What an amazing week it has been and I am not about to allow Facebook and all that other junk interfere with my spiritual walk. I think it’s okay to have Facebook and all that other stuff but like any thing else you just have to control it and not let it control you. Let’s face it social networking sites are awesome ways to share your faith and lead others to Christ. What a great witnessing tool! When you’re comfortable with yourself and your faith you just can’t suppress it ya gotta let it out!
I have a really really old journal from ‘93 and it’s been stuffed in my basement for a really long time. It’s been to Pennsylvania with me and I kept it only because it was a period of my life that looking back on is embarrassing. I decided to let my oldest son read it and then regretted it. I have changed so much over the years that I didn’t almost recognize that I was the one who wrote it! It just goes to show how amazing God is and despite all those years of rejecting him he never gave up on me.
Lastly I think I am about to change my religious title. I have found the perfect religion and reading up on it’s beliefs it’s something I’m already about anyway so why not change? I have shunned a lot of religious titles over the years because they just didn’t fit. I was raised Baptist and then dropped out, studied Mormonism for awhile prayed about it and felt that it was a religion created by a false prophet. Anyone that reads my blogs or updates on Facebook know that I’m not one of those people that jump on bandwagons or show support for something that I don’t believe in. For me to say this is what I am takes a great deal of conviction so as I prepare to change from Non denominational to Free Methodist I feel good because of what these people promote and what they believe in. If fits me and it’s where I feel I’m being led toward so it makes sense that I would find a church that would feel more like a home than a church.
The whole goal of being a Christian is to help others and to reach out and share the love and message of Christ and this is a sect that I can truly support. I truly believe that a church should be a place that God leads you too and in the right church that God plants you in not only nurtures your faith but also allows you to reach others. I urge everyone to find the church that God has planned for you. Pray and ask God if this is the place He wants you in and you’ll know. It may not happen right away but don’t give up! Keep searching and don’t ever get discouraged.
Here’s the thing that a lot of Christians either don’t talk about or ignore. The issue of false prophets. This is something we should be talking about and here’s why. False prophets will deceive you and sometimes they do this without even realizing it. 2 Peter 2:1 tells us that there false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you. What is a false prophet? A false prophet is a person who is viewed as illegitimately claiming charismatic authority within a religious group. The individual may be seen as one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy, or who uses that gift for demagogy or evil ends. A false prophet may not even realize that he or she is a false prophet but it’s quite dangerous to those who aren’t familiar with the Bible or are looking for the truth and may find that what this person is saying makes sense and that’s dangerous.
Matthew 7:15 Be on the watch for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves. How exactly do we know who these false prophets are? It’s not like they’re wearing a sign or anything. If you have a basic knowledge of your Bible they’re not hard to spot. They will give you an idea of theology and a verse that backs it up. Here’s a recent example that I discovered. Revelation 20:11-12. When you die and aren’t saved have no fear because this is where you will be given the chance to accept or reject Christ. You can live you’re entire life rejecting God and the gift of Salvation and you will get an opportunity to receive Christ because let’s face it God isn’t a cruel God, he won’t allow his creation to suffer. You with me? Isn’t that a wonderful statement. When you read that doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Too bad it’s false. Read verse 15 out loud. And if anyone’s name was not in the book of life he went down into the sea of fire. Wait, what about that second chance? It doesn’t exist and do you really want to know why? We’re given every chance to accept Christ as our personal Savior throughout our life but when we die God says depart from me I never knew you. In the Bible it doesn’t say I realize that you were too busy to accept me throughout your life and you pledged an unwavering loyalty to Satan or were an atheist but hey I’m a fair God what about now?
