Monday, April 7, 2014

"Who's Influencing Us?" Part 2

Beyonce has her Bey Hive... Lady Gaga has her Monsters... Miley Cyrus has her Wrecking Crew... Jay-Z has his Kingdom.... and Kanye calls himself Yeezus??? All these people have a tremendous, tremendous amount of influence in the world; key word being-WORLD. If you don't believe me, stir the hive and see what happens. For us who follow after Jesus, we are not of the World and our lifestyle and choices should reflect that we are of the Kingdom of God. Satan uses worldly influences and devices as a weapon against Christ followers, remember Satan is the Prince of this world.

Hey Everyone.

Hoping all is well with you and your family. This is a continuation of "Who Are We Influencing", there was so much that I wanted to say, I dare not try to say it all at once; so here is Part 2, "Who's Influencing Us?" Some may see this post as trivial or frivolous or maybe even find it offensive or debatable, THE MAIN OBJECTIVE is for us to take a closer look at ourselves; OUR lives and OUR relationship with the one we call our Saviour, Lord and King, our Creator and Redeemer, the one who is supposedly our First Love. What I share with you is not just my opinion, it's my experience... we must become more aware of the spirits we invite into our spirit and into our homes as well. The quickest and easiest mode of entrance is through entertainment; television, music, books, magazines, and social media. The things we watch and listen to will become engraved upon our heart and mind; have you ever had a song get stuck in your head, and have you ever watched a show that was so disturbing you couldn't sleep at night, perhaps you tried to sit through a movie, but the sexual content, violence or strong language made you feel uncomfortable. LET US BE AWARE OF WHAT WE TAKE INTO OUR SPIRIT. (Be sure to check out my story on the Jesus Girl page "The Other Realm".

Our new born-again spirit man wants to express Himself, but we won't let Him.
-Bill Winston

A relationship with Christ empowers us to live the NEW LIFE He has given us.
-Joyce Meyers

We follow and are being followed, on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and let us not forget our extended Facebook family and friends. I heard a statistic that says, Facebook is THE  largest nation now, over a Billion and a half  people are on Facebook. During my teen years all we had was Oprah Winfrey and our slogan was "well, Oprah said..." following after Oprah, feeding into her very thoughts and opinions about this and that as if she was God of Heaven and Earth; not that, that is how she perceived herself, but that is how we perceived her... unknowingly.

Ephesians 5:4

In a world of social media and pop culture "Keeping up with the Kardashians" isn't that difficult, we can even weight in on the "Braxton Family Values" or know what it means to be "The REAL Housewives of you fill in the blank" and find out that "Being Mary Jane or "MARY MARY" isn't all sugar and spice and everything nice. "R&B DIVAS" or "Total DIVAS" or a member of "The Bad Girls Club"?... "The Preacher's of LA" and these "Preacher's Daughters", WELL...

"Orange Is The New Black" really? "50 Shades of Grey" and "Grey's Anatomy"; "Scandal" is scandalous, "Two and a Half Men", "Big Bang Theory" when has it ever been okay to be a "Pretty Little Liar" or to take "REVENGE" into our own hands. Let us not forget 'the man of the hour, Kevin Hart... OUCH!! These days, calling someone a B**** has become some kind of term of endearment; it's just as bad as the "N" word; what's really going on?  Who's the best... LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant.??? Favorite Football/Baseball Player/Team. My dad use to call this guy DALLAS, because he is such a fanatic follower of the Dallas Cowboys, I don't even know his real name.

Throughout the 90's, ABC was proud to produce family oriented programming, they targeted the family and its moral values and lessons learned in 30 minutes or less. Forget about Friday Night Movie Night, they encouraged us to gather around the TV to watch those programs that brought parents and children together; there catch phrase was "ABC-Family"; don't know if you've noticed, but sometimes it says, "ABC - Family - A New Kind Of Family" Hmmm???

