Friday, February 27, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I have had them all. Over the past year, since we have been back in Lexington, I have learned so much about myself and other people. Most of what I have learned about other people I already knew and was in denial about. Most of what I learned about myself, was empowering and at times, a little scary. I'll share.

Other People:
There are few I like. Let me explain, and don't worry, I think I'm a weirdo too.
Have you seen the movie, "The Green Mile?" Remember the main character who "felt" things to the point of causing him severe heart ache. People like him are called empaths. They relate to the world with an uncanny and unexplainable gift of discernment. It's almost as if they can see into the hearts and minds of other people. Women typically have heightened senses of discernment themselves; well, mine is pretty high. It's not nearly "The Green Mile"high, but it has reached some states of total weirdness. There have been times when I have seen the actual crimes and sins people have committed by shaking hands with them. No, I am not a pyschic and I usually do not share what I see or sense with others unless there is danger. People are so prideful anyway, they don't listen to you or believe you. I have often wondered why God gave this to me. Who wants to see how wicked people really are? And, let me tell ya, we are wicked. Our thoughts and minds go staright to what benefit us first no matter how we dress it up to make it look like we are trying to help others. I have met few people who are genuinely innocent and sweet. I have met some who started out on the path of sweetness and got led astray. And then, every once in a while, I meet those who are dispicable by nature. And I'm not talking about our sin nature we all inherited from Adam. There are times when I don't get a feeling either way, but the air is so thick with spiritual warfare, even being a child of the king, I want to leave the place immediately. There have been 2 times that has happened: Once was in a particular Kmart here in town where I would not even walk into the store and the other time was when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in their home a few years ago. There are times I don't even understand it. Rarely has it been revealed to me the what or why. I just know. So, I explain that because that type of gift freaks people out! And I have noticed, people don't like to hear the truth. They don't like to be called on the fact that they are liars and thieves. They don't like to be told they are headed down roads that will lead them and others they love to death- sometimes physical, but almost always spiritual and emotional. People get extremely defensive when you tell them thet are wrong and hide out when it's proven so. But what they don't get is WHY I tell them these things. Believe me, I don't get my jollies from it. I tell them the same way you tell someone a bridge is out. I tell them because my mind IMMEDIATLY goes to the end of the road- and it ain't pretty. Again, I wonder why God gave me this. No one listens or believes me. And I know I am so misunderstood. There have been some comparisons with me and an Ice Queen because I can be short with my words and I get to the point. It also looks as though I am seeking to hurt people with my words, but it's the message that stings, not the messanger. On the contrary, I do care what people feel. It's that what I am telling them is not going to hury NEARLY as badly as the consequences of their actions will if they do not change. It's like watching your baby get immunized. Do you want him to experience the shot of the live virus, or watch him die from the virus if not immunized.
So, there are only a few people I like because it hurts too much to love everyone. I cannot, for my own sanity, invest in people who have no interest in me. I fall too hard and end up with a heart so broken it makes me unable to minister to those who are vested in or are relying on me.
So being back "home", I have been reminded of how fake people really are. I have also been reminded that water is actaully a little thicker than blood most of the time. With the exception of my awesome parents, we have had no family be consistently interested in us or our well being. There have been lots of promises made and very few kept. I have also learned how weak people really are. The louder they tend to be about proclaiming their undying love and affection for you is usually as quick as they tend to shrink back when it takes more than a check to meet the needs. I don't doubt the sincerity they have when the proclamations are made; but a person's commitment is not measured by the means he possesses, but in how far he is willing to go to fulfill the promise. The promises have abounded, the commitment has lacked.

I knew I was strong, but WHEW-WEE!! My strength has been tested in ways that I have had to exhibit more quiet strength than I ever thought I possessed. My forgiveness has, at times I thought, reached its max containment levels. I have actually said, "Lord! How many times must I forgive ______?" Each time I have heard Him gently whisper: "How many times have I forgiven you, Sugar?" I have also learned some valuable lessons in forgiveness. I have learned what it is and what it is not. I have seen myslef morph into an entirely different being than I thought I ever would become and I can say, I don't always like it. I expereiced the difference bewtween laziness and just pure-body-can- not-move-if-I-were-being-chased-by-a-mad-man-I-would-die exhaustion. I have mellowed and allowed ceratin aspects of my nature to take over other aspects. There was a time when being completely out of control would have made me a nervous wreck; but now, there is a certain comfort in being able to say, "I don't know." and really mean it. I don't know from day to day sometimes how we were going to et from point A to point B or if we would make it back home before running out of gas. And as broke as we have been, finances have been the least of my worries. I am proud of being able to somewhat successfully balance giving the loved ones under my roof my undivided attention throughout the day. I have also learned what really is not important at the end of the day and what is, and they are not always the same from week to week.

