Kisses From Katie

kissesfromkatie

In 2008 we moved from Georgia to Virginia. I remember a friend of mine from Georgia emailing me and telling me about a blog I must start reading. She described a young girl who left everything straight from high school to become a missionary in Uganda.

Over the years I continued hearing about this story and this person. She published a book, and I continued to hear about it. Then this year my sister and niece fell in love with the book and a friend’s daughter left to serve with Katie’s team in Africa. It was time I read this book. Kisses from Katie.

It’s one of those that God uses to dig down into the deep spaces. I can’t stop thinking about it. The last book that affected me this much was David Platt’s Radical. I see a theme here.

This from the Foreword, “When the child had been bathed to her aunt’s satisfaction, Katie wrapped her in a towel and carried her to a nearby bed. She knelt in front of her and began to remove jiggers from her feet. Jigger was not a word I’d heard before. In Uganda, jiggers are everywhere and they cause much trouble. They are small insects that burrow painlessly into a person’s skin and create a tiny egg sac, leaving a little bump that appears as inflammation. While having jiggers doesn’t hurt until they have practically infested an area of the body, having them removed can be excruciating. But the child didn’t wince, scream, or jerk in any way as Katie removed the jiggers and cut away dead skin around them. She simply sat silently as a few tiny tears made their way slowly down her face.”

God is using this book to burrow into me like jiggers. As I become inflamed with this message, it hurts. Yet throughout this book the theme that stands out over every story she shares is love. LOVE. Katie, with extreme love, removed those jiggers one by one from that child. The love Katie shared, which was a manifestation of God’s love, is what truly heals. The jiggers that are making a home into my heart, love will heal those too. Sometimes, we have to become inflamed before love begins to heal.

From the introduction, “Slowly but surely I began to realize the truth: I had loved and admired and worshiped Jesus without doing what He said. This recognition didn’t happen overnight; in fact I believe it was happening in my heart long before I even knew it.”…..”So I quit my life.”

People often ask if I think my life is dangerous, if I am afraid. I am much more afraid of remaining comfortable.”

Yes! I get this. My heart cries out when I read this. I wrote for 30 days on this in 2013. Yet, what have I done about it?

More from the introduction, “I am surrounded by things that can destroy the body. I interact almost daily with people who have deadly diseases, and many times I am the only person who can help them. I live in a country with one of the world’s longest-running wars taking place just a few hours away. Uncertainty is everywhere. But I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy.”

Yes, me too. Yet I’m still very comfortable in the American life. This books challenges me in new ways. The most surprising is that this book is revealing something far greater than what I realized when I opened the first page. I expected the entire book would be a beautiful story that would inspire the reader to reach out and stretch our limits in serving the poor. And while it does, it does something far more radical than that.

The word that whispers in my soul with every page I turn is this: Love. It’s love.

Katie Davis is very clear about one thing. She isn’t a hero. She isn’t brave and courageous. She isn’t an extraordinary human being. She is no different than you or me. Except she is different in my opinion. She has a love for Jesus that is worth giving her entire life to share. She has experienced His love to a point she can’t contain it. She must give that love back out. It’s too big to keep inside. She couldn’t possibly keep it inside. That’s the kind of love I want for my King.

When Katie got to Uganda, she had no idea she would be where she is today with her ministry. She didn’t go with a strategic plan for establishing a ministry. She went with a plan to love.

What if every moment of my day here in America looked like Katie’s days in Uganda? What if my entire strategic plan could be summed up in one word – love?

Well, it would change everything in my world. And if we all did that, it would change the world.

Katie isn’t changing the world because God has made her super awesome and amazing. Katie is changing the world because she has a love for God that couldn’t be physically contained within her. She let it flow into each person she crossed paths with, and along the way she obeyed God. She loved, she obeyed.

Out of everything I’m reading in this book, I can’t help but put it down each night and say, “God, let me love you like that.”

Loving God more is a process. It’s not an overnight snap of the fingers. It comes from spending time with Him, from seeing Him repeatedly show up at unexpected moments, from calling out His name in distress and realizing He was right there all along, from whispering His name through tears and feeling His hands wipe the tears, from praising Him throughout the day, from laughing so hard your side hurts when He allowed His sense of humor to shine at just the time you needed to laugh the most.

