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Intended For More Than Decor

 

lamp

Lamps come in all different shapes and sizes. They can really add to the décor of your home, but a lamp was made for more than just a decoration. A lamp was made to light the darkness! In the middle of the night, a lamp enables you to read a book when you cannot sleep or helps you to walk through the house without stepping on something. What is the one component necessary that allows a lamp to be used for more than a decoration? ELECTRICITY!!! A lamp can sit there all day long and look pretty, but it will never be used for its full intent unless it is connected to a power source.

Christians also come in all shapes and sizes. After conversion, many allow God’s Word and the Spirit to change and clean up their lives, but never go on to be used to their full potential. God has so much more for our lives than to just become beautiful vessels. He created us to be the vessels He uses to reconcile the world to Himself and for us to be His hands and feet. Our lives are no longer our own; they are to be tools in the hands of the Creator of the universe.

In order to be more than a beautiful decoration, we have to stay plugged in to our power source, the Holy Spirit. We do not want to do things just to do things. We want to learn to listen to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. How do we do that?

  • We read God’s Word!! The Spirit uses Scripture to transform us and as a tool in His hands when working with others. Read it listening to how He wants to use it. The Bible is not just words on a page or a good book to read! It is the very word of God given to us so we can be all He has created us to be.
    • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and shaper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    • Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Notice that the Word of God is the Spirit’s sword and not our sword. We must be very careful that we do not use God’s word to get people to do what we want or for our gain. The Spirit uses it to change the heart. People use it to get behavior to change. When the heart changes, the behavior will follow).
  • You listen to God’s still, small voice to do what He is asking and to be a tool in His hands.
    • John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
    • I John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (This is another reason to KNOW Scripture. God will NEVER have you do anything contrary to His word.)
      • If you feel something is being impressed upon your heart, ask:
        • Does it go along with God’s word and character?
        • Will God be glorified?
        • Will it bring edification?
        • An example would be if the thought to take a meal to someone who is going through a difficult time. It sure wouldn’t hurt. It would show people that God is with them in the hard times. He would be glorified and it would lift someone up during a low time.
        • For more important decisions, God can confirm (after knowing it goes along with the above) through prayer, a song, a message at church, a devotion, etc.
    • The important thing is that we get active and really think above the physical, temporal and begin to think on the spiritual, eternal.

Linda Svacha, BCBC

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God’s Empowered Masterpiece (GEM)

God's jewelThere was a man who owned a beautiful gem and had it on display for all to see. People would come in just to see and stand in awe. They had never seen anything so gorgeous. One night a thief came in and stole the gem. The owner was heartbroken. Not only did he lose such a valuable treasure. He also lost watching others enjoy the beauty of his gem. He told everyone what had happened and asked everyone to be on the lookout for his precious gem. Not a day went by that he didn’t pray and think about his valuable gem.

One night it happened!!! He received a phone call that his gem had been FOUND!! He was so excited to get it back. When it was given back, it looked horrible. Dirt was embedded into it and its beauty and shine were gone. The owner knew the value and beauty that was underneath all the dirt. At first, he just held his gem and cried with thankfulness that his gem was in his possession again. Then he called all of his friends and those who had helped him look to come celebrate the return of his gem.

He was determined to clean it up again so he and others could once again enjoy it beauty. He began the cleansing process. He started by cleaning off all of the surface dirt. That is when he saw that his gem had been damaged and broken. He immediately took his gem to be fixed and polished. There were even some deep scratches, but with tender care, the gem regained its beauty. Soon, it was put back on display for him and all to enjoy.

What are some points that we can take from the story?

  • The gem never lost its value even when it was out of the hands of its owner.
  • The owner was heartbroken and longed for the return of his gem until the day of its return.
  • The dirt and damage did not change what the gem was or its value.
  • How thankful the owner was upon the gem’s return.
  • Rejoicing comes with the return of a treasure.
  • Someone found and returned the gem to its owner.
  • The owner taking the time necessary to clean up the gem and return it to the place of display.
  • Once again the gem could be enjoyed by its owner and all those who got to see it on display.

How this story can apply to us today:

  • We are God’s beautiful treasure. ~ Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. Extra reading: Psalm 139:13-24
  • Satan is a thief; God is a giver of life. Satan wants to see our lives destroyed; God wants to give us not only a life, but an abundant life. ~ John 10:10 The thief comes only to take the sheep and to put them to death: he comes for their destruction: I have come so that they may have life and have it in greater measure.
  • When we come to Christ, He is able to cleanse us. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • There is great rejoicing when a sinner returns to the Father. Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Extra reading: Luke 15:8-10 
  • We can shine again for God and others to see. Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
  • God is asking all Christians to be on the lookout for His stolen gems. You may find them dirty and broken. That’s okay. They haven’t lost their value. God will make them shine again!! Luke 19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. ~ He calls us to go too. Matthew 28:19-20 ~ Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20)teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.. Amen.

