I Miss the Bible Belt South…

The South was once known as the “Bible Belt.” A culture rich in spiritual heritage. Whether or not your immediate family went to church every Sunday, more than likely one of your neighbors or other family members did.

It seemed back in the 30’s through the 80’s every family had someone in the ministry…either a Dad, Grandpa, brother, uncle, or cousin preaching the Gospel. Many families were blessed to a build a legacy of fine preachers including Grandpa, Dad, and Grandsons. Going to church and knowing about Jesus was a way of life in the Bible-belt. Many of our public school teachers were also Sunday school teachers and school principals often served as deacons and sang in the choir. We all loved and sang the same favorite Hymns and spiritual songs…”This is My Story,” “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” “Victory in Jesus,” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Back then, funerals were attended by all family members, friends, and neighbors, even when they were held on a Monday or Thursday afternoon. And, back then people cried over the death of a loved one. It was accepted and expected to show grief. Who doesn’t remember Grandma crying over the casket of Grandpa and telling him that she’d meet him in Heaven causing your own heart to break even more. Evidence of living the Christian faith was never far from our eyes and ears in the Bible-belt.

In those days neighbors knew their neighbors and were kind and caring one of another; especially when sickness or tough times came around…Kindness and caring were something we were taught and expected to conduct. So, what happened?

Somewhere around the mid to late 90’s things started changing not only in the South, but all over the globe…and not for the good in my opinion…Children were no longer disciplined or expected to carry out “old” family traditions…Sunday night services in many churches gave way to “family and friend” time spent at ballparks and other weekend adventures. Neighbors started keeping their doors shut and their lives private. People no longer got off of work to attend the funeral of an extended family member or neighbor. Eulogies and Memorials took over the Preacher’s messages regarding Heaven and Hell; no one wanted to hear the Gospel preached or sad songs that made you cry. Church services got shorter and shorter…Revival meetings went from seven days a week down to three, then eventually down to one Sunday morning service. Stores and businesses couldn’t get enough profits in six days, so they extended work hours to 24/7. Money and pleasure became our nation’s god. And, somewhere in the midst of it all, it no longer mattered if your Dad or grandpa was an old-fashioned preacher or not because there were dozens of new Bible translations and dozens of new ways to “worship.” Different style churches sprang up in malls, shopping centers, and school gyms. Preachers and Pastors no longer wore suits and preached behind a pulpit, but rather wore dress-down jeans with a t-shirt and preached on a stage.

In this new, modern-day culture, people were given the choice to choose which style of “church” they want to attend, or not attend. It became perfectly acceptable to not attend an organized church at all. Religion really didn’t matter any longer…Just do whatever is right in your own eyes. It became apparent that man had once again become his own god.

Community churches advertising under the motto, “Come as you are” not “Just as I Am” began to spring up in the 90’s taking over the old, traditional style of church service and Worship. Doctrine and denominations were considered bad words no longer an important part of church training. “Sins” were no longer named or mentioned. It was no longer expected to wear your “Sunday” best, because anything from short-shorts to bathing suits were accepted. Church was all about having fun and being entertained.

Old-fashioned white sanctuary walls with white ceilings were painted black with strobe lights hung to accommodate a new form of non-traditional, contemporary head-banging and jumping up and down style of “worship” replacing the old-fashioned type of repentance of holding up “holy” hands unto a Holy God. Why? Because, God, in this new culture, is now “cool,” known as JC who loves the sinner as well as the sin; no matter what it is. This new Jesus loves all choices and rejects none…There are no boundaries on his love (which is absolute truth!) for mankind, nor boundaries on our sins, because JC has changed…”Sin” doesn’t need to be named or preached any longer, because we’re all going to Heaven no matter how we choose to live! Repentance is no longer preached or required…just come as you are and stay as you are…Simply put…Be Happy…Do as you please…Jesus doesn’t mind…We’re all good somehow and we’re all going to Heaven in a little row-boat!

Parts of this “new” theology is sound, Biblical Truth. God, through His Son Jesus Christ, does love ALL of mankind and is willing that “ALL” come to a place of repentance (turning away from sin) calling upon the name of Jesus for Salvation. Even though Jesus loves the “sinner,” the Bible plainly teaches that He hates sin. HE always has and always will hate sin…The most important part that’s being left out in many of our modern-day churches is the doctrine of “Sin.” The fact is that sin destroys and kills…It’s only remedy is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is our only Hope and our only way to God…The Bible teaches that, “For God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Yes; God loves the whole world, but when GOD enters into our lives in the form of His Son, Jesus…our lives change and we migrate away from “sins” of the flesh to a new way of living pressing towards to the mark of the higher calling found in Christ Jesus.