I started the process of loving God more when I started looking for Him harder. He’s not hard to see, except yes He is if you live in affluent America. He is kind of hard to see because we can at times pat ourselves on the back for working hard and smart and creating a super comfortable life. So, yeah, He can be hard to see.

When we intentionally move through the day looking for Him, we are blown away. He’s all over our day. All over our lives. Over the last few months, I’ve felt God doing something in my heart that I’m not sure what it is. I still don’t really know. All I know is that each day, I find my love for Him becoming more passionate. Then I look back at my prayer journals and see the years of prayers that said, “God make me love you more than I love anything else in this entire world. Make me love you so passionately, I feel I might burst.”

Do you want to change the world? I do. Want to pray a prayer we know God will say yes to? Let’s pray He lights a fire in our hearts for Him that grows bigger, brighter, and bolder everyday.

If the most important command is to love Him and the second is to love our neighbor, then let’s pray to love Him more. Only when we love Him more can we love our neighbors. Only because Katie loved the Lord could she love on the least of these in Africa.

And many of us can’t go across the ocean to serve the least of these, but God’s world is mighty small and His love is mighty big. What I’m learning from this book is that loving Him is the first step to changing the world.

I want to do more, love more, serve more. We sponsor a child, we’ve hosted orphans in our home, we give generously, but none of that is uncomfortable. None of that is hard. In fact, it can be quite easy. 

Loving the world can seem hard, but I think it’s because we start backwards. We try to love the world before we are madly in love with the Creator of the world. Maybe if we loved our Father more than the world, then loving on the world wouldn’t be so hard.

It would be quite easy. Then doing what is uncomfortable wouldn’t be so difficult. It would seem natural. Maybe that is how we were created to live.

Love really can start a fire. One that can’t be put out.

Lord, light a fire in my heart for you. Let the world not dampen the flames. Burn so that it can’t be physically contained any longer.

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The overwhelming moments of God hidden in the small

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Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There are moments where God completely overwhelms me. Times breathing is difficult, words are inadequate. These moments catch me by surprise. I’m surprised by my surprise. When will I cease to be amazed that God can and will do whatever He pleases? That God delights to surprise and amaze? That He is uncontainable, unfathomable?

Sunday I sat on the 3rd row of a sanctuary in Georgia and watched my 60-year-old dad baptized. A man who would be considered a “good man” in the eyes of most. Not perfect, but good. A man who believed in God, believed Jesus was the son of God, and for 60 years believed and hoped that was enough to spend eternity in Heaven. I shared his story here in the fall. When his eyes were opened, and he turned to the One who’s been pursuing him all these years, gave his heart and life, and now stands a changed man, not in his power but in the power of the cross, he realized believing in God, going to church, being good, none of those were important. It was a true, genuine, heart changing, saving relationship with his Savior.

Overwhelmed doesn’t describe what I felt. I have no words. 14 years I’ve prayed for this.

Only God. Only God can take the heart of a man who has built a decent life and reveal his need for a Savior. Only God can open the eyes and heart. We must never stop praying for the ones we love to have their eyes opened.

Overwhelmed.

If we opened our eyes minute by minute, we would spend our lives overwhelmed, shaken. He never stops working. He never stops amazing. Sometimes God’s biggest moments are disguised as small gifts.

Last week we had 3 days off from school. I’m behind in every way with writing projects. The next few weeks are busy and will put me further behind. Therefore, snow is the last thing I wanted yesterday given the fact I will spend 2 days this week mostly at school with my kids and more snow is predicted. I needed two solid days to work. But God gave me what I needed more than what I wanted. Only God.

I tiptoed down the stairs carefully selecting which parts of the wood to place my weight on so as not to accidentally wake a soul in my house. Coffee brewing, fire burning, I wrapped in a blanket, grabbed my Bible and journal, and sat with the Lord.

An hour later, I felt refreshed and ready to see my kids out the door and work hard for the next 6 hours to try to accomplish about 15 hours worth of work. I began up the stairs when I noticed what looked like white outside. This couldn’t be since I looked when I walked down the stairs just to be sure. It happened. In one hour, a light blanket of snow descended. In those moments, I wondered if I should laugh or cry. So much for writing, so much for projects barely started. So much for anything other than more days inside. So much for MY plans.

God had a plan. God always has a plan. His plans are always better than mine.

I put on my excited face, snuck into Jacob’s room, and delivered the news every child dreams of. No school, you can go back to sleep!