You see how dangerous false prophets can be? There are entire religions who take the Bible out of context to fit their own beliefs and agendas and who suffers for it? Those who don’t have a real knowledge of the truth. They readily accepted these teachings without even testing them. Throughout my search of the perfect religion and even truth I have come upon a variety of religions that sound really really good but they fall apart when you test them against the Bible. They crumble like a house of cards when you start to see the surrounding verses that don’t line up with what they’re saying. I’m not going after various religions or recruiting anyone for mine because I have rejected the religions that man has created and gone nondenominational. Why did I do that? So that my thinking, and spirituality isn’t influenced by man made dogma and theology. We spend so much time defending our religion that we tend to put Jesus in a corner and forget about him.
As Christians we should forget about defending what we are and promote who we are. We are the body of Christ. We shouldn’t say that we’re Baptist, Catholic, whatever. The truth is that we are all sinners washed clean in the blood of Christ. We need to develop a relationship with Him so that we can expose false prophets as who they are. We have the tools to do this and that’s the Bible. By immersing our selves in it we can know the truth and tell when someone is lying, or even spreading doctrine that’s harmful to us. When I disconnected and started looking at various articles, and religious programs I did so with my Bible firmly open and the idea that I would test what they are saying against the Bible. So many are deceived yet they don’t have to be. We as true Bible believing Christians can separate fact from fiction and warn others. Never accept what others say without studying it on your own. Does the sermon or article follow the Bible to the letter or does it fall apart when you continue reading the following verses? You have to be careful and cautious because there is so much garbage out there and it’s costing a lot of Christians their lives and you can’t even say that they’re true Christians because they have a skewed view of religion.
The Lord wants me to challenge you, to wake you up. Test what your beliefs are against Scripture. What are your beliefs on Heaven, hell, Salvation. Use a concordance, use E-sword and most importantly pray and ask the Lord to guide you to the truth. If you begin to search and find that what you believe doesn’t line up with scripture don’t feel defeated! Take this as a second chance! Praise God that he lead you to this blog and renew yourself with the truth that God has shown you! God bless and praise the Lord for all that he has given us.
I didn’t realize that this week was going to be so difficult spiritually. I just assumed that I would disconnect myself from all the distractions that were keeping me from God and that would be it. I didn’t expect God to rip open my closet and toss out all of my skeletons but that’s exactly what he did. The hardest thing has been to admit that I was a failure as a Christian. I was face to face with that and in order for me to even move forward I had to address it and find out why. Another thing that startled me was that I had become the one thing I despise in Christians which is a hypocrite. I would update my Facebook status with all these amazing Bible verses but if you lived with me you would actually question why I would even do it. I wasn’t the best example but I understand that I can be.
What startled me was sitting in my bathroom Monday evening and hearing; “How can you write about trusting God when you have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth?” Wait, what? I got the message and it made a lot of sense. I am all about trusting God yet I still smoke. How can I truly say that I trust in God and still smoke? I would justify my smoking by saying; “Ya gotta die of something right? At least with cigarettes I know that I did it to myself.” I also figured that Catholics smoke so how bad can it be? The point is that there is no justifying my smoking. I can’t say that I trust in God and still smoke. That evening I prayed for the first time and asked God to take away my desire and addiction to nicotine. In a perfect world I would have woken up smoke free but I am struggling but am determined to quit. God has taken away my cravings for nicotine and all I need to do is to stop lighting up.
All in all this has been an amazing week full of introspection and hard truths but I am starting to understand what I need to do to fix what happened to make me a failure as a Christian.
In all honesty this isn’t my first real day of disconnect. That will actually be in tomorrow’s blog but today was a bit crazy because I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I went through a lot of by internet book marks and E-books to see what I had. I was excited to tell my wife what I planned to do and she was excited for me. I had saved all of these websites and kept saying that I’d get to them but I never did. I would scan through them and go onto something else. The reality of what I’m doing hasn’t truly sunk in yet. Today is the first official day of going off the social network grid and the Devil is already telling me I can’t. How in the world can you reconnect with God with a wife and three kids distracting you? Simple. Take what I have learned or read and process it,. Think about where I can apply a scripture into my life and how I can change my life for the better. How am I going to use this experience to not only serve God but be beacon of hope and faith toward other people?
