Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner and Change

http://zacklocklear.com/2015/06/02/christians-be-careful-what-you-say-on-facebook/

The most backward point of view I have noticed regarding the transgender lifestyle is that the choice to have surgery itself is in direct opposition to the statement most use to defend such an action. “They are just being who they really are”. Such a beautiful sentiment everyone should embrace!…but when you go out of your way, paying thousands on thousands of dollars to change everything about yourself you cease to uphold the ideal of being proud of who you are. You spit in the face of plus size models who are lovely women, you belittle even the people in the homosexual community who hold the pride parades, whether or not you realize it. Maybe some people truly believe in their heart of hearts that they are fundamentally flawed and have to fix it. Why not encourage them to be proud of who they are as a man, a father, a husband, and an inspiration to others just as they are. Will people still want to hide and change themselves if we stop telling them they’re broken? We are all broken. Believe what you want. Thats the beauty of free will. I believe Jesus really is who he claimed to be, the son of the Creator whom thousands of eyewitnesses saw perform countless documented and undocumented wonders. If you really want to say something to Bruce, or Caitlyn, or whatever anyone chooses to call themselves, say Jesus was real, and He really did amazing things because, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is ‘the devil’—and FREE those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14,15

Let people live how they want, it is not my purpose or yours to control others. Our only purpose is to be messengers of truth and life to the lost, the hungry and alone. Read the Word to someone, more importantly read what Jesus himself said in all the scriptures and then think about what you are doing to those people who need the True Love, and ask yourself if you are showing it. Pointing at others and spouting what you or I may or may not see as a flaw is not love. Point at Jesus instead. He is love. I am a messenger, not a teacher or a prophet. Just as none of you are teachers of the Word. We are learners. We are lovers. We are brothers and sisters. We are presenters of truth. Nothing more, nothing less. What others choose to do with the truth is up to them.

Grandma

Hey Grandma,

I can’t tell you how much I miss you. I’ve been away awhile and don’t write or call like I should, but I think about you everyday and see you in the little moments. I hear you telling me you’re proud of me. I think about all the hugs and kisses and Christmas mornings in your living room by the fire when Grandpa was making breakfast and we didn’t want to wait for presents anymore. I know you love us all and have always been an amazing person full of love and have given me more joy than you could ever know. You mean the world to me!
I hope your days are smiles and nights are restful and that I can see you again soon and hopefully make you laugh a little and maybe even bring you One/One billionth of the peace and comfort you have given to all of your children and grandchildren over the years. Now you have a great-grandchild who will be blessed to know you and grow up loving you just like we did.
I miss you Grandma and I’m praying for you constantly. Be happy til I get home!

So much love,

Andrew

https://fundly.com/m2/help-for-katie-bradshaw

my grandma had a stroke last week. We are raising money to help renovate her house so she may go enjoy her home again. We are building ramps and putting in rails and many other things. For all the details or to make a donation, however small or large, please click this link and support my grandmother as you would your own. She is an amazing woman.

Thank you from all of my family

Noah, The Biblical Story, and Stuff Christians Fight About

panic, preacher. panic!

I don’t usually blog about controversial topics, but I’ve seen so much about this and I have some thoughts, so I figured I would get them out. I think many (not all) of the issues some of my fellow Christians have about the new Noah film are much more telling about a problematic understanding of scripture within the modern day Church than about some evil, maniacal filmmaker twirling his mustache and trying to dismantle Christianity as we know it. Russell Crowe as Noah

It’s not as if the book of Genesis is the sole intellectual property of Christians and it’s also not as if the movie (or any of the press surrounding it) ever states that it is intended to be an accurate representation of the biblical story. It’s exactly what it’s marketed as, a big budget action film loosely based on the story of Noah. I mean, would so many Christians freak out…

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Knights and Damsels

I have seen so many relationship posts all over the social media sites lately its disheartening. Has it always been this way and we simply are more aware of it now as people’s lives become more public knowledge than private matter? Have men and women always played with each other like yo-yos? Pulling that string and watching someone else jump right back into their hand? Im disgusted. Where are the days of courtship and chivalry where men valued women and women respected men and both fought to protect each other’s hearts? Was it ever really that way at all or are the grand tales we hear of bold knights and fair maidens just stories of a world we have dreamed of that never existed at all. Even if that be true, why do we not bring about a time of dreams and happy endings. Where there are no games and men and women are true to each other and court each other the way people ought so there will be no hearts and lives damaged by cheating or “players” seeing more than one man/woman at a time. Nothing in relationships burns a heart more than someone being untrue. I know from both sides. Ive heard be the change you want to see in the world and I think it the best way to make anything happen. Stop relying on others or future generations to hopefully do things better and lets fix our culture now. For all the movements made in human rights we still treat each other like toys and animals daily. Its up to us. Lets change a world.

