The Anticipation

I finally got to see my friend again!

Three and a half years ago, I wrote a blog about my new friend, Mr. Parker.  For those who are new, let me link that blog here.  It was a chance meeting.  I was given an earlier seat on a connecting flight in February 2019, and a friendship blossomed in just 40 minutes from Birmingham to Atlanta!  Mr. Parker calls it divine intervention.  I agree!

We’ve been hoping the last several years to figure out a way to see each other in person again.  I was looking forward to meeting his wife and spending time together.  But between Covid and us living across the country from each other, it wasn’t possible.  I cherished every phone call we had talking about so many things, our families, the state of the country, the people we knew.  But we both wanted to be able to sit with each other again and see each other’s faces.  We both looked forward to the day that would happen. 

Two weeks ago, we got our wish, and I took Emily with me just a short drive down the road to have dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Parker! When I walked into the restaurant and saw them standing there and got to hug both of them, the joy I felt from anticipating this long-awaited meeting was overwhelming. 

I have the same anticipation for another meeting—the meeting of my Heavenly Father.  I think to Paul writing to the Philippians.  He was imprisoned at the time and looking to encourage the church in Philippi.  He wrote to them about the gospel being preached and how he was trusting God even during the time he was in prison.  And then he says this of his situation:

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.  But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;” –Philippians 1:21-23

He longed to be with Jesus.  He anticipated his time in heaven, worshipping the God of salvation.  While he loved his family and friends and he loved the ministry, he recognized that to be in heaven bowing at the feet of the Father far surpassed any wonderful thing he could experience on the earth.

I want to be the same way, and as we study the book of Revelation, I’m reminded even more about the joy that will come from seeing the face of Jesus.  I want to thank God for creating me.  I want show reverence to Him for His sovereignty.  I long to worship with the heavenly host singing praises about the glory of the King of Kings.

As much as I want to be here enjoying my time on this earth, I long even more to see the face of Jesus.

I pray that as we celebrate during this holiday season, we anticipate not only the celebration of His birth but the face-to-face meeting we will one day have!

~Erin

My Spicy Eyes!

This week, my daughter called me with an urgent request.  “Take a look at this photo.  What are your thoughts?” The left eye of my grandson, Andros, had turned sharply and suddenly veered inward, it was wobbling, and he was seeing double.  She made an appointment to see the eye doctor and as he sat in front of the provider that same afternoon, he was told that he would need some eyedrops.  The optometrist explained that just like when you get something spicy on your tongue, his eye would feel that way for just a minute but it would be ok.  Now, Andros does NOT like spicy food.  If it has a drop of pepper on it, he can taste it.  And as the gentleman placed the drops into his tightly squeezed, terrified,  waiting eyes, that sweet boy started crying and yelling, “MY SPICY EYES!  MY SPICY EYES!”  It’s a story we’re laughing about now days later.

I began to think of Saul as he lost his sight on the road to Damascus and reached for his story in my bible.  He was a man who took great pleasure in persecuting Christians.  He didn’t do it because he was a sociopath.  He did it because he was a Jewish scholar who genuinely believed that what the Christians were saying was blasphemy to God.  He felt he was expelling a problem.  He was even present at the first martyr, Stephen’s, death.  Then we see in Acts 9 him on the road to Damascus because he had found out about people there who were teaching about Jesus as the Son of God.

“Now as he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told to you what you must do.”  The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.  And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” –Acts 9:3-9

He was literally blinded by the light of Jesus!  What a way to get his attention, right?!  I wonder what he must have been feeling. There is nothing mentioned in the verses following about anyone witnessing to him.  I’m not sure if there was.  My personal belief is that he sat in his own darkness and fasted, recognizing the weight of what had just happened. 

An encounter with Jesus is nothing small.  Here was a man who felt confident his persecution of the Christians was acceptable.  And in one brief moment, everything he believed was turned on its head as Jesus revealed EXACTLY who he was. 

