Stand Alone

It’s been quite a while since I updated the website but that means I have plenty to write about.

The biggest thing that has happened to me since the last update was a new venture I found myself diving into … one I never imagined I would do. I was so unbelievably afraid when I did it but I was comforted by the thought of having supportive friends by my side.

I can proudly say I have been blessed in this venture. There is no doubt in my mind that Christ has favored me. His glory goes before me and it shines in everything I do. But part of me still feels devastatingly sad; while I started my new job with close friends, it has become more and more obvious that these friends are not who I believed them to be.

I used to wonder how on earth someone who is constantly surrounded by people and loved and cherished and appreciated by everyone, could ever feel lonely. I have learned now that it’s very easy to feel that way.

But in my loneliness, I feel a warmth I cannot explain.

I have spent a lot of time wondering why, what if, and how …. to no avail. For what seemed like a long time, I felt a crushing pain in my heart. I watched as I drifted away from the people I’d depended on so much and it hurt more than I could bear because I realized that Christ was the only one I had. It wasn’t until I learned that Christ was all I needed that this sadness began to lift.

There were so many nights where Jesus was the only one who kept me. So many days where Christ’s love got me out of bed. I felt torn that the people I had loved and trusted and depended on were no longer there for me. But I felt even worse because I was still successful without them. I didn’t need those people, I never did, but I wanted them in my life and I wanted them to be part of my success. I wanted everyone to be successful together but it didn’t happen that way. While I’m eternally grateful for the hand of God moving in my life, I couldn’t ignore the aching in my spirit.

Beyond that … I felt betrayed. By my friends and by God. Wondering, why would they leave me? Why would they exclude me? Why would God let this happen?

When I needed help, no one was there. When I was afraid, no one was there. When I was defeated, no one was there.

In confusion, I searched desperately for comfort and support from everyone—from anyone. And I did find it in some people but it was never enough until I realized I was really searching for Jesus. Once I truly gripped the understanding that Christ alone was all I had and all I needed, I began to feel better.

My thought that no one was there for me became the thought that Jesus is right beside me. The thought of being so lonely became a thought that my comfort was in Christ. The fear of failing became success in the Lord. And the sadness of missing my friends became a joy that I could call Christ above my one and only.

This scripture helped me get through many dark days:

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:5-6 KJV

There were many times I felt hurt that no one was there for me but then I look back and wonder who would have gotten the glory if someone had been there? Would I be this close to my Savior if I’d had a friend back then? No, I don’t think I would be. But now that I am wholly and completely dependent on Christ, I am full and I will never hunger for the comfort, support, acquaintance, or approval of others.

Never be afraid to stand alone because when no one else is there, Christ shows up. Please don’t learn this the hard way.  

 

Manifesto

A public declaration of policy and aims: an announcement or proclamation of beliefs and/or goals.

There is a man who holds the universe in the palm of His hand. I imagine chaos and destruction should he ever close it—fingers folded over, planets colliding.

When the wind blows, the earth searches for its Master, reaching out, swaying in awe of His presence. When the clouds burst with rain, the skies cry glory. The water offers life to the tiny seeds below; slowly they grow—breaking their shells, forcing their way through the soil, reaching up to their Creator. They are greeted by the sun which rises in the morning, quietly asking permission to reveal the beauty of His splendor below. When the moon makes its debut, the earth settles, content in the dim hue of what we call night—a curtain playing shy behind the bright stars.

When He speaks the Word, the world resets: the sun rises, the wind blows, the plants grow, the moon comes out, the stars dance. Repeat.

Who is this man with all power?

Who is this unstoppable being?

Who makes the wind blow to cool the angry sun? Who tossed rocks to the sky and made them glow? Who told the moon where to hide and the sun where to stand? Who commands the seas and calms the wicked storms?

His name is whispered on the back of the wind—carried to all the nations. It is unmistakable, recognized in every language—feared by the darkness, praised by the light. He is my Father, my Savior, my God and King whose glory and righteousness will not go unnoticed. Praise be to His name—a name which cures disease, scatters evil, and brings shame to the doubtful. A name that changes your situation, a name that strikes fear into the hearts of the evil ones, a name that defeats all who stands against you and that at this name, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that JESUS CHRIST is King.

This is my manifesto.

I believe in the One True God—that is; Father, Spirit, and Son. I believe that Good has won. I believe in the Word of God. I believe I am what it says I am and I can do what it says I can do. I can conquer, I can stand firm, I can love, I can fall—and I can get back up again. I can find comfort in His great love. I can find peace in the midnight hour. I can sleep when I lay down. I can live a life without sickness or disease. I can be successful in everything that I do. I can love—I can love—I can LOVE. The light of Christ shines in me and it is LOVE that people see.   

And all of God's people said....

