This Christian Believes In Evolution

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Yes, you read that right. I believe in evolution. I don’t believe that I am a descendant of an ape but I do believe that I have choice to either evolve in my life or atrophy. The second option just doesn’t seem like an option to me. No, I can unequivocally say to atrophy or get stuck isn’t even in the thought process of my life.

So, I read, I listen, I watch, I search out wisdom. I want to be learning something on the day I take my last breath. I don’t think that I will ever achieve nirvana and complete enlightenment, but I want to go out a whole lot smarter than I came in. I’m not content to just believe something because someone told me it was so, I want to know it for myself. I plan to be a student forever.

I also work on myself, not just intellectually but emotionally as well. I want to find a balance in life. Where there are too many deadlines and stress in a life, there is a shortening of life where eventually you meet your own deadline in the form of a flatline because of a heart attack or high blood pressure or a stroke. I have the ability in my hands to shorten my days and I don’t plan to do that. For this to happen, I must plan my life and I must take control of my health. This means that I must balance my life between the world of my work and my personal time. I can’t let either consume me. This was a hard lesson to learn but I believe I’ve come to a peace within myself.

1 Corinthians 13:11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

While many Christians are consumed with the earthly debates of rapture and end-time prophesy and their opinion on pre/post/mid, I don’t even care. God isn’t here yet and I have work to do. I know that whatever God decides whether it be pre/post or mid I will be secure in Him. In the meantime, there is an urgency to find out what my destiny and purpose is and then to fulfill that purpose. There are people who need someone to talk to about their problems, I am a good listener. There are people who need a meal. I am a good cook and I have in my hands a network of resources to buy some groceries or get some help. There are people who need a coat for winter. I’m not above asking someone to help with an extra coat. There are babies who need strong arms to hold them and love them, and I am capable of that. There are animals who need our help and humanity and I have a heart for that as well. There are just too many things that need my mind to be focused on them. For me to be worried about at which point my Lord decides to take me out is just a waste of time. One day God will reveal to me all I need to know. For now, I have work and love to give and I have my part of this whole picture called life on earth, to live out.

So yes, I believe in evolution. So what about you, are you evolving?

Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer 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.

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Answers To Questions Asked

I had a couple of questions that weren’t asked directly to me on the blog but instead came by way of search that I really want to answer.

To the person who said they blasphemed the Holy Spirit and there is no point in living. There can be no way to blaspheme the Holy Spirit and feel remorse, so while you may have been mad at the Holy Spirit it’s a different thing to blaspheme. I know that you read my blogs on this topic but please hear me when I tell you, your life is worth living. I am desperately praying for you. This is a massive trick of the enemy to steal your soul and I pray you are able to stand on the word of God through this.

To the person who asked Why does he put stipulations on getting married? He puts stipulations because he doesn’t want to get married and this is probably a good thing. You want someone with whom you are compatible and who loves you and wants to spend his life with you. To tie yourself to someone who “loves you but…” is no way to live.

You guys rock! Keep reading and I hope I can help!

Hannah’s Prayer

What an awesome 3 year-old. She prayed solidly for seven minutes. Beautiful!! She ministered to me today. I pray that she touches your heart as well. She certainly was given the proper name wasn’t she? Hannah, who poured her heart out before the Lord as Eli walked by thinking she was drunk only to find out that she was praying in her heart’s desire. Oh, Hallelujah Jesus! We praise you for parents who teach their children to pray! May you bless them Lord! And Lord while I’m here with you in this moment, you know my grandchildren that have yet to be born to time, may they be mighty prayer warriors and worship you with all their hearts, souls and minds! In the mighty name of the one and only Jesus! Amen.

Compromise

www.despair.com
http://www.despair.com

Compromise: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
The result of such a settlement.

Compromises. We make them every single day as we work together to make life easier on everyone. Today, I want to blog about compromises that we should never make because they erode our belief system.

Compromise when talking about your belief system becomes a contagious disease that will ultimately destroy who you are or who you believe yourself to be. One compromise will lead to another and another and pretty soon you will look nothing like you used to. I know most people think it won’t happen to them but it always does when we decide to take this road.

