Depression is….

Depression is an inability to give to others because you are so focused on yourself and your own pain.

Depression is a learned helplessness.

Depression is an inability to forgive, let things go, and move on from the past.

Depression causes you to be stuck in the past.

Depression may deplete brain chemicals but natural things can be done to bring them back; exercise, forgiveness, loving others, rest etc.

Depression is perfectionism and expecting too much of yourself.

Depression can be self-hatred and an inability to forgive yourself.

Depression is punishing yourself and thinking you deserve to be miserable, but you don’t.

The Bible never speaks about depression; only grief.

People in the Bible were given a month to grieve over a death etc. and then they were expected to move on with life.

God promises that if we hope in him we will run and not grow weary.

Depression is a lack of hope; a lack of knowing how or desiring to hope anymore.

Depression is a lack of faith.

Depression causes the opposite qualities of love in a person.

Depression is not an illness; it is sin.

Do Trivia for Free Rice

Hey all, here is something really cool.  If you like words, try this. I found this in an article about ways to serve the world. 🙂

“Test your vocabulary and help feed the hungry. For every right answer you give to increasingly difficult word questions at freerice.com, the UN World Food Program donates 10 grains of rice to the hungry. You can also spread the word by grabbing banners to link to the site…..”

I just won 2,000 grains of rice doing vocabulary, yay! There are many trivia topics to chose from.  Try Vocabulary at level 60 lol that’s really hard. And I don’t know how but I got 1,100 grains of rice in the Spanish category lol, I did take three semesters in college, but I’m surprised I still remember so much of it.  May God bless you all 🙂

Movies and Addictions

I did something revolutionary today lol I watched movies by myself.  Well, with Serenity, but I never do that.  And not just one but three.  I guess figured it’s a holiday so why not.  I watched “Let’s Be Cops,” which I actually recommend.  It wasn’t as crude as I expected.  There are a few parts you might want to fast forward but overall it was very funny. 🙂 And then “Girl Most Likely To.”  That was a very good and cute movie. 🙂  And I watched “Thanks for Sharing.”  That one was about a group of men in a support group for sexual addiction.  It was very eye opening for sure.  If you do watch it, you might want to skip over a few parts.  That movie inspired me to read up a bunch on addictive behaviors.  The main thing I learned is that addicts have a very hard time with anxiety and coping with stress.  Addicts are not able to self-soothe very well, so they turn to their substance or activity etc. to soothe themselves.  I have always used listening to music and writing as my self-soothing coping skill.  So the trick I think is to find healthy coping skills and a variety of them, so you don’t depend on one coping skill too much, because then that coping skill can become an addiction lol.  Exercise seems harmless but it can even become an addiction.  Any good thing in excess can turn into an addiction.  If you feel like you absolutely have to do something, you are probably addicted.  May God help all addicts to become free of their addictions and may God break any chains that are holding people to addictions.  In Jesus’ name amen! 🙂 woot

How to Stay Qualified for Heaven

I hope this blesses you all!

Some Christians say that a Christian is “once saved, always saved,” but if you look at the Bible, it would seem that one’s salvation isn’t quite as secure as some think it is. Paul says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction.” He also said, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall!” The question is, does this refer to falling from the faith? Possibly. In 1 Cor. 9:27 Paul says, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” To think of even Paul possibly being disqualified seems almost unbelievable. But this article will lay out some things that can disqualify anyone for heaven, even a “Christian.” James says, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do….faith without works is dead.” And lastly, in 1 Cor. 6 Paul says, “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Steps

1. Be pure; don’t be sexually immoral or commit adultery. Sexual immorality can include a lot of things really. Paul does not mean by his statement in 1 Cor. 6 that if you were ever sexually immoral you won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Paul means that if you continue in that life the rest of your life, you won’t go to heaven.

⦁ Paul says “do not be deceived.” Many are deceived into thinking once they say the prayer, get their ticket to heaven, that they can live however they want, but that is not what the Bible says. If someone is saved, or they think they are saved, but they are still highly sexually immoral, they probably aren’t really saved.