Amen.

The Battle Cry

There is a darkness in this world that we will never fully explore. A black void where only the purest of light can venture unharmed. Late at night, a young girl prepares to go into this pit. She is a warrior on the battlefield, a vicious soldier covered in the blood of her slain enemies. She has no fear, she knows no bounds, her spirit does not waver. As she takes up arm and shield and marches into battle, a faint cry is heard in the distance. It is not a cry of pain or fear. It is not an alarm or a warning. It is the Word of God whispered one thousand times on her lips. She repeats her words, unceasing, unafraid of what may come. And as she speaks, the darkness lifts, the fog recedes, and the light bursts through.

With just a few words, the soldier has ended the battle before it could even begin. And at the break of dawn, she stands from her position—resting on her knees at the foot of her bed. She is not on a battlefield, she is not armed as a soldier. She is simply a girl who took the time to kneel in prayer and have a word with the Almighty.

For those of you who do not have an imagination, that is how it looks when you pray. An ordinary human being is suddenly transformed into a fighting machine. And with all those weapons and armor, all you have to do is speak and the battle is won. This is what happens when you give Christ a moment of your precious time. But there are 24 hours in a day—that’s plenty of time for work, rest, and play—so where does Christ come in?

As someone who works from home, many people think I have all the time in the world. Of course, I do have the luxury of working when I want for however long I want, but that doesn’t mean I never find myself getting overwhelmed. Multiple times a day, I take a step back and wonder if I’ve given enough time to Christ, if I’ve dedicated enough of myself to the Lord. The answer is always going to be no.

No matter how many times a week I go to church, or how much Christian music I listen to, there will never be enough praise to offer the Lord. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals for yourself. Sunday shouldn’t be the only day you’re in church. The mornings shouldn’t be the only time you pray.

Don’t be afraid to take a moment and re-dedicate yourself to Christ. Prayer is the most important part of our faith as Christians because it is direct communication with the Creator of the universe. Surprisingly, something so serious also happens to be very simple.

You don’t have to close yourself off in a soundproof, candlelit room to talk to Jesus. Prayer can happen anywhere at any time. As long as your mind is focused on Christ, you will be able to speak to Him whenever you’d like. The beauty in this is that God wants to talk to you. How can you get to know Him if you never spend time with Him?

In this busy, distracting life, how do you make time for the most significant relationship you could ever have? When I first realized the importance of prayer, I would set a specific time to stop everything and spend an hour with my Father. There were times I didn’t feel like doing it. Times I didn’t want to stop what I was doing. And even times where I fell asleep instead of prayer—it happens to the best of us. But the point I want to make is that I kept doing it. I reached a level in my faith and my relationship with Christ as my Father where I look forward to alone-time with Him.

Now, I’ve learned that I don’t need to wait until a specific time. I can pray all day, every day, no matter where I’m at. I can have a moment with the Lord on my lunch break, when I step into the bathroom, during commercial breaks on television, while driving in my truck, waiting in line at the grocery store. Anywhere at any time.

Even though I get to spend more time with Christ when I drop everything and pray, I personally believe I have the most intimate discussions with the Lord when I’m out or while I’m multitasking. Those are the in-the-moment prayers, where everything is happening right then and there but, somehow, I still have the frame of mind to put it all in God’s hands. That’s because I’ve gotten close enough to Christ to know that I don’t have to get away to call on Him. God can hear me no matter where I’m at and He has the power to answer in exactly that moment.

Whether you decide to take a break or to pray where you are, always remember this scripture:

Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV

There is so much meaning in this single verse: a commandment to pray always, encouragement to never give up, instruction on how to pray, and acknowledgement that there is a God who will answer those prayers.

When you’ve made up your mind to serve Christ fully, that scripture will become your manifesto. Don’t just think about your prayer, think about who you are praying to. This verse is a battle cry; the enemy may be pushing you, you might be cornered, but Christ is standing behind you and He will not let you slip and fall. Don’t you ever give up.  

God bless.

  

The Happy Christian

A few days ago, I joined a small Christian group with the hopes of having good companionship with a few fellow Believers. I have to be honest—it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.

While I was not mistreated by the community, I was definitely discouraged by them. Have you ever walked out of church and felt worse than when you walked in? That’s kind of how I felt when I was with these people. We are children of God, reflecting the light of Christ. Joy should follow us everywhere we go, even when we are faced with hard times. That’s what I expected when I was with these Believers but it most certainly did not happen. I felt sad, depressed, and annoyed.