So why do we do it? Why do we compromise our belief system? There are two reasons. One, is that we never really believed that our belief system was valid in the first place. We talked the talk but could not ultimately walk the walk. We thought we believed it but when it came right down to it, the act was more important than the substance of the presupposition.

The second is that we want the person with whom we are compromising, in an unhealthy obsessive way that ends up throwing our own self to the wolves to be devoured. It isn’t a healthy love that causes us to compromise our beliefs, it’s based on a low opinion of ourselves and a desperation and manipulation. Healthy love would never ask you to compromise your belief nor would you want to.

Don’t compromise your belief system. You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. And while we are here, let’s talk about what I mean when I blog statements like don’t compromise. First off, I don’t mean compromising on the color of the couch we are going to buy together once we are married. I am not talking about simple everyday things like learning to live with the fact that your husband likes to sleep with the light on and you like it off. I mean things like followers of Christ who marry unbelievers with the hope that they will attend church one day. I mean allowing someone to mistreat you because you love them, or they love you. I mean dating a married man who says he is miserable and getting a divorce.

Notice that I am writing about things that will alter who you are forever and cause you to sneak around and live in shame and not openly live your life out loud. If you have to keep a part of your life a secret then you are compromising your beliefs. The reason that this is so important is that while the compromise is happening, we lie to ourselves and say, “Okay, I’ll compromise on this one thing but I won’t go any further.” The fact is that we will go further and we do because compromise is a slippery slope. Once we swallow down the bitter pill of the first compromise, the other pills go down a little easier and don’t taste as bad. Pretty soon our compromises have taken us to places we would never have gone and we look nothing like what we and God intended.

Ask yourself a very important question at this point in your reading. Have you compromised your belief system? If so, let me ask you another question. Did the person you compromised for, also compromise their belief system? I would venture to bet dollars to donuts that they did NOT. Remember a compromise is a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. I would bet that you compromised on the HOPE that they would hold their end of the bargain but believe me, I’ve lived long enough to know I am making a safe bet. They didn’t hold their end of the bargain and never intended to. You were played. Oh, that is so harsh to say but I say it because only truth will set you free.

So that being said, what will you do now? Will go back and get your beliefs back? Or will you stubbornly allow the initial compromise to take you out? You are so worthy of going back and taking inventory and getting your life back! It’s okay to take a positive step forward to look in the mirror and say, “I need a do-over. This isn’t working for me. This has cost me too much.” Compromise, it’s an insidious contagious fungus that will eat up everything in its path. Don’t allow it to devour you.

That Stinks! The Power Of Negativity

www.flickr.com/ photos/ 26308087@N02/ 2470787942/
http://www.flickr.com/ photos/ 26308087@N02/ 2470787942/

Have you ever been around a person whose attitude just stinks? They are negative all the time and no matter how positive you stay, they have something that can dampen your fire? Their life’s perspective isn’t one of joy but one of impending doom.

What causes them to be negative all the time? I think for some it comes from a feeling that if they think negatively about situations and don’t get their hopes up then they are not disappointed when they don’t get what it is they thought they might. My husband is usually a positive guy but get him ready for vacation or trip of any kind and a couple of days before he begins to get quiet and moody. Why? Because he convinces himself that this vacation is doomed, that it won’t be fun like the others we’ve been on or that something will happen at church to keep us from going. This negative talk keeps him from getting his hopes up in case he is disappointed. Crazy? You bet! However, some people don’t just live moments of their lives this way, they live their whole lives this way.

Have you ever watched the Debbie Downer skits on SNL? Everyone is happy and she has a negative word that eventually brings everyone down. We all know people like this, they are never happy about anything. They have the ability to sober a room with a sentence. I don’t think they intentionally want people to feel down like they do I just don’t think they give it much thought. If you are a person who is easily influenced or bent toward negativity then limit your time in the company of others who share this bent.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Matthew 12:34 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

So it seems that the reason negativity in speech exists is that is flowing out of the negative heart of that person. Whether that person was hurt profoundly and now sees the world as harsh, horrible, and out to get them or whether they were born with a negative bent towards life, they are speaking out of what is going on within their own mind.