I’m not documenting this to brag about how Holy I’m becoming or how righteous I think I am because I’m the same old sinner I have always been and this is a quest to learn exactly where and what God wants me to be. I want to show people that you don’t have to go into the wilderness to grow close to God. Just by pledging to take a week and allowing God to take full control something will happen. Satan will tell you that isn’t possible but it is. The one verse that kept popping up in my head was Matthew 7:7-8. Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
I don’t want to write a long blog but I also came to understand some basic facts and in closing I want to share them.
(1) Without God I’m nothing. God’s love and mercy saved me from a life of mediocrity.
(2) Because of God I’m no longer running in circles. I not only have a destination but a purpose. (3) The Devil will try and hold you back from achieving what God wants you to achieve. God has given us all the ability to walk on water but the Devil will force us to doubt and the moment we look down we begin to drown.
Lastly I saw another verse that showed me that I was on the right course and doing exactly what God wanted me to do; But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God, my saviour: my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
My blogs have truly drifted away from my faith and into mindless drivel about television. There was a time when I had this amazing fire to serve God, yet the fire kinda dimmed a little. No matter what I did I just could not focus on what God had planned for my life. Instead of studying the Bible or praying I would log into facebook or spend time watching tv. The point is that my focus was no longer on the cross or what God had planned for me. What I failed to realize is that God wasn’t going to listen to me if I continued to immerse myself in the things that were damaging my life as a Christian. I was drifting away from my faith which I never even realized. I began swearing, neglecting my Bible and ignoring what God wanted me to do.
Today I got the message loud and clear. Disconnect from all of the things that are keeping you from God. Instead of logging into Facebook or using the computer to watch television use that time to build onto your faith and instead of just promising to change actually do it. I have all of these awesome resources yet I fail to utilize them. God has given me all the tools that I need to build a solid Christian foundation but instead I’m wasting the talents that God has given me. This is going to be a week of renewal. I am truly on fire for God and I learned that the only thing keeping me from a relationship with God is me. This week will be filled with prayer, intense Bible study and an in-depth look at why I keep failing as a Christian. What does God have planned for me and after this week I’m sure I’ll have the answer.
I’ll also keep the blog updated through the week to update everyone on my progress. No Facebook or Myspace updates just a running commentary of my progress. God bless, and if anyone else wants to join me feel free to leave a comment.
It’s official. I have allowed my television to be my buddy. In Northeast Ohio there’s a bit of a heat wave and the kids just haven’t wanted to go out. The DVR has kept us all entertained. I have officially become a television junkie and it’s sad because all the shows I like always get cancelled. I loved Dollhouse gone, years ago there was a show called Blind Justice about a blind detective who isn’t respected, okay I can kind of understand why that was cancelled even though it was a good show. New Amsterdam was another one that I was really digging and then it was over. Maybe the problem is that I’m not into conventional shows. I always did like The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and even that one show Christian Slater was in. I think there were two and I think they were cancelled. I honestly think I should just suck it up and watch the shows that everyone watches that are straight forward, don’t involve a lot of thought or imagination,
Instead I’m sitting at my desk watching The Gates which is really starting to confuse me. Far too many questions like why is the former sheriff dead and what happened to the guy they arrested? It was all in the second episode and now in episode three there’s no mention of the mystery the show’s writer brought up. Before that there was Rookie Blue. If you watched Scoundrels you were flooded with the promos for both The Gates and Rookie Blue so I figured why not check them out. Instead of checking email while my wife has the kids camping I’m turning my brains to mush watching all of these cool shows. I even found a cool show airing on BBC 3 called Being Human which proves that no matter how hard I try I just can’t conform and enjoy sitcoms. I think for now I’ll enjoy these shows while I can and even watch the stuff that everyone else likes like Criminal Minds and Medium. I will also end this blog and continue to liquefy my brain.