Millennials and Their Bibles

Recent study from George Barna reports some not so surprising news...

"However, these practices aren't always appreciated by others in their generation. While many Christians might hope that Bible-based films or sharing Scripture online would reach non-Christians, our research suggests the opposite. Non-Christians tend to be more skeptical of biblical films and often feel turned off or alienated by seeing Scripture shared via social media. On the other hand, in the rare cases when non-Christians have increased their Bible reading in the past year, they often did so as a result of seeing how Scripture changed someone they knew. Such responses emphasize the importance of meaningful relationships and evidence of life transformation.

"Finally, for non-Christian Millennials, the ‘brand' of the Bible is a negative one," Kinnaman continues. "The depth and range of these perceptions signal difficult challenges for younger adults who still believe in the Bible. As Bible skepticism increases in their generation, Christian Millennials will have to face those criticisms head on and wrestle with the implications for their own beliefs. Yet when it comes to the Bible—more than many other areas of their faith—Millennial Christians are starting off on comparatively solid ground."

Unbelieving Millennials don't get saved by reading Christian fiction books or by watching Christian movies. Is that a big surprise to anyone?

How does anyone get saved these days? Only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. However, I am still saddened that Millennials have dropped away from the church. They say they want to use their gifts and their skills right away and not wait year upon year to grow into a position when someone dies.

This is why we really need to make sure we use the whole body and not just pieces parts of it. Otherwise those parts not used will atrophy. Does that surprise anyone?


Can you name what was created on which day... the first chapter of Genesis?
I could not. I thought I could, but I didn't remember them in the right order and I completely forgot about the little creepy crawlies. Living in South Mississippi, which is full of them, I just as soon forget them and prefer they never invade my living space.

In a Sunday school class one Sunday morning, we shut our Bibles and tried to name each thing that God created and which day He created it. Can you name them all?

Even with 12 minds and hearts put together we discovered that we didn't know them so well. [Insert shocked look] I did not cheat, either. When I studied the lesson the morning before I tried to name everything in order and couldn't so I figured that would be a good way to study the first chapter of Genesis. The ladies in my class were intrigued by looking between the lines of each 24-hour period.

Here we see a remarkable thing. God created something from nothing, because it was void, empty, nothing. Anyone who believes in the Big Bang, has to have a huge amount of faith because they believe something was there to begin with. But where did that something come from? Where did gravity originate? How could the law of gravity suddenly happen?

So we opened our Bibles, and looked really closely at each verse... looked at the different things between the lines... Like the fact God created things old and ready to seed and bearing fruit. He had to do that because it was what Adam and Eve would be eating, not to mention every beast of the field, all the cattle and other creepy crawlies. I firmly believe that when God said it was morning and it was evening of the first day, that meant He had created time, 24 hours meant a day, a yom. He didn't mean it was an era of time. That would be ridiculous to have an era of light and dark, and then an era of waters and firmament, then an era of grass and seeds and trees that fruit, and then an era of separation of lights of the day and lights of the dark on the fourth day. How could grass and trees survive without the sun's light? It had to be 24 hours lest they wither and die in the era of darkness.

There is something to make you go hmmmmm

God created the things of the earth old. He created it all for humans lest they starve waiting for a tree to grow big enough to bear fruit.

Then we see that God created all things vegetarian. The food chain was herbs and seeds and fruits, not large animals eating small animals, or humans eating small animals. The first recorded death in the Bible is the animals God slew to cover Adam and Eve after their disobedience. Sin brought violence into the world and it brought carnivores.

But, God let down a sheet for Peter to study, and He told Peter to rise up, kill and eat. That sheet had everything on it that was not "clean" according to Jewish law. Otherwise Peter would not have told the LORD, "No, I haven't ever eaten anything unclean, Lord. I won't start now."

God said, "What I have called clean, is clean and let no man call unclean."

Only God can create something from nothing.

Only God can cleanse.

Only God can make us holy.

From one man came sin and violence into the world and through one Man we are clean and holy. Amen.

