A Readied Heart

Ahhh dear friends, it feels good to be writing again.  It’s been a little while, but life has been so busy. And I’ve come to this place where I only want to write if I feel completely and entirely inspired. I’d say tonight feels right.

There’s a gentle rain outside, Lady is curled up at my feet, and I’m feeling all sorts of cozy.  Just thought I’d set the scene for ya.

Christmas time is fast approaching.  It’s hard to believe that my favorite time of year is breezing by so quickly. Since December is almost here, I wanted to share an important project with you all.

Last December, I did something that made my Christmas season so very special.  On December 1st, I started a Christmas Bible reading plan.  I read about the true reason for the season straight from God’s Word at the start of each day, all month long. It was truly amazing because my heart was ready from the very start.

It’s so easy to get all caught up in the shopping and the decorating. The hustle.  Events. Dinners. Constant happenings. And these are all so fun and beautiful and special.  Yet, it can be so easy to make Jesus an afterthought.  A Christmas Eve service. A quick reading of Luke 2 on Christmas morning. Check and Check. Okay, now back to food and presents.

So, by starting each and every day of December reading about what Christmas is all about, your heart is fixed on the eternal.  Meditating on the reason Christ was born.  It brings about a readied heart. 

Last December I made a new tradition that I plan on continuing for the rest of my life–reading from God’s Word about Christmas every day in December.

So I thought I’d give you the opportunity to join me! Below are some links to various Bible reading plans that I’ll be using this December. You can choose one or do a combo. The Bible App has a huge selection. You’re more than welcome to join me, as we ready our hearts for this divine season.  I assure you—You will be blessed.  Time spent with the Lord is never wasted.

Journey To The Manger With Charles Stanley

Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas

The Bible Project | Advent

Each of these plans contains a short devotion and then scripture that coincides with it.  Note: The third plan I listed has really neat videos to watch each morning and is only 4 days long.

Join me as we embrace this joyous season with a heart of worship.  An intentional admiration.  Take moments to be still and let the Lord quiet you with His Love.  That is ever important in such a busy time of year.  Let’s gather and have a readied heart.

Oh, and always feel free to message me.  It’d be fun to share thoughts on what God teaches us throughout the month of December.

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Blurred Lines

No one will like this post.

It won’t be popular. In fact, it may offend some. We don’t want to be convicted.

However, truth is truth. It’s time we stop believing what we want to believe to support our own lifestyle.

•••

“Yeah, I’m a Christian.”

Those words are thrown around almost as much as the word “the.”

Even though the world we live in is increasingly secular, a lot of people still define themselves as “Christian.”

In our society, there is an epidemic.

The line between Christian and non-Christian is blurred. 

It is honestly hard to tell the difference nowadays, isn’t it?

Christians are having sex before marriage and are totally okay with it, living with their significant others, posting bikini pictures on social media, watching trashy movies, getting drunk.

Christians are blending right in.

I’m not being legalistic. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I am simply pointing out that we call ourselves Christians, maybe go to church, and then live like the world every other day of the week.

If someone didn’t know you call yourself a Christian, would they be able to tell?

As Christians, we should be light. We should be living dramatically different from the world around us. It should be obvious that we have a relationship with the Lord. If we say we believe in the Bible, we need to be living out what it says, to the best of our ability.

It’s so convenient to take a Bible verse and twist it to mean what we want. That’s not how it works.

Christianity is becoming a joke. It is increasingly more unappealing. Because we’re all a bunch of hypocrites.

Don’t misunderstand me. You can’t work your way into heaven. Being a good person isn’t going to give you eternal life. We all fall short. Even if we try our best, we will still fail. We will still sin. But that’s why we have Jesus. He gives us grace if we have faith in what He did for us on the cross.

I want so desperately to see people put their faith in Jesus and have a relationship with Him. That is why we are here: to tell the Good News.

But not only are we not telling people about Jesus enough, we aren’t even trying to live like Jesus. It’s far more fun to conform to this world. To bend a little. To smear the lines.

My challenge to my fellow Christians, is to start being obvious for Jesus. Let’s be a light, even when we aren’t saying a word. Let’s be an example in our words, actions, pastimes, thoughts. Let’s start showing some more love. Let’s stop going places that may compromise our testimony. Let’s stop saying one thing and doing another. Let’s start living out the Bible. Let’s start doing what pleases God, not ourselves or other people. Let’s start trying a little harder.

Oh with God on our side, we can do it.

•••

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

John 15:8

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

James 2:26

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.