Is God Good Series Final (Vlog)

Is God Good Series Final (Vlog)

Click HERE to watch Is God Good Series Final

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

For Series One, click here

For Series Two, click here

The Election Post I Wish I Wrote a Long Time Ago (from a Christian voter)

The Election Post I Wish I Wrote a Long Time Ago (from a Christian voter)

I did something I hadn’t done yet this election season: read what scripture says. Instead, I’ve been filled up with the latest debate, poll, opinion (even from wonderful Christian leaders), and had yet to get my face in God’s Word. In John 5 Jesus talks about the Jewish Leaders and says, “you diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me…”. These verses left me with conviction which converted into a personal application. This election season, I’ve been confused, appalled by what is outrightly wrong, frustrated, etc and yet have refused to come to Jesus. I’ve been filled up with pride, outrage, and anger even toward fellow believers, and it’s wrong, scripture is pretty clear about what anger towards a brother or sister is … murder.

I wasn’t planning on writing another post about the election, and I’m not necessarily. Instead, I’m just going to share  my “scribbles” of scripture with you. If you are like me, and need the truth from the source of Truth and had yet to go there, well here you go. These verses and passages may even take you to more places in scripture, and I hope it does. God is personal and I hope this leads to a personal journey with Him.

I want to help you navigate this a little bit so let me explain how this time went for me. I started with the 10 Commandments because that made sense with me – God’s commands to a messed up people, Israelites. Next, my eyes caught the attention of commandment six: do not murder, and mostly because of the heightened hate toward Democrats and Republicans on the sad, painful issue of abortion. I began to ask God “how do you define murder”. From there I simply asked him, “and now what” and another part of scripture would come to mind and I would go there and then ask “and now what” again and dig and ask and dig and ask. If I ever needed clarity on something, another scripture always came to mind and provided that clarity. I tell you this because it’s important that you know I only interpreted scripture with scripture. I hope this explanation helps you navigate my scribbles bit better!

 

10 Commandments: Exodus 20

  1. I am the Lord your God. You must not have any other god but me.
  2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind.
  3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You must not murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
  10. You must not covet.

 

Biblical definition of murder: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[b] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[c] of fire (Matthew 5:21-22)

Father, if this is true, and I trust your word is, help our hearts break as greatly for how you define murder and not just what we see as murder. 

James 2:11 “For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”b also said, “You shall not murder.”c If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”

 

Jesus’ 2 Greatest Commandments: Matthew 22

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself

 

Why is America here? Galatians 6:7 “Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant”

Is this what we planted? Father, forgive us.

 

What should be my hope for this election? 

Psalms 47 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.

 

Why Believers Must Live in Unity: Matthew 5: 27-30

what does it mean to have unity among believers: “Christian unity in the New Testament gets its goodness from a combination of its source, its views, its affections, and its aims.” John Piper. (Read more here)

So as believers, our source of unity isn’t pro-life/pro-abortion, pro Trump/ pro Hillary, anti Trump/anti Hillary, etc our source of unity as believers should always be the Holy Spirit that is alive and active in us, if we are truly believers (see scripture below)

1. 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

2. 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

3. Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

4. 2 Timothy 1:14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

5. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

6. Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

7. Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

 

What does scripture say about unity? 

1. Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone

2. Philippians 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

3. Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation.

4. Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

5. Acts 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.

6. Philippians 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

7. Ephesians 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

My take-aways: 

  1. I am not bound to any law other then God’s now that I am a believer who is led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18)
  2. God’s Laws are clearly stated in his Word and his two greatest commands are love Him and love others (Matthew 22)
  3. any commitment, conviction, obligation better not be a part from what is stated in God’s word and if it’s unclear, pray pray pray and move in faith.

 

GOD bless America, and GOD bless my other brothers and sisters (in Christ) from all over the world.

In this with you…now,

Maria

My Unspoken Grief (of Dad)

My Unspoken Grief (of Dad)

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August 20, 2005

Dear Maria, 

It is with great hope and sincere joy that I write to you this evening. Your emotion speaks to new challenges, changes, longing for family, friends, and a new environment. A big lot to carry – but then God says “have no fear, for I am with you.” Maria, my daughter, I love you. You can do this. As the work of change proceeds, God will open up a deeper, more passionate, more consuming way for your life. Sweetie, God has made you for special things – teaching? motherhood? only God knows for sure. Colossians says “prepare for action” – Maria this is your time to prepare! I’ll be watching and caring for you with great attention these next few years. With so much going for you, with Mom, I’ll assist in any way I can. This is a wonderful place. You are very special to many – and me too! After such a great loss to have you in my life is a great gift! I wish you grace and strength to meet all that is before you.” 

I love you, 

Dad 

 

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Six years after this letter was written Mom and Dad died in a plane crash. I sit here, typing out Dad’s words to me, thinking how timely they are for right now. I miss him. I don’t expose my grief over my dad very often. Mom was my biological Mom. Although I was not Dad’s biological daughter, he asked to adopt me and so he did. Once the adoption was finalized, he told me he believes God changed my DNA to match his. Dad really believed I was his and I started to believe it too, but this is hard for others to understand. Because of that, sharing my grief over my dad is a different experience for me then when I share about my mom.

When I share the pain of missing my mom, it’s easily understood and received with sympathy offered back. When I share the pain of losing my dad, I find myself having to explain our relationship and how I hurt over his loss just as deep as my mom’s. I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “oh he wasn’t your real dad, right?” or “ok, so you are the step-daughter. I was thinking you were his real one?”, or when I talk about my pain from losing both parents, I’ve heard “your mom was so wonderful. I’m sorry that you lost her.” Uh, hello?! I lost both of my parents, I was talking about both of my parents!”, I want to yell as to remind them I hurt just as bad over Dad’s death as I do Mom’s. I lost two parents that day. It’s not always but it is often that I walk away from a conversation about their death thinking, “they must not understand Dad’s death is just as painful as mom’s. They must not understand the depth of love we had for each other and the great impact of his loss.” and it’s painful and makes it hard to want to share about the grief over him. It feels like something only a few understood. Because of this, I often quiet my pain over losing Dad…but not tonight. Tonight I speak my grief, my pain, my ache for my dad. Eleven years later, here is my response to you, Dad:

 

 

Dear Dad, 

It is with great hope (that I will see you again in heaven) and sincere joy (knowing you get to see Jesus’ face) that I write to you this evening. Tonight my emotion speaks to new challenges, changes, longing for family (you and mom and Jesus), friends, and a new environment (heaven). You are right, it is a big lot to carry – but then God says “have no fear, for I am with you.”  and, as my dad, you taught me how to walk out faith in the midst of fear. Dad, my father, I love you. I know you knew I could do this, and I will. I will keep walking in faith. Dad, you were right, God did open up a deeper, more passionate, more consuming way for my life. God has made me for special things – to train up three little disciples, your grandkids. Colossians says “prepare for action” – Dad, I’m preparing and will continue! Thank you for watching and caring for me with great attention over the years of life with you. You did so much more then assist mom, you were the man in my life. It’s with tears I say, I love you and treasured my time as your daughter! After such a great loss, you are still one of my greatest gifts. The memories with you are far better then the ones without you. I really hope Jesus lets me run into your arms when I get to Heaven. 

I love you, 

Maria

 

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”