Sunday, September 22, 2013

Diamonds Aren't Forever

If you live in the West, you are probably aware of what makes the world go round: money, money, money. Stuff, stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Everywhere you look, there’s money and STUFF. If someone has a lot of money, they might have a big house, maybe a nice car, perhaps a thing of jewelry or two, and possibly plenty of stamps on their passports. Also known as: stuff. If someone has not as much money, well, their list of possessions (or "things") might not be as extensive or as expensive. Of course, this is a broad generalization and I do not mean to sound stereotypical or judgmental!

It’s quite obvious that a lot of people in our Western culture are looking for the next “thing”, like the newest version of the iPhone, the highest-end TV, that cute lampshade at Homesense (even though the one at home is just fine). I’ll admit openly to everyone reading this that I have these inner urges! ... Especially the Homesense thing.

Why are we so compelled to go after the next “thing”?

Regardless of why, there is a bigger picture here. It doesn’t matter how many “things” we waste our money on. It doesn’t matter how many “things” we fill our houses (another “thing”) up with. It doesn’t matter how much these “things” cost. (Well, it kind of does matter, but this post isn’t about debt and why it’s against Scripture. And why it’s just plain smart not to be in any kind of debt at all. Anyhow, I’ll save that for another day.) After all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter if or when we end up having all these “things”. When we look past this life and turn our focal point to the end-all bottom line: no matter how much we spend, no matter how much we buy, no matter how much we have material wise, we can’t bring it with us where we’re going. These “things” just do not matter, plain and simple.

Why store up our treasures here? We know the earth is going to pass away (Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33 - That’s written in three Gospels!). We know we are going to die. (The reason behind this can be found in the very beginning, in the book of Genesis.) We [should] know that storing up treasures on earth is foolish (1 Timothy 6:17-19). (A good example of what is written there can be found in Matthew 19 and Luke 18.)

Perhaps it is time, if you feel as if your focus is not where it should be, to persevere in the faith and shift the attitude of your heart. It’s time to think about our priorities, and think about the long term of things. Keeping our minds and hearts focused on God and living a life pleasing to Him will make everything fall into place (Colossians 3:2, Matthew 6:33, 2 Timothy 2:15). 

And one more thing! Something simple to say in our minds or even out loud, on the spot, when we have that urge to buy some useless or unneeded"thing". Just remember, diamonds really aren't forever - neither is that "thing" we're about to buy - we can't take these "things" with us where we're going!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Congregation Conundrum

I wrote everyone a small update yesterday, and included a little sneak-peak about what I was going to post today. The main part I’m referring to was the part where I said, “It’s about finding a church”. Now, what I really meant to say was congregation. All true believers of Jesus Christ are part of His body - the church - and we usually meet in a church building and henceforth become a congregation (Romans 12:5, Colossians 1:24). When we’re looking for a church, really, we’re looking for a congregation to meet with - and what a difficult feat it is.

Let me explain.

We are actively trying to become a member of a congregation, and finding one has been our one of our main priorities for a while. Our Sunday gatherings currently involve my husband and I (as well as another believer), meeting in our home. Unfortunately this brother in Christ can no longer meet with us at this time, so we are on the hunt for a group of true believers to meet with once a week. The purpose of such a meeting is to uplift, encourage, learn of the Word of God, pray, break bread, and worship the Lord. Of course, there are other reasons why Christians meet together besides the fact that it is commanded in Scripture to do so regularly (Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25).

So far, the hunt has been disappointing and downright saddening. Out of all the congregations in and around the area, there are very few that adhere to the Word of God, as written in the Bible, by itself. Meaning, no manmade doctrines added. It’s astonishing how far some people are off the mark! I said in an earlier post, I think it was yesterday, about liberal Christians creating wiggle room with Scripture. It’s like this, in a nutshell: Satan says, in response to what God has said: “Did God really say?” And we say, “I guess He didn’t!” And go about things our own way, the way we think things should be done, based on our human opinion and our feelings. This really rings true when you read a few different statements of beliefs. That, or when you look at how Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit! (Genesis 3:1).

