Who cares what the world thinks of you?
Here’s a reminder not to care what “they” think of you. Whether we’re successful in the world’s eyes.
Care what God thinks of you. Are we successful in God’s eyes?
God reminded me of this recently.
The world is not my god. The Lord Jesus is my God.
I’m not even supposed to care whether my friends or relatives view me as successful or how they value me in regards to the world’s standards either.
What matters is: Am I pleasing to Jesus? Am I successful in His eyes?
And not just pleasing in the sense of that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection I have right standing with God through faith and am completely righteous and forgiven in Him. Everyone who has made Jesus the Lord of their life has that by being “in Christ.”
Am I pleasing to Him in:
– my behavior
– my thought life
– my words
That matters. It counts to God. Our behavior can be pleasing or displeasing to God.
Reminding me to get back to the heart of Jesus – just wanting to serve and follow Him, with eyes on eternity. Valuing what He values. Valuing what He thinks. Using His measures and standards and not the worlds.
Scripture tells us: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever,”
(I John 2:17).
If you have the choice right now to follow Christ OR try to live your own life and make your own dreams come true, choose to follow Christ. It’s worth it. If you decide to not follow Jesus and go your own way, what if the world ends soon? Then what will that be worth? You can trust Jesus to follow Him. He will not lead you astray.
Recently watched all three Karate Kid movies with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita from the 80’s. Love Karate Kid 1 and the others are pretty interesting. Every movie somebody hates the Daniel LaRusso, AKA the karate kid, tries to destroy him and Daniel overcomes with the help of his karate teacher, mentor, surrogate dad and best friend Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). (Love seeing when good men become like fathers to boys and teach them to be good men! Good reminder of how important it is to have good friends!)
This is what it could have been like, but first, in case you missed them, here’s a recap of the first three movies:
Movie One: The high school bullies who also go to a karate glass led by an ego maniac villain try to destroy Daniel and he wins the karate championship.
Movie Two: Mr. Miyagi’s former best friend’s nephew in Japan challenges Daniel to a fight to the death and Daniel again rises to victory.
Movie Three: The ego maniac villain karate class teacher from movie one lost his business and now his even more evil war veteran friend wants to destroy Daniel but Daniel again wins the karate championship.
And of course, all with the help of Daniel’s karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. (On a side note, one of my sisters worked with Pat Morita on a film. Awesome!)
Wish they had done one more movie… with Ralph Macchio. Forget the current series that I quit watching because it is not family friendly or a good influence. Not recommending it.
So in my proposed movie story line, Daniel gets a lot more positive publicity and his story becomes even more famous around the nation. There’s TV interviews, book deals, a movie deal and Daniel opens up his own karate academy and trains boys who need guidance and discipline. Can he be married to his girlfriend from Karate Kid 1 and can it also be written that Mr. Miyagi married his lost love from Japan (from movie two) before he died? (Why didn’t he take her with him in movie two?!! She waited for him her whole life!) This time no enemies to overcome – just positive stories of Daniel helping teenage boys overcome and succeed in life. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Who we hang out with can have a big influence on our lives. Who are your friends? Not only people you hang out with in person, but who are your “media” friends? Who you follow on twitter, on facebook, who you watch on TV, who you spend time with through books – fictional and real life people.
The Bible says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm,” (Proverbs 13:20).
In this interview with recording artist Clay Crosse, we discuss the importance of who you hang with as friends. Who you hang out with can actually be a matter of life or death.
In the life of Jehoram king of Judah, we see:
The Importance of Who You Marry:
“He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD,” (2 Chronicles 21:6).
In the life of Ahaziah king of Judah we see:
The Importance of Who You Let Influence You and Whose Counsel You Take
Notice it says “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.” He listened to his advisors and soon after was his downfall and death. Be careful whose advice you take and who you let advise you! Notice also it says “He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly.”
Don’t let rotten friends ruin your life! When speaker and author Jimmy Evans became saved, he knew he had to get away from his friends in order to continue in his faith and follow Christ.
“My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us … do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths,” (Proverbs 1:10,11, 15).
Where’s that 1980’s ad “Just Say No” when you need it? It’s okay to say no.
For teenage girls and young adult girls to hang out with good friends, please see my post about some “great friends.” They just might change their lives forever in a good way.
Be sure to check out Clay Crosse’s book “Dashboard Jesus.” It’s a book for men but one of my all time favorites because it’s so true, practical and helpful for anyone’s walk with Jesus.
If you would like to know Jesus and for more important messages, please see: https://soulchecktv.com/2014/07/22/episode-july-2014/
First question: Did you get up early to watch the Royal Wedding LIVE of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?
Second question: Did you get up early years ago to watch the Royal Wedding LIVE of Prince William and Kate Middleton?
