to know they’re not alone in their struggles and who need to know no matter what they do, Jesus loves them and forgives them when they confess their sins (1 John 1:9).

To my faithful readers who keep coming back, and to new readers who will come back in the future, I truly am thankful to God for you. May God bless you greatly! 

Haters back off! 

I pray in the name of Jesus for God to open the minds (remove the veils), hearts, eyes (remove the scales), and ears (remove the plugs from them) of those like the person who left me a hateful comment that I immediately deleted, and also do this for him as well. I know your will is for everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), and that nothing is too hard for You (Genesis 18:14). 

I also so pray for peace of mind also land heart and to not be so sensitive to the negative and hurtful things others say to or about me.

I also pray for unity in Christ with all believers, and that all who are not currently with tooling she LORD to open their minds and hearts, believe and accept Your Truth, which is the only real Truth, and turn their lives around and their hearts to follow Jesus and live for Him. Let things like hate, greed, selfishness, and the problems of the world created by these things (like hate crimes and terrorism and murder, and also sickness, disease, pain, and broken relationships and so on and so forth) melt away and let everyone be united in Christ and show themselves and one another the love of Christ and let us all live in peace and harmony together. I offer all prayers in Jesus’ name!

Love is More Than a Feeling

Love Is More Than A Feeling

Love is not just an emotion someone feels for certain people. Love like that is not real and fades, and no relationship, or individual, can survive with that kind of “love.” Love is a choice a person makes daily: to love God and respect, revere, and serve and honor Him in all you say, think, and do and in your attitudes and behavior; to love yourself without ego, but in a way where you are confident of who you are and Whose you are, and that God loves you unconditionally, and that we are to show a healthy love for ourselves by taking good care of our bodies and not talking down to ourselves or abusing ourselves and not letting other people put us down or abuse us; and the decision (or choice) to love someone else no matter how many mistakes they make, how well or badly they treat you, or how perfect or imperfect they are. Nobody is perfect and everybody needs to be loved. God loves everyone, but we too are to make the choice to love not only our neighbors: family, friends, people who live near us, and co-workers or acquaintances, but we are to love our enemies too. Yes, we are to show compassion, kindness, and respect to those who show hate, anger, contempt, and disrespect to us.

Love is more than a choice for Christians. For anyone who desires to follow Jesus and be in a right relationship with Him, it is a command. It is the greatest command and has 2 parts, both of which can be found in Mark 12:29-31. The first commandment is: “The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. The second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Jesus said this in response to a religious teacher asking Him what the most important commandment was). Jesus gave an additional element to the 2nd most important commandment in John 15:12-13, where He said, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus showed us this kind of love the day He died for us on the cross to save us from our sins and heal us of all our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4 tells us Jesus bore our sickness and verse 5 says He was whipped so we could be healed.) By the wounds Jesus suffered, we find healing and by His death on the cross, we are saved if we accept what He did and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with Him.

When someone goes out of their way to show you the kind of love Jesus showed us, do not ignore them, throw it back at them, or treat them like they have the plague or as the scum of the earth. Let their unconditional love for you bring you closer to a soul-saving and loving relationship with Jesus (or back from the wrong path and back to a soul-saving relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus). And open your mind to God’s truth to believe and accept it and start living by it, and open your heart to receive God’s and Jesus’ unconditional love, and the unconditional love of the person offering it to you freely and openly, and purely. God said in Genesis 2:18 that “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Then after God brought all the animals He had created before creating the first man, Adam, to him to name them all, he put Adam into a deep sleep and created Eve from Adam’s rib. He used Adam’s rib so woman would be close to man’s heart, not under man to be stepped on or over man to be of higher authority than him. She is to be his equal, and to be held close, loved, and cherished. She is to be respected and cared for. Woman is meant to love, respect, and care for man too. For more about the relationship between a man and a woman read Ephesians 5:21-33, though this is specifically for a relationship between husband and wife. However, even before the wedding day, both men and women are to openly love, respect, honor and honor God and one another and take care of one another. There cannot be love or respect without communication, because communication lets you learn what is going on in the other person’s mind or heart. To love someone fully there must be both communication and spending time in one another’s company (in person whenever possible, but over the phone or video chat when not possible) and connecting on spiritual, mental, and emotional levels. Then when you are married, you can connect on a physical level that only married couples should be connecting on. Before the wedding there can be kissing and hand-holding and cuddles and hugs, as long as it does not lead to anything only married couples should be doing with one another within their marriage to their spouse. But a spiritual, mental, and emotional connection are necessary in order for the relationship to thrive and last. A willingness to be openly expressive of your love and of yourself (being yourself) is part of this equation too.

When your heart is open, it is true you could get hurt by either the wrong people, or sometimes by the right people who make mistakes. However, keeping your heart closed off cuts off your ability to receive God’s love and forgiveness, and so your ability to give love to yourself (unselfishly) or to anyone else and this creates a life of self-destructive behavior that will lead to death. It takes faith in God and courage to keep your heart open after being deeply hurt by others. But the reward outweighs the pain in the long-run. Being in a right relationship with Jesus, being able to receive and accept God’s love and forgiveness, (accept) Jesus’ healing power when it is needed, and being able to receive and accept love from the people in your life who truly love you (and show it in their actions to back up their words) will lead to a healthier and happier life here on earth. And eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and God is your other reward for staying open to Jesus, love, and God’s truth.

Someone in your life may have already expressed the kind of love Jesus told us to have for one another in John 15:12-13 and also have the aspects of true love given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Have you accepted it? Rejected it? If you have rejected it, it is not too late to turn your life around and give it (your life) to Jesus and make things right with the person who’s love you rejected if it is a love that is meant to be. If you have already accepted the right kind of love from the person you are meant to be with, then hopefully you are also in a right relationship with Jesus or taking steps to enter into one and keep it once you have it.