I do have to say it’s a good thing that the majority of these places have websites that include their statement of beliefs. Otherwise, there would be many Sunday morning trial and error church trips. (Aka, a lot of stress!)

Of course, the one foolproof way to find a congregation is to measure it up with the Bible, preferably the King James Version. If the pastor of your congregation teaches that it’s okay to live in unrepentant sin all week long, as long as you ask for forgiveness on Sundays, it does not measure up to the Word of God (Hebrews 10:26-31***, Luke 13:3, Revelation 3:19, etc., etc., etc.). If your pastor is a woman (1 Timothy 2:12, Titus 2:5) or condones and/or encourages homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9), your congregation ultimately does not measure up to the Word of God. Does your pastor say, “God is love, you do not need to obey these old writings. It’s all cultural,” or something along those lines, RUN AWAY! (John 14:15, John 15:10, 1 John 2:3, etc.) There are a lot of different scenarios I can write down here. Bottom line, plain and simple: measure absolutely everything against the Word of God! Nothing added or subtracted.

That being said, if you cannot find a church that teaches what is written in the Bible (and trust me, this seems to be extremely hard to find!) there is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting in your home, with your husband or wife, children, and/or other believers that are spot-on with what God has commanded. A lot of times, this is what people used to do back in the day, and what people still do today, such as some Mennonite groups and Amish groups, or any other Christian looking to get away from mainstream “popular” Christianity.

I feel that there is more to write about when it comes to the congregation conundrum - perhaps at a later time. Until then, I urge all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to take a look at the congregation they’re in! Are you part of a group or movement that goes against what God has said? Are you being taught false doctrines? My prayers are with you all.

With love in Christ

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Way Behind...

Hey Everyone!

Can you believe that I haven't updated Christian Missus since the 29th of July??? I can't!

Believe me when I say this: we have been busy, busy bees! Finally, now that things around here are calm again, I have the time and patience to come on here and write. I do apologize for not updating more often!

That being said, I'll just give a small update about what's been happening between the end of July and now. We are still strong in our faith, arguably stronger, as we have seen how richly the Lord has blessed us in every way possible. We see His fingerprint on our everyday lives. It's positively amazing.

Perseverance is something that my husband and I have come to know quite well, as living the Christian life according to the Bible can bring more raised eyebrows and trials more than, let's say, living as a liberal Christian who makes compromises and invents wiggle room with the Bible. As hard as some times may be, we are called to be separate from the world, and we've been doing just that. Not in a literal sense, as in, living in the middle of the woods, away from every living soul. Just carrying and presenting ourselves differently. Not participating in some of the worldly things that would not give God glory, or doing things that would not please God. And in this day and age, it's better to swing to the right than to the left when your a professing Christian. The bottom line is will I please God or please man?

Homeschooling is going very well with my little boy, even more so after this summer. My intention is not to brag or boast, but I have to say, he really has a strong, intelligent mind and genuinely likes to learn. We bought a cubby bookshelf and have half of it filled with school supplies, books, and the like. Everyday, a few times a day, we crack at those school books and get a good amount of learning time in. I've been honing in on his learning styles, and have been catering to them with a newfound pleasure. Why hasn't anyone told me that teaching your own children is so rewarding and just plain... GREAT?

Even my little girl hangs around while we're learning! That's a blessing in itself, just because she gets into everything the second my back is turned. The joys of homeschooling while a baby/toddler is crawling around. More on that in another post sometime soon. I have a few tips on how to keep little ones occupied and out of trouble during learning times with older kids!

In the meantime, I have another post in the works, and will probably get it up on here tomorrow. It's about finding a church. Really, if you're looking for solid, true to the word of God pastor who teaches alongside the Bible and nothing else, you can't just walk into any old church and expect to have anything other than false teachings spoon-fed to you! Anyhow, that's for tomorrow.

Again, please accept my apology and stick around for regular updates!