God’s Barrier of Protection

Brandi’s Nighttime Reflection

Written by Brandi Spyies and my 13 year old nephew Hunter Hernandez

Today my little doggie got spayed. When I picked her up from the veterinarian she had an Elizabethian collar around her neck and boy was she unhappy about that.  Everytime she wanting to go into on particular direction that may have been dangerous for her, the collar prevented her from sudden and potentially dangerous actions. Sometimes this would make her really impatient, anxious and upset. She realized that she was not longer in control of particular movements. She didn’t realize that the purpose of the collar is to prevent her from licking, biting or opening her surgical wound. Many times in our lives, God will use protective barriers to prevent us from reopening wounds that need time to heal. Like Bailey, it can cause us to become impatient not understanding why we can’t progress in a certain direction, but it is all for our protection. So the next time you are wanting to re-open doors that have clearly been closed, wounds that have clearly be sutured, remember Bailey and her E-Collar–IT IS ALL FOR YOUR PROTECTION.

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STUCK IN NEUTRAL–THE NEW STATE OF THE CHURCH?

This probably won’t be one of my most popular blogs, and it’s okay, but it’s my duty to share, what God is revealing to me, through my studies. 

I’m so sad to hear about the man who was shot at Creflo Dollar’s church today. Hearing things like this going on in churches has taken me to a level of prayer for not only believers but non-believers as well.  

Last night during my small group class, the question was asked–IS THE CHURCH WINNING? From the inside the average “church-goer” would assume that the church is indeed winning. Let see–just using my own experiences as an example–you have packed out ministries, packed out services at various times during the weeks, especially Sundays, people praying in the most eloquent ways that one has ever heard, so seemingly it looks as if we are in fact winning; however, winning isn’t defined by your enrollment of members in classes, number of members on your rosters, amount in the building fund or tithing envelopes, or the activities I stated above.  You can have all of that and still far way from the mission of Christ. Believe it or not this is what is seen from the outside. Judgement, manipulation, hypocrisy, backbiting, pretense, people out for quickie feel good messages treating their relationshp with God like any other casual relationship–feels good for the moment, but doesn’t add any long-term quality to your life because you haven’t taken that relationship with him to that deeper level. It’s sad because though this is a partial representation of what’s in the church–it is far from what the original state of the church was designed to be. IS THIS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF CHRISTLIKE LIVING?  Matthew 28:19-20 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. So if this is the goal of disciples (Followers of Christ <—what “church-goers should be”–the question still lies, IS THE CHURCH WINNING

Being a winning Church begins with being a winning individual for Christ.  It starts at the head level. We must first accept Christ as Lord (person of deity, control and power) of our life. As our mind shifts, changes within our heart are made–our actions and priorities began to line up with what we already know…and as our heart changes, our behavior changes–we become more intentional about the work of Christ. 

With the new perspective God has given me on why I have a second chance at life, I am constantly checking myself and asked myself this very question: If I weren’t a Christian, and someone introduced me to myself–would I want to follow my own lifestyle? Weirdly worded question I know, but a serious self reflection for me.  It made me examine my life more closely to see if what I really “preaching” I’m truly practicing–because it’s not only by our words, but also our actions that will either repel people away from the life of Christ or draw them near. 

So it doesn’t surprise me that we see all of this activity that is disconnected from the mission of Christ (Shootings, accusations of homosexuality from leadership, men spreading HIV to single women in the church, married pastors having affairs and getting women pregnant out of wed-lock). SIN is SIN; however, my Pastor described sin perfectly last Sunday–STUCK IN NEUTRAL…Until we get out of our own selfish desires and in tune with what we were designed for as individuals–the vehicle to winning souls  (THE CHURCH)  in the Kingdom of God will be in this exact position STUCK IN NEUTRAL and in this position, we as a body will never be driven to go the distance in discipleship as God has so commanded. 

 

Honey Lips

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Proverbs 16: 23-24 reads:

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Harmful words/actions can cause deep wounds that can be resistant to healing as more and more harmful expressions like bacteria seep into an already gaping wound. Although our wounds may heal, sometimes there are lasting scars, some more susceptible to infection than others. We try to bandage the wounds with facades of having tough skin–acting out the childhood cliché, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. The truth of the matter is, when these bandages are ripped off prematurely, it’s easy for old wounds to re-open.

Eventually, over time, harsh words/actions can become necrotic–eating away at our character–causing us to become guarded, negative and hard, further promoting the spread of toxic/poisonous communication to others.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT…

Ancient research has found that honey can not only be used as a natural sweetener, but also has several valuable properties for healing.

1) It prohibits the growth of bacteria from entering a wound.

2) It helps keeps skin moist, encouraging the growth of new tissue, reduces the likelihood of scarring, and promotes easy removal of bandages

3) Helps kills cells that cause cancer

How are the words that flow from your lips? Are they naturally sweet? Or artificially sweetened?

As we continue to crucify our flesh daily–let us keep in mind that our words have meaning and can impact others in drastic ways. Let’s strive to impact in a drastically healthy way!