⦁ One of the number one things that turns non-believers off to Christianity is when Christians still live like anyone else does, but the key is to realize that “you shall know them by their fruit.” If someone is habitually cheating on their spouse, or habitually looking at porn or sleeping around etc., they probably aren’t really Christian.

⦁ The true mark of a Christian is one who might sin from time to time, but they regret it, repent, and try to be different. As Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” This is why John says in 1 Jn. 3:9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” This does not mean that a Christian will never sin, this means that a true Christian will not be in a habitual un-repentant pattern of sin.

2. Put God first always; don’t be an idolater. An idol can be anything really; it can be a thing, person, activity etc. Many people idolize their spouse. Be careful of doing that, because if they die or leave you and they are your whole world, then what will you have left? You will be devastated, unless you keep God first in your life and not your spouse.

⦁ Many people idolize money. That is why Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters. You will love the one and hate the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Many guys idolize football. Many women idolize beauty and shopping.

⦁ A good way to test yourself and see if you have an idol in your life is to consider what you think about the most. What is the number one thing that you are always thinking about? If you are Christian, that one thing should be God and his Kingdom. This is what it means to “pray without ceasing.” To always have God on our minds and constantly talk to Him about everything. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you,” material things. If God is not the number one thing on your mind, try to make the thing you think about smaller in your mind and make God bigger.

⦁ Pray that God would make you more passionate about Him and sharing the gospel than about anything else in the world, and He will.

3. Be straight; don’t practice homosexuality. I know the world is tired of hearing Christians talk about homosexuality but it actually comes up in the Bible a lot. Paul says “men who have sex with men” or women with women, will not inherit the kingdom of God. I think it’s interesting that he said, “that is what some of you were.” There very well could have been people in the early church who were homosexual before they came to Christ and now, once receiving Christ, they became straight. There actually are several testimonies on YouTube of this happening to people.

⦁ If someone is homosexual, they are not destined to be homosexual their entire lives. It is the same as someone having a tendency toward alcoholism, it can be overcome. If God can heal an alcoholic of alcoholism, then God can heal a homosexual from wanting to be homosexual.

4. Work for your money; don’t steal and don’t be a swindler. Paul says that thieves will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Joyce Meyer said once that she has even had people steal money out of her offering plate. People might need help with money, but stealing is not the way to get money.

⦁ Stealing is kind of the easy way to get money; being humble and asking for charity is very hard. No one likes to ask for help. But be humble and ask for help; don’t steal.

⦁ Also swindling is conning people out of their money, or tricking them to give you their money. It is being a con artist. Don’t swindle people either, obviously.

5. Be generous; don’t be greedy. When one thinks of greed it’s easy to think of Mr. Scrooge in the Christmas Carol. He only cared about himself. He never wanted to share his money with anyone. But was he happy, with all the money he had? No, he was miserable. So it is when we are greedy. That is why the saying goes “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

6. Giving will usually make you a lot more happy than receiving. Satan likes to tell us the lie that receiving will make us more happy, but the truth is that the more we try to make ourselves happy, the less happy we are. Giving of yourself is the only way to find true joy in life.

7. Be sober; don’t be a drunkard. Does this include getting drunk on the weekends? Possibly. We need to have everything in moderation. A little wine or beer every once in awhile is ok, but going overboard is sin, just as much as over-eating is sin.

8. Speak well of others; don’t slander others. To slander is to make a damaging statement about someone else. It’s talking about people behind their back, gossiping. It’s telling other people things about someone that would tarnish their character. It ruining someone’s reputation. Don’t do this.

⦁ Also, someone once said, if you gossip about others to people, they will probably talk about you behind your back too. Talk nicely about other people. Don’t slander their character.

⦁ There can be a fine line between “sharing your story” and gossiping about people. If you are sharing about what someone did to you, make sure the person you are talking to doesn’t know that person. That is just a general rule to follow on that.

Tips

⦁ Remember that Paul says repeatedly that you are to “walk in a manner worthy of your calling.” We are to live like we are saved, which is differently than we use to, if we really are saved.

Warnings

⦁ Don’t become overly judgmental of others on these things. Look at yourself first.