Yes; more than ever we need the South, North, East, and West to rise again looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith. We need to walk across our yards and paths greeting our neighbors in the love of Christ inviting them into our lives and our churches. We need to place our focus and attention back on God by putting HIS Word as priority in our hearts and lives over other interests including pleasure-seeking and entertainment. And, we need to humble ourselves, repent, and seek His face so that our “land” may be healed (II Chronicles 7:14). Ask anyone…We are living in perilous times.

Yes; I’m glad to have been raised in the South with its long summer nights, sweetened tea, neighborly visits on the front porch, Sunday school quarterlies, powerful Hell and brimstone messages from the pulpits, both Great-Grandpa and Grandpa being preachers, married to a preacher, raising our daughters in an old-fashioned, traditional Baptist church, and praying for our grandchildren to continue in the old-paths all the way to Glory.

There is no doubt that Change is good…New is good…But, the Bible teaches that GOD never changes…HE is the same yesterday, today, and forever more…HE is our anchor of Hope in all things and in all ways. It is my prayer that whether you are from the North, South, East, or West, or any other nation on earth that you may come to know the GOD of the Bible through His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior. May the true Church rise and be known as the “Bible-belt” to the entire world…

Linda Rollins, M.Ed.
Author

Advertisements

Ask for the Old Paths

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16).

With the news media focusing its attention lately on gender identity do you feel as if the “old ways” of life are dissipating and disappearing?

Sadly, this past week I overheard a news anchor person state, “The gender of a person at birth does not dictate their gender identity.” Well, if that’s the case, then what does?

It appears to me that the WORLD has gone MAD! Each day the WORLD sinks farther and farther into wickedness, darkness, and sin…And, we, God’s people, draw closer and closer to the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The signs are all around us.

In Jeremiah’s day the people also rebelled against God and sought their “own paths” which means they rejected God’s ways and chose what was “right in their own eyes.”

God warned the rejecting people over and over to return to HIS ways, the old paths, but they refused by saying, “We will not walk therein.” That’s exactly what society are doing today; refusing to walk in God’s ways and openly persecuting those who do.

The world’s search for temporary peace-of-mind is always sensual, selfish, and sinful. Their peace comes from pleasure-seeking whether it comes in the form of a pill, bottle, or other self-destructive addictive means. But, choosing God’s ways (the old paths) bring about HIS PEACE that passes all understanding. And, as I recently heard someone say, “You can’t know God’s PEACE that passes ALL understanding until it passes ALL understanding!”

As a Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ, what a JOY it is to walk in the “old paths” leaning and trusting on God.

Today, you may be in need of a long-term Peace that passes all understanding. You may be disgusted with all the hype of the news media and the ever-increasing wickedness of the world. If so, let me encourage you to remain at the feet of Jesus and walk the precious “old path” that began at the foot of the Cross.

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Sweet Jesus, for the Old Path that leads me directly to you. Amen.

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author

A Purposed Life…

A purposed Life…“I will guard (take heed to) my ways lest I sin with my tongue.” (Psalm 39)

Nothing gives us more trouble in life than our own tongue. And, the Bible teaches that our words come from our thoughts that come from the heart which is deceptively wicked above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).

So, how do we overcome these negative aspects of our life? First, by placing our life in the Hands and under control of the Holy Spirit by Grace through Faith in Christ Jesus. (Romans 10). Next, by taking notice of what we think, what we say, and how we react or respond to those things around us. Taking self-inventory of what we think, what we say, and what we do produces self-control which is a Fruit of the Spirit.

There are nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering (Patience), Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance (self-control). To obtain “fruit” of any kind it takes purposeful work. For a Christian to fully develop the Fruits of the Spirit takes purposeful work as well. Purposeful thinking. Purposeful speaking. Purposeful actions.

As Christians, we cannot simply live by emotions and emotional thinking to produce healthy, self-controlled lives. Many people live by the “if it feels good do it” philosophy which is a very dangerous and problematic way of life. Living purposefully produces self-control and living with self-control produces purposefully living. The two go hand-in-hand.

So, today I encourage you to begin living a “purposed life” by taking inventory of those things we think, the things we say, and the responses we show or demonstrate. Remember, if our ways do not line up with or reflect one of the Fruits of the Spirit we are giving into a deceptive hearts…And, we ALL must guard our lives and tongues against deception of any source.

