Giving: Is it too hard? 

  
Do you feel a weight is lifted off of you because Christmas is over? The hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, and giving is over! Everyone got a gift and you are throwing in the towel of giving time, money, and effort all in and taking a relaxing break! As pleasant as that sounds, do you think that’s really what God wants for us? I don’t think God wants us to give once a year or even use our tithes as “giving to others”. What makes us think we can just quit? 

Most of the time we stop relying on God so we think that everything is “fine and dandy” in our lives. When in reality we look and act like a “pig in a pigs pen” to God. You see if we don’t fix our eyes on God we loose focus of our path and our purpose. God gave us life. God gave us salvation. God gives us blessings. God gives us another day to live. God gives you food to eat. God gave you that job you drive to everyday. God gave you the family you are arguing with and hate at times. God gave you a home to live in. God gives you air to breath. God gives you each beat that your heart beats to keep you alive. And in one insist – He can take it all away….. Everything gone… Your life, your world, your blessings – He could stop it all… Everything, even down to the last beat of your heart. If He gives us so much on a daily basis, why can’t we give when He tells us to? 

One word: Fear. We fear that if we give money to people we don’t know we will go broke. We fear if we give a little bit of our time we will “miss” something important. (When in all reality- we miss so much more when we don’t give.) We fear that if we give we will enjoy it. Maybe even if we give God will force us to travel the world and become a missionary. We fear these things and more, but what does God say about? 

In Proverbs 3:28 he says, “Do not say to your neighbor, “Go and come back, & tomorrow I will give it.”, When you have it with you.” 

“Ok, so what does this have to do with anything”, you may ask. Well what it’s saying there is. Don’t be selfish. Don’t tell your friend or neighbor that you can’t give it to them because you don’t have it (when you reall do), but come tomorrow and I’ll give it to you, (or what’s left of it). Still not making any sense? Ok let’s break it down even simpler. In school you lied about one thing all the time to you friends. Can you guess why? Ok let me play it out for you: 

“Hey! Do you have any gum?” (knowing that you have gum you look up at your friend. Knowing that if you have one price of gum, the whole pack would be gone in 5.5 seconds, because it would be devoured by your other friends who would then want gum to. So you answer back.) “No I don’t have any I’m sorry. I left it at home. Maybe tomorrow I’ll bring it.” (You smile and your friend walks off . You have gum in your pocket for you alone.) 

Now you maybe laughing at your phone or remembering a time in school you did this, But that is what the verse is saying. Don’t do that. Don’t lie to your friends or someone in need saying you don’t have it. And don’t say go away and come back tomorrow when I can give it to you- when you have it in your pocket to give. 

How many times have you turned people away like that? Maybe more times than you can count? I’m guilty of it. I’ve do this as well, but why is it important for us to give it then and not wait until tomorrow? For Two reasons: 1. If we give it then, we don’t have time to doubt God. We go on faith that He is going to restore our needs. And we will receive a blessing as well. 2. If we wait we have time to “talk ourselves out of giving”. We do this all the time, wether it’s shopping or giving we as humans “talk ourselves out of things”. If we wait we would have tried to half it, hide it, give ourselves a bigger part of it, we may even act as if we forgot about it, or lie and say we lost it.

In Acts 20:35 it says, “I have shown you in every way by laboring like this that you must support the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he said,”It is more blessed to give than to receive.”.” 

 We must support the weak? What are you saying? We do that enough with our taxes and hand outs we have… No that is not what this is talking about. The weak in this passage means, the elderly, the orphans, children that have nothing, the people who work and work but still are struggling because they are paying their bills and trying to help themselves in life, the people would are hurt physically, our veterans that need help after the war. The weak is not meaning those who act poor but have more than me, or those would blow their money on drugs and alcohol but can’t pay their bills. We are not to shun these people, but God tells us we need to share with them about His love. 

When we think giving – we think money, time, food… But it can mean: love, a simple card, a smile, listening in a grocery line, a hand shake, a “hi how are you doing?”, it could mean visiting someone… And although this does take up a little bit of your time, you gain a whole lot from it. We must slow down to do these things though. 