If someone who loves you gently tries to correct you, like we are told to do in God’s Word in Matthew 28:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, and Jude (1: ) 20-23, then do not feel condemned or judged by them, but know that they love you dearly and just want to ensure that your soul makes it to Heaven for eternity and not Hell. Sometimes when someone loves another person they see doing self-destructive things to themselves, they may try issuing some tough love, but it is still love. Consider their words and check what they said with what God’s Word says in the Holy Bible, and if what they said matches what God says, then you know the person loves you truly and unconditionally. Accept that into your heart and let it heal you. Let Jesus’ love for you heal you fully and make you whole. Only Jesus can make you whole. The purpose of the special woman (for a man, or man for a woman) that God picks for you is to help keep you centered in Jesus and to bring additional love, joy, and faith to your life. But these things (love, joy, and faith) must begin with Jesus. Jesus loves you as you are now, but will not stop wanting to help you grow into the person God created you to be. A person who truly loves you will do the same thing. You may see it as them trying to “fix you,” but they know only Jesus can do that, and what they want to do is bring out the person God created you to be from the inside of you to outside and bring it to full expression and maturity in Christ. When someone goes through the trouble of doing that and risking your relationship, that shows that they love you the way Jesus wants us to love one another and that your happiness and salvation of your soul are truly important to them. Keep such a person in your life and never let them go, as long as it is in your power to have them in your life. Otherwise, you will someday regret it and it might be too late to make things right, because tomorrow is never promised and Jesus could come back tonight or tomorrow, or could decide either your time is up or the other person’s time is up and then, it is too late. I say it again: Let Jesus into your heart and let his love and forgiveness heal you and make you whole. And let Him transform you to be more like Him so that you can find rest for your weary soul (Matthew 11:28-30), learn God’s perfect will for you (Romans 12:2) and to be able to carry out His will for you (Hebrews 13:20-21).

When you are more like Jesus, then your love will become more complete and you will be able to handle difficult situations better, handle rejection and realize that it is God redirecting you to something better, and all you say and do will please and honor God because you will speak and act from a place of love and a place of faith in God, and so your words and actions will be in alignment with God’s will. This goes with what I said about how loving, respecting, honoring, and obeying God will lead to an easier life for you and success in all areas of your life. It is not to say you will not still face bad times, but God will see you through those hard times and keeping your faith in Him during those times will bring you the ultimate reward of the crown of eternal life (James 1:12).

I will now give some of the Scriptures I mentioned below:

2 Timothy 2:24-26: A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Matthew 11:28-30: Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you for I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.

Romans 12:2: (I would read verse 1 about making your bodies a holy sacrifice to the LORD – which means being careful what you eat, drink, watch, and listen to and careful what you do with your body and the way you use it and then read verse 2, which says) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.

And if you already belong to the LORD and are right with Him, remember what Romans 8:1 says about condemnation: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” However, also heed the warning in Hebrews 10:26-31 about continuing to sin after you have been enlightened by the truth. But God’s truth will convict a person who has sinned, and all have sinned because as Romans 3:23 says, we all fall short of God’s measure, which is Jesus. Only Jesus is perfect. We are not called to be perfect, but called to be loving, respectful, reverent of God alone, and obedient to God and to be loving and respectful to ourselves and others second. The point is, if you feel condemned or judged, it is Satan doing it, not Jesus or someone who truly cares about you. It is very important to understand the difference. God loves you and has amazing plans for your life that will tie in to His plans for furthering His Kingdom, and when you choose to obey God’s commandment to love Him, yourself properly, and others in the right way, then you will find healing, success, and abundance in both spiritual and material blessings. And you will be confident in the LORD and will overcome all obstacles and make it through all difficult situations better off than before the obstacles or difficult situations started in your life, and your faith will grow as will your relationships with Jesus and with others.

Open the Lines of Communication/Excuses_Updated

Alexis Malek

November 23, 2013

Modified 06/22/2016

Open the Lines of Communication/Excuses

How long have you known your best friend? Are they your childhood best friend? Did you meet in high school? Did you meet in college? Let’s talk about childhood best friends first, someone you have known most (if not all) of your life. They once knew all of your “embarrassing” secrets and you knew theirs and yet you still loved each other as sisters (or brothers or as brother and sister) and spent all your free time together. You two have been through a lot together and survived and grown closer as friends for sharing the bad times as well as the good times. When you went off to college you kept in touch by phone frequently, if of course you didn’t actually go to the same college.

Today, and probably for the past few years, you rarely speak to one another. Your best friend may attempt to contact you but you either ignore their attempt altogether or blow them off saying something about being busy with work and with life. What changed? Did loss of a loved one, which your best friend was there for you when it happened, close off your heart? Did you stop caring about this best friend who has always been there for you no matter what through the years? Did you two have a falling out and you never really forgave them? But then you probably would have told them that you were still mad, or that you no longer cared if it was scenario two or three. Are you hiding from them? If so, then why? Are you feeling guilty, ashamed, or fear to face them because of something you did? If that is the case then why would you suddenly feel that way when lots of things you did in your past they already know about because they were there and still continued to love you, support you, and be there for you?

Now open this up to include other people who love you and care about you like family (whether related to you or spiritual family) or anyone else who loves and cares about you who you once talked to frequently and were close with but now rarely talk to (God can definitely be included in this scenario if you once talked to him daily and were happy to spend time in his presence and worship him and to serve him but now you stay away from him and either never or rarely talk to him or do anything in alignment with His will). What reason is it that you stopped talking to the person or to God almost completely?