I tiptoed downstairs and settled back into the Lord. Minutes later, Jacob rounded the corner, Bible in hand, a tiny smirk on his face. “Can I join you?”

Only God.

God gives us what we need despite what we want then changes our wants to match our needs. I needed time with Jacob, but I didn’t want a snow day on this day. God gave me what I needed in a way I didn’t want and changed my heart in an instant to want what God wants for me.

Jacob opened up his Bible and shared with me his favorite passage. “Mom, in the entire Bible, this is the one I always go back to. I don’t know why. But it’s the one I find myself going to frequently.”

“Only God, honey. Only God. Only He can direct us in ways we can’t understand. He knows you better than you know yourself. He is always working.”

He opened his Bible to Matthew 6:25-34. And He read to me.

I sat overwhelmed. A little moment no less overwhelming than watching my 60-year-old dad baptized, watching my 11-year-old son discovering how very intricate and personal is His God. Only God.

Not only that, but God knew that verse, which has become much too familiar to me, needed to find a spot in my heart that very minute. Because if I’m honest, it was worry that caused my plans to become more important than God’s plans. Only God.

My eyes opened to see God that morning. I wanted to see His constant overwhelming Presence. Moment after moment, He showed up. In the little ways. Andrew, always first to rise, slept 2 extra hours, giving me extended time with the older boys. A gift. I had conversations with Jacob and Zachary about the awesomeness of God we wouldn’t have had if we’d been on our way to school. A gift. Moments unfolded throughout the day, tiny moments, that caused my overwhelmed soul to thank God for always allowing His plans to prevail.

He is as overwhelming in the small moments as He is in the big. We sometimes don’t recognize His hand at work in the small moments. But the small moments are sometimes the greatest gifts we receive.

I want to love God more. I want to have a love that is careless and carefree.

Days like yesterday make me love Him more. When I see Him, I can’t help but love Him. I just need eyes to see Him in every.single.moment.

Lord, let me not be so busy, I fail to see the small moments meant as gifts to overwhelm my soul. Never let your overwhelming spirit go unnoticed by me, turn me to you, and hold me right there, eyes on you. For I know when my eyes remain on you, I fall madly in love. 

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What I’m Learning About Self-Control and Discipline

steveandzach

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

My husband turns 40 this year. This turning of the decade spurred him on to make some radical changes in how he cares for his body. Of course, I couldn’t let him go this road alone, so our entire family went along for the ride.

Our family turned healthy-ish several years ago. We stopped shopping in the middle aisles of the grocery store, we tried eating organic when affordable, we cut out all artificials and preservatives, we starting milling our own grains and making our own breads, we mostly shopped at Trader Joes. We indulged in healthier junk foods (mostly for the kids).

We felt pretty good. Then a few things happened. Steve is getting older (well, I am too), Zachary got diagnosed with lyme disease, Andrew has language and visual processing disorders and a few other challenges, Jacob started having hearing issues, and we started to realize food is a super power in all of this. While we might be doing ok, could we be doing excellent?

Steve decided he wanted to enter 40 excellent, not ok. He went cold-turkey, hard-core, no turning back in a day. Just so happened to be the day he returned from a work trip where food fit for kings is routinely served, which led to him getting a nasty cold, and the same day my sister’s family arrived.

My sister gave me the greatest gift that weekend. She took charge. Little sister became big sister. She wrote up a menu, she made a grocery list, she took me to 2 grocery stores, she cooked food to show me how easy it is. She sent me pins from Pinterest to get me started.

We tell our boys all the time attitude is everything. I’m getting this message in a big way. I realized if this is going to be a lifelong change, not a fad for 30 days, I better adjust my attitude. My sister gave me a swift kick in the right direction.

Within days of making a change, my eyes were opened to so much more than food. I saw the spiritual hidden in my food choices. I realized more than food choices, it’s about self-control.

Remember my hot dog story? That super embarrassing moment that exposed my weakness.

I am again reminded how I struggle with self control now that I must deny myself what I think I want. In the past if I wanted a handful of M&M’s, I’d grab it. If I wanted a loaded white mocha, I’d have it. If I wanted pizza, I’d have it. If I wanted to stop at Chick-fil-A, we’d stop.

Suddenly, when I changed my mindset and began to look at food in a different light and ask, “Is this the best choice for my body? Will this add nutrients and value or just give me what I want…a quick fix,” everything changed. More than changing, I began to practice discipline and self-control.