I will bring the Victory

Digging around in my desk, looking for some paper or something, I found a copy of something else that has the number 46 at the bottom of it. Someone told me it is from Frances J. Roberts. Her devotion book Come Away My Beloved has been updated many times from 1960 to 2002 . I truly needed to read this again today. It is an amazing piece of prose.

Oh my child, have I ever failed thee? Have I ever turned my back on thee? 

Is the way it starts out. God has never, ever failed me, or forsaken me and has never turned His back on me. That is something that I cannot say about any one human being. At some point in time every friend or person that I have trusted has let me down in some way. And that is the best blessing I could ever have because in recognizing human frailties, I have always leaned most heavily on God. I am a needy person and I can never be too needy for God to deal with. He is always there, always. He's healed me, He's tucked me in His arms and carried me. He's corrected my gaffs and worked on my flaws without complaining. I know, when He is around, His Spirit takes over. Beth Moore has often said, "He hasn't come to take sides, He's come to take over!" I agree.

He says, ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened to you. What a wonderful gift that is to His children. How can we not be so bowed down with awe and worship and leaping with estatic joy? I look out my window this morning at a fantasy world. Fog in the air and close to the ground, sun rays gleaming above house and tree tops. Mourning doves softly cooing to each other.
Arresting! How can anyone experience such beauty and not bow to the majesty of God?

The precious piece ends with:
Ask for the victory. I will come and bring it. Don't look for the victory--look for Me, and ye shall see the victory that I shall bring with me. After I have come, ye shall behold the miracles that I will do.

I just love that! Look for Me and then you will see the victory. In all things lean upon Him and not our own understanding. Look for Him and He will let us find Him. Look for Him because He brings victory!

I leap with ecstatic joy when I am settled into His will and His great provision.

Don't wrestle with pigs...or pitbulls

Sage advice. Who would want to wrestle with pigs?

Isn't that just what we do when we fire back at someone who has hurt our feelings which is what Michael Hyatt is saying. It isn't worth the fight, is it, for Believers to jab and stab at every opportunity. I have heard some folks wax on proudly that they have some great debating skills like being macho with words is something to be proud of. Well, in my book it isn't. How does that edify the body?

I have also seen some people back out of a discussion simply because they hate conflict even though a person's soul was at stake! That isn't edifying the body either.

There has to be a "happy medium" somewhere and I'm not talking psychic-ally. It comes in the form of words that build up rather than tear down. A calm voice has the ability to silence the loudest shout [tweet this]. simply because of its softness My kids would be screaming in the bathtub and I would go in talking softly in a mild voice or even a whisper and they would instantly hush because they wanted to hear what I was saying.

Of course, content was important, too. If I was just saying, "Hush, now. It's all right." They'd instantly begin their screaming all over again. But, if I started talking about a snack waiting for them at the table or a storybook I wanted to read them or some other child-interesting tidbit, they would hurriedly finish their purpose in the bath, all fusses with the other forgotten.

Sad, isn't it, that adults can't be distracted so easily. I find that adults have a tenacity of purpose when they are breathing anger and murder on their way down that road to Damascus. They neither veer to the right or to the left and the puffs of fire-tinged smoke rise about them, so cloudy sometimes that I cannot fathom what they are saying.

Therefore, I'm changing the sage advice to "Don't wrestle with pigs, or with bull dogs. You'll get muddy and rabid. Neither of these is a comfortable state of being."

What's my job in the Kingdom?

We get so caught up in our everyday lives that we forget how important it is to ask that question: Do you know Jesus?

I try to live my life so that anyone I meet knows they have met Jesus through me.

Several years ago, someone paid me the highest compliment I have every gotten in my entire life. She came into my office and said, "Gina, I notice that woman up front keep talking about knowing Jesus, but she has never acted like Jesus. You, on the other hand don't talk about Him constantly, but you act like Him every day. I want what you have."

That makes tears come to my eyes. I would that I could have [i]more[/i] compliments like that, but sadly, I only have one.

We do have different gifts.
Some of us are put here specifically to encourage and edify the Body of Christ...
Some of us to reach out and draw in the lost...
Some to disciple...
Some to serve the needs and assuage the hurts and visit the sick...
Some just share the love of God with everyone they meet...

