Guess Who

Yesterday I had the opportunity to observe a rather comical game of “Guess Who?”

 

My 7-year-old was trying to play with my 2-year-old. My 7-year-old son actually did a good job of teaching as they played, but his sister…well, she’s still only 2. My daughter happily sat across from the table, interacting, answering questions, asking questions, and even putting players down.

 

If you were not paying close attention, you would have thought she knew what she was doing. My son asked her, “Is yours a boy?”

 

And she said, “Yes.” But in reality, her person was a girl.  So now my son was playing the game with all the wrong player up to choose from. Eventually he realized what happened, and said she cheated. 

 

Well… yes… she told you the wrong information, but in reality… she probably didn’t actually understand the question, how to answer it, or even how to play… She really needed someone next to her helping her… but she’s two… she can do it on her own… well at least she thinks so.

guess who

I bet you can probably relate to a similar scenario. Maybe you were thrown into a role, job, or task you wanted to do but really had no idea how to do it. So, you just did the best, took instruction even though you didn’t really understand what that meant.

 

I know I can relate.

 

I have felt like this during every new season of my life. Marriage… I had no idea how to be a godly wife. Motherhood… I had no idea how to be a good mom. Homemaker… I had no idea how to keep a home, cook, or clean.

 

To be honest, I grew up hearing this message, “You can be anything you want to be.”

 

I knew what I wanted to be, I wanted to be a mom. But people would tell me I could be so much more. Well-meaning people would tell me I could be the president one day if I wanted to. I got this subtle message that being a mom wasn’t important. Your career was more important.

For whatever reason, being a wife, mom, and homemaker were completely under-valued jobs that you didn’t need training for. So I paid very little attention to anything that had to do with fulfilling those roles.

 

To be a teacher, I needed to go through four years of college. To be a doctor, you need much more schooling. Heck, just about any job requires some schooling or training.  Yet, to be a mom, you need to have a kid. Zero qualification. Zero training. But perhaps, the biggest thing you will ever do with your life.

 

I’ve heard people say that schools need to have “Life Skills Class” which includes cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and the like. That class would have greatly benefited me when I became an independent adult as I didn’t know how to do any of that.

 

However, today as I hear people begging for these classes, I wonder- why don’t you just teach your kids these skills yourself?

 

Model it. Teach it. Live it. Have your kids do it alongside of you.

 

Remember that your attitude towards it matters. Treat these skills like they are important, necessary, and helpful. Make sure your kids know that you want them to do it too.

 

Yes, they will never hold a class called, “How to be a Godly Wife,” but that doesn’t mean you cannot teach that to your daughters. It starts when they are little. Model it. When they get older, teach them to happily serve along-side of you. Advice: Don’t treat cooking and cleaning as chores or your children will also see them as such.  Chores imply you have to do it, serving shows you get to do it for your family. As they get older, share with them the blessings of the role they have. Teach them to pray. Teach them to go to the Lord in prayer before throwing around harsh words. Teach them to resolve conflicts peacefully. Teach them to put effort into their relationships. Teach them that marriage matters. Teach them that marriage takes three, and that a healthy marriage is a good thing to desire.

 

There also will never be a class called, “How to be a Godly Mom.” But once again we can model that. We can let our daughters see how much we rely on God. We can pray. We can serve. And when we mess up, we will ask for forgiveness. We can model love and show that our job is to teach them. Teach them to be independent. Teach them to fly. Show unconditional love. Show stability. Show Safety. Give them room to grow while nourishing their needs.

 

The big roles in life often appear undervalued in our culture, but that does not mean they are invaluable, especially in God’s eyes.  “Children are a heritage from the Lord… Blessed is the man whose quiver is full.” Seriously, there is no greater joy than to see your children walking with the Lord.

 

Our primary job as parents is to lead our children to a relationship with their Savior! Keep that in the forefront of your mind. We have no idea where this life will lead our children, but we do know one day they will die and meet our Heavenly Father. I want that meeting to be joyous reunion where they hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” So, I will do my best to point my kids to God in every situation possible.

 

Some of you have godly women walking alongside of you pointing you towards Christ in every situation- Praise God for that! Some of you do not. But regardless of the situation, God is on your side. God will lead you, guide you, convict you when your wrong, and walk alongside of you every step of the way if you will let Him. You just have to trust Him with your kids.

