Crucifying Christianity

….hiding behind the words they read and living by the rules that are only applicable to suit themselves.

Crucifying Christianity


Webster’s Dictionary definition states that Christianity is a practice of a religion, a belief, dating back to Nazareth. Talk about crucifying Christianity!! Now, I know I may not be the brightest light in the midnight sky, but I beg to differ with this description. I’ve practiced a lot of things but I never saw attending church as a practice. Practice isn’t a commitment! Doctors practice medicine, athletes practice their sport. And as far as their definition of it being a belief? OK, maybe that’s where our generations differ. Christianity, in my opinion, is about being and living Christlike—hence, the first part of the adjective.

Christianity, I’d like to believe, is a way of life–waking in the morning and asking God to bless your day; or praying to our heavenly father to forgive those who trespass against us, as we go to sleep. Do you practice, at our age, what we should have mastered by now–praying? Right or wrong, it’s a way of life for Christians.

I wander in my thoughts….

Some can recite bible scripture backwards, but does that make them a better Christian or more Christlike? Or is it those that wake in the morning to give of themselves, showing respect and honoring others, and living by the commandments that have been passed down? Christianity – is that when someone forces you out of your driving lane, or is it using some choice words to say how grateful you aren’t for their stupidity? NO! That’s crucifying the meaning behind Christianity!

The words, “I’ll pray for you”, does that pertain to practicing? Helping you on with your coat or holding a door…. maybe. But that’s being courteous and isn’t that what Christ would want? Christ could care less if you’re a Baptist, Catholic, or Presbyterian and those who follow His footsteps should know better than that! You treat everyone equally because it’s a way of LIFE–a life that brings you to God in the end. As Christians, we should respect all born into God’s kingdom!

 

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Ah…and now for the Christian hypocrites – those who could care less how they drive others out of their lane, while they read the Bible over breakfast! Their swords wave as they swear. Their hearts are less than the brains God gave them (though they don’t consider that as an option). So many–hiding behind the words they read and living by the rules that are only applicable to suit themselves. Perhaps they are the people that Webster’s definition refers to when we speak of Christianity – practicing a religion!

Combatting hypocrisy was a passion for Jesus. In fact, much of Matthew 23 is dedicated to this topic:

“‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’”

According to God’s wishes, we as Christians, must make it our duty to enlighten hypocrites of their wrongdoings. Be vulnerable, honest, and authentic with these unbelievers. Let them acknowledge their sins so they may share in the freedom of God’s forgiveness. Jesus encourages us to make disciples, not just “save” people, so let’s pitch in to help the hypocrites who are crucifying Christianity!

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So, tomorrow when you wake, will you read your bible over breakfast, or scalp the neighbor that lives next door to you? Will you scream at the kids when it’s really your fault? Will your spouse get a hug and kiss goodbye as you go out the door and into your car?

Now tell me…. what part of practicing a belief is Christianity in your everyday walk of life? Are you, too, crucifying Christianity by knowing the Word yet living by your own demeanor? Or are you trying to do a better job of being the best you can be to others? If you’re only attempting to try, then maybe you are practicing after all!

Are You The Right One For Me?

….if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference.

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Written by Anne L. Bicks, editor of Dana Bicks LLC

I have been so blessed to have found the right partner for life. It wasn’t until my sixties that the wisdom of God taught me what I should have seen when I was younger. Even so, when I was nineteen years old, I married for the first time. I was raised in a Lutheran church, so marriage was considered a very sacred event. Had I known then, what I know so well now, that matrimony would have never occurred. The only positive thing from that union, was my three beautiful children. But, I realize that young people, widows, or divorcees are all capable of getting married (or remarried), for the wrong reasons. The golden rule is that if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference. Most people that are in and out of marriages constantly, are not looking to God for their discernment of true love. They have also chosen to ignore the Christian traits of a perfect spouse.

So, I have decided to put together a list of important characteristics that you should consider when deciding if someone is the right one for you. I wish this checklist had existed for me, so if you or someone you know is considering marriage, please share and pray for your or their discernment.

 

CHRISTIAN TRAITS OF A LIFE PARTNER:

Does he/she love God more than you? This is critical, as in time, the way they serve Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. Remember, this trait will be passed on to your future generations.

Are they to kind to others? If you don’t see your future partner treat others with kindness and grace, in time he or she will be treating you the same way.

Do they treat their parents with honor and respect? How a person gets along with parents, brothers, and sisters will tell you volumes about their character.

Proverbs 19:26
A son who “mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.”

Ephesians 6:2-3
A person who honors his father and mother enjoys the favor of the Lord.

 

Are they trustworthy and righteous? This indicates they will keep their word no matter what the cost. By the age of 30, a person’s character and values are formed so this trait should be seriously evaluated by young people under the age of 30.

