Acknowledge then Reconcile

To deny something exists because it doesn’t

1) affect you,

2) move you to action, or

3) sit well with you as truth

is self-centered, prejudice, and a sin. Racism in America exists and I, for one, apologize as a white person to my black friends, neighbors, and fellow countrymen. I am very proud that my ancestors refused to own slaves, but I am very ashamed that my race – the human race – instituted, allowed, and benefited from such an atrocity. My family chose to move from the state they lived in rather than own slaves… but that is just walking away from people who need you, so it’s still a part of the problem.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says that God will heal our land if His people will humble themselves, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways. That does not just mean the ones we choose to recognize in our individual lives. It also means the ones that we as a collective body (The Body of Christ) have committed. When one person sins, we are all responsible – Either call them out, intercede, or take action, but doing nothing is a sin.

Joshua 7 shows the perfect picture of what God considers corporate sin. Joshua and the people of Israel had just conquered Jericho and were told not to keep any of the plunder. But Achan was greedy and took a robe, silver, and some gold, then hid it under his tent. (He knew he was wrong, that’s why he hid them.) Because of the sin of this one man, the entire people suffered during battle with the city of Ai. In the end, he was found out and guess what the people of Israel did?

They spoke harshly about him on Facebook.

No.

They tweeted how wrong it was what he did.

No.

They took up stones and killed him, his family, and his livestock. They made an example of him and ensured the other people of Israel learned that what he did was unacceptable.

There IS racism still in America and there IS such a thing as white privilege. Because if you can go throughout your day, week, month, and year without thinking twice about the color of your skin – that is a privilege that not all of our brothers and sisters have. And until we all start acknowledging the sins of our forefathers – whether they personally had slaves or not, whether they turned the other way and ignored the racism, or whether they benefited from the presence and system of slavery – we cannot begin the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18)

Because if you can go throughout your day, week, month, and year without thinking twice about the color of your skin – that is a privilege that not all of our brothers and sisters have.

Whether you ‘Stand for the Flag and Kneel for the Cross’ or ‘Kneel to bring awareness to social injustice’ – if you are only trying to satisfy the cry in your heart that YOU are right and THEY are wrong – you are a part of the problem. It is only when we come together and understand that THEIR pain is MY pain, and injustice to THEM is injustice for ALL because we are all the BODY, that we will be able to heal from the wrongs done generations ago – whether it was by your ancestors or not is irrelevant.

Yvylyn Lawson #WeAreTheBody #Singular #MinistersOfReconciliation

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Trump, Kaepernick, and Nike

This is going to be short, but not necessarily sweet.

I don’t watch television, so I will be the first to admit that I have not followed everything going on with the 3 in the subject of this blog. However, I do research things before blogging (wish everyone did) and here is where I stand:

Freedom of speech is just that – the right for ALL to express themselves in the way they desire, with the exception of obscenity, fighting words, defamation, child pornography, perjury, blackmail, incitement to imminent lawless action, actual threats, and solicitations to commit crimes.

So, Trump can say, Tweet, and post on any form of media his opinion of Kaepernick, or players in any sport who decide to take a knee during our National Anthem, whatever he may want as long as it doesn’t violate one of the aforementioned exceptions to the 1st Amendment.

And, Kaepernick can refuse to stand for our National Anthem in order to raise awareness for the injustices being done in this nation towards blacks – or include the injustices done to all races by the hands of another race.

It’s freedom of speech and the very thing our men and women in uniform are fighting to protect. Regardless of how I feel about the President’s Tweets or behavior, he’s my President, and having served in our Armed Forces, I understand respecting the Office of the Commander-in-Chief.

I also understand that not all Americans have spent 8 weeks in boot camp learning WHY we do so – regardless if we voted for the current POTUS or not.

It’s freedom of speech and regardless of how I feel about Kaepernick, or the entire NFL if they so choose, not standing during our National Anthem, that is his, their, and your right to do so.

The only thing I would ask is this: If you have a problem with the President – make sure you vote in the election. If your choice doesn’t win, still pray for the President because 1) God tells us to in His Word (1 Timothy 2:2) and 2) because they are still the authority in the land and prayer can change their steps. (Proverbs 16:9) If you see something you disagree with in your area of influence – take action.

For those wondering what Nike had to do with this blog, Just do it!

Don’t remain silent when you see someone being bullied because of the ethnicity. Don’t look the other way if someone is being persecuted because of their religion, color, gender, handicap, or position in life. Don’t standby on the sidelines (or sit behind your anonymous computer or smartphone screen) and not DO SOMETHING about the very things you complain about in this world.

As Matthew West’s song, Do Something, says when he looked around and saw all the trouble in the world, he shook his hand at God and said ‘Why don’t You don’t something?’ And He said, ‘I did, yeah… I created YOU.’

