Thursday, October 18, 2012

I see your True Colors

  I love my journeys home from a long day of being out and about. I love watching the leaves slowly kiss the sidewalk as the train moves quickly passed. I feel a bit of a chill, not only in the air, but also in knowing how awesome Christ is to create such a beautiful display.
Within all of this beauty, within all of this majesty, I look towards what the Lord declares as beauty. The old saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” couldn’t be any truer than this. If the Lord sees this as beauty, than let us stand in awe.

   Harmony and I were spending our weekly meetings discussing and praying about the future of PardonWritersforChrist. For a moment, the conversation brought up the term, “True Colors”. If you know the song, you can understand the connection we saw between beauty and the lyrics. The Lord ‘can see your true colors shining through and that is why He loves you.’ The idea is hard to grasp sometimes.

   As women, we wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and look at someone who just spent the entire night tossing, turning, drooling on what once was a clean pillowcase, and it isn’t a very pretty sight. What do we often do first? Well, first comes the shower, then the fixing of things. Brushes, sharp things, powders, clips, hair dyes, hot metal tools, and combs come out of the wood work to create what we don’t see as a masterpiece. After plucking, rubbing, squeezing, curling, dabbing, and some crying, we see the result of what society calls beauty. But even then, you look at a picture of someone like Jennifer Lopez or Angelina Jolie, and you think, “I am still not as beautiful as her.” 1 Samuel 16:7 states, “ Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
We, as a staff, want to focus more on what true beauty is. What does it look like in the eyes of God as He directs so many wonderful women within the Word? I want to start a discussion and, ultimately, come together in fellowship and worshiping Him for all this beauty He has given to us.

Much love,
L.J. Christian

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who will you allow to transform you

"To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together"
                         -The Byrds

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't not normally sing very old, hippy songs but this one just popped in my head this morning as I began to write. This holds ground to my heart as I learn the process of change. I don't like change and honestly, I don't know many people who do. I don't like walking into the unknown and I don't like having to rely on "what could happen" as a guide to my life. I don't like it! Can you tell that I have some sort of trust issues? Well, yes I do, but that is what makes me who I am as a person. But even though I have a trouble trusting in people, this change of season has me really trusting in the Lord more than ever. No matter how hard I try, system of events still manage to transform me. Some events place me in the situation of trial where I have to stand up to what I know is right, and others force me to look myself straight in the eye and break down in tears. There is a time to cry and there is a time to rejoice in a season. I am not perfect, and I refuse to pretend that I am. I have struggled with the same sort of sin my entire life. This doesn't make me stronger or weaker, it just makes me the person I am. Satan understands my weakness, but the Lord remains my strength.

During this season, I have to force myself to look at change and say that I am not going to end up the same person after this ends. But as this happens, I need to question, "Will I allow satan to transform me or God?" This has been the true question of my heart. Of course, in my heart, I always say, "God transform me." But during it all, I can't help but see myself fall towards what I know is wrong and what I have failed in time and time again. Just as before, I need to not lean on my own understanding and trust in Christ. I might struggle and I might feel as though I am in a battle, but as I go through a season of turn turn, I need to let my heart rejoice in Christ.  He will get me through it all and He will guide me towards His direction. 

Time will only tell where He will lead you. Doesn't that sound scary; only time will tell? I mean, that is terrifying,but I know that with Him, I don't need to be afraid of this dark tunnel I feel I am going through. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. If you are going through a tunnel and can't see the end, I want to encourage you to fellowship with other believers. That is the one thing that has pulled me from a time of running from God and back in His arms. The world will slowly push you down. We were never designed to  walk alone. Like the old saying, "It takes a village." Yes, it does take a village to stay on track with the Lord sometimes. Confide in a fellow believer in Christ.  Also find someone who is much older than you, and has been a believer for some time. This will help you as you struggle and rejoice during the time of turn turn.(Proverbs 3:5)

I sound so bleak, and far from my laugh laugh self, but this is serious. This is between following Christ as you transform or following Satan. Believe me, this is no laughing matter.
I want to encourage you to read through both Jonah and Job this week.  They are both great examples of men being transformed and lead by Christ. Who will you allow transform your life?
Much love,
L. J. Christian
2 Cor 6:14
 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
 Job 1:20-22
 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carry Me to the Cross

I had an eye-opening experience today. It involved something I do every day, but it shined a new light on me. This might sound weird but I was in the shower washing my hair. Now I love my showers with really hot water and steam filled but today, I also hadn’t eaten in quite a while because of stress and grief from this summer and fall’s events…I’m not going to go into all the details of this season but it has been rough. Anyway, I get out of the shower and am in my towel walking back to my room to get dressed. I feel light headed and weak but I continue to walk and not sit down. I brush out my hair in front of the mirror and cannot see straight. The room starts spinning and I pass out…still in a towel. I try to get back up and I crawl over to my bed and sit for a few seconds then carry on without thinking about my routine. I get dressed but still feel dizzy. I think I have more strength than I do. I refuse to sit back down. There is too much I have to think about even though in the back of my mind, there is something telling me to let myself rest and let go of myself for a bit. I do not listen. I go downstairs to go out somewhere but before I do, I have to run back upstairs and grab something. Finally my body gives out on me and before I pass out again I sit down on my bed and rest for a while. I look at my phone and cancel my plans so I can sleep for a bit, eat a full meal, and regain a bit of stability.
This story today made me realize something. In times of grief, stress, or when life has given us more than we can handle, God wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to sit down and regain stability so we can get up and live life. I believe God gives us more than we, by ourselves, can handle so we will have no other choice but to let it go and trust in Him…I mean okay, one of my close friends died in a terrible tragedy, I witnessed a fatal motorcycle accident and watched the man’s heart stop beating while paramedics tried to save him, my baby sister’s best friend committed suicide, and I have friend and family drama with finances and misunderstandings. My heart has been burdened with so many things and I am finally ready to lay it all down at the foot of the cross. God doesn’t want me to “pass out” from all the burden or stress. He wants me to rest and He wants the same for you! Hand whatever it is over to the Lord. That’s why he died for us after all. Let Go and Let God!!!
Matthew 11:28-30       
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light
-Harmony K.