May God bless you! 🙂

Christian Symbolism in The Matrix

Most would say that the movie “The Matrix” is one of the best movies of all time, or at least one of the best Sci-Fi movies. Here are some interesting paralells between characters in the Matrix and the Bible. Neo in “The Matrix” was meant to represent Jesus, as the Savior of all mankind. He was a Christ-figure. Cipher, who betrays Morpheus and Neo, is supposed to represent Judas Iscariot. Judas betrayed Jesus for money, silver, and Cipher also does it for money. Morpheus represents God the Father. The crew on the ship represent Jesus’ disciples. Trinity possibly represents the Holy Spirit, in that she is always helping Neo, as the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus when he was on earth. Here are more interesting allusions to the Bible in “The Matrix.”

Steps

1. Notice that Neo at the beginning of the movie represents a Christian before they become a Christian and they get “eyes to see,” as the Bible puts it. Neo does not become “Jesus” per se until he believes in himself. At the beginning he is like an atheist, then he is like someone who is searching for the truth but is still filled with doubt and does not have faith yet. After he comes into the real world it is like he is a believer, but still a baby Christian, which is why he reacts to the truth in frustration at first. Finally, at the end of the movie, he gets it. He understands and finally sees the power within him, which in Christianity we would say is the Holy Spirit.

2. Understand that there is a theme of a rebirth in “The Matrix,” just like the Bible talks about. It is often raining at the beginning of the movie. This could represent what our lives are like in sin, when we are slaves to sin before Christ regenerates us. Also, when he wakes up in his strange liquid soup he notices that he is bound by cords; this could represent how we are slaves to sin before Christ, as Paul talks about.

Neo then is released from all the cords, the bondage, and flushed down a tube naked, which looks a lot like a birth. I think this is to represent that he is being reborn, spiritually reborn, as Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be. This is when we die to ourselves and come alive in Christ.

Neo still has the plugs on his body the rest of the movie in the real world, which could represent that our past sin still affects us. Just because we are a new creature in Christ, we cannot forget old memories or old sins. We cannot forget the way things used to be when we were of the world.

3. See that the moment when Neo takes the red pill is to represent his “conversion” and baptism. Neo taking the pill is like a baptism, a physical way that we show our faith. It is the turning point in the movie and in our lives. It is when we decide that we will take things seriously from now on. We will take God seriously. It is when we decided that we really do want to see the truth, as Neo did in the movie.

4. Notice that Morpheus comments on Neo’s ability to see, which is to represent his spiritual sight. When Neo is brought into the real world he is on the table getting acupuncture. He hears Morpheus and opens his eyes but asks, “Why do my eyes hurt?” Morpheus says, “Because you’ve never used them before.” Aka. You have been blind, but now you see.

He was spiritually blind before. He was walking in darkness. But once he decided to take the red pill, to see the truth, his eyes were opened for the first time so that he could see the truth, he could see everything.

5. Understand that the agents in “The Matrix” are meant to represent demons and spiritual warfare. When Neo first woke up in his cage, his womb like capsule, he looks around and sees the fields of human beings in capsules, in cages. He sees for the first time reality as it really is, that things are not as they seem. All of them aren’t really walking around in the world, hanging out with friends. In reality they are in bondage, just as the majority of our world is, since Satan is “the ruler of this world,” as the Bible says.

Neo sees for the first time, that all humans are merely energy slaves for the computer, and the computer is playing games with their minds, hypnotizing them, so that they will not wake up and see reality for what it really is. This is like 2 Cor. 4:4, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.” The people in the matrix, like most of the people in our world, cannot see the hidden spiritual realm. They do not have eyes to see, because Satan has “blinded their minds.” He sees that humans are being used as slaves, just like we are slaves to sin before God saves us through our faith in Jesus and regenerates our minds and spirits.

