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It seems that in Christian culture there are more doctrines than denominations, and the denominations outweigh the people to fill them.
This is troubling to me.
Who is right? Who is mistaking  honest obedience with blatant sin?
“Whos cheatin who? Whos staying true? Who dont even care any more?”

My Sister is 15, and though we both have an intimate relationship with our mother, we both view her very differently.
My sister is characterized by this: She gets caught up with the petty dramas of this world, she’s often cold and not relational, she finds confidence and self worth in her peers, and she’s more concerned about whats cool than whats right, she loves to argue, detached in revealing her thoughts and feelings.
I, on the other hand: am extremely relational, my love language is tough, I seek after righteousness, get in trouble very little, i need to know that my parents are proud of me, i share my thought processes and seek guidance, ect.

I see my mother as more of a companion, while my sister sees her as more of the care giver, and disciplinary.
That is simply because we are at different stages in life. If we were both asked to  describe the same woman, we would describe her very differently. Would all the things be true? Yes
While my sister may say she is very strict. I would argue that she is lenient. Both of these are true.

So what about God? God is a God of complete sovereignty as we orchestrates the story of humanity for His glory and pleasure. God also allows us to have responsibility, to either fulfill or deny.
I fully believe that these juxtaposed ideas can coexsist. Like parallel lines that go on together, and never meet a point of conclusion- Gods power, and Gods allowance cannot satisfy one another, but are both vital to the Christian beliefs.
I believe that though many doctrines do not compliment one another in emphasis, they do depict a small aspect of Gods vast and round character.

We earth dwellers will never witness the other side of the moon as long as we live on the earth, but we cant agrue that it doesnt exsist. You may never witness an aspect of God, but you cannot argue that it doesn’t exist.
I myself feel that i have only acutely witnessed the wrath of God, if at all. But God is a God of wrath.
Those who don’t believe in God, have never excepted Gods kindness. But God is a God of great Kindness in love.

Doctrine is necessary. But not essential. The blood of Christ is essential.
So speak truth in love. Let iron sharpen iron. Allow your concept of God widen as the spirit reveals truth and Gods word confirms it. Know God.
But above everything else- trust in the redemptive work that took place on the cross, because beyond that, all doctrines fail.

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Life is but threshold
Death is but a door
Concealing the greatest awakening
The quench for something more.
Yet every tongue in every land,
Sounds their battle cry.
Through the tears that sting their eyes,
We say “There must be more to life!”
But the eyes companion to frustration,
Are blinded from the truth.
When the whole earth is filled with Glory,
Creation points to you.
Within our hearts is your law
Engraved is “eternity”
Before our feet is your throne
The cross that sets us free.
Yet we wander and scour the earth
For meaning, purpose, and truth
Never turning to what’s in front of us
We’ve turned our hearts from you.
“Oh my God” is no longer the gate of salvation
But a term of putrid vanity
And science has become the study
Of new age theology.
Relativism has become truth,
As it applies to the flesh of man.
Choice is what determines our life,
And what kills our fellow man.
Oh wretched sinners!
How we lost our way.
How evil are even the ones
Who dare to bare your name.
And we who have been made with Christ
Still have turned away from you
Have defiled your holy temple,
The body bought by you.
We who claim to be vessels of Christ
Carry our Christ to bed
With those who have defiled our souls
Who’s steps will lead to death.
And the mouths that join together
To sing praises to your name
Leave the building we’ve labeled “the church”
And quickly utter what’s profane.
Because life has been made a journey of taste
Lead by whimsical cravings of tongue.
Christ is only to be followed
When he gives you what you want.
Away with rules and restrictions
Give us instant gratification.
Away with what guides and protects
Our desolate souls cry for damnation.

THE GREAT I AM! THE GREAT I AM!
THE GREAT I AM! THE KING!
If you who are chosen hold your tongue
The rocks of the earth will sing.
Oh God have your way with us!
We have not chosen you!
My God have your way with those you love
We need to love you too.
The wrath that your grace has withheld
Soon will be set free
For you, Oh God, are Righteous and Just
You alone are King.
Do with us as you will
To turn our hearts back to you.
May your Glory be fulfilled
In what is your plan to do.
Tear down the idols that defile your name
Tear down what man has made.
My soul is grieved with longing
I stand lonesome and unashamed
For the world to know the Glory
The Glory in your name.
Let those who bear a witness
Gather together to call on you
Let those who truly seek your face
Be ambassadors of the truth.
May we join in numbers,
May we speak the truth
Singing a jubilant song
Sharing the joy we find in you.
Let us be persecuted in your name
For gospel sake
Let us face trials of many kinds
To bring your Glory Fame
Let the blood that was shed on the cross
Incarnadine the earth,
Come what may let us see
A revival a rebirth!

You alone are God
For you alone are God.
One day every knee will bow
For you alone, Our God.

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Before man is my lover

God is the Lover of my soul.

