I have asthma.
A few years back I got really sick. I didn’t have medical insurance.
I would get asthma attacks by walking just a few feet. I would take my medicine and have another attack within minutes.
This went on for days. I was bed-ridden. I laid there and looked up at the ceiling and realized, “This is it. I am going to die.”
I found some medicine, some pills. The package claimed it would take away my asthma for 4 hours! Breathe?! For 4 hours? Get out of bed and actually go pee without an asthma attack?! Awesome!
There was a catch though. The only way this medicine could be taken was if I stopped using the inhaler.
What?! How can I know if I can TRUST this medicine? What if it doesn’t work? What if I am going to die because I have to switch from WHAT I KNOW WORKS to the UNKNOWN.
My inhaler did work; But not good enough. I had to take a chance. I had to throw out my old way of ALMOST getting better and embrace this new claim of freedom.
This was a very scary step to take. I put the inhaler away and took a leap of faith by taking the pill. I was ecstatic to be able to breathe for the 4 hours they had claimed. Now, I trust them. I experienced the truth of their claims, and now I could take the pill every 4 hours and continue breathing.
Why am I telling you this story?
I want to talk about DIVIDED LOYALTY.
In light of this story, consider what God is asking us to DO when we ask Him for wisdom:
“If you need wisdom,
ask our generous God,
and He will give it to you.
He will not rebuke you for asking.
BUT when you ask Him,
BE SURE that your FAITH is in God ALONE.
Do not waver,
for a person with DIVIDED LOYALTY
is unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
Here we have a package of medicine (the Word of God) that is telling us that we MUST stop taking other medicine so that we can start getting better…so we can breathe…so we can have freedom.
God is asking us to shift our loyalty to Him only. This is about salvation, and it continues throughout our walk. When we need God to show up in our circumstances, are we willing to take the medicine He provides?
When you ask God for wisdom, are you willing to throw out what has “worked” in the past and grab hold of the new?
God is capable of giving solutions. If God actually gave you a solution to start working out, would you do it? Let us not expect God’s wisdom when we don’t even intend to use it.
More and more I am seeing an increased problem with people who change their lives to live for the Lord. I am not pointing fingers or trying to down anyone as I have been a victim to this myself so I can speak from experience. We change our lives to be born again but yet still continue to do certain things we did before we found our way. Lets not get it confused you are not going to completely change over night but we have to make better choices on what we do going forward.
As you grow in your faith you may want to surround yourself with others who are doing the same. It serves as a support mechanism that will overall help everyone involved stay on the right path. People who are not doing this tend to criticize you for your new found way of living because they are not doing it or understand it completely. When it reality it is nothing new it is just following the Bible and God`s word and now you know that to carry out daily.
Do yourself a favor to save everyone involved some time. Pick a side and go with it because straddling the fence as I call it will only prolong the inevitable moment when you have to make a choice on which side you are on. You should be involved with and trying to lead as many people as you possibly can to God because if the world has shown you anything it is we need him.
Most people at Faith and Victory Church use Facebook as their primary social media. So we use Facebook to reach the people of the church. Twitter however is a great tool for reaching people outside the church.
People have twitter accounts for different reasons. Some people like to just look at other peoples posts. Some people like create friendships. I’m going to tackle twitter in the form of expanding the church’s influence by sharing it’s tweets.
To do twitter as a web disciple we need to signup for three accounts.
- Twitter (we need a twitter account) – www.twitter.com
- Hootsuite (used to schedule tweets so we can spread out tweets we want) – hootsuite.com
- Unfollowers.com (used to unfollow people who don’t follow us) – unfollowers.com/
Creating a twitter account is easy. Signup with an email and fill in your profile information. One important thing is to have a picture of yourself in your twitter profile. No one will want to be your friend with the default picture.
Once you have your twitter account setup then you need to start following people. The first person is FVChurchAuburn. That’s the church. Then you need to decide what type of people you are trying to reach. I for example picked people who have a bible verse in their profile and also pastors of churches. I have lots of people that I follow that aren’t in that category but I target those two groups of people.
You can search for people to follow in the upper right hand corner of the screen where it says search.
The idea for us is not to follow famous people or popular people but to follow regular people who will return our follow by following us. This is called a follow back.
Once we have people following us then we need to tweet them things to read. You can tweet your own content (whatever it is you like) and also retweet things that FVCAuburnWA tweets. By retweeting what the church tweets you are expanding the influence of the church and allowing all your followers the chance to read/listen to church articles/sermons. Please note that at some point twitter will stop you from following people and you’ll have to wait a bit before following others.
If you want to start tweeting a lot of your own content then I suggest the the website hootsuite. Once you get it setup it allows you to schedule posts throughout the day. This also makes it so you can re-tweet the same post many times throughout the year. Remember this is not facebook. Many of your followers will not see your original tweet. Tweeting many times is a good strategy.
Last but not least to keep a healthy twitter account you want to unfollow people who are not following you. If you are following too many people that aren’t following you back people may start to expect that you aren’t managing your account. It’s kind of silly but this is how twitter works. I use unfollowers.com to manage this. It allows you to unfollow 100 people per day for free.
Now all that’s left to do is get in there. Create your twitter account and start following some people and making some tweets and retweets.
Most recently I have come to find out how important each our personal testimonies are or can be to others. I know we all think how is this helping by pouring my heart out about certain subjects to others? Well always remember you never know who may be going through something similar as you did but is suffering in silence maybe embarrassed or not motivated enough to talk about? Everyone goes through something and many times it is similar to another struggle but if we never speak up who will know? From the first time I was able to open up I did and it honestly made me feel better if not only to just get it of my chest.