At one point Morpheus says to Neo, “They’re watching you Neo.” He was talking about the computer, the agents. The agents are supposed to represent the principalities of evil spirits that we have on this earth, which is Satan and his demons. Satan is watching us, trying to figure out when he can attack us. As the Bible says, “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”

When Neo has his first meeting in the room with the agents, this could represent Jesus’ temptations by Satan in the wilderness in the Bible. An agent tells Neo that his slate can be wiped clean if he will just turn in Morpheus. Likewise, Satan tempted Jesus with power etc. if he would just worship him, Satan, instead of God. Neo, like Jesus, refuses the temptations, the supposed easy way out. Jesus quotes scripture to counteract the temptations of Satan. Neo brings up his phone call, which is how he had been communicating with Morpheus. Both value their connection to the Father, as Morpheus is to represent God the Father, more than what the agents or Satan can offer them.

6. See that Morpheus is meant to represent God the Father in “The Matrix.” The root word of his name would be morph, so the ability to morph into different things. God is three in one. He is at the same time one person, but he is also three, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Neo is supposed to represent Jesus, the son of God, and Morpheus, his spiritual father, trains him. This could also be seen as Neo being a disciple of Morpheus.

Lastly, Trinity is supposed to represent the Holy Spirit. She believes in Neo, the one, the Christ figure. She supports him, just as the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus when he was on earth. And she and Neo are in subjection to Morpheus, as Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in subjection to God the Father.

7. Recognize that Neo in the movie is supposed to represent Jesus in his second coming. When Neo wakes up the first time in the real world, Morpheus told him of a man born inside the Matrix who was smarter and realized that he could break the rules of the Matrix. He saved the first of them and started the city of Zion. This describes what Jesus did in his first coming. He broke the rules of nature by performing miracles and raising from the dead. He saved many and founded the first “city of God,” being the early church. He freed his disciples and they freed many more, from Satan, from the Matrix that blinds most of our own world.

8. Notice that Morpheus believes that Neo is the fulfillment of a prophecy, just as Jesus was. It was prophesied that a man would return and save mankind. Morpheus believes that person, the one, is Neo. Neo’s name means “new, revived, modified.” Neo is supposed to be Jesus at his second coming, where he will ride onto our earth as a conquering hero on a white horse. This is what Revelation prophesies, that Jesus will throw Satan in the dungeon and take his people home to be with him. According to Christianity however, this will not be the whole world that he will save, but only those who have put their faith in him, Jesus.

9. Notice when Morpheus fights Neo in Kung Fu, he is being trained, which is like when Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Jesus was being trained in his time of fasting to deny himself. He was God, yes, but he was fully man as well. Therefore he had all the desires and temptations that we all face. He never sinned, but this time of fasting was a time where Jesus most likely began to gain control over his human body and to increase his faith, that it was God who sustains him as a human being, not food.

Fasting does that. It makes us die to ourselves and increases our faith. It challenges us, just like Morpheus did in the fight with Neo. It makes us become the best person we can become. It helps us to die to ourselves, to die to the flesh, and walk better in the Spirit. It increases our faith, as Morpheus tried to do in the jump training program with Neo.

Morpheus told him “free your mind” when they were on the roof about to jump. He meant that he needed to free his mind of any pre-conceptions about how the world works. Neo had to take away any thoughts that might hinder his faith, just as we need to do constantly, if he was going to fly.

10. Recognize that Neo could bend the laws of nature just like Jesus did when He was here. When Morpheus fights Neo he explains that some of the rules in the Matrix could be broken. This is like how Jesus broke the laws of nature when he did miracles. He rose the dead, made the blind see, healed the lame etc. He broke the physical law of entropy; that everything tends toward disorder, just as Morpheus broke the law of gravity when he flew across the roof tops. Neo went on to break natural laws when he was dodging bullets from the agents.

Jesus made things better, rather than allowing things to become worse, as they naturally do left to themselves. He inserted his power to change the natural order of things. The jump program is also like the verse, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” If Neo had faith as small as a mustard seed, he could have jumped, or flew, across the roof tops, but he didn’t, at least not yet.

11. Notice that the crew on the ship are like Jesus’ disciples, with Cypher being like Judas Iscariot. The crew had been trained by Morpheus, as we are trained by God the Father. They were united as one, except for one mole on the inside, the betrayer, Cipher.