Since I’ve begun practicing self-control in the area of food, I see where else I lacked self-control. My words, my thoughts, my actions, my feelings and emotions, to name a few.

Self-control takes practice. Self-control is harder for some people than others for sure, but when we want to improve at anything, it takes dedication, a positive attitude, practice, and prayer.

So often in a moment of frustration, words would escape my mouth before I took time to ask “is this the best choice of words for the heart of the one hearing or could I choose words that lead to excellent rather than just ok?”

Our 30 days ended on Valentine’s Day, and as I pondered our journey, I’ve come to understand that at the root of my lack of self control has been selfishness and lack of practice. If I wanted something, I would have it. When I’m not practicing something, I’m making no efforts to move forward. I’m stuck in the same patterns and rhythms.

I’ve prayed for years for more patience. How best to practice patience then to first practice self-control? For me lack of patience is an extension of a lack of self-control over my attitude and reactions towards others. When I control my thoughts and attitudes, patience is allowed room to settle in.

The past few weeks have been insightful in our home. Here’s to praying for more self-control!

P.S. I did find a resource that has changed everything for us. It took the get healthy initiative from a state of overwhelm to simple.

We started reading The Daniel Plan. I’ve LOVED it. I bought the book and the cookbook. The book gives you recipes, menu plans, and an entire approach to whole health on a very well-balanced plan for life. It looks at the spiritual in healthy eating, not just the willpower to be healthier. If you are wanting to make a change and don’t know where to start (like me), I highly recommend this book.

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How To Discipline A Child Who Rebels Discipline

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After multiple corrections for tone of voice and what we considered disrespectful attitude, we sent him up to his room. A time of separation was needed for us all to regain our composure. These moments seem to occur when the pressure of the clock silently pushes us forward.

We paid a visit to his room thinking that he would be ready to listen to our instruction. Pride clouded his vision, rebellion took the spot of repentance.

The give and take exchanges began, and his narrowed eyes spoke the attitude of the heart. He wasn’t able to hear the words we shared. He was convinced he was right. He had determined to win the argument.

My husband and I sat with our child trying to guide, instruct, correct, and discipline. We weren’t trying to win, but we couldn’t allow him to be so misguided in his thoughts and feelings either. Our son saw only a battle, him vs us, and he was determined to win.

We tried explaining that our job as a parent is to discipline out of love and obedience to God. He didn’t want to hear. His response back, “When you discipline me, it just makes me angrier at you. You should just send me to my room and leave me alone. When you discipline me, I just get madder and madder at you.”

My husband and I disengaged battle. In that state, no one wins. We told him to get in the car to leave for church and we would revisit this discussion later in the day when our emotions were calm.

Our emotions can cloud our vision, changing how we see things with a tendency towards selfishness and an inability to reason. That is what was happening in our conversations.

Hours later, after Sunday School, after church, after lunch, he tapped my shoulder and whispered in my ear, “I’m really sorry I was such a jerk to you and Dad.” I put my arm around his shoulders and pulled him close, whispering back, “We forgive you. Thank you for apologizing. We do still need to talk this afternoon.” He smiled back, “I know.”

Later that afternoon, emotions no longer changing the issue at hand, the Holy Spirit had softened each of our hearts so we were able to speak through love what needed to be spoken, but more importantly, what needed to be heard.

The earlier narrowed eyes had widened, the lines around those eyes softened, and the sparkle of curiosity had returned. He knew what was coming. It was God’s Word.

Knee to knee we sat on the sofa. He pulled out his Bible, and I instructed him which verses to look up to read aloud to me. I’d call a verse, he’d read. I would explain and let it settle into his soul. Then we’d move to the next.

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Proverbs 13:18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid

His eyes widened. “I didn’t know that word was in the Bible.” “Honey, God’s Word is surprising. Read it.”

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

“Honey, this is why I can’t just send you away to your room and leave you to yourself.”

Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death

Proverbs 15:32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life

Discipline is uncomfortable in every way. It exposes our weak spots and calls to account our actions. My son found himself in need of correction and discipline, yet he fought it with every ounce of strength he had.

Sometimes I need time to process and understand where my feelings are coming from. And I always need time to pray and allow God to guide me to truth rather than working solely from my emotions.