Just because Christmas is over and 2016 will be here tomorrow doesn’t mean that we can’t give all year long. What will you give this year? Will you start packing boxes for child overseas who don’t get a Christmas? Maybe you’ll visit the nursing homes more. Whatever you do, take God with you. Because- “Greater is He that is inside of you, than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4”  . Think of that next time your struggling to give. Your God is stronger than anything evil, negative, doubts, or fears. 

Have a safe New Years Eve! See you next year! 

-Marli 

Getting dressed for the New Year! 

  

I bet your looking through your closest trying to find what to wear for New Years.  A fancy dress for a fancy outing? Maybe your the jogging pants and over size t-shirt type? Are you the pajama person, because your going to sleep through New Years? No mater the person, your thinking of what you will wear. Have you giving any thought of what you may wear in your spiritual walk into the New Years? 
Many of us know that we should wear the full body of amour of Christ found in Ephesians 6:10-18 : 

 (“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”)  

Did you know there are other verses that talks about what we should wear? I’m not talking physically ( that’s a different story) but God wants us dressed in our finest for him as well. In Proverbs3:1-10 and Proverbs 3: 22-26. I call theses the “accessories” of our clothing. When you get dressed (mainly for women) we tend to add special things like: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. but it’s the same way if you think about it in our walk with Christ. 

We get dressed in our amour, because we must always be ready to fight, but just like a solider in war- we wear things to identify us in battle- Our necklaces. Before you go and think I’ve lost my mind listen. In proverbs 3:3 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you;  bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Bind them around your neck- so in other words fasten your necklaces. It says it again in Proverbs 3:22 “22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” Or like a name tag on your necklaces. 

In Colossians 3:12 it tells us to “Clothe yourselves with compassion, humility kindness, gentleness, patiences.” Why would we need to do this? Well each word is something we should show in our walk with Christ. If you think about it God shows us each one of these words. Why wouldn’t we also need to show these? Think of each of these as an item would would wear. Maybe compassion would be rings because you can show compassion  with your hands. Patiences may be your earrings, because listing to someone else takes patiences at times. Maybe humility is perfume. You may spray it upon yourself, but is it there? Yes it smells delightful as you pass others. Just as we should show humility  to others. Maybe kindness is your lip gloss. Why? Because with a simple smile you can show someone you care and it can show kindness towards them . It doesn’t have to be shiny it can be clear, but it will show kindness wherever you go. And gentleness, it’s not often thought about, but it could be like our lotion. We apply lotion to keep our hands soft and gentle to the touch, but spiritual lotion would keep our heart and minds gentle and free of negative thoughts. It seems like a lot to do to get dressed, but we do it in really life why couldn’t we apply it to our spiritual walk as well? 

As we all walk into this new year of 2016, we will be faced with many things that will be tough to face, but if we are dressed in the right spiritual clothing and we can face anything Satan throws at us. Maybe you need to dig your amour out of the closet, or repair some of it in prayer. What ever you need to do, make sure you are dressed and be prepared this year. Because what you wear matters, you wouldn’t fight a war in heels, would you? 
Happy New Years! 

-Marli 

New Year Resolutions? 

  

 I bet your making a list of your “New years resolutions” right now, or your thinking of what they should be. “Work out more, save more money, keep the house cleaner, finish school…”- And you list just goes on and on. How many days do we keep these resolutions? Maybe 3days or a week? I don’t think I’ve  ever made it a whole month! Look at your list. Do you see anything that’s missing? Amongst all the “selfishness” on the list where’s God at. Did he make it into the “Top Ten?” I bet he’s not ever in the “Top Five”. 

There’s nothing wrong with making a list if your going to use it. It’s like making a grocery list, but leaving it at home. What’s the point of it? Ever year we make these resolutions to improve our lives, but we leave out the most important person who knows everything about our lives. Why is that? 

In Romans it talks about “How we all fall short of the glory of God.” It doesn’t matter if we wanted to be holy and write it on a list, it still wouldn’t help us because the Bible says, “Our best works are like filthy rags.” So why ever try, you might ask. The answer is “If you are saved and become a Christian you are sinless in Gods eyes. A perfect person. Will you fail-yes. Will you sin-yes. But God is there for you.” The best news is – ANYONE can become a Christian. At anytime and anyplace. 