During my time with these people, there was one individual who complained endlessly about every problem in his life. I could tell he was going through a period of trials but I could also tell he wasn’t very well prepared with the Word to handle these trials. The entire time, he complained, whined, and moaned about his job, his fiancée, his new home, his income, his boss, his coworkers, the new job he wanted to get, old friends he used to hang out with—anything you mentioned, he had a complaint about it! Knowing he was in a rough place in his life, I tried to shift the conversation with some inspirational words but he found yet another way to turn it into negativity. He complained about the pastor whose words I quoted to him which turned into complaints about mega churches which became complaints about separation of church and state.  

You couldn’t speak without him being negative but even worse, the other Believers there began to join in—telling him their problems like sharing something worse would make everything better. At one point, I wondered if I was in the right group. We were supposed to be Christians, we were supposed to bring peace, happiness, and confidence from Christ to every situation and to every person we meet. So, when a group of Believers gets together, no matter what they’re facing in life, it should be a joyous atmosphere … right?

Don’t get me wrong, we all face trials and tribulations and sometimes we can’t be as strong as we should be. Sometimes we just need a heart-to-heart. Sometimes we just need to vent. But you know who you’re supposed to vent to, have a heart-to-heart with, and complain to when you’re struggling?

JESUS. And ONLY Jesus.

You know why? Because when you whine and moan, you display a sense of a lack of faith. I’m not saying you shouldn’t discuss your issues with your pastor or prayer partners. I’m saying if you’re talking about your problems, you should be talking about them in a positive way. And you might wonder, I just lost my job, how am I supposed to speak positively about that?

Instead of whining about losing your job, how about you speak your faith over the situation and say you can’t wait to see God as your provider now.

Instead of moaning about breaking up with your significant other, how about you thank God for bringing you someone better in the future.

Instead of crying about your doctor’s report, praise God for the opportunity to know Him as your healer.

No matter what happens, it is your duty to believe God will make a way for you. The Bible doesn’t tell us to figure out why our problems happen to us, or wonder where was God in a situation. It tells us to trust in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 KJV

The key phrase in this scripture is all thine heart. When you give all of your heart to God, that includes all of your worries. And again, I get it, sometimes the trials we face feel like they are going to break us. Sometimes we feel like we are losing our minds. And we might think, God understands my anger. God understands why I’m complaining. God understands why I need a drink tonight.

My response to that is: show me. Show me in the Bible where it says God understands why you think it’s ok to grab a glass wine because you’re “stressed”. Show me a scripture that says God understands why you cursed someone out because you were mad, or that He understands why you “lost your faith”.

You need to learn to recognize your trials as blessings; the Bible says rejoice during persecution! As odd as that sounds, you’re supposed to be happy when you’re in trouble because that’s an opportunity for God to show up in your life. Who wouldn’t want that? I’m not saying you should wish for hard times, I’m saying you shouldn’t cry and sulk when you are faced with them.

Matthew 5:11-12 KJV “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

When you rejoice in your trials, you might not feel better right away but fake it til’ you make it! Sometimes your trials aren’t about you; sometimes God needs you to be pressed so that you can be an example of how to behave when you’re in trouble. Sometimes someone else learns how to be strong just from watching you.

When you learn to see the light of Christ in every part of your life, you learn to be a happy Christian no matter what. When you learn to be a happy Christian, you become a tool for God to use so that others can learn from you.  

Unapologetic

Spending time with some of my friends online—a few folks in a gaming community I play Xbox with—I have occasionally been questioned about my faith. I would get typical questions from ‘How often do you go to church?” to controversial ones like, ‘How do you feel about abortion?’. I’m not one who enjoys being ‘put on the spot’ so I had begun to shrink away. Even in person, I tended to be quiet about my faith but not because I was ashamed, it was because I was afraid.

For some reason, bringing up religion always rubbed someone the wrong way. I’ve been teased, poked, and tested by people—strangers and friends—whenever my faith has been mentioned and I got tired of it. Like many Christians, I don’t enjoy hearing my faith being made fun of so to protect it, I decided to keep quiet about it. For years, I went on keeping my faith a secret, not even speaking up about my pride and joy: The Rebel Christian. All that time, I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I saw an interview with a comic artist who frequently made strips including crude religious humor, that I realized something which changed my faith dramatically. The artist was an atheist and said that he never knew he was being offensive because he didn’t think [religious] people took him seriously. In his own words…

“I thought devout Christians didn’t pay people like me any attention because they knew that God didn’t pay me any attention. Why would they feel offended by an infidel? I always thought they had the frame of mind that God didn’t need them to defend Him or that their beliefs were strong enough that they didn’t need to feel upset by my stupid jokes because I don’t understand God the way they do.”

That most certainly does not justify the artist’s rude comic strips, however, it does speak volumes to what unsaved people think of Believers.

