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

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Family…It’s a God Thing!

 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (II Tim 3)

I am in the midst of doing an interesting and deep Bible study on II Timothy chapter 3. I became especially interested in the statement, “In the last days men will be without natural affection.”

A close study of the words, “natural affection” lead me to the original Greek word, “stergeo” which is defined as a form of natural love specifically between family members.   Yes; it is talking about familial love; family love.

The biological family unit was created by God and still remains one of God’s greatest and most valued creations.  Is it not any wonder that Satan has spent thousands of years doing his best to destroy the natural love that should exist between immediate family members such as parents and children, adult children and parents, siblings with siblings, and even grandparents, aunts, and uncles etc.?

Sadly, we all know that some of the worse hurt and abuse encountered occurs within the DNA family structure.  Another diabolical plan derived at the hands of God’s enemy, Satan. God, have mercy and help us! But, just as sadly, modern-day culture has redefined the meaning of the family unit by encouraging everyone to simply, “love the one you’re with,” or love those whom you have much in common or shared interests.

These days, people love their neighbors (as we should!), their friends (as we should!) their peers (as we should), their teammates, and even their church family (as we should!) but show very little effort, time (if any!)  regard, love and /or respect for natural or immediate family members.

People in this modern-day and time have energies and  willful, blissful time to “hang” with friends and peers six or seven days a week but can’t find time enough  to visit aging parents or grandparents  much less family time with siblings and cousins, even during the holidays.  In this modern-day, holidays, birthdays, and special occasions are just “red” days on the calendar to be ignored at all cost!

But, God designed and chose our DNA family for HIS plan, purpose, and will.  I know that’s hard for some people to swallow!  But, it’s through the ups and downs of natural “family” love, acceptance, and mercy that we learn to give and receive natural love to ourselves and to others as intended by God.

It’s not too hard to love those that love us back and think the same way as we do.  But, it can be rather hard and challenging to accept “uncle” Joe for who he is or “aunt” sally for who she is.  It’s also a challenge at times to accept our parents for whom they are and for parents to accept adult children for whom they are. But, growing and maturing in God’s Grace, Mercy, and Word is never, never easy.  We must be willing, ready, and “fit” for the challenge. And, there’s no better place to start this school of obedience than within our own immediate family!

So, let me ask you a question.  What appears to be the modern-day family’s pathway in these last days that God refers to as being, “without natural affection?”  Here’s my answer:  Separation at all cost; no matter who it hurts or who it bothers.  Simply don’t call.  Don’t text. Don’t email.  Don’t answer the phone. Block the numbers of family members. Block social media.  Don’t visit.  Just stay away , stay away, and stay away. Let day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year go by… After all, it’s acceptable now a days in society that people are just living out their own lives the best way they know how by doing what they enjoy doing…And, it’s socially acceptable that none of us “owe” anyone in life anything; especially our family!  

The modern-day answer for dealing with DNA family matters goes something like this:  Just don’t think about your family or extended family members…and never concern yourself with their troubles or concerns. Pretend you don’t know what your “family” is doing or what they might be going through.  And, as always just keep a friendly smile on your face for the crowd along with a cheerful tone in your voice for your “friends”…

Well, I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this sound a whole lot like the description of the “last days” when men will lose their “natural affection?”

Here’s the conclusion of the whole matter. A close, loving, forgiving, accepting biological “family” is the greatest revelation, gift, and application of “agape” love there is on planet earth.  God made it that way.  I believe what God is trying to show each one of us  is that when we learn to love, accept, and forgive those whom God has ordained (set aside) and naturally placed within our lives that we will mature and grow to accept ourselves and others for who they are; who God made them to be. Thus, the stronger the family unit the stronger the church and the stronger our society.

When a child grows up loving, nurturing, and respecting their parents, siblings, and grandparents and continues therein their adult life will develop more of a loving “god-like” heart that shows a greater love and respect for both authority and society.  The very things that are taught in God’s Word, the Bible.