God knows the truth and it will honestly set you free. He knows where you heart is so it is no need to hide anything from him. Open up the box containing your past repent for your sins and accept the Lord as your personal savior and experience a joy you have never known. You thought you were having a great time living for the world or out on the town in a club but I am here to tell you this feeling will never go away as long as you keep faith in him. He is the building block to eternal peace and salvation and it was a reason he brought you through you testimony you just did not know it at the time.
Be a blessing to others and share your trials,tribulations and testimony. Whatever you can do to help someone else by all means do it because the table can turn putting you on the receiving end. There is nothing wrong with coming outside your comfort zone to stop worrying about yourself to help your fellow man/woman with at the very least a healing word of encouragement. We are soldiers in the war for the Lord and we have to let the world know we stand together no matter what.
In the upper right hand corner of your blog post lives a little section called “Publish”. This section allows for the scheduling of blog posts. You can set the date for any future time and when that time hits WordPress will then post your blog post.
We all get busy with life and blog writing is a time consuming activity. Finding a day of the week to post a blog can be more than we can handle. Luckily in WordPress we can get ahead by writing our blog posts ahead of time and then have them post at a later date. So we can stay consistent for our readers on the day/time our blogs are posted with out actually having to be online during those times.
As well as busyness there is also the factor of what time of day do I post my blog posts to get the most readers. Some of it depends on you and the people who most like your writing. What time do they log onto Facebook? What time of the day do they have free? If you don’t know the answers to these questions my suggestion is to pick one of two times.
Pre-Lunch (11:00amish) or post dinner (7:00pmish). Many people view the internet from work via their phone or company internet. Lunch breaks are a great time to do blog reading. Post dinner is also another good time to read blogs while watching tv or whatever.
Day of the week is also important. Mondays are good blog days. Everyone is back at work but not actually wanting to work … thus people read blogs. Fridays are bad blog days. Everyone is looking forward to their plans for the weekend .. not your blog.
Saturdays blog posts get less views but more people comment on them. People have time to engage your blog on their day off (not just read it).
Choose a day and time that works for you. You might have to play with it for a while. Once you decide on a day and time then start scheduling it so your blog readers can “expect” a blog at certain times/days. They will “tune in” to your blogs as you consistently produce content.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
As you can read by the title and the gap between posts, this blog has not been high on my list. I am working to fix that but that is not what this post is about. After Pastor Matt’s sermon this last Sunday, I was inspired to sit down and write this post that I have been chewing on for weeks now. Warning!!! If this post offends you, then you may need to deal with something that I have inadvertently uncovered.
Superbowl Sunday…Excitement is everywhere. As we are driving to church, I see 12 man flags everywhere. It seems like everyone is wearing a Seahawks Jersey. Ads for big screens, food, parties. I feel out of place. I am wearing the football jersey I got from last years Men’s event. I have never been real big on sports. I don’t have the time. Then it hit me. It’s not a priority in my life. Now I have never been diagnosed with ADD, but I know I have it. My mind works like this: one sheep, two sheep, cow, turtle, duck, Old Macdonald had a Farm, HEEEY Macarena! Now this may sound bad, but it has served me well in the past. This time it took me from football jerseys to budgets.
Back to Sunday. I began to look around and count jerseys, then multiply that by the average cost of a jersey (which is $80 for Adults, $40 for Kids). That means a family of 4 would cost around $240! Woah! Now, before I get too far, I am not judging. But I cannot spend that much on a shirts these days. Now, had I looked at jerseys before we first started doing a budget, and I would have probably bought one for all of us, and by us I mean everybody in the church. I had a buy first, check and see if I had cash later policy back in the day. After my mental math exercise, I started to think, why spend money on these things. Then it occurred to me, someone might think the same thing about my purchases. They may think it is a waste to buy K-cups for coffee instead of brewing a pot of coffee. They may think it is a waste to spend $14.99 a month to have audio books on my phone when I could probably get them for free at the library. They may think its crazy to spend $200 on a dust collector. We all like different things. And that’s when I remembered how I went from buy first, look later mentality, to a more cautious approach. The Budget!
Luke 14:28–30 – For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?
The dreaded B word. Our Budget laid our where we spend our money. You can’t continue to hide priorities in dozens of transactions online when you have to sit down and decide where your money goes each month. It was hard when we first started the budget. It showed us we ate out too much. It showed us we pay to much for TV and complain that there is nothing good on. It showed us our cars cost too much money. It showed us we had too much debt. It showed us we weren’t tithing. That last one hurt. You may thing a budget is constricting, that it doesn’t allow for any room to move. In reality, it is exactly the opposite. A budget is not chiseled in stone and brought down the mountain to be followed to the letter. A budget does not say you can only spend money on things that are not fun. A budget allows you to tell every dollar where it is supposed to go before it is spent. If you spend all your money for food but want to go out to eat, that’s OK….but $20 for take out means $20 less to go to the movies or $20 less parts for the house project you want to finish. The budget will also tell you where your priorities are. This is a good thing. It may hurt at first, but later on, it is comforting.
But Kasey, my house payments cost more than what I give to the church, does that mean I love my house more than God? Of course not, but if you are hungry all the time, the kids clothes are two sizes too small, and you can’t afford to turn up the heat because you house is 75% of your take home pay, then yes, you love your house too much. 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Pretty powerful words, worse than an unbeliever! Ouch. I guess my point is this. If you want a jersey and can afford it, buy a jersey. Sit down and ask yourself, what are my priorities. You may find out they are not where you think they are. If that bothers you, do something about it. Read your bible, pray about it, ask for help.