While we all have different gifts in abundance, we all have each gift in portions so that we can do God's work in any situation. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, edify and disciple the saved, pray for the weary and the energized alike. It is God's work and we are happiest when we are busy at the very task God prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

3 Steps to Peace--Alligators at the door

…in hectic daily living.

What does your average week day morning sound like? Is it filled with soft, shuffling breezes carrying the scent of frying bacon and brewed coffee? Does the gentle sound of children’s giggles waft to you as the dulcet warmth of a hot shower cascade down your back?

Or do you hear the alligators scratching at the door?

Twenty years ago. My kids were scrambling for homework,breakfast frenzies, dogs needed feeding, dragging clean clothes from the dryer (at least they were clean), all the while trying to get mascara even and hose untwisted, the right color shoes and so on. You are up to your neck in alligators five minutes after you awaken. It was nothing like the days when the babies slept until seven o’clock and I just needed to warm a bottle, change a diaper and smiles appeared. How did the frenzies begin and then take over?

I was frazzled and wearing away at the edges. I was also horrible to live with because everything was so out of control that I felt I was buried under piles of tasks with no time to finish even the most menial of them. Or so I felt. I had forgotten Who had created time.

When we stop and think about it, Jesus did not hurry through His ministry, checking His watch or always looking over the shoulders of His disciples toward the next project.  He walked…He sat… He ate… He drank… He taught… He did not freak out.

We never see Him in a rush nor does He get in a panic.  He is the picture of peace and tranquility throughout His ministry.  As we read about Him, there are no “background” noises that are so loud we can’t “hear” what’s being said.  Everything is focused upon Him.  Why should we live our lives any differently?  In fact this is exactly what Jesus teaches us in

 Matthew 6:31-34
31What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. 32People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 33Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.34”Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. The Message

I love how The Message states that favorite passage better known as Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all else will be added unto you. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions. A more encompassing way to say it is, Steep Yourself In God.
How do we do that when everything is calling our name and distractions are overwhelming?
Of course there is a time and place for work and duty. Boaz spoke a blessing over Ruth, in chapter 2…
                    12   ”May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”  That would be steeping in God-reality. Settling within his refuge, taking Him at His word. There is where you find a peace and quite that cannot be duplicated, packaged, or found any other place.

Steep yourself in God-reality. There is a place on Kaui Island called the Little Grand Canyon of the Pacific. When you stop the car at one of the look-outs, the quiet engulfs you. The wind may ruffle your hair or collar, but you don’t hear it because of the vastness of space before you. It is so quiet, you feel it obscene to speak in a normal voice, so you whisper and those standing ten feet away can hear you plain as if you shouted. That is how quiet it was when Jesus spoke to the storm saying only three words, “Peace. Be still.” A few minutes of utter silence does something to the soul which no doctor or psychiatrist can do in a month of Sundays. God created that place. He created the healing that quiet gives, and he understands all that we need in order to braid together the frayed ends of frazzled nerves. We get wound up so tight in daily living that we forget how creative and majestic our Almighty God truly is. He knows when the sparrow falls, and He knows when I’ve locked my keys in the car with a huge pot of seafood gumbo on the floorboard…in the heat of summer… in full sunshine. He knows and He cares. He finds a way to fix the problem if I relax and ask Him to fix it. That is a very real, living, wonderful God.

Steep yourself in God-initiative. Remember Who created time eons ago. It was He who created all of creation in six days and then rested. He created the morning and evening, and He created our bodies to recoup our energy, to dust and clean itself during its resting state. Rest is essential to being able to manage time because it gives our bodies a perfectly wound clock-sense. When we ask God to manage our time, more things get done in one hour than we can do ourselves in two hours without His help. He fashioned us and we are to serve Him. What better way to serve the Master than the Master managing our time? What better way to stay focused on a task without being sidetracked by distractions? His enterprises are why we were fashioned. He tells us this in Isaiah 44, "I have fashioned you, and you are to serve Me."