I'm curious to see what God does with all of this knowledge he is giving me. I may not be too excited when I'm in the midst of it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here We Go

I have written this post several times. Every time I go in a different direction with showing how Word of Faith teachers are heretical and leading people astray from the truth. But, the bottom line is, God loves you. He is God and you are not. He sent His son, Jesus, to die in your place and 3 days later he arose from the dead so you could have a complete relationship with the one living God. The only thing we have to do to stay out of hell is "confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10). Simple scripture, but not an easy task.

The issues I have had with these Word of Faith teachers are many. I see scripture totally contradicting their Prosperity Gospel and their Health Gospel. But those are not what make my heart ache. If you want to believe God wants you to be rich and healthy and you live your life acting on that, I will say you are supremely sheltered and need to visit other parts of the world- or take a look in your own proverbial back yard. The teachings which disturb me the most, the ones that I believe have allowed these heretics to partially fulfill the prophesy of Matthew 7:15-16 and Galatians 1:6-9 are twofold: The Humanization of God/ the Deification of Man, and The Distortion of the Cross. We have problems, People.

Here is what the Word of Faith teachers preach regarding the Humanization of God (a.k.a.: Making God more like man)/ the Deification of Man (a.k.a Making man more like God):

Kenneth Copeland gives a physical description of what God looks like including height and weight in his "Spirit, Soul, and Body" tape # 01-0601.

Not so much what John 4:24 says.

2) In Copeland's tape "Following the Faith of Abraham" (# 01-3001), Copeland also states, "Adam is God manifested in the flesh." He believes Adam was not even subordinate to God.

I'm wondering how that fits in with the whole "getting kicked out of the garden" thing.

3) Faith teachers believe we are "little gods" and can have the same attributes of God.
"I say this with all respect so that it don't upset you too bad, but I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, 'I Am,' I just smile and say, 'Yes, I Am, too!'" states Copeland on a 1987 TBN broadcast of "Believer's Voice of Victory"

I know of an angel who tried elevate himself to the level of God and he was thrown out of heaven.

As disturbing as this may all sound, none of it can touch what the Word of Faith teachers believe and teach regarding the distortion of the cross. Two primary beliefs they have according to Gary Gilley:

1) "Christ was re-created on the cross from divine to demonic. To put it in Faith vernacular, Jesus took on the very nature of Satan himself."

Rebuttal: God does not change (Mal. 3:6) and Jesus is God so he can't change either (Heb 13:8).

2) "Your redemption was not secured on the cross, but in hell. In fact, many Faith teachers claim that Christ's torture by all the demons of hell was a 'ransom' God paid to Satan so that He could get back into a universe from which He had been banished."

Rebuttal: Satan had already been defeated with Jesus' death
(Col 2:14-15). God owed him NOTHING.

Many people who follow these Word of Faith teachers don't even realize what theology they believe. They get looped in by the promise of prosperity not realizing all the while they are following and financially supporting teachers who claim to know Jesus, but do not (Matthew 7:21-23). We are a lazy and selfish people. We want what feels good and what is convenient- even at the risk of others' souls. I challenge you to look into this yourself.

Here are a couple of short videos to sum it up:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Steppin' on Toes

What do Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Oral Roberts, Marilyn Hickey, and Kenneth Copeland all have in common? They are all members of the Word of Faith movement (Jakes is actually more known for his Oneness Pentecostal beliefs but mixes in with the WF) sweeping our nation. What is wrong with that? The movement and what these teachers preach/ teach is heretical and anti-scriptural. I know some of you who read this blog follow some of these people, reading their books and participating in their Bible studies so you may take offense to this post- I'm ok with that. I challenge you to research the Word of Faith movement yourself, measure it against what scripture says, and see what you come up with. I am specifically referring to what these teachers believe and spread concerning Jesus's death on the cross, the Trinity, and the believer's role today. I too am developing my thoughts on these teachings as proposed by these teachers and will share what I find in the coming days. This is a snazzy site to start some research. The scariest part of this is my former church has propped up some of these people and I'm afraid still ascribes to some of their teachings. Some of you go there now. Could you be under heretical teaching? I'm looking into it myself. It makes my heart ache to think it true.

