Posted on Leave a comment

Know Who You Belong To

KnowWhoYouBelongTo

As I was thinking about this, I was thinking it would be mainly for single Christian girls.  But no matter what stage of life you’re in or if you’re a guy, I think we all need this reminder – and often.  Or maybe it’s just me.  

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT). 

While this passage is discussing avoiding sexual sin – scratch that, fleeing from it – in order to honor God with our bodies, there is a deeper message behind Paul’s words here.  Our bodies and our lives are not our own.  God literally purchased us at a price – the death of Jesus on the cross.  God created us to be first in relationship with Him.  And in order to restore that relationship, He allowed His Son to be sacrificed on the cross for the sins of all humanity.     

The past few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  And in the process of that, I managed to be incredibly angry with God, question what God was doing in my life, and where He was in the midst of my struggle.  But through all of that, the main thing that I realized was that I am a child of the King of Kings.  And that is all that matters in the end.   

I know that no matter what I’m going through or how bad of a day I have, my God allowed His one and only Son to die a horrific death on the cross so that I could live a joy-filled life while I’m on earth and have life eternally with Him.  So I will continue to surrender this life to God, no matter how crazy y’all think I am in the process.  And I just want to encourage you to seriously consider where you find your worth, because if you find that worth anywhere but in Jesus, whatever that is will let you down at some point.  

Posted on 2 Comments

Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young

Yeah, I do want to get married young.  And I’ll openly talk about that desire.  But if you dismiss that idea as stupid or never going to happen, I’ll probably shut down.  Why the heck do people think it’s okay to shut down other’s dreams?  Let me rephrase that …  Why would you want to diminish someone else’s desires?   

Yeah, I Wanna Get Married Young

Let’s frame this in the lens of Scripture, because, especially in this circumstance, it’s incredibly important.   

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).  

If you’re not first delighting in God’s presence this verse is not applicable.  Nor can you fake delighting in God’s presence.  I hate the phrase “fake it till you make it.”   It makes me cringe every time I hear it.  No, how about actually be honest about where you’re at and be joyful and content with where you’ve made it to.   Now, if you’re not in a good place spiritually, that’s a different conversation altogether. That was a little off topic, though.   

This verse is telling us that God does promise to give us the desires of our hearts if we delight in Him.  So when someone says that they have a desire to be married whether young, old, anywhere in between or any desire that is honoring to God, don’t shoot that down.   

I have had so many people say, “Yeah, well, life doesn’t turn out like you plan.”   And I kinda just nod my head.  Because I feel like if these people know me at all, they should know that I know that my life hasn’t turn out how I planned already.  However, I also am completely and one hundred percent aware of the fact that God has bigger and better plans for my life than I could ever imagine.  So when it comes to marriage, there is no exception.   

Look, I’m not saying that I’m going to be horrified and angry if I don’t get married young.  I’ll be content with it.  However, when that’s something I talk about, it’s because it’s a desire that I have.  It’s like a little kid saying they want a toy or a piece of candy.  Do you tell them they’re never going to get that toy or piece of candy?  Probably not.

That escalated quickly, but seriously, just use your words wisely.

Posted on Leave a comment

Christian Relationship Goals (Part 2)

ChristianRelationshipGoalsPart2_2Corinthians614

If you didn’t read Part 1 of this post from last week, go check that out and then come back here if you like to read things in order 😉

But just in case you didn’t read Part 1, last week I started writing about things we should look for in a future spouse.  And that post started getting really long, so I decided to cut it short and continue today. So hey there!

I’m just going to jump right in, the person that you’re thinking you’re going to spend the rest of you’re life with should have or be striving to have these qualities

#4: Encouraging 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

If you’re dating someone or you like someone and all they do is tear you down, you should probably say goodbye.  Now at the same time, think about if you’re tearing them down as well.  Don’t use that as an excuse to stay with them, because if you’re both extremely discouraging to one another, that’s not good and you know it.  However, you do need to be able to reflect on what you’re doing to be able to grow and learn from your mistakes.

 

#5: Fear of God 

Hebrews 10:25-26 addresses that we should all have a healthy fear of God and the fact that one day we all will stand before Him and be judged.   Someday we all must account for everything we have done, and if you have not trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be the one to take your place on judgement day, my heart aches for you.

