Archives

Get to the Root

IMG_1691

We are aware that sex trafficking, rape, abortion, pornography, STDs, divorce, domestic violence, and many single-parent homes are ruining our society, causing a great deal of pain and destruction. Countless people have been actively fighting against these problems for years. Why then are these issues and others continuing to plague our country and the world around us? Because we are cultivating these offshoots!! Believe it or not, many of the people who go out and fight these issues are unknowingly a part of cultivating the soil in which they thrive. Unless we are willing to get our hands dirty, expose and pull these by-products up by the root, they WILL continue.

All these problems have the same damaging root source ~ the distortion of God’s design for sex and intimacy. As long as we continue to focus on the individual issues without addressing the root cause, these issues and more will continue to surface and grow. We must focus on destroying the source in order for these problems to die off. Can you imagine how powerful it could be if everyone who is fighting all these individual causes got together and attacked the root?  Actually, the place to start won’t cost you a dime. It may even save you money. Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

First, we must have a right understanding of what God’s design for sex and intimacy is. God designed sex to be a powerful, unifying means for a husband and wife to become one flesh for life and to procreate in a family setting. When sex is used as an activity or to fulfill a lustful desire instead of the loving unification of a husband and wife for life, it has destructive effects. People become objects that are used and abused (objects don’t have feelings). These troubles do not happen when God’s design for marriage and family are properly in place. Stop and take a moment to see that all these issues truly DO stem from relationships taken out of God’s design.

Next, we must STOP encouraging children to get into romantic relationships before they are ready to marry. It is NOT funny or cute to see young teens and younger starting to date. When a person is in a relationship, their brain releases oxytocin (a bonding hormone). This hormone builds trust and unity and a God-given desire to get more intimate. We are either asking our children to fight against that emotion or give in to it. Neither is God’s design. Knowing the statistics, we can see how many are giving in and the damaging effects sex before marriage is having. Instead, let’s teach our teens the qualities and the skills necessary to be productive people, spouses, and parents. Will you be a part of taking the time to teach and train our next generation? Contact your pastor or myself on ways to get started.

Last is the hard part. Sex sells!!! You must decide to have NO part in anything that promotes or condones anything contrary to God’s design. Whenever we watch a show or movie, read a book, or play a video game that distorts God’s design, we take part in creating a culture that produces the by-products previously shared. Our cable companies, stores, movies theaters, and rental sources know who is watching what. They don’t know if you’re against something in it. If you are against something, why would you want to be a part of it? Can you imagine if every person who is against any or all of the issues mentioned at the beginning would refuse to watch, read, play, or listen to anything that goes against God-designed relationships? Here are two ways you can begin to dig up the root: 1) Go to http://www.pluggedin.com where they have the context of most media. If sex outside of God’s design or condoned abuse is in it, don’t participate. 2) Look into subscribing to http://pureflix.com/  where your family can watch good wholesome movies.

Remember what goes in WILL come out. We can clearly see that what has been going into us and our children has been coming out in very damaging ways. Will the change begin with you? Our children, grandchildren and country are depending on us! Are you in? With God behind us, we can take back the land that Satan has stolen, but we MUST do our part.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

By Linda Svacha, BCBC

No One Knows the Day or the Hour

In my last blog, I talked about what will happen when Christ returns. He will judge the living and the dead calling those who trusted in Him as Savior into eternal glory and those who did not into everlasting destruction. When will He return? Many people claim to know, but no one knows the hour of Christ’s return, not even the angels. The important thing is to be ready!

 Matthew 24: 36-39, “but of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

 Doesn’t that sound like today, just going on with life, not concerned about Christ or His coming? We are told to be ready and on the lookout. Christ will come as a thief. You do not know when a thief is going to break in, so you stayed prepared.

I Thessalonians 5:1-11 says, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”

 Just as there are signs that a woman is ready to give birth, there are signs that the time of Christ’s coming is nearing. In Matthew 24 the disciples were asking Jesus what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the age. His response was in verses 6-12, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nations will rise again nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

 We can so see these things happening today…wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, earthquakes, the weather being crazier than normal. I just don’t think people realize the seriousness of His coming. Jesus can come at any time, today or tomorrow, one year or one hundred. We just do not know. In Noah’s day, people saw Noah building the ark, they could have heeded his warnings; instead, they just went about life like the flood was not going to happen. The same holds true today. God may be allowing all these things to be taking place here in the States and the world around us to show us that His coming is near. People are just not paying attention and He will come when no one expects it. Then it will be too late. Like Noah, people probably think that we are crazy when we say Christ is going to return; but, as Christians, if we believe that He is coming, we must be faithful to warn people. What they do with that information is up to them.

There will be people who say, “Those signs have been happening for years and He hasn’t come yet!” Yes, this is true, but God in His mercy does not want any to perish.

