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Archive for January, 2008

Greetings again, my dear friends!

Thank you all for the comments on the last couple blogs, I appreciate them all!!!

Before I get right onto ‘rambling’ again, I’d like to encourage you all to pray before you read this. 😉  Just to hear from Him, if He has anything to show you, and to know what is for you in this blog. 😀

Now straight to the next part!
A lot of people have told me that my blogs have made them think deeply about their ‘romantic lives’. (Whether they are existent or nonexistent, it still has made them think.)
Some people have asked me “Why can’t I just start a slightly-romantic relationship and sort of ‘see’ what being in love would be like, to see if I want to get into it?”

Relationships are broken into stages, and each stage is a season of life.
In a book that I am reading called “Boy Meets Girl” by Joshua Harris (-I am reading this book because I thought it would help me to speak out on True Love. I am not speaking out on True Love because I am reading this book) the author talks about these stages. He says that there are 5 stages of relationships. Acquaintance – Friendship – Courtship/dating – Engagement – Marriage.  (Most relationships should not get past the first two stages)

God has given us a life time of ‘seasons’. They are each a special gift as we cannot go back to any of them, each one is unique and a blessing to live through, because they have been given to us by The Maker.
Some of them are hard. Some of them are exciting. Some of them are heartbreaking. Some of them are confusing. But each is special in it’s own way.
We (as Christians) should spend time enjoying each and every moment of it, be it sad, frustrating, heartbreaking, enjoyable, fun, uplifting… they all are a gift from The Most High.
Not one moment of our lives go by without Him being by our side guiding us. Even though it seems like He has left sometimes, especially when we go through hard times that we feel we cannot get through, He is still with us encouraging us to live through the trials of life to grow in Him.
We should go through each season with joy! (James 1:2-3 – “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”)

Being single is just another beautiful ‘season’ that God has given you. The hard choice is what to do with the gift of this season.
Personally I believe that the season of singleness is given to us to build our relationship with God and to serve Him better. When we are married we have another person to consider, we must serve side by side with our spouse. Except on rare occasions, when we are married we serve God as a couple.
When we are married we cannot give God all our attention and service, part of it belongs to our Spouse and their needs.  But when we are single we can give God all of our attention and service for the Kingdom. Do you not think that blesses God more, than just sitting down and dreaming about another season that is in our future?

It is important that we do not go out and actively seek romance before it’s time. That season is another gift from God and it’s to come in the future. I do not think it blesses Him if we try to start that season early.

When I was a child I LOVED Christmas day when we opened our gifts because my mother always made ‘opening gifts’ a special treat and a beautiful occasion.  She would go out several months before the holidays and shop for everyone’s gifts and hide them in the house somewhere.
I thought that it was the gifts themselves that made Christmas day so special, I thought that it was the toy inside that brought the joy that the beautifully wrapped package in my hands gave me.  I didn’t even dream that it was the love, the gift box with the curly ribbons and the whole occasion of unwrapping gifts as a family that brought the thrill of Christmas day.

My mother is a brilliant woman, and I respect her for it. But I never understood why she was never ‘smart’ enough to stick the newly bought gifts somewhere else than the back of her closet when I was a kid. LOL! (-I later found out why, but I didn’t understand back then.)  Weeks before Christmas I would dig through her closet and get a sneak peek at all the gifts before they were wrapped, quickly deciding which ones I thought should be mine.
I thought that looking through the bags of gifts before Christmas would bring me the same joy of opening the same gifts on Christmas day, while still wearing my PJs sitting around the tree, with hot cocoa in my hands, family surrounding me, and Christmas music playing.  Guess what? -It never did.

Can anyone relate to that? Have you ever spoiled a present before it was time to open it and felt bad about it later?
It’s not as fun at all, is it?

What makes us think that sneaking a peek at God’s gifts for us is going to be any different?
Poking around in romance and trying to take a peek at the gift of the season that God has for us in the future, is not going to be a happy experience when it’s time to open that gift up. We shall be sorely disappointed and feel awful about it later.

