Tag Archives: terrorist

Fighting Fear with Faith

I’ll start by telling you that this is the title of an entire series we are covering at church, along with the bullet points mentioned in one or more sermons. So the ideas aren’t completely my own. These ideas did inspire me to share some thoughts with you. Even if you come across one or two ideas that you don’t necessarily agree with I encourage you to read all the way through.

Fighting Fear with Faith

I haven’t been able to wrap my head around President Trump signing an order to deny entry into America for certain folks. I mean, I can see both sides and out of shock that it was actually happening I felt numb to it. I’m already prepared for the excuses others will tell me why I felt that way. The important thing is I came to. The first feeling I felt was anger….but not for what you think. I don’t remember what news station I was watching when I heard it, but the anchor was hounding on the issues of being ‘detained.’ I’m only going to say this once….

…being detained only means people are being pulled aside so their paperwork and identification can be double checked.

Yes, it’s a different story if they aren’t following protocol with phone calls, rights, etc. But the whole concept of being detained isn’t a negative thing. It made me angry that the media was hounding on that issue like it meant they were being waterboarded. I had to turn the news off.

That prompted me to reflect on how I really felt about it.

I went to bed that night still unsure. I just couldn’t believe he actually did it. But something changed this past Sunday morning. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with the clarity I had about the whole  issue.

Psalms 34:17 “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their trouble.”

And then it hit me…..what better place in the ENTIRE world for non-believers to hear the gospel than in America? Let’s say those being detained and/or denied entry are believers. Then the Lord will hear their calls for help and rescue them according to HIS will. Now let’s say those being detained and/or denied entry are non-believers…they have a much better chance at seeing His light in our country than any other. Am I wrong about that? Even if you are a non-believer, isn’t that something you would agree with? Even if it meant one of them killing someone here to be subjected to a Christian…..isn’t that worth it? It may not be to us, but it is to God.

God uses people all the time to reveal himself to others.

That includes by death. I’ve seen more of the love of Christ in moments of death and suffering than in moments of joy.  He will ABSOLUTELY use those moments to make sure you know who to lean on; to make sure you know who to call out to; to make sure you know who is the only one that can help. And He does. He does help.

He will help them.

He will hear the cries of his children when they call out to him. He will also send his children to help those that are not yet his children, the lost. He will. He has. And He is. So what do we do other than sit back and watch Him work? Ha! We have that part wrong. See, it’s not our job to sit back and watch. We’ve all been called to fight.

We are called to fight fear with FAITH.

We are called to fight the things that cause us to stumble and not follow Christ with all that we have. If the news causes you to doubt and stumble away from Him…fight it. Fight to stay focused on Jesus. Fight to set your thoughts on truth. The truth you have been promised by Christ…not the ‘truth’ of the world. Fight to read God’s word regularly. Even if it means cutting off the television, putting down the phone, or asking your spouse to watch the kids alone for 15 minutes.

Fight to praise Jesus despite the circumstances you are in.

Ouch. Even if you are detained. Even if you are suffering in pain. Even if you are cold and hungry. Even if you are warm, dry and fed. It’s easy to praise Him when things are comfortable. But we are called to fight to praise Him DESPITE our circumstances. We are called to fight to stay close to Jesus. Stay close to Him. We are human- we wander. It’s in our very nature. We were created to be that way so that we would have to constantly choose to follow and stay close to Christ. It must be a choice. (That’s free-will.) This is going to sound stupid, but when I listen to radio stations other than Christian radio (K-LOVE) I cuss more, I yell more, I lose my patience more. I’m just generally disconnected from God. Music is a HUGE part of my worship time with Him. It literally calms my soul. I literally cannot live without it.

When I start to drift from Him, simply changing my radio station sucks me right back down into His lap. Every. Single. Time.

Lastly, don’t forsake His assembly – we are called to fight to stay close to His body, the church. I know….this is where you tell me that His body isn’t in a church building and that church is anywhere people are gathered to worship Him. Yes, but you know what I’m talking about. We are called NOT TO FORSAKE HIS ASSEMBLY.

Get your butt to church. End of argument.

So after all these thoughts came flooding to me this past Sunday I felt more confident in my feelings about the current predicament. I am confident that He is working it out for His good. And that it will all come to fruition if His children will recognize this and step up. Do I think the nationalities on the list are terrorist? I have no idea. I have heard the statistics, but I also don’t know if any of my neighbors build bombs in their spare time, either. Do I think any and everyone should be let into our country? I don’t know about that either. I can name a few Americans that probably shouldn’t be allowed to still live here. But I do know that no matter how dramatic the media tries to make me feel about it, they won’t. I do know that I will pray His children are perfectly placed to intervene where they are supposed to. I do know that I trust Him more than I will ever trust a politician or law or report. I do know that His plans for us all are far better than we have planned for ourselves. I do know that He will use some of our suffering to bring Glory to himself….and I’m okay with that because I’ve been called to be.

I hope you are praying for our country. I also hope you are praying for our President. (Despite our circumstances, we must praise Him.) If you haven’t been called or placed into a physical position to witness to any of the people involved…you have been called and physically placed to pray for them. Be sure to fight for time to do that.

Praying for us all,

Your Mediocre Mom

Prove it to Me!