Cipher’s name is interesting. A cypher is a code, a secret, a puzzle, or an enigma. Cipher acted one way but really was another. Just as Judas acted like he was one of Jesus’ disciples but ended up betraying Jesus n the end. He was a puzzle. He appeared one way but really was another. He was wearing a mask, a façade.

In the movie, Cipher coughs when they are in the walls, which is how the agents could spot where they were. This is like when Judas kissed Jesus to reveal who he was to betray him.

12. Notice that Neo comes back to life at the end of the movie, just as Jesus rose from the dead. At the end, Neo is shot several times and seems to die, but then he raises from the dead just as Jesus did, and Neo becomes far more powerful than before. He defeats death and therefore is able to defeat the machines, just as the Bible says Jesus made a public spectacle of Satan and the evil forces when he rose from the dead. Amen. Jesus showed himself and proved to be more powerful than death and Satan, just as Neo proved himself to be most powerful, “the one,” in the end.

Tips

You can find many more movies with Christian allegories if you really look for them.

Understanding the Dual Nature of Jesus

When Jesus was approaching where John the Baptist was, John said of Jesus, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” But Old Testament prophesies also refer to Jesus as “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” So Jesus is both a lion and a lamb. Some say that in Jesus’ first coming, he was a lamb, and in his second coming, he will come as a lion. But it seems that Jesus also had some very lion-like qualities when he walked the earth in his first coming. Here are some examples of how Jesus was both a lamb and a lion.

Steps

1. Understand that Jesus was very much like a lamb before and during his crucifixion. Matthew 26 says, “The high priest stood up and said to Him, ‘Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’ But Jesus kept silent.” In Jesus’ trials, he remained silent for the most part. He let people falsely accuse him. He let the soldiers beat him and whip him. He let people spit on him. He let them put the crown of thorns on his head and nail spikes in his hands and feet. He did nothing, when he could have called 12,000 angels.

Here is a very interesting passage on this from Matthew 26, when the men came to “arrest” Jesus, “One of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?'” Amen. At any point Jesus could have called “twelve legions” of angels to save him, but he didn’t. Jesus went to the cross as a lamb, because he loved us SO much and wanted to save us from our sins.

2. Recognize that when dealing with the Pharisees, Jesus was very lion-like. Matthew 23 is full of a list of “woes” that Jesus said against the Pharisees. He was essentially cursing them. Here was one of the “woes,” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Those are some very strong words aren’t they?

It could be asked, “Was Jesus loving his enemies in doing this?” Well that would depend on what your definition of love is. There is mushy love and then there is tough love.

Jesus was trying to warn the Pharisees that they were lost in sin, even though they were so sure that they were saved. They would not listen to plain reason because their hearts were hardened. Therefore, Jesus took more drastic measures to get their attention, such as cursing them and insulting them. Jesus spoke the truth, and love is about speaking the truth. Jesus wasn’t afraid to say it like it was.

3. Know that when Jesus was looking at the crowds of people, he always looked on them with compassion. Jesus was ironically extremely lion-like when it came to the religious people of his day, the Pharisees, but he was very lamb-like when it came to the common people.

The Bible says in Mt. 9, “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” The people had leaders, the Pharisees, but they were very mean and controlling leaders. Jesus saw that they needed a shepherd, as in someone to care for them and guide them in a loving way.

In Mt. 30 Jesus healed two blind men. Scripture says, “They said to Him, ‘Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.’ Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.” With everyone that Jesus healed, he was very lamb-like and he had compassion on them, as in he felt sorry for them having to suffer with whatever their disability or illness was.

4. Understand that there are also many accounts where Jesus was a bit feisty. When Jesus’ mother asked him to help at the wedding, where his first miracle was performed, he said to her “Woman, why do you bother me? My time has not yet come.” It is interesting that he called her woman instead of mother. Also, he was trying to dismiss her and tell her to go away really.

Also, when Jesus was a child he stayed behind in Jerusalem when his family had gone there. Mary and Joseph were looking for him “three” days before they found him. Here is the story found in Luke 2, “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ That answer is just classic. He didn’t say sorry or anything like that. He even asked why they were searching for him. Very interesting.

5. Also see that Jesus was very confrontation and direct with people. Here is what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” That was very confrontation, and in our modern culture we would say it was even a bit rude.