In Song of Solomon it says three times “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,by the gazelles or the does of the field,that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Three times it says this! (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4) I think that if it is repeated 3 times in the Bible that God is speaking something very important to us. -Is it not three times that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him?-
God does not want us to poke around in the closet to take a peek at the gifts He has for us, until the time has come for Him to bless us with them, that is why He repeated Himself 3 times, so that we’d get it into our heads and heed the lesson. 😉

Starting a Relationship is ‘awakening love early’, I don’t care if you are 13 or 33, if it is not God’s Perfect Time for it you are just opening a present before God had planned to give it to you.

So… instead of spending the time seeking out relationships and constantly wondering if your brothers/sisters in Christ are ‘THE ONE’, let us spend our time enjoying the gift of the current season that God has given to us!
Spend the time enjoying being single and spend it getting to know God more and more. I can assure you, you will NOT look back on it and think that it was ‘a waste of time’. 😉
Seek His face, try to get to know Him better, study His word and make an effort to do His work for His Kingdom!
And most importantly don’t worry about the future, it’s not like He will forget to bring along your next gift of seasons. It will all be in His Perfect Time, let Him decide when that is! 😉

I hope this has ministered and encouraged you all, thank you again for your support!
May God bless you with many new seasons of life, and may you enjoy every moment of each gift!
In Christ’s everlasting love,
~Danica

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Giving it ALL over!

Hey again everyone!

I’m putting The Lies of Love series on hold for a few days.
Several people told me I have put them on information overload, and to be honest it has been rather draining on me.
So, it is on hold for now, and we can discuss some other topics!

Quick warning before I begin; This is going to sound harsh, and I’d apologize for it but it needs to be harsh. Just know that I say it out of love! My heart attitude is not to be mean, but to encourage you in your walk with Christ!

The other day I was reading a friend’s ‘blurb’ in their profile about how Christians are lukewarm and aren’t passionate for Christ. They were writing it to encourage their brothers and sisters to wake up and actively seek Christ!
It really got me thinking.
Just how deep are we, as Christians? How deep is our faith? Would our faith glorify and bless Christ if He was on earth right now, looking over our shoulders and watching what we say and do?  I think not.

We, as the Church, the Body of Christ, have lost our focus!
We think that our faith revolves around us! We are SO self-focused, that we have made even our faith revolve around ourselves!

How many times have you ‘put off’ God’s voice, when He’s trying to tell you something, or convict you with a sin, by saying “Not now God, I’m busy doing ministry for YOUR name”, or “I’ll get to that later, right now I’m hanging with my Christian friends”, or “Can’t talk, I’ve got to go to church and do stuff for You”.
I’m guilty of all of those!
I twisted my ‘faith’ to the point that it focused on ME! Not God or what He wants me to do, but ME and what I want myself to do.

God convicted me of this earlier this month, I had everything focused on my own faith, I lost my PASSION for CHRIST!
He brought me back into the view of the Cross, and asked me to rededicate everything to Him.  I’m not saying that I wasn’t a Christian before then, I’m not even saying that I hadn’t given myself to Him. Because I had! I just wasn’t willing to give EVERYTHING to Him.
I was holding back some things. Like… my career, my education, my family, my faith, and my friends even!

We need to be willing to give Him EVERYTHING, and not grudgingly either, we need to give it ALL to him WHOLEHEARTEDLY! With every ounce of our being, we need to be willing to let Him take control.
Has anyone heard that song by The NewsBoys called “Giving it Over”? The song talks about this, about “not wanting to let go of the straws we are clinging to”.
We need to be willing to let go of our straws… our jobs, our education, our mission, our friends, our house, anything He asks of us!
(Please don’t get me wrong. Just because we are willing to give it over, doesn’t mean that He will take it away, it just means that we would be joyful even if He decided to take it away from us for His Perfect Plan for our lives!)