I used to be the kind of Christian who would get upset at jokes, remarks, and rude comments about my faith. I took offense, started debates, and would argue with anyone—friends, strangers, and especially my professors in college. Even though I was quiet about my faith, I was not one to stay quiet when I felt my faith was being attacked. But after seeing that interview, I changed. I realized, ironically, that this sinner was right. God doesn’t need me to stand up for Him. He doesn’t need me to fight on His behalf. He doesn’t me to be angry in His stead.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t care when someone is rude to you. I’m saying that you shouldn’t allow yourself to be lead into debate by people who are only looking for attention or trying to start an argument.

This is one of my favorite scriptures on this topic: “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you … 16. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” I Peter 4:14 & 16 NIV

Knowing this scripture, I praise God when I am criticized for my faith. I welcome the naysayers and those who tease and jeer at me. I know who I am in Christ and I know whose I am as a child of the Most High God. I no longer feel angry when people make fun, I no longer find myself in pointless debates. Why do I need to be offended by the words of an infidel—of some unsaved person who doesn’t even know what they are saying?

Today, Believers face many trials. Our society has collectively decided that religion has no place in it. We are a dwindling folk. Our morals are disliked, our standards hated, and our lifestyle considered ‘closedminded’. But we don’t live for their approval. We live to please God and our standards and our morals and our lifestyle was set apart by Him. He knows people make fun. He knows people tease but as the Bible says in Psalms 37:12-13 NIV “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.

Does that sound like someone who gets upset over silly jokes? God laughs at the mockery of the wicked. He thinks it’s funny! So, if our Creator hears these jokes, debates, and sad theories for the creation of the earth, and laughs at them … why don’t you? We are supposed to have the mind that is in Christ (“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:5 NLT) so if God does not consider such jokes and remarks worth His time, then neither should we.

So, how do we learn to be bold and open when it comes to our faith? You learn not to care.

It might sound like I am trying to get you all to become rude and ill-mannered—‘shoving’ your beliefs into the faces of infidels left and right. But that is exactly the opposite of what I want. Recently, a lesbian friend of mine shared with me that she’d purchased an “awesome” pride bracelet to display her support of the LGBTQ community. She is well aware of my faith and where I stand as a Believer on same sex marriage, yet she felt bold enough to share this information with me as if she expected some sort of celebration and praise for her new jewelry.

She did not get one.

I did not, on the other hand, scold her but instead swiftly changed the topic. Still, in the back of my head, I wondered—what if I were like that with my faith? What if I was bold enough to share every time I got a new crucifix? Every time I bought an awesome Christian t-shirt? Or every time I had a wonderful session in prayer?

Honestly, fear of being made fun of still rises at the thought of being so open about my faith. But then I think, I don’t care. Jesus wasn’t afraid of being made fun of. He was run out of villages, talked about, confronted for debate, and called a liar and a demon. Imagine if He let that turn Him away from the Cross. We wouldn’t be here today.

I am no longer apologizing for who I am as a child of God.

I won’t say “Sorry, I can’t hang out because of church.” Or “Sorry, but I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.”  

I’m not sorry about it. When was Jesus ever sorry for doing what was right in the eyes of God? Even when His parents were worried and searching for Him, Jesus’ reply was not: “I’m sorry, but I was spreading the gospel.” He said, “Why were you searching for me? … Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 NIV  

Stop saying sorry for what you believe in, as if it’s some shameful mistake you have to apologize over. I no longer care if the name of Jesus offends you. I refuse to believe ‘religion has no place here’ whether it is school, work, or hanging out with friends. I am a Believer and that will never change. I’m no longer afraid of someone finding out that I’m Christian—I’m afraid they won’t be able to tell.

Stand up and stand strong for what you believe in. You believe in the mightiest King of all kings and Lord of all Lords. There is no one greater than Jesus Christ. There is no other God but the Almighty. There is no one else who will ever die for you, and if there is—Jesus beat them to it.

It’s one thing to be shy about your faith, but it’s another offense entirely to be apologetic about it. You have nothing to be sorry for. Christ is the only one who can forgive your sins, so if you are saying sorry I hope it’s to the Lord.   

Again, I’m not encouraging Christians to stand screaming outside of abortion clinics. Nor am I suggesting we hold sit-ins on evolution science classes in school. I’m simply saying, we don’t need to stutter when someone asks us how we feel about controversial topics. It’s OK to be against abortion or same sex marriage. It’s OK not to drink alcohol. It’s OK not to have seen Fifty Shades of Grey, and it’s OK to practice abstinence. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your beliefs and if they don’t like them, tell them to take it up with Christ because He is the head of your life.

After all this, the message I want to be clear is: Love Christ. Stand up for Jesus. And never say sorry for it.

Persistent Faith

This is something I chose to write about because it is what I feel I’m always giving a testimony about. I can’t tell you how many times Christ blessed me to overcome by holding on. I’m beginning to believe that my true calling in faith is not to write but to hold on—in everything—just keep holding on. I think I’m getting good at it now, to be honest.