Steep yourself in God-provisions. It is a two-way street. God expects something back. In Malachi 3:10 God says, “Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room.” That is an If-you-do-this, then-I-will-do-this kind of statement. He promised to provide enough for today. We are to labor and be ready. I can think of no better example than the widow giving her mite as tithe and Jesus said it was greater than all the gold heaped upon the altar. He knew she would be provided for that God would take care of her even though she gave all she had. He did not send John running after her to give her back her two mites so that she might have some supper than night. He knew her heart. There is so much to learn from that small story. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Consider Matthew 10:39 “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Do you feel like you have lost yourself in Him or are have you lost yourself in the world, in daily frustrations, in a hectic lifestyle?  Do you feel like you are working and pouring yourself out for others and your family but have no time for yourself…much less for God?

If God were to really take care of all your daily, monthly and yearly concerns, how would this change your attitude toward your current responsibilities?

He did say to come to Him if you labor and are heavy laden, that He would give you rest. Are you willing to let Him do that? 

Another sex-filled "family" show on ABC Family Channel

I quit watching ABC "Family" Channel a long time ago because of the way it made my stomach roil in protest at the so-called family shows. Some of them looked like they would be really good, but alas not so! It makes me glad that we have TV shows rated now, that is a least a little warning.

I received this email from One Million Moms today... Thought I'd share with you...

Another Adult Sitcom Introduced to ABC Family

June 27, 2014

Warning to parents! ABC Family Channel has introduced yet another sex laden adult sitcom. The "Young & Hungry" premiere aired Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT and, with a 14 DLS rating, is not suitable for young viewers. The show is airing at a time when children are likely watching. Not only is the program broadcast during primetime, but it will attract a young audience with the title and with the main character being played by the same actress who played the best friend of Disney's "Hannah Montana."
The show includes sexual references, innuendos, foul language, homosexual attraction, one night stands and excessive alcohol consumption. Specific examples of content aired during the new thirty-minute family channel sitcom are below.
  • Main character, a young personal chef, gets drunk and sleeps with her new boss after the boss's girlfriend breaks up with him
  • Discussions about sex preferences and experiences during majority of the episode
  • Boss and girlfriend both admit to sleeping with someone else the night before
  • Boss and girlfriend make up and sleep together
  • Girlfriend is mentally unstable and extremely selfish, with bizarre behavior and unhealthy relationships
  • Crude humor about utensils used during an OBGYN visit
This program is obscene for any network but especially for a family channel. This show is indecent and offensive and needs to be removed from television immediately. "Young & Hungry" is a kiddy version of the lewd show "Two and a Half Men."
Take Action
Please send an email letter to the sponsors of this week's "Young & Hungry." This week's sponsors were: Yoplait (General Mills), Dove (Unilever), Purina (Nestle), Marshalls (TJX Company) and Diet Coke.
Urge advertisers to place it on their "do not advertise" list in protest of pushing sin directly into America's living rooms.

Monica Cole, Director

P.S.  Please forward this to your family and friends!  Become a fan of OneMillionMoms on Facebook!  If you use Twitter, keep up with the latest information by following us.   

I know Whom I have believed

I'm copying my column from Live As If... because it made me cry and I wanted to share it here, too.

One of my all time favorite songs is "For I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day..." That is found in most hymnals even though it is such a very old song. So old, it is found in 2 Timothy 1:12. How sweet to have that deep confidence and that utter trust in the One who saves us from that most heinous day of judgement. There is another verse in that chapter that holds sweet assurance.
2Timothy 1:7 For God did not give a spirit of cowardice to us, but of power and of love and of self-control.

Other translations call it a "spirit of fear". Fear does not come from God, guess who it comes from? That old dragon who knows his time is drawing near, and he is getting angrier and angrier, but not more cunning. He just watches and listens and catches us when we are not looking at Jesus and looking down instead of up.

Paul is not talking about Fear of the Lord here. He is talking about that irrational (for Christians) fear that closes up our throats and gives us that adrenal rush of urgent flight when we come up against things we have a difficult time handling or don't even want to face in our daily living. Things like losing a job, or facing cancer in self or loved ones, uncertainty of the future. Satan uses those feelings we have and intensifies them with his whisperings creating more fear if we allow him to do so.