Remember This:

"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. 'Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.' " Hosea 4:6

OK, quick update: I after doing some additional research I DO NOT believe our former church is under heretical teaching. They are following the Purpose- Driven model making it "seeker-friendly" which need some warnings, but I don't believe heresy is a part of that.

Heresy= the holding or teaching of) an (especially religious) opinion which differs from the official opinion (The opinion I use is the Bible.)

Friday, February 22, 2008


For 6 years CJ and I have been members of our church. Even when we moved to Birmingham, AL we never moved our membership from Mt. Pleasant because we hoped God would bring us back- and He did! We were so ecstatic and could not wait to become a part of our church family once again. We did and it was awesome! We were even more excited when satellite campuses began and one was practically going to be in our back yard- yahoo! We believed in everything our church was doing. We loved their mission to do whatever it took to reach the lost and they do have the most phenomenal worship programs- hands down. We thought we would be a part of this fellowship for a long time. Little did we know things would slightly begin to unravel.

I have a Bible degree. I am not bragging- not by any means. Instead, I am humbled by how much I do not know. But as good as it sounds, at times it can become a stumbling block. You know the saying ignorance is bliss- it's true. But ignorant is NOT how God calls His people to live for Him. On the contrary, we are called to worship in spirit and truth. Sadly, our church generation usually lacks one or the other. Not my beloved church. Yes, sadly, even mine. I fear they are moving farther and farther away from the truth of the cross. In order to keep in step with doing whatever it takes to seek the lost, they have watered down the gospel. Biblical theology is traded for what will keep the masses entertained. I am heart-broken. My stand is this: I believe the church building is for the believers and the church body is for the lost. Why else did Jesus say, "GO and make disciples..." (all caps mine)? He did not say, "Stay here and have them come to you so you can make them disciples. Believers as the body are to go out and share the good news- God loves you and sent His son to die for you- yeah, you. We aren't called to judge or convict the unbelieving generation. However, we are to hold believers to a completely different standard, but that is another blog entry.

Although I have had some major theology issues with my beloved fellowship in the past as well as some serious accountability and leadership issues, I have set them aside- until this past Sunday. I am not nearly as outspoken about these issues as I once was. Much of that has to do with the fact I have a believing husband and look to him to make outward statements. I did, in fact, go to him after the sermon (and a little during the sermon) pointing out what was WAY OFF. It grieved my spirit to know a major teaching pastor of ours taught Jesus "took off" his God-suit during the 40 days of temptation (the correction would be he was temped after 40 days and HE CAN'T TAKE OFF HIS DEITY ) and making the statement that he needed to be tempted so he could relate fully to us. Negative. God DOES NOT NEED US!!!! He wants us even after we are born so vile. One of the most beautiful love stories in scripture is the book of Hosea. It speaks of how God desires a relationship with us after we have betrayed Him so willingly and often. The core of the matter is, the sermon demoted Jesus's god-hood and thus downplays the cross. I am not saying this is what the pastor intended to convey. He may or may not. My sadness comes from the fact he would not take the time to expound.

Sadly, this is not the first time we have had theological differences with our beloved fellowship. We have stayed because of my husband's devotion to the youth group. He understands abandonment more than I wish he did and felt the need to stay after the youth pastor had a forced resignation. When the youth pastor left, he really left and didn't turn back. Many kids felt "left" because although he stayed within the "organization" they were no longer on his radar and several of them were heartbroken. CJ's heart hurt for them as well and wanted to make sure they knew they were loved and wanted. We still go back and visit even though we haven't lived there in six months. But, it has become evident God is calling us elsewhere.

I still believe in the work this church is doing outside of its walls; but I have been disillusioned with what was going on inside. I am not angry and admit I have not contacted this pastor for any clarification. I don't feel comfortable doing that because of the way the leadership is organized. Besides that, I don't come across very diplomatic in email. I try to type lovingly, but the reader ALWAYS misinterprets my intent. Besides that, I think my meanderings would be like a drop in the bucket.