Brussels Bombing

 

Unless you have been underground mining in Chile, unplugged from the world at large (in which case you aren’t reading this, either), or attempting to sail across the Atlantic, you have heard about the shooting/massacre that took place in San Bernardino, California or the bombings in Brussels.  Was it Isis? Was it al Queda? Was it an Asian guy that lives an incredibly pressured home-life? What about one of those Arkansas boys that dresses in black and listens to heavy metal? (catch the reference, there? – this is me winking-) The media, and public-at-large, hears the pronunciation of that middle eastern name and starts assuming, terrorist. Guilty.

Let’s back up a moment…

The media and public are up in arms about possible ties to Isis. But does that really matter? Does it matter which group, club, or mosque they pay dues to? I realize that if there is some score tally sheet it would really help to decide which team to put the little mark under. That way we could see which team we want to play in the championship, and really give them hell! But other than that…they performed an act of terrorism, whether it’s considered domestic or international. And right now, sources are scouring in every nook and cranny looking for evidence of such. In essence, they are trying to “prove” belonging.

That brings me to my real point.

All of that got me thinking…what if I were in a country where my faith/beliefs were, um, disapproving(?), and they brought me in for persecution. Would they be able to “prove” that I was a Christian? Ouch. I’m not so sure they could. And if I really feel that way, shouldn’t exploring why be more important to me than “proving” someone else’s faith? I mean, aren’t we guilty of that all the time? Guilty of shaking our fingers at others with the, “and she says she’s a Christian,” look. Am I living a life that actually proves, to those looking at my life, that I am indeed a Christian?

Let’s honestly explore that. If I were taken into custody for “being a Christian,” what would they look for? Have I contacted a church through e-mail or phone calls/texts? No.  Have I contributed financially to a church? Yes. Although, I’m guessing a lot of you could answer no. No? Humph.  Am I listed on an official member list of a Christian church? Yes. Are you? Have I been witnessed as attending Christian “rituals” of church services, private meetings (small groups) with other Christians, etc? Yes. Have you?

But what about my personal life? My home life, away from “religious rituals.” Does my presence on social media reflect my faith? Or can I be seen posting videos/memes with profanity, vulgarity, or things contradictory to Christian faith? The point is…am I publicly leading my life as a Christian or am I following a set of Christian rituals out of habit? A set of rituals to check off of my Things to Be a Christian At list? What if you interviewed my closest friends and family? I’ll use their middle names, in case they disapprove of being mentioned- but what about Kristen? If you interviewed her could she answer to my Christian behavior, or my non-Christian behavior? Do I cuss around her? Do I drink alcohol around her? Do I gossip about others, act in vulgar ways, and become belligerent around her? Actually, yes.

Have I worshiped in her presence? Have I spoken to her about the Christian faith or encouraged her to follow the Christian response to things? Have I supported her in Christian spiritual growth and ask she do the same for me? Actually, yes. Could she speak as a witness and defend my belonging to the Christian faith? I believe so. But what about Nicole or Tareas? Could they be used as a credible witnesses to my defense? If I apply those same questions to my friendship with them they are not as strong. Let me be clear and say that I don’t doubt they would be there to help me. I just don’t know if they’ve witnessed enough to be as much help as Kristen. I can honestly say that I have physically worshiped with only two of my personal friends. After those three, the credibility of my witnesses really taper off. I would be in big trouble.

Don’t forget about the Prosecution.

Up until now we’ve seen what all I’ve done to defend my belonging to Christianity (truthfully, it’s a belonging to Christ). But what about the information the prosecution would present? What about the cross-examination of those three friends? All three of them, and the collective rest of my girl-group, have witnesses MUCH more about me that would “disprove” my Christianity. It would be a complete annihilation of any set of good practices that I had formed through Christian habit. It would be the ultimate victim turned faultor. The girl you see on television who was raped but is blamed for it because of the way she dressed and acted. You get the idea.

I have to admit they would have a good case. A really really good one. I have years and years and years of really bad decisions. Some are accompanied by really funny stories. Others are so embarrassing that I had to have a confession night with my husband where we opened up about everything in our past. Everything.  Ugh, those are the worst. There were a lot of witnesses. Too many to count…er, remember. And I would be worried to hear some of their versions of what happened. It’s not like they would be interviewing my parents or folks that extended grace and forgiveness towards me. No, you’d have a whole slew of ex’s and frienemies, angry students I failed, and a few in-laws. Ha!

My point is there are way too many skeletons in my closet and not enough prayer beads on my necklace. I’m not even to bracelet status….I may have a key chain.  I don’t even have a little rough spot on my knees from spending enough time on them praying. So……..what do you do once you realize you would be found not-guilty of belonging to your faith? How do you convince a jury (or Judge) that you, indeed, are guilty of being a Christian?

Luckily, the Christian faith…..following Jesus…..is all about mercy, grace and forgiveness. It doesn’t matter how many years of “bad” or how bad my “bad” was…all any of us have to do is ask Him for forgiveness and to come into our hearts to live. That’s it. How would you get a group of non-believers to believe that is all there is to it? You can share the gospel, but believing is a matter of the heart. And changing the hearts of non-believers into believers is the job of the Good Lord himself. How do you prove in court that a changing of the heart has occurred? By taking a look at the evidence AFTER you say the heart had changed. And that, my friends, still isn’t completely full of evidence that I am living a Christian life. I’m working on it. I really am. But I challenge you- take a look at your own life. Are you publicly leading it according to how you claim your belief system to be? Think about that the next time you want to point fingers at others.

 

Cheers!

Your Mediocre Mom