There is also the classic account of Jesus saying to Peter “get behind me Satan.” In Matthew 16 it says, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'”

It was quite silly of Peter to try to rebuke Jesus, but it is also a bit shocking that Jesus called Peter, Satan. What Jesus meant was that Satan was in Peter’s mind, trying to get Peter to stop Jesus from accomplishing his goal. But that must have been pretty intense, to have Jesus call you Satan.

Tips

Realizing more about the nature of Jesus can help you know that you don’t have to be just a “nice Christian.” We are called to live like Jesus did, so you can be confrontational and direct when needed. This can be very freeing to realize.

Warnings

In seeing these interesting aspects of Jesus, maintain respect for him. Just because Jesus got angry on a few occasions does not mean we should lose respect or think he wasn’t self-controlled enough. He was God walking on earth and he was perfect, without sin, so always keep that in mind.

How to Understand the Holy Spirit

Most Christians don’t really understand the nature of the Holy Spirit. The reason for this is that either churches never talk about the Holy Spirit, or they teach incorrect things about the the Holy Spirit. Some teach that the Holy Spirit is a feeling, when actually he is more of a teacher that makes us more wise. This article will help you understand what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit and what he does in the life of a Christian.

Tips

1. Understand that the Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us:

John 14:26 says, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring to our mind what Jesus said, and also to lead us into all truth about the Bible. He is given to us to increase our wisdom. He is not given to us to make us feel things, only listen to our heart, and stop thinking. He is given to us to increase our brain power so that we can understand spiritual truths. He is given to us to give us eyes to see things in the Bible that we wouldn’t be able to really see without him. He is God’s spirit, so he is able to teach us everything we might need to know about God the Father. Amen.

2. Know that the Holy Spirit is able to pray for us:

Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
This verse is not referring to praying in tongues, as so many often misinterpret it as. This is talking about the Holy Spirit praying things for us that we don’t even think of. It says that these are “groaning too deep for words.” No words in any language would be able to express these things. They are silent prayers that the Holy Spirit knows that we want to request but we do not have the words to ask. When we are weak and can’t communicate to God what we want or need, the Holy Spirit prays for us.

3. Realize that the Holy Spirit always points us to God the Father:

John 16:12-15 says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
This is a tricky passage to understand fully, because the Holy Spirit is God’s spirit. However, there seems to be a ranking within the Trinity. God the Father is like the president, Jesus is like the vice president and the Holy Spirit is like the Secretary General. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in subjection to God the Father. That is why this says that the Holy Spirit “will not speak on his own authority.” He has to answer to the authority of God the Father. He has to glorify and exalt God the Father. This why, if you are in a church that glorifies, or talks more about, the Holy Spirit more than God the Father, they are getting it wrong. The main star of the show, so to speak, is God the Father. He is and always will be, the most important member of the trinity. They are all one, but they are still different entities.

4. Remember that the Holy Spirit gives us power to witness to others:

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit does not give us power arbitrarily. It has a purpose; to witness to the lost and share the gospel about Jesus. If God does perform a miralce through the Holy Spirit, the intended purpose is to witness to others, not to have a magic show. We need to not focus on the word power in this verse but rather the part about witnessing. If someone seems to have a lot of Holy Spirit power, but they aren’t witnessing, then their power isn’t from the Holy Spirit.

5. Always know that the Holy Spirit brings freedom:

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

This is one of my all time favorite verses.

If you are in a church that is very controlling, the Holy Spirit isn’t there, at least not very much. If God’s spirit were truly there, there would be total and complete freedom. No one would try to tell other people what to do etc. If we are truly full of God’s Holy Spirit, we will give other people freedom. We won’t try to control other people. A good test to know how much of the Holy Spirit you have is to know how controlling you are.