II Peter 3:3-4 “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4)and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’  II Peter 3:8-9 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9)The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Even Christians get so busy with life that we forget about sharing the gospel. Often, we get caught up doing things that are not “bad,” but we are being lax, not sharing Christ with others so they can be saved from God’s wrath. When Christ comes back, we will never get a chance to witness again. There are people who do not really understand how to have a true personal relationship with God. They may love God, but do not realize that Jesus is the ONLY way to have that personal relationship with God.  How will people know if we don’t take the time and effort to share Christ?

Romans 10:14-15a “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”

 We do not have to be a pastor of a church to preach the gospel. We just need to listen to that still small voice to whom God wants us to share His Word with. Those people are out there, ready to receive Christ into their hearts and lives.

 If you’ve never trusted Christ as your Savior, don’t wait until it’s too late. Trust Him now!

If you are a born-again Christian, are you active sharing the gospel with others or are you too busy with life? Start today; share with one person that Christ is the only way to Heaven. That person will be glad you did.

My 2012 Reflection ~ 2013 Goals

With every new year, it is a time to stop and evaluate your life. It is a time to ask yourself, “What did I do the past year?” “What are some goals that I would like for the upcoming year?” “What reasonable steps do I need to implement in order to accomplish those goals?”

What did I do in 2012?

  • 2012 was a very exciting year in many ways for me. To start the year, I went to Germany to help Kelly, Carter, and Max get settled back in and wait for the return of Stephen from Afghanistan. While I was there, Kelly, Carter, and I did a little sightseeing. The most exciting sight that I got to see was the Roman Gate. I talk about the Roman Gate in my book and in the parenting series that I teach. I never thought that I would one day actually stand in the very thing that I talk about. It was a God moment.
  • When I returned home from Germany, I went on to finish my Associate’s degree in mental health :).
  • I was able to do a number of classes through Building Strong Families. I put together a new series, Understanding Your Emotions. God has given us emotions, but too often, our emotions control us. This series is designed to understand what emotions are and teach people how to have control over them. I loved being able to share some of the wisdom that the Lord has given me with others and was able to make many new friends.
  • John and I were blessed to take a vacation to Florida where we spent an enjoyable, relaxing time getting to know my sister, Carol and her husband, Attilio.
  • One of the most exciting things that happened to me in 2012 was the launch of my first book, “Pass God’s Legacy to Your Children: One Talk at a Time.” Many of my family and friends came out to the launch to show their support. Words cannot describe the blessing I received that day. It is my prayer that this book will help parents stay united with their children so they can pass God’s legacy down to them.
  • I was glad that Kelly and her family came stateside. It is a little easier to visit with them living in the states. They came to MI for a couple of weeks while they waited for their things to arrive in NC from Germany. We were able to end the year by going to NC for Christmas. Most of the family was able to come, as well. There were some trials while we were there (Aaron’s car broke down and had to be fixed and Carter went to the ER two times before being admitted to the hospital). The trials didn’t hinder our plans because the goal was to just hang out and be together and that is just what we did.
  • I was a proud grandmother, as Madison, Riley, and Avery all received student of the month some time in 2012. I am glad they live close and I get to be a part of their lives on a regular basis.

Some hard times:

  • One of the hardest times of the year was having to say, “See you later.” to my father-in-law who went to be with the Lord in June. He was a wonderful man who touched my life in many ways. I will always treasure the memories that we shared.
  • Just days after my father-in-law passed away, Kelly and Stephen lost their baby who would have entered this world in February. God used Baby Patterson to show me that indeed a baby is a person at the moment of conception.
  • Another hard moment was having to stop teaching the teen Sunday school class. It is always hard when the Lord moves you to something else in ministry. I was glad that Norman & Megan were able to step right in to take over. I am able to stay involved in ministry at the church by directing some different skits. I love doing skits because I am able to work with all different age groups.

I look forward to what God has for me in 2013. It is my goal to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ in everything I do. Paul’s motto that I, too, want to live by is, “To live is Christ; to die is gain.”

  • My main ministry is my family. It is my goal to love them and to be a part of helping them grow in all areas of their lives (spiritually, physically, emotionally, academically, and socially).
  • I want to be there to help others become all God created them to be, as well.
    • I will use Building Strong Families to offer free classes to help people gain knowledge to accomplish their goals to become better people in all areas of their lives.
    • I want to use my book, Pass God’s Legacy to Your Children: One Talk at a Time, to help parents stay connected to their children so they can help their children grow into responsible adults who love the Lord. (Any adult who works with children can benefit from the information in the book.)
    • I will use my blogging to help others grow in all areas of their lives.
    • A group of us do a Facebook Bible study. Currently, we are studying the book of Joshua. John and I are hosting a Bible Study in our home where we are studying the basics of Christianity. You are welcome to join either or both.
    • Every day, I want to be available for God to use me as a tool in His hands. In order to do that, I must keep my relationship with Him close so I can hear what He is calling me to do. I do not want to miss any opportunities.