My challange to you is to stop, pray, and give it over to God! Don’t hold anything back, and I assure you that He will greatly reward you for it.
Read through Romans. (I know that sounds intimidating, but just read a chapter a day if that is all you have time for.) Read it with an open heart and a desire to learn!

Ever since He asked me to give it all to Him, I have had this burning passion for Christ and for the Gospel.
I have been able to find true joy in the simplest of life’s situations, and I have seen HIS amazing love in the smallest of places.
Seek HIM, and you shall find Him!

Thus ends my rant for today. 😉
Blessings from The Most High onto all of your households!
Your sister in Christ,
~Danica

(Lyrics from The NewsBoys song ‘Giving It Over’)

I was a teen flat-liner on the joy screen
Dead in the water of life as we knew
You offered me drink
I wanted more than a sip
But I couldn’t let go of the straws I was clinging to

Giving it over, giving it over
I was flat on my back, I’d slid till it hurt
Giving it over, giving it over
You put my head in the clouds and my feet in good dirt
My head in the clouds and my feet in good dirt

Devils were crowding my head with lies they spread
They’d convinced me of what fools know isn’t true
Quick as an Outcast rhyme
You took me back in time
Back to the first love I ever knew

Giving it over, giving it over
Got my broken heart healed and removed from its cast
Giving it over, giving it over
Yeah, I’m giving myself to a true love at last
Giving myself to a true love at last

You don’t know where the wind’s gonna blow
And since you can’t take it with you
Better give it away before you go
Yeah, I’m giving it over

Greed is the word
It’s a verb
Wants to bind us all
Bind us together like a platinum truss

Giving it over, giving it over
I’m putting my heart into treasures that don’t rust
Giving it over, giving it over
I’m giving it all over to a face I can trust

You don’t know where the wind’s gonna blow
And since you can’t take it with you
Better give it away before you go
Yeah, I’m giving it over

Giving it over

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Hello again everyone! I hope you are all well and enjoying the amazing mercy of the Lord!
Yes, I am back for the third part, and I trust that I shall be back for much more to come. 😉

I ended up with a lot of comments (and emails) on the last two articles, I appreciate all the comments everyone, thank you.
I also appreciate all of the support, I have received a lot of letters, notes, and words of encouragement from several people and I just wanted to thank you guys for those, they have blessed me so much. Truly, I do not think I could go forward so wholeheartedly without them. *hugs* God bless you guys!

Anyway before I continue I’d like to encourage you all to take a moment and pray.
Pray that the Lord speaks to you and shows you what He wants to reveal to you at this time. Pray that He guides you in your journey through seeking the truth in relationships and love. Pray that He would give you the wisdom to know the difference between His voice and the voice of your own flesh. (ouch, that one I pray for over and over, as it is one of my downfalls.)

Ok, now back to the actual topic.
I have been asked “If crushes are lustful and, therefore, sin, then how do I keep from having one, as it is my natural reaction to someone I like”.
This is something to consider, if what we are used to is sin, then how do we resist that?

Here is how I see it:
We are called the ‘Children of God’, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are a family!
(Yes, if you are a Christian, you have more relatives that you were not aware of. Take a moment and breathe, because you don’t have to worry about getting them ALL a present for Christmas, and you don’t have to send out all those birthday cards. *laughs* -Just kidding)
If we are a family, is it not a revolting thought to look at your brother or sister with a romantic eye?
Why do we look at each other as possible girlfriends/boyfriends, instead of siblings?
I don’t want to develop a crush on my little brother, that’s GROSS!!!!!
I hope you all are as disgusted with that thought as I am… *shudders at the thought*

Now, before you get carried away with your thoughts, I want to explain something.
I’m NOT implying that we NEVER get married, or take a relationship to a romantic level. I, myself, am looking forward to
having a romantic relationship with someone, someday… eventually. I would never speak against marriage, romance, or even True Love. But! What we see today, in our culture, is NOT real love, real marriage, or even real romance.
(I’ll get into all of that later on, lets go back to the topic at hand.)