A synonym for fear is "awe".
"Awe1.a mixed feeling or reverence, fear and wonder caused by something majestic, sublime, sacred etc.2. the power of inspiring intense fear or fearful reverence.SYN- awe refers to a feeling of fearful or profound respect or wonder inspired by the greatness,superiority,grandeur etc of a person or thing and suggests and immobilizing effect. reverence is applied to a feeling of deep respect mingled with love for something one holds sacred or inviolable and suggests a display of homage, deference etc."

That is a lot stronger than what is usually meant when we hear, "Oh that is awesome!" How trite that word sounds next to its literal meaning. When we acknowledge Satan's whisperings with feelings of fear, we are actually giving him profound respect and to a lesser degree, homage and respect. We actually should have a healthy respect for the Devil because he rules the earth and is the prince of the air, (Eph 2:2) who sows disobedience.

When I am inspired with an intense feeling of wonder, peace, respect and a feeling of being tiny and insignificant when I look at a sun rise or sun set knowing that God designed this perfect artwork, is that just plain awe or reverential awe? Does that feeling of being insignificant put it into the "reverential awe" category?

I know it sounds as if I'm being facetious here, but I'm not. I think Fear of the Lord is categorized into two distinct parts. One is the respect and reverence that Christians give to our Father. The other is what will be felt by many unbelievers when they face the Great White Throne., that awful day of judgement. The first is action and the second is emotion. As Christians we are commanded to fear the LORD.

Jesus said in Luke 12:5
But I will warn you whom you should fear; fear the One who after the killing has authority to cast into Hell; yea, I say to you, Fear that One!

The trouble is, there are far too many who don't have a clue just how horrible Hell is. They joke about meeting their friends in Hell, they put cans of beer and packs of cigarettes in caskets because "Old Joe never went anywhere without a cigarette and he'll need them in Hell."

How ridiculous, we say. Yet, that is Satan's lie that many believe. Some hold back from committing to Jesus because they don't want to go where their loved ones won't be... they'd rather go to Hell with their spouse than to Heaven with a real Husband. May it not be so! Yet, it is. There is no fear of the LORD any more. This is why sin is rampant, and why we hear a "feel good" philosophy from the pulpit instead of the harsh truth of judgement. Amen? Amen.

You know what? When ever I think about going before the Throne of God I get tears in my eyes where I can hardly see--like right now. I think of all the times I've let Him down. I think of how I am absolutely nothing--like Paul says, a worm. And the only way I can even imagine myself before the Throne of God is behind the robe of Jesus.

To me, this robe is red with blood...

As I touch this robe so I can peek at God the Father, it is soft and comforting but the color reminds me so powerfully of what I have done to cause that blood to be there. Tears stream down my face and I can't stand up, my face falls to the ground and there is just no way I can even look into the Face of the Lord for I am so unworthy. At my touch to His robe, Jesus bends down and picks me up, holds me and turns back to the Father...yet, I still cannot look at the Father for I am too ashamed.

Jesus, holding me really close and very tightly, gently pushes my face to His chest and whispers in my ear, "It's okay, Gina. I claim you as My own." Only then do my tears dry up and as my feet touch the floor of this majestic Throne Room, my heart is light and I finally see the Face of my Beloved Father.

Tears well up again, and I fall to the ground again but not in shame but in true, full worship of the Living God. Worship that I can barely understand now in this physical body. The worship from a true and perfect heart with no thought of "how's the roast doing?" but with one mind and purpose to praise and glorify The Lord God Almighty, The Creator, The I AM, The Parter of Seas, the Provider of manna, The Pillar of Fire. The Raiser of Jesus Christ. And He knows me, little old Gina...Ach! The awesome wonderment of it all! Amen.

The Art of Prayer

Photobucket Pic

Is prayer an art?

Lately, I have been inarticulately groaning (not praying in tongues, but groaning because there is so much to pray for). I am so glad that Paul wrote the Holy Spirit interprets for us. I am grateful that He knows better than I what needs to be said. I am so thankful that I don't have to do everything or remember everything to pray for.