 

As much as you love your kid, God loves them more! Weird thought… I know. But our love is flawed. Our love tends to be selfish. God’s love is never-ending, always and forever.

 

Some of you may have been thrown into the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker completely unequipped.  But let’s not let that cycle continue. Let’s teach them the value of their role. The joy that comes from fulfilling them. And do all things to the glory of God! 

Thoughts for My Daughter

While cleaning out the basement, I came across an old photo of my siblings and me. (I was like five-years-old.) I awed over it. Then my oldest came over and looked at it. “Mom, that looks like my sister!” He exclaimed.

I’ve always thought my daughter slightly resembled my sister. But most of my kids look like their daddy, and I just know I’m in there somewhere. So, I asked him, “Which one looks like her?”  He pointed to the five-year-old me.

“I guess she does look a little bit like me, huh?” I responded. He immediately rushed upstairs to tell his sister the news.

My daughter, she was proud to look like her momma! She suddenly started pointing out all the ways she is like me.

It honestly was quite sweet that my little girl wants to be like her momma and is proud to look like her.

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But my dear daughter, I want so much more for you.

I am a flawed human. I have daily struggles I hope you never know about. I have insecurities that I hope never enter your mind. I pray that you can resemble the good qualities I have, but that those not-so-great realities do not hinder you.

While I love that you want to be like your momma. I want you to set that bar even higher. Don’t be like me. Be better than me. Be the best you that you can be. The world doesn’t need another Renee. The world needs more people to share the love of Jesus. Be like Jesus.

Watch everyone around you- your dad, your siblings, your grandparents, your Sunday school teacher, our friends. See how they strive to imitate Christ. Watch how they love; how they love you and those around them. Help those in need. Share kind words. Be open about your shortcomings. Pray continually. Learn. Grow. Walk in the Spirit. Be obedient to the Spirit.

The world is full of sin and pain. Don’t overlook that. It’s a reality. I pray you learn to discern the truth from the enemy’s schemes early in life. I pray that you learn to have a real and meaningful relationship with God at a young age!

Let your light shine!  I love that you are not afraid to be you. You see a beam; you must walk across it (no matter how high). In a room full of people that you don’t know, you volunteer to lead prayer. When someone needs help, you stop to help. When you are unhappy, you’re not afraid to voice that too.

You are an absolutely beautiful child of God! Keep growing towards Him!

Forgotten Love

Last week I had the privilege of watching my last 3rd grade class graduate 8th grade. This class has a very special place in my heart. As the ceremony continued and the speakers spoke of each child, I was reminded just how much I loved them. Memories from five years ago began flooding my mind as I imagined those kids, five year younger, sitting in their desks asking a million questions.

I honestly forgot how much I loved those kids!

For one school year, I poured into them. I taught them the 3rd grade curriculum- reading, grammar, writing, how to multiply, and so on… But it was so much more than that. I helped them with their problems. I helped them communicate issues. I was there to give a hug and smile when I knew they had a bad morning. I stayed up late at night wondering how to reach them. I called them “my kids,” and I loved them just like one of my own.

Then they went to fourth grade, and I chose to stay at home with my kids. Life went on. I am part of a chapter of their lives, just like they are part of a chapter of mine.

But I am so glad I was reminded just how much I love them!

forgotten love

I know this may sound a little silly- but how great is it that our God does not forget how much He loves us! He’s not just there for a season. He’s here for an eternity!

He formed us in our mother’s womb. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the plans He has for you. But because He loves you so much, He will not force them on you. He lets you choose.

The love of our Heavenly Father blows my mind sometimes. I love my kids… But I have a really hard time watching them make a mistake…Like it’s so hard to not correct them… So hard to hold my tongue, and let them just figure it out on their own.

I can only imagine how God must feel as He watches as we wonder.

But oh, the joy He must feel when we make the choice to align our will with His will! Luke 15:10 tells us, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

God’s love is beyond words… especially when I compare it to my human understanding of love.

God’s love is unwavering, unconditional, forever and always. The good shepherd. The good Father. Always there- now and forever.