Third Question: Do you even know what I’m talking about? (That was said in a British accent though you couldn’t hear it in this digital ink.)
I did – for both.
There’s something very exciting about getting caught up in the excitement and happiness of a Royal Wedding. Like the kind of fairy tales we’ve grown up watching: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty. Seeing a girl’s dreams come true and her being loved by handsome prince. And living happily ever after – though you never know for sure – but thankfully the cartoons always end after the wedding, so you believe it is true.
Years ago, my family and I got up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Leading up to it we watched movies about the couple’s romance.
We did it again for Meghan and Harry’s wedding, which meant being up by 3:00 a.m. PST.
But it was exciting and fun. We of course also watched a movie about the couple’s romance, though you wonder how much of those private, secret conversations are actually true? We watched parts of documentaries and also coverage of Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981. Which was sad…
So now my thoughts on Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding…
First off, Harry sighed a lot. And he seemed like a nervous groom. Not Meghan, who seemed happy and to embrace the whole occasion.
Her dress… first off, Meghan looked beautiful! But I was hoping for more with her dress. Maybe for more lace, more something, to be wrinkle-free and to fit better. If anyone’s wedding dress should fit perfectly, you think it would be hers. Hard to understand that one. Her veil was beautiful and her dress was pretty.
Meghan’s mother looked sweet and beautiful. She also looked concerned for her baby.
I was disappointed her father was not attending the wedding or walking her down the aisle. Prince Charles met her halfway though and filled in the gap.
As Harry spoke his wedding vows, I recalled the footage of Prince Charles making his wedding vows to Diana and hoped Harry would keep them. When Meghan gave hers, it was hard not to remember she had already broken her wedding vows from a previous marriage… and wonder, will she keep these?
The looks on some of the faces during the ceremony… I just hoped people could keep smiling, happy, camera-friendly expressions on their faces during the whole wedding just in case they were caught on camera, because after all, much of the whole world was watching! How hard can that be?
Oh the Bishop. Anyone who watched the wedding knows about the Bishop. I just wondered… was he really allotted that length of time to speak at the wedding… or did he just run with it? Hey, after all, this is LIVE and a Royal Wedding and in England… who’s going to cause a scene to ask the Bishop to close? The Bishop said a lot of good things though and gave a great delivery!
I really do like the Christian faith incorporated into the wedding and ceremony.
And props to Harry for wearing a wedding ring, unlike Prince William.
And the cello player was so good! He did an amazing job on all three songs while the bride and groom signed the marriage license behind the scenes.
It would have been nice when Harry and Meghan returned to have the traditional announcement, “I now present to you Prince Harry and Meghan…” and also for a ceremony kiss.
Also think the location, St. George’s Chapel was a great choice. The wedding carriage with the bride and groom riding through the charming streets looked lovely. And the weather was great. Oh now I’m talking about the weather…
So why do people love a Royal Wedding?
Because, whether they know it or not, they have a deep inner longing in their hearts they may not even be aware of to know the King of kings and the Prince of Peace. It’s a picture of God’s love for us and how when we join our lives with him, we join His kingdom. We become part of God’s royalty and receive a great inheritance. And He will never leave us nor forsake us or kick us out of His kingdom when we come to him with sincere hearts to ask for forgiveness and give our lives to Him through the gift of His Son Jesus, His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. And when we do, we’re invited to the great wedding supper of the Lamb.
Many people don’t know what it really means to love.
What is the true definition of love? What does it mean to really love someone?
We need taught how to love. We need an example to follow.
We are told to love, but what does that actually look like to love?
Love produces results. Love requires action.
I get really frustrated when I hear Christians say, “The only command we have is to love.”
God’s Word tells us in 1 John 5: 2-3 says: “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands…”
So we see that love for God and love for one another equals obeying God’s commands.
So how can our only command be to love when the Bible clearly says love is obeying God’s commands? Commands being plural.
Jesus tells us:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command,” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching,” (John 14:23).
So again we see that love equals obeying God’s commands.
Jesus didn’t say they were the only commandments. He said the first and greatest, and the second.
Love Determines Actions
I also get frustrated when I feel like people are picked on for promoting the Ten Commandments: do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not covet your neighbor’s wife, do not give false testimony against your neighbor, do not murder, etc. (Exodus chapter 20).
Why not promote them?
If we love someone, we will not steal their husband. If we love someone, we will not make up lies about them. If we love someone, we will not murder them.
We are under grace but that does not change the meaning of love.
Romans 13:8-10 says:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
So when you say you love someone, take a look at how you are treating them. Do your actions, words and behavior line up with the true definition of love?
Don’t Rely on Feelings
It’s great when we feel love in our hearts. But what happens when we don’t feel it? Do we use that as an excuse not to love?