What about you? Are you one of God’s gems who has been stolen by the enemy? Maybe you are dirtied and broken. Jesus wants to take you back to the Father where you can be cleaned and your value and beauty can once again be seen by all. Your life can be used for its intended purpose, to bring honor and glory to the Father. Will you come to Christ and allow Him to cleanse you and place you on display where others can be in awe of His masterpiece so He can receive the glory due His name?

Be the gem you were created to be:

G od’s

E mpowered

M asterpiece

Or maybe you are one who the Owner has asked to be on the lookout for one of His gems. Have you been looking? Maybe you have found some but all you see is the dirt and brokenness and think that they have no value. They do!!! Lead them to the Savior where they can be cleaned and made whole again.

Written by Linda Svacha, BCBC in dedication to one of God’s precious masterpieces.

Preparing for the Love of Your Life

God created humans with a desire to have loving relationships. Relationships begin at birth between parents and their children. From parents, they branch out to other family members and friends. Added to the rest, comes the deepest, most intimate human relationship which is between a husband and wife. To have the amazing marriage that God designed for a husband and wife, both must first have the only perfect relationship which is exclusively found in Christ. Then and only then can each person understand how to love the other in a way that brings unspeakable happiness. God designed the marriage union to be a picture of Christ and His Church. Christ loved His Church to the point that He sacrificed His whole earthly life for her.  The Christian responds to Christ’s love with true submission knowing that Christ has his/her best interest at heart. Christ is the example of how a husband should love his wife and the Christian is the example of how the wife submits to the love and care of her husband.

Sometimes people want “love” so badly that they settle for less than what God would have for them. When someone does not know Christ as his Savior or is not living for Him, he cannot fully understand how to treat his spouse in a way that brings true joy and happiness. He expects his spouse to do and be something she cannot be. When his spouse is no longer “what he wanted and expected,” he gets rid of her and looks for another spouse who is also unable to meet his wants and desires. Without Christ, the couple also has to rely on their own wisdom to help them through the struggles of life. They are unable to go to God who is all-knowing; He even knows how many hairs are on their heads.  There is just no way to have the marriage God designed without Him at the center.

Why do so many people get into a relationship thinking that it will last forever only to end in breakup and divorce? It is because they are looking for that perfect love in a human. No human can love you to the level Christ can. If people would wait to date until both are grounded in Christ’s love and ready for marriage, we would see happier, lasting marriages. You cannot be the spouse God would have you to be unless you are grounded and committed to Christ.

Do yourself and your future spouse a favor by allowing Christ to be your first and only love until He sends you the spouse He has prepared for you. It is worth the wait!!  The following are some things that you can do while you are waiting:

  • Continue to build an intimate relationship with Christ by praying and reading your Bible every day. This will prepare you to be the spouse God intended you to be.
  • Listen to God’s still, small voice and follow what He says. There is even a possibility that God does not want you to have a spouse; instead, wants you to serve only Him.
  • Start being a servant to others. Having a servant’s heart prepares you to sacrificially serve your family.
  • Stay away from smooth talking people. Anyone can tell you that you are beautiful and promise to love you for life, but if they are not grounded in Christ, they will not know how. Instead, when you are ready to be married, allow God to bring the person that He intended for you into your life. (I’m a living testimony to this. I was serving the Lord and it was through my ministry that God brought my husband literally to my front door.)
  • Make a list of qualities you would want in a spouse. Ask yourself if you have those qualities in your own life. In Luke 6:31, God tells us to treat others how we want to be treated.
  • Ask happily married people in your life for advice on what makes their marriage so loving. You want to work on being a good spouse before you even begin to date.

Ephesians 5:23-24 “For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  24) Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

By: Linda Svacha 🙂

Menstrual Rag or Fine Linen

Everyone knows that a menstrual rag is to be used and tossed. Whereas, fine linen has great value and is a keepsake. God did not intend for women to be treated like menstrual rags; He intended for them to be treasured and desired like fine linen. In America, more and more women are being looked at as sex objects instead of the treasures that God created them to be. Men are using women for their pleasure and tossing them aside, used, unclean, and often damaged for life. A gentleman used to date a woman so he could see if she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, the one who would compliment his life. He treated her with the respect she deserved. The sexual union was reserved for the marriage bed to bond a couple for life.  Now, many men want to date women to use them with no responsibility intended. They have their “fun” and then toss “their woman” aside and look for another one to use. Many are going so far as to want “friends with benefits” (sex with absolutely no commitment). The sad fact is that when women are used and discarded, the women and children suffer the most.