We, too, are called to love. But NOT to love like the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees love a self-fulfilling. The rest of the world chases love like a game. The rest of the world needs relationships to define their purpose.
But what the rest of the world needs is God’s love. You don’t have to chase it; just accept it.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4: 7-12)

We are on a journey in faith. A journey to grow in love and understanding of our heavenly Father’s love. A journey to share that love with all who have ears. It is quite the journey. But it is full of a never-ending, never-giving up, always and forever love.

I know I do not alway deserve that love. Praise God this is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Love from a Father who simply wants you to love Him back.

Thank you, God, for always loving me! Even when I do not deserve it. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of the word love. Unconditional. Always. Forever. Help me to share that love with all around me.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:26

Freezer-Burned

Recently, someone who loves us very much cleaned out their freezer and gave us a bunch of food. So, I decided to make some of those goodies as a side with dinner tonight… only to find out that they were… well… freezer burned.

The sides I thought would go well with our dinner…went really well with the trash can. I had to call on backup of the canned goods and cottage cheese.

I’m not upset about it, but it really got my wheels turning.

They meant well.

They thought they were helping.

But really, it caused me to stumble in my meal planning process.

Has this ever happened to you- well meaning people actually cause you to stumble. Maybe you’re in a situation where you confide in someone and they give you some not so great advice? Maybe they even try to show they are right by adding some misinterpret scripture…Or maybe you’re not seeking advice, but someone insist that you are wrong and here’s their proof…  a quote from a random place in the Bible.

They may have had good intentions, but who’s will were they seeking?

freezer burned

I’ve been that well-intentioned friend. The one who gave the not so great advice with a little piece of scripture attached.

I can remember having a friend admit to me that she was suffering from depression. I told her, “I’ve been there. God helped me beat my mental battles. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” I meant well. I did. But was I really representing God or was I representing myself?

I told her that God did it for me. I quoted a good scripture. TO MY HURTING FRIEND.That wasn’t what my friend needed. She didn’t need me to quote scripture to her. She needed to know that she wasn’t alone, I understand, and I am here for her. But more importantly that God is there for her. God sees her. He knows her hurt, and He wants her to lean into Him. Cast your burden on the Lord because He cares for you. (That would have been much more appropriate and effective.)

I gave her freezer-burned food. I gave her something that seemed like a good idea, but really wasn’t consumable.

I’ve also been on the other end of that.

Not too terribly long ago I made a very difficult decision. One that I really wish I would not have been forced to make. People who thought they knew the situation were trying to give me advice to get me to change my mind. But their advice was based on their will. They even quoted scripture at me to convince me their way was the right way, implying the choices I made were against God’s will. The worst part about that was that they misquoted scripture. They never read the context that it was written. So, instead of helping, they actually created more problems.

I know they meant well, but really, they stirred up a lot of emotions in me. Had I not already been leaning into God with all I had, I would have had some real problems with God since they were quoting scripture out of context and implying that my convictions were wrong. The decision I made; I purposely did not tell them details behind. One-because it was none of their business. But more importantly, I needed to be respectful of all parties involved by not creating drama and spreading gossip.  Though God gave me peace over the situation, I ended up hurt and confused by well-intentioned people using the Bible as a stone instead of for what it is- love.

These people were serving me freezer burnt meals. They were trying to offer me scripture, but really, they were manipulating scripture to fit their will.

Please do not misunderstand me. Scripture is a powerful tool to use to help a friend in need. It is useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting.

But it has to be the correct scripture, in context, and led by the Holy Spirit.

Any time you are doing something for your will and claiming it to be God’s, you are misrepresenting Christianity.

If you have to do a google search on Bible plus the topic you are looking for, make sure to read the entire section that the quote comes from. A quote taken out of context can wreak havoc on another’s faith.

So when you see a hurting friend, make sure to serve them good solid food. Pray for guidance. Recognize their needs. If God puts a scripture on your heart, share it. A friend loves at all times. Be sure to be sharing your love and God’s love.

 

“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17

Fuel

So, we have officially started trying to feed the baby solid foods. He’s not the best eater, but he’s only six months old. Generally, he eats the first couple of bites just fine. But then he’s a drooling mess and not much more is actually consumed. But he’s just learning. We will keep trying- obviously!