Maybe you are a Christian and you saying ok this has nothing to do with me. Your wrong. Maybe you need to focus on God more and less on yourself. We all do it. We all think we can handle this- or this problem isn’t that large.  But in reality we can’t handle it, and we get overwhelmed. We should make God number one this year. Put others first and our selfs last. You may think I’m crazy but if you do this you’ll receive JOY. 

“What about everything else on my list?” Well if you place God first everything on your list will begin to fall into place. No you can’t pray to lost five pounds and sit on the couch all year and loss it, but you can ask for strength in your daily life. Maybe ask for God to leave you where he needs you to go. This will make your year better. 

You see in the first month of the new year we will fail ourselves, but if we give everything over to God he will help us reach out goals. Look at your list and rethink it. If you don’t attend church, add that to your list. Church is an amazing way to met up with others in the same boat that you are in. Together you can get through it. Read your bible, through reading you can get a better understanding of what God wants for you. Remember to pray daily for strength and thank God for everything good and bad. It will take effort and time, but in the long run- it’s worth it. 

What’s your New Years resolutions look like? Are you rewriting them now? 

Happy New Years! Be safe and God Bless! 

-Marli 

Beauty in the Pain 

   
   
 

Have you ever lost a loved one or a best friend. Maybe it ended in death, or just over time faded away. Maybe it was something as big and precious as a child. Maybe your lost is harder to explain or understand…. You feel alone. You feel abandoned, confused, hurt… Why would such a loving God do this to you, or I? In order to understand we must seek the one who made that decision for us. We must go straight to the source and ask why. We won’t find it through our parents, friends , or coworkers .
In Proverbs 2:1-5 it talks about how we must seek God for understanding… “Seek for her like silver. And search for her like hidden treasure.” Maybe your thinking this doesn’t make sense, but think about. Where is silver found at? Under ground in small pockets that you must dig and dig for miles under the ground. Where is hidden treasure usually found? Where the “x” is-Under ground or in the deep sea. Sometimes you won’t find silver or treasure for years and years. And so people will never find it, but we have a promise in the next verse- “You will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”  
It starts off with “You WILL.” That’s a guarantee. No worries, it’s coming in your mail to you tomorrow guarantee. How many guarantees are you giving in life that stays true? Not very many… When you seek God he gives you knowledge of him. But what does this have to do with my loss? Everything! You see it’s times like losses or sickness that we cling to God more than we ever had. Sometimes he knows in order to teach you what you must know – you have to travel through the storm… Imagine Mary; mother of Jesus; riding on a donkey… Many of us see this story and think awe, she must have had it so easy. Really did she? At the very beginning he soon to be husband didn’t want her, people talked and gossiped about her, Jospeh could have killed and got away with it, she then had to travel by donkey being probably almost full term, and to top it off she had to travel on a donkey’s back when she was ready to have her baby, to give birth in a dark cave like barn. Sound pleasing to you? Didn’t think so. Her life took a turn, she was probably planning her wedding when the angel came to her or She was probably cleaning her room, then she was all of a sudden with child. How are you going to explain that and not be looked at funny? That’s why she seemed God first! He protected her from all the evil she had to face. It wasn’t easy. 
She gave birth to Jesus, having the knowledge God promised her, understanding he would die. I don’t think she fully understand yet, but as she raised him- she knew. “What does all of this have to do with me though”, you maybe asking. Everything, because if God can take a young woman like Mary and do the things he did for her, don’t you think he has time for you? He does. He wants to know your pain, for you to tell him it. Tell God you worries, how you really feel, about the pain. He wants you to cry out to him. To cry to him, he wants to hold you and give you peace . He choose you to bear the pain you are right now – to show the beauty of his work to the world. It says, “For He is the potter and I am only the clay.” That means he’s molding you and shaping you to be everything he knows you can be. 
Run to Jesus. Cry to Jesus. Go to Jesus. He never fails you. He never leaves you. He never talks bad about you or you Situations. He created you and your future. So in this pain I Challenge you to find the beauty in it. The beauty that God has hidden in it just for you to see. Will it make the pain go away faster? No, but it will make it bearable. “For God never gives you more than you can handle.” And you may think it’s bad timeing, but Gods time is different. It’s unconventional, it’s late, it’s not understandable, but it’s always on time. I mean he did raise a man from the dead after four days-why can’t he give you peace? 
If your searching for more check out Job or Sarah in the Bible. Job had it all and lost it all. Sarah prayed for a child forever, and at 90 received one. Remember God loves you! 
-Marli 

Do I have to be strong? 