The Bible clearly teaches that God is no respecter of persons. We reap what we sow. Teaching our children to respect and value everyone, anyone, and everything above immediate and extended family members is neither healthy nor Biblical. If anything, we should PRAY for our family members who cause us our greatest grief either by their personal life choices or by their mannerisms. Pray ye one for another…

No family is perfect. Family members can be the first ones to let you down and the first ones to pick you back up when you’ve fallen. But, since Family was one of God’s original creations, I think we should take careful stock in making sure that our DNA “family” is a vital priority in our lives. Of course, I know there are those who have been completely abandoned by their birth parents and adopted into loving, caring families. In that case, the adoptive family is to be loved, valued, and respected equally.

Be assured, God keeps very good records.  He is the original logistics Creator.  There is a “family tree” in Heaven and one glorious day God will reveal to us our family line as far back as the day of Creation when we will see face to face our original parents, Adam and Eve.  That my friend will be our “earthly” lineage.

But, there is second lineage that God has chosen for those who Believe.   The linage of those “born-again” through the Name and Power of Jesus Christ; the son of God.  For those of us who are born-again into that eternal family where the circle will never be broken we will spend all of eternity with our spiritual heavenly family; our spiritual brothers and sisters.  This shows to me just how important “family,” both earthly and heavenly really are to God.

Today, we should all give thanks for our earthly family whom God has hand-picked for us according to His purpose and plan.  As the Bible clearly teaches us to do, Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long. 

Thank you, Lord, for my precious family. Amen.

Remember, God Loves You,

Linda R Rollins, M.Ed.

 

 

 

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 Day in February …

A Day in February

February launches a wonderful time and opportunity of reflection as well as a time of anticipation.  Long, cold winter days give way to hours of reading and meditating on those things that bring warm joy into our hearts and lives; rightfully being since February is also known as “heart” month.  So, as you read my blog today perhaps you’d like to have a good cup of coffee in hand with your own personal devotional book to reference as the Spirit leads you.

Let me ask you this question, “How is your heart doing today?  Is it a healthy, happy heart both physically and emotionally?”  Sometimes, our heart can hurt us from a physical perspective. We hear that our heart is beating too fast or perhaps too slow. In either regard there is reason for concern. Sometimes, we may even hear that our heart is struggling to do its job effectively.  Doctors may introduce us to new or different medicines and exercise as a way to help our physically hurting heart to be stronger.  Then, there is the emotional side of our heart…Let me ask you this question. ”Is your heart breaking into right now from circumstances and situations beyond your control?”  Oh, my friend, the precious heart of man…

At my age (age 59), I hear a lot about the heart of matters both physically and emotionally.  Women tend to hurt more than men from an emotional perspective.  Men don’t always understand the “heart of a woman.”  Yet, a woman may not always understand the “heart of a man.”  Men need to feel strong, vibrate, alert, in-charge, respected, and active both physically and mentally.  Even though a woman may need these things as well, she is never more of a vibrate, healthy woman than when she is giving and receiving love from those she loves; no matter her physical shape or condition.  It’s all about love in a woman’s eyes.

There’s nothing stronger on the planet than God’s love and a mother’s heart.  The two make quite a combination of strength and courage.  The two together can conquer most anything thrown towards it…But, when a woman’s heart is broken emotionally so is her spirit.  It’s as if she exists without being seen or heard…It’s like she simply disappears into a background of despair, apathy, and desolation.

Have you ever gone into a nursing home to see a woman sitting alone in her wheelchair rocking a baby doll back and forth?  Her arms long to hold life because she is the giver of life.  People need people and without people there is no reason to exist. And, no one knows this truth more than a mother.

But, where do we turn and what do we do when the world we once knew no longer exists?  Where do we go in times of trials when those we love have all gone on their own path of life forgetting and even forsaking the love we once nurtured, cherished, gave and received?

It’s difficult to hear a loved one tell you that you are not enjoyable to be around because your “joy” is gone when they are your “joy.”  At this point, life seems to become a catch-22; or better yet, like a dog chasing its own tail…nothing works, nothing matters, nothing changes as the circle of dilemma goes round and round…round and round…heading nowhere.

But, by Faith, we must remember that just like winter gives way to spring…and spring gives way to winter…life does change…Live will change; for in a blink of an eye it can actually cease to exist.  So, we must be grateful for the moment; no matter the status of the moment; good or bad.