May our lives be “purposed” and filled with the precious Fruit of the Spirit… Amen.

Remember, God Loves You,
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed
Author

A Nation Who No Longer Serves God

June 26, 2015…An American Historic and Sad Day…

As I sat in my living room and heard the news of our nation’s Supreme Court’s ruling today regarding same-sex marriage, I began to cry. But, I was not crying because of what our justices had just voted into law or their vote against individual state rights. I was crying because of the tragic loss of our Divine and Spiritual influences of the church, through Jesus Christ, upon our nation and society. Where has our Power and Position gone?

I can only speak of the days and times in which I have lived. I cannot speak of generations and generations ago as I was born in the 20th century; 1956 to be exact. But, let me share what I have witnessed in my fifty-nine years of living in this nation (not necessarily in chronological order).

I have witnessed Viet-Nam; the 60’s Civil Rights Movement; the accomplishments and defeats of NASA including Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon; the first electric typewriter; the first heart plant surgery; the election of President John F. Kennedy and his assassination three years later; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Cold War and bomb drills; the “I Have a Dream” speech; the senseless assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Bobby Kennedy; the ruling of Roe versus Wade (1973); the spread of AIDS and other STD diseases (80’s), the national enforcement of Separation of Church and State; the taking down of the Ten Commandments in public places; the removal of reading the Bible in public schools and public places; not allowing prayer before athletic events in public schools; taking the Biblical meaning of “Christ” out of Christmas; not being able to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” while working in the retail world; the promotion of alternative life-styles; the promotion by social media, TV, and Hollywood to desensitize all moral and Biblical values; the moral decline from family shows such as “Father Knows Best” and “Andy Griffith” to Bart Simpson and Modern Family; the introduction of the personal computer, the introduction of the World Wide Web (90’s), the attack upon and demise of the traditional family unit; the terrorist attack of 9/11; Desert Storm, the rise of Islam and ISIS around the world; watching world-wide catastrophic storms and weather patterns all over the globe; and local churches and Pastors that were once grounded in the Word of God following the “world” and becoming no more than speakers in country club settings and places for fun and entertainment.

With the continued demise of moral values, weakening church-influences upon our society, and the loss of traditional family values, is it any wonder that today’s ruling favored the Homosexual community? No; of course not.

Let me just say this. To disagree with someone’s choices in life is not an act of hate. I disagree with the “practice” of homosexuality from a Biblical perspective. From the beginning, God ordained the family and the act of procreation through one man and one woman. Yes; God loves the sinner (He died for the whole world), but He hates the sins of the world. (See Genesis 1, John 3:16-17 and Romans 10).

Here is my take on the matter. In the book of II Chronicles 7:14 it reads, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This is a “conditional” promise from God. So, who is to blame for the downfall of our nation and society? I suppose those who name the name of God but who do not follow his teachings in their daily lives.

Just as I have witnessed many changes in our nation’s history over the past fifty-plus years I have witnessed tremendous changes from the pulpits of our churches to the lives of those who attend church. What has happened? Isn’t our God the Same, Yesterday, Today, and Forever? Yes; He is…But, we are not.

Do you recall a time in your life when church and church activities set your calendar and schedule for the week, for the month, and for the year? I do. I remember a time when every function in our family’s lives depended upon what was happening at the House of God. My children did not practice or play baseball, softball, or soccer on Sundays. We didn’t shop at the Wal-Mart on Sundays. We didn’t spend summer weekends at the lake or winter weekends at ski resorts and try to fit “church” in when we had nothing else planned. We attended week-long revival meetings where the evangelist preached Heaven sweet and Hell hot. Back then, Holy Ghost conviction was the norm for repenting and calling upon the Lord to save you; not just an emotional response and a simple hand-shake.

Prayer Meetings were actually prayer- meetings where all the people in attendance gathered around the altar to pray in one accord and one mind over the lives of their loved ones and the many burdens they were facing. I recall taking “every” problem we faced to God in those weekly cooperate prayer meetings; as well as personal daily prayers on behalf of my family.
Christians even dressed more modestly back then than they do today. And, they possessed respect for the House of God. You may have worn bathing suits, shorts, and slacks at home and out in the community, but you dressed appropriately for the sacred environment of the church’s sanctuary. Today, people dress as if they are going to a concert or the beach; not to church…Just “whatever” feels good is the fade…And, some churches actually proudly advertise, “We are the church for non-church people.” In other words, come as you are and live as you please…just remember to learn how to smile through every difficulty in life!