The safest place to be... is in the WILL OF GOD.
- Bishop T.D. Jakes

There was a gentleman on the "Praise the Lord" program on TBN, he works in Hollywood, I think he was or perhaps still is a screenwriter, anyway he was told that if he wanted to have a successful television show, he had to break at least three of the ten commandments: shocking, right...not really. Let's see... In most programming, God is dishonored, parents are dishonored, lying,stealing, murder, sexual sins, adultery, fornication, covetousness, envy and so on and so on, the pattern has been set for future TV programming, but we don't have to succumb to any of it. We shouldn't compromise our spiritual growth when God has so much more for us. I heard someone say, that most of these shows are train wrecks: you are uncomfortable watching, but you can't look away.

One generations compromise becomes the next generations bondage.
-Mark Casto I telling you not to watch these shows... NO, that's between you and your Heavenly Father, but what I am saying is... does any of the things they say and do, come into agreement with what our Father says. In no way am I against television, sports, music, books, etc., what I am against is the sinful acts associated with it. If God isn't Glorified in it, then it's all for naught/nothing and our spirit does not benefit from it, as believers, we know how our Father feels about the things we allow to come into our lives, if we don't know this---we need to read His Word, Holy Spirit guides us into all truth concerning our Father.  Am I pointing a finger at these celebrities? NOPE... many of them confess or profess to be Christians. Am I pointing a finger at you... NOT AT ALL...but I am challenging us all to think about, the amount of influence; all of this has in our lives, and ask ourselves... Who are they following? and Who is influencing me? The World or Jesus.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled (NIV)

Right Believing Produces Right Living
- Joseph Prince

Well, I know you're probably thinking, 'It's just entertainment... I'm not going to do any of the stuff they are doing in these shows or what they sing about, talk about, or they're just keeping it real, that's the reality of life; maybe... maybe not. But sometimes we are more invested in these shows, artists, athletes, etc; than we realize. My question is this, when we gather in the lounge or at our own table are we talking about how good Olivia Pope looked in that white coat or the goodness of Jesus? Are we talking about how the Kardashian's are keeping it real or how Jesus is keeping us? Do the Braxton's values line-up with what Christ values? Drunk in love or drunk in the Holy Spirit, which do we prefer? Hours spent on FB and none spent in THE BOOK. These are just questions that I ask you as well as myself, in no way am I excused because I'm writing this post, my struggle in this area is the same as yours, this is just a CHARGE for us to GUARD OUR HEART AND MIND against the things that are contrary to our Father. Remember, what we consume... will CONSUME us; it's like this, If I consume fried chicken and biscuits everyday from week to week, it is going to eventually consume me, with high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, weight gain, headaches, and other complications, it's the same with what we take into our heart and mind. it will produce spiritual life or spiritual death. Let us all invest more in the Kingdom of God---Attend Bible Study, and Sunday School, and Worship Service, we should seek out His Will for our lives.

I've told this story before, when I was 23, I chose to live with my boyfriend, well shack, I was definitely under the influence of TV programming. Every show that I watched showed couples living together, unmarried and in my mind I thought that was okay, that it was fine, no big deal, everybody is doing it; this is the world we live in and that it was better to live with someone before marriage, anyway... right.  That is what I based my decision on; little did I know, that everything I thought within myself was nothing but an excuse and a lie; and it was completely unacceptable before our was an offense to My Father. Two children were born out of that union, so I don't condemn myself for it, I repented/changed my thinking; no longer leaning to my own understanding but yielding to what His Word says about it.

Romans 8:1-2  So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (NLT)

Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His Will in all you do and He will direct your paths. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will regain renewed health and vitality. (NLT)

Romans 5
Romans 6

"Well... Carolyn, I'm a Grown Woman/Man, I can do whatever I want..." Satan wants us to keep telling ourselves that, TRUE...the choice is ours and so are the consequences. "But Carolyn... we are under Grace, not the law". And THANK GOD for GRACE, it's because of Grace, we are without excuse for our actions. The consequences still remain, good or bad. The Grace of Jesus is what stirs us to live a life of honor and respect to our Father; it is because of that Grace, sin's power has been broken in our lives. We no longer follow after the things of the world and what it calls right. At some point we've all gotten inclinations from Holy Spirit about our choices of entertainment and ignored Him, if we never feel Holy Spirit's nudges, convictions, or feel Him trying to get us to go another way, we may not be BORN-AGAIN. Please, don't be put off by this statement, a lot of people attend church and may have even been baptized, but not truly converted or discipled. If we don't see the evidence in our own lives, we may have to do some self-examination/soul-searching. Heaven or Hell is at stake; I'm not saying that watching the Kardashian's is going to send any of us to HELL, not being Born-Again, does that, I'm not saying that Saved people will lose their Salvation, because they choose to watch "Scandal", that's not possible, but we must live our lives aware of the presence of Christ, in our life and know what He is saying to us about certain forms of entertainment, well not just entertainment, but everything.

