A Lesson From My Favorite Actor

cary-grant-sitting-indian-style-wearing-a-tuxedo.jpgPut on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. Colossians 3:10 (NKJV)

One of my favorite actor’s is Archibald Leach. You would know him best as Cary Grant, the quintessential romantic leading man from the 1940’s.

Once told by an interviewer, “Everybody would like to be Cary Grant”, Grant is said to have replied, “So would I.”

Born in Bristol England, Archibald was a ruffian with a cockney accent. He was anything but suave and sophisticated. In his late teenage years, thinking acting might be a way to make an easy dollar, he went to a local theatre and starting to pick up some small parts. As he acted out these parts, he began to discover the kind of person he wanted to be. A person of culture and sophistication, a romantic figure, a ladies man.

And he portrayed this image so convincingly, thats seventy films later, he was known as “Mr. Sophistication.”

When asked if he’d always been so suave and sophisticated by a television interviewer, Cary Grant chuckled, “I played the part so frequently that it became me ultimately. I put on the character so often, that it became who I am.”

In Colossians 3:10-11, Paul is telling us to play a part as well as an actor would put on a role.

Put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…Put on kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing with one another and forgiving one another…

“But if I “put on” won’t I be a fake person? Shouldn’t people just accept me the way I am?”

The truth is, that every person on the stage of life is acting some kind of part. The question is, will they like the parts’ they’ve chosen when the curtain goes down and the play is over?

As Christ-followers, let’s look also at what it tells us in Ephesians about this topic.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off  your old self,which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

We were created in the image of God and are called to “put on” Christ to the best of our ability. (Romans 13:14)

What does it mean to “put on” Christ?

In verses 12-14, Paul lists the following characteristics:

Mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness and love.

So to put on Christ means to display these same qualities. It means to continually ask, “What would Jesus do in this situation? How would Jesus respond? What does His Word say about this?”

And as as we work to become like Him (By His grace), we will find ourselves becoming the role and the role becoming us.

So let’s chose today to “put on” Christ.

With Love,

Christy Lee Lawson

You Have to Feel to Heal

image1-2

We all have painful and hurtful things that happen in our lives.

Many of those hurtful things can cause us to to withdraw from others, our church, and sometimes even from God.

Those hurts and pains, if not handled correctly, can become a hindrance to our faith and keep us from moving forward into all that God has for our lives here on earth.

So what do we do if our hurts and pains have begun to affect us in this harmful way?

I want to encourage you to take those hurts and pains and bring them to your Healer, Jesus Christ.

Get on the operating table with Him so He can do surgery in your heart to help heal you with His love.

I know from my own experience, that this is a painful process. How many times has He been doing at work in my heart, and I have jumped off the operating table because the pain seemed too great?

Sometimes He has to take you back through those memories so you can let it go to bring the healing you really need.

“You have to feel to heal.”

The Bible says in Pslams that God’s Word is our counselor. I want to encourage you to study, read, and meditate on his Word. His Word brings life and healing into our souls.

It’s also helped me to find a professional Christian counselor who can help me walk through the healing process so I don’t feel so alone.

So my brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to encourage you today to not choose a temporary fix for the pain in your lives. Maybe there’s an addiction that you had turn to for temporary relief from your pain. Maybe have drawn away from others’ and won’t allow people into your lives.

Whatever you have chosen to bring temporary relief for pain, I encourage you to lay that down and look to the true Healer of our souls, our Great Physician, to bring the healing you really need.

It will be a process, and it will take time, but I promise you it’s worth it.

With Love, ❤️
Christy

Psalms 107:19-21

How Do You Hear?

How you Hear.JPG

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given–and you will receive even more. Mark 4:24 (NLT)

I have seen that the more familiar with the Bible we become the more vulnerable we are to becoming tone-deaf.
 
We KNOW the Bible, but are we HEARING its tone?
 
How are we hearing?
 
Are we hearing God as an angry God who wants to punish us or are we hearing that God is a loving Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He gave His Son for us to set us free from our sins?
 