And lest we think that’s the only ‘WOW’ moment in that interaction, how about what Jesus told him to do!  He told him to go to the city and it would be told to him what to do.  Jesus didn’t give him the 3-year plan.  He didn’t tell him he was going to become one of the greatest missionaries of all time.  He wasn’t privy to knowledge that He would eventually be given direct revelation by God!  He was told to go and he would be told to what to do.

How many of us are willing to just take that first directive and then sit and wait?  I’m afraid disobedience would kick in for me.  I’d be calling my friends, asking my mom to come to me.  I’d be asking Emily to do some research.  I’d be thinking of every scenario of what “will be told to do” implies.  That, friends, is where we trip ourselves up. 

Sometimes, the wait is part of the answer.  There are times where God wants us to have a period of waiting until He’s ready to give us the next step in our walk, and we screw it up by thinking we know the next step.  How easy it seems to just sit and wait for God, and how hard we make it by trying to navigate it ourselves.

The rest of the story for Paul is beautiful.  He waits.  God sends Ananias to him and tells him what to do.  And literal scales fall from his eyes.  Paul not only regains his earthly sight, but he’s given his spiritual sight!  He goes on to lead thousands to the Lord and dare I say millions with how his words h shown people even today how to fully surrender to our Savior.

Iron Porch, I pray that as we encounter Jesus through Bible study, reading the scripture, and learning of God’s love, that each encounter is one that shows us who He is.  I also pray that we learn to wait on the Lord, that we be patient in the space between, and that we trust God to fill in the blank. 

~Erin

Grandpa’s Tomatoes

I wanted to make some vegetable soup, so I scoured my pantry for some tomatoes.  I knew that I had some of my Grandpa’s canned tomatoes still in there somewhere.  Out of the last few jars of his I had left, there was just one of what I was looking for! 

The man loved to can. He had what he called a garden and what I called a small farm of every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.  And he would harvest it all.  He would can it, give it away, even trade with it.  When we went to visit them in South Carolina, my Pop would always take me out to Grandpa’s canning shed to dig through hundreds of jars of vegetables and jellies to find what I wanted to take home.  And as I opened that jar on Monday, I started to cry.  Grandpa passed away in 2016 and it made me miss him so much.

While I’m sad that he’s gone, I know he was believer.  When he left this earth, he was given a new body in heaven and is worshipping Jesus all day and night!  I can praise God that when my day comes and I take my last breath, I’ll see him and his smile again!

This made me think about the people I know that may not have that same assurance of their place in heaven.  I can be confident as a born-again Christian that when I die, I will be in heaven.  But I know that there are friends of mine who have told me they believe they hope they’ve been ‘good enough to get a pass’ into heaven.    

Please allow me just a brief moment to explain why this can’t be further from the truth.  The Bible is clear that there is no one on this earth who is good enough to get into heaven.  Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no not one.”  We can’t be kind of good.  We can’t be really good.  The Ten Commandments given by God has ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ and ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ all in the same list.  In humanity’s eyes, one of those sins is much worse than the other.  In God’s eyes, ALL sin is abhorrent.  We will never be righteous enough.

Because of that sin, what we deserve is death and eternal separation from God.  We are told in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Because of the wicked nature of sin, our penalty is death.  But the second half of that verse can give us hope!  It says God has given us hope for eternal life in the form of a spotless Lamb.

Romans 5:8 shows just how much He loves us.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  While God says the price that we must pay for sin is death, there is undeserved grace.  He loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth.  He lived a sinless life with the sole purpose of becoming a substitution.  He was sent to be the sacrificial Lamb, covering our sins with His blood.

And because of that sacrifice, if we believe in Him, if we surrender our lives to Him and follow Him, we can and will go to heaven!

John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Asking Jesus to come into your heart isn’t something that you do to put in your back pocket ‘just in case.’  When you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there is change in you.  The Holy Spirit is residing in you!  We become a new creation in Jesus, and the earth becomes just a temporary home.

