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Take Me to Church…Literally

(Courtesy of Google Images, labeled for reuse with modification).

In my last post, I mentioned that I had left the church I had gone to for almost half of my life and that I had been on the quest to find a new church. I decided that I wanted to do a post about why it’s important to find another church after leaving a previous one.

You might be like me and you miss having the God feeling in your heart and you want that back.

But maybe you were hurt before and you want to give up because you don’t want to get hurt again. Here is why it is important to keep going to church:

  1. You’re seeking God. Whether you’re at the one church you’ve at your whole life or you’ve been at ten different churches, you constantly are seeking God no matter what. It doesn’t matter what church you go to, but it’s through the church that you seek God.
  2. You’re not okay. If you took a look at yourself right now and where you’re at with God, would you say you’re okay? There’s always more to find in the kingdom of God! Seek him!
  3. You won’t lose touch. Without going to church, we say we’re going to do all the things we can do in church outside of church. For example, we say “I’m going to read my Bible at the this time” and “I can listen to this podcast”. Here’s what happens most times: When we don’t go to church, we often start putting those things off. “I’ll listen to that podcast later” or “I’m busy now, so I’ll read my Bible later.” We start putting it off and before we know it, we have put God off and don’t even know who He is anymore.
  4. You learn something new. Nowadays, we hear sermons that are life-changing. Sermons might have crazy titles, but they have powerful messages. There is always something that can be learned in a sermon that goes far beyond what we could ever imagine!
  5. You don’t get the same experiences. If we don’t attend church and listen to podcasts and watch sermons, we are not getting the experiences that church is supposed to provide. Church is about worshipping, seeking, serving, and finding God through prayer, along with a community of people. You are given the opportunity to grow with God with friends and your Christian community and that is a powerful thing. Listening to a podcast at home in our pajamas does not do church justice!

There is no excuse for not going to church that can’t be answered. We’re not perfect, but that’s the beauty of God’s unconditional love. God is constantly coming to us in our lives, in our cities, in our communities, and in our homes. The least we can do is visit Him in His home.

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Talk About Politics!

TalkaboutpoliticsIn general in the church, politics seems to be a topic that is avoided like the plague.  And, quite honestly, I don’t understand.   Jesus talked openly and honestly about politics.  If you are following Jesus and doing everything to honor and serve Him, it’s okay to have a conversation about how you view politics or what’s going on in the political world.  Actually, when it comes to talking about having these conversations with Christians you’re close with, I think it’s important!

Remember: It’s okay to disagree.  And probably a good idea at the outset to agree to disagree when it comes to politics. 

In general, I try (as much emphasis there as possible) to frame my worldview through the lens of Scripture.  Therefore, when I view a political issue a certain way, it’s because I believe that Scripture addresses the scenario from that viewpoint.

I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write for my “Real World Issues” post for two weeks and I could not decide.  So, being me, I Google searched “today’s top news.”  I want to give you a few of the top stories (not headlines, just things that are going on, in case you forgot).  The trump travel ban is in the Supreme Court ( I wrote this part a week ago).  Today, President Trump is taking time out of his schedule to speak to boy scouts in West Virginia (top headline).  Meanwhile, 10 people were killed in a potential human trafficking situation in which 39 people were being driven (likely from the US/Mexico border).  Yet, people continue to ignore the fact that human trafficking is a serious issue in the US.

Maybe, and I hope, I’m wrong, but maybe, just maybe, the headlines that we click on are an indication of where our hearts are at.  So what headlines are you clicking on?

And are you willing to discuss politics when they come up instead of ducking, covering, and running?  It’s important to know where you stand and to be able to legitimately discuss what you believe.  That doesn’t mean you should be looking for a fight, but some political conversations could open up the doors to discuss what you believe, and more importantly, why.  That’s a ministry opportunity. 

This is just an intro post to many more Real Word Issues post to come, but I knew that I needed to preface those by saying that we should talk about politics through the lens of Scripture.   

Amanda

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Never Stop Praying

I recently went through a major disappointment – I had been praying about a certain situation for a long time only to find out something that would seemingly make that happening impossible. But here’s the thing, all along the way, I truly believed I felt God leading me in that direction. (No, I’m not going to tell you what I’m talking about). So what do you do when you feel God leading you one way and don’t understand how it could possibly happen?

“Never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

NeverStopPraying

Alright, now go have a good day, that’s your verse of the week.

No, I’m kidding. But seriously, if you truly believe that the Holy Spirit is leading you to do something don’t give up on it. Some things take time. Some things take a hell of a lot of prayer.

Now, I want to unpack that a little bit. I don’t know if this thing is going to happen, but I trust that God is working all things for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28 NIV). So I trust that if it’s for my good, it will happen. 

Sometimes praying is all we can do. And I don’t mean that it should be a last resort. Here’s what I mean:

#1 Sometimes the only thing that we can do for the situation is to pray, because nothing else will help.

#2 Prayer is literally more important than anything else you can say or do, so to rely on prayer and prayer alone is not weak but the strongest thing you can do.

Now go pray and have a good week, y’all,

Amanda

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Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

Disclaimer: We’re gonna talk more about marriage than dating because the Bible doesn’t directly address dating but it talks an awful lot about marriage. Okay? Okay.

I’m gonna say this, plain and simple:

It’s not easy to find someone you like who is following Jesus whom you can potentially see yourself falling in love with.

Is it okay to date someone who doesn't love Jesus?

But don’t give up and decide it’s okay to date anyone regardless of their faith. We are very clearly told that we are not to be “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV). What’s that actually mean, though?

Let’s take a deeper look at this verse and see exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote this verse and, specifically, the words “unequally yoked.”

“A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.”[1]

Here’s the whole verse:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV).

Now picture that image that is discussing marriage between believer and unbeliever. You don’t get anything done. You only go ’round and ’round in circles when you try to make decisions because you’re on opposing ends of the spectrum when it comes to what you believe is important.

Let me give you a few examples:

  1. Say you meet someone in college and he’s the guy of your dreams (minus the following Jesus part). The two of you decide to get married right after graduation. You both get decent jobs as soon as you graduate (yay, you!) As soon as you get your first paychecks, you go to give 10% of both of your checks – or even just yours, to your church and he has an issue with that. See the problem?
  2. A few years into your marriage, you now have a 2 year old and another baby on the way. After this baby comes, you’d really like to adopt because you have a heart for ministry and caring others. He says you have a perfectly healthy body and doesn’t understand why you’d want to adopt.
  3. You would really like to take your kids to church, but he says absolutely not. What do you do?

I really hope you see where I’m going with this. Marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian is a constant battle that we are not meant to fight.   God intended marriage to be a beautiful thing.   He didn’t intend for marriage to be chaos. Yes, you will have ups and downs, but if you ride them, you will find beauty in the journey.

Don’t even go down the road of thinking about the possibility of being with someone until you know for sure that they are completely head over heels for your Savior before they’re going to fall in love with you. Especially when you think that person does love Jesus to find out that they don’t. Just be absolutely 100% certain. Protect your heart – someday, someone will cherish it. For now, rest in the fact that your Savior loves you more than you can comprehend.

Bibliography

“What does it mean to be unequally yoked?,” Got Questions Ministries, accessed July 7, 2017, [https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html].
[1] “What does it mean to be unequally yoked?,” Got Questions Ministries, accessed July 7, 2017, [https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html].