American Idle

American Idle

I’m not going to talk about Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Harry Connick Jr., Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Rickie, Kara DioGuardi, or Steven Tyler in this blog. If that’s why you’re reading – sorry, you can return to whatever you were doing before you landed here. What I am going to talk about is what I believe is capturing the hearts and souls of so many Americans, just like American Idol did in the beginning of the show. (No, I don’t think that many Americans are ‘Idol’ fans as they were when the show began.)

“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”                                               2 Thessalonians 3:6

The word “idle” there is actually ‘disorderly’ in the King James Version and is not talking about laziness (although, Americans as a whole tend to be a bit lazier than other nations). The Greek word here is ataktōs, from ‘a’ and ‘tassō’: and means unarranged. ‘A’  denotes union, and tassō, in right alignment or assignment. [Sorry for the Greek lesson, but bear with me so you get the whole lesson.] So, we are told to not hang out with those that are not in right alignment with God and His assignment to us.

“Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you…For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”                                                                                2 Thessalonians 3:8, 10

Yep, there it is, the admonishment to not be idle. However, you have to understand right alignment as a Christian to understand what idleness looks like. So, do you know what the assignment of God looks like in your life?

Believe that Jesus died for my sins and accept Him as my Lord

Attend church and fellowship with other believers

Pay God’s tithe (1/10th – not less) to the church to support the spreading of the Gospel

Well, those are all commandments from God and the way of salvation is definitely (and singularly) the first one. However, what I’m talking about is the great commission:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”                                                                     Mark 16:15-16

Are you going to those in your ‘world’ and spreading the gospel or are you being idle? Let me paint a picture or two of what idle looks like:

– – You spend more time on Facebook than in the Word

– – You spend more time on your couch than the couch of someone in your life that you can influence for the good

– – Your checking account has more withdrawals for fast food, clothes, or entertainment than for the Kingdom of God (which can be your tithes, offerings, supporting a missionary/mission, sponsoring a child or taking care of a widow.)

– – You sleep in on Sunday more often than you attend church

– – Your idea of praying only happens at dinner time and sounds something like this, ‘Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.”

Here’s the deal – The Creator of all things, King of all kings, and God (yeah, all you superhero fanatics, He’s the real deal, not just on screen) – HE gave you an assignment when you professed your belief in His plan (to send His only begotten Son into our world to save us from eternal damnation, pain, and loneliness in hell when we die). Was what Jesus went through not enough?

passion-of-the-christ-640x404 *The Passion of the Christ*

Americans today know more about their favorite tv or movie stars than they do about the man, and part of the Godhead, who gave up glory to come to earth, suffer, and take on Himself every sin, pain, and disease, so that we could be reconciled to God, the Father. We, as a nation, complain when we have to get up to change the channel on the television or when the Wi-Fi where we are spending our ‘hard-earned’ cash isn’t “fast enough” for us.

Really, America?

Who’s your idol?

If we don’t put God first in our lives – and you can tell by what holds your attention the most, what you spend the most time doing, and makes the biggest dent in your paycheck – then we have idols in our lives and are being idle with our time. Wake up, America. We are instructed to be imitators of Jesus and He asked His earthly parents why they were looking for Him (when they continued on their journey and realized He wasn’t with them) and said, “I must be about My Father’s business.”     *

Are you about God’s business or are you being idle?

If you’ve recently read devastating news on the Internet or seen a story on the news that disturbs you, your reaction should be prayer. When friends or family face trials and are looking for answers and support, do they call on you to intercede on their behalf? Are you tired of hearing the disgusting things Americans are doing to each other?

When you gave your life to God, you probably were all-in, but soon found yourself more like those watching American Idol – a fan. You go to church occasionally and cheer – like  fan. You hear about a miracle that has taken place and you offer up a “woot woot!” – like  a fan. Something supernatural happens in your life and you acknowledge that it had to be God – the one and only God. Even demons believe and know that, but knowing about and knowing is the difference between a fan and a follower.