Next time you blow your best friend, or anyone else (human) who loves you or cares about you off with the excuse that “I’m busy with work,” or “I’m busy juggling work and a personal life,” or “I’m struggling trying to balance my work life and social life,” or any other similar excuse think about something. Think about this: If Jesus were to come back tomorrow and the Day of Judgment had arrived and you were standing before him and he asked you why you stopped doing his will and stopped communicating with him or why you stopped doing “this” or “that,” would you expect him to accept your answer of “I’m sorry Lord, I got too busy with work,” or “I’m sorry Lord, I got so busy trying to balance work and my life, both personal and social,” or any other excuse that sounds similar that you could come up with? You know He wouldn’t accept any “I got busy” or “I was busy with” answers. And if you do know those answers would not be accepted on the Day of Judgment when you are held accountable for your life and everything you ever did or did not do when it is the Lord asking you, then why would you expect someone you once considered your best friend (and possibly still do) or someone else you love who genuinely loves you and cares about you unconditionally to accept these lame excuses for lack of communication? I am not putting these people on the same level as Jesus, but if you love the Lord, and you also love these friends or other loved ones, then Jesus commands us to show it. And we show it by showing up in the lives of people we have relationships with whether friendship, romantic, family, or work, any kind of relationship; and by being honest in a respectful way with them. It would be the same with your boss, would they accept an “I’ve been busy with…(fill in the blank)” excuse?

Let’s look at it from yet another perspective. When Jesus was here on earth, what do you think would have happened if when people came to him to be healed, He had said “Sorry, I’m too busy. Go find someone else to heal you.”? And what if He had decided he didn’t want to die for us? There would be no hope for anybody (believer or non-believer) if Jesus had not died for us to be an atonement for our sins so we could be saved from God’s wrath and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, separated from God and Jesus forever. But thank God, He did heal those who came to him for healing while He was alive, and praise Him for dying for us (Matthew 20:28 says, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Hebrews 2:17 NIV says, “For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.”). Now anyone who believes and shows their faith with works – beginning with repenting, confessing Jesus and their Lord and Savior, and being baptized – fully submerged under water to spiritually come into contact with the blood of Jesus to cleanse you, then receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 and Romans 10:9-10), has hope of living for the Lord and on God’s path with a new life that will end in their salvation eternally with God and Jesus. But after baptism, one must make a conscious decision daily to follow Jesus and the way He tells us to live, instead of what we want to do, or what someone else tells us to do.

Just as the Lord is fair and will forgive you after you confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and you have no reason to hide from Him because He sees all, knows all, and is loving, merciful, and forgiving, the people in your life who love you unconditionally will also continue to love you and support you no matter what. So knowing this, why would you hide from them, or from God? Why would something you did recently affect your friendship (or relationship – as long as it is not cheating if it’s a romantic relationship, but you shouldn’t cheat on the person you are in a romantic relationship with and this will be addressed more in a moment) with the other person when they know all of your deep, “dark” secrets from the past? As long as you didn’t do something to deliberately hurt your friend or romantic partner, then you shouldn’t expect them to suddenly react any differently to anything you have done that you are not proud of doing. Everyone makes mistakes, we are only human. You should not fear harsh judgment (or any judgment) from the other person who knows all of your secrets from the past, or from God since he is merciful and forgiving and filled with unfailing love.

Taking a moment to go back to the whole cheating thing, cheating is morally wrong and if you commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 says, “You shall not commit adultery.” It is one of the 10 commandments. And under the new covenant with Jesus, if we are to follow the commandment He gave us in John 15:12, “love one another as I have loved you.”), you are sinning against God and it is actually legally wrong too. If you feel something is missing from your current romantic relationship you are in, you need to talk to the person you’re in that romantic relationship with and if they feel the same way then you can either talk about ways to spice up the relationship (in innocent, godly ways) or you can part ways in a mutual break up, especially if you already have someone else in mind you believe would have what is missing from your current relationship. If you have already done the cheating but you feel guilty and realized it was a mistake and truly do love the person you cheated on, then you should still talk to them about it and if it is true love, then it is possible you might be able to work things out. And if you are able to do that, consider yourself truly blessed because cheating is never okay. But then, neither is hiding from people you love who genuinely love you back or care about you in any way (even as a friend, sister, or brother). More than one thing is missing from your life if you feel it is okay to cheat though. Chances are, God is missing from your life. When you are happy and secure and know God loves you, and can feel God’s love for you, then you won’t feel like something is missing from the right relationship. If something is missing from your current romantic relationship and you are a true follower of God, then it could be God telling you he has someone else in mind for you and you should talk to God about it before doing anything you may regret later.

This of course also applies to the best friend or family member (spiritual or physical) that you’ve been ignoring lately. When you are secure in God’s love for you, then you realize that there is no need for human approval and you won’t get all paranoid and think that someone who has given you nothing but unconditional love and support, acceptance, and other qualities of true friendship to you would suddenly judge you for any mistake you make or for getting “caught up in life” for a little bit and temporarily forgetting them. It is when you neglect the friendship for long periods of time that the other person may start wondering what they did wrong and may attempt to talk to you about it, but you ignore all attempts of communication, which doesn’t happen when you are right with God and feel his love in your heart.

Whatever excuse you are using to ignore communicating with your best friend, significant other, family member, or God, the solution is both simple and complicated for some: Get right with God. Confess your sins, repent (as in no longer commit the sins you are asking God to forgive you for), and then open your heart to receive his forgiveness and love. Then open your mind, eyes, and ears (both physically and spiritually) for God’s guidance. God can lead you back to his path when you somehow fall off of it. Use the similar principle with the person you’ve been neglecting communication with: confess (let them know why you’ve really been out of communication with them all this time and be 100% honest with them), feel secure enough to honestly tell them you won’t neglect them anymore and then stay in touch with them, openly accept their love (and forgiveness if it is needed, though it may not always be required).