  

In today’s world do you ever feel like your going to drop everything you’ve been trying to hold together and fail someone? Maybe you feel like the world is on your shoulders, or even that you can not juggle one more basketball schedule: baseball schedule: FFA: dance: or any kind of schedule anytime soon because there is no room for it in your own schedule…. Do you feel like you have to be the strong one in your home? Keeping the house clean, supper cooked, clothes washed, floors swept, groceries bought, and so on. You can’t even sleep at night without planning what you have to do the next day…. Are you loosing your grip  or feel like it? Who could possibly help you? Have you tried handing your life over to God? 
In Psalms 73:25-26 says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And the Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” 

My heart and flesh may fail…. Man sounds like we’re dying… But what it’s saying is even when we think we “Have it together” and we “Drop everything” God is there to take every schedule your juggling, every bill your paying, every stress your carrying, and He will help you and guide you through it all. It’s like when you were in High School and you dropped all your books in the hallway. One person out of hundreds stops to help you pick them up. It’s the same with God. We’re walking down the “Hallway of Life” trying to make it to our “Next class” on time. 

Time. We never seem to have enough of it and what we have we are scheduling and rescheduling and stressing over it. We get wore down abd become weak- but yet we still think we are strong…. Psalms 147:3-4 says, “Do not put your trust in Princes nor in man in whom there is no help. His spirt departs and he returns to the Earth in that very day-all his plans perish.” How many times have we done this? We trust or husbands to “take out the trash” but it never gets done… Delagating certain jobs over to certain people is a risky thing. You have to trust them and when they fall short, everyone hurts. Unless you pair with God. He never fails, He always holds up his end, and He gives us peace and confidence throughout the process. 

So do we have to be strong? No. We do not have to be the strong one. We serve a strong God, but we must be strong enough to hand it over to him. Everything over to him. “For  we are weak He is strong.”, isn’t that what we teach and learn as a child in “Jesus Loves Me”? Maybe it’s time we stop thinking we have it-and say we don’t and hand it over to God… 

My prayers to you and your durning this season! Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year! 

-Marli 

Hope? Where is it? 

  

Have you noticed how much evil is in the world? We seem to see it more and more. Shootings, stabbings, Christians killed for their faith. We sit in fear and watch. What can we do? 

For one we should not be anxious. God knows the plans for us. He created this world and its plan a very long time ago. We are scared of everything falling apart, but we personally know the architect that built everything…Even you. If you want to feel Secure you can read the end of the bible and know who wins. 

Secondly we can pray. Pray? What good is it to pray for something we don’t even know how to fight? There are many ways to. You see back in the ole days, Christians were facing the same problems, the same persecution, the same evil in the world as we are today. Many were taken captive and killed just as Christians over seas are today. Christianity has always been punished by death or inprisionmeant since the beginning of time. What makes us any different than the mortars before us? Even Paul , a man who use to kill Christians and treat them in the worst way possible, became a Christian who then was thrown in jails , beaten, and killed. There is no place in the bible guaranteeing Christians that they would not be put to death. It does however guarantee life. 

In Psalms 140-143, the writers are crying out to God. Why? They are trapped in an evil time. They are being killed, they are being captured, and many of them who have died are being scattered in the field to then be plowed to break up the soil for nutrients. If you read this you will see them all start off with “Deliver me.”, “Hear my cry.”, or “I cry out to you.”. You can tell they are desperate in their plea. They start off angry and upset. They tell God of how mean these people are to them. Then the go on to ask God to cover the evil ones lips. As I read this I stopped to ask- “Why are they telling you (God) what to do?”. They wasn’t. They were trusting God fully, that they literally was telling every emotion that the felt in their heart. We are told to do so, but we don’t. We always seem to hold back. They go on and on in each chapter begging God to deliver them, but what they receive at the end of every chapter is peace. Such a peace you can feel it. Knowing that God is their refugee and strength. 