In the same way, if you are a Christian, your heart should ache for those who do not know Jesus.  Yet at the same time, you should not marry someone in an attempt to convert them.  That can only do more harm than good.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)

ChristianRelationshipGoalsPart2_2Corinthians614

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:23 NIV).

#6: Humble 

To be a Christian and prideful is a complete oxymoron.  Pride is putting your trust in what you can do on your own and Christianity is putting your trust in Christ alone.  How opposite are those two things? As followers of Christ we should be modestly aware of our own abilities and strengths and focused more on Christ.

Humility is an attractive quality.  Arrogance is a not.  

But because pride has been encouraged so much in our culture, I think we have skewed the true definition of humility.  Humility is a choice; an action that we take.  Jesus was humble because He chose to be humble not because He was forced to be.

Take two different people working in two different positions: CEO and intern.  Does their position make determine whether they are prideful or humble? No.  The CEO could be the humble one and the intern could be the most prideful person you ever meet in your life.

We must choose to walk a life of humility, and we should look for a future spouse who does the same.  Why? First and foremost, Jesus lived humbly and we are to follow His example.  Second, we are told directly to be completely humble.

#7: Gentle 

I think this one speaks for itself, but to enter a relationship or potentially marriage with someone who is not gentle is dangerous.  This goes for in the way they speak as well as the way they act.  Not only for yourself, here, but if you plan on having children in the future.  (You have to think about the way this person speaks and acts around other people!)

#8: Patient 

Patience, people! How do they handle little things?  Or the big things? What is their response—is it to trust in the one who holds their future or is to just fold up under the pressure?

#9: Gracious 

Are they forgiving? Do they get over an argument quickly or do they hold on to stupid little things?

#10: Your Goals Align

Also a no-brainer.  If he/she wants to move to the other side of the country and your roots are planted right where you’re at, I think you may have a problem.  At the same time, that’s something that can be figured out.   You just have to figure out what is worth compromising on for you and what is not.  Things that I wouldn’t recommend compromising on–

  • Faith: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)  Without being judgmental, if there is no evidence of any of these qualities developing in their lives, you might have to ask yourself if they are really following Christ.
  • Career Goals  (Don’t be willing to settle for someone that wants you to put aside what God has called you to do for them.)
  • Family & Kids (If they prioritize their family on a significantly different level than you do, how is that going to play out long-term? Also, you need to know if you’re on the same page about wanting kids and when.

Liked this post? Go check out these ones:

Christian Relationship Goals (Part 1)

To My 15 Year Old Self

How We Should Use Social Media

Posted on 2 Comments

Christian Relationship Goals (Part 1)

ChristianRelationshipGoals_GraceUnbroken

This girl with (essentially) no relationship experience has decided that she’s going to start writing about Christian relationships as part of this blog.  Partly because, why not?  Partly because I think if the topic is avoided then Christian girls and guys are going to just pick the first person that comes along and think they were made for each other.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that can’t happen but it generally doesn’t, sorry.)

So in case you haven’t been paying attention, which I’m sure you have, our culture (and I’m not just going to blame the media, it’s everywhere) likes to portray relationships as disposable.  And I’m not even necessarily talking just about romantic relationships; the general disregard for one another that people have in friendships, family relationships and romantic relationships never ceases to amaze me.

Culture says it’s okay to just up and leave when you’re simply done with a relationship, culture says it’s okay to be prideful and boast about your relationship. (#RelationshipGoals) Culture says that it’s okay to be mean-spirited.  That’s what culture does, but here’s what Scripture says:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NIV).

 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:23 NIV).

I think one of the biggest things we need to do for each other as Christians is to encourage one another to grow.  And that doesn’t necessarily just mean spiritually.  Growth in every healthy area of our lives demonstrates growth in our faith when our faith is the most important area of our lives.

So let’s look back over those verses together, one at a time and lay out some ground work for what we should really be looking for in a Christian relationship.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

#1: Love

I think this is kind of a no-brainer, but if you don’t love the person you’re with and believe that you could have a future with them (aka you want the same things)—ditch them. Now, that might seem like I’m going back on what I just said and also seem a little harsh, but I’m talking about a dating relationship here, not marriage.  So you’re still in the place where you’re figuring out how you feel about this person and if you have a future together.  Now if it’s like week one of dating and you don’t absolutely love them I’m not saying to break up with them, but if you’re a few years into dating someone and you really don’t know yet if you could have a future with them or not you might have an issue.