Keeping the lines of communication open is extremely important for all relationships, including your relationship with God. You could die tomorrow or the other person you’ve been avoiding talking to but whom you still care about could die tomorrow, since tomorrow is never promised (James 4:13), or the world could end and it will be too late to make things right. If you did have a falling out and the other person wronged you, forgive them. God forgives your sins so you should forgive those who sin against you. Life is too short to hold grudges, live guilty, or to live in fear. God does not want you to live that way. God wants you to live long, healthy, peaceful, prosperous lives loving others (as well as loving God and loving yourself). God created us to be social, but not with people who don’t care about it, but with people who genuinely care. The people who will always be in your lives should not be taken for granted, mistreated, or neglected, and neither should God.

Don’t wait until you are dying to get right with God or to make amends with your best friend or other loved one you have been ignoring or avoiding (or both), and don’t wait until the other person is dying or dead either because then it will be too late. Frequent communication with God and with the people you love (who genuinely love you too and have proved it by always being there for you when you let them be in the past) and care about is important. Keep the lines of communication open, honest, respectful, loving, and frequent. Do not waste anymore time living in self-condemnation, guilt, fear, doubt, or frustrated. Talk to God about what to say and what to do to make things right and then go do it. Let the other person know you still love them, that you still care. Chances are you can salvage the friendship (or relationship) with the other person and you always can with God as long as you have not turned so far away from him that you no longer want a relationship with him. As long as you are sincerely repentant and still want a relationship with God and are willing to do the work he tells you to do, then God will forgive you. The friend or loved one will probably feel the same way and will just be happy to know you still care and want to be in their lives.

On the small (very minor) chance that you go to the person and they don’t want you in their lives anymore, then at least you know you did everything you could to mend the relationship (if you actually try) and have peace in that. More often than not, honest and open communication can fix a lot of relationship problems (even in friendships) when both people in the relationship (or friendship) realize the other person still cares and wants to be a part of your life and finds out from you that you still care and still want to be a part of their lives. Keep God the center of your life and don’t stray from his ways, and you will find that all areas of your life: health, relationships, work, finances, and every part of your life will improve and will be healthy and prosperous.

This is for people who have ever neglected someone they should not have been avoiding or ignoring and also for those who have been on the other side, where you are the one who was ignored or avoided by someone you care about. If you are reading this and you never ignore anyone you love or anyone who genuinely cares about you and you are also blessed to not have had it happen to you then take a moment to consider how blessed you are and hopefully you will never neglect, use, ignore, or avoid anyone who cares about you and who you care about.

Discrimination (of any kind) Goes Against God

Alexis Malek

04/24/2016

Discrimination Goes Against God

People are being discriminated against for saying the name Jesus, or for sharing their true faith with other people in public places, and not too many people seem to be upset about this (except of course, for other Christians). The pledge of allegiance has been taken out of a lot of schools, and is now only 3 times a week at other schools who still have it. People are being taken to court or arrested and thrown in jail for saying the name Jesus, or sharing their faith. And the government keeps making laws either in individual states, or all over, that go against the 1st Amendment, which was created to protect religious freedom, and then making laws that go against God’s Word.

Yet it is believers who are trying to put a stop to these laws that are getting the heat. Disney is threatening to boycott the state of Georgia if they pass a bill that will protect religious freedom (which is within the constitutional rights to do), and yet it is okay that Disney is discriminating against people who believe God’s word and in Jesus. Disney used to be family oriented/friendly and now they are copying today’s worldly values instead of the wholesome values they used to have. Go read the constitutional rights (the Amendments), and pay close attention to the first Amendment, which is all about protecting religious freedom, and was meant to do so always, until the end of time, not until people/the world decided to turns their backs on God or Jesus, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all of its inhabitants – all animals, including humans.

Everybody sins differently, so to discriminate against anyone who commits one particular sin is hypocritical. And the Apostle James tells us in James 2:10-12 that if you are guilty of breaking one law, you are guilty of breaking all of God’s laws, and everyone will be judged for their words and actions, and the way they lived their lives. Ever told a lie? You are guilty of breaking God’s laws. Said an unkind word to someone, and disrespected and hurt them? Or decided to be judge and jury and judge someone for something they do or do not do? If you have done both or either, you are guilty of breaking God’s laws. If you commit adultery – whether one or both of you are married, or just “in a relationship” with someone else, then you are guilty of great sin/breaking God’s laws. If you have ever stolen anything, even accidentally (but did not rectify the situation by bringing the stolen item back and either returning it or paying for it), you are guilty of breaking God’s laws. Do you curse or swear? Using foul language makes you guilty of breaking God’s laws.

No matter what sin, or sins, you have committed, you still committed it and have no right to judge or discriminate against someone else for sinning differently than you do. I admit, I am guilty of cursing (which makes me feel guilty every time, and I keep praying to God to help me get rid of all foul and all abusive language, and will do so until I am successful), and some other sins, but instead of focusing on someone else’s sins because theirs are different than mine, I pray to my God to forgive me and to help me change my ways so that I can be a better daughter of God.