I love what James says…
 
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17 (KJV)
This scripture shows us that we can be sure that whatever is pure, peaceable, gentle and merciful is from the heart of our Father.
So when we’re reading the Bible, hearing a sermon or even reading a book, we need to ask ourselves, “Does this sound like Who the Bible say’s Jesus is?”
Jesus is so loving and peaceful and full of mercy.
He doesn’t say we have to try harder or do more or He will be angry. He says, “I love you, and the work that I completed on the cross is finished.” (John 19:30)
 
Let’s remind ourselves to “hear” today what Christ has shown us through His Word in James 3:17
 
Let’s pay attention to the tone we’re hearing today.
 
How do we hear?

A Shift in Perspective on Trials

FullSizeRender-2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…”

This is the wording James uses, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, to describe how we should see trials.

“What? Pure joy?”

This is the what our human thinking says.

“How can a trial be considered pure joy?”

Yet this is what this verse says. But it doesn’t end there.

Let’s check out what the next few chapters say.

“Because you know that the testing of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have it have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4

I like this. The thought of being perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

As much as we may not like it, maturity only comes through testing. Faith is made pure only when fiery trials burn away the dross, the impure things, from our lives.

Sometimes God allows us to go through trials because trials reveal to us what we really believe and help develop in us (If we obey the Word of God) the character of Jesus Christ. These trials test us, and put us in situations’ where we have no choice but to trust Him.

When we go through a trial, it can be very hard and painful and we may find ourselves saying, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t get this?”

I remember when I had my twins over 21 years ago. (Yikes, I’m getting old! LOL!) I had several complications in my pregnancy and the girls were delivered at 26 1/2 weeks old. I was 20 years old at the time.

It was SCARY.

It was a trial learning to trust God with my girls lives who were born at 1 lb 10 oz and 2 lb 2 oz.

We heard so many negative reports from the doctors. “They’ll never hear. They’ll never see. They’ll have complications all their lives.”

This was hard stuff to hear. But Erik and I had a choice, we could choose to trust our Heavenly Father or worry and fret through this trail.

We chose to trust.

It wasn’t easy. We had times of doubt where we had to speak the Word out loud and remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God. But we made it through this trial with our faith not only intact but seeing our faith grow!

“I love this cartoon picture I inserted above because it’s a GREAT picture of what happens through our trials. As we “feel like” we are getting hit at every turn, as we trust in Christ, we are being driven deeper into Him. Driven deeper into His love, in trusting Him, in using our faith to truly believe and in our intimacy of knowing Who He is and how many good things He has in store for us.

To be kingdom-minded means we trust God with the bigger picture and with our lives. Knowing that He has the full view of eternity and as the scripture says in Romans 8.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Let’s shift our perspective today of how we view trials.

Let’s make this our prayer…

“Father God, I trust You. This trial that I’m going through is good for me. I trust you to lead me through this. Help me, through this process, to learn to trust You more. I choose to have joy as I walk through this. Thank you for Your strength that carries me through.”

