Archive | February, 2012

Bite-sized Blog: How to respect your husband

29 Feb

I realize that many of the girls who will read this aren’t married. Also, I am not married, so why would I post a blog about respecting your husband? I am posting it because I think it’s good to think about BEFORE you get married. Obviously marriages are hard work and many couples don’t make it. I think that it’s a good idea to put some things into practice before we have husbands, rather than trying to fix bad habits after marriage. A lot of our bad habits are evident in the way we treat our friends, family, or boyfriends. It is better to identify those things now, rather than trying to fix them later. If you are married, I hope this is beneficial and encouraging to you. But if you aren’t, I hope that this opens your mind to the qualities of an honorable wife and I hope that it gives you a picture to strive for.

Today’s bite-sized blog comes from “What Does It Mean to Respect Your Husband?” by Grace Driscoll.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. -Ephesians 5:33

A vital ingredient for a healthy marriage is respect. As women we are specifically called to respect our husbands. This is neither degrading nor an easy task, but it should give us a sense of purpose and importance. We were created to help and respect our husbands.

“Men and women were created with equal worth but different roles. Though men are not exempt from respecting their wives, God created the woman to help and respect her husband.”

The Bible offers many principles about respect. However, it does not give many specific methods. In this article, Grace gives practical advice on ways to respect your husband with support from Biblical principles.

“Respect starts in our heads, and includes our mind and thoughts. Disrespect also starts in our heads and can over time affect our hearts and hands.”

Disrespect starts when you think things about your husband such as: I could’ve done it better, that was such a stupid mistake, or He’s not a good leader, etc. What you think will eventually lead to words and actions of disrespect toward your husband.

“Begin developing new habits of biblical thinking by being thankful for your husband’s gifts and strengths, rather than being bitter about his weaknesses and shortcomings.”

No husband is perfect and there will definitely be times of frustration and disappointment. But God doesn’t say respect your husband when he makes good decisions! He says respect your husband. Period. This means even when you’re not happy and even when he makes mistakes, he deserves your respect.

Our hearts are another source of our true feelings towards our husbands. If you disrespect your husband in your heart, your mouth will follow. Likewise, if you respect your husband in your heart, your mouth will follow.

“When you talk about him in public or with others do you tear him down or build him up? Are you careful not to gossip about him, or do you freely share your issues with others? Are you a wife who criticizes, contradicts, or sneers at your husband? Do you do this in front of other people? Do you “joke” about his lack of abilities or his way of doing things? Do you cut him down in front of the kids?”

I think this is a huge point that is usually overlooked. Our society tells that it’s acceptable for us women to get together and talk about all of our husband’s failures and flaws. This benefits no one. You might feel like you need to “vent”, but when you speak these words against your husband your disrespect and bitterness will grow, especially when others encourage you in your sin. When you speak badly in front of your kids they see that you really don’t respect him as the leader of your house and this creates division. Make a priority to only speak well of your husband to others and to your kids.

(This is not to say that if something is seriously wrong, you should ignore it. If there is a situation of verbal or physical abuse it is appropriate to be honest and get help.)

“Also, it’s important to remember that we don’t change our husbands—the Holy Spirit does! Use your words to pray for and help him instead of belittling him. Use your words to pray for yourself that you would practice self-control.”

Instead of going to your girlfriends to complain, try taking it to God. Being bitter and gossiping will never help the situation. However, taking it to God will have powerful results. The Holy Spirit will begin to change your husband and work in his heart when you refrain from gossip and trust in God. Not only will he work in your husband, but he will also work in your own heart and give you the patience you need.

“God created women to be helpers, which is a reflection of his character. God said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” so he created a helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18). It’s important to note that the word “helper” does not denigrate the wife; in fact, God is also referred to as our helper.”

Again, the role of a helper is not demeaning. God is said to be our helper, so we are made in His image to be the same thing that He is for us; for our husbands.

Some practical ways to help and respect our husbands:

1.   Pray for him. “Prayer softens our hearts and our husband’s hearts. If you only pray for him to change, then you won’t see your own sin too. Prayer reminds us of our total dependence upon God.”