So, now I am torn. We know we must venture out, but we don't know where. I grew up southern baptist and have no desire to go back and CJ didn't grow up at all in church. And did I mention the worship time? Hmmmmmm, so sweet. Guess I'll be breaking out my CD's.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

I am disgusted!!! I am SO sick of the hypocrisy of people it makes me want to vomit! Anyone who knows me knows I am not out to win any popularity contests. My few solid close friends- the ones who I can count on no matter what is going on on their lives or mine- are far more important to me than having a slew of cronies. Depth has always been far more important to me than width. I am aware of the scripture of how Jesus found favor with God and man as he grew and also if at all possible live in peace with one another; but I tell ya, to live at peace with most people in this world is to be totally against God. It is getting harder and harder to do both. Rarely will anyone have to guess if I am for you or against you; I'm pretty transparent. And I hate it when believing people seek to be friends with the world. Hello?!?!? Be in it, not of it, remember? GAG!! Yet, over and over again people choose the popular and/ or easier road instead of the right road. And then have the nerve to shove it in your face! They parade it around like it's okay. Tacky, tacky, tacky! Blatant disregard of honesty, righteousness, and faithfulness gets my blood boiling and is enough for me to be done! So, now I am!

Monday, December 17, 2007

For Everything There is a Season

I enjoy reading Ecclesiastes. The more I read it, the more I become aware God wrote that for ME! Being a creature of habit, I like my continuity. I'm not so good with change and I like to know what I can depend on to be the same. I am routined. Boy, God has really shaken me up these past 4 years!
Over the last 4 years I have seen more change in my life than I have in my entire life span! We have made more friends; we have lost more friends (from death, from selfishness, from distance); we have had 3 children and getting ready to have #4; I have been of ill health; we have had more money and not-so-much money; we have moved 4 times (not all once a year); and we have gone through some of the best and worst times of our marriage. My faith on all levels has been tested, and quite honestly, there have been times I have failed the tests. But praise God, He doesn't fail me! Amen! I have been stretched and beat up more times than I ever thought possible- often times by those I loved the most. We have dwelled in the valley and longed for the mountain tops. But, through it all, it too has passed. This has been our season of change. I cannot say I have loved it- on the contrary; I have beat my chest, laid prostrate before my Lord, questioned His leading; wondered if He really does love me. All of this not because I thought I was above the trials life offered, but because I thought I had paid my dues already. My eyes have stared into the eyes of hell and I have seen Satan work his evil first hand. Coming out of that, I was for sure my God found me exempt of any other ill-workings of this fallen world. WRONG! I love that He gives us no more than we can handle. The question is, how long will we try to handle without Him?
When I was growing up, our pastor would end the message by saying. "God is good." and then the congregation would reply, "All the time." He would say, "All the time," and we would retort, "God is good." I think that gave some people the wrong impression. We were never meant to have easy lives. Jesus, God with skin on, didn't have an easy life. Why would we be above that? What we forget is our whole life is a season.
We were made to live forever, but our bodies gave out on us the day Adam took the fruit in disobedience. I love this next part... We are but passing through! If we could grasp that concept the way we live our lives would totally change! No more would we even be concerned how much our jeans cost. We wouldn't plague our hearts by allowing filth through what we watch or read because we are only here for a season! We don't have time for all of that!
I can not begin to explain the flack I get for being college educated and choosing to stay home with our children. And now that we are struggling to pay our bills (or it's more like we decide who is going to get paid this month and who will have to wait), the criticism and under-the-breath comments flow freely. But I know why. We are raising Jesus-lovers and warriors for the Word. It is no accident we have 3 boys! In such a time as this, we need men who have learned to love Jesus! Sadly, they don't do it naturally. Scripture is so clear that we are BORN evil- we don't have to learn it. That means in July, when I am nursing my sweet baby ?, I will not have to teach that child how to be bad. I won't have to give lessons on how to cheat, steal, lie, throw a temper tantrum, or be deceitful. No, no,no, that will already be the default mode. Knowing scripture is right when it says,

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him" Proverbs 22:15 (and no, we don't beat our children with rods, we have a Mr. Spank).

I know it will take EVERYTHING I have to combat that. I must teach that while we are walking up the road. It must be seen as I interact with the cashier who is slow as molasses; my boys need to value life as we choose which bugs to kill and which ones we let out the door. I can't pursue those opportunities after working a 40 hour a week job. I personally can't do it working any job, but that goes back to the beginning of this blog when I said I'm not good for change. There are some women who can. Kudos for them! But I am pursuing my Master's because I know my children are teachable from me for only a season.
The day will come when they no longer will take my word for it. They will question and pull away from me; but it's our job to make sure they have been ingrained with the truth. It's our hope we can provide an obsequious passage to those they can run to who reinforce what we have taught them.
So, in this seemingly unending season of change for us, I hope I am brave enough to pick up the lessons He has laid out for me. I pray I do not get so side-tracked from things that are so unimportant I miss out on what truly is important.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven... What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." Ecclesiastes 3:1, 9-14

Sunday, October 28, 2007


So many thoughts rage through my mind I feel as though I have been granted a new lease on life. I haven't had a near death experience (well, maybe), but these last few days we have been on a cruise. It was 4 days of total girl-time and rest. We did NOTHING but eat, sleep, and walk around a little. If you want more fun stuff, you'll have to go to the family blog (and you'll probably get sick of hearing about it); on this blog I will post what God taught me. It's amazing how cloudy things get when you're functioning on exhaustion. I had no idea how stressed out I truly was. I'll start with finishing where I left off with the whole being content vs. striving for perfection. You may not like where I go with this- feel free to offer you own insight as well.

