Thursday, July 8, 2010

#30 - Living Vanilla? Add Chocolate, Carmel, Whip Cream & Nuts

Good morning! It's going to be a jammin day today! Excited about it.... excited to get a lot done and accomplished. Yippee! So... let's get our roll on....
Proverbs 8:6-8 - ...the opening of my lips shall be for right things. For my mouth shall utter truth. All the words of my mouth are righteous (upright and in right standing with God); there is nothing contrary to truth or crooked in them.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
So much good stuff today. Where do you even begin? Words. Truth. Our words are so important. We even see that when our Proverbs 31 friend opens her mouth, good stuff is coming out! She opens her mouth in Wisdom. When she speaks it is with Wisdom and kindness. As we see in Proverbs 8:30, Wisdom was here from the beginning. Wisdom was here as the earth was created. Wisdom was hear before man was created. Before the sun & moon. Before animals, the water, fish of the sea. Wisdom has been here since before the beginning! So within Wisdom, it also accompanies the truth. Wisdom can not be a lie. Wisdom can not be false. Aside from everything else Wisdom is, Wisdom is truth. Our Proverbs 31 friend opens her mouth in truth. Wisdom often is love. Our Proverbs 31 friend most often probably opened her mouth in love, in encouragement or, as it says in verse 26, in kindness. 

I heard a statement the other day that shook me. It came at me and it was bold. It affected me. When truth comes, it separates bone & marrow. It comes straight. Straight! It comes hard. It comes bold. It comes in a glass that is not watered down. Truth does not try to wear flowers. It does not try to dress up. And we see the Word, JAM-PACKED with TRUTH. I began to think about it. I began to think about who I am attracted too. When we started our business about 7 years ago, I remember early on going to a conference. I heard people speaking boldly, and speaking truth. I heard things that, at the time, I did not even hear at church. I was attracted to the bold. I was attracted to these people who stood up for the truth. Who spoke the truth without standing down. The attractiveness of the Radical.  Truth is like a magnet. Truth draws us in. Truth is attractive. Truth is powerful. I go back to the statement I heard that shook me. When truth comes, it separates bone & marrow. It comes straight. I hear already some people saying, "Well, you have to leave room. You have to not be so dogmatic. You have to be gentle." What I have realized though is THE WORLD WANTS THE RADICAL!!! Think about it. Who do you want to follow? Someone who is passionate. Someone who is sure. Someone who follows their heart, who follows truth. Someone who is bold. Someone who moves you to tears. Someone who knows & speaks truth. The WORLD wants the BOLD. I have realized that the WORLD is following and wants to follow those who speak loud. I  am reminded of Lady Gaga. We call her radically saved in Jesus Name! She has almost 5 million followers on Twitter, and just passed President Obama for followers on Facebook. Why? She lives her life BOLDLY! People are attracted to bold. 

Wake-up call. Before this blog began.... I was living my life "Vanilla." I was living my life "not to offend." Everyone likes vanilla. I then, finally couldn't take it anymore! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! GIVE ME THE CARMEL, HOT FUDGE, NUTS, MARSHMALLOW'S, CHOCOLATE CHIPS! I AM NOT VANILLA! I think as Christians we often live life "Vanilla." We live life not to offend, while the World is living life BOLDLY... (ie: Lady Gaga- dancing on poles in a cage, whips, chains, scantily dressed, colored language, cutting edge ideas). The world is not "living Vanilla" and the WORLD is getting more followers than MY JESUS! 

Jesus lived a life that was not vanilla. During his life, people were offended. He lived boldly. He knew His purpose for being here. He lived and spoke TRUTH.

That brings me to association. Finding a church that speaks the truth and believes the truth. Comparing it with the Word. Cross-referencing it with the Word. Does what they speak or teach line up with the TRUTH? I'm not so quick to jump on the "ban-wagon" of ministers or churches that appear to be big. I am very CAUTIOUS in the books that I read... the authors... and what "school of teaching" they come from. I steer clear of some that I know I feel don't believe the WHOLE truth. Those who have taken bits of truth, but have disagreed with some parts of the Bible. Last time I checked, the WHOLE BIBLE was true. So, I'm cautious of "what" I put in. 