Flourishing Together,

Christy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Step of Faith

Faith is like Wi-Fi, its invisible but it has the power to connect you to what you need.
Author Unknown
700a56063bbd8d1f98df46409e9af8ef--faith-not-fear-quotes-hope-in-god-quotes
When we’re walking in the will of God, many times He gives us one step of obedience at a time to take. A lot of us can miss out on a lot of years because we don’t obey the singular instruction He gave us.
I’m learning it’s so important to obey the “one thing” the Lord has made known to us, either through His Word, times of prayer or the desires He has placed in our hearts.
* If we knew it was going to work – It wouldn’t be faith.
* If we knew where the supplies came from – It wouldn’t     be faith.
* If we had it all mapped out – It wouldn’t be faith
Faith says, “Ok, Lord, I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to work out, but I trust You, and here we go!
When Erik and I moved here over 12 years ago from Oklahoma, because we felt the Lord’s leading to start Element Church, it was so scary to me.
In the natural, we didn’t have the finances we needed, I wasn’t sure if we were mature enough to lead a church (Probably weren’t! LOL, His grace was sufficient!)
We had a hard time finding a place to rent in the area we thought we needed to be, and I wasn’t sure how to even be a pastor’s wife. (These we’re just a FEW of my concerns!) It seemed like a lot of pressure.
BUT, despite how out of our comfort zone it was, we KNEW God had called us to start a life-giving church here.
So…we took one step of faith at a time. And CHOSE to have faith in Him to take care of us and to lead our path.
I’m SO GLAD we did!
Because, even though it’s probably been the hardest thing we have ever done and we’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way,  it’s been the most fruitful and rewarding things we’ve ever done.
His grace has been sufficient for us to carry out the call He has placed in our hearts.
I look at Abraham, one of the fathers of our faith, as an example.
In Hebrews 11, the Lord called Abraham from Ur and asked him to take one step of faith at a time. Abraham obeyed, and a nation was born.
This is how our Christian lives should be lived, taking steps of faith and saying, “Here I am, Lord. What do you want me to do?”
“But, what if I miss it and I wasn’t hearing right?”
We must always be willing to pull back if we’ve taken a step of faith and then realize God wasn’t in it.  I know I’ve missed it on many occasions. I’ve had to step back and then ask Him what He would have me to do next. Trust Him to lead your steps.
Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
If you feel like you haven’t heard from the Lord in a while, take a step back and ask yourself, “Have I obeyed the “one thing” the Lord has asked me to do?”
It’s not too late, take that step of faith!
You’ll never regret it!
With Love,
Christy Lawson

The Mobile of Our Decisions.

183ca53176227c5ff031bab01b47986d
How you raise your children, doesn’t just affect them, it affects everyone in the world they live.

What you do matters…

I’ve always thought there was something so cool about the concept of a baby mobile! I remember getting one for each of my children when they were babies. I was fascinated by how you could push on one small part of the mobile, and the whole mobile would begin to move in circles.
And though this is fun to watch, I wouldn’t want to be one of those rabbits on that mobile who have go round and round on there because someone decided to move just a small part of that mobile.

This reminds me of what can happen in life when we as Christians make wrong choices to hold onto addictions, bad choices or wrong entanglements.

It’s so easy for us to forget that the decisions’ and actions’ we’re choosing today, can have such a strong impact in our families and those who are closest to us. (Whether good or bad!)  You see, just like when a small part of this mobile is moved, that movement affects the whole mobile because that’s the way it was designed.

When we as parents, make wrong and unhealthy unbiblical decisions, we need to really count the cost first. Think about the consequences of our decisions and about who that decision eventually affects.

“Well, my decisions are just my decisions and I’m the one who has to live with my consequences.”

Not necessarily true.

I’ve heard it said that one person, like a president, may have the power to launch a nuclear missile, but that missile will affect everyone it hits.

Because Adam sinned in the garden with his wrong decision, we’ve all have had to experience the fall-out from that moment.

Your decisions REALLY DO affect those around you.

So how do we make WISE decisions?

Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 says to, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

When we seek our Heavenly Father above all else, and don’t rely upon our own understanding, we will begin to make the right decisions for our lives because only He knows what’s best for us.

But what if I have already made a lot of bad decisions and am seeing the affects’ of the the bad decisions I’ve made?

If that’s you, welcome to the club, we all have! 😉

Here’s the good news, the Bible says that when we confess our sins, we will receive mercy.

Proverbs 28:13 – He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

When we confess our bad decisions to Christ, He will forgive us and have mercy upon us.

I’m thankful that our God is such a loving God and has had mercy on me so many times!

But it all begins with us realizing the decisions we make really do matter and choosing to start making decisions based on the wisdom of God’s Word.

To dig into more of what God say’s about how to fix bad decisions, here’s a great resource to study!

http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/chris-russell/how-to-fix-bad-decisions.html

With Love,

Christy Lee Lawson