I found in Psalms 142: 4- “There is no one to acknowledge me; refuge has failed me; no one cares about my soul.”  How many times a day do you feel like this verse? Probably more times then we should, but this was written by someone who was in captivity. Today we are faced with issues that as Christians make us feel as if we are in captivity. We are being sued for not agreeing to Gay marriage. We are called small minded for believing there is only one way to heaven. We are called out for prayers for and sporting events. We are made fun of when we ask if someone believes in Jesus.  Yet every company says they want Christian employees, because they work the best and get along with others, but you can’t talk about Jesus at all.  Have you noticed that the world is trying to show Christians as  “radicals” or “racist”. Sometimes we even get the word “brainwashed” thrown in the mixed. All this makes us feel captive. We are overwhelmed by this everyday. We should be crying out as the captives did. 

We may not have much time … Sad to say but it’s true. Yesterday a popular app dedicated a whole day to Muslims. They were trying to get their side of the story and show them as non-radical people. I’ve seen this app do the same for gay rights giving them a full week. They have done many newsfeed on Muslims and so forth. And it always ends the same way… Bashing Christians for their belief. I wonder why we are criticized so much when most of us are Quiet standoffish? Why does our religion or beliefs scare or offend so many ? Basically because God said his word would not return void. That the word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. With that being said, it opens the eyes of unbelievers and shows them what they should and shouldn’t do. And in this day in age, no one wants to be told what they can’t and can do. 

So when you feel overwhelmed by the media , friends, or the world. Remember to literally cry out to God. He is the only one who can give us hope in the world of evil. It’s not over, it’s just beginning. How will you stay strong in him? Pray, read your Bible, and know this: Psalms 139:17- “How precious also are your thoughts to me, Oh God! How great is the sun of them.” Your are always on his mind, you are loved, and precious to him-  even when this world is filled with negativity and evil. 
-Marli 

Rather not Speak?! 

  

Have you ever felt like you needed to run away and hide? Maybe you had been so embarrassed that you wanted to live under a rock. Have you ever wanted to run away from God and forget what he asked you to do? If you’ve answered yes, your not alone. We all have been embarrassed or wanted to hide so we wouldn’t have to do what God has asked. Jonah did. He ran and got swallowed by a whale, but he ran. Moses questioned God on his ways.
 You see not everyone is prefect, but what happens when we slowly fade away from God? Well in Psalms 137, some feared they would slowly forget God. They had been caught and taken away from everything that they knew. Some mocked then saying, “Sing us a song.”.  

The verse in Psalms 137:4-6 asks God, “How can we sing the Lords song in a foreign land?”.  Many may think, “That’s easy do it quietly”, or , “Just sing.”. At those times they maybe beaten or killed for their faith. This is why they were asking God for help… It goes on in verse 5&6 with, ” If I forget you let my right hand forget it’s skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth.” Why would anyone say that? They literally were so scared to loose God that they would rather not be able to speak. They literally would rather loose their ability to work in their trade than to lose God… 

Have you ever felt that way? I don’t think I’ve ever prayed to not talk or to loose all ability in my hands, but they longed for God so much that this wasn’t even a big deal. They did not want to loose their best friend. 

Wow… Just take a minute to take this in. God was so big and powerful, but so kind and mercyful that he is their friend… Is he ours? 

We go to God to “fix us”, or to “give us blessing “, but is he more than that to you?  God isn’t our magic genie that grants all of our wishes. He isn’t a magical doctor who cures all illnesses . God is God. He wants us to be his children. In reality he’s our father. Yes our father and we are his children. 

I know I’m a daddy’s girl and I like to be around my Dad and listen to him talk. I still look up to my Dad in many ways. I call him when I have a flat or I call him to ask how to do something that I know he has the understanding on how to do. I believe in him, I trust him. But our Heavenly Father ,God, knows even more than my Dad. 

Why don’t we long for him more? Because we think we can handle things on our own. We literally live in an age of “Google it.”. You can find anything at anytime on any app. It’s the “Do it yourself era”. It’s the “Selfie” era. It’s the “we must have it done now ” era… How many times have you asked God to give you something, but he didn’t deliver your blessing  3 days or less and you prayed for the faster delivery “postage”.  God doesn’t work like that. He knows your needs from your wants. I can pray all day for a new car, doesn’t mean I’ll get one. 