Romans 10:9 tells us how we can know for sure when we die that we will be in heaven.  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and you’ve haven’t surrendered your life to Him, I encourage and plead with you to call on the name of the Lord.  Tell God that you know you’re unworthy of His grace, but grateful that He’s given it.  Tell Him that you believe He sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins and that you believe He rose again and lives in heaven.  Confess your sin and surrender your life to Him, asking Him to live in your heart.

If you realized that you needed Jesus and prayed, giving your life to Christ, make sure you tell someone!  Share it in the comments, tell a friend, you can even message me or Emily.  But it’s too wonderful of news not to share!

If you still have questions about what it means to surrender your life to Him, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We would love to talk with you and help you know that you have a home in heaven!

~Erin

My Reflection

The other day, I was on the phone with Andros, my 5-year-old grandson.  I may sound biased, but the sweet boy is so smart.  He knows the most unusual facts and uses words that usually come from adults.  As we FaceTimed, I told him, “You know, Andros.  You’re so handsome!”  And he replied, “I know.”  I giggled and retorted, “How do you know that, buddy?!”  Without skipping a beat he said, “Because I look at my reflection!”  Well alright then!  Not only is he witty but he’s coming at me with the big words!

The truth is, he IS handsome!  And how does he know that?  Because his mom and dad tell him.  Because his Mimi and Grandpa tell him.  His Gigi and Pop Pop tell him.  He recognizes that the people who love him most would never steer him wrong.  What they tell him about himself is truthful.

Why do we have such a hard time recognizing that what God tells us about ourselves is true?!  He is our Heavenly Father, the Creator of us all.  He says so many wonderful things about us.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:10 (emphasis mine)

“Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” –Psalm 100:3 (emphasis mine)

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” –1 Peter 2:9 (emphasis mine)

These are just a few examples in the Bible that say we are special to Him.  Yet, we often look down at ourselves.  We struggle with feelings of not being enough, not being a good mother, wife, friend, co-worker. We recognize all the flaws and forget about the facts.

We are chosen.  We are redeemed.  We are loved.  We are set apart.  No matter how we may feel about ourselves, we need to recognize that our Father tells us TRUTH and that truth is that we are His.

I pray that we stop listening to the lies of the devil that tell us we aren’t worthy and lean into God-breathed scripture that tells us our identity is in Christ!

~Erin

Photo Cred: Amanda Jones Photography

Is Complaining Contagious?

Emily was right, you know.  In her last blog she said she rarely complains, and she’s right.  Her right foot could be broken with her fingernail barely hanging on by the cuticle and head split open, and her response would be, “I’m alright.  I’ll be fine.  I don’t think I need Advil yet.”  She just doesn’t complain. 

Unlike me who’s favorite hobby is to forever think of some “horrible thing” that is going on in my world and to harp on it endlessly.  Like hiking…seriously, people, who ACTUALLY LIKES HIKING?!  I mean besides my best friend.

Anyway, while Emily was being convicted by the Holy Spirit about her instance of complaining and recognizing the truth of Philippians 2:14, I was being convicted of that very same thing but from a different perspective.  Between my time with her on Sunday while we were hiking to my Monday night Bible study, it was weighing heavily on me about how my complaining affects my worship.  Follow me on this….   

The Bible has so many verses on worship.  Psalm 95:6 says, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”  Psalm 100:2 tells us, “Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!”  “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name,” Hebrews 13:15.

There are instances where we see Abraham, Daniel, David, the woman at the well, the creatures and elders in heaven…all of them are worshipping Him.  And it wasn’t just a one-time thing.  Worship of our Savior should be a sunrise to sunset thing.  It should be all hours of the day and night.  Every time we are awake, our posture should be one of worship.

But how does that work when you’re constantly complaining about work or family or the stresses of your life?  I’m not saying everything has to be roses.  In fact, God tells us to bring our burdens to Him; He recognizes there are moments and seasons of struggle, sorrow, or anger.  But taking our burdens to Him rather than complaining IS worship!  When all I’m doing in mindlessly whining about my woes to those around me, I’m robbing myself of the honor of worshipping Him and robbing HIM of the rightful worship and adoration!