Women are emotional beings and have a strong desire to be loved and cherished. They suffer emotionally when there is a breakup. God created the hormone oxytocin which creates a strong bonding between two people causing them to have a “oneness.”  It is released from the pituitary gland during intimate talking, touching, cuddling, kissing, and during sex.  The more talking, touching, cuddling, kissing, and sexual activity you have, the stronger the bond becomes. When a couple split up, it can bring the woman great distress causing depression, low self-esteem, and even suicide. Having the bond and oneness that God intended only comes from being with one person for life.

Another extremely serious concern is the amount of STDs/STIs being transmitted due to sexual activity (contact with the genital area including anal and oral activity) outside the marriage bed. These diseases and infections are causing serious health issues, infertility, and even death in women. Many STIs are incurable, meaning you will have them for life. Annually, there are over 19 million new STIs in the United States (1). One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by the age 25 (1). According to Centers for Disease Control, in 2009 alone there were 12,357 women diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,909 died from it (2). There is no condom, pill, or shot than can totally prevent you from contracting a STD/STI. Many times men have no symptoms causing them to unknowingly pass an STD/STI to all the women they use. Not only are women affected, innocent children suffer, as well. A pregnant woman with an STD can go into early labor, deliver a still born child, or cause the baby to have neurologic problems, blindness, liver disease, and more (3).

When a woman with children is abandoned, the children suffer. Currently, there are over 10 million single mothers trying to raise their children, up from 3.4 million in 1970 (4). Children in single-mother homes are more likely to live in poverty, have lower grades, take drugs, spend time in jail, and suffer emotionally. Another devastating fact is that because many men do not want to take on the responsibility of raising a family and women are afraid to raise children solo, over a million babies are aborted annually never having the opportunity to live outside of the womb. Is all of this worth some temporary pleasure?

God created the beauty of a woman. It is up to you to determine what you will do with your beauty. You can use your good looks to attract men who will use you for their sexual satisfactions and when they have had their fill, discard you. Or, you can save yourself for the man you will spend the rest of your life with being cherished and considered priceless. How will you use the beauty that God has given you?

There are a number of safeguards to help you be a woman who is treasured. First, I would watch how you dress. Your clothes send out a message. When you dress modestly, you are inviting respect. If your dress is skimpy (low cut shirts, short-shorts and dresses, bare midriffs, and bikinis), believe me, you will attract men, but they will be men who want to use you. The more revealing your clothes are, the more you will be looked at as an object instead of a person. When a woman is looked at as an object, it is easier to abuse her because objects do not have feelings. A man who looks at a woman as a lifetime partner and not a sex object is more likely to be responsible, selfless, faithful, and caring. He waits to have a relationship until he is ready to take on the responsibility of a family and saves intimacy for his marriage bed.

Next, I would wait to date until you are both ready to be married. This may sound like a crazy statement, but early dating is one of the reasons our country is in the mess it is. Adolescents are not ready to take on the responsibility of a family; therefore, building a bond with someone you may not spend the rest of your life with can be dangerous. You may compromise your values in order not to lose the person you are dating, often leading to the severe consequences presented earlier. When a couple begin to get intimate and the young man is not ready for a commitment, often he will break the relationship causing the girl intense emotional pain. Waiting to date until you are ready to be married saves you and your future children from a great deal of heartache.

Lastly, it is important to pay close attention to who a person is before you begin to date. Actions speak louder than words. Words can be deceitful. Do not date someone just because they like you. Date someone who has the characteristics you are looking for in a husband. Be picky! It is worth the wait. Some of the characteristics you should look for are: He puts God first (living for Christ, not just saying it), is a hard worker, is a giving person, and is respectful to others. He should not be easily angered or controlling. Watching for these qualities in a person before you date helps you know if you will be forsaken or cherished. Also, when you begin to date, if a male wants intimacy early on, chances are, he wants to use you. If he does not respect the fact that you do not want to get physical, end the relationship quickly.

It is time for women to take a stand and demand to be valued the way God intended them to be. Let it begin with you. Start today by putting your safeguards in place to protect your beauty and purity! You may get laughed at along the way, but in the end that laughter will turn to envy. Maybe you are a woman who has been used and tossed. That does not have to be you any longer. You are still special and of great value. God has more in store for you than to be used. Today is a new day, a new beginning! May you use your beauty in a way that brings glory to the name of Christ.

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.