I am so grateful that I can leave everything in God's hands. I don't have to worry and fret over the hurts and cares of my siblings in Christ, or for the lost friends and families of my siblings in Christ. I am also thankful that God is so much bigger than any problem I have. How can I not trust Him? He sometimes answers my prayers before I've even prayed! That is just so incredible to contemplate. No wonder David would say, "Selah!"

I can be lost in wonder at the beauty of some prayers. David's for example. Paul's. Or the simple prayer of Jesus, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

And isn't it absolutely wonderful that Jesus prayed for us!

John 17:10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine and I have glory in them.

Of course this part of His prayer is for His disciples, the eleven who were faithful. However, I am a disciple of His and I am expected to bring Him glory. Jesus has glory in me. Selah! What an awesome thought. How I act. How I present myself to the world. What I think, either brings glory to Him or shame.

John 17:13 And now I come to You, and I speak these things in the world, that they may have My joy being fulfilled in them.

Jesus spoke His prayer in the world. That is difficult to understand. But when we consider that He lay all His riches aside and His place beside His Father so that we could understand God better, understand how we are to conduct ourselves righteously, understand the stark difference between good and evil in order to choose the good and reject the evil. Yes. I can absolutely see how that fills me up with Joy. Indescrible, unmistakable, unquenchable Joy.

Tough doesn't mean crusty

Back in the 50s and 60s (yes, last century) women had a huge responsibility within the family unit. They actually said with straight faces, “I don’t work.” In the 70s it became, “I don’t work outside the home,” said sheepishly and downcast eyes. Let’s face it, when their day of toil began before sunup and didn’t end until long after sundown and the kids were asleep. They wore dresses and girdles to do house work. Girls were taught how to be women, graceful and lovely and unruffled. We were taught how to make an Entrance without being considered a show-off. It’s a trick, and quite effective, but we don’t do it anymore because that would make us too feminine and weak-looking.
Children had an orderly environment, and it was normal to find the entire family at the table during the dinner hour, as well as the breakfast hour. Women were serious about the children’s education, and fathers were serious about moral values. Family life wasn’t as neatly tied up with string as in the movies or TV shows, but there was considerably more family church going, and family prayer time than is evident today.
Women were soft and curvy with spines of steel. Today, women are crusty on the outside with spines of steel. At least that is what the movies and TV shows would have us believe. There are so many tough, bossy tom-boyish women in the media that I’m ashamed of womanhood. The line between the sexes is so fuzzy now I think we should all be called Pat.
Is it just me? Are we being pushed into a masculine box? Are we being shamed into acting in ways that are supposedly more acceptable for independence with hard, crispy manners? That is what is being dished up by Hollywood, and I’m just saying, “No, thank you,” to that cold dish. “I’ve had plenty, thank you.”
I don’t watch Dr. Phil very much, but I happened to catch one of his “Housewives” shows on Tuesday. This poor man was sitting in the hot seat. (Mind you, I am NOT saying that adultery is okay. It is heinous.) This man was in a sexless marriage with is his wife (one of the housewives) for 16 years. Dr. Phil asked her, “So are you sexually aggressive?” She gave an affirmative answer. When Dr. Phil asked the husband why wasn’t he attracted to his wife for the past 15 years, the man (not once was his face shown) didn’t even get to finish his answer but did manage to say that she always judged his performance.
To be fair, she did say she praised him everyday… but, we all know that when a man is Unmanned, he won’t or can’t perform well. This woman made her husband feel like a non-man in bed. If you were made to feel that way, wouldn’t you run the other way?
When will women get it? When will we understand that we came from Adam’s rib, and we were not made to be better than him or to be behind him, we are the helpmate. The better part of valor is wisdom. Putting wisdom to good use is to understand what makes our husbands tick and then to Gently wind the mechanism for the best performance. Just like the best sex for women begins at breakfast, the best sex for men begins when the woman makes him feel like a real man, not a little boy or a boor, but a real man.
Just remember: Contentious women are like constantly dripping water. Be a shower of refreshing rain, but also be sure that the Son dries up any leftovers so dripping won’t be annoying.