James 2 19

Jesus doesn’t need fans, He needs followers – those who will walk as He walked on this earth; those who are about their Father’s business; those who are not American Idle, but Jesus Followers.

Which are you?

  *  Luke 2:49

 

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Who Dressed You This Morning?

My HBOO tells people I scared him after week one of dating me and I know it’s true. You see, I told my mom, him, and some friends that I knew I was going to marry him 8 days after our first date. (And this was the 90’s, y’all, so it wasn’t like today’s “dating” that my fellow blogger talks about here: The Generation that Killed Romance — BeautyBeyondBones.) Eight. Days…

Well, I was clearly in love with him and one thing I have learned in life is this – Love will make you blind to some things. That can be a good thing. For instance, when you love someone, you tend to overlook (be blinded to) their shortcomings, their annoying idiosyncrasies (you may even think they are adorable while your friends tell you they’re obnoxious), or their mistakes – even the ones they make repeatedly.

Well, I was clearly blind to my HBOO’s sense of style when we were dating because I recently saw a picture from our earlier years and he was wearing thick white and black striped, long cotton shorts, a patterned (other than stripes) top, and high-top brown shoes.

raised eyebrow

Um… you do realize those don’t match, right?

 

It’s one of those things that if I saw him put on that outfit today, I’d feel obligated to help him change.

Quickly!

 

The problem is, a lot of people are struggling with their daily attire because they are letting someone else dress them.

 

 

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A Door that Swings Both Ways

Let’s talk about purpose.

revdoor

A revolving door is meant to be entered and exited.

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  (John 10:9)

Jesus is the door to the Father and He is revealing to us His purpose now that He is seated at the Father’s right hand – our way to enter in to the Presence of God. It is by our faith in Him and what He did on the cross that gives us access to the Father.

It’s not about sitting on Santa’s lap.

Santa, Santa Claus, Child, Boy, Lap, December, Xmas

Our access to our Heavenly Father is about fellowship, worship, and growth. Jesus says we are to go in and out. So, let’s start with go in.

I’m not going to give you ‘3 Keys to Entering the Presence of God’ (partly because I believe you should enter in according to your heart and if I attempt to paint what that looks like, chances are you’ll follow the directions instead of your heart.) Instead, I just want to point out that the purpose of entering in is to learn from God those things you will need when you go out.

Going out is the second purpose of our lives (the first being fellowship with God – going in.) We are all called to go [out] into all the world and share the Gospel – the Good News about what Jesus has done to redeem us. (Mark 16:15)

So don’t just go in and fellowship, worship, and grow in the Lord. Be a doer of the Word, as well, and go out and preach the Gospel to your world – your area of influence.

It is only when you go out and give that you will have room to continue to receive more from God when you go in. Don’t be a waterlogged Christian – give what you learn and earn and you’ll see God blessing through you!

Blessings and shalom,

Yvy

Tomorrow???

Think about this: Your President makes a decision that, not only affects your life greatly but, keeps the entire nation in a horrible position and painful living conditions.

I think sometimes we say (verbally, tweet, post, snap-chat, and e-mail) things without must thought given first. Our emotions get the best of us and we react instead of respond; our feelings get hurt and we voice our pain; or anger rises up and we burp up the nastiness from our rage. Weren’t we told to be slow to speak?

I was thinking about this when I read this account of a leader who responded too quickly, obviously without thought.

The entire nation, his people, are crying out because of the hard conditions on their lives (that, by the way, he brought upon them) and he is given an opportunity to bring the turmoil to an end. He is literally told, ‘You tell me when you want this life-disrupting, home-evading, nuisance and distracting disgust to be taken away from your people, and it will happen.’  Do you know what his response was?

“Tomorrow.”

Have you ever done that? Answered too quickly and before you knew it, you sentenced yourself to a longer plight than planned or circumstance of chaos? This guy did, and I can’t imagine he had the backing of his people with his answer.

We need to practice the art of contemplation any time our conversations have opportunities for consequences. I’m sure the Egyptians wished Pharaoh had before he subjected them to another day with the frogs.

Exodus 8:1-10