God’s Word is all we need. All of life can be boiled down into one statement. Know His Word. If we know His Word, we can work through anything. When we know His Word, we know Him. When we know Him, we can’t help but love Him.

The following day he called out, “Hey, mom, the neatest thing happened today. I opened up my Bible and asked God to direct me where to read. I opened up and let my finger fall. It fell on Proverbs  13:18. I read it and thought ‘hey that’s the verse mom read to me.’ So I decided to memorize it so I would never forget it.”

Ya’ll, I don’t share this to get a pat on the back or say I deserve mother of the year. I could tell you 50 stories of the last week where I’ve blown it huge with my kids. I share this so God’s grace and power are magnified over my weakness and failures. I don’t want to magnify my sin, I want to illuminate His goodness.

Lord, let us find satisfaction for our soul through your Word. Let us look to Truth to guide us. Let us cling to you in a changing world that feels out of control. Let us remember you are the Rock of our salvation.

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50 Shades and Sex Trafficking

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Today is my final post in the 50 Shades of Grey series. I never intended to write more than one post. When that post went viral, I received many questions that needed to be addressed. I realized how confused and in the dark people actually were on this subject.

Next week I resume my typical writings. Ones that I hope will encourage you in your daily walk and inspire you to draw closer to the Lord. Thank you for sticking around this week with me as I’ve felt so passionate for encouraging our sisters in Christ to stay away from what God knows wants to make them a slave.

Pornography creates an ever increasing appetite that can never be fully satisfied. Pornography is a trap, it’s a life of bondage, a slave to desires and lusts of the flesh. A book like 50 Shades of Grey is pornography, plain and simple. We use terms like erotica to make us feel better about what we are reading, but it is pornography. Men are visual, women are emotional and relational. Men ingest pornography through images, women ingest through a story that draws on their desire for intimate connection through emotions and relationships.

The mind is more powerful than we realize, and what we feed our minds drives our lives.

The following is taken from this article

“Psychologist Dr. Julia Slattery, author of Finding the Hero in Your Husband, says there are similarities between what happens to a woman when she reads a romance novel and what happens to a man when he views pornography.”

“There is a neurochemical element with men and visual porn, but an emotional element with women and these novels,” she writes.”

Webster’s defines pornography like this:

1
: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2
: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3
: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

In my first post, I mentioned the link between 50 Shades of Grey and sex trafficking. I want to explain further this line of thought.

Here are some fantastic resources if you want to really see how these 2 are linked.

The Connection Between Sex Trafficking and Pornography

Pornography – A Gateway to Human Trafficking

The Connections Between Pornography and Sex Trafficking

Connecting the dots between sex trafficking and pornography

The sex trafficking industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Like all industries, demand drives it. Remember supply and demand from economics? Increase in demand creates a need to increase the supply to fulfill the demand.

When our culture supports pornography, we are sending a message that we support sex trafficking. We can’t hide away in our homes reading this genre and think it doesn’t affect anyone else. That is a lie. Girls and women are lured into the sex industry in shocking numbers every minute.

Reading or watching pornography (whether it’s classified as erotic romance fiction or more) places us as a participant in sex trafficking. If we consume drugs, we are a participant in the drug trafficking crisis. If we consume, we are part of the chain. It’s all linked.

If we are going to wear colors to bring awareness to sex trafficking, we need to hope we aren’t a part of the problem first.

The first step in fighting sex trafficking is to stop driving up the demand.

Additional posts in this series:

What the Bible Says About 50 Shades of Grey

Are We Being Judgmental? – 50 Shades of Grey

Does God Really Care if I Watch 50 Shades of Grey?

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Does God Really Care If I Watch 50 Shades of Grey?

doesgodcare

I never planned to write so much about 50 Shades of Grey. I thought I would write a post in order to point believers back to truth. Then I would move on to the happier topics, the less uncomfortable topics, I had planned to write on.

Writing on this topic has been one of the most uncomfortable things God has led me to do in a very long time. I so hoped He would let me off the hook, and I could quickly retreat to my comfortable writing zone.

When I posted What the Bible Says About 50 Shades of Grey, I realized why God had grieved my soul. More christians than I realized had bought into the lie that reading or watching something that took sexual immorality to new heights masquerading as a love story was not at all wrong.

At the bottom of this post, I will be linking articles and videos you might find helpful in understanding why this is such a big deal. Please don’t miss these links. They are all very enlightening in understanding this topic and what this means for our culture.