You know, how it is when we walk into a dark room and after a moment or two, our eyes will adjust to the darkness. Sometimes, that's the way it is living in this world, we adjust, we conform, we stray away from Our Father's truth and we don't see clearly. Christians don't have to be in darkness, the Light of Christ is in every believer/follower and Jesus has given us His authority, so let us shine for His Glory; let us move from Glory to Glory, the World is watching The Church; the World is watching US!

Some of us Pastors and Leaders have failed the church by making more so-called converts than we have true disciples.
-Pastor Andrew Wommack

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.

Isaiah 5:20 Doom to you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness in place of light and light in place of darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (The Message)

James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (NLT)

It was not my intent to harp on television programming, music, book/magazines or social media; but we know that these outlets take up a lot of our time, so therefore has a lot of influence in our lives. We can't continue to ignore God's truth, what may seem insignificant right now may become a big deal later. Satan is sneaky and deceitful, he's been at this thing a long time. A snake doesn't have to enter a home through a door opened wide, a small crack will do.

Be provoked to good works that bring Glory and Honor to Christ Jesus; in order to do that we must surround ourselves with positive Christian Influences, programming, filtering Facebook news feeds and music and books/magazines, and other social media, so that Holy Spirit can produce the work that has already been placed inside of us to do. We must open our eyes, ears, mind, heart and spirit to the things that are important to our Father. I would rather you offend me with the Word of God so that I might be brought to repentance than to allow me to continue in my sinful ways. Yes... it may be a hard pill to swallow, but I'll be alright. Believe me, try as we may, we can not twist, dilute, or manipulate God's word to suit our own fleshly desires or reasoning, it's impossible... I've tried to and you have tried to...too. We Christians have a voice in this world and it's time for us to sound the alarm and be heard and taken seriously, but it must always be done in a loving spirit and manner. It's time for us to be true disciples of Christ, and stand on what His word says about us. Jesus told us to count the cost, there will be losses and gains for His sake.

People are more afraid of offending others than they are of offending GOD.
-Dr. Billy Graham

"God's Not Dead" had a box office weekend of $8M and "Divergent" had a box office weekend of over $50M. Where are all the Christians? We say, we want good Christian programming and movies, but are we supporting those voices that are going into the world to proclaim the message of the Cross of Jesus, those that are putting it all on the line for Christ, the Hope of Glory. And yes...we must have discernment over some so-called films that target Christians.

WATCH... what you're watching. HEAR... what you're hearing... DO... what you're doing and KNOW what you're consuming.
-Beckah Shae

We are all born sinners... it's easier to do wrong than it is to do right, but once we are converted... the war between the two natures begin. It is the hope within that we will yield to Holy Spirit in order to bring Glory and Honor to our Heavenly Father.
-Dr. R.T. Kendell

You and I are loved by God, so much so that He sent His only Son to die for our sins, He was raised from the dead and He gave us His Spirit to live in us. SALVATION is a gift, and what a wonderful gift it is, but it's up to us what we do with it. We can live our lives as a monument to our own selfish desires, choosing not to acknowledge His presence, ignoring His loving correction, letting our flesh rule us; or we could live as a reflection of Christ, embracing His Way, His Truth, His Life, which is eternal. Jesus is the Standard by which we live our lives, JESUS SHOULD BE OUR GREATEST INFLUENCE, when it's all said and done, Jesus is the one we will all bow down before.

God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
- Dr. Billy Graham

Continued Blessing to you and your family... <3