Written by Linda Svacha, BCBC

Resources

1)       http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/std-sti/std-statistics.html

2)       Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/statistics/

3)       Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/stdfact-pregnancy.htm

4)       America’s Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html> FM-2

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff08.html

 

Satan’s Plot to Destroy the Family ~ Part III ~ “Kids Dating is Cute and Innocent”

A kid dating is not cute and innocent. Allowing children to date before they are ready to get married sets them up for failure. I hope that today’s blog will help you see why it is important to discourage dating until boys are ready to take on the responsibility of a family and girls are ready to take on the responsibilities of being a wife and very possibly a mother. In today’s blog, I will cover brain development and attachment hormones and how they relate to our youth.

If you have not read my blog, Brain Development, posted 3/24/12, now would be a good time to read it. Knowing that the frontal lobe, where critical-thinking (which helps us see the consequences to our actions) and problem-solving takes place, does not even begin to develop until between the ages of 12 to 15, we can clearly see that our youth are not ready to handle the powerful emotions that go along with a romantic relationship. Abstract, critical-thinking and problem-solving are learned skills. Until the brain has matured and children are taught how to think past the moment, they will respond according to their emotions. Many adults still respond to their emotions because they were never taught the purpose of emotions and what to do with them. (For more information on emotions, feel free to read the blogs I’ve written concerning emotions)

We can see that children are unable think clearly because of their brain development. If you add the knowledge of the hormone oxytocin, you will unmistakably see why dating before adulthood is lethal. Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone.” Oxytocin is the hormone that plays a huge role in lifetime bonding. It is why romantic and family relationships are so strong. Oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland when people hug, kiss, cuddle, dance, or hold hands. It can be released when kind words or acts are done to you. Large amounts are released during sex, childbirth, and when a mother nurses her children, making the bond even stronger. Oxytocin makes people more sympathetic, supportive, and open with their feelings.

The problem with having a strong bond with someone you are not going to be committed to for life is that it can be devastating if it is broken. The fear of the bond being broken can cause people to do things that are not good and even harmful. The stronger and deeper the bond, the more willing people are to do things they do not really want to do. Some examples are: Girls are so bonded to a guy that they will give in to having sexual relations. What started as a hug moves on to cuddling, kissing, fondling, and then intercourse. ~ Girls will not leave an abusive relationship because of the strong connection that has been created. How can you tell a young couple to turn off their feelings and the bonding that takes place? You cannot. God intended those feelings to lead to a “one flesh” relationship. Breaking up with multiple partners builds walls that can harm the connection and oneness when a couple does get married.

The above information explains why the depression and suicide rates increase for sexually active teenagers. They become depressed when they give in to sex, but wanted to be a virgin on their wedding night. Teens become depressed and even suicidal when a relationship is broken. It explains why there is so much teenage drama that goes along with dating and breakups. That bond does not just go away when there is a breakup. It is devastating when you have a strong bond with someone and you see them with someone else. Children cannot see past tomorrow and will use negative coping strategies or even take their lives to try to deal with the pain because they cannot picture life without that person. It has also been shown that children who are dating do poorer in school.

Our children must be taught that they need to wait until they are ready for marriage and know what to look for in a spouse to make sure they are getting a responsible lifetime partner and not someone who they will be miserable with. They need to know that it is not even good to hug, kiss, or hold hands because that touch begins the bonding process. They need to understand the bonding process and the importance of bonding with one person for life. There is no way to know at 11, 13, 15, or 17 if a person will be committed to God and be faithful to his family. It is almost impossible at that age for them to turn off feelings and stop the relationship from going too far. During those years, instead of them dating, we need to be teaching them what to look for in a spouse and how to be a good spouse and parent if the Lord blesses them with children.

What are some things that you can do to encourage our young people to wait to date?

  • Pay attention to shows and movies that encourage teenage dating and do not allow your children to watch them
  • Share this information with your children and any other young people you might know
  • Think about if school dances and proms are actually a good idea or if they encourage young relationships
  • Share this information with other parents
  • Think about how many STI’s and abortions can be prevented
  • Start having talks about what to look for in a spouse and about the responsibilities that go along with marriage and parenting. My book is filled with examples in this area. Go to livingforhimllc.us to get your signed copy today.
  • It’s time we start protecting our youth instead of leading them to the slaughter

 

On a side note, this knowledge of oxytocin helps us to see the importance of physical touch in order to stay bonded to those we love. Parents need good physical touch with their children. Married couples need to go deeper to keep the “one flesh” bond alive and strong. Go hug, hold, kiss, and cuddle those you love. Married couples, go to bed together and enjoy your “bonding time.”