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Thoughts (chapter 5)

That moment when you notice you’ve got a lot of growing to do is usually the best moment to start. Putting things off is never a good idea because so much can happen in the time it takes for us to get ready for something. Distractions and new opportunities or setbacks can occur when we set things aside. When you have that moment of clarity, of courage when all your energy and spirit is driving you to take the plunge into something you may have been postponing or running from, do it. Allowing time to pass can steal your nerve and make you miss your chance at something great.
Dont get me wrong, this is different than taking a moment to pray and think or plan ahead. Sizing up a situation is wise before making any rash decisions, but sometimes we think too much and fear comes flooding back and before we know it, our revelation has faded and the feeling of joy and the rush of excitement when taking a huge step forward is merely a shadow of a memory.

If you feel that tug way down deep to make a bold move, do it. Take the leap of faith before fear snuffs out the fire. What are you waiting for?

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

What if?

Fear is a natural response to the unknown. Fear can be overcome, fear is meant to be overcome! Everyone feels it in different situations, many fail to see how unreasonable this emotion or feeling is and how easily it destroys us.
A coward makes a lifestyle out of being overcome by fear instead of taking that fear into the ring and knocking Fear out before it has a chance to poison us.
Fear lives from our “if onlys” https://vivona88.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/if-only/ and grows from our “what ifs”.

What if something happens?
What if I dont get the results I want?
What if I fall?
What if I get hurt; physically, emotionally, mentally?
What if someone finds out?
What if I dont make it?
What if they get angry?
What if they wont accept me?
What if they look at me differently?
What if they won’t like me if I don’t?
What if I’m not good enough?
What if I’m not tall/pretty/handsome/skilled/talented/fast/strong enough?
What if my past gets brought up?
What if they hold grudges?
What if I cant?
What if I change?
What if they change?
What if this pattern continues on forever?
What if_________?

The list can continue on indefinitely and absolutely shall until the what ifs stop and we open the floodgates of the courage we dam up behind the cold iron gates of fear. Nothing has been the root cause of more deaths in history, more lives ruined, or more achievements left unachieved than fear.

What is our best weapon against the cold dark of fear in our hearts? How do we fight that which cripples, twists and paralyzes us into submission? By never giving up HOPE and pushing through to what we see. Make the choices to get you to your goals and where you see yourself instead of letting fear twist who you are into something you may hate. Be who you are meant to be. A person of courage and decisive action. People who are meant to be in your life will respect and admire you for it and as for the ones who do not, well you will see…
Do not wait to “end up” somewhere. If life is a journey, then we are constantly moving and just like in the physical world, we choose which roads to take.

Check this out, Romans 12:12
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

Fear is a tool of destruction. Anyone who has been afraid has seen the vile things fear does to us. Why choose to let it rule you? An act of cowardice can ruin a lifetime of joy. Why change what “may be” into what IS by allowing fear to run your show? In psalm 56, David was captured. He could have given up and resigned himself to death in his grim circumstance, but did he? No my friends, he did not. What did he do? He took action, using the greatest tool we have at our disposal and the biggest source of hope and joy we as tiny beings on one tiny planet in all of creation have. David prayed. David had faith in his Creator that he would be protected and David did not let fear dictate what he chose to do. See for yourself.

Psalms 56:3-4

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?”

I encourage you to read the rest of psalm 56 yourself. If you do not have a bible, I assume you are on the internet since you are reading this, go to http://www.youversion.com and look it up there. Always put verses in their proper context, so others and yourself see what is truly meant by them.

Follow your heart. Especially as a believer in the grace and peace and glory and COURAGE that is Christ. God lives in you, trust His judgement. Fear is a blockade and also a crutch to lean on as excuses for not doing what we are meant to do, or being who we are called to be. Opportunities are lost as quickly as they arrive so seize them when you feel the pull on your heart strings. You may not get another opening like it.

Parting truth:

2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

Psalms 34:2-6
“I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord ’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord , and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.”

Grace and Peace,

Andrew

Progress (take 2): Starting Over

Forewarning; these thoughts will jump around. Read on at your own risk…

Who has not had a day where your brain clicks and all the stuff you stuffed into the back corner of your mind explodes to the forefront? Your mood shifts like hurricane winds appearing from nowhere over the ocean. Suddenly you find yourself floundering without a life-preserver and its like you forgot how to swim. If only we would have some faith and stand up we would see we can walk on water.