I know… you’re probably thinking “Yeah, that’s great and all Danica, but if you’re wanting to get married, you don’t want to marry your brother, so didn’t you just contradict yourself?”
No, I have not, and I’m about to explain why.

I’m only using the family situation as an analogy, but I believe we are to consider each other as family until the time the Lord has for us to develop something deeper than just brother/sister between us.
If we have our eyes, hearts, minds, souls and emotions looking at others with a ‘brother/sister’ view point, then we remove the temptation to look at them with a fogged-over-romanticized view.
For if we ask God to change our hearts and work on our mindset, then our emotions and feelings follow.
Does that make sense?

I’ll be honest with you. -It’s not easy. 😉
It’s something we have to work on. We constantly have to bring it to God asking for Him to, yet again, help us change our hearts.
I can assure you that if you ask Him, He will NOT refuse you. He promises to come when we invite Him in.
Matthew 7:7-8 says;
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
So if you ask Him, He will answer.

My challenge to you this week is to spend time in your Prayer Closets, pray that the Lord will help change your mindset and your heart so that your feelings and emotions follow.
Then make an extra effort, when you are tempted to think about a guy or girl that you ‘like’, to think of them as a brother/sister.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had people ‘tease me’ about a lot of my guy friends. They think it’s funny to play matchmaker with me and other guys I know.
Every time they do, I try to always respond with “EW!!! He’s my brother!”.
Try to respond to your own hearts that way, think of them as your brother or sister.

Keep each other strong in this! We’re all in this journey/fight together. Lets expose The Lies that our culture is teaching us about Love together, as brothers and sisters in Christ!

*hugs* Remember, I’m on this journey with you, I’m just a follower in this too. Christ is the leader, He is calling us to make a stand for what is right, pure and just!
Philippians 4:8 says: “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Until next time, I shall be praying for you all…
In Christ’s love and my own,
~Danica

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Hello again all my dear girls! (and hey to the guys as well…)

Since my last post, I have had TONS of people writing/commenting to me about it. I have had tons of people ask me questions about relationships, I have had quite a few comments (both negative and positive *laughs*) on it, and I have had many discussions from women young and old, and a quite a few guys.
I want to thank you ALL who have commented, especially the notes of encouragement they all blessed me so much!

One thing I’d like to say before I go on with this is that in my last post many people misunderstood me and thought that I was saying that I was AGAINST love, and saying that love itself was a bad thing! Good heavens this could not be farther from the truth! I truly am great advocate of love, loving one another, and especially loving God. BUT as long as said love is revolving around God, and not ourselves.
The title ‘The Lies of Love’ means the lies that the world feeds us about love, not that love itself is a lie.  🙂
Make sense?  -Wonderful! Now lets move on…

I have been asked to do the next part on crushes specifically.
Many questions I have had is  ‘Are crushes really sin?’, ‘If so, why?’, and most importantly ‘How do you back up your stance biblically?’.

Yes, crushes really are sin. Why? Because despite what we want to think, the real heart attitude is lust. (Which IS sin.)
I have several ways to back this one up, and I WAS going to write them all out, but a dear friend of mine wrote up a comment that basically was (almost) word for word what I was going to say!
She said I can use her comment. Here are her comments on this;

When we entertain thoughts on the people we have crushes on, that is where the sin comes in. Of course when we see a guy (or even another girl) we, being human notice their “agreeable features” as one put it.  But what do we do with that? do we think about it all day, expounding on the “agreeableness” of them? Or do we merely say “He is cute”, the end, and get on to more important things?
It is not like we can just not notice if a male is good looking or not, but if we continuously think and “meditate”, for lack of a better word, on his cuteness. That is where the danger and the sin comes in.
Allow me to share a scripture that is essential to this battle for purity in the mind:
‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’