Whenever someone asks me my advice for new Christians, I always say the same thing;

Never give up.

There is so much truth, so much confidence behind those three simple words. A Christian’s most powerful weapon is their faith. Your faith determines your attitude and your outlook in life. If you have great faith then you have a great outlook—nothing can bring you down, you can see the bright side in the darkest situation. I am not too proud to admit that I’m not always like that. Though I have gotten much stronger, I sometimes give in to the negative thoughts telling me I will not succeed, don’t even try, just give up now. But when you have the faith to say, yes, I can, then you’ve got everything you need.

Romans 12:2 NIV says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

When times are tough the world says give up. When the odds are stacked against you the world says forget about it. When you attempt something great the world says don’t get your hopes up.

That scripture tells you to ignore all of that. Do not conform to negative thinking pattern of this world. Get some faith! When you have that, you will be able to testify what God has done for you. I have seen, with my own eyes, cancer healed by faith, broken bones healed by faith, jobs gained through faith, empty stomachs filled through faith, car accidents prevented by faith, and so much more. The Rebel Christian is a product of my own faith! It may seem small to some readers but honey you’re subscribed to a blog that’s got a one-way connection to Christ. You want a prayer to get through, this is the place to post them.

Imagine if Noah had listened to the world. Imagine if Jesus had listened to the world. Imagine if I had listened to the world.

Now ask yourself, are you listening to the world?

It might seem hard, it might seem impossible, it might not look the way you imagined in your head but that doesn’t mean God isn’t there. In case you haven’t realized it yet, Christ specializes in showing up in the middle of a storm. Just sit tight and enjoy the waves, let them rock you to sleep at night as Jesus calms the waters.

Holding on might seem tough at times but how do you know what you’re made of until you’ve been pushed to your limits? We didn’t know how dedicated Abraham was until God asked him to sacrifice his son. We didn’t know how patient Job was until he was tested through many trials and tribulations. We didn’t know how focused Paul was until he was arrested and wrote half the New Testament from damp quarters of a prison. We didn’t know just how much Jesus loved us until he was beaten, bloodied, and then crucified for people who whine at the slightest sign of dissatisfaction.

When you pray, don’t just throw your hands and say that’s it! My Christian duties are done for the day. No, they’ve only just begun. Pray and pray and pray and pray and pray. Never give up on asking God for what you need, what you want, and more. When it seems like you haven’t been answered, praise. Praise Christ for your blessing to come. Never be afraid to say thank you in advance!

Think of this scripture; “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 NIV

That verse tells us one important thing

The Lord has promised a crown to those who love him, meaning… If we love Christ, we will endure.

So, when you face trials and tribulations, waiting periods, and times of growth, the love you have for Christ will become very clear. If you love Him, you will hold on. If you love Him, you will keep going. How dare you give up when Christ gave all. How dare you even think about giving up.

Why?

Because giving up is the same as saying Christ isn’t strong enough to help you. You can do ALL things with Christ. No matter what it is you are facing right now, Christ is bigger. When you understand that, you will know what true faith is. So, keep standing tall, keep pushing on, keep moving forward, even if you have to crawl through on all fours, know that Christ is right there beside you.

Carefully

One night I prayed. It was a quiet prayer, whispered gently from my lips as I knelt at the edge of my bed. I prayed for many things, as I always did. Peace, prosperity, true love, faith, strength, joy—things everyone prays for. And as I prayed, I thought, who am I talking to right now? Who is waiting at the other end of this prayer?—head turned slightly, hand cupped behind their ear.

Who is it that will hear these words?

We all know who hears our prayers, but do we know who listens to them?

Imagine the look on Jesus’ face when you call out to Him.

Is He smiling? Is He laughing, thinking, not this again—I already told you what to do.

When I pray, I imagine that Jesus shakes His head quite often. I imagine He probably rolls His eyes every now and then, too. Because I’m the worrywart child, the one who is always bugging Him, asking if He heard me, if He could just hurry up and answer me now please. I’m always wondering, questioning, poking and prodding at Him. I imagine myself a child pulling at the hem of her father’s cloak as he moves about, neither bothering nor bringing joy, just there—clinging, holding, hanging on. But I am there.

Sometimes I feel He keeps walking because He doesn’t care and it hurts. That’s when I tug harder, reaching as high as I can to yank on the hem of his rob. I try my hardest, struggling to get His attention to no avail. That’s when I throw a fit. I get fussy and I get anxious. A temper tantrum as if reliving the ‘terrible twos’. And when He still doesn’t answer I feel the tears prickling behind my eyes, burning as they surface and run screaming down my face, leaving a puffy redness on my cheeks.

