Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Passion of Dean

The Passion of Dean: Dean dons a brown wig and a crown of thorns. His tall, sinewy frame is shrouded in a white robe. He bears a 40-pound cross, which he drags through neglected neighborhoods. His message is simple: God can change anyone, anywhere.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Material Girl

So it's not often that I share personal parts of my journey on the blog, but sometimes I just feel like it's the right thing to hopes that it will encourage someone else or invite a fellow reader to be the prayer partner that I didn't even realize was there.

Most of you probably don't realize that I was an 80s girl.  I loved the 80s....the tv shows, the music, the clothes, etc.  And as horribly unfortunate as it was, Madonna was my iconic idol.  I just loved everything about her.  I loved her songs, her music videos, her clothes, her look, and I loved the rebel in her.  She made me feel empowered as a little girl to grow up to be this strong, independent, sexy woman - who didn't have rules and didn't have to listen to anyone.  She was wildly freeing.

Remember I said it was horribly unfortunate.

My recent calling to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and wife is the total opposite of everything that I thought I would become.  It's the total opposite of what Madonna and MTV enticed me with.  I'm surely not this super rich, glamorous, sex symbol that has all the clothes and jewelry and big houses and nice cars.

One song imparticular came to mind this morning as I prayed and agonized over some flesh that I'm having to currently kill in my life.

Material none other than my precious Madonna.

Youtube it if you'd like.  I haven't watched it in years, so I don't remember all of the details to the video, but the tune and lyrics still ring clear as a bell through my brain.

Living in a material world.......Material girl......

Yes - that's what I was - that's part of who I wanted to be - that's part of the flesh that still resides in me and likes to rear it's ugly head at the most inopportune times.

I'm rolling along, and digging deep, and growing in my new journey, and BAM, out of nowhere Melissa-Madonna-Material Girl comes back and begs to get a second chance in this body.  It starts just like any other sin....with a temptation, with a desire - with a desire of my eye or a desire of my flesh or a pride of life:

1 John 2:16 - For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

I'm tempted the same way Eve was....and that temptation can quickly build into a full blown sinful act if I let it.

Mark 7:21-23 -For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.
Ephesians 5:5 - For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Luke 12:15 - And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Colossians 3:5-6 - Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 

But what does the precious Word of God tell me?  That this is not of's of the world. 

1 John 2:15-17 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Am I going to choose to "love the world" and risk someone being able to say "the love of the Father is not in him (her)"?

As with any recognized recovery program, the first step is always admission.  Being able to see the truth and admit the problem is the first step to being victorious and overcoming.  (Let me just stop and give God some glory.  I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit that lives in me - that cares about me and comforts me and burns within me for righteousness and holiness, even when the flesh fights for first place.  I can't fathom how I even survived life without Him all those years.)

So what do I do?  I wasn't able to stop the desire from arising in my heart and mind.  I do the only thing that I know will work.  I get on my knees and cry out to God.  I repent and nail that thing to the cross.  I put it to death under the blood of Jesus.  I read His Word of Truth and see freedom.

Yes it hurts.

Yes it brings real tears.

Yes I cried and whined like a little spoiled child over things I can't have and don't need.

But that's okay.  These are the real moments of growth.  The painful moments where I lean on God and submit an area to Jesus all over again - the moments where walking in the Spirit becomes more real that walking in the flesh.

Each day that old woman has got to go!  That Material Girl must be kicked out the back door, along with any other person that Madonna told me I could be.

John 3:30 - He must increase, but I must decrease.

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Upcoming Outreach at the NC Pride Parade

Dean and a group of folks will be heading out again this year to the NC Pride Parade in Durham on September 28th.

He will be having a meeting to give information and discuss the details on Sunday, September 22nd at 3pm in Durham at Bethel Christian Center.

If you would like to go with the group, please contact us and let us know!

Please note that the purpose of this outreach, as with any others, is to share the gospel and truth of Jesus Christ, of His love, salvation and transforming power.

Loving Radically Through Christ,