The Word of God states clearly that we are not to discriminate against anyone and lists most of the things people do that against such as race, color, ethnicity, age… and Jesus stopped an adulterous woman from being stoned to death in John 8:1-11 (with focus on verses 8-11). He told the people who wanted to stone her, “let the one who has not sinned throw the first stone,” and then they thought about it and all fled because they knew they were guilty of their own sins. Jesus asked the woman if even one person was left to condemn her, she said “no,” and Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

If Jesus is against discrimination of adultery (or stoning a woman for it), then how does He feel when He sees those of us declaring allegiance with Him and God discriminating against someone because they are gay or transgender? Some of you may be aware of something I wrote in response to what Chik-fil-a did to a gay couple (refusing them service) and the public statement the head of Chik-fil-a made to defend the employee who did that at one of his restaurants. I was against it because refusing to serve someone, or let them into your store, or anywhere else is discrimination and judgmental, and God warns us against that. I am all for protecting your religious rights, since I myself am a Christian, but, that does not make it okay to show hate. Some may argue they were just protecting their rights to religious freedom, which could by why the government is trying to work to put an end to it, but there is protecting your rights and your religious freedom, and there is discriminating or bullying, which is unacceptable. If you do not want to serve someone, that is within the owner’s or their employee’s rights, but do not do it only because they are guilty of breaking a different law of God’s than you are guilty of breaking. If someone is obnoxious, scaring customers, or rude, then those are all valid reasons to refuse service. But if someone who just happens to be gay wants a bite to eat, or to shop in a store, if you ask them quietly to leave then maybe people would not make such a big deal out of it, but to say “I refuse to serve you because you are gay and it is a sin against God” or to have that attitude goes against God as well.

It is wrong to refuse service to anyone because they are black, white, Mexican, or any other color or race, so it is also wrong to do it because a person, couple, or group does something you don’t like – with exceptions of people being obnoxious in their behavior, being rude, or stealing/attempting to steal or walk out without paying for whatever they ate, or took. And if someone feels strongly enough about something someone, a couple, or group is doing that it goes against the owner’s, manager’s, or employee’s beliefs, then ask them to leave quietly and respectfully, without showing hate or discrimination for them or their actions, or they and other people at the restaurant or store will think you are judging, showing hate, and being discriminatory against the person or people you are kicking out – and all of the above attitudes go against God. God is against hate, against judging others and condemning, against discrimination of any kind. So two wrongs do not make a right! So before kicking someone out because of your faith in the Lord, consider praying silently to God about it, and if necessary, instead (of throwing them out), quietly pull the person, couple, or group aside in private and gently sharing God’s Word with them and letting them know how much God and Jesus love them and want to have a relationship with them, then gently and kindly explain how they can enter into a right relationship with the Lord. Sharing God’s Word with others and spreading His love and peace is what pleases Him, not hate, discrimination, or judging and condemning or making others feel hated, judged, condemned, or discriminated against because it is ungodly, and a major cause of this world’s problems. If everyone who follows Jesus made the decision to spread love and share God’s Word respectfully and gently, the world would become a better place to live because we could all live in love, peace, and harmony together.

The point I am making is, that yes the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman (and so then, are all romantic relationships), but that is just one type of sin people commit. I am guilty of sinning against God every day whether in thought, speech, attitude, behavior, action, or any combo/all of the above. But I own up to my own sins to God and Jesus and I pray for forgiveness and for God to help me change the way I think, learn to control my thoughts and emotions, and become more like Jesus; I do not go around judging others like a hypocritical and judgmental person. As someone who has been unfairly judged and mistreated, I work hard at not doing that to anyone else. God loves all sinners, no matter what they have done. Nothing a person says or does can make God love them less or more. When we sin, those of us who know God and Jesus pray to God for forgiveness and repent (and pray for help repenting if it is a sin you have a problem with not doing anymore), and God who is just and fair, will forgive you and will help you. I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, but the opposite. I am stating that everyone alive today, including me do and say things that go against God’s will and are sinful and ungodly, so to target 1 group of people for committing a sin different then your sins is wrong and ungodly. We are to love everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done. And the more love we spread to others, the greater chance we have of bringing more people into a soul-saving relationship with the Lord, which is meant to be all Christians’ responsibility (to win souls for Jesus), so that more people will be saved on the Coming Day.

The point I am making is, that yes the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman (and so then, are all romantic relationships), but that is just one type of sin people commit. I am guilty of sinning against God every day whether in thought, speech, attitude, behavior, action, or any combo/all of the above. But I own up to my own sins to God and Jesus and I pray for forgiveness and for God to help me change the way I think, learn to control my thoughts and emotions, and become more like Jesus; I do not go around judging others like a hypocritical and judgmental person. As someone who has been unfairly judged and mistreated, I work hard at not doing that to anyone else. God loves all sinners, no matter what they have done. Nothing a person says or does can make God love them less or more. When we sin, those of us who know God and Jesus pray to God for forgiveness and repent (and pray for help repenting if it is a sin you have a problem with not doing anymore), and God who is just and fair, will forgive you and will help you.

If the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you, then you will be able to make the changes you need to make in order to stop committing the same sin(s) over and over again. It will not be an overnight thing for most people, but if you keep working with the Lord and show Him a heart willing to change for Him, then over time, you will have victory over those sins. If you do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you, then you need to hear God’s word and believe and accept it, repent of your sins, confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, be baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (and baptism is being fully submerged under water, where one comes into contact with Jesus’ blood spiritually, and then are raised up to a new life in Christ), you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will guide you to the right church and help you study your Bible daily to gain spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. And then you must make the daily decision to let the Holy Spirit lead you, and to live for Jesus instead of for yourself.