2.   Touch him. Physical touch is often very important to men. “Don’t get into a habit of only touching him when he is leaving the house once a day. Rather, learn to enjoy playfulness that leads to deeper intimacy and sex.”

3.   Feed him. Preparing meal for your husband can be an easy way to serve him and show him you love him on a regular basis. If your husband enjoys to cook, that’s great! Take the opportunity to sit down and enjoy it together.

4.   Sacrifice for him. Be unselfish. If your husband enjoys certain activities that aren’t your favorite, do them anyway. For example: Go to baseball games with him, he might come shopping with you.  “The point is to do activities that your husband likes to do and have fun with it, not be disgruntled.”

5.   Take care of your relationship with God. “Grow your relationship with Jesus. If you aren’t getting fed through Bible reading, prayer, and personal repentance, then it will be impossible to know how to serve and respect your husband.”

Trying to respect your husband without Jesus will only lead to failure. He is the only one who can give us the wisdom and strength to carry it out. Before our role as wives, we are followers of Christ and we need to be careful to keep out priorities in proper order.

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord. –Proverbs 18:22

 

 

Watch with me: Week 2

28 Feb

Watch with me: Week 2

Pleasure is part of God’s plan for us, but when it becomes our primary goal, it stops being satisfying. Part 2 of this series focuses on the term ENTICE, the first step in sexual entrapment, and on standing—and rising again—through grace.

(Click here to watch the full message)

We are all human. We are all sexual beings. God put in us the desire for pleasure. It is not wrong to have sexual urges and desires. We are all in this together.

1.   It’s easy.

As human beings, sin is not hard to do. In fact it comes naturally. In 2012 it is easier than ever before to become sexually addicted in one area or another.  So why are we shocked when people confess their sexual struggles? We have the tendency to think that you have to be sick, perverted, or evil to have a sexual problem.  It’s easy and we are all susceptible. If you feel like you are thankful that you have no sexual problems, take heed. We are all just one bad decision away from addiction because we are all human. If you are sexually whole, it is Jesus who makes you whole and not by your own ability.

2.   It starts in our minds.

If you’ve ever found yourself sexually addicted or so far in sexual sin where you wonder, “how did I get here?” It starts in the mind. It starts when we open our minds to ideas and entertain thoughts in our heads. It’s easy to do. Ephesians 5:12 says, “It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.”  We shouldn’t even talk about certain things because it allows thoughts into our heads. God does not tempt us with sin, but rather because of our human nature we are enticed because of our own sexual desires. Enticement + Temptation = Sin. It is not wrong to have urges. It’s what you do with those urges that produce sin. We can actually seek and worship pleasure, making it our god. Believe it or not, God wants us to have the maximum amount of pleasure possible! That’s why he created an experience specifically catered to every system in the human body: physical, emotional, spiritual. His plan is that sex between one man and one woman, in a relationship with him, will ultimately satisfy all of our longings.

3.   Jesus is the answer.

God wants us to experience physical pleasure, but even maximum physical pleasure won’t satisfy our souls deepest cravings. In our search for pleasure we get enticed and go outside of God’s context, but above all we need Jesus for true fulfillment and satisfaction. Jesus is the ultimate source of pleasure in this life. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” In John 4 Jesus finds a woman who was searching for fulfillment. She had been through 5 husbands and was living with another man, but still hadn’t found the fulfillment she was searching for. Jesus doesn’t say, “You’re sinning by living with this man! You have a problem! You need to fix it!”  He says, “I’m the man you’re looking for. Your search ends here.” We can try to patch up our sexual addictions with solutions, but ultimately we need Jesus. He is the way, the answer, the antidote, and true source of satisfaction.

4.   It’s easier than you think to be free.

If this is something you’ve struggled with, it may seem hopeless. Almost like you can never be free. But you can. We are all enticed by sin and have desires. You are not weird and you are not a freak. Jesus says in John 7:37, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!” Anyone. Come to Jesus. Your physical problem is deeply rooted in a desire for connection. Jesus is the connection you’ve been searching for. You can be whole in your sexuality. Jesus is saying, “come to me and you will search no more.” Jesus works for everyone. He loves you and wants to make you whole. Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.” If you ask Jesus to heal you and fulfill the deepest longings of your soul he will be faithful to do it.