Anyways. Yesterday morning as I was feeding the kids breakfast, one of my kids brought me a jar of sweet potatoes.

“Mom, why does he have to eat sweet potatoes, and green beans, and squash…” her voice trailed off.
But her brother quickly gave some input, “Wouldn’t it be cool if they had pizza baby food.”

“Or macaroni baby food.”

“Or fried chicken baby food.”

They went back and forth listing their favorite foods wishing they could share them with their baby brother.

But me… I’m thinking- “Gross! Why in the world would I feed my baby fried chicken, macaroni, or pizza…” Then my thoughts continued, “Wait why do I feed my big kids that if I wouldn’t feed it to my baby? Why do I eat that?”

Because it tastes good. Because it’s easy and convenient. But definitely not because it’s good for me…

fuel

You know our physical diet and spiritual diet have quite a few similarities.

What we put into our mouths gives us energy and fuel for our physical bodies. Likewise, what we allow into our hearts affects our spirit.

I remember seven years ago; I was watching TV. My boys were very young. But as I was watching I thought, “I don’t want them overhearing this content.”

So, I shut their door and turned the volume down.

But as soon as I did, I was overwhelmed with conviction, “If you don’t want your children hearing this, why are you watching it?”

This was the start of a strong conviction to guard my heart. I turned the TV off for a solid 7 months. I still rarely watch TV. But when I do, I am now more aware of the worldly content and able to distinguish what I should let influence me and what I need to disregard.

I have learned that what you allow into your mind, will affect your heart. And you need to guard your hearts, for everything we do is an overflow of our hearts.

Our world is full of hang-ups for Christians.

When listening to the radio the songs are filled with chasing love, drinking, and partying. Is this what you would feed your baby?

When watch TV the shows are filled with drama or inappropriate sex jokes.

Is this what you would feed your baby?

Then why do you feed it to yourself?

I am in no way telling you to stop listening to secular music, stop watching TV, and go join a convent. But what you allow in mind will affect your heart.

Moderation. Use moderation. And recognize what you are putting in. A sugary treat every now and then is ok. But eating cookies, cake, and ice cream for every meal will have an impact on your physical appearance as well as your mood. Your body needs fuel. What you put in your body fuels your body.
The same is true of your spiritual diet.

What you put in your mind fuels your heart. So use moderation.

How do you know if you are using moderation? Well, I’m not you. But for me, it’s when my mind keeps going back to that thing. Maybe it’s a TV show that I am clinging to wondering what will happen next week. And I have my schedule completely surrounded by making sure I can be home then.

Maybe… it’s a game on your phone… I can actually remember being addicted to Candy Crush. I had dreams about crushing candy. Obviously, I was not using moderation here.

If something consumes your thought outside of the time you are dedicating to it. You probably need to pray that the Holy Spirit will convict and guide you to make better choices.

It’s an easy trap to fall into.

My boys just recently realized they did it with video games. (We don’t even own a console- on purpose.) But they love playing it, learning about it. They checked out books at the library about this game. They were constantly drawing pictures of these characters. The video games eventually consumed their little lives.

I pointed out to them that it was a god. They were like, “No mom, we just like it.”

I asked them, “What did you draw today? What did you read about today? What did you pretend to be when you were playing today?

This look swept across their faces as they realized I was right. “Anything that consumes your thoughts is a god.”
Video games are a lot of responsibility to put on young minds. We have to teach, model, and discuss moderation.

Or we and our poor children will fall into the traps.

Not just for video games, but anything that could consume their hearts…. TV… drama… romance…chasing after boyfriends/girlfriends… money… food… social media… sports…

What you allow in your mind is fuel for your heart.

We need Jesus to be our fuel. Read His word. Pray. Join in fellowship opportunities. Change the radio station to Christian music. Read books from a Christian worldview.

If you want everything you say and do to point to God, it starts with what you allow to fuel your heart.

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.

Romans 12:2

Clean Up First

A couple nights ago I was preparing dinner as my children played outside. My husband came in and said, “FYI, the kids are covered in mud.”

“Like, they need to wash their hands, covered? Or like they need to shower, covered?”

“Covered!”

`Great,’ I thought as I pulled dinner out of the oven.