I don’t want you to simply hear my opinion or my thoughts in order to make your decision. I want you to go to scripture to find exactly what God has to say.

Here are some of the most common emails I received from women.

  1. It’s a work of fiction. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or real. If it displays acts which God detests and creates in us sins and temptations to sin, we are instructed to flee.
  2. It’s a beautiful love story and she saves him in the end. There are lots of beautiful love stories we can delight in. When it’s a love story hidden in the crevices of sexual immorality, we need to find another love story to delight in. Our enemy is crafty. He is out to destroy humanity – christian and non-christian. Pornography is a trap and women are pulled into its grip when it pulls at our emotions and desire for relationships. We need to find another love story to celebrate other than one filled with pain, torture, humiliation, and degradation of women.
  3. What I do in my own private life, God doesn’t care about. It doesn’t affect anyone else. Oh, but He does care. And what we do in our own private life greatly affects those around us. When we read about a love story that makes us believe our husband isn’t good enough, does that not affect him? When we read about a life of excitement that belittles the gift of our mundane moments, does that not affect others when I walk through life lacking joy because I’ve believed a lie? When I think I can handle watching something and not take it any further, then I run across the path of another who begins to pay me a little more attention than I feel my husband does. Seeds of lies have begun to sprout in my heart causing me to long for what’s not mine to long for, and I take a step away from my husband, whether emotionally or physically, does that not affect anyone else? Sin has domino effects. It never stops with us. It has arms that continue to reach, hurt, and ultimately destroy. Our private thought life matters greatly to God because what begins as innocent private thoughts rarely stops there. God sees what we don’t see, which is why He warns us throughout His entire Word to fight sin.
  4. God doesn’t have a problem with *bdsm* (Please don’t look it up. I will define it for you. Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism.) I received this comment: “The topic of the book, BDSM is not against God. The bible says as women we should submit to our husbands, Yes?”Here is my exact reply from the comments section of my original post “The Bible in no way EVER affirms BDSM. Yes, it is VERY much the opposite of what God stands for. Bondage? No, He came to set the sinner free. Domination? No, He could dominate, but He offers us free will….we can choose Him or the world. Sadism? “the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.” Yeah, not our God. He is the God of love, healing, hope. Pretty sure He doesn’t encourage us to derive pleasure by inflicting pain on another.Masochism…same definition, so ditto. To know God is to know truth. To know God is to know love. Please don’t distort God’s word. Submit to our husbands has never meant to submit to being dominated, humiliated, and violated (even when it’s agreed upon). To know God is to know that God would never affirm these practices. To submit to one’s husband is to submit to his spiritual leadership. To get under his mission. That mission should always lead to Christ.
  5. If it helps my sex life, God wouldn’t have a problem with it. This is just our attempt to justify our sins. Have we no faith to believe if God wants us to liven up our sex lives, He can do it without us living in the fantasy part of our minds? God is much more creative than that! If that is what we are really after then it’s as easy as coming together with your husband and praying for it. Seeking God. God is the creator of sex between a husband and a wife. It’s a gift from Him to us. He gave it as pleasure, and He delights when we delight in our spouse.

Moving on from the comments, I want to look to scripture. Because here’s the problem I see. We receive the majority of our information online these days. We are forming our “truths” based on the words and opinions of others. But are we looking to truth to find truth? We have to know God’s Word.

50 Shades places sexual immorality on stage. Let’s define sexual immorality first because God has much to say on the subject.

Sexual immorality in the most basic definition is sexual acts performed not between married persons. However, Jesus goes on to define lust as sexual immorality. Therefore, even thinking of another or lusting after another that is not your husband or your wife is sexually immoral. The Bible is actually very detailed in defining immorality, but for the sake of what we are discussing, let’s keep it simple.

First we need to recognize the sin in front of us. What is wrong with 50 Shades? So much, but at the base, base, base level, it’s sexual immorality on steroids. If we don’t recognize sin when we see it, we walk blind with the world. We are called to be set apart from the world. We are to shine the light of Christ in a darkened world.

We are going to look at the sin of sexual immorality, why God cares what we look at, and how we can protect our eyes and hearts.

What is the issue?

Sexual immorality is sin. This is only a tiny sampling of scriptures.

Ephesians 5:1-4(NLT)

5 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[a] and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

Ephesians 5:5(NLT)

5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NLT)

3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.