Personal example: A time back, I was like that about Joel Osteen. I was cautious. I did not know if he was just a "feel-good" minister... or if he just preached "watered-down" sermons... if he really believed how I believed. If he really embraced the whole Bible. Well, I have since read a couple of his books. One of the books I'm reading right now is: It's Your Time. I must say, it is a great read. We don't watch TV at home, so I never watch him on TV... but when I have been at my in-laws, I have seen him on occasion. I don't know how much he teaches on certain subjects...but when I've seen him it has usually been a message of hope. At the time, I thought, "Great, hope is good. Hope is important. But do the people ever go from milk to meat? Are they getting enough Word that they are moving forward. Are they getting the whole package and moving on?" I am definitely not an easy one to just "jump on someones ban wagon." Well.... that brings me to his book, It's Your Time, definitely good stuff. Get ready to get fired up... I'm just going to bullet out some things from it....

  • Don't talk about your problems; talk to your problems.
  • Speak to those mountains in your path. Declare favor over difficult situations. Too often we talk to God about how big our problems are. We should be talking to our problems about how big our God is!
  • With your own words you'd be sealing your fate. You must ask yourself, "Whose report will I believe, the report of victory or the report of defeat?"
  • Put a watch over your mouth.
  • In due season you will eat the fruit of your words.
  • Declare favor every day, all day. Let it flow out your mouth and under your breath. You should be saying, "Father, thank you that Your favor is opening up doors no man can shut. Your favor is bringing supernatural opportunities, divine connections, causing me to be at the right place at the right time."
  • I am blessed. I walk in divine health. The favor of God is opening up new doors. I will fulfill my destiny.
  • Switch over to the language of victory.
  • Our words can bless our future or they can curse it.
  • We give life to our faith when we speak out about our dreams.
  • He has made you the head and not the tail. (Deut. 28 - One of my, Amy's, personal favorite chapters in the Bible - Talks about blessings and curses. Grab hold of the blessings!!!)
  • God does not want you to spend your whole life working for someone else. God wants you to own your own company. 
  • When your needs are supplied, keep stretching to bless others.
  • Don't allow negative images to play in your mind. Change the channel.
  • Turn off negative talk. Fill your mind with thoughts of victory. 
  • Great expectations make for great lives.
  • When I was tempted to get discouraged, I used the temptation as a reminder to thank God that He was in control and to thank Him that He was fighting my battles for me.
  • Dare to dream big and pray boldly, especially - yes, especially - when there is no hope in sight!
  • Have you ever dared to ask God to help you OWN YOUR HOME free and clear without monthly payments? "God I'm asking to be debt-free - my home, my car, my business, my credit cards!"
  • God expects us to ask. If you are not asking for God's favor, His blessings, His increase, then you are not releasing your faith. 
What a pleasant surprise! Truth. And if you looked back over each one of the blog posts here, you would probably see many of those very subjects talked about. 

So, divine health? Living in abundance? What if I feel sick? What if I HAVE a headache right now? What if I AM broke? What if my checking account does say $0.00... or -$34.89. Apply the TRUTH to your situation! 

Fact -VS- Truth: The fact may be that you have a headache, but the TRUTH trumps the facts. The TRUTH, the Word of God, trumps what the facts say because the WORD says, "By Jesus stripes you ARE healed." (1 Peter 2:24) The facts may be that you have no money in your checking account right now, but the TRUTH says, "My God shall supply ALL my needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19) Or the amplified, "My God will LIBERALLY supply (fill to the full) your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." And our God DOES NOT LACK! So take your situation and line it up with the Word. Line it up with the TRUTH. Claim and speak the TRUTH over areas that may feel like defeat now. Say, "Thank you Father, that the facts may say I have NO money, but your WORD says that you LIBERALLY supply all my needs. That I have more than enough. I choose to believe the WORD, the TRUTH over what the facts may be saying. Thank you Father that YOU are Jehovah Jirah, God my Provider, and YOU do not have a lack. And YOU are my Supplier. I am linked up with the ALMIGHTY Source! Thank you for meeting my needs!"