Imagine how much better the whole world would be, if instead of hate, discrimination, judging and condemning, persecuting, anger (unrighteous) and lack of forgiveness there was love, kindness, compassion, respect, forgiveness, mercy, and grace for ourselves, and for one another. Jesus has called us to love our neighbor and that includes “our enemies.” (Matthew 5:44-48) If we all put this command into practice, along with the first and most important one to love the one and only Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, then there would be no more bullying, no more crime of any kind (whether theft, murder, adultery, or any other crime against another person, including insulting someone), no more homelessness, no more people (adults or kids) starving, and a ton of other issues the world faces today (like killing the environment with careless actions like littering and other forms of pollution) would go away and we would live in peace, harmony, love, joy, and hope. Unfortunately, that will never happen, and the Bible even said as much, because people are too caught up in living for themselves and worshiping money instead of living for God and worshiping Jesus, our Lord and Savior who died for all of us to save everyone from their sins. Jesus came into the world to save everyone, not just those who claim they are in a right relationship with the Lord. And if you are in a right relationship with the Lord, then love will be how you act and respond to things instead of hate. We are to hate the sin, but love the sinner, but people tend to get that all wrong and hate the person committing the sin that is different from the sins they have committed, which goes against Jesus’ teachings and the word of God. Let those of us who truly believe and follow the Lord show it by spreading love, compassion, kindness, and goodwill to others and sharing the word of God in kind and respectful ways as instructed by the Lord/in the Bible so we can band together against hate and discrimination!

The main point I was originally trying to make was that just as it is wrong for us to discriminate against others for things they do that goes against God/our beliefs, it is also wrong to go against our Constitutional Right for religious freedom. People should be allowed to say the name Jesus and share their faith with others (respectfully of course) without being thrown out, boycotted, brought to court, or arrested and sent to jail. Sadly, God told us that these things (persecution for our faith) would happen. But that does not make it right. Everyone has a right to defend their rights, but it must be done in a respectful way that does not go against someone else’s rights.

Summers of Love: Elizabeth’s Story

Alexis Malek

4/11/2014

 Summers of Love: Elizabeth’s Story

 I walked along the shore trying to focus on the peacefulness of the ocean waves crashing instead of the memories battling in my head. I was fine earlier but then a song that described how I feel about him came on the radio and suddenly I remembered everything as if it had happened yesterday, and not four years ago when I was 24 years old. The scene unfolded before my eyes:

I was walking along the beach when I saw him for the first time: a beautiful stranger with sparkling green eyes and a smile that could turn your world upside down. I was shy so I didn’t have the nerve to go up to him and say hi so instead I just kept walking steadily along the beach, trying to pay attention to where I was going and what was going on around me instead of him. I walked for about 15 more minutes then turned around to go back the way I came. By the time I reached the place I had seen him, he was gone. I needn’t have worried though because the next day, I was standing in line to buy ice cream when I saw him again. He came and stood in line behind me. When it was my turn, I placed my order of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream with hot fudge and M&Ms on top along with a bottle of cold water. Another server came out and asked the handsome man from the day before if he was ready to order. While he was still ordering I went to the cash register to pay and was trying to sort through my money to find exact change. It looked like I was short about 8 cents and I was just opening my mouth to apologize about being a few cents short when I hear the handsome stranger behind me say the strangest thing.

He said, “I’d also like to pay for the beautiful lady’s ice cream and water please.” Then he smiled at me.”

Then he gave me a heart – stopping smile that left me scrambling for coherent words to speak. When I could finally find my voice, I spoke.

“Thank you,” I managed to say.

I sat down at a table that had a view of the ocean and put the spoon in my ice cream to take my first bite. As I was enjoying my first spoonful of ice cream, the beautiful stranger came over to my table and asked if he could sit down and I gestured for him to do so.

After he was seated, he said, “It was my pleasure. I would have hated to see a beautiful lady like you frown because she couldn’t get her ice cream due to being a few cents short.”

I stared at him half in embarrassment half in utter amazement.

“How did you know I didn’t have correct change?” I asked.

“I could tell by the apologetic look in your eyes,” He responded.

My face turned bright red as I stated, “Oh my goodness! I am so embarrassed. I don’t usually come short-changed. It’s just that I forgot my wallet at home and I had almost the right amount of money except for I was 8 cents short. I was actually hoping they’d let it slip and give me the ice cream and water anyway.”

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have days where we forget our wallets or end up being a few pennies short. No worries. Please don’t be embarrassed. I would have offered to pay anyway. I saw you on the beach yesterday,” He replied.

“You did?” I asked. “I saw you but didn’t think you noticed me and all,” I added.

Smiling, he said, “I noticed. I almost walked over to you to talk to you, but I barely dodged being hit in the head with a volley ball and then my friend said it was my turn to serve so I did. I don’t usually play volley ball, but my friends asked me to play so I did.

Before I could stop the words I blurted out, “I cut my walk short and turned around after about 15 minutes in hopes I would see you again but you were gone.”

“I left about 20 minutes after I saw you walk by, to go to work,” He replied.

After a short pause to think, he added, “When I saw you standing in front of me in line for ice cream, I had already considered buying your ice cream for you, whether or not you had correct change so that we could start a conversation “

“Oh,” was all I could get out in response.

“Yeah, so no need for embarrassment because I was already going to offer to pay. If anything, it worked out on my favor that you were a few pennies short. It gave me an opportunity to talk to you and introduce myself,” the handsome stranger stated.

Smiling, I said, “Which you haven’t done yet. The introducing yourself part anyway.”

He smiled back and said, “I’m sorry. Where are my manners? My name is Alex.”

“It’s okay, Alex. My name is Elizabeth. My friends and family call me Liz,” I responded.

“It’s nice to meet you, Elizabeth,” Alex said.

“It’s nice to meet you too, Alex. And you can call me Liz if you want. I am fine with either Elizabeth or Liz though,” I informed him.

Smiling, Alex responded, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

After we both finished our ice creams, we spent the rest of the afternoon together, walking along the beach mainly. At some point, Alex asked me if I had a bicycle and I told him I did and we made plans to go bike riding the next day. I let him know that I do indeed have a bike and we made arrangements for him to pick me up at my place at around 11:30AM. It turned out to be another fun day and he brought food for a picnic. We spent most of the rest of the summer together and we fell in love.

I was yanked back into the present day when a beach ball hit me in the arm. I look up and see Alex’s friend that was with him the day we first saw each other four years ago walking towards me.