Are they respected by others? Pay attention to any hesitations people may display when they speak about your possible partner. Do others say both negative and positive things about them? If so, take heed, for they may know something you do not about their personality.

Are they flirtatious? A person’s actions and looks speak volumes about respect for you and the opposite sex. It is NOT in their personality to flirt – it’s indicative of insecurities. Understand that insecurities cannot be “cured” by you or a marriage – it is a character flaw.

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How does your potential partner dress? They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing clothing that flaunts personal assets. Sexy clothing should be reserved for the marriage partner.

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Are they contentious or violent? If you notice a lot of unhappiness or anger in this person, then be warned this will definitely transfer into your relationship. Most partners in abusive relationships, report anger issues from the very beginning of their dating cycle.

Are they selfish or lazy? A selfish, lazy person will lack the desire or the means to fulfill certain spousal responsibilities. It is a snapshot of their maturity level. Remember, you can’t pay bills with promises of love.

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Are they addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, sports, or impulse buying? This indicates how they keep emotions and desires under control. Addictions are a symptom of a larger problem and much larger than your marriage could survive most times.

Are they a believer in the Lord and share the same religious beliefs? If you are religious and they are an atheist, this will form a constant discord in your family. Oil and water do not mix. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. By ignoring this critical trait, you may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage and a battle for the spiritual well-being of your children. In fact, the Bible warns of dating someone who is unevenly yoked with your spiritual beliefs.

What kind of close friends does your potential partner have? Friends can easily mislead and falsely persuade the best of partners.

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Have they been open with you about their part in the failure of past relationships? Beware of the person that always blames others for a failed relationship. This indicates they are not honest to their own self, or God, of their personal downfalls. They can’t ask forgiveness from God without confronting their own part they played in past problems. How can they correct their mistakes and learn from a past relationship without an admission of guilt? They can’t and they will surely carry it through to your marriage!

Do you know the true priorities of your future partner’s life?

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Have you continuously prayed for guidance in making the right choice of a life partner? As Christians, we must learn that we have to wait on the Lord. For a man or woman who has an aching heart and longs to get married, the wait can be very, very hard. Any delay you may encounter might be a message from God that it is for your good. God wants you to call on Him, walk close to Him, and wait on Him. Don’t lose patience and wander away from God in your attempt to find someone to marry. This is extremely dangerous and will usually end up disastrous!

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No one is perfect but these basic spiritual and character qualities should be there. Proverbs is very clear that we are to find a partner who has godly characteristics in our lives. Looking for a man or woman to keep us from being lonely, or just to fill our needs, or to be a parent to our children, should not be the only reasons for marrying someone.

God cannot fail and therefore any marriage built on Him is guaranteed to succeed. Women or men who allow emotions of a potential love to dictate their lives, will never be victorious Christians.

But, so they say, “Love is blind”. Just don’t let it be you!

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Friends

Our sincere, lifelong relationships with others are so precious and dear

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So, you want to be my friend! Instinctively, we guard our domains in an effort to protect not our hearts, but our souls. There is a place saved for the holiness of spirits that gets invaded by the ill-will of those who call themselves friends. I read your intentions and listen to your body language as it sways on a dance floor. Your lips, nonchalantly, spew out a bible verse to impress…like Romans 8:28. I ask our Heavenly Father, “Where is the conscious mind of people who allow Satan to rule their bodies?” I wonder…. has their integrity taken a vacation?

They are ashamed of themselves, I know, for they used to be servants of God. I listen as they wave their sword as their tongue controls their persona. I pray not for them, but for God to ring their neck in an attempt to remove the corrupt ways from their body.

Colossians 3:25
For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

The cold morning sun shines through the curtains on the breakfast table, trying to comfort the innocent who are hurt from the night before. But it’s no use…. for only God, through prayer, will consummate relationships between these so-called friends. Like a little child crying wolf, you can’t help those with self-serving intentions. I realize I should pray for their well-being, but my prayers go out, consumed for the meek. They are destroyed by the prey which seems to have strayed from God. I picture in my mind, a vulture–high above the clouds–swirling in the gentle warmth of a sunny breeze; they peer down at the weak, trying to move on…. long after the residue of the attack.

Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

The scavenger’s victims pick up the remains of what’s left of their pride. Praying to God for their strength to resonate, I react by lending them my hand. My heart goes out to them, just as Christ would want. There’s no mercy where evil lurks, a result from indecisive intentions.

Friends

So I say to those who walk in the shadows of Satan’s thoughts — be careful! Your footsteps are numbered and they will never be seen in the sand. The meek will continue to walk on in the heavenly sunshine, so God help you! To those who’s integrity precedes them, my hats off to you! You are to be commended! Our sincere, lifelong relationships with others are so precious and dear– there’s no price tag you can put on its worth. It appears that the longer I age, the more the value of true friendships, climb. It’s like an investment at Dunn and Brad…. it just keeps rising. Life may appear like a Monopoly board at times, but our hearts are full of joy as we share each other’s lives.