Love isn’t just some feeling. Sometimes true love means the right actions with no feelings at all.
We can’t let our feelings determine whether we will love. We can’t let our feelings determine what love is.
Sometimes love is a decision to do what is right and to treat people right. Sometimes love goes against a person’s feelings, for sometimes feelings deceive them into believing a lie about love. A single person could say they love a married person and therefore must have them. But that is a lie. It is not true love. True love would leave the married person alone to their spouse. A single person could say they love someone who is also single and want to sleep with them. But true love would be to commit their life to them in marriage before sleeping with them. Love is more than a feeling. It is treating a person right.
Loving an unborn baby means giving them a chance to be born and to live life. Anyone alive was given that chance to be born, so why should anyone have the right to take that away from anyone else? A woman may not feel like being pregnant. She may not feel like giving birth. But when she gives her baby that chance, she is choosing love.
Jesus said: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:12-13).
When a woman continues her pregnancy and gives birth, she is laying down her life for her baby.
God is our example
God showed us His love by giving us His son:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).
God shows us how to love. He is our example. For after all, God is love and love comes from God. Want to learn more how to truly love? Study the life of Jesus by reading the Gospels and study how he treated people. How he loved people.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God,” (I John 4:7).
Recently I read a blogpost about “virgin shaming.” The author known as BeautyBeyondBones expresses her feelings: “I know that my virginity is nothing to be ashamed of, and truthfully, it gives me so much joy and peace to know that I will be able to give that to my future husband one day…” She also mentions “confidence and assuredness in my decision to remain a virgin until marriage.”
BeautyBeyondBones asks: “Will it be a deal breaker for some guys? Yes. Probably most guys. But not for the guy. Not for the right guy.”
Also saw a TV clip of Alicia Jay sharing how at 35 she was still a virgin. Beautiful, confident and calm, there was no sense of shame or embarrassment in her admission. She explained that at age 16, she had made the decision to save sex for marriage and hadn’t gotten married yet. Simple as that. No long explanations with feelings of needing to defend her virginity. It was refreshing. Inspiring. There was a confidence and light in her face. A Fox News article shares: “Faith is a huge part of Alicia Jay’s life and it is her Christian values that led to her decision to remain a virgin until her wedding night.”
In the article Alicia shares: “Faith is the driving force in my life and without God, I wouldn’t be anything. He is the center and he leads me in anything that I do.” The article states: “At 36, Alicia is still waiting for the right guy to come along. She says dating is very hard for her not only because of her height, but also because she is a virgin.” Alicia says, “In general, it’s really hard to date right now but you add in height and waiting to have sex for marriage and guys run for the hills,” she said. “The virginity thing, I’m just here to say it’s still an option because a lot of people don’t even think it’s an option anymore.”
Grammy award winning singer Rebecca St. James was well known for her advocacy and decision to save sex for marriage. Many may remember her song on the topic appropriately called “Wait For Me.” After marrying in her 30’s, Rebecca joined me on Soul Check TV to discuss the topic just months after her wedding.
In the most recent episode of Soul Check TV, Duck Dynasty star Sadie Roberston and I encourage single viewers to practice abstinence until marriage, as God teaches in the Bible. Sadie encourages those who haven’t remained a virgin not to run away from God, but to run towards Him and His forgiveness.
Every single person – virgin or not – can make a decision to save sex for marriage. God’s mercies are new every morning. Each person can have a fresh start.
It’s such an important message – for girls and guys – people of all ages.
God knows our hearts. He created us, He created relationships, He created sex and He knows the best for us and for marriages is to save sex for marriage.
Virginity is not something you need to apologize for. It is a precious gift to be protected and valued, otherwise so many wouldn’t want to steal it. In many people it is a sign of deep faith. Of valuing one’s self. Of valuing their future spouse. Of caring how their actions affect the people around them and their future children. Virginity is nothing to be embarrassed about. Obedience to God always comes with rewards.
There are dangers to sleeping around, beyond the emotional, spiritual and relationship dangers.
One story that impacted my views was that of a young woman whose mother came to visit our youth group. She came to speak on behalf of her daughter, who had a one night stand in a hotel while vacationing in Hawaii. That night the daughter contracted AIDS, from which she died. Yet the mother and daughter wanted her story to warn people and encourage them to save sex for marriage.
So no matter what other people are saying or doing, there is nothing to be ashamed about virginity and saving sex for marriage. Especially when the reason is because you love God enough to obey Him.
Have been reading through Anne of Green Gables books lately as a way to relax, enjoying the night time reads as I follow the fictional life and stories of enthusiastic, dramatic Anne in picturesque landscapes with colorful characters and interesting experiences. Becoming emotional attached to her world, friends and way of life, I felt a tinge of sadness thinking that the stories would come to an end. Then what would I read? Especially since Anne books were finding a special place in my heart.