 

What did you think about this weeks message?

 

 

 

Seek First

27 Feb

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33

Short verse, but there is a lot packed into it! Let’s break it down.

1. “Seek the kingdom of God above all else.”

According to the dictionary, the definition of seek is: 1. To try to find or discover by searching or questioning, 2. To try to obtain, 3.  To go in search or quest of.

So, we are basically told to pursue the Kingdom of God, or the things of God. Easy enough, right? Until you add on the last phrase. Jesus tells us to pursue the things of God… above all else.

Ouch. Above ALL else. That means you can fill in the blank with just about everything.

Seek the Kingdom of God above your career.

Seek the Kingdom of God above finding a boyfriend.

Seek the Kingdom of God above your education.

Seek the Kingdom of God above money.

Seek the Kingdom of God above planning a wedding.

Seek the Kingdom of God above your family.

You get the idea. He is literally saying to seek God, before seeking all of these other things. When we replace seeking God with seeking these things, they become idols in our lives. These things become our gods.

2. “These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers.”

I think this is pretty easy to see. People spend their whole lives worrying about their social status; how much money they can get, how many possessions they can store up, what school their kids go to. However, Jesus says that compared to the Kingdom of God, these things are meaningless.

He also says that as believers we are to be different. Our lives and thoughts should be different than unbelievers.

Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

We are to be different from unbelievers because we have something that they don’t. A heavenly Father that cares for our every need and who will be faithful to provide for us. Let him transform you into the person you are meant to be in him.

3.  “Live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

We are instructed to seek God’s Kingdom AND live righteously. Those two things go hand in hand. We are told to pursue the things of God, while living a life pleasing to Him.

That’s not all. The best part comes after all of that. He says if we do these things, He will give us everything we need. Yes, EVERYTHING! That’s why we don’t have to fill our brains with these meaningless worries. He will give us everything we need (notice it doesn’t say everything we want). God is going to take care of everything, as long as we keep Him first.

We shouldn’t worry about these meaningless things. However, that’s easier said than done. It is a day by day battle to keep Jesus number one in our lives.

 

Looking back to the main verse, He gives us these step by step instructions. If we remember these 3 things it will help us to keep Jesus number 1.

1. Pursue Him above all else.

2. Live righteously.

3. He will take care of everything we need.

Begin seeking God. Some very practical ways to start or continue seeking God are through reading His word and praying. There is no substitute for these basic things in your relationship with God

So girls, if you want to find a man… seek Him first.

If you need a job… seek Him first.

If you don’t know what the next step for your life is… seek Him first.

It’s that simple.

 

Think about it…

What are you seeking first in life?

 

 

Weekly Recap

26 Feb

Here are all the thoughts from last week, jam packed into one! Catch up on what you missed!

Radical faith.

Jesus is bringing sexy back.

What does the Bible have to say about sex?

My personal love story.

Got any haters in your life?

 

I’m looking forward to this next week :)

XO Aimee

Sweet Tweet: Got Haters?

23 Feb

Sweet Tweet: Got Haters?

“If you aren’t ready to face opposition for your obedience to God, you aren’t ready to be used by God.” -@craiggroeschel

3 quick thoughts from this tweet.

1. Opposition will come.

The man that we claim to follow and believe in came to earth, and was tortured and murdered because of the life he lived. The people of this world (ourselves included) hated him. If we are following Jesus, it would make sense that we would get the same treatment. In Luke 21:16-18 Jesus says, “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish.” Did you catch it? It doesn’t say, Some people might have a problem with you, or A few people will hate you. It says EVERYONE will HATE you. That’s a pretty bold statement. I don’t think we should make excuses for what Jesus meant by saying, oh he really didn’t mean that… that’s what he said and we need to seriously think about it.