My complaining should be worship in the form of prayer to God asking Him to remove my negative thoughts that, let’s be honest, are probably trivial and not worth complaining about anyway.  My time spent cooking dinner could be worship as I listen to praise music in the background, singing out loud about how great our God is!  My worship can be a few extra moments reading and meditating on the scriptures that God has given us.  There is so much more to worship and so many ways in which to worship Him!

Dear friends, this week my prayer is to ask the Holy Spirit to remove the complaining thoughts and replace them with a desire to continually worship Him.  With my eyes fully focused on God and in a posture of constant worship, I can strive to be grateful about what I have or am doing through Him!

~Erin

Intention & Deliberate Action

For the last couple of months, I’ve been feeling like I need a nap all day, every day.  Coupled with my thyroid disease and the fact that I’m overweight, I knew I needed to be checked out.  Turns out my Vitamin D is low and so is my B12.  My thyroid (with my medication) is currently stellar.  My provider wants me to take some supplements she’s now recommended and thinks I should see a marked improvement in my lethargy.

Here’s the thing…I was actually told that two years ago.  So I know it’s a problem.  I was advised to take the supplements then.  I bought them, and I took them for about two weeks.  And then I forgot to take them because I’m just plain bad at taking pills.  I’ll remember at 1130pm at night and then be too tired to get out of bed to take them.  I’ll say to myself, Take them first thing in the morning.  But I forget in the morning, and by the time I remember…you see where I’m going with this.  I need to start being intentional about taking my medication.  If I don’t, I’ll never see any improvement and feel better.

Studying scripture needs to be the same way, and often it’s the quickest thing to be pulled off our daily list of things we want to do.  I’m guilty of this myself.  I want to start the morning off with my Bible study, but I oversleep.  I’ll do it on my lunch, but I scroll social media.  I think I’ll do it before I start dinner, but I still need to vacuum.  The to-do list goes on.  Before you know it, you’re able to squeeze five minutes in, if that, of time in the Word before you’re in bed and ready to end the day.

Intentionality is important.  The dictionary defines this as the fact of being deliberate.  While Bible study shouldn’t be just a thing we check off the list every day so that we can say it’s done, we still need to make sure our intention is to specifically spend time with God.  This is how we grow our relationship with Him.  This is how we prepare ourselves to speak with someone who might not know God as their Savior.  And with that intention must come the deliberate act!  We can have every intention to study, but we must also follow through!

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” –2 Timothy 2:15

When we are intentional, when we are diligent in our study, we become accurate in how we know Jesus and how we present Jesus.

How about it, dear friends?!  Let’s strive to be deliberate in our study.  Do you have a method that you use that reminds or allows you to be intentional with Bible study?  Share in the comments!

~Erin

Context is King

How many times have we read those memes about how punctuation can really change the context and understanding of the sentence?!  They’re some of my favorite things to see on my Facebook page.  You know what I’m talking about…the ones where one comma can change the sentence from “I like eating kittens and sleep” to “I like eating, kittens, and sleep.” What about the times we get just one part of story from someone and we realize we need to see the complete picture, not just the one piece they’re telling us? 

Context is king, and it’s even more important to understand the context of verses in the Bible to fully comprehend what God is saying in the passages of scripture!  It’s very easy to take a verse at face value.  We pick it out because it sounds helpful or we think it’s perfect according to our situation. 

While those verses ARE helpful, it’s important to understand what the verse is talking about as we use these verses.  There are many around us who may not fully understand scripture, and it’s important that we are not misrepresenting the Bible.

Let’s look at a few of the ones I’ve been researching:

James 1:5—“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him.” 

If my Table 8 Bible study group heard this from me once, they heard it from me 100 times during our study of the book of James that many use this verse to preach the prosperity gospel.  “If you ask, He gives and He gives GENEROUSLY!  Keep asking!” 