The books would end. Just like favorite TV shows. Rereads and reruns are good if spaced far enough apart… but the stories run out. They end.
Then I came to thinking… God never expires. He never ends. Never leaves. He’s always there to love, discover more of and is full of wonderful surprises. Stories with Him never end. New joys are waiting with Him all the time. I found comfort in that as I readjusted my gaze to the eternal. When Jesus is your Savior, your story with God never ends. Isn’t there great comfort in that?
As a cautionary note…
(This is Part 2. You can read Part 1 here: Reach Out To Youth)
When reaching out to youth, if you’re a parent, your priority is to protect your own children first. Be careful what teens you bring around your own kids, because when there are kids who don’t follow Christ and kids who do, there’s going to be a battle of influence and someone’s going to win. They may try to introduce your own children to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, pornography or sexual experimentation. They may try to turn your kids away from God and away from you. So please be careful and don’t jeopardize your own kids physical or spiritual safety.
Parents have the power, authority and responsibility to protect their kids. Children need to be protected with our lives!
Also, please don’t leave teens you are trying to help alone with your children, especially with young children and babies. No one should be given unsupervised access to your kids unless they are completely trustworthy! Heard too many terrible stories of terrible things that have happened to kids. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t let people push you to have access to your kids. This is where you have to decide looking out for your own kids is more important than pleasing people and someone being “offended” or “hurt” by a boundary you set. If they’re hurt, they’re just going to have to get over it and respect your boundaries or leave.
Husbands, protect your wives. Some guys should not be around your wives without you also being present. (Some guys should not be around your wives at all unless there is significant change in their lives.) Please don’t put your wives in dangerous situations. Protect them. If your wife tells you she is uncomfortable having certain individuals in your house, don’t ignore her. A lot of women have good intuition and gut instinct. If you are a wife reading this who who feels this way, speak up to your husband. Let him know how you feel and discuss guidelines and make ones you can agree on. Have him read this post if necessary! Please don’t ignore your own concerns. Also, don’t really want to mention this but think it’s worth it to say, wives, be careful what teenage girls you allow access to your husband. Make sure you’re always present, unless it’s a group of teenagers.
In desires to help people, sometimes the practical is forgotten.
It’s a good idea not to give teens unmerited trust or full access to your house. Don’t let anyone bully you or pressure you into anything, because it’s often for wrong motives. Beware of manipulation tactics. Teens don’t need someone they can manipulate. They need leaders. Refusing to be bullied or manipulated is not a lack of love. It’s a sign of strength.
Sometimes we want to see people helped so much that we want to bend the rules so they will feel accepted or loved. Maybe they’ll change if we will do this or we will do that, but bending the rules doesn’t guarantee results. It usually only creates safety risks or gives trust they’re not ready to handle. If you love them, your love will shine through even with rules and boundaries.
Love people. Be hospitable. Use wisdom. Pray for guidance. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.
More Safety Tips For Your Own Kids
It’s okay to set boundaries. It’s okay to tell your kids who they can hang out with and where they can go and what movies and TV shows they can watch.
Also, parents please set guidelines for your daughters and sons regarding dating. It’s okay to make them wait until they are of a mature age to date. My parents set the age of 16 for me. Let your kids know that God’s Word teaches a Christian should only marry another Christian, so whoever they date needs to be a Christian. Please be so careful with whom you let your kids go out with. What guys you let take out your daughters. It can be so dangerous for a girl to be in a car with a guy, depending on the guy. Protect them from the wrong ones. Protect your sons from going out with girls who have no regard for purity and honor. For those who aren’t parents, don’t be afraid to offer opinions, counsel and advice.
Be careful what houses you let your kids go to and who they ride in cars with. Make sure you they are safe in public restrooms. Ask your kids questions. If there seems to be something off, dig deeper to find out what’s going on.
As a child, you just don’t even know or fathom all the dangers or everything you need protected from. Even as a teen. How can a kid know to think of a danger they don’t even know exists? I didn’t live in fear and a lot of times didn’t realize my parents were protecting me or was aware of precautions they were taking. It was just a safe, happy childhood. Many times, I just accepted certain rules, like you can’t go to a sleepover unless we know the parents and everyone who will be at the house.
No parent can protect their child from everything but you can do what you can do.
My parents, aware of potential dangers, offered stewardship and protection over me and my siblings in our childhood as children entrusted by God. While my parents made wise decisions, the Holy Spirit and prayer had so much to do with protection and safety. While my parents introduced me to Jesus, it’s the Spirit of God who worked in my heart to bring me to Jesus.