~Philippians 4:8

Admirable is what sticks out to me there…how often do you go around saying “wow I really admire Susan because she really knows how to pick a hot guy…she is so noble!” LOL! of course we don’t. That is where we really have to watch our thought lives….that to me is the biggest battle, not dwelling on the thoughts of the handsome guy at church etc
 It is may be nice to think about, but it just leaves you thirsting for more…
Let me share just one more scripture…

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

That is so hard….the meditation of my heart. When thinking about “agreeable bob” we are meditating on him…I cannot say that that is pleasing in the sight of the LORD. What more should we be meditating on? there is so much more!

I totally agree with her in that, and I really appreciate the letter, thank you dear! 😀 *hugs*

Another dear friend of mine wrote to me about the topic of crushes, as well.
He had some amazing thoughts on it that I wanted to share with you all.
He wrote;
 “I can’t exactly say that I’m blameless in that matter, but the fact that I’m experienced just gives my words more weight.
There is nothing down that road that will satisfy you.
Absolutely nothing — you will simply wish for more and more, soon you will be doing inappropriate things with guys, and guys will treat you like objects the same way that you are treating them like objects. After that, you will become more and more immersed in that lifestyle, and any good Christian guy will look at you and run the other way, making it so you won’t be able to find any good guys to get married to at all.

You will be tangled up so badly that it will be nigh impossible to get out and then you’ll realize that this didn’t bring you happiness like you thought it would. You are only doing it because it makes you feel good to have guys like you and treat you differently as a result. But it’s only because they like the pleasure you can potentially give them that they treat you this way, just like it gives you pleasure for them to treat you this way. It’s a sinful exchange, but nobody is happy in the end, it’s not worth it.

Which is why guys need to be careful too, an extreme crush is infatuation, nothing else but that.
Infatuation is lust.
Lust is adultery.
Adultery is sin.
And sin is death.

If you respect yourself, you will stop with this downward spiral into a terrible and sinful lifestyle. When you act inappropriately towards a guy, not only do you tempt him to sin but you also show that you haven’t enough self worth to keep yourself, well, to yourself. And if you don’t think that what you are doing is a sin, believe me — and this is coming from a guy — it is”

Ouch… *flinches* That one is deep. But so true. Thank you for sending this to me, it really encouraged me.

Something I always hear is “Oh, it’s just a crush”. That seems to excuse it all. I’m guilty of using that excuse too!  “Oh, don’t worry… it’s just a crush. S/he’ll get over it.”
*sighs* Only if.
It’s never ‘Just a crush’. There is so much more to it, and our heart attitude is at the base of it.

This is something that I’m struggling with too, I’m not just sitting here telling you guys how to do things and thinking that I’m perfect. I’m writing this more to myself than to anyone. 😉 (I’ll be one of the FIRST people to admit that I have problems with this.)
I want to encourage you all to stand together with me in this, and fight against the world’s ‘Lies of Love’, and to fight for God’s version of True Love instead.

I will not lie to you… this is going to be hard. Changing our whole mindset on ‘love’ from the world’s version that we have been taught and saturated with since we were little tots, to God’s version of True Love, is going to be a really hard transaction.
But I want to ask you all to pray and consider coming with me on this journey and standing back to back.  Encouraging each other, holding each other accountable, and helping each other when we are struggling in this.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I’ll be back soon with more deep thoughts on this, and my other overly-opinionated comments. *laughs*

Before I go, I want to remind you all that I truly love you guys as brothers and sisters, and I only want to encourage you girls/guys to do the right thing for God.
*huge hugs*
In Christ’s amazing and everlasting True Love,
~Danica

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Hello again my dear, dear girls!

I have a very deep and intense topic to discuss with you all. God has convicted me with this over the last week and He has brought light to so much that I have recently been blind to.
Before I jump headlong into this, I’d like to apologize ahead of time. I’m sorry if this offends you, that is the farthest thing from my intentions in this discussion. I truly am concerned for you all, and I feel like I MUST bring this to the surface, this lie has hidden itself in our culture for too long. God has laid this on my heart to speak out on it, so I will do whatever I have to do to get this said.