Today, we have many good “teaching” preachers and pastors across our nation, but very few “preaching” preachers and pastors. There is a huge difference! Teaching imputes knowledge into our hearts and mind…Then, we choose accordingly to obey or disobey God’s teachings. Preaching, some might even call “Old-Time Preaching,” brings about conviction through the Power of the Holy Spirit to “transform” and “renew” one’s life in Christ. You can teach a person not to drink alcohol or to reframe from other sinful vices all you wish, but without the empowerment of the convicting power of the Holy Spirit he or she cannot overcome the temptation.

For some strange reason, the “church” decided to start following the world’s standards instead of maintaining and following God’s standards. In our modern-day world, the “world” sees no differences between their life-styles and many of those who claim to be followers of Christ. The influential Power of the Holy Spirit has been reduced and removed due to our own lack of commitment and blatant sinful behaviors. The world generally sees Christians as “people-haters” filled with biases and judgmental taunts. They no longer see the church as a living institution born through the Blood of Christ that offers Hope and Salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Contemporary and Rock music became the focal point of many churches beginning in the 80’s. Out went the choir lofts and in came the platform stages geared at entertaining the “younger” crowds. Churches brought in worldly sounding instruments played by worldly dressed musicians. The motto became “dress-down” to attract the “younger” world to come “inside” of our churches…But, as we “dressed-down” and learned to jump up and down to the beat of the music, the power of the church through Christ Jesus to “transform” lives became weaker and weaker. We began to have a “form of godliness but denying the Power thereof.

Then, our churches began to teach a “positive attitude Gospel” as opposed to the Good News of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to save us from our sins and reconcile us back to God. At this point, it was no longer a matter of what anyone did or said, or how they lived, just as long as they approached life and all of its trials with a giant smile on their face. After all, we are a happy, happy bunch…Right?

But, Jesus taught us to “sow the Gospel with our tears.” The Bible says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Psalm 126:5) There’s not too much to be joyful about when your neighbor or loved one is going to Hell. You can smile all you wish, but your tears will bring them to Christ! Then, you shall reap in Joy!

So, week after week for the last three decades or so, crowds of people have assembled themselves in our churches week after week to have a “form of godliness” while denying the Power thereof. What Power? The Power to see Salvation; a transformed life birthed into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ…Not the self –will power and mindset to smile when all of hell is breaking out around you! In all honesty, if your life is falling apart I suggest you find a closet, close the door, and cry your heart out with hot, burning tears unto a Holy God! Ask God to send a “spirit” of reverence, revelation, repentance, and meekness into your life. Ask God to save you!

So, lastly, here we are….June 26, 2015 and our nation has ruled on behalf of gay and lesbian couples all over our nation to come boldly out of the closet and run to the nearest court-house to obtain a license to legally marry….It doesn’t matter what God and the Bible has to say about it. I suggest that you read from the New Testament Bible in the book of Romans, chapter one, for a complete in-depth teaching on the matter.

Question: Did we, as members of the church, realize how far we were straying away from God? Did we listen to God when we first started compromising with the world? As the old saying goes, “Sin will take your farther than you wanted and keep you there longer than you wanted.” And, that is exactly where we are today…Far, far away from the Holy teachings, practices, and preaching of God.

We have but ONE chance to regain God’s favor and mercy upon our land and that is through actual repentance, prayer, confession, and transformation. Do I mean to throw out all the contemporary songs and just sing, “Amazing Grace?” Do I mean that all the ladies are to start wearing long dresses and hats and sit each week with a frown on your face? No, no, I don’t. But, I do suggest that we go back to “Bethel” and understand what and who the church represents and what its purpose is here on planet Earth; and prayerfully seek HIS FACE for Divine guidance.

The truth is that the church should be a place of separation from the wiles of the world, Satan, and worldly systems. Our distinctness is what should “draw” and “appeal” to a lost and dying world who can’t find the right answers to life’s problems…The true church has the right answer…JESUS CHRIST…. and those professing Jesus should walk and live according to HIS teachings, plan, and purpose.

God wasn’t just filling a page with empty words when He said:
If my people, (Believers in God through Christ) which are called by my name(Christians), shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Amen.

Remember, God Loves You (But hates sin)…John 3:16

Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

In 2015 “Study to Show Thyself Approved…”

Study to show thyself (your own self) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15 KJV).

If you have one New Year’s resolution that you stick with, I would encourage you to make it daily Bible reading and study.
Notice that the scripture says, “study to show thyself (your own self) approved unto God….” Without Bible study you will never understand nor comprehend how much God really and truly loves you and how much HE wants to be the guide and leader in your life.