2. When we face opposition we are blessed.

There is good news though! Although following Christ comes with a great price, it is not in vain. We are promised a reward.  “What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” Luke 6:22-23. So, we should be happy when people don’t like us?  Probably not your natural reaction. I think sometimes as Christians our goal is to be liked by everyone, but nowhere does Jesus support that idea. We are to love everyone; however that doesn’t always mean we will get the same love in return. Once again, look to Jesus. He loved every person and he was still crucified by the masses.

3. If you aren’t facing opposition, there is a problem.

Countless people in the Bible were persecuted for their faith. All of Jesus’ closest disciples were willing to die for their faith. They believed so deeply that they couldn’t be quiet about it. Today we look at opposition as being maybe made fun of, when really, that is nothing compared to what countless people have suffered for our faith. So, if you’re not facing any opposition, you may need to take a closer look at your faith. Do you really believe what you say you believe? And if so are you willing to face opposition for it? The Bible says, “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33. I hope this verse is challenging, it is challenging to me. Basically, if we say we know Jesus, he says that he will say he knows us! That’s encouraging news. However, on the other hand, if you’re embarrassed to know Jesus, he is going to be embarrassed of you. Maybe the reason why you feel like you aren’t being used by Christ is because you aren’t willing to face opposition yet. It makes sense; God is not going to use somebody to advance His kingdom, who is ashamed of Him.

I know this sounds heavy. I’m not saying you need to get murdered tomorrow for your faith. It’s about your heart. When your heart truly believes in Jesus and you trust him with your life, you don’t need to fear. You will be willing to face opposition whether it be from family, friends, whoever, because Jesus was willing to give everything up for you. What others think about you becomes less and less important the closer you get to Jesus. Then when you reach the place where you are truly willing to obey God, no matter what people think, say, or do to you, that’s when Christ will use you. Got Haters? I hope you do!

 

 

Our Love Story

22 Feb

In light of recent events… (getting engaged!) I was inspired to put our love story into writing. I’ve told it many times but never actually got to write it down. Plus some of you may be wondering how we came to be together.

The first time I met Cameron…. I have no memory of! We actually grew up in the same church together. My mom raised me there since birth and he began coming when he was young as well. We have a slight age difference (about 4 and a half years) so we were usually separated by our ages. He actually taught me in kid’s church on occasion! (Kind of creepy, haha) We spent many years together in our church’s youth ministry and we were both on it’s leadership team. He continued to be a helper when he was past the age group, so we spent many years planning events, going to bible studies, in prayer times, and just hanging out. It’s hard to remember what I was thinking back then. We were friends, but not especially close. I always remember having a great respect for him, and thinking he deserved a really great girl someday. I never really had a crush on him because our difference in age seemed so huge back then (He was 20 when I was 15… yikes!) But I always thought very highly of him and his family.

This picture was taken back in 2008 at the youth ministry we both served in.

In the summer of 2009 Cameron had a crazy idea that would change my life forever. Cameron was pastoring the college ministry of our church at the time. He had been feeling like God was calling him to plant a church for a while. When he took a trip to England for 3 weeks, God confirmed this call in crazy ways. (That’s a story for another day!) In 2009, I graduated from high school. I just started attending the college ministry that summer and had plans to attend community college and play volleyball. One night, Cameron made the official announcement that he was planning on leaving the college ministry to start a church. He said that if we felt like God was calling us to join this church plant, we were to seriously pray about it for a week and then talk to him. I can’t describe what I felt that night. I just knew God was telling me to go. I couldn’t imagine going to a church without him and his family. They had been such a great influence in my life. But more than that, God was telling me. I couldn’t not go! It was incredibly scary. I had been at the church we were at my WHOLE life. It was all I’d ever known. I was leaving everything familiar to join a group of people. We had no name, no building, just a call from God. That night I caught Cameron after service and told him I felt like God was telling me I was supposed to be a part of this. He was surprised and he prayed for me. I told him I would continue to pray and seek God about it, but I was pretty sure I was going. I remember feeling that even though I had so many new things coming up…new school , new team, etc… That none of that mattered in comparison. So I went.

Cameron and his mom Deb baptizing me in 2009.