Who are we to say what is perfection? God says to "..Be holy, for I am holy." We translate that to mean we are to be perfect- but that is not what it means. As a matter of fact, "holy" is actually translated more closely with being righteous- right before God- than perfect. One would argue that being right before God would mean perfection. Perhaps. That is not where I want to spend my time. My struggle I question is at what point do I become content?

My sweet friend sent me an article I found most helpful on the topic. Summarizing, the author pretty much said perfection is in the eye of the beholder- and so is being content. It can sound like circular reasoning if you stop on the surface. Without boring you with the philosophy of all of that, I will explain the way God summed it up to me over this last week.

I love my children and feel I have a healthy relationship with them; but I want it to be better. I don't want it to grow stagnant or become boring. I am always looking and reading articles on how I can spice things up with my crazy crew. I enjoy reading stuff that helps me relate to them- how can they understand me and how can I better to understand them?

I love my Savior and am amazed He chose me to tell His secrets to! Who am I that I should deserve such a blessing? I am always on the look out for how I am supposed to serving Him RIGHT NOW. There are some ways I like and some I don't, but I do them all to the best of my ability anyway.

I love my husband and wish he would fight for me the way he once did. Instead, he numbs his pain and frustration with sleep or his make believe online world where he can be whatever to whomever. I strive for perfection in my marriage and feel I have missed the mark (a.k.a. sinned) in so many ways I may end up losing one of the few things I prayed God would give me. Alas, it always takes two where a relationship is involved and I can no longer function alone. Here in lies the frustration.

No matter where we set the bar for ourselves, some one is always setting it higher. In all 3 of the above mentioned relationships, there is no such thing as being content. I believe I am to strive for perfection daily. The relationships are organic and constantly growing, therefore, constantly changing. I must change with them. That is why parenting seminars are so popular. Christian books are selling at an all-time high because people can't get enough of being "spiritual" (which, by the way, I don't believe is the same as being righteous). Relationship- help books are in constant demand because we all know you aren't married to the same person you originally married- nor is he married to the same woman. However, on the flip side of striving for perfection in areas of heart relationships, we must learn (oh yes, I said learn) to be content with where God has placed us in life.

We would have not related to any other than Paul when he encouraged to be content in all situations. For so long, I took that to mean we should settle for what we have in life. In a sense we are to do that. I will respectfully disagree with some of my dear brothers and sisters who believe in the ever-present "Prosperity Theology" being taught today. Seeing what I have seen and experiencing what I have experienced, I just don't believe you can look into the eyes of a 2 year old dying of AIDS (in this country or anywhere else) and tell her she must have enough faith for God to heal her if she wants to live. I don't believe we are all called to have worldly wealth. Have you ever tried to preach the gospel to a homeless man while driving in a Cadillac? Sometimes we have to go through it, be in it, and live it, to tell about it- and the way out of it. That's why it had to be Paul. Could you imagine if the Beloved John had tried to explain to us how it felt to be considered the "least?" We would say, "Yeah, right, Dude. You were at Jesus' side the whole time. He even gave you his mom at the cross." All of that to say, we must remember WHY we are even here and God didn't jerk us up at the instant of our salvation. We are to know Him and make Him known. We all relate to people on the level at which we are. You may not be able to empathize with a lonely, desperate mom of young children. But I can. I may not ever be able to speak to rulers or kings, but I know what it feels like to have an important utility cut off while you're at home with 3 babies. Someone needs to know there is light and it's not always at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, you get to the light and it gets worse. But the light is your hope.

So contentment is not man-made, but God-made. In that contentment we sometimes find who we really are and what we are really supposed to be doing. In the busy-ness of trying to be perfect, we lose sight of what is happening around us. We hurt our friends. We emotionally leave our spouses with no apologies. We set the level of perfection only to be fooled by another who is actually setting it for us. In the end, it's the people who need us the most who end up the hurting the most because we want more materially and settle for less emotionally.