Litmus Test: Do a WORD CHECK. Check your Words. Whatever you say, behind it add, "In Jesus Name." How does that sound? "I have a migraine, in Jesus Name." "I am broke, in Jesus Name." "I have no friends, in Jesus Name." "I'm not good at anything, in Jesus Name." "I'm fat, in Jesus Name." "I'm ugly, in Jesus Name." CHECK YOUR WORDS! Like Joel said, Our words can bless our future or they can curse it. And that is SO true!

Be Bold. Believe truth. Live truth. The only way to live vanilla is to add chocolate, carmel, whip cream and nuts! Live with Flavor. Live with belief! LIVE LOUD!


Monica said...

Dear cousin~ I have been silently following your posts. You have changed my life, and for that I am grateful. You have given direction to my ministry, you have given me courage, and I am so grateful to you. God is using you. A note on Joel O... What you wrote is good, however one must look at the whole package of Joel. I too am cautious of seeker friendly places. However if you look at the complete package... you will find him on National TV stating that there could me more than one way to heaven, and so much more. Not a good deal. God uses people despite ourselves, so I am thinking God can still use that book to pierce through our souls, but I have to choose to look at the whole package. Rob Bell is another one. Looks good from the outside, but on the inside teaches Raffia, spiritual breathing, and says Christianity is an Eastern Mysticism. (sp) I think of it this way. Its so hot outside and we take a crystal clear glass of Ice cold water... someone drops just a drop of cyanide in it... it will kill you. Looks great, but will kill you. Discernment is critical. There are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Any who... I could talk for hours. Girl... GOD IS USING YOU... I LOVE YOU DEARLY!!

Renee said...

This is amazing.. this happened to me yesterday.. I am tired of living for the world and their expectations.. I need to be obedient to Christ and know that every move and action I make has to be through HIM. Living the world is unfufilling and trying to get validation through it is never ending and sad. I just want GOD to validate me and know that his love is truly all I need. I got blessed yesterday because I did believe that GOD would supply and HE DID!!! God Bless you Amy.. I love you so much!

Amy J. McCart said...

My Dear Cousin... Monica... :)
Well, you rock. As Angie has gotten to know you over the last few years, she has just RAVED about you! About how awesome of a woman of God you are... how intelligent you are about the Political realm and how it relates and affects us as Christians. SO... your comments came very well taken!!! I must say, I was shocked by what you said about Joel Osteen.... it made me immediately want to do some investigation. For someone of his stature, that seems like such a BIG THING to miss!!! I mean, the ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN! As Christians, we know it is ABSOLUTELY through Jesus and Jesus alone! So... I went to his website to check out and see what his doctrine said.... here's what it said:
"We Believe…
-the entire Bible is inspired by God, without error and the authority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine.
-in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
-We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth as Savior of the world.
-Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins.
-We believe that salvation is found by placing our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
-We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again.
water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ and a testimony to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
-in the regular taking of Communion as an act of remembering what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross.
-every believer should be in a growing relationship with Jesus by obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by being conformed to the image of Christ.
-as children of God, we are overcomers and more than conquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us."

So......I thought that lined up pretty good.... BUT, I am VERY interested in hearing more... or getting the meat of where you heard of this "belief" that he has that there are more than one way to Heaven. Because that is a PRETTY critical piece to the puzzle.

Expound. Expound!!! :)

love ya!

Amy J. McCart said...

Amen and Amen! Isn't it such a belief builder when you stand on God's Word and HE comes through! What an awesome testimony of faith!! I know at times when I have done that, and it was for something serious... to watch God come through... like a Knight in Shining Armor... it has brought me to tears many times.

A round of applause to you Renee, for choosing to stand and walk by faith. And HE, and HE ALONE is the ONLY validation that matters!

love ya!

