Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Are We in Danger of a Second Crusades? ~Guest Post

Hello everyone! I'm very excited to share this article with you that a friend of mine wrote. I thought that he made several good points with this and just couldn't resist passing it on. So, without further ado, Mitchell's article!

The Crusades; a subject that most are at lease familiar with.  The term Crusades generally refers to the series of wars that were fought by western European countries against those in Asia Minor between 1095 and 1291.  In these wars, Christian countries in Europe were convinced that through the sword they could bring the truth to Asian countries.  I know for the history buffs among us, this is an overly simplistic view of the Crusades.

However, it is enough for me to continue with the original question.

One of the most popular mission fields in this country right now is the Internet.  It is extremely easy to log onto social media sites and find people who disagree with you.  Combine this with the fact that we have a generation of youth that have been raised to be strong in their faith and confident in their views, and we have a power that the world will soon be forced to reckon with.  However, this is a dangerous place to be, in my opinion.  When one studies the effects of the Crusades, it becomes apparent that it is impossible to convince people they are lacking the truth with violence.   In Asia, the native people would see the invaders come in and kill those who would not convert, and would be further convinced they (the natives) were right in their thinking.

What does this have to do with what we are facing today?  I believe that the Internet is a dangerous evangelism tool.  In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 we find the familiar passage of Paul as he speaks about becoming all things to all men.  Many people have a hard time understanding what this passage means, but after some research I believe that its meaning is very simple. Paul is suggesting that he alters his behavior to match those he is in
contact with.  He specifically references becoming a Jew when he is with Jews.  This means that he would not do things that would offend their sensitivities as Jews.  Does this mean that he abandons his Christian faith?  Absolutely not!  As a matter of fact, this action allows him to
fulfill the ultimate requirement in Christianity: Love.  In order to love people who disagree with you, you must be able to overlook their differences.  You must be able to see them as a child of God, and not as an enemy.  It cannot be said any better than the old saying: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  In order to love someone, you must have a personal relationship with that person.  It is impossible to develop a personal relationship with a stranger through the Internet.  Therefore, it is impossible to love a person well enough for them to accept your criticism of their lifestyle.

It is much easier to share your faith with strangers while you sit behind your keyboard.  Likewise, it is  much harder to demonstrate love to people, since words typed out online cannot carry empathy or emotion.  I have come to the conclusion that in order to share the good news, we must go out into the world and make disciples.

I have long suspected that people are turned off by Internet evangelism, but it was confirmed for me when I ran into a person that I would classify as “dying to be Christian.” This person read the Bible and understood what it said, for the most part.  However, she had an errant view on a particular doctrinal issue which, in her zeal to share her faith, she posted on her Facebook page.  She was then attacked viciously and without mercy by other “Christians” trying to root out heresy - to stick with the Crusades analogy.  Several years later, she meets me and I claim to be Christian.  Immediately the conversation becomes very tense and she informs me that Christians are the biggest hypocrites in the world.  Under the
circumstances, I was forced to agree with her. You cannot approach unbelievers without love and call yourself a Christian.  It is impossible to love people wirelessly, and it is impossible to evangelize without love.

In my assessment, our generation is in danger of committing the atrocities of a second Crusade if we continue to take our Faith online.  There is a reason that Jesus said to “go out into the world and make disciples.”  This reason is, face to face communication is the only way one can build the relationship necessary for evangelism.  So I challenge you to “go out” and love.  It is through love, not well reasoned arguments, that we are given the chance to address a hurting world.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

I know there are so many arguments out there about who has the best mom or dad on these certain holidays. Well, I'm here to stop all those and let you know that it's no use arguing any more because *I* have the best mom ever!!! =D However, I'm sure that will still be a debatable subject.

The honest truth is that, although my mother may not be the best out there (depending on who's list your comparing her to), she is still one amazing woman. I couldn't ask for anyone better. Honestly, I couldn't.

So, in honor of the year, I decided I would list 13 things that I love best about my Mama (though it will be hard to contain them to just that many!).

1.  She loves God more than anything else in this world and strives daily to show that love to us children to encourage us in our own love for Christ.

2.  She has a great sense of humor. She can honestly keep us laughing all day long (or keep herself laughing, whichever the case may be).