#2: Willingness to Sacrifice

This one kind of speaks for itself in that as Christians we should be willing to sacrifice for others in general, so when it comes to a romantic relationship this is no different.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

#3: Church Attendance –Meeting Together

I’m going to say something that you might not like, but you need to understand it. You’re not going to find a perfect church.  That’s because in the walls of a church you’re going to find a lot of broken, hurting people that are there because they need Jesus’ love and forgiveness just as much as you do.  We have to come to a point where we have a healthy view of the church as both the body and the bride of Christ, and for the purposes of this post the metaphor of the bride is most helpful. Jesus loves His bride, just as every girl hopes that her future husband will love her.  And if you’re a girl, wouldn’t you hope that your future groom would defend you if someone said they didn’t like  you?  What about if you’re a guy, imagine someone coming to you on your wedding day and saying they hated your bride. Seriously, what would you do? Jesus’ love for His bride is deep and He would not tolerate hatred or even distaste towards her.  So go to church… 😉

Check back next week for Part 2! Until then, check out these other posts!

Waiting on God’s Timing

Come to Me.

One Nation Under God

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

What is Holiness?

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. 

Hey guys, I’ve missed you!  So I’m back to blogging, but not going to be on social media still, so you can always contact me on here or on Facebook Messenger because I am still logged into that.

Anywho, I was just reading about God’s holiness in one of my theology books and wanted to talk about how we view holiness, because I think a lot of the time we get it wrong (or maybe it’s just me!)

I think we have a tendency to think that God’s holiness is something that it’s not—almost in a way that we think God is demanding the same level of perfection of us as He is perfect.  But what holiness really is is God setting the standard for righteousness for us of how He wants us to live.  Our gracious God, however, understands that we are going to fall.

Have you ever looked at an Old Testament law and thought, but why? If you haven’t thought that, you haven’t read the law books. (Just kidding.) He always has a reason for why He wants us to live in a particular way, even when it came to laws like this:

“‘Keep my decrees. ‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.’ ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.’ ‘Do not wear clothing woven with two kinds of material'” (Leviticus 19:19 NIV).

Is something like this infringing on free will or is it something that God put in place to protect those whom He loved? When the nation of Israel followed God’s commands, they were the healthiest nation in the world.  I don’t believe in coincidence ;).


So holiness isn’t God trying to make us work and work and work to achieve a goal we’ll never reach—that’d be cruel and God is not a cruel god.  However, as our Father who desires to protect us, He also has the authority to set standards for our lives.  It is 100% up to us whether or not we choose to obey those standards, but if we disobey the standards that our heavenly Father has set for us, we are also choosing to deal with the consequences of doing so.  

However, we can choose to walk in obedience.  Jesus makes it pretty simple:

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV).

IfYouLoveMeKeepMyCommands_John1415

Can it get any simpler than that? If you truly love Jesus you will do as He instructs you to.  It’s pretty clear if we look at the example of the biblical writers that we’re going to mess up because we’re humans and we have free will.  However, we should be actively pursuing God’s will for our lives rather than doing whatever our flesh desires.

I have some big news that I’m going to be announcing pretty soon, so keep an eye out for that!

In the mean time, feel free to comment or check out another post! Here are a few of mine and your favorite posts:

Watch Out for Ticks

Jesus Time

That Email! (That’s a hint about my news, by the way.)

 

Did you notice the Bible in the picture? It’s a Zondervan NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and it’s awesome! You can get one for yourself or for someone else and personalize it at the link below from Family Christian Stores.

Personalize your gift by adding the finishing touch!>

 

 

 

Posted on 1 Comment

One Nation Under God

Salt_And_Light_In_The_Midst_Of_Crazy_Political_Season

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

First, let me say that whether or not you believe in God does not affect whether or not you are under His authority.  His existence is not dependent on whether or not you believe in Him.  In the same way, this nation’s being “under God” is not dependent on your beliefs in God, or lack thereof.

That is truly all I want to say about the fact that we are under God and His authority.  What I primarily want to address in this post is the first part of this phrase: “one nation.”  The division among citizens after the announcement that Donald Trump is the President Elect is absolutely ridiculous.  So I have a few words to say to a few different groups.