This helps us to deal with them as you see that their negative talk is not because they want to bring us down, rather it’s a byproduct of what is going on within them. Can you imagine how utterly sad to live your life always thinking something bad is going to happen? To see life as negative and that there is nothing to look forward to? Life is so great, even in the hard times, that I can’t imagine not having the faith that things will get better as the general thought process of life and that there is something better right around the corner for me. Yet, for the negative person, that something better isn’t coming because even if it’s a blessing there is a failure to recognize it because they are only looking for the negative and they miss the positive.

Then there are those for whom if they conceded that this was good, whatever “this” happened to be in their life would be to miss out on the next greater thing. For them it’s a process of not wanting to settle and instead missing it all. For these people they have never been able to find contentment in their own soul. Can you imagine a life where the good in it was always missed as you waited for the next best thing? That is a tragedy. Does this not break your heart? They live their lives in a way that the great parts of life will be missed because they are looking down the road not to see the positive but to catch the negative.

So the next time you are in the presence of the Debbie Downer in your life, take a moment to point out the positive. Refuse to go down the trail of negativity with them. Refuse to let them get you down. Refuse to accept their negative word over your situation. Begin to speak life into their lives. Instead of walking out with the stench of negativity in your nostrils, speak a positive word into their life. They may counter with a negative but refuse to accept it. Speak life, speak positive and refuse to let the stink get on you!

Living In A Small Town

Small towns. John Cougar Mellencamp sings about it, and I complain about it. Most shopping has to be done 45 minutes away and we are very limited on services. If someone from out of town visits you, people ask who they are. Today the Lord reminded me of the blessings of living in a small town.

If you’ve never been to California and traveled extensively, you imagine California to be Los Angeles and San Francisco. It isn’t though. There is large area of California called the Central Valley and it’s made up of small farming communities. That’s where I was born and have lived a great deal of my life. As a teen I couldn’t wait to leave! Small towns were good places to be from, not to be in, I wanted big city lights.

Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic thats me

I moved back to the valley when I was 29 and have lived here ever since. I finally stopped commuting to the Bay Area 7 years ago and I have lived exclusively in a small town. We are a small town to the core. When something new happens everyone knows about it here. When we get a new store, we all rejoice and think we are big time now!

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities

So here was my day yesterday. Lulu and I headed to the office via Starbucks.

“Good morning, welcome to Starbucks, would you like to try a blah, blah, blah?”
“No thanks, can I get a Grande Soy Chai Latte please?”
“A grande soy chai latte, we’ll have your total at the window”
I get to the window and big smiles from the staff, “Hi Lulu! Here’s your whipped cream”
Lulu is dancing in the front seat and crying and drooling all at once. No one can ever say my dog doesn’t multi-task just like her mom!
“Awwww! She’s the cutest thing!”

We run to the office and work.

At lunch we run to the bank. The teller waves me over.
“Hey Susan come on over. LOVE the new flowers in your yard. What’s the stuff you put in the beds it looks so full.”

Then we run to the dry cleaners:
“Hello Mrs. Young, your cleaning is ready. Do you want to pay today or is Mr. Young coming in to pay?”

Then we run to the post office:
“Hey, how’s the church building coming along? I saw men working there, is it almost done?”
“Where’s Anthony been? Haven’t seen him around lately. Heard he’s dating a local girl, whose her family?”
(yes, everyone is involved in your business, it can be kind of annoying or it can be kind of comforting depending on your mood that day). At least they care if for nothing else fodder for gossip.
“Is Casey still in Los Angeles? Good for her! Sounds like she is she doing okay for herself. Sometimes I think I should have moved to a big city when I was younger for more opportunity but hell, I raised my kids here, married my high school sweetheart, my parents are here and we’re okay.”

All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity

On my way back to the office I get a phone call, “Stop talking on your cell phone. It’s against the law. Besides I was waving and you didn’t even see me. When did you change your hair color? Weren’t you blonde last week?”

Yes, the things that used to drive me nuts blessed me today. I am a part of a community. Maybe I’ve realized it for the first time ever in my life. Maybe it’s a really good thing. I’m not part of a neighborhood. I’m actually part of town. A place where my children are often asked about and cared about. It really was the best decision to raise them here.

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be