That’s not what He says, though.  He doesn’t say ask for stuff.  He says if you lack WISDOM, ask and He will give it you.  This isn’t about what financial gain you can receive but rather wisdom.  As well, if you read the verses before, James is talking about trials producing endurance  and allowing it to have its perfect result.  This is about wisdom as you endure!

1 Corinthians 6:19—“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

I actually love this verse.  I often heard growing up this verse being related to drinking, smoking, sex outside of marriage, overeating, etc.  While I won’t negate that because your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, it’s important to treat your body well in relation to all of that.  But when you look at the context surrounding the verses, this verse is referring to sexual immorality!  Paul is saying that sexual immorality can truly invade not only your outside self but your inner soul, as well.  Sex is not ‘just sex.’ It’s something that, when not honored in the biblical way, can hurt your heart and soul. 

Friends, as I study the Bible and dig deep, I’m gaining such a better understanding of the scripture.  The study clarifies how it pertains to me and it has me digging even deeper to see the entire Bible and not just the bits that I can fit into a catchy phrase to share as I’ve done in the past.

I pray that as we go through our studies this week, as we dig into the scripture, that we are asking God to allow us to see it as a whole.  Let’s challenge ourselves to see the full context of what we’re reading and allow God to reveal exactly what His word says!

~Erin

The Owner’s Manual

I bought a new car a few weeks ago.  I wanted something just a bit bigger, and it seemed like the right time to take the plunge.  One of the things the salesman handed me as I walked out the door with keys in hand was a ginormous owner’s manual.  It amazes me how detailed the manual is, giving you specific instructions on not only the strange button you find on the side of your console but how to properly put your car in Drive.  If I need the owner’s manual to learn how to put it in Drive, I’m not sure I should be buying a car just yet!

As Christians, we also have an owner’s manual!  When we accept Christ as Lord of our life, we have the Bible that teaches us about how to live for God every day.  It teaches us seemingly small things like being kind.  It teaches us big things like how to apply appropriate church discipline.  It reminds us that to love the world means we hate the Father.  It also gives us reminders of what can happen when we look back after God has taken us out of the ungodly situation (pillar of salt, anyone?).

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

He also says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

The Bible is meant to guide us and shape us.  It’s God letter to us, rich in wisdom.  When we read it daily, it’s a direct line to our Heavenly Father.  Even when there’s something tough to read or hard to swallow, it’s our Father giving us the right way to live our lives.  We need no other book!  It loves.  It corrects.  It chastens.  It guides.  It heals.

As we read our Bibles this week, I pray that we hear God’s voice in the scriptures.  And if this will be the first time you’ve picked up your Bible in a while, I pray that God’s love pours over you in words.  If you’re looking for a place to start, try starting with the book of John.  It will remind that you God is love.  And that love allowed Him to become a sacrifice for you so that you might know what eternity in heaven is.

~Erin

Clean the Dishes

I hate doing dishes.  Any by hate doing dishes, what I really mean is that all housework feels horrific to me and I’d rather chew my nails down to stubs than do clean my house. (Don’t ask my husband.  I don’t want him to have to hurt my feelings by acknowledging this sad fact!) 

Now, there are fewer people eating in my house as my children grow up and move out, but it feels like there are just as many dishes as there ever have been.  I’m going to chalk it up to me deciding to be a gourmet cook and the necessity of needing 32 bowls to make macaroni and cheese.  There are dishes everywhere!  And as I was scrubbing out the inside of a bowl yesterday, my mind went to Matthew 23.

Jesus was among a crowd of people that included not only the average townspeople but also Pharisees and the disciples.  Jesus spoke of the Pharisees, essentially stating that they do not practice what they preach.  He went on to give Eight Woes, one of which is in verse 25 and 26.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may also be clean.”

Yikes!  The Pharisees were a group of Jewish men who were typically well versed and knowledgeable in the legal traditions and laws of the Jews.  They were constantly reminding people of the correct ways to worship, how to tithe, and how certain rituals and festivals were correctly completed.  They were considered scholars in Jewish law.