To Those On the “Winning Side”

I won’t say congratulations, because you didn’t win. Your nominee did.  I want to primarily start by thanking you for going to the polls.  You exercise the right you have as an American citizen and showed that you are grateful for it by using it.  You may not have recognized that you did, but you did.  Next, I want to say stay humble and on your knees in prayer.  Pray for the future. Pray for the policies that our President Elect and the majority Republican Congress choose to pass to be God-honoring. Do not engage in anything but positive discussions on social media and in person.  It’s not worth it.


To Those On the “Losing Side”

In the same way that I didn’t congratulate the “winning side,” I won’t apologize to you because your side lost.  But I do feel for you.  I understand that you are scared.  I don’t believe that anyone took their decision lightly going into the polls.  I know I sure didn’t.  But I want you to realize that the President isn’t the only one who makes decisions.  Yes, the Republicans did gain control of Congress.  However, not all Republicans are like Donald Trump.  I hope you can find some hope in the fact that most Republicans care deeply about your individual rights and will fight to protect them.

To Those Who Didn’t Choose Either Side,

And I don’t mean you chose not to vote.  I’m talking about voting third party. You said a lot this election. Didn’t quite get where you wanted to get.  But made the statement you wanted to.  Evan McMullins managed 21% in Utah! Anywho, Gary Johnson got 3% of the overall and even though it’s not the 5% needed for federal funding, your vote was worth it.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you wasted your vote by voting for a third party.  That’s a total lie.  Kudos to you for standing up for what you believe in.

To Those Who Didn’t Vote,

May I simply start with a question: WHY NOT? Unless you’re under the age of 18 or were for some reason incapable of getting there, I’m not one for excuses about not voting.  Yes there are legitimate ones.  But for the most part, get there or know you’re not going to that day and fill out an absentee.  You may have stayed home because you thought that you just couldn’t vote for either of the two main candidates.  I know the two primary options were not exactly ideal, but let me ask you this, you’re a flawed human being too right?  Couldn’t you decide who most aligned with your ideals, even if it was an independent and get out there and vote?

Also, let me say this.  If you didn’t vote and could have, you have no room to complain about the results of the election.

This is the division we see today, the day after the election, primarily between Republican and Democrat, or those who see themselves as winners and those who see themselves as losers.  It should not be that way.  The President cannot truly “fix” the issues you face on a daily basis long-term.  Why? Another one can come in and get rid of whatever he does.  That’s what we’re likely about to see happen.

So here’s what needs to happen:

  • Rather than complaining and gloating, we need to help one another and be unified in our communities.
  • Our communities are where real change takes place. If we come together rather than focusing on who is about to be in office, a lot of real change can occur. 
  • If we stand together so much more can get done.
  • Christians are to be salt and light so that others may see Christ in us.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16 NASB). 

 

Liked this post? Go check out other “Real World Issues” Posts:

Is it Biblical for Women to Lead?

Number 70

One Nation Under God

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Obedience of Faith

If_You_Love_Me_Keep_My_Commands_John_14:15

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

I just started classes this week specifically devoted to studying the book of Romans in context as well as a class about the book of Acts.  They both already have individual categories under Bible Study. That’s your “head’s up.”

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bing about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to be saints” (Romans 1:1-6 ESV)

As I was reading this, one phrase in particular jumped out at me: “obedience of faith” (v. 5).  Faith means trusting that God knows what is best for you better than you do.  Then, in that trust, you must submit to God’s plan for your life.  We have to be able to simply obey Him and His Word.  No, it’s not always easy, in fact most of the time obedience to God will be the harder path to take.  However, obedience to God is always the right choice. 

 

Faith_Means_Trust_In_Gods_Plan

The most simple way this is stated in the Bible is found in John:

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV)

These are the words of our Savior Himself.  Please don’t skim over them.  A relationship with Jesus starts with falling in love with Him, but Jesus came to give us new life here and now.  That new life is abundant because it doesn’t involve worldly things.  Look at the example of the early church and see how drastic the life change was.  We are not to continue living however we please and expect that whenever we die we will be in heaven with Him.