If we are constantly starting from the beginning, we will not ever get anywhere. This can be in the job market where I have experienced it most, job-hopping as I call it. Starting over can be in relationships, which is usually a great step but if you continuously start over, you’ll find shallow experiences and no depth of character is being achieved. Learn from your experiences and get out of patterns of thought and decision making that lead to bad choices. Get out from under people who encourage you to make those bad choices or make the same decisions themselves.
We hear stuff like this our whole lives but most of us do not let in the wisdom of those who have experienced such  things before us. We as humans in the 21st century tend to have the mindset that says “im going to find out for myself” then our parents and grandparents sit back and watch as we crumble then come to them and say how wrong we were. I have been blessed that my family has never held grudges or been the “I told you so” kind of people that are poisonous. They just look at me and say, “I love you, you are my heart” and we move forward with new knowledge and a stronger sense of who is to be trusted, what pitfalls become chasms, and how to avoid them so we don’t end up right where we started with nothing to show for it but pain and loss.

I wish I had the words to say to convince everyone that God is real, that some people can be good people but if they live in sin it makes no difference because they will still pull you down, and i wish i had the right words to express just how deep real love goes and that false love can look just like it until something big goes down and you are left standing alone. The people who really love you will have their arms open waiting for you to grab onto them so they can pull you up from the bottom, or at least not let go while you walk through the shadow together.

This is the example, the standard Christ upholds and directs all of us who believe to follow .

There is a difference between living in sin and sinning as an action. Living in sin is seeing that whatever decision I am about to make is wrong and could potentially hurt me or others, doing it anyway, seeing it was poor judgement after its done, doing nothing to make up for it, then continuing on with the same line of thinking instead of repenting (turning away from) and making amends. Even if I didnt know it was sin or maybe was merely unwise before it happened, but when I did realize after the fact I was a fool after all and still did nothing to course correct my life, I would be living in it.

What is your reputation? Are you proud of it?

How others see my actions can say a great deal about the road I am rolling down. The way I see someone else’s actions should tell me a great deal about the road they are on and whether or not I want to continue on it also. We can warn someone about the danger ahead all day, but if they keep rolling, eventually we have to jump off or crash with them. Even being unsure and not knowing which road to take to get out of the path of danger will cause the collision because I never turned aside.

Some people crash then get back in the broken vehicle thinking they are moving on when they are really sitting on the tracks while another train is bearing down on them.

If I have cut friends out of my life who helped me make bad decisions yet find myself making the same mistakes over and over with each new group, then I have not made new friends, it is the same people with new faces.

Running from something for a long time will blind us and make everything seem scarier than if we just stop and turn around to face the fears which turn out to generally be far less terrifying than our imaginations lead us to believe. If my heart tells me to do something and I ignore it, my heart gets harder to hear over time. Eventually even when it screams at me I will be so comfortable closing the door to its voice that doing so becomes second nature and we easily brush it aside it at its loudest.

Certain happenings or events can wipe away the soundproofing we layer over our hearts so suddenly that all at once we hear everything we have shut out so long and we literally feel pulled or compelled to act on our heart’s direction but sometimes whatever distractions we have in place seem more like reality because its what we are used to and we dismiss the truth we felt because it frightened us enough to rebuild the barrier.

Truth makes us feel uncomfortable and even angry when we are hiding from it. Happens to me all the time! At least it used to until I embraced the uncomfortable.

I hope you embrace truth when you hear it, that you share yourself with people who love you and you love in return. I hope you really forgive and do not hold onto grudges or past hurts, they stifle and choke who you are and what you may be capable of and carve out the good possibilities into a shell of misery and you often become devoid of the ability to stand and prove your integrity even to yourself, or be who you want to see when you look in the mirror. Grudges prevent new life from forming and smother hope, replacing it with bitterness and fear. I hope that when you are scared of a roaring monster that you get up in its face and roar right back until the creature runs away from you, instead of the other way around.

If you are ever confused about where to go, pick a wise direction and start walking, you will know if you have made a wrong turning soon enough. Nothing is so big that God cannot fix it. But just like everything else, it is a choice.

No matter which way we face, we only progress in the direction we choose to walk.

To check out earlier writings on progress, click here:

https://vivona88.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/progress/

Much love

Grace and Peace,

Andrew