God did something… what was it?

All too often in our lives we can recount all of the funny episodes of our days but struggle to remember the things God has done on a daily basis. Are we walking through life ungrateful?

 Well, if you want to be truthful with yourself you’d see that you are.

Things we miss out of because we’re too busy complaining, are desensitized by society or have put things before our relationship with God are:

The fact that we woke up this morning

Our health

Our needs being met

Our salvation – so many people are praying for their loved one’s salvation and yet we all seem to forget to thank God for our own. It truly is the greatest miracle and yet we overlook it as something to be grateful for.

Those times God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way

There are so many things that God does, gives, says to us that we pass up the opportunity to thank Him for because we don’t consider the blessing it really is to have a God that speaks to us, works on our behalf and has in store for us.

Why not spend a moment today just thinking about the things He’s done for you this week? I bet you could list a dozen or more.

God does something every second. Try and point some out. They’ll make your problems, fears and failures a lot smaller.

Have sex God’s way

How does God really feel about sex? Looking at some of the scriptures in the Bible I would say that He’s all for it. (Not a newsflash, I know) God created sex. Everything God created was good. The problem comes in with the devil.

 Looking at the law of first mention

“In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth and it was GOOD.”
What happened?

Tohuw and Bohuw

What is that, you say? “without form and void.” The actual translation from the Torah says “Tohuw and Bohuw. If you look those words up you’ll come to the conclusion and answer I did: the devil. Somewhere between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is where Isaiah 14:12 comes in.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

When Satan fell to the earth he brought Tohuw and Bohuw with him so all that was created “good” became infected. Including sex.

  • God never intended for people to be ashamed of their bodies- that was the devil’s doing.
  • God never intended for people to have sex outside of the covenant of marriage- devil’s doing.
  • God never intended for sex to be an act of self-gratification- devil’s doing.
  • God never intended for people to need to ask questions about sex- devil’s doing.

God is all for an intimate, open relationship between a husband and wife without any form of fear. Unfortunately, today what you find is fear in many different forms haunting and polluting married couples.

Women come into marriage thinking that they must be XY and Z in order to be a good wife. Sometimes past relationships paralyze their ability to enjoy their husband intimately. Other times they’re plagued with images of women in such a fashion that they don’t feel beautiful any longer, or they feel they are only loved for the wrong reasons.

Likewise, men have been so invaded with images of women that it is difficult for them to keep their minds pure and faithful to their spouse. Another issue men face is the unreasonable expectations women hold for their husbands based off of fantasy novels and “fairytale” movies and television shows. Most of the expectations women enter a marriage with are nothing more than unattainable.

So what do you do?

Have sex God’s way.

  1. Keep your mind set on things above- I don’t mean to think about God while having sex, either. I mean to keep your mind (soul) centered on the things that please God. Pornography, lust, manipulation and selfishness are not of God.
  2. Do everything in love. I am not talking about just loving the person you are with. Walk in love when it comes to that person. Be patient, kind, don’t envy, don’t seek your own, don’t be easily provoked or behave rudely, believe the best of your partner, hope for the best and endure everything that comes.
  3. Another part that goes with love- “Perfect love casts out fear.” When you really love someone, there should be no fear. You shouldn’t fear whether or not they’ll cheat on you, whether they really love you or if they might hurt you. If you have any of those fears then you need to work on your concept of love. (noted)

I’m going to end with this thought: If God created sex and it is “good”- why are so many people settling for the alternative the devil has offered?

A Sexually Frustrated Generation

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Solomon 2:7

“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stip up nor awaken love until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 8:4

I  believe that we are living in a day and age where more and more people are sexually frustrated. Why? Because they woke up (stirred up) something they shouldn’t have, and did so before it’s time.

We live in a society where sex is all around you. It’s in commercials, television shows, movies, books you read, on clothing, in music, in the news, in school, at work and at church. Sex is everywhere. With such a bombardment of sexual thoughts, inuendos, portrayals and debates, how does one NOT think about it? And, if you’re a virgin and trying to retain your sexual purity, how does all of this not turn into the biggest spoon ever to enter your pot?

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Song of Solomon 3:5

So, when is the right time? Your wedding day. No, this is not written for those of you who have no concept of the covenant of marriage or for those who don’t see the fault in premarital sex. It is written for those who want to walk in integrity, not only in their conversation, but their lifestyle.

 “‘When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:8

When you get married, traditionally the father walks the bride down the aisle to her new husband. I want you to picture with me something that I saw when I read this scripture. When we are at the right age, the time of love, God Himself comes down and covers us. He does this with the protection of our parents, our pastors and His Word. He makes a covenant with us to cover us until the day He gives us to another.