If_You_Love_Me_Keep_My_Commands_John_14:15

What obedience looks like for each one of us may honestly look different.  Some actions, mentioned in various places throughout the Bible, are clearly disobedience.  Others may not be so clear.  Let me give you an example: I’ve written before about feeling God calling me to be a pastor.  I initially felt that call during my sophomore year of high school and honestly I completely ignored what God was calling me to do and focused on my plans and my goals for my life.  It took me three years to finally accept God’s calling for my life and be okay with it.  It still makes me really nervous just thinking about it.  But the entire time that I was chasing my own dreams instead of following His will for my life, I was disobeying Him.  I was still saying no to His plans and yes to mine.  But at that time I had zero contentment in my spirit about what I was going to do and would constantly say “I wish I knew what I was going to do with my life” even though I thought I had it all figured out.  The second I made the decision to accept that God’s plans for my life are so much better than mine and to trust Him with my career path, that contentment that I lacked was there.

So for me, obedience in that area of my life didn’t require a change of schools or even a change of major but instead a change of heart and a willingness to go wherever God takes me.

I don’t know what obedience needs to look like in your life right now, but you probably do.  If you truly don’t, just pray about it and ask God to show you what area of your life you need to trust Him with.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Watch Out for Ticks

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.    

I was supposed to do a mud run yesterday but because my truck broke down and I have been sick for a week and a half I decided it would be best to better prepare myself for a future mud run.  However, as the name implies, you get pretty muddy during a mud run.  So I had gotten myself pretty excited about getting really muddy and was rather disappointed that I was missing out on that.

As somewhat of a consolation, I talked my mom into walking a muddy horse trail at a local park with my dog yesterday instead. Great idea, not! 😉 My shoes are covered in mud, I had mud halfway up my calves and so did Toby. Even worse: when we were almost out of the wooded area of the trail I looked down and had a tick crawling on my finger.  Yuck!  The worst part: Toby had not one, but two on him.

Ticks are parasitic; they bite and then live off their “host.”  The host can then develop Lyme Disease if the tick was infected with it. Lyme can affect any organ in the body and have a detrimental affect on the tick’s host.

What does this have to do with our relationship with God?

DesiresoftheFlesh_InstagramPicture

Just as ticks may “seem” harmless; we know they’re not because they can carry a disease that could seriously harm our bodies.  Some of these sins are more obviously harmful than others, but some may not seem so blatantly harmful; but they are detrimental.  They, just like a tick, will “bite” and continue to swell as long as you allow them to have that power.  Things like envy, anger, jealousy, strife, and idolatry may not seem like sin at first because they do not immediately take over your life.  However, once you allow these sins into your life, the devil will continually take more and more of your attention from God by using these things.  Sin is parasitic! 

If you watch out for spiritual “ticks” constantly, you will be able to, through the Holy Spirit, get rid of that sin before it overtakes your life.  Don’t even let the “tick” bite.

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6 NIV).

Live Out Truth, Not Lies

The devil wants you to live a sinful life because he is a liar, he wants you to go against God’s will for your life and give in to sin.  Don’t; trust that God knows best and is Truth.

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15 NIV).

Right after Paul explained what not to do, he tells the church in Galatia what kind of behaviors the Holy Spirit produces; not by our power, but His. When we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, it’s not only about Him saving us, it’s also about Him changing us. Jesus came not only to save us but to change us.  He left so that the Holy Spirit could come and change us. A Spirit-filled life is the only way to live a full and abundant life; the life Jesus came to give.

jesuscametochangeusnotjustsaveus

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

The fruit of the spirit indicates a Spirit-filled individual.  Not one of us can constantly maintain those qualities without the help of the Holy Spirit. We will all still fail, but as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, the fruit of the Spirit should be evident.

Liked this post? Go check of my other favorites:

Silent Saturday

Jesus Time

Don’t Follow Your Heart

Posted on Leave a comment

What Is Separation of Church and State?

SeparationChurchStateQuote_Owens

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

I had to write a discussion board post for school regarding legal issues in a public school setting and I really just had to share because I believe that we need to be reminded what the real intentions of Separation of Church and State were.  Here’s my post:

“A coach participates as a club advisor in Fellowship of Christian Athletes-led activities held on school properties.”