He said, “Hey, sorry Liz. Can I please get the beach ball back?”

I was momentarily taken aback, not expecting to see Alex’s friend since I hadn’t seen him since shortly before Alex abruptly ended things with us by disappearing from my life without so much as a phone call, so it took me a moment to understand.

“James?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s me. Sorry for hitting you with the beach ball. I thought I could catch it but I missed,” James replied.

“No problem. I guess it is partially my fault too for not paying attention. Let’s call it even,” I said as I picked up the beach ball.

“Thanks. Can I have the beach ball back, please?” James asked.

“In a minute. I am just curious as to why I am suddenly bumping into you after nearly four years when I haven’t heard from Alex in about that long,” I replied.

“Must be a coincidence,” James said.

“I don’t think so. You made yourself scarce for 3 years and 8 and a half months and now we are suddenly bumping into each other at the same beach where I first saw you and Alex playing volleyball about 4 years ago, almost to the day,” I responded and looked around. When I didn’t see Alex anywhere, I handed the beach ball back to James.

“Here. I am not saying you purposely bumped into me by the way. I am just, well nevermind. Go back to your beach ball game. Sorry for the delay in returning the ball to you,” I added.

James gave me a funny look and said, “Hey, I’m sorry for the way Alex treated you. This probably doesn’t mean anything but I always liked you and thought he was a fool for breaking up with you and just leaving without letting you know what was going on. I wish I could tell you why he did it but I am not entirely sure why either.”

Surprised by James’ words, I said, “Thank you. I was thinking about him when your beach ball hit me in the arm. But you don’t need to tell him that if you see him or hear from him at all. I mean you can tell him you saw me but he doesn’t need to know I still think of him. Well, have a nice day. I should be going. It was nice to see you again, James.”

I turned and walked away before James could see the tears in my eyes. As I got in my car and drove home, I thought that it was too big a coincidence that the day before it would be exactly four years since I first laid eyes on Alex when he was playing volleyball with his friend James, that the same friend would appear at the same beach and end up hitting me accidentally with his beach ball. I wondered if maybe God had decided to bring Alex back into my life and this was a sign, or if it was the enemy being cruel and reminding me that 4 summers ago, I fell in love with a mysterious man who ran scared. What other explanation could there be? He wasn’t seeing anyone else when we met and I don’t think he met someone knew so running scared is the theory I formed about why he suddenly disappeared from my life and James pretty much confirmed it by telling me that it was wrong of Alex to treat me like that. When I got home, the tears started to freely flow for about two hours.

The next day, after I was awake and dressed, I wondered to myself if I should avoid that one particular beach altogether or if I should go back in hopes that this time instead of James, I see Alex. I thought I had decided to avoid the beach, yet a few minutes later, I somehow found myself walking towards the very beach I didn’t want to go to. It was as if something was pulling me towards that beach, an invisible force. Intrigued, I walked along the beach I’d been hoping to avoid and tried to focus on the ocean waves crashing. A few minutes later, I turned around to leave but when I looked up, I thought I saw Alex in the distance. I shook my head to clear it and then looked again. This time Alex saw me too and froze in place momentarily. James was with him and saw me after Alex stopped walking. James said something I couldn’t make out even from lip reading because they weren’t close enough, and then Alex responded and a moment or two later, Alex started walking towards me. I tried to move to meet him halfway, but my legs wouldn’t cooperate and I was rooted to the spot where I was standing.

When Alex stood about two feet from me, he said tentatively, “Hey.”

I stared at him, trying to find my voice. As soon as I found it, I said, “Hi.”

I looked past Alex at James with a quizzical expression on my face. James nodded and pointed to Alex in a gesture to say that I should hear Alex out. I returned my gaze to Alex and waited to hear what he would say next.

“How are you?” Alex asked.

“To be honest, I am confused. I don’t know why you left four years ago with no explanation, no phone call, nothing,” I replied.

“I’m sorry Liz. I got scared. I never felt the way I did when I was with you with anyone else and I freaked out. I was afraid of getting hurt, but I was also afraid I’d hurt you,” Alex admitted.

“It didn’t work. I still got hurt. I never would have hurt you Alex. I’m in love with you! And I thought you were in love with me too,” I replied.

“I was. I am. I am in love with you Elizabeth,” Alex confessed.

“Why are you suddenly telling me now? Why didn’t you tell me then? And why didn’t you come to me with your concerns?” I asked.

“I was too afraid to tell you then. I am telling you now because yesterday I broke up with my girlfriend of three years after realizing I wasn’t in love with her. I had convinced myself I was to try to get you out of my head but I guess I never got you out of my heart because here I am. When I realized I wasn’t in love with her I broke up with her. Then James came knocking on my door last night and told me he saw you on the beach and you looked lost in thought when he first saw you and thought maybe you were thinking of me. He also said he didn’t think it was a coincidence that he bumped into you and at the same place where we first laid eyes on one another, almost four days to the day. Today he told me to come to this beach with him because he thought maybe you’d be back again,” Alex replied.

“You must have known how I felt. I must have made myself so obvious so many times. And how am I supposed to feel after hearing that you went to such great lengths to convince yourself that you weren’t in love with me that you purposely tried convincing yourself that you were in love with someone else?” I asked in a hurt tone.

“Awful. I’m sorry. And I had an idea but I wasn’t sure. I was an idiot not to talk to you and an even bigger idiot for running. Can you ever forgive me?” Alex asked.

“I forgave you a long time ago. I just wanted to know why you left. More importantly, I wanted you to come back and tell me you love me and want to be with me,” I confessed.

“I know I don’t deserve a second chance, but I am asking you for one anyway,” Alex stated.