There were less than 20 of us who left to join this church plant. Cameron was my pastor now! We spent a lot of time planning, praying, and meeting together. It was the most scary, exciting, and refreshing time of my life. At the end of 2009, we started to do the Alpha course as a team. One week in the course, there is a “Holy Spirit Weekend”. During this weekend, we spent a lot of time praying and seeking God.  During one prayer time, Cameron went around and prayed for each person individually. I will never forget what he told me. He said that he felt like God wanted him to give me this verse. It was Luke 22:31-32. It says “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Cameron then said “When I look at you I see something special, unlike any other woman.” To be honest, I had no idea what any of that meant. The verse was odd and I was wondering why he said I was special? I wrote it down though, in case one day I understood. And sure enough I did.

Our church plant team.

Fast forward a few months. I was in the second semester of my first year of college. I have had seasons of depression in my life, but this was by far the worst. I couldn’t even find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. I skipped class a lot and was failing some classes. I felt so disconnected from God. I was hanging out with friends that weren’t good for me. I felt like such a hypocrite. I remember thinking that if I couldn’t even feel God, how was I supposed to be in a church plant that was reaching out to people? At that time, our church plant had begun helping another church with their worship team so we were attending there on Sunday mornings. It was about a 40 minute drive from my town. I remember one day in particular, on the drive there, I was thinking about everything. It was this day in particular that I decided I had to leave the church… at least for a little bit. I thought I was not where I needed to be spiritually and I wanted to stop pretending I was. I made up my mind that I would tell Cameron after service. So I went to service that day. I remember trying to worship but still feeling so far away from God. I prayed that God would speak to me through the message before the pastor started. What happened blew my mind!

The pastor began her message with the very verse that Cameron had prayed over me… Luke 22:31. Now I don’t know about you, but I have never heard a message on this verse. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Could God have spoken to me any more clearly? But it wasn’t just that, it was the actual meaning of the verse that spoke to me. It says “Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat”…and that was exactly what was happening. Satan was trying to get me to leave the very place that God called me to be. I realized what was happening. But it’s the next verse that is even crazier, the part that says “But I have pleaded in prayer… that your faith should not fail.” God made it abundantly clear that I was undergoing an attack from Satan, but that he was fighting for me to stay. The whole experience is the craziest encounter I’ve ever had with God. I can’t believe that he cares for me enough to speak to me in that way through his word, then through Cameron, then through the pastor!  Once again, I was reminded… this is where I was supposed to be! There was no way I was supposed to leave. After service our other pastor, who just happens to be Cameron’s mom, felt that the message was for me. She couldn’t have been more right. I told her everything that had been going on, and also had her pray for me. But that’s not all. After we prayed, she told the pastor that her message had really spoken to me. She told her all about the verse and how it had special meaning to me. The pastor was amazed… that verse hadn’t even been in her message. She added it in last minute after feeling like God wanted her to share it. Whoa. I realize how crazy that sounds! God absolutely blew my mind. I walked out changed. I texted Cameron a thank you that day for sharing that verse with me months before, and told him that God had used it in a powerful way.

After that, I really began to seek God and try to figure out what his plan for my life was. I like to read, so I picked up the book Chazown by Craig Groeschel. It said “Find God’s vision for your life”… so I figured I’d give it a try! The book was amazing and I was uncovering things about myself that I had no idea were there. I was really praying through it and God was showing me some amazing things. I wrote down all my thoughts about it in a notebook.

One night in April of 2010, at one of our normal meetings for the church plant, after we were all done, Cameron pulled me aside and said, “let’s talk.” I remember feeling very scared… I thought I was in trouble! He told me that while he was praying for me one day, He had a vision of me teaching young girls and wasn’t sure if that meant anything to me.  I was absolutely shocked. I grabbed my notebook and tried to flip to a page where I had just written some things from the book. I found the page and on it had 2 words… “Young girls.” We were both kind of freaked out and just in awe of God! It was a confirmation for me that this was my calling. Then he prayed for me that God would keep helping me to find and follow his vision for my life. After the prayer we hugged. We had hugged probably hundreds of times before this, but Cameron said that this night something changed like a switch being flipped. In that moment he looked at me in a different way.