And they were covered in mud… clothes, shoes, in their hair, in their ears, everywhere!!! One by one I called each child in to shower, change, and come to the table for dinner. Luckily, dinner was not cold by the time all five of them were clean.

My kids were dirty. They needed to get cleaned up before coming to the table. Once they were clean, we could enjoy a family dinner together.

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I think many of us can relate to this feeling. We’re dirty (sinful). We must clean up before we can come to the table (God).

I’ve sinned… greatly… now I have to get my act together before God will allow me to experience Him…

Why would God accept an apology again for that same trap I keep falling into?

I’m too far gone. I have to straighten up a little bit before I can go back to church.

Oh, dear sinner, I wish you could see how wrong you are!

God knows that your life is messy. He knows your past, your present, and your future. And guess what? He still wants a relationship with you.

You don’t have to hide like Adam and Eve… wonder like the Israelites in the desert… Or run like Jonah.

Repent like David!

Seriously, David is known as “A Man after God’s Heart” but David messed up big time. He coveted a married man’s wife. He acted on that sinful desire. Then he tried to cover it up. When he was unsuccessful in covering it up, David had her husband killed and married her.

How can a man who was an adulterous murderer be known for his love for God?

Because he repented.

David still had to deal with the consequences of his actions. But he did it with God by his side.

Walking with God does not erase your past. It does not free you from the realities that come with the consequence of poor choices. Walking with God gives you peace, comfort, and purpose.

We have a war going on. A war between our spirit and our flesh. Even the most famous Bible characters struggled with this war. But God used them despite their sin for His glory!

Nothing you can do, say, or think surprises God. All you have to do is turn back to him.

Yes, you may be dirty. But that doesn’t mean you have to clean yourself up. Turn to Him. Ask Him for help. Let Him show you how to clean up and avoid that mess in the future.

Do you think Paul allowed the dirt to cover him and prevent him from walking with Christ? No! He recognized where he messed up, repented, and allowed God to use his transformation as a witness to the Risen Savior!

He didn’t need to hide. He didn’t need to apologize over and over again. Jesus already died. Jesus’ blood already covered his sins.

I get it…you sinned today. How about this- instead of allowing shame to separate you from God, take your shame to God so that He can clean you up. I have been there before too. I have sinned, began to pray, but quickly shut it down as if I felt like there was some type of waiting period before I could go back before my Father. That sound so crazy!

Do you have a situation where you feel unworthy… where you keep apologizing for the same thing… Let me say this- Jesus died for you. His blood covers all your sins… once and for all! You do not need to keep nailing Him back on the cross. Accept that free gift! Forgive yourself. Accept the forgiveness. Let God use you.

So many times, we think Christians are the perfect people sitting in church pews. That is not it at all. Christians are broken people (sinners) in need of a Savior (Jesus.) Don’t continue this misconception.

Share what God is doing in you and through you. Maybe God intervened in a marriage falling apart. Share that story. It matters. Someone needs to hear that story and that hope!

Maybe you’re struggling with an addiction- food, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gaming…  I promise you another Christian is also struggling here and needs to hear what God is doing in your life.

Maybe you struggled with _______ (you fill in the blank here. For me, its drama and gossip). Share how the Holy Spirit is showing you how to overcome it, make better choices, and glorify God.

Seriously- Share that! Someone else is also struggling there and they need help. Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone is what another person needs to hear.

If you are struggling in your sin, you are not alone! Trying to do it on your own is not the answer… it’s prideful! All you have to do is turn back to God. Don’t try to clean up by yourself. Let Him walk with you. Let Him lead you. Let Him show you the way.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 3:23

Offended

Well, on Good Friday I found myself in need of a shopping trip to Target. It was a for-real need. The baby only had a handful of diapers left. (And Target’s Up and Up diapers are the best value.)

So, my six children and I walked into a busy Target. I was able to bypass most of the Easter crazy candies and such, get what we needed, and get in line rather quickly.

While standing in line, one of my children said, “I think I will save my money to buy some gum.”

And me? I said, “Honey you don’t need gum. Save your money.”

Then one of my lovelies saw what the lady in front of us was putting on the counter. “Mom! Why is she buying all that junk?” he said in a not-so-quiet voice.

Well, he was right. She was buying a lot of junk. Two hundred dollars’ worth of Easter candy.