I am broken.

But just when I loosen my grip and begin to pull my fat little hand away, He stops walking. My Father stoops and takes me into His warm, strong arms. Arms that have held me so many times, arms that feel so wonderful as they hug me, pulling me close against his broad chest. And it just hurts so much more because I feel the weight of His pure love around me, crushing me, taking my breath away. And I think of how silly I was to feel ignored by someone who loves me so dearly.

“My child,” He always says, whispered into my ear as he held me. “Don’t you see how much stronger you’ve become?”

Like a light has suddenly been shined on me, my eyes are opened. Reaching up has lengthened my arms, standing on my tiptoes had stretched my legs, holding on so tightly has given me strength I didn’t know I had. I am bigger now, I’m not a child anymore, actually, I am a young woman now and the man holding me is so beautiful.

In this moment of pure joy, a moment alone with Christ Almighty, I think to myself with tears in my eyes; carefully, I may fall for this man.

Have you fallen in love with Jesus yet?

It is the most beautiful thing, I promise.

Goliath

They told him he’d been too small. They told him he was too inexperienced. Naturally, he didn’t listen.

When he was young, David would watch his father’s sheep. He’d spend his days reclining in the shade of the large tree just behind his home. It was the perfect spot; from that distance, he could watch the hefty animals grazing about and still hear his father’s low hum as he worked the farm. His father wasn’t a good singer at all but he loved to hear his discordant tunes above the gentle breeze on summer afternoons. Sometimes he would gather his lyre and play along, most times he would simply listen and wonder what the words to his songs could have been, what stories they told, what message they sent. When he was young he was free but he soon realized it was time to grow up.

Now, standing on the battle field, David realized he was a long way from home. He remembered those monotonous days fondly; mornings that had become so routine he’d nearly fainted when his father came to him with a request.

“Take some supplies to your brothers,” he’d said, his wrinkled skin shifting to form an old man’s smile. “They’re in a stalemate with the Philistines and need provisions.”

David had been to the Israeli camps on rare occasions but not to visit his burly older brothers. Most of his visits were straight to the King, a man who suffered from horrific demons which caused him to fall into violent fits of rage. Only the sound of this small shepherd boy’s music soothed the King’s spirit.

David smirked, he would give anything to play his lyre and get back home now. How did I get myself into this? he thought, feeling the wind brush against the exposed skin of what some called scrawny arms and shoulders. Somehow, this scrawny boy’s trip to deliver supplies to his older brothers had turned into a challenge which would determine the entire outcome of the war waging in his country. To him, it was just a small skirmish that would earn him gold and a pretty, new wife.  

A shepherd boy. A musical genius. A scrawny, curly haired teenager.

David had been described as many things by his friends and family, one thing they’d never said, however, was tough. As the youngest of eight boys, three of whom had made a name for themselves in the King’s army, David didn’t stand out much. He didn’t have large muscles, fast reflexes, or experience in battle. That fact hadn’t been clearer until David’s eldest brother confronted him at the Israeli camp.

“What are you doing here?” he’d shouted over the usual clamor of the army’s camp. Heads and helmets turned to see the ruckus, a common event when David and his brothers united. “Shouldn’t you be at home where it’s safe?” Eliab jeered. “And with whom did you leave those few sheep?”

David resisted the urge to roll his eyes, thinking of his brother’s remarks; those few sheep. The words rang in his ears like a piercing noise in the back of his head—the beginning of a terrible headache. Eliab had poked fun at his job as a shepherd boy, comparing his duties to that of a soldier but he didn’t know. He wasn’t there when David wrestled a bear with nothing but his hands or took one of his few sheep from the mouth of a lion. He hadn’t been there to watch the flurry of fists and fur, claws and teeth. Eliab didn’t know his little brother had a secret.

God. His heavenly Father had always protected him, had always given him strength when he’d needed it; during his fight with the beasts and now, with the monster standing across the open plain.

Goliath is what they’d called him—David had sighed at the name, one befitting a giant. The monster shouting insults before him certainly fit the description given by the soldiers of King Saul’s army. He’s taller, stronger, and heavier than any man on this earth! they had cried, cowering as the giant tromped around using his most vicious weapon against them; his tongue.  

“Why do you come out and line up for battle?” he shouted. “On this day, I defy the armies of Israel!”

David heaved a sigh, palming the back of his neck. This has gone on for long enough, he thought, stepping forward from the frontline of soldiers. Goliath noticed the small, unsuspecting boy and frowned, his anger reconfiguring his large face.

“Am I a dog that you should come at me with sticks?” His anger grew and he cursed David by his gods. “Come here and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

The shepherd boy took a deep breath and shouted back. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

Goliath squinted and dropped his spear. “I won’t need this to kill you.” He moved to untie the sword sheathed to his hip. “Or this—”

“Keep that!” David insisted, a smirk claiming his boyish features. “I’ll need something to cut off your head once I’ve killed you!”