Monica Boyer said...

Hi Amy,
There are several things that concern me. I included some of the links below. Do a study on the Emerging Church. It will put hair on your chest! Young people are falling for this in the masses My heart hurts for the church. People are falling for a false gospel that is not a gospel at all. People are hungry for God. For the real thing. My biggest fear in all of this, is that with what is happening in America right now, within the year, it is not going to be "cool" to be a Christian. The rubber will soon meet the road when it comes to proclaiming Christ. There will be no room for this mamby pamby feel good stuff. I know I might be a little radical, (and I don't know where I get that from) but as you stated above... You got it, we need people who are unafraid to stand up for the TRUTH. To not be ashamed of the truth. There is soon coming a time when to speak truth will land you in jail. I'm tellin ya... I could talk about this for hours... You keep it up girl. Just my opinion :)

Dylan Barry said...

I have been thinking over this blog post the last couple of days and it had some excellent points. Truth by its very nature must stand in contrast to what is false. I confess that at times I have been ashamed of the fierce zeal that some Christians take as bold testimony for it is not approached with compassion. It was John Newton (author of "Amazing Grace") who counseled to his friend, "Let us show compassion upon those who are perishing and not disdain. Is it not God and not our own efforts that made us to differ?" For Christians, Christ provides us with the wonderful example of praying for those who have wandered, for their restoration (Luke 22:32). It will be as Jacob for fear of his brother Esau is welcomed from his travels into his brother's warm embrace. I pray often that boldness does not come off as abrasive, but winsome and engaging. I pray that Truth be guarded by a spirit of gentleness.

Dylan Barry said...

Your second part was difficult to understand. I am a Filipino and have lived in the Philippines. I am all too aware of the poverty and struggle that accompany many of my people. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to come to the U.S. where prosperity is seen in every store window and driven down every street corner.

I can remember my great uncle in the Philippines, who is very advanced in age, waking up before the sun would rise to make his way to work every morning. He would return long after the sun would fall, but he was always happy and wore a very cheerful countenance. He and my great Aunt didn't own much, just a small two bedroom apartment and a shared bathroom. The walls were concrete and the ground wasn't carpeted, but dirt flooring. By all standards here in the U.S., my relatives were poorer than poor. They were Christian too. I remember that my mother asked how he remained so cheery. He would reply, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matt. 6:33) I am sure that many would find that funny given their lack of almost anything. He taught me that God in His grace gifted us with a family and another day to make a difference; if we have God then we have all. I love my uncle for having shown me that. So if God decided never to bless me with material means then I would be okay. Having been poor, I am not afraid of God calling me to it again. :-)

Lastly, the more I thought about Osteen's claims the more I thought how strangely contrary it stood within the Scripture and the lives of many saints that died. I think of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:16-31

"Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death."

I think of the writer of Hebrews in chapter 11:

"Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."

I think of Amy Carmichael in her biography, "A Chance to Die" who set out to India to care the poor in the slums. Not once was she ever married but being content to have Christ as her groom. Herself saying, "It is fit that Christ would be my husband and he has blessed me without end with children I cannot help but love."

I think of John Bunyan, the Tinker of England who was imprisoned for not bowing the claims of the throne. If he would only recant his beliefs he would have been able to go home to his blind daughter and poor wife, but truth was more important than acceptance. His book, "Pilgrim's Progress" is the second bestselling book of all times just after the Bible.

There are many more who did not see the many promises, but rather looked "forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." (Heb. 11:10) Jim Elliot, Athanasius, Hudson Taylor, Christopher Love, Corrie Ten Boom, Polycarp, John Owen, Adroniam Judson, William Couwper and the list can go on. All men and women of extraordinary faith, and those for whom the world was not worthy. I know that if Joel Osteen were ever given a chance to go to the Philippines, I am sure he would find hope embraced, but in a different light. :-)

Dylan Barry said...

One of my favorite songs written by Graham Kendrick seems to echo my sentiment well:

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Bless you!!

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