What’s wrong with waiting the extra 4 days for a blessing? What if you had to wait 4 years? What about 40 years? Would you still ask God for it? 

We see God as a “wishing well”. So we throw up our prayers so fast that we don’t really remember what we asked for, but we prayed so we are good…. Maybe we even threw in an extra dollar in the offering plate Sunday so we would get what we wanted faster…. This really bothers me… 

This bothers me because I’ve been the one who slowly slipped away and forgot about God, used him as a wishing well, and thought I could handle it all…but you see, I couldn’t and I can’t. And when God should have closed my mouth from speaking, he still kept blessing me… Why? Because as he states 25 times in Psalms 136 : “For his mercy endures forever.” And that right there is why he lets us run away. That’s why he lets us forget. That’s why he lets us throw up a prayer as if he’s an ATM machine.  Because He is mercyful towards us. 

I didn’t say he would let you do that forever. There comes a time where your blessings will fade and the world will fall on you, but who will be waiting to answer your call? God. Because he knew you would need him… 

Don’t treat God like your own magical magician. Get to know him. He wants to be your best friend. Then you to can understand why these people would have rather given up their skills and voices than to be away from him. 

Thanks for reading this and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. May God bless you and your family this season. 

-Marli 

Faith. Do we have it? 

  

Have you ever prayed for faith? God tells us that if we have enough faith to equal a mustard seed that we could move a mountain. Not a muscle not a car, but a mountain. Mount Rushmore- you could move it. Pikes Peak- you could move it… But why don’t we have that kind of faith? 
This morning I asked that question. I said I want to have faith of that amount. I want to move a mountain… So I asked why cant I have that much faith? I’ve seen a mustard seed, why can’t I have that amount of faith…. I got one answer …. Doubt… As I sat there jaw dropped to the floor, one word brought my whole agurument down- doubt. 

We give God certain parts of ourselves to “handle” and “lead”, but then we hide away the ones we want to “fix” or “worry about”. God said, “That is why you don’t have that kind of faith.”. 

What doubt are carrying? God told us to cast everything- doubt , fear, worry, stress, and so on, onto him. For his yoke is easy and his burden is light…. Why don’t we? “For he knows the plans he has made for us sayth the Lord.” Why do we trust those plans? One word: Doubt… 

Maybe your like me today and you just realized in order to have that small mustard seed of faith, you have to cast EVERY DOUBT out and TRUST EVERYTHING  you have in him… It’s not easy, but the peace you receive is worth every stress you ever carried. Have you unloaded your burden? Will you cast away doubt? If you truly want the faith you prayed for, you must first cast out your doubts… 
-Marli 

Have our Cake & Eat it to! 

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How many of us like cake? Just about everyone of us! Why do we like cake? Is it because it’s moist and sweet. Maybe it’s because of the icing all whipped and fluffy. Maybe your a buttercream kinda of person. However you eat your cake, your enjoy it. How often do you eat cake? Is it for parties? Maybe once in a blue moon when you feel like baking? Don’t forget the weddings! Cake is most of the time just for special occasions. Sometimes we treat our Christian walk like cake…. How?! Glad you asked…

Have you even sat alone in your home and a thought pops up in your head, “Maybe I should read my Bible.”. Then five seconds later your watching Reba… If your sick, wanting something, a family member is dying, or you have a final coming up- you all of sudden have time to pray and read your bible. Now I’m not trying to step on your toes, I’m preaching to myself as well.

You see I drive three days a week, two hours, (up hills both ways-in the pour rain sleet and snow), to OSUIT so I can finish college. My day starts at 4:25a.m. by getting my wonderful husband out the door with his lunch by 4:45 a.m.. I then proceed to get dressed and leave by 5:20 a.m. to start my two hour drive. Sounds wonderful huh? Surprisingly it has been. Call me nuts but this drive has made me rely on God.