There are an innumerable number of things in life all bidding for your time and attention. Nevertheless, only the Bible guides your heart, mind, and life to follow the things of God. Without regular, disciplined study of the Word of God you will never find God’s will for your life nor His Peace that passes all understanding.

There are no hidden secrets, tricks, societies, plans, magic, personal agendas, or “wishes” that can lead you to God. God chose HIS Word to reveal himself…And, God’s Word became flesh through the person Jesus Christ and dwelled among us. (John 1:14). We can only find out about God and His Son Jesus Christ (God manifested in the flesh) through intensive reading and study of His Word, the Holy Bible.

Many a non-believer and skeptic have come away “believing” after reading and studying the Bible. It is still the number one best-selling book of all time and will continue being so until Christ returns.

Ask yourself this question. Why fill your mind and life with manmade philosophies that are unproven rather than filling your mind and life with God’s Word, the Bible? Only the Word of God contains The Truth, The Way, and The Life which pleases God and settles a man’s or woman’s own heart.

My friend, I encourage and beg you to “Break Away” to find God in all things by reading and studying God’s Word for yourself. Make reading and studying God’s Word the number one priority in your life. Read and study for yourself to find out who God really is and discover your purpose for life. Amen.

Remember, God Loves You.
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author.

Jesus Saves…

Jesus Saves…

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

No other person, religion, works or belief system can save you except Faith in the person of Jesus Christ; God’s own Son.

Jesus was God, our great Creator, manifested in the flesh. “And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” (John 1:14) It is beyond sad and tragic how many false religions and false beliefs are covering the globe at this present moment. However, there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

The world knows of the Christmas holiday, but so many do not know who Christmas is about or why Christmas exists. I recently read where a minister stated, “Jesus is not the only reason for the season. Mankind is also the reason for the season.” Jesus came to be born and to die for the salvation of all mankind; all those who believe in His name. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

This Christmas the best present that you can give or receive is the gift of Faith in Jesus Christ living within your heart. Without Christ you are loss and without Hope. Without Christ you do not have the favor of God or God’s eternal blessings upon your life. Only by receiving Christ into your heart do you have favor with God and inherit His eternal and precious promises and blessings.

My friend, do not be deceived or misled by all the numerous false religions of the world. God is Love and HE manifested His love toward us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Oh, how sweet to know thou art with me, will be with me ‘til the end. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er; Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust Him more!” Do you know Jesus Christ? Do you trust in Jesus Christ? If you do not, I pray that you will.

This Christmas season and every day of your life Trust in Jesus…Jesus Saves.

Remember, God Loves You (through His Son, Jesus Christ)
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

Faithful Attendance

Faithful Attendance

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

With so many people finding excuses these days to leave the church or to stay away from the church, it’s so refreshing to read King David’s prayer unto the LORD that he may remain faithful in the house of the LORD all the days of his life.

King David didn’t concern himself about the unfaithfulness of others to the House of the LORD. Rather, he concerned himself that he might be found faithful. In all honesty, remaining faithful to the House of the LORD should be the prayer of ALL saints alike.

Being faithful in our attendance and how we conduct ourselves towards the House of the LORD not only brings Honor and Glory to God but it also reveals our hearts and attitudes towards God. Going to church shouldn’t be a task that we try to get “around to” on our weekly “TO DO” list…Going to church should be our TOP PRIORITY list!

The Bible plainly teaches us to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV). Like many of you, it concerns me regarding the lack of attendance we are experiencing within our churches; especially among our teens, younger adults and younger families. But, like King David, I can only concern myself with my own attendance…And, like King David; I too pray that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life and be found “Faithful” in attendance.

Yes; we certainly need a revival within our nation (land) regarding the importance of church attendance and cooperate church worship. Sadly, it seems that our nation has become more interested in passing laws promoting promiscuity, adult pleasures, and sin than returning to God’s ways. (See II Chronicles 7:14).

As I recently wrote on my Facebook page, “Our nation once seemed like a canvas of Light with only patches of darkness here and there. But, today, it seems more like a canvas of darkness with only patches of Light here and there.” Oh, that our nation’s desire would be to “return” unto God by first returning unto HIS house; the blessed House of the LORD. And, I feel that the best way to do that is for each ONE of us to be found “Faithful in Attendance to our own home churches and synagogues. Like King David, let us behold the beauty of the LORD and enquire within HIS temple…Amen.

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed Author