6. Realize that the Holy Spirit is meant to convict us of our sin:

John 16:8 says, “When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
The Holy Spirit does not generally make us feel good about ourselves. He convicts us of our sins. He is our conscience. When we do something wrong, he lets us acutely feel it that we did. The Holy Spirit is always pointing out to us ways in which we can improve. Since all Christians struggle with the flesh still, we all have a lot to improve on. This is one of the main roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

7. Never forget that the Holy Spirit causes us to obey God’s commandments:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
The Holy Spirit gives freedom, but not so much freedom that we don’t follow God’s commandments and Jesus’ teachings. There is a popular teaching now in Christianity called “Grace Teaching.” They teach that we can do almost whatever we want because of God’s grace. But on the contrary, the Bible says we will have to give an account for every wrong thing we have done when Jesus comes back, whether we are Christian or not. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that since we are now saved, we can live however we want. No, the true mark of a Christian is if they are living by God’s commandments or not. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Amen.

Tips
⦁ In regards to the Holy Spirit and power, don’t seek signs and wonders. Jesus said in Matthew 16:4, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”
⦁ If you do have certain spiritual gifts, like praying in tongues etc., remember to stay humble about them. You would not have them if God did not give them to you. Amen.

Warnings
⦁ Be careful of fixating on the verse about receiving power from the Holy Spirit. This power is not for ourselves, it is to enable us to witness to others. Amen.

How to Have Unity with Your Spouse

A lot of marriages struggle because there is a lack of unity between the spouses. Half of marriages these days end in divorce, even Christian marriages. Here are some tips on how to preserve the unity of your marriage and stay in love with your spouse until “death do you part,” not divorce. Amen smile emoticon

Steps

1. First of all, Always Remember That Your Enemy is Satan, Not Your Spouse. Know that any fights are generally caused by Satan trying to dis-unify you. Satan knows that if the two of your are united, almost nothing can stop you. There will be almost nothing then that you two can’t do for God’s kingdom. The Bible says, “If two of you agree on anything it will be done for you.” So Satan tries to get spouses to disagree, in order to take our power in Christian unity away. Also always remember the verse, “Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood but against….” Satan. Keep in mind that most of the time, if your spouse hurts your feelings, Satan in a way led them to do that. Get mad at Satan, not your spouse.

2. Resolve Conflicts Peaceably. If you do find yourself getting mad at your spouse and you are in the same room, go to another room until you cool down. If you are in a car, pull over and take a walk etc. Sometimes you need to make yourself take a time out until you can think clearly and rationally. smile emoticon

3. Pray Together. Nothing will help your marriage more than praying together. And when you pray for your spouse, don’t use it as a time to indirectly tell them things that they need to change. Pray humbly and in a united way. smile emoticon

4. Don’t Debate Biblical Issues. Here are some common ones: Predestination, Calvinism issues, if certain spiritual gifts are for today, pre or post trib rapture etc. It’s better to not talk about debatable Christian topics with your spouse. Leave those debates for your friends. It will only dis-unify you and your spouse and cause issues.

5. Lower Expectations. Often times people go into marriage with way too high of expectations. Women might expect to swept off their feet like in Disney movies and men might expect or hope their wives to look like Barbie all the time. Realize that reality is different than our dreams. Don’t put burdens on your spouse to do certain things or look a certain way. Learn to be content with them the way they are and don’t try to change them. Besides, ultimatly the only person you can change is yourself. And if you want them to change on something, lead by example and do it yourself, rather than picking on them for not doing a certain thing.

6. Have Date Nights. And ladies, get dressed up for your husband on these nights. Appearance does matter to men, so sometimes it’s good for us women to make an effort and try. Do yourself up like you did before you were married to keep the romance alive. smile emoticon Take at least one night a week to go out, just the two of you, no kids, so you can talk and catch up. Talk about your dreams for the future etc. Dream together. smile emoticon

7. Take a Vacation Once a Year. If the man is the bread winner, he deserves to have a nice, long break at least once a year. Cruises are a great, cheap way to vacation and travel. Most people don’t vacatoin because they think it will be too expensive, but you can find inexpensive cruises easily. And ladies, control your spending and save so that you all can take that vacation. Cut back on buying clothes etc. so that you can have an awesome week as a family once a year. smile emoticon

8. Don’t Have Close Friends of the Opposite Sex. Keep your closest friendships with people of the same sex. You may have had opposite sex friends before you were married, but you will probably need to cut them out of your life once you are married. It only breeds jealousy and suspicion if you are talking to a man or woman a lot that is not your spouse. Don’t do it.