God is Love; within His name dwells His glory

 

Before I am the beloved of man

I am the beloved of Christ.

May I unashamedly be captivated by His love.

 

Before I am the responder of man

I am the responder to the Holy Ghost

May I love as He first loved me.

 

Oh song of my spirit!

You are a fire in my bones

I can’t hold it in, indeed I am weary

“Abba! Father!”  My lips refrain

Lull me to a passionate outcry.

Oh how you haved loved me!

Oh how you have called me to yourself!

I am and adulterous bride,

Yet You see me as blameless.

May I forever be a child of God

The bride of Christ

And Cleave to Your Spirit.

May this covenant never be broken.

Let purity and light guide my steps as I walk

The path divinely placed before me.

Being wooed by my Author my Perfector,

May I run in the way of your commands.

You have set my heart free!

With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.

Your Law is my delight, my counselor

May I never leave the shadow of Your wings.

 

Why are we to love others?

You have first loved us.

How are we to love?

“Do unto others as you

Would have them do unto you.”

 

May my love be everlasting

Unconditional

Unwavering

Unadulterated

Full of purity

Abundant

Life giving.

Because You have first loved me

 

May I protect others,

As you have protected me in love.

May I nourish others

As you have nourished me in love.
As a vine cleaves to its branch

May I so dearly depend on you.

Let me stay in your shade

as you protect me.

Let me stay connected to you

As you supply my soul with all I need.

 

Nothing can separate me from this love.

 

My unworthiness brings me to tears

Yet rejoicing still, for You call me as Your own.

As crown is to her husband

May my life reflect Your glory;

For you have chosen me as your bride.

No greater Love could I ever find.

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I wrote this about a year ago to my sister, and recently read it again. My past convictions continue to convict me now as I persue Christ. May it bless you also:

Jul 3, 2007 8:02 AM

To my beloved sister,

I know we have our squabbles, but you are growing by leaps and bounds into a Godly young woman everyday, I am truly blessed to have you as my sister. So I wanted to pass on to you some things I’ve learned, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I and other young girls have made. I know some of the things I will say don’t affect you much now, but just as multiplication is built upon addition, your future depends on who you are today.
It’s so hard to be a young Christian woman in our culture today. God wants us to live “in” the world, but he doesn’t want us to be “of” the world. Yet our society has dictated that in order to live a joyous youth, you must date, and discover what it means to be young and in love while you are still in your “prime.” This is a lie. Christian girls have come to believe that they should still perform our cultures worldly traditions, but do so in a Godly way. They are led to believe the idea of dating as a necessary part of growth, and try to make their relationships “religious”. But there is no Godly way doing things the world’s way. Yet so many people think that if you can fight the fight and win the struggle by scorching your passion before the flame consumes you and manage to keep virginity, while managing to involve yourself with every male suitor that comes your way, you are successful. This will only leave your heart in torment, stretched out in every direction. And nothing is lonelier than being used and abandoned.
If I were to propose the idea to you of arranged marriage, you would probably look at me like I’m crazy, like I’m suggesting to send you to the stocks. Of course I’m not, but think of it this way: I personally would much rather be given to one man, to learn about him intimately, and fall in love with him deeply, with out being self conscience, without having guilt for giving my self away to other men, or being paranoid of yet another heart break. When all those negative things are out of the picture, I would be able to look at the relationship with excitement and joy and pleasure. I would be able to have delight in him, and he with me, with no emotional baggage. While on the other hand, if I decided to search to find a man myself, I would quickly learn who is wrong for me, and I would learn it the hard way. My heart will be tested, teased, stretched, manipulated and even broken, until I found the right one to give it to. And when I finally find that man to give my heart to, I would be embarrassed to give it to him in the condition that would be in. But Gods way is so much better than both of these. Breanna, God wants you to spend your “prime” falling madly in love with him. He wants you to give your heart to him, so that it can be whole and complete, and he wants to fill it with so much satisfaction, that you live life abundantly. Someday he will send you someone, your prince charming, and it will be as if God was saying “Because I love you so much, I’m going to give you someone for you to share my love with on earth.” That way, everything you do can be an act of worship. You think that love is grand? Heaven is far more than we could ever imagine. The love you’ll share on earth will just be a taste. But until that prince charming comes, be a sleeping beauty.
You know just as a fat kid has to retrain their taste buds before they crave healthy food, I’ve had to retrain my taste buds to boys. I fell into the trap of believing that relationships are exciting and enthralling, and a good way to learn about myself and have a good time. But I’ve found that nothing has distracted me more from my relationship with God than a relationship with a guy. God never fails me, but guys have. So every day I’ve had to surrender guys back to god. I’ve surrendered my thoughts, whether it be “oh, he’s so cute” or “maybe I’ll find a guy here or there.” I’ve to surrender the desire for affection that will never run deep. I’ve had to surrender my want to be held after a hard day. I’ve to surrender dressing up to impress a guy. And let me tell you. IT WAS HARD and IT TOOK TIME. But I’ve seen since I’ve been at done that God has delivered me from trying to find satisfaction in guys, to finding satisfaction in him. I can’t tell you how free I feel. You never realize how trapped you are until your released. I am so happy, and I can just focus on my relationship with God with a clear mind. I know what its like to have your mind cluttered with “I wonder what he’s thinking” and so on and so forth. Satan comes to steal kill and destroy, whispering lies in my ears that I need a relationship on earth for fulfillment. But Christ came to give life and life abundantly, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m not missing out on anything when I’m full of Christ love.
I know that you’re coming to a time in your life where the babes are lookin’ pretty tasty! Lol. And I can’t tell you that you shouldn’t date, though I wish I never had. But I want to challenge you. If you could, for the rest of the summer, focus on God. And every time you think about boys, surrender it to him. This summer, let it be a boy-worry -free summer. Retrain the way you think, the bible says to set your mind on things above. It will be hard, but I promise, you will start out school with a good head on your shoulders, and God will teach you so many things. You’re a leader Breanna. People are going to want to be like you, no matter what you do, so wouldn’t it be better if you were like Jesus?
If you want, we can read the bible together. I’m reading one chapter of John a day. Today was my second day, but I’m already struggling not to read ahead. The cool thing is is that there are 21 chapters, and there are 21 days to make or break a habit. You should do it with me, it doesn’t take more than five minutes, and if we do this, we can start reading Romans.
Well I have to go. Im late for work, But I am saving you water bottles for cheerleading! =)