I love each and every one of you so very deeply,  please keep this in mind as you read ahead. Understand that I am not sitting here pointing fingers and accusing you, for I am to blame in this as well, but I am bringing this to you all in love and concern.
I am praying that you girls will be able to listen with open hearts and let God speak to you.
(Please stop to pray that God will show you what He wants you to see, before you read on.)

Now to business…
As I said before, God has convicted me deeply with this topic. It is so much more intense than I had first thought.
As we have grown up we have constantly been ‘fed’ the belief that romance, crushes, boyfriends, dating, holding hands, sex and falling in love is expected of you in your teen and young adult years. We have heard this from TV shows, Movies, Books, magazines, Music, Advertising, Friends and even some Family members. Everything we see/hear seems to be connected to sex, romance or relationships somehow.

We are so used to it that it starts getting to us. We start having crushes on our friends. We start looking at guys in magazines and think “Ohhh, he’s cute!”. We walk down the street checking out guys our age (or sometimes, not even that), appraising him with our eyes. We start giggling at our guy friends when they talk to us. We watch romance movies and wish that girl getting kissed by someone was us. We start dressing in ways that would get us noticed by ‘cool guys’. We read books with a hero who is seemingly ‘perfect’ and start day dreaming.
We have been contaminated with the world’s sin of want of romance!

Now I know you’re probably getting mad already saying “Ok Danica, what is wrong with crushes, boyfriends, dating wisely, and falling in love?”
And my answer to you is “Because they all are lies!”
They are distractions from the truth, they are keeping us from God’s time that He has given us as Godly single young ladies.
“How?” you ask.
In SO many ways!!!

#1- If we are thinking about a recent ‘Crush’ and our hearts and thoughts are concentrated on said cute boy, how can we be Servants of God and give Him all of us; heart, mind, and soul? God tells us to love Him with ALL of our hearts, and if we are giving our hearts away to random guys, we can’t give Him all of our hearts, just pieces of it because we have given it away the rest.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” ~Deuteronomy 6:5

#2- The Bible clearly says that thinking guys are hot, or having someone ‘catch your eye’, or even having a crush is LUST! I know that it seems like a simple thought about a guy being hot is not the same as ‘lust’, but the heart motivation is the same sin, there is NO getting around it in any way.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  ~Matthew 5:28 (This says men, but it is the same way for women looking at men as well!)

#3- Simply day dreaming about a guy you know (or even don’t know) is allowing our hearts to be given before their time. It may not seem like it, we can argue against it all we want, but the truth is clear.
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,” ~1st Peter 1:22

#4- God truly does call us to set ourselves apart from ‘The lies of love’ (boyfriends, dating, crushes… etc.). He tells us to stay away from it in this verse;
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” ~2nd Timothy 22:2

#5- Our hearts and feelings lie to us. God calls us to THINK and use wisdom in our relationships, instead of liking a fellow brother and letting that be ‘proof’ enough to claim love over him.
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”  ~Philippians  1:9-11

There are tons more references in the Bible where God is calling us to keep from the world’s lies of romance, passion, and love, these are just a few.

I’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas about this, after reading through these verses.
Before I let you all go, I’d like to apologize from the bottom of my heart for ever encouraging you in any of these ways. (crushes, boyfriends, looking at ‘hot guys’, laughing over actors who ‘look good’, or even day dreaming over future relationships.)
Until now, I had not realized just how serious this sin is. I am SO sorry, please forgive me, my dear friends.

I’ll come back with tons more, God has shown me SOOOO much, and is calling me to bring this out in the open, so I shall.
For now, I shall leave you girls to think and pray about this. Please feel free to comment!
*hugs to you all*
With all my love,
~Danica

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