Outraged, the giant unsheathed his sword and began his charge toward David. As he moved closer to attack him, David took off, quickly closing the gap between them. His legs moved like fire, eating up the ground below them as he ran. In the distance, he could see the look of surprise etched onto Goliath’s face, shocked by his speed, but the battle wasn’t over yet. Sprinting as fast as he could, David reached into the small bag at his hip and took out a stone. His hands moved without waiting for his mind to catch up.

David didn’t remember loading the sling, lining up the shot, or even sending off the rock. His mind escaped him, lost in the overwhelming rush of the battle; the only thing he could comprehend was the distinct pop! that came from Goliath when the rock made contact right in the center of his head. It was a sound that, even though the soldiers had been roaring and cheering in the background, David heard loud and clear. The giant’s skull had been cracked.

Goliath stumbled a few steps forward, that look of utter shock still claiming his ugly visage, and then fell face-down on the ground. David slowed his pace but didn’t stop running until he met his body, silently taking note of the thick, carmine liquid pooling around his head. Using his sandaled foot, he nudged the sword from the Philistine’s oversized hand and picked it up, flexing his fingers around the hilt, enjoying its feel in his own hands. Then, David raised the blade over his head and, in one swift swing, brought it down across Goliath’s neck to severe his head from his body.

The surrounding armies watched with rapt attention, the silence stretching taut. They came alive when the young boy raised the bloody head into the air, declaring himself the winner. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran but the men of Israel and Judah weren’t finished with them. Shrieking a battle-cry, they surged forward and pursued the Philistines, sprinting past David with swords in their hands and an unmistakable thirst, not just for blood but for vengeance, in their eyes.

David did not run with the men. He did not pursue the enemy. He did not gather his weapon. Suddenly exhausted, David held tight to the head in his hand, picked up Goliath’s sword, and went to claim his reward from the King.       


*Obviously, this is not a factual retelling of the story of David and Goliath. It is an imaginative work of fiction based on the true battle that took place thousands of years ago. This is something of my own imagination and is not meant to be taken as fact. Certain details were left out, others reworked. I do hope you enjoyed it otherwise.

The Creation

It started as an idea. One in passing, one they thought would come and go.

“I want to make something great.” A smile graced His lips, but not the kind that made you smile back. It was a smile that looked something between a smirk and a grin. One might call it mischievous.

He’d made many things before; beautiful things, graceful things, perfect things. But this time, He wanted to make something small, something a bit silly, something completely imperfect.

“Make them like us, Father,” His Son spoke up, wearing a kinder, gentler smile. “And give them somewhere nice to stay.”

“They can take the Southern Gates,” a whispering voice suggested. “There’s plenty of space there.”

“They won’t be here with us,” the Father replied. “I’m going to make them their own home and when they’ve finished their duties, they will join us here.”

No one objected.

“First,” Father said, rising from His throne. “I will make something that comes and goes, something that cannot be reversed. This will guide them, hone them, and teach them; I will call it Time and this portion will be known as; The Beginning.”

He descended and His companions followed, watching in silent awe as He walked through the vast expanse of what seemed like nothing. Here, there was no noise, no form, no mind, no body. It had not yet been created, it had not yet come into existence, though, it did have a name. He called it earth but it was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters.

He looked upon the creation, all knowledge and wisdom of what was to come waiting behind His omniscient eyes. “They will remember this moment,” He said. “Let there be light.”

It did not happen slowly, it did not happen quickly either. The words were spoken and the void, beholding its Master, beamed with joy.

He continued speaking, calling forth somethings out of nothing. His voice sounded like purity itself, and it must have been. His words held power; at the flick of His tongue, what He spoke become a visible form. Dry land, He called Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas.

When He walked, the earth blushed at His presence, its cheeks turning green, and He called that grass. When He passed through, it offered Him its best, whispering, look at what we can do, Almighty. Herbs and seeds sprouted, an offering unto the Lord, He called them vegetation.

He made creatures who lived in the waters, and creepy crawlers who lived on the earth. He made winged animals to take to the skies, and saw that all of it was good—so good that He wanted more. “Be fruitful, and multiply,” He commanded.

Father looked at the earth and all that was in it. “It’s lonely,” His Son said, watching His father closely.

“Then we’ll fill it with something.”

“Something that’s different from the beasts,” His Son said.

“Something greater than them. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.”

“Use us,” the earth called out, pleading with Him. “Make man out of us.”

Father stooped and took the dirt into His hands. He molded it, shaped it, and gave it form. Then He breathed into the dirt, the air of His lungs giving birth to the soul. It awakened, slowly, timidly, unsure of what It was and what purpose It served.