Now, visualize the wedding ceremony of your dreams. The seating is decorated with flowers and bows, the altar is surrounded by those closest to you and the love of your life, the music plays gently and the back doors open to reveal a young bride with her father. They walk between all of those congregated to witness the blissful day of the joining together of their friend, sister, brother, son or daughter with the one they love. As they take each step you notice, there with father and daughter, God Himself walks on her other side. He, too, has a part to play in this service.

He has held this young women in the palm of His hand, covering her for years. His protection has shielded her from those that prowl for an immoral peek of such beauty. He has shaped her thoughts and with her submission to His guidelines kept her from wandering down paths of perversion and insecurity. He has preserved her tenderness and purity for the day she would give such a treasure to the one God fashioned for her.

Now, the covenant of marriage is entered by each with a simple “I do”, a signature and rings. God lifts the veil now for her new husband to see the beauty He has been conserving.

“Forty years ago, 29 percent engaged in sex before age 18, compared to 63 percent recently.” Sex, Love, and Health in America: Private Choices and Public Policies~ Edward O. Laumann and Robert T. Michael

Too often, young ladies don’t wait to awaken their love. They may or may not know how God feels about sex before marriage, but more often than not they remove God’s hand to reveal themselves before time. This not only leaves them prey to the devices of the world, it sets them up for heartache and disappointment when their prince is not the Prince of their dreams.

Child/adult sexual experiences: Roughly one in eight women and one in 16 men have had sexual experiences as children with an adult. People who have had such experiences tend to exhibit much higher levels of erotic behavior during adulthood. Women who have had that experience are more than three times as likely to have had more than 10 sex partners in their lifetime, twice as likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease, nearly three times as likely to report high sexual dysfunction during adulthood, and nearly four times as likely to be forced sexually as an adult.” Sex, Love, and Health in America: Private Choices and Public Policies~ Edward O. Laumann and Robert T. Michael

I could write about this all day and include countless facts and quotes about such a topic, but I want to end with this. If you waken love before its time, you’ll never know why it was worth the wait…

Studying the Bible Naked

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25

 “You will never be naked and unashamed until you can be naked and unashamed with yourself.” ~ Yvylyn Lawson

When you are ashamed it is because you feel condemned. You are judging yourself against something, whether it is the Word, friends, family, society or your own personal endeavors.

~Condemnation keeps you ugly, unworthy and unnoticed.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not

walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in

Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1

     I have had low self esteem most of my life. The things I saw in myself nobody else did. The compliments continued to come, but I became ugly in my own eyes. When that took place my self-worth deteriorated as well. I didn’t feel I deserved the love of my husband; I only made friends with people I felt I could measure up to; and I overworked at everything to try and find worth.

     As I said before, the compliments continued even though I thought I was ugly. Likewise, all of my efforts were recognized, accolades were given. Yet, everything I did went unnoticed to my mind because I knew those things that I didn’t do, or realized how much more I could have done.

     I became my worst critic. Nothing I did mattered, nothing I had to offer was good enough and I never looked good enough in my own eyes. The underlying root in all of these is sin, and my knowledge of it. Our cognizants of the sins we commit often times blinds us and keeps us in shame; paralyzing our ability to keep growing.

“Forgive and you will be forgiven… For with the same measure that you use, it

will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:37b, 38b

First of all, that includes YOU! If you don’t forgive yourself then God can’t. I didn’t say He won’t… He can’t. That scripture, like many others in the Bible, is a spiritual law (principle). God follows those laws just as there are natural laws that we must follow.

~Law of gravity~ The gravitational (natural force of attraction) of the mass of a celestial object (as earth) for bodies close to it.

On Earth, if you throw something up then it must come down due to the law of gravity. On the moon, that law does not apply. In the spiritual realm there are laws as well. God gave us these laws so that we could operate and live effectively with them. He is not trying to keep people in sin or give them room to be unforgiven.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness,

but is longsufferingtoward us (you), not willing that any should perish but that

all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

So we must forgive ourselves. Period. It doesn’t mean to justify what you did. Forgiveness is recognizing what Jesus di on the cross to cover your sins and make you the righteousness of God as enough. If you can’t forgive yourself then you are bound by those sins. When you are boung then you will never see the beauty God has put into you and wants to show through you.

 

“Likewise, we will become sick with ourselves if we reflect back on all that we have done in life . In fact, one of the quickest ways to resurrect your old self is to begin remembering the “old days”. You risk the spirit of shame and guilt overtaking you if you are not careful.”

Resurrecting the Wrong Life~ Yvylyn Lawson

The Bible tells us to forget those things behind us. We have to let go of all of the failures, mistakes and even the intentional sins we have committed. Until we do, we are still placing ourselves under their control. If you are born again then the Spirit should be what controls you, not your past. When you see yourself through the eyes of God and what He says about you in His Word, then you will have no reason to be unashamed.