Take time out to evaluate your life. Write out your goals and the steps that you need to take to accomplish those goals. Remember, “Small steps keep you going in the right direction.” Do not try to do so much all at once that you stop. Take one step at a time. May God use your life in a mighty way in 2013.

Love, Linda Svacha 🙂

September 10th ~ What That Date Means to Me

I look at September 10th in a whole new way as I think about the fact that on this day over 60 years ago my mother gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock. Abortion was not legal and the government did not provide food and housing to women so they could keep their children. My sister, Carol, was given to a family that desperately wanted children. My sister had a wonderful life growing up, currently has a beautiful family, and today I am privileged to call her my sister. I wonder if her life would have been different if my mother had the choices that are available today. I will never know the thoughts that went through my mother’s mind because she died before I found out she had given a daughter up for adoption. All I know is that I’m thankful that my mother chose to give her life because on this day not only do I get to celebrate the day of her birth, but many others who love her do, as well.

My mother grew up in a time when it was a shame and humiliation to get pregnant out of wedlock.  When her family found out she was pregnant, her mother and brother forced her to go away, have the baby, and place her up for adoption. If abortion was legal, would my mom have chosen an abortion so she wouldn’t have had to face the humiliation she did? My best friend in high school was faced with the same situation. Abortion was legal, even for minors without parental consent. Needless to say, not to suffer shame, she went and ended her child’s life. She never told her parents. She even went bowling that night so they wouldn’t suspect anything. Her child never had the opportunity to live, have a family, and touch people’s lives.

When my mother was in the rehabilitation center after having a stroke, she was having a very down day and I wanted to get her to smile. I asked her, “Mom, what was one of the happiest days of your life?” Her response was, “When my children were born.” When my mother died, the one word that best described her was LOVE. All of us children KNEW that my mom loved us. There were times when my mom suffered mentally and wasn’t able to take good care of me, but there was NEVER a time when I could say that my mom didn’t love me. Thinking about how much my mom loved her children, I wonder if my mom had the choice for the government to take care of her and my sister, would my mom have chosen to be a single-mother. If she was a single-mother would my sister have the life she has today? Looking at statistics, I don’t think so.

Research has found that in single-mother homes, children have a greater risk of falling into poverty, failing in school, being incarcerated, and suffering with emotional and behavioral problems such as drug and alcohol use. I know single moms and was a single mom. Believe me, the kids suffer even if aid is provided. I personally know many single moms who get aid from the government and sadly to say in most cases they abuse the help they get. Some have the father or another man living in the home, yet they still get government assistance. Some received food stamps and sell them for cash. Others take their check and use the money for drugs and alcohol. There are cases when ignorantly people made bad choices, want to turn their life around, are given help, and aid does make a difference. I am one of those cases and am thankful for the help I was given to get me on my feet. I am not judging people; I am stating facts and what I have seen with my own eyes. The current system does help some, but it also enables many.

We can see that having children out of wedlock is hard, no matter what the choice. The only way not to suffer the pain out-of-wedlock pregnancies produce is to teach young people to wait until they are married and ready to take on the responsibility of a family before they have sex. I wish someone would have shared abstinence with me. Even with government assistance, my children suffered. My children did not suffer because the government did not give me enough money; they suffered because of the choices I made. I pray that through my classes and my book, Pass God’s Legacy to Your Children: One Talk at a Time, that I will be able to be a part of educating parents and young people about abstinence and the option of adoption. Hopefully, educating more people about adoption will help many see what a wonderful option it is. One of my goals is to help young people who find themselves with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy see that there are people who will be there, not judging, to walk alongside of them through the adoption process and beyond. I pray that many lives will be saved because more people will be educated about adoption.

I cannot imagine the pain my mom went through on September 10th, the day she placed her daughter’s care into the hands of another. I often wonder why my sister looked for our mother after all these years only to miss, by just months, the chance to tell our mother what a wonderful life she had. Maybe, just maybe it was for me. Maybe it was so my conviction on sharing what a wonderful option adoption is could be deeply embedded in my heart. In May, I was able to spend a week with my sister. It was one of the best weeks of my life. We literally did not stop talking the whole week. She shared the life my mom allowed her to have and I shared with her the mother who gave her that chance to have the life she did and does have. I am thankful that I now can be a part of my sister’s life and witness firsthand the benefit of adoption. I want to be a part of encouraging women to give their children life and helping them see what a wonderful option adoption is.

Happy Birthday, Carol!!! Today I celebrate YOU and the life you have and I celebrate Mom for giving you the life she did. I love you both!

By: Linda Svacha 🙂