9. Be Nice Regarding Each Other’s Parents. Everyone loves their own parents, and no one wants anyone else talking in a derogative way about their parents. If you want to have unity with your spouse, show respect for the people who raised your spouse always. smile emoticon

10. Stay in Shape for Each Other. A lot of husbands resent it if their wives put on a lot of weight after marriage. It can be hard to stay in shape after having children, but it is doable. You don’t have to look perfect, but try to always look nice for each other. smile emoticon

11. Laugh with Each Other. Keep things light; don’t get too serious. The best way to build unity and friendship is to have good times together. Watch funny movies. Laugh together at the silly things your children do. Get a pet that can make you both laugh etc. Always remember to have fun with your spouse. smile emoticon

Warnings

⦁ Men, don’t look at sexual websites. If your spouse finds out, she might divorce you over it since biblically it counts as being unfaithful. Paul says the only reason for divorce is marital unfaithfulness. Looking at porn online is being unfaithful to your spouse. If you want your marriage to last, don’t do it.

⦁ Women, don’t over spend with money. Fights over money are the number one reason why couples divorce. Be self-controlled and content. Don’t think that buying more things will make you happy. It probably won’t. The only way to be happy is to find your contentment and joy in serving Christ. Amen. smile emoticon

May God bless you all!

Check out my new wikiHow page if you like smile emoticon http://www.wikihow.com/User:Angel22oc

How to Have Christian Contentment

There is a great verse that says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Why is it great gain? Because unless you can learn to be content, you will never have peace in life. Paul said in the New Testament that he LEARNED to be content in any and every situation, meaning it did not come naturally to him. Here are some tips on how to learn to be content.

Steps

Write an “I am Thankful for….” list every day. You can try to keep what I call a “Thankful Journal” of all the things you see God doing in your life. This will force you to focus on the positive rather than the negative. There is something about writing things out that God has blessed us with cements them in our minds more and makes us really see them better.

Watch less TV and movies. Commercials are the wrost for breeding contentment in us. We keep seeing things we don’t have and the commercials tell us we should have them. But that is just their opinion. Just because someone selling you something says that you need it DOES NOT mean that you do. Less is more. As in, the less you can have and be happy with it, the more content you will be. 🙂 In regards to movies, the more you watch, the more you may to want to look like the people you see in the movies. Disregard that. You are who you are and you cannot be anyone else. Accept who you are and stop trying to live up to the perfect images of Hollywood. God says that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” just the way you are. Amen.

Remember to not love the world or anything in the world. John says that if anyone loves the world, the love of the father, or God, is not in them. The world wants you to have stuff or to look a certain way etc. Just ignore it all. That is not God’s way. God’s way to look beautiful is to have a good heart. God’s way regarding stuff is to be willing to give all that you have away, not want to always get more.

Try fasting. Some think fasting is old school, but it can really help you to appreciate what you have more. You don’t really, truly appreciate food until you force yourself to not eat for 24 hours. 🙂 You can make it any amount of time that you want, but try it. It will change your life and how see you things in a huge way. 🙂

Learn to say no to yourself. Often times, we spoil ourselves way too much. Whatever we want, we give into that desire right away. Try delayed gratification. Try not always giving yourself what you want right away. Because the more you give in to your desires, the more insatiable your desires will become. If you feed the monster of desire, over anything, it will only grow bigger. You have to starve the monster of want and it will get smaller. Be a master over things you want, don’t let things you want master you. 😦

Tips

Try shopping as little as possible. The more you go to stores, the more you want things that you don’t need. Always make a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t do impulse buys. Practice self-control when buying things etc.

If you know you struggle with eating junk food, stop buying junk food. It’s as simple as that. Determine that you will be content with eating more healthy foods and you will be. )

Stop trying to please people or doing what they think you should do. That will only make you more discontent with yourself. Ignore all the critics and do what you feel God would want you to do. Only God’s opinion is what matters in the end.  Amen.  God bless!