God smiled at it, pleased with His creation. “What should we call it?”

His Son chuckled. “We should call it He.”

He …” God repeated. “Needs a better name. And a home.”

“He can have all of it.”

“No, I want a specific place that He can call home.”

God gathered His favorite trees, His favorite plants, and His favorite vegetation. He gave them fertile soil to live in and a river to stay watered. He gathered creatures and beasts and allowed them to live there in peace. Then He stood back and smiled yet again. “This will be called Eden and He will live here.”

“Adam,” Jesus said. “He will be called Adam.”

God smiled again. “It is finished.”

“Shall we rest?” Jesus asked.

He nodded. “Only for a day. Tomorrow, we will give Adam a companion."


I was not there when the earth was created. I did not get to hear God’s voice when He called out, Let there be light. But I can imagine the glory and the splendor of His majesty while He worked and brought into existence our very being. This is what I imagine, this is a fiction retelling of what I dream the Creation was like. I could be wrong, I could be offensively incorrect, but I am entitled to my imagination and I wanted to share it with you all.

I am aware that I left out various scriptures and that I did not go in Biblical order. That is not to say that I believe one certain thing was created before another certain, or that I am trying to ‘rewrite’ the Bible. Whatever changes I made or extra details I included were done for imaginative and fictional retelling purposes only. I am a firm Believer in the Word of God as it is written.

I do hope you enjoyed it.

God bless

Don't Be Shy

There are millions of brothers and sisters of faith around the globe. That sounds like a strange statement for me to write because, even though I know its most definitely true, it just doesn’t seem true.

Everywhere I go; the grocery store, the movie theater, the library—I am surrounded by people who are not saved. Where are all these Christians? Where are the Believers?

There are many who claim the cross, many who profess their faith but do not live according to the gospel given in the Word of God. Why is that? Because it’s easier to say you are Christian than to be Christian. I say that as someone who has grown up in church, so I don’t have the same temptations. My struggles are different. But judging from their testimony, I can say confidently that the change from an unsaved lifestyle to a Christian lifestyle is difficult.

You are suddenly a different person, a new creature in Christ.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Once we become saved we become new creatures and new people different from who we were before. The point I’m leading up to is that we are not alone. I am guilty of being described as a ‘shy’ Christian. I typically play the role of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ not mentioning my faith around others unless it naturally comes up in conversation or I’m asked directly about it. Even then, I am usually a bit nervous to speak so openly of who I am in regards to Christ and the church and I’ve found that I’m not the only Believer who feels this way.

While there are many Christians who are bold and open about their faith, there are just as many like me. Some might ask why. Why do I clam up or don’t speak about the Gospel? It isn’t at all because I am ashamed, it’s because I am protective. I do not want to have my faith disrespected or belittled as it has become a custom to poke at religion in today’s society. I don’t want my King and my family in Christ ridiculed or criticized. Does that hinder my faith? Does that mute the testimony I have to tell? Perhaps.

Lately, however, I have been encouraged.

If there is anything that has ever taught me that silence can be deafening, it is the most recent presidential election. The famed Trump v Clinton in which the latter candidate was so heavily favored Trump’s victory quite honestly shocked the nation—and the world.

I remember reading a caption that said; ‘The Silent Majority Speaks Up’ for reasons I can’t explain, the hint of a smile cracked my face, spilling into my cheeks until they dimpled with mirth. I was happy, grinning wildly at the unexpected victory of a man who stood against abortion, transgender rights, and Muslim alliances, thinking in awe—how did this happen?  

For the first time in a very long time, I was reminded that I was not alone. Outnumbered—as Clinton did in fact win the popular vote—but not alone. I bring this up because it compares very closely to us as members of the Body of Christ. We are not alone, we are scarce, far and few, we are separated, persecuted, and scattered throughout the globe, but we are not alone. In comparison to the election; we are silent, many of us are shy, unspoken of our faith in fear of the consequences it may bring. Many are alone and in hiding, but there will come a time where God will give us the opportunity to speak up and let His light shine in our lives and in the lives of others. We must make the decision to trust Him and let Him shock the world—as He did with Trump’s victory—or shy away and reject God’s blessing.

In contrast to the election, we are not outnumbered. To the naked, unsaved eye, we are but few. But when you look through the eyes of God you can see the entire heavenly hosts standing behind us. You see Christ Himself in the midst and when you have Jesus, you have all you need.

So, don’t be ashamed of your shyness or your silence, wait on the Lord to lead you into discussions. But also, remember that it is your duty to spread the Gospel, to speak up in the name of Jesus—even and especially when your voice shakes.

Stay confident. Stay focused. Stay encouraged. God’s got this.