After that night Cameron made a special effort to talk to me and we began to develop a relationship other than just pastor/member. We started to talk as friends. And we started to really like each other! I never knew he was so goofy! I was surprised by how much fun we had together. In June 2010 we started officially dating.

After a year and a half of dating, we began to really try to seek God for where he was leading our relationship. We fasted for one week… and not just food. We fasted from speaking to each other. We really just wanted to seek God without any distractions. So after a week with no food and no talking… we were pretty miserable to be honest! We got together that weekend to reunite and see what we each felt God was saying. We talked for a while then finally Cameron said, “If you had to describe what you felt in one word, either wait or go, which would it be?” We counted to 3 and said it at the same time. We both said go. We felt that God was okay with us pursuing marriage at that time. It was really hard… but it was worth it.

The day Cameron asked me to marry him.

In February of 2012 he asked me to marry him in the same church that God spoke to me that day early 2010. If it weren’t for God stepping in, I would have left the church and we never would’ve happened. It was the first time God fought for our relationship.

I realize that this is just the beginning of our story. We already have seen God move in amazing ways while we have been dating, and I can’t wait to see what God does in the coming years in our marriage.

The reason I love our story so much is because; if you take God out of it, it doesn’t work. There’s no way we would be together if it weren’t for God. I realize that it is weird! Definitely not your typical love story! But that’s a good thing. The Bible says we are supposed to look different from the world, which means that our loves stories should look different than the world’s. And it doesn’t really make sense! I can’t explain what “changed” in Cameron that night or why we had known each other our whole lives and never felt anything before. But that’s exactly what happened! It was all God.

I can say without a single doubt that Cameron is God’s best for me. He is the kind of man that God would want me to be with. But not only that, he IS the man that God wants me with! After all God has done, there is no way I would try to pretend that I’m not supposed to be with him. There have been times where the reality of the enormous burden of marrying a pastor has scared me. I wanted to run. But there’s no way I can. God has made it too obvious that we are supposed to be together.

I don’t tell you my story to brag about our love, or my fiancé. I tell it to give glory to God. Without him there would be no us. God is that good and cares about us that much. I tell it to challenge you not to settle for less. I want you to have an amazing love story that doesn’t work without God in it. Don’t accept anything less! Let God write your love story and I promise it will be amazing, more special and unique than anything Hollywood could produce. Plus, it will be all yours. And you will tell it for the rest of your lives, thanking God and giving him glory for how great he is.

 

Watch with me: Week 1

21 Feb

Watch with me: Week 1

In this series opener, Pastor Judah talks about God’s design and intent for sex. Our culture has distorted sexuality, but rather than pointing fingers, we must display God’s compassion and grace. That’s where the road to recovery begins.

(Click here to watch the full message)

I just want to point out some main thoughts to remember, and things that stuck out to me as particularly important.

1. God and sex go together.

God is the inventor and creator of sex! He has a purpose for it and thoughts about it. Since he created it, it is best used in the context he created it for. We see in Genesis 2:22-27 that his context is between a man and wife. Sex out of God’s context will always bring shame, disappointment, and embarrassment.

 2. Something has gone terribly wrong.

We live in a world where children are sold as sex slaves every day and pornography is normal for kids as young as 10. There is no doubt that something is wrong. This issue of sexuality and the perversion of it have affected us all in one way or another. But just recognizing that there is a problem isn’t enough. What are we going to do about this epidemic?

 3. It starts with compassion.

Our first reaction must be compassion in order to help people suffering from sex- related issues. Compassion is the precursor to breaking the silence. We learn this from Jesus. Although many people of his day were embarrassed, Jesus allows a prostitute to wipe his feet with her hair because he has compassion for her (Luke 7). Although her sins were many, her love was great and that is what really matters.

 4. “Them” or “You”?

We need to level the playing field. Apart from God’s grace and forgiveness we are no different than the prostitute, porn addict, or child molester we see on the street. We are all sinners. There is no totem pole of sins. We are busy ranking sins while people are hurting and dying around us. We have to realize when we see people: that could have, should have, and would have been us- if it weren’t for the grace of God. We must become a community of compassion and unconditional grace to ALL people, no matter how far in sin they are. Freely we’ve received, freely we must give.