This morning as I was driving I got to witness two bucks locking horns fighting in the side of the road. (Which by the way isn’t normal.) As I was driving fog arose over the hills and the tree tops. When the sun hit the clouds just right it seemed as heaven would bust open and angels would appear. The frost made everything sparkle as if God dusted glitter everywhere. Then I heard him speak to me in a still small voice, “I made this for you to enjoy.”.

You see this drive has made me slow down. It has forced me to look at God’s creation. I’ve seen sunrises so beautiful, I literally wanted to pull over and take it in. Clouds turn pink, light flashing so beautifully that you just say, “Wow.”. You can not tell me that this all happened from a bang. Everything is so precisely formed. It’s jaw dropping, but do we have time to stop and look at it?

It wasn’t until this drive that God made me realize something, that I need him… There had been many mornings where I have been tired and I had to say, “Lord I need you to drive for me.”. He did. There had been times I said, “Lord I’m running late. Please don’t let me be late.”. I got there five minutes before class. And it’s because of this drive that I started this blog.

God has forced me to look at him. And I needed this, but how many times has he tried to force me and I’ve turned away? I’m literally ashamed to tell you that I know I have turned away and told him, “I got this.”. When in reality I didn’t.

Sunday at church we read a verse from Acts 20: 35. Many of you know it as, “the giving verse.”. Which it does tells us it is better to give than to receive. As I was driving today that verse hit me… If the Christians of today are suppose to give, why do we feel entitled take from people? Christians taking? How rude? Well yes, but have you noticed the news? There was a proclamed Christian man who decided to shoot and kill a few people at a planned parenthood because he disagreed with abortion…. The bible never, NEVER, tells us to kill anyone because we disagree… God tells us the opposite. “Love thy neighbor.” -Which is the golden rule. “There is no greater love than to lay down his life for a friend.” – Not kill them because I don’t like what your doing.

Now I don’t agree with abortion, I am pro-life, but that doesn’t mean I am going to kill you! No! There are other ways to show kindness even in situations where you disagree. The bible even tells us in Luke 6: 37-42, about judging. To sum it up God tells them: “Why do you look at the speck in your friends eye and ignore the log in your own eye?”

That really hit me hard today as I was driving. We all have judged someone for something that we have know idea on why or what their life consists of. I know there has been times in Walmart where I looked over to see someone who looks like they should have know better, but I shouldn’t have judged them even silently. Who am I to say that I am better? I may be in their same shoes tomorrow and someone would be judging me…

It’s really hit me hard lately about using God. We go to him like we go to cake… Only when we need him. You know I asked God , “Why don’t you answer more of my prayers?” He replied, “Why don’t you prove that you really want that?” . And it’s true… How many times have we asked God for something, but we don’t try to talk to him more or read or bible to understand why . Maybe even ask him if we really need those shoes we are asking him for. Prove it…

Parents ask us to prove it. Why can’t God say that? Have you ever wanted a dog as a kid? You beg your dad and mom for it. You tell them you’ll feed it and love it and name it George. Then you finally prove yourself and two weeks into it your mom and dad are doing everything you told them you would do? God does that too… Have you prayed, “Lord I promise if you help me I’ll read and study more and ask that man down the road to church and I’ll be more faithful…” So he answered your prayer and the man down the street still hasn’t been asked to church …

This is weighing heavily on me because it’s almost Christmas. The season of giving, but we will be videoing Christmas on our phones Instagraming it, faceboke-Ing it , and tweeting it so much that will will forget to live it. We will forget Jesus’s Birthday because Facebook didn’t remind us … We will let people slip away through our fingers who need a simple dollar Christmas card because they need to know someone sees them and cares! I refuse to let those that God has laid in my heart to give a simple card to go unnoticed. There people I don’t really know, some I just meet at Taco Bell, but they need to know.

Why am I saying this today? Why does it feel like I’m preaching today? It’s because God is telling me that others out there feel like this and need to know. You see God uses songs to get through to me , and he used this new one by “Downhere” called “How many kings?”. I’ll post the lyrics on here and encourage you to look it up and listen to it, but it’s a Christmas song. It asks how many kings would have left their kingdoms for you or me just because they “loved” us? The answer is 1… Literally because of John 3:16… He literally loves us… Don’t forget to share that love this season… Be the giver to the ones unseen.

~ Marli
Artist: DownHere Song: How many kings