4 Then each of you will control his own body[a] and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

Colossians 3:5 (NLT)

5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Why is this an issue? Does God really care what we watch and see?

Luke 11:34-35 (NLT)

34 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. 35 Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Romans 13:14 (ESV)

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

1 Peter 1:16 (ESV)

Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV)

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:1 (ESV)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Psalm 119:37 (NLT)

37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.

Romans 12:2 (NLT)

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

How do I follow God’s will?

Galatians 5:16 NLT

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

Philippians 4:13New Living Translation (NLT)

13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.

Psalm 119:9 (NIV)

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.

Psalm 51:10 NLT

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Psalm 86:11 NLT

Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)

3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

I love you dearly. My writings are written for christian women. I know where God has called me, and it is right here with you. This series I’ve written has brought readers that I didn’t write for. I love them too, but these words are meant for you. God has called me to serve you, to encourage you in your daily walk, to inspire you to live a life that shines His glory.

If you are my christian sister, and you have read these books or seen the movie, and your eyes have been opened and you now feel the shame of sin, please don’t stay in that place. God is rich in love and mercy. His arms never close to you. He rejoices when our eyes are opened to His truths and He longs to be the One to hold us closely.

Daniel 9:9

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Additional Resources:

Sermon on 50 Shades of Grey

Five myths about 50 Shades of Grey

10 Reasons Why You Should Stop Watching Porn

Truth About 50 Shades of Grey- Movie glamorizes sexual violence, domestic abuse.

To everyone who think 50 shades is all sorts of awesome – please stop and think

Posts in this series:

What the Bible Says About 50 Shades of Grey

Are We Being Judgmental? – 50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades and Sex Trafficking

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Are We Being Judgmental? – 50 Shades of Grey

judgmental

When I posted What The Bible Says About 50 Shades of Grey, I was stunned that it went viral. Before writing that post, I literally sobbed to my husband because I knew so many of my christian sisters were being blinded by the enemy.

A nerve struck deep with many people. I wrote that post for my christian sisters. I specifically wrote that post to address the Biblical position of this book/movie in the life of a christian. And honestly, I barely scratched the surface. The post was short and to the point, but it resonated with many of you, who quickly spread it.

As our culture moves away from God, we are losing our senses. We are losing our ability to think for ourselves. We are becoming tolerant and believing the lies that we aren’t open-minded or that we are judgmental if we disagree with what we see in culture.

Over the next couple of days, I want to address some of the most common questions or comments I received. Today, we are exploring the question of “Aren’t we being judgmental?”

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NLT)

2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says this “4:1-5 People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.”

I love souls and can’t sit silent on this issue. Not to mention I am raising boys, who I pray will respect and honor women.

My post was not a judgement. The intent was an encouragement to the ones who have not read or seen it, an encouragement to stand strong for truth and oppose peer pressure, and to correct/rebuke thoughts and positions on the subject in the life of the christian.

Friends, we have the Word of God, the living Word, to guide, teach, and correct us. We have been granted access to the power of God in our lives. And we have been given permission to ask for wisdom. When we aren’t seeking wisdom, we are susceptible to believing the lies around us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New Living Translation

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

 

We can’t stop going to God’s Word to test everything. That is where we find truth. We don’t believe it because a blogger said it. We don’t believe it because the media said it. We must test everything against scripture, especially when it is something as culturally shifting as erotica/porn becoming the new standard for book clubs and movie nights.

To navigate our culture we need wisdom, not worldly wisdom, but wisdom that only comes from God.

Proverbs 2:6 NIV

For the Lord gives wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

James 1:5 NLT

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Here’s what happens when we lack wisdom:

Proverbs 9:13-18 13

The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,  “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Quest Study Bible notes 9:17 “The intrigue and danger of being found out can add to sexual temptation. Doing something considered out of bounds offers a thrill or heightened sense of excitement. The euphoria, however, is short-lived and soon gives way to shame, self-loathing and regret.”

Friends, we aren’t being judgmental. When we see something that is sin in the life of our sister or brother in Christ, and we expose the sin, it’s not judgement. It’s love. It’s loving them enough to take on abuse and ridicule for the sake of their souls.

We aren’t judging the person, we are judging the action and loving the person.

Stay tuned this week when we discuss “Does God really care what we read and watch?” and “What’s the link to sex trafficking.”

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