 

What I took from this message may be different than what you did. What stood out to you?

 

 

Watch with me: Introduction

21 Feb

A candid, hope-filled series about sex and purity, based on the biblical story of Samson and Delilah

So the other day I came across this message series with quite the interesting title… Jesus is bringing sexy back. The message was actually part one of a seven week series on sex by Judah Smith at The City Church.

I’ve watched the part one to the series and I really think some great things are going to be taught on sex and purity. So, I would like to invite YOU to watch along with me and discuss it while we learn together. Each week I will list some key points and thoughts on the message.

The messages are about 30 minutes long and there will be a new one posted each week. This may sound intimidating, but it is very possible.  If you are willing to give up one episode of Jersey Shore a week, I promise you will learn more from God than you will from Snooki!

But besides all this I truly believe that God has something to teach you in this series. Whether you’re single or married, we can all learn something from this series!

Take a break from listening to what our culture has to say about sex, and take a look at what the Bible has to say.

So not only do I invite you, I challenge you to give God the chance to speak to you through this series.

What do you say… Are you going to watch with me?

Click here to watch the first message in the series. My thoughts will be coming soon!

 

 

Book Review: Radical

20 Feb

 “I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.”

Radical is a book that examines the commands of Jesus and asks if we as Christians are truly living what we say we believe. The average 21st century Christian looks a lot different than the original disciples of Jesus in the Bible. We see men who left everything to follow Christ: family, jobs, security…  Doesn’t exactly sound like the Christians you see around today. We are obsessed with the temporary. Make money. Get stuff. Be comfortable. Live well. Have fun. And in the middle of it all, we lose sight of eternity. We seem to chase everything that the disciples gave up. We chase what is said to be the “American Dream”: a good job, house, car, a spouse, a couple kids, a dog, vacations… but is this the way it is supposed to be?

The book is a challenge to take our faith back from the American Dream and to begin truly obeying the commands of Christ… being willing to give up everything for our King.

This video pretty much sums up the book.

Topics Covered:

  • What radical abandonment to Jesus really means
  • Discovering the truth and beauty of the gospel
  • The importance of relying on God’s power
  • God’s global purpose from the beginning until today
  • How all of us join together to fulfill God’s purpose
  • American wealth and a world of poverty
  • Why going is urgent, not optional
  • The risk and reward of a radical life
  • One year to a life turned upside down

What I liked:

Platt is brutally honest and even controversial at times, but never without having support from the Bible. He backs up everything he says with God’s Word to show that he isn’t just trying to get you to sell all your stuff and go overseas.  Rather, he says it out of love for the Christian church asking: Do we really believe what we say we believe?

The book was incredibly challenging to me personally. It made me really question my personal walk with God. It is easy to look at the masses of people, who call themselves Christians, and point out what is wrong with “them”.  But this book really pointed back to the individual. The book even ends with the last chapter presenting a practical plan to become more radical.

What I didn’t like:

Honestly there wasn’t any content that I didn’t like. There was only one small disappointment that I had. At the end of the book where he presents his plan to become more radical, he suggests that you spend a week outside of your comfort zone; whether that be overseas or in an inner-city ministry. However, he didn’t mention any specific organizations or resources to get connected to. But that is an easy problem to fix, with many ministries being only a click away on the internet.

I would recommend this book to…

EVERYONE! Yes, literally everyone. If you call yourself a Christian, definitely check it out! I think it is a message everyone in the American church needs to hear and be challenged by. If you have a passion for missions or work overseas, you MUST read this book! Even if you aren’t a Christian but you are interested, the book gives a good picture of the life and commands of Jesus which could be fascinating to you.

This book has honestly changed my life. I am very passionate about the message it presents and promote it wholeheartedly. I encourage you to give it a try as well.  If you do decide to check it out, let me know what you think!

Weekend Recap

20 Feb

Here are the posts from this past week, in case you missed them. I look forward to posting brand new thoughts this coming week!

 

Stop waiting and start walking.

The greatest love story ever told.

Men are pigs?

Not married? It’s really this simple.

 

Let’s make this next week a good one!

XO Aimee