Your Sister…

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Search me oh God
Know my heart
See if there is any way in me that pulls me astray
For I am bound to your mercy
I am fettered to your love
Create in me a pure heart
A heart that delights in you only
I have chosen the path of righteousness
Do not let me go astray
I tred the path that is narrow
Keep my feet from going weary
Should I turn away now?
Should I deny the grace that has brought me thus far?
No!
Such a thought is purtide to my mind.
A bad taste to my mouth.
All the more I cling to you
I hold fast to my King
As a child not yet weaned from his mother.
Hold onto me as I hold on to you.
I have come accustomed to your ways.
your will is my delight.
your law my couselors.
Defend me from evil
For i am defensless.
Safegaurd me from tempations
For I am weak.
With out you
There is no hope
there is no life
there is no joy.
No everlasting peace
With out you there is nothing,
Because All was created by you
Through you
for you.
I am your creatiion.
May the life this body creates
Be submissive to your will.
May the work my hands toil
bring glory to your name.
May the words my lips utter
And the thoughts my mind ponder
Be centered on Christ, on you, on my messiah.
I am your creation.
Made by you
Made through you
Made for you.
May every fiber of my being sing your praises.
let me reverberate with a rejoicing refrain of your glory
May I repent daily.
May i fall on my knees and give you the worship that is due.
May everyday be a new way
To fall more in love with you.
Hold onto me as I hold onto you.
This world is to hard
Satan is to hard
My flesh is to hard
Temptation to hard
All is to hard with out your grace.
Praise be to you
May I give you glory
Humble me
May I exalt you
With all of my praise
With all of my heart
With all of my life
With all that i am.
May i exalt your name.
My King
My savior
My wonderful friend.

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There is nothing in scripture that says that a woman cannot baptise another woman.

But it does make it clear that men should be the spiritual authority. Because of this… should baptising be left up to  the men? Or should women be able to baptise another woman?

Whats your opinion?
(scriptural support not required but desired)

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I was talking to a kid who wanted to become a christian, but I really didn’t think he was getting it.

I asked him: “What does it mean to be a christian?”
He gave the typical answer that Jesus becomes the savior of your life and you do what the bible says.
Close….

“Why do people become Christians?”
“Umm… well Uh,”
he fumbled… “Like if someone is a drug addict or something, and they cant stop. They can become a christian.”

Insert palm of hand to forehead.

Needless to say, neither of us were ready for me to lead him in the sinners prayer. And as comical as it is… how many people fall into the sentimental Christianity.

It seems to be a growing christian trend in the church to share stories of Gods deliverance and happy feel good quotes like “Dont tell God how big the storm is.. tell the storm how big your God is.” And we all sit in church with an appeased mood and clap like were in a golf tournament. “That was nice” we say as we leave the service. Golf tournaments are boring and unpleasently pastel.

Dont get me wrong, its encouraging to hear how God has worked in other peoples lives. But how God has worked in another mans life is not a promise that he will work in ours.
And  the “God loves the Hell out of you” kind of quotes are cute and quirky- but its not alive and active like scripture. The word of God is powerful. There is no substitute.

We are suppose to be an aroma pleasing to God in the sight of man.
We are suppose to be the salt of the earth… Not the sentimental sugar.

Sugar may smell nice to man, but its not the pleasing aroma required of us before God.

Im afraid that our testimonies and christian phrases are beginning to take the place of the word of God. When the world looks at us… what are they going to see?

What are your thoughts??

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