But… me… I’m like, “Son… shhhh…” as I lipped the words, “I’m sorry,” to the woman who clearly just heard my son.

This really got me thinking… why, if I agreed with my son, did I try to hush him?

Why am I afraid to let the truth be the truth?

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The answer- I am afraid of offending someone. I’m so afraid of offending, that I tell my child to hush instead of saying, “Well son, some people have different values than we do.”

But it’s even deeper than that. In America, we are so worried about offending others that we just keep our thoughts and convictions to ourselves… well in the general public when we are not surrounded by like-minded people anyways.

Our social media feeds are filled with people standing on one side of the line “yelling” at those on the other side of the line. Democratic/Republican, Pro-life/Pro-choice, Ani-Vax/Must Vaccinate… We are so divided on so many issues… I wonder how people shouting the loudest can be proud to be part of the United States- we are so divided.

So, here we are screaming our stances on our sides of the line but in public we are afraid of offending others… We back down from our convictions… Or we tell ourselves that those are my convictions not theirs.  Which in all honestly, has some truth… the Holy Spirit works in each believer differently… But that’s just an excuse…not the whole truth.

Jesus told his disciples to go make disciples of all nations… and not just on Sundays after church… always. Be a living testament to the power of the Risen Savior! Tell the world about all He has done for you!

But how can we possibly share this good news while we are so afraid to offend someone?

So, here’s the deal- We all sin. We all fall short. Daily! We all offend God every day with our sins, but because he loves us so much- He sent His one and only Son to die for us… To take our place… And now when He sees us- full of sin, He doesn’t see that sin. He sees the blood of His son that covers us.

This is not a message we need to be worried about offending others with. We must share it.

What is the worst thing that can happen? I’ll get a dirty look, eye roll, or the like…  The person will say something ignorant in retaliation… Someone will get their feelings hurt…

Jesus didn’t call us to be passive, “nice,” and only share fluffy feelings of white puffy heavenly clouds. He called us to tell His truth. The whole truth. He told his followers that there would be a price to pay to follow me. That they must be willing to give up everything.

In Matthew 10, Jesus says, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.…” Jesus is saying we must love Him above all else- even our family.

We must take up our cross-daily! That cross may look different for each person. But I am willing to bet, most of us struggle with taking up the cross of our reputation. We want to be looked at positively. We don’t want others to think poorly of us. Therefore, we walk that line in order to not offend others.

So be willing to give up your reputation. Be willing to take a stance and lead a sister or brother to Christ. At the end of the day, it’s their salvation at steak.  I don’t want anyone spending eternity separated from God, so I must do all I can to point them to God now while they have the chance.

If that means I have to accept harsh words, their persecution, slander, or negative thoughts, then so be it. I will accept that and move on with my life acting like Peter and John, praising God that I was counted worthy of persecution for the name of Jesus Christ.

We want to share this Gospel, but how? But here’s where it gets tricky.

We can’t just cram in down people’s throat. We can’t just force people to read the Bible, a blog, some books, or Christian articles. And we can’t just force them to attend church.

We are dealing with people who have free will. But we are also dealing with their salvation. What do these people need? They need a change of heart. They need to see that they need a change of heart.

People in America seem to be living the American dream. Making their own money. Buying their own things. Providing.  Enjoying. Loving. But they keep chasing. There is something they are longing for and they can feel it in their hearts. But they will never know that until they see it.

The only way to fix a heart issue is to offer the solution- love. Show love. Offer love. No one will come to Christ by force. We must help them recognize their heart issue and help them overcome it. We must show them love! Help them learn what true love is.

No- it’s not a romantic feeling! It’s the love of a Creator. A Creator that desires a relationship with us. A Creator who would not force us to love him back. A Creator who we offend daily but will forgive us if we just accept that free gift that has already paid our ransom by the blood of his One and Only Son. He already saved you from yourself, you just have to accept it.

So, the truth, we will offend someone. But I would much prefer to offend a person by planting a seed. With the help of the Holy Spirit, this offended person may see their errors and possibly turn to Christ. This is a much better scenario than continuing to offend the God who loves, pursues, redeemed, and saved me. If I have to choose, I will always choose to offend man over God.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26