Jesus wasn’t very fond of them by all accounts because of the hypocrisy in not only their lives but in the worship of the Father.  They were often known to ignore their own sins but to willingly point out everyone else’s.   

In these verses, Jesus was telling them how they made themselves look pure, clean, and just on the outside so that people could SEE their righteousness.  They appeared polished and pristine.  But their inside…what a mess!  Sins of pride, ego, arrogance soiled them and perverted the process of sanctification.  There was nothing clean about them.  By not truly surrendering to God, repenting, and cleaning up their minds and their hearts, they made their outside actions futile, unworthy of praise.  I would even offer up that because of this, they could’ve easily caused an unbeliever to continue in their unbelief or perhaps a new/seasoned Christian to stumble.  They were doing for themselves and not for the Creator of this world!

The question for us then becomes, how does we relate to this?  I’m so glad you asked!  Our outward actions and life should reflect the inner surrendering of self to God.  When we have fully surrendered and accepted the free gift of salvation, we should then be striving for daily sanctification.  Our eyes should never leave Him.  Our inner thoughts of devotion to the Father should match the outward devotion to Him.  This, in turn, allows friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, ANYONE to see Christ shining through us!

Friends!  Let’s clean the inside as much as we try to clean the outside!  Let our prayer be that we keep the inside and the outside clean, solely focused on His perfect will in all aspects of our lives.

~Erin

The Culture

Last week was my two-year anniversary of living in the beautiful state of Alabama!  I’ve loved every minute of living here, and there are no regrets with making such a huge move to make our home in the south.  While I could do without temperatures of 143° and 923° humidity, I love the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made and the home we’ve created.

One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between here and California (where I lived for five years before moving here) are the amount of people who say they’re Christians and talk about God openly.  Church is almost a culture out here, a legacy that’s been passed down from generation to generation.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that someone’s membership to a local church started with their MawMaw or GreatGranny taking their kids so many years ago!

In California, the conversation was not as free-flowing about Christianity.  Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t nonexistent.  You just didn’t hear, “I’ll pray for you,” or “God bless” as you left your local grocery store.  No one was asking random strangers if the church’s youth group could help clean up your yard!

Now, hear me out on this one.  I’m not looking to step on toes.  I’m not looking to rile up the great people of the south (or of California).  But this idea of Christianity being a “culture” around here got me thinking.

Have you fully surrendered to God?  Are you a blood-bought believer, saved by the grace of God, living for Him in every aspect of your life?  Or is it just a culture….a legacy that’s been given to you because it’s what the family has always believed?

These are not questions I ask lightly.  And these are not questions I have not already asked myself.  My parents were Christians.  My father was raised in a Christian home.  It’s what I’ve always known.  But I would be remiss in not recognizing whether or not my salvation is because I made a choice to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or because it’s what my mom and dad “did” so I did.  My actions, my attitude, and my heart should be clear indicators as to whether or not I am a new creation.

The Bible speaks clearly to being not of this world and being about the Father’s world.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” –1 John 2:15

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” –Colossians 3:2

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” –Romans 12:2 

While it’s important to attend a church, have your children going, have your children’s children going, there must be more to the story than just a legacy.  Does our faith show?  Does our faith produce works that show?  Is our heart truly surrendered to the Creator of the Universe?

Our actions and our life should reflect 100% submission to God.  There should be no room for doubt when someone sees us that we are committed to Christ.  I’m not saying perfection.  I’m saying active pursuit of righteousness.

There’s one way to heaven.  I don’t get to go because my mom and pop were Christians or because my Grandma prayed for me.  I get to be a citizen of heaven because I made the personal decision to accept Christ as my Savior.

Maybe you’re reading this and recognize that you haven’t done that yet.  I encourage, dear friend, call on the Lord.  Tell Him you’re a sinner and that you’re nothing without Him.  Repent of your sins and ask Christ to come live in your heart as Lord of your life.  There is no greater moment than knowing you have stopped becoming a citizen of this earth and are bound for your true home in heaven!

~Erin