“I don’t know. I mean, how do I know you’re not going to run scared again? I never gave you a reason not to trust me but you have given me every reason not to trust you.” I said.

“I know. Please Lizzie, give me another chance. Give me a chance to prove that you can trust me and that I love you,” Alex pleaded.

Alex reached out his hand and touched my face tenderly and then gave me a long, deep, passionate kiss on the lips. I tried not to kiss him back, but he was at an advantage by catching me off-guard and I found myself kissing him back. When he pulled away, he looked as dazed as I did for a moment and then had a question in his beautiful green eyes that were asking me to please give him another chance. I took a minute to pray in my head to God about it and closed my eyes as I waited for God’s answer.

“No more running. If you start feeling scared, or no matter how you feel, you need to talk to me about it,” I told him.

“Absolutely,” Alex agreed.

“I hope you don’t expect me to believe you changed overnight,” I stated.

“Nope. I don’t expect you to believe it. And to be honest, this has been a long time coming. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you for long periods of time at all in the last 3 years and 8 and a half months. I think the change has been occurring for a while and finally caught up to me yesterday. I kept putting off breaking up with my girlfriend because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I finally ended up telling her the truth and was as gentle about it as I could be about it. I also thought about what to say to you and was working up the nerve to talk to you again since I wasn’t sure of my welcome after all this time with the way I left things,” Alex replied.

“I see. Well you have my forgiveness but you need to earn back my trust. I need to know you’re sticking around and that you love me. I need to see that you are faithful and loyal and will always be here, no matter what,” I said.

“I will Liz, I promise. I will stay by your side forever, or for however long you let me be and I will be faithful. If you let me, I will spend the rest of my life showing you how much I love you,” Alex promised me.

“Forever sounds good to me,” I replied.

Alex smiled broadly and then kissed me again deeply and passionately, letting me feel his love for me in the depth of his kiss and I kissed him back as deeply and passionately with the love I feel in my heart for him.

We spent the rest of the summer together catching up and making up for lost time. On our three month anniversary of getting back together, Alex took me to the ice cream parlor where he first introduced himself to me for dessert after dinner and proposed to me. I said yes and we were married on the beach where it all started 5 years after first seeing each other there.

 

Something Wonderful Happened

Alexis Malek

March 31, 2014

Something Wonderful Happened

Rose is a 26 year old teacher and author of children’s books and inspirational novels. She just found out her latest inspirational novel was being published and decided to treat herself to a lovely Italian dinner. She was supposed to celebrate with a friend of hers, but unfortunately she got called into work last minute so Rose went to the Italian restaurant solo to celebrate.

Rose left the restaurant from the back exit and entered a dark alleyway. She was about to walk home when something wonderful happened. She had just stepped outside and was about to trip and sprain her ankle when a handsome man whom she figured to be around her age appeared behind her and caught her just in the nick of time.

As he caught her, he said to her, “It’s okay, I got you.”

Flustered, she looked up into the face of the handsome stranger who had saved her from injury and accident.

The handsome young man asked Rose, “Are you okay miss?”

“Yes. Thank you,” Rose replied.

“My pleasure,” the handsome young man said to her and then let go of her after helping to steady her. “I was just coming out of the restaurant behind you upon finishing my shift here and saw the whole thing. I couldn’t let a pretty lady fall on my watch, so without thinking I reached out to steady you,” he added.

Rose smiled shyly and tried to hide her blush as she said, “Thank you. I tripped over a big stray meatball.”

The handsome young man smiled back and said, “My name is Scott. And who have I had the pleasure of rescuing?”

Rose laughed and answered, “Rose.” She cleared her throat then tried again saying, “My name is Rose.”

“Rose. A beautiful name for a beautiful lady. Would I be too forward to ask you out, or would a jealous boyfriend have a problem with that?” Scott asked.

Rose giggled and said, “I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m okay with you asking me out, as long as you don’t have a girlfriend, fiancée or wife.”

Scott smiled broadly and answered, “No girlfriend, fiancée, or wife. Would you like to have dinner with me on Saturday?”

“Sure. Okay,” Rose replied.

“Great. Can I get your number so we can make arrangements later?” Scott asked.

“Yeah. May I see your phone? I didn’t bring pen or paper with me this evening,” Rose replied.

Scott opened his contact list on his phone and hit “new contact” then handed the phone to Rose. Rose entered her name in the “name” field and then entered her cellphone number under “mobile number” and her home phone number under “home number” and then handed the phone back to Scott.

“Thank you. Does 6:30pm work for you?” Scott inquired.

“Yes. I usually start making dinner or go out to eat around that time,” Rose responded.

“I’ll call you later for your address so I know where to pick you up, then I will see you Saturday at 6:30pm,” Scott said.

“Okay. I don’t live too far away, so it will be easy for you to find me,” Rose replied.

“Really? You live nearby?” Scott asked. When Rose nodded her head in reply Scott added, “Perhaps I should walk you home then. You know, to make sure you don’t trip on anymore stray meatballs or on anything else and sprain your ankle.”

Smiling, Rose joked, “Maybe you should. I wouldn’t want to have to cancel our date due to a sprained ankle.

So Scott walked Rose home and took note of the street and cross street to where she lived so he knew where to pick her up on Saturday. Rose told Scott she would invite him in for hot cocoa (since she does not drink coffee and doubted he drank tea, which he confirmed that he is not a big fan of tea), but he probably had other things to do. He regrettably did have other things to do like go to bed since he had an early day the next day so he asked for a rain check on the cocoa. Rose told him to walk and then drive safely and they said goodnight, then Scott walked back to the restaurant to his car and drove home. As Rose let herself into her home, she couldn’t help thinking that God had been behind Scott being there at just the right time to catch her from falling and the smile she wore grew even bigger.