 

“When we hold on to a part of our past that has hurt us we are actually giving it control of our lives. In my marriage, my past hurts were controlling my marriage and the love that I would release or receive. We must render our past helpless, yet more and more we are helping it control us by submitting to its’ trap of fear and resentment.  “

Resurrecting the Wrong Life ~ Yvylyn Lawson

 

I began writing this from notes that I had taken. I had just ran a couple miles, came home and mowed the lawn, and was trying to cool down. I took my shower but when I got out, my body temperature was still pretty high. So I didn’t want to get dressed. As I sat on my bed with just my towel on, I picked up my Bible to do some reading and wait to return to a cooler temperature before getting dressed.

While reading, my towel, which I had not sufficiently secured, fell to both sides of me. My first reaction of course was to stop reading and cover myself once more. It was at that moment that God spoke to me and said, “Why are you so ashamed?”

We both knew why and I started to cry. I didn’t like the way I looked and didn’t want anyone else, not even myself, to see my naked body. No, there was nobody else in the room, but be honest with yourself: when was the last time you studied the Bible completely naked?

Then, this thought came to mind: We cover ourselves with clothing, blankets, towels, make up, hats, shoes and personas because we’re trying to cover the very thing God fashioned us to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all start walking through life literally naked. It is time, though, for us to shed the fears, shame, masks, hesitations and doubts. Get before God and let yourself be naked. Let Him see those areas of your life that you’re trying to ignore or cover. It is only then (through admission and repentance) that you’ll be able to be naked and not ashamed…

 

Sexual Purity

This is the start of random thoughts about sexual purity; what’s right, what is wrong and where are we going?

To start off I want to quote Lisa Bevere’s Book, “Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry” :

“I believe God wants to tell you a bedtime story, to rock back to sleep what’s been so rudely awakened. One to softly lull passions back to a place of waiting and resting in slumber, a story to restore to a dreamlike state what was awakened before its time. A place where fears are calmed and hope is restored. A haven where shame is not permitted, and everything is fresh, new and clean as flowers after a spring rain.”

 Whether God needs to rock back to sleep desires or actions that have woken before the marriage covenant; pain and memories that have bombarded your psyche so that true love cannot breathe, or thoughts and imaginations that have been inundated with images and suggestions from today’s society- God never intended for our souls to drown in a society of promiscuity and lust. It’s time that we remember what love is, what sex is meant to be, and experience that which God created for us to, under the confines of marriage: a healthy, enjoyable intimacy with our partners.

 I wrote a sermon a while back called Prayer and Sex. It was a side-by-side view of how the two mirror each other in many facets. One of those was intimacy. In too many marriages (and Christians) intimacy is nothing more than going through motions, saying the right words and occasionally having a “feeling.”

Prayer should be nothing more than an intimate time with the Father. When we pray we are having a conversation with our Maker. It is not meant to be a time of ritualistic recitals of common prayers and/or mundane expressions of our “want’ list to an All-powerful, untouchable Great Power. It is the time that we are welcomed to come and dine with Him. A time when we can not only tell Him how we are feeling or express our needs, but also when He has the floor to speak to us.

Think about a close friend you once had but no longer communicate with. Now ask yourself why you stopped talking to them? Did you move? Did they? Was their an argument of some sort that has put up a wall between the two of you? Or, which is often the case, have your lives just taken different paths now and each other are not in them?

Now consider what it would take to have that relationship blossom once more? It would take TALKING.

Intimacy is nothing more than talking. When we are intimate with God, our Father, we talk to Him. We don’t just give him our “gimme” lists. We don’t just recite age-old prayers or repetitious expressions of intercession. We talk to Him; and we listen as He talks to us.

Sex is the same thing: a man and a woman speaking to each other; to the other’s mind, body and spirit. Intimacy is supposed to be a time of complete trust and surrender. Why is it then that so many people struggle with what is supposed to be care-free and liberating? Why is the most important relationship in a person’s life often wreaked with uncertainty and doubt?

Over the course of this exploration to find answers to those questions and many more I am going to touch base on some things that I have been asked, whether by friends or people I have counseled. I will talk about:

  • How far is too far?
  • What parents are teaching their kids by what they are listening to, reading and watching.
  • What to do if you’ve already gone “too far”?
  • What is hurting girls and boys of all ages.
  • How to heal from past abuse or promiscuity.
  • How we lose when we give in.

I hope you will take this journey with me over the next couple weeks. This is a public site where I know my writings will be seen,but this is also going to be my wall for expression, my canvas of pain, tears and trials and my map of exploration. Blessings and Shalom