3.    She's not afraid to make fun of herself for goof ups. She has learned to just laugh at little mistakes instead of making them into a big deal. (no use crying over spilled milk, eh?)

4.   She has great people skills. I honestly don't know another person who can draw strangers into a conversation better than my mom. I admire that in her SO much and only wish that someday I'll be able to do the same. Not only that, but she knows exactly what to say at the right moment if she needs to cheer a person up, or offer words of comfort when the rest of us are at a loss for words.

5.   She has compassion towards others, even when its hard.

6.   She makes amazing food. Our family enjoys meals together, and those meals just wouldn't be the same without good food!

7.   She is ready to admit her faults and work on changing. It's so difficult to admit when we are wrong, but seeing my mother ask my youngest brother for forgiveness when she wronged him in some way is one of the best things I've seen. I admire that in her so much, since I'm one to try to make excuses instead of just saying, "You know what, I was wrong and I'm sorry for it,"...

8.  I've had several people ask me, "What is it like, living with your mom?" Well, the answer is that she keeps us entertained. This goes back to that 'great sense of humor'. There is never a boring day in the house (unless mom is gone).

9.  She has a heart for children. I know there are some moms out in the world who maybe don't appreciate their 'mom job' and instead prefer their careers. Well, my mom enjoys both. ;-) As Homemaking is her 'career', in a sense, being a mom just seems to go hand in hand with that. Mama is very content with her life as a mother, help-meet, and example to us.

10.  She's a great listener. I don't know how many times I've poured out my heart to Mama. So many different subjects have been the center of the conversation between us. She always has some sound wisdom or advice to impart to me on these occasions, and I always appreciate them (though sometimes it takes me a while to, depending on what the conversation was about).

11.  She loves us enough to disciple each of us. You've got to have a lot of love to want to really help someone out, and it also takes a lot of courage to go up to someone and tell them when they are in the wrong. I also know (from what mom has told me) that it is tough for parents to see their children suffering. Such a confusing bind, yet Mama always seems to handle it with grace. Although the lessons can sometimes be painful, I always know she is doing it out of love because she wants be to become a better person- even if that means she has to deal with me being grumpy for a while afterwards. ;-)

12.  She takes joy in the simple things of life. Whether it be a flower blooming, or a new chick that has hatched, Mama always has a smile and happy 'squeal' of sorts to show her enthusiasm. She definitely knows how to 'stop and smell the roses'.

13.  Last, but certainly not the least, she is more than a mother to me. She is a friend, confidant, and mentor. She has allowed me to grow up into a young woman beside her and I have the honor and privilege to know that I am one of her closest friends.

Mama, it is truly an honor and blessing for me to be able to call you by that name. I feel so proud to be your daughter and couldn't wish for a different mother. Thank you for setting an example before me and for always being there for me, no matter what. I love you!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. Although we have this day set aside to remember, may we never forget what our mother's do for us on the other 364 days of the year. :-)

(Sorry for the lack of pictures... mom is also very good at evading the camera. These were taken on our Vacation to California this past Nov.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Fibonacci Day!!

I think this is a pretty cool day, and it will only happen every so often (maybe only today in the entire history of the world, but I haven't sat down to do the math for it, so yeah.) ;-)

If you don't know anything about the Fibonacci numbers, then you definitely want to watch the video below. It gives me goosebumps just watching it. What an amazing Creator we have!!! =D


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Orders- Let me know if your interested!

Hello! I'm going to be placing an order for my book soon, and if you get on the list, I'll order one (or more) for you, too! I'm offering a bit of a discount, so you don't want to miss out. :-)

Check out the details HERE.

Also, even if you might not be interested, I'd still appreciate if you'd pass the word around. :-)

Thanks!!! I plan on posting some 'real posts' soon. Just been a tad busy with cattle work and all that. :-) Some exciting news on the side, though, is that my sister and I will have a very short job working at a flower shop! Some friends we know own a floral shop and were needing extra hands for this week (since it's Mother's Day). So, we'll be working tomorrow and Thursday. I think it will be fun. :-) Course, I could change my mind later, but who knows. I'm looking forward to it all the same. =D

I hope you are having a blessed week!!!