In a case in which a church organization is ministering in a public setting, the original intent of the phrase “separation of church and state” needs to be examined. According to Owens in “Separation of Church and State,” “The doctrine of the separation of church and state was conceived primarily to keep the state out of the church, not the church out of the state” (Owens, 2001). By this, Owens describes the original intent of the concept of separation of church and state, which was to protect the church from persecution and from being limited by the government to practice the religion of the state or hide the practicing of religion. This came from a people who had just been persecuted for their Christian faith in England. It was fresh in their minds and therefore, they would not allow the same thing to occur in the new country that they were working to develop: the United States. Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the Banbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, wrote “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State” (El-Mallakh, 2007). Jefferson was addressing a church body on the fact that their right to exercise their religious beliefs would remain intact.” Biblically, people of faith were in political positions often, so the idea that the church should not have influence over the state is new and definitely not a Biblical idea. Throughout the Bible, prophets, judges, and kings all exerted strong influence over their nation even when the nation had strayed from following the Lord. When the judges of the nation of Israel were chosen, they were reminded, “‘Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the LORD. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes” (2 Chronicles 19:6-7 NLT). Although the Biblical example is strong for church political influence, Owens continues: “Yet that has been, and will continue to be, the primary effect of this policy–the “church” will remove itself more and more from developing a strong, prophetic public witness in relation to the ‘state’ The shortage of religious leaders who will take the risk of speaking truth to power is critical enough, but it is truly tragic when the development of such a voice is rendered impossible by cozy financial relationships with the powers themselves” (Owens, 2001).
Although in the case of a coach participating as an advisor in Fellowship of Christian Athletes activities on school campus, they should be permitted to do so through the original intent of the wording of “separation of Church and State,” they would most likely not be allowed or they would be afraid of getting in some sort of trouble for doing so.

References
El-Mallakh, O. (2007). Separation of Church and State: the myth. Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table. Retrieved from http://p2048-ezproxy.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=vic_liberty&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA192639837&sid=summon&asid=b4be56524cfaab4a87503bb2a940c8c5
Owens, R. F. (2001). Separation of Church and State. (Issues). Social Policy, 32(1), 45+. Retrieved from http://p2048-ezproxy.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/ps/i.do?p=GRGM&sw=w&u=vic_liberty&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA81005828&sid=summon&asid=d0dff31fe69a509886c8faeecc8efded

But is that the way it feels? That this concept was meant to help the church not to hurt it?Absolutely not! The church needs to be aware that Separation of Church and State not meant to harm us. It’s supposed to protect us from government interference in the church; the exact opposite of what it’s currently doing. This does not mean that Christians should not serve in public offices: they should! There are plenty of biblical examples of this, and our nation and world needs Godly  people in office.

Posted on 2 Comments

Waiting on God’s Timing

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

First thing’s first: listen.

Don’t rush whatever it is that you want.  If you are clearly being lead to by the Holy Spirit to “wait” there’s a reason for it!

If it’s not so clear whether the answer is “wait” or “no.” That doesn’t mean keep trying.  You can put it aside for now to see if God leads you back to it. If not it wasn’t meant to be in the first place.

In the mean time, grow closer in your relationship with God, listen for His leading and grow in your relationships with others.

If it’s others you’re waiting on, be patient and graceful with them.  Reflect God’s grace and love with them through it. Help them, distance yourself when you need to and allow them to do the same, but always be there to encourage them in their faith as well, even if you can’t do it face to face.

It is not following God’s plan for your life to disobey Him and rush anything before He had it planned for you.  Don’t, it will be better for your life and significantly better for your relationship with Christ to obey Him.

Second, be willing to allow God to work in this season of your life!

He’s going to work whether you “let” Him or not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fully submit to His authority over your life so that He can better use you. You can grow significantly in a season of waiting.  They can be some of the sweetest seasons when you look back on them, even though they don’t feel like it at the time.

Even at 18 I’ve had enough seasons of waiting to prepare me for a lifetime. They’re not fun, and they may seem like you’re at a standstill.  They’re often a season of immense growth, though. But God’s always at work, even if you don’t see it.  We may not be able to see His work today, tomorrow, or during our lifetime, but His plan will prevail.

“The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has spoken — who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?” Isaiah 14:27 NLT

We serve an all-powerful God, so when He is leading you to wait on something, there’s good reason.  Trust in that.  There’s better for the moment or possibly even for the future..