Where’s The Mentors??

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


 

Lying on tWhere's The Mentors 1he living room floor with my coloring book and crayons scattered about, I watched the infamous Mighty Mouse on TV. Though it was only cartoons, the message instilled was a foundation to the rest of my life. The Three Stooges was very entertaining but later I would read the caution signs, “Don’t try these things at home.”

 

Growing up with Hollywood and the silver screen, we intently watched our favorite programs. We became attracted to the John Wayne’s of our time capsule. When Vietnam broke out, G.I. Joe was kid’s best friend (Hasbro made a fortune, didn’t theyWhere's The Mentors 2?) but the bloodshed toyed in our life’s hardships. So, we ultimately found actors to admire instead. The good guys! Life was simpler when the media wasn’t at everybody’s door step spreading gossip about Who’s Who in their columns.

 

The greatest part of our younger years was following those of Christian backgrounds. They, too, looked up to others who also devoted their lives to the Lord.

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We had great sportsmen with integrity too – Boog Powell, Jackie Robinson and Willie Schumacher, to just name a few. Nonetheless, with pride for our heritage, we looked up to them as thoughWhere's The Mentors 4 they were related to Washington, Jackson, and even Francis Scott Key, a Brit, who loved what our flag stood for. They were the founding fathers, the mentors of our great grandparent’s generation; believers in Christ whose values and morals meant more than money.

 


Hebrews 13:7

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.


 

Now, in stark contrast, the children of today wildly waves intergalactic weapons as their mentors do on the TV and movie screen. Their message to save the world is now about “taking someone out.” Riot gear has become the fashion, a presence of destruction….evolution at work. And as history dictates, these “biblical times” display our kids burning down the cities to prove their strength. Archeologists today will spend a lifetime trying to recover the forgotten history.

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Patrons stand in awe as our children’s mentors kneel in the presence of God to rebuke everything our heritage stands for.

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Sadly, life is now changing drastically and not for the good. These mentors, rebellions to our way of life, show little respect for our heritage. Their lack of faith in God are NOT examples to young followers. My first thought is, “very little pride”….

God, our Father, has blessed us with peace and grace. He, my friends, is the greatest mentor of all! Maybe it’s time to look up to Him and follow His Holy Word concerning how we are to raise our new generations. Don’t let our confused children be led astray by bad mentors. Give them the greatest gift of life…..God!

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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A Place Of Peace, Thank God

Ecclesiastes 5:19 – “It is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God”.


 

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A Place of Peace, Thank God

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The Last Dance

God watches the intentions that connects the spirits of the heart and instills hope….


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With best intentions, my integrity precedes and daily obligations manifest. Never would I ever believe the twists and curves I’ve been through. My life has now led me down a path of heaven’s way. From the gates of hell to the silver reflections as oceans wash ashore, God has certainly protected the innocence of my heart.

With riches from gifts that cannot be assessed, blessings pour from my writing hand to yours. Wanting to do my best for readers to share, my wealth now lies in God’s hands. In all the years of tribulations and trials, only a couple of bright spots exist in my mind – my son and daughter. My life appears as a child’s chapter story book. And I know many of you can relate.

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God watches the intentions that connects the spirits of the heart and instills hope. Though we wait in frustration, our souls hold on to faith. He allows our tough times to happen to test out our dreams before He gives us our gift. It is against all logic that He then places certain people in our lives to carry out His purpose. How can one not be in awe of His works??

 

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
~ Isaiah 55:9

 

Personally, in my eleventh hour, hell appeared to be an avalanche of no escaping. Miraculously, God heard my dreams that rang out years before. Saving the best for last, as an old Philco of songs we knew every word to, she waltzed back in for the final dance. A Scandinavian blond, with babes in hand, brushed my conscience with her poise and presence. The embryo of unforgotten love was held on to as the years moved onward.

The Last Dance

 

As seasons gray and gravity plays games, 20/20 reminisces with bifocals. But the band still plays our favorite tunes. Now embraced, I’m dancing my last years with her! Cheek to cheek, looking into teary eyes, I see dreams of fulfillment.

 

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Pray for your dreams and hopes and see what happens. Share it with me – I would love to hear your story! For it is He that now controls my destiny and yours too. What an awesome God we all serve!

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
~ Matthew 21:22

 


Related Verse:

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
~ Ephesians 3:20-21

God Cries With Us

God will help us all to try to recover from this history…..


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I listen to the rain as it dances on my rooftop…. and God cries with us.

 

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But now I see…. God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 3

Reverently our hearts are one. Harmonizing our battle cry we will never salute those who sit and do nothing….as God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 4

We must unite….as our God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 5

Knowing times like these…. even God cries with us.

 


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