Yes; these are thoughts that one might ponder on a cold, dreary February day.  But, then somewhere in the crevices of the spirit the thoughts of springtime and a new life emerging etch their way into the mind… and a smile comes on our face as we look forward to warmer days,  warmer nights, lots of sunshine and even planting new flowers just to watch them grow…Springtime…when life returns…And, all is at peace again.

The world is a good place and whatever it is that may have you down and dreary on this February day will soon dissipate and you will once again feel a bounce back in your step and a “joy” in your heart.

Sometimes, we have to get off the beaten path to find our way.  That is one reason I feel that God lead me to create my blog and to title my first book, Break Away.  We must “Break Away” to find God in all things…And, that “breaking away” may include breaking away from old habits, old paths, old ways of thinking…It’s OK to be “all over the radar screen,” as they say, for a short time until you get your sense of direction back.  Long, cold, and even lonely February nights can provide “off the radar” opportunities.  Sometimes, it’s alright to not fly safely under the radar but right into the face of the radar and shouting, “I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive.  Can you see me?” We all need to be seen at times as a way of feeling valued, appreciated, and loved.

When our youngest daughter was a little girl she would stand still and place one (just one!) finger up to her eye and say, “Can you see me?”  I thought that was the cutest thing ever that she could imagine that one tiny finger could hide her entire little body.  But, you know some people feel the same way about their life and existence…They feel as if something or someone has blinded and blocked the view of their existence.  No one sees them.  It can even be something very small but suddenly the small obstacle has completely erased a feeling of self-worth and value.  They need someone to say, as I would say to my daughter, “Yes, I can see you. And, I love you.”

What we all need to be reminded is that just as my little daughter could still be seen while holding up her one little finger….our lives can still be seen when clouded with doubt, confusion, trials, and all kinds of intrusive, negative, and destructive feelings.  We can still be seen by those who love us.

We must be reminded that LOVE, even though it may be temporarily unseen, much like a seeding underground still exists waiting until it blossoms into full, splendor of sight…And that no matter what comes into our path to rob us of joy, LOVE  can never truly and actually die…For God is LOVE and as long as GOD is alive…There is LOVE.

May you feel God’s warm Love flowing through your spirit each and every day; no matter the season.

In God’s Care,

Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author

Break Away by WestBow Press

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

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12) 

Weeks before the beautiful flowers appear on earth there is always a time of refreshing rain. As the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.”

The same can be said in the life of a Christian. Like a flower, we, too, need good soil, rain, and plenty of sunshine to grow and bloom into the person the Lord wants us to be. Where does a Christian find good soil, rain, and sunshine?  Our good soil is God’s Holy Word the Bible. We must be rooted and grounded in the Word of God to grow, mature, and blossom in our Christian life.  Rain is often used in the Bible as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oh, how refreshing it is when the sweet Holy Spirit anoints us with His showers of blessings poured out upon our lives!  Then, we have the Lord himself divinely lighting our path. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by me.”(John 14:6)  Jesus is our sunshine, our Heavenly sunshine that sustains our Christian lives each and every day.

My friend as you go about enjoying the spring season that is upon us with all of its beautiful flowers, singing birds, warm days and relaxing warm evenings, I encourage you to examine your inner man’s soil (your soul) to make sure you are getting all the nutrients that your Christian life needs to grow ever more and more lovely. I encourage you to dig deep in the soil of God’s Word removing any weeds that may choke out the beautiful seeds that may blossom in your life. I encourage you to seek the Holy Spirit’s showers of blessings through fervent prayer. And, I encourage you to walk in the sunshine of God’s Love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

By doing these things that are listed above your life can become a beautiful rose garden that everyone enjoys seeing and being around.  And, you will be a blessing to God as well. The Bible teaches us to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and ALL these things will be added unto you.”  You may ask, “What things?”  Oh, my friend you will experience the beautiful blessings of God’s ever-blooming bouquet of fresh flowers sent directly to you from His beautiful eternal garden each and every day…We call these God’s Faithful Promises…As the old songs says, “There is Land of Beautiful Flowers.”  And, one day those of us who have been planted in God’s Salvation Garden will live forever in the midst of that beautiful land that some call Heaven, but I call it home.

Enjoy the beautiful Spring season that is upon us, and remember, God loves you.

Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author