Tag Archives: Christian

Wisdom for Young Men… the Adulterous Woman 

Cloud: “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death her steps lead straight to the grave” (Prov. 5: 3-5 New International Version).

Silver Lining: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Prov. 5:18).

As hard as it may be to hear, God’s word is true. Men who get involved with adulterous women will be deceived, and ultimately destroyed. On the surface she seems attractive, but underneath lies dirt and grime and danger. God even warns young men what to look for, and promises that the adulterer will take down with her, those who give in to temptation. 

But rejoice! God offers a blessing to those who delight in one wife! He wants each of His children to enjoy love that is pure. His plans for marriage are pure and holy! He is happy for us when we stay together with our spouse, through good times and bad. God believes in love and marriage; He takes marriage vows seriously, and He blesses the holy union between a man and a woman. Children are God’s greatest gift and reward from marriage. Marriages without children are also a blessed divine union. For the Bible says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9).

Though God talks to young men in Proverbs, His word applies to young women too. Young women, who get involved with married men, will find dreams dashed and hopes smashed. Do not be fooled into thinking someone is your “soulmate” if that person, or you, are already married to someone else.  To believe this is to believe a lie; a lie meant to break hearts and destroy the families God has beautifully created. Anyone in an adulterous situation thinks he or she is the exception, but there are no exceptions under God’s Law. If God promises lives will be ruined because of adultery… they will.  

Young or old, male or female… Do not get involved with someone if you are married. Do not get involved with someone if that someone is married. Do not give yourself away to anyone outside of marriage. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).

God’s way is the best way. His way offers protection, joy, and rewards. His commands are there because He loves us!  If you have committed the sin of adultery, repent; and be forgiven in Christ! Find a trusted Christian advisor who can help you back onto the righteous path Jesus wants to walk with you. “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

” ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28). Pursue Jesus before and during marriage! 

Truthful Revelations

There are times when God has been teaching you a concept, maybe even over a long period of time, when suddenly there’s a complete revelation…such as when when you finally really understand that those terrible, horrible things that were said to you, were not only untrue, but were in reality, a mirror’s reflection of those people’s own deep insecurities and self-perceptions. The words were projection, and had nothing to do with you.

The silver lining is that only God’s Word holds true, and he can heal you from a lifetime of lies you were led to believe about yourself. Once you choose to follow Christ, and receive him into your heart, you become worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. God can then use you to advance His Kingdom, no matter what your circumstances. Don’t listen to the lies of anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. 

Stay tuned for part 2: “You are Worthy,” from my 5-part series on being compassionate toward yourself through Jesus Christ. Read part 1: The Good Life…Do We “Deserve It?” in order to prepare your heart for understanding your true worth as a child of God.

God bless you as you pursue Jesus, so you can know truth; discovering how valuable, beautiful, and worthy you are to The Lord God! 

“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”  

John 17:17 

New Living Translation  Look upward! HIS WORDS are TRUE!

Go Away, Dismay! 

When people hate you because you love Jesus and tell others about his miraculous healing…when people hate you because you care enough to tell them the truth about false teachers who bring false hope and false prophecy, which will bring them more pain…when people gossip about you and listen to lies because it makes them feel better about dabbling in their own sin…when people blatantly ignore you out of jealousy because they think they have your life all figured out and really just need to be working out their own…when people turn away from you because they feel uncomfortably convicted about their own life issues around you, not because you’re perfect, but because you strive to please God…when people use you, and then have no time for you, or only make time for you in hopes that they can squeeze a little more usefulness out of you for their own selfish gains…when people especially do these things to you, when at one time you considered them to be your friendsthe silver lining is that JESUS knows your heart.

JESUS is your real friend, and he loves you unconditionally, and forever. JESUS doesn’t care if you’re popular or accepted. JESUS supports you and is on your side, and he is fighting the evil in the spirit world that looks to be so much like flesh and blood working against you. During the storm, GOD miraculously protects you, grows you, holds you, and is miraculously working out His Holy plan for you, all at the same time! Even if some of the people working against you claim to be Christians, pray for them to be saved, or convicted. Pray for truth to be revealed. God is already sifting out the people who are not part of His plan for you, and all at the same time, He is cleansing your mind, purifying  your heart, and refining you like silver and testing you like gold.

So when it seems the world is against you, if you’re following Jesus, you should not be dismayed. Hold on to hope in The One who created you and loves you, The LORD, your GOD. Trust in The Lord, your God, and choose joy: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”  (1 Peter 1: 6-7 New International Version).

“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts”  (Prov. 17:3 English Standard Version).

Mama has a Sailor Mouth

“The Fourth Grade Cussing Club…” I don’t know how it really started, except that one day on the playground, I suddenly found myself a part of it…and you just had to say bad words to belong. Patti was the ringleader. I didn’t even like her; she was a self-proclaimed atheist. “I don’t believe in God,” she proudly said, with her nose in the air. But I did. I believed in God, and I believed in Jesus, and I loved them.

Somehow the ugly word came out of my mouth. I didn’t even know why. I wasn’t worried about fitting in. I had plenty of friends. Why was I even hanging around with her? But there we stood in a circle, taking turns saying words one finds painted onto cement overpasses and etched into the backs of dull gray metal bathroom doors.

A week later, I quit. I firmly took a stand. I told Patti I didn’t want to be in her stupid club, especially when the worst part of it all was that she didn’t believe in God. My nine-year-old self knew it was wrong; how she was trying to convince our joint friends about why God didn’t exist. I walked away, and the club immediately melted and dissolved into sheer nothingness.

But Patti wasn’t happy. I’d hit a nerve. At a sleepover, I awoke to her gossiping about me to two other girls. Pretending to be asleep, my ears burned, hoping that sweet Cathy wouldn’t turn against me. It was her house. Cathy didn’t talk about me, but she didn’t really stick up for me either. Patti was pretty intimidating. It felt strange and scary, lying there under the covers, not moving. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t know what to do.

Sadly, it was only a sneak peek of how people will mistreat you when you stand with your Savior. It was also a glimpse of how people are unwilling, or afraid, to stand up with you, or for you when you make a stand for what’s right and true. After all, Cathy was a believer too. Yet, how joyful it was, that I already knew Jesus at such a young age, and that he had given me the strength to break away from the sin and the peer pressure!

I didn’t cuss again until 8th grade. I’d moved all the way from Texas to Alaska, and was starting over…again. Swearing seemed the cool thing to do, but it wasn’t necessary; the kids liked me just as I was. I was a good girl, and a smart girl. Good grades came easily; excellent grades came with a little effort. But I began to let things slide, and then I’d brag about only getting a B or C, like the kids who announced they had failed a test, so I wouldn’t look “nerdy” for being intelligent. At home I wasn’t praised for being good or smart, so it just seemed right to swear with my friends who accepted and liked me.

I was fitting in well. Boys gave me their jackets to wear, and my girlfriends copied my purple eye shadow. My spot was reserved on the bus. No one “called me out” to fight me. My popularity grew and my bad mouth did too. Life away from home was good. But my spiritual life was not. I went to church youth group. I even brought my girlfriends with me. But I wasn’t getting the same teachings at home. I was on my own. The lies crept in, and little pieces of myself began to disappear, as sin took its place.

The cussing continued. I found dirty jokes to be funny, instead of being offended by them. It became normal to drop a curse word if I stubbed my toe. Enemies were called bad names. Sometimes friends were too…after all, we were “just joking.” In reality, I was never really comfortable with crude humor, and it began to disgust me as I got older.

However, the cussing remained throughout my high school, college, teacher and mommy years. I prayed for God to take it away. I could control it in public, but felt relaxed at home, where words would slip out in front of my family when I was angry, scared, frustrated, or surprised. My beautiful children learned the words. I tried to be careful, but apparently wasn’t careful enough. My lovely daughter, on occasion, has gently said with love, “Mommy, don’t say that.” Without judgment, she’s followed it with an affectionate pat on my back. They’ve all given me grace, this family whom I cherish, love, and adore. They understand that childhood trauma has contributed to my stronghold. So they pray for me, and I pray for them. We forgive each other, and we hold each other up when we fall.

There was a time when I would have said I’m ashamed to be a “sailor mama.” But shame comes from the devil, and I’m a child of God. I’m loved in spite of my sin. I’m washed clean in the blood of the lamb. It won’t be held against me, but I want to battle it, because it’s not of God.

While discussing a ministry opportunity with my wise pastor, he told me that uncontrollable cussing can have roots of unforgiveness. Though we were discussing how I could help someone else, it caused me to wonder how I could still struggle with cussing, especially if I’ve pursued Christ and forgiven, in Jesus’ name, the very people in my life who abused, neglected, lied about, and abandoned me. Though the necessary boundaries have been established, I continuously must forgive, and have done it over and over again, many times.

My pastor answered my question by adding that a cussing stronghold can also remain because of unresolved anger and pain; that there is more to it. This made more sense to me, especially because God helps me to control my mouth. After praying, and thinking about it some more, I told him I thought that rejection, abandonment, and abuse cause us to wrestle with fear, anger, and depression. The pain these spirits create, can cause a cussing stronghold. (A stronghold is a sin which has a strong, firm grip on you, and does not want to let go, even when you try to the right thing. Jesus is mighty to conquer strongholds.)

He told me I was on the right track, so when we spoke again, I told him I understood that all of these spiritual issues are intwined, causing great pain. Essentially, each needs to be dealt with, and forgiven, as it is revealed, so that we can be set free. When my pastor validated my thoughts, I was excited to realize God had been answering my questions and helping me to understand the entire relationship surrounding these spiritual issues. We have to seek Jesus for healing and for true freedom. Everything comes down to the forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ, for salvation can only come through God’s Son.

We need to ask God why we are struggling with a cussing stronghold. We may need to forgive someone in the name of Jesus. We may have already forgiven, but there might be unresolved pain from childhood, which we may not even be aware we are carrying. We may have an everyday situation we are dealing with at home or on the job in the workplace. Whichever it is, we are not meant to battle it alone. God promises to go before us.

I constantly battle pain from the past, but because of forgiveness with boundaries, and the healing that only comes from Jesus, that ball of pain is getting smaller and smaller. I can feel God shrinking it, so that it doesn’t affect me the way it once did when the lies come blasting my way. It doesn’t mean it’s resolved, but it does mean that God has me covered because He knows the truth, and I know it too: He loves me, and I am His!

Even though my stronghold is based in past pain, I have forgiven much, just as Jesus has forgiven me. So I had to be honest and ask myself, am I presently harboring any unforgiveness? Then…it dawned on me. The person I need to forgive the most lives in my own house: my husband, who’s a bit of a sailor himself. Who else would a sailor mama need to forgive on a daily basis? Her children? Maybe for some; definitely for some. But for me, it’s easy to forgive my children; they are young and so precious. It’s much more difficult to forgive my husband, young in his brokenness, yet also precious in God’s sight. And of course, I love him, and God loves him even more! Don’t we need to forgive our husbands and wives for the little things that build up day after day, while also forgiving each other for the bigger, and more painful things that people struggle with throughout their marriages. Yes, yes we do.

I know my husband constantly needs to forgive me too. His childhood was no picnic either. We both have baggage. But the silver lining is that my husband and I are works in progress. We are saved by grace. Both of us are children of God, washed white as snow in the blood of the lamb. As we grow in Christ and forgive each other more quickly, the anger will wash away, and the bad words will wash away too. As an added benefit, our children are sanctified, and will struggle less with the strongholds that we overcome together.

Do you have a sailor mouth? Take heart! Don’t let it define you. Pursue God, ask Him to heal you of your pain, so your anger will dissolve, just as the cussing club melted away back in the fourth grade. Forgive your enemies, and especially forgive your loves ones in the name of Jesus. In doing do, don’t forget to forgive yourself. “What can take away your sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus” (author of hymn: Robert Lowry).

“Nor should there by obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” 

Eph. 5:4 

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Eph. 4:32

New International Version

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, 

Please take away my pain, and in its place, fill me with your Holy Spirit and the peace which comes from your healing. Help me to forgive others in your name, just as you have forgiven me for all of my sins. Thank you for loving me, and for taking my place on the cross, so I can live in Heaven with you forever! 

I love you!

 

Christians and Candidates:  Voting for Your President

The Silver Lining is meant to uplift and encourage, so it will not be a place for political debate. However, I want to encourage you to pray, and fast as God calls, before you go to the polls to vote in this crucial election. Our new president could bring hope, healing and continued freedom for the United States of America, or instead bring catastrophic consequences for our country, which cannot be reversed. 

Voting in good conscience, calls for seeking a godly, Christian candidate. A selfless, wise, compassionate problem solver who puts himself under God, instead of above Him, is someone who has our country’s best interests at heart. King David was a small boy, a shepherd, with whom God was well pleased. God chose David to be the king of Israel. God passed over the men who were tall, good-looking, and older. Instead, God chose a lowly shepherd boy with a heart after His own! 

 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

David killed his gigantic enemy Goliath with only a slingshot and a stone! No one else would come near Goliath. But young David went forward with confidence in His God. He even shed the armor that King Saul had given him to wear in battle! It was too uncomfortable! That day the vast army of Philistines turned away and fled in fear; their giant was conquered, and they were terrified. 

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground” (1 Sam. 17:49).

King David was the father of King Solomon, who is still the wisest king who has ever lived! King David’s lineage included Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, God’s own Son. Jesus is the greatest king who ever lived; he was resurrected from the dead, and still lives today!

The bible gives us the best example of characteristics we should be looking for in a king, when we are given the responsibility of choosing one. Who would have imagined that a quiet boy, tending to his sheep, would have become God’s choice for a king? It shows what one is capable of becoming, when he allows God to both lead and fight his battles.  

As Christians, we have a responsibility to come before God, bowing our heads in repentance, asking forgiveness for having followed the ways of the world. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment, so that we can vote for the best candidate to take care of us and our country. We should remember that our country was set on a godly foundation, and God’s laws have not changed today. 

Jesus came to bring us a new covenant, which made the first one obsolete (Heb. 8:13). He became a sin offering for us, through his death on the cross. He is the sacrifice for our sins, which is why we must receive him and ask forgiveness for our sins. This new covenant can be found throughout the New Testament of the bible. If we want God to grant favor on America, we need to vote for a president who is willing to put God first, and obey His covenant, which will result in protection and peace for our country. 

No president, not one king, will be allowed to rule over us, without passing through the hands of God, and first receiving His permission. This means that our new president will only become our president, if it is God’s will. Sometimes this is hard for us to understand, but God has a much greater plan, which we are unable to see. 

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).

Still, God promises that if we fast and pray, he will heal our nation. This means He will hear us and answer our pleas for a good, godly president if His people come together and ask Him!

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

And we will have peace that no matter what, we will have done what God has asked us to do. And if we are God’s children, he will watch over us and protect us, no matter what lays ahead. 

Ask Jesus into your heart. Repent. Ask Forgiveness. Pray. Fast. Vote. Go in peace. God bless you, and God bless America.  

 

Gossip, Lies, and Slander? No worries! God has Your Back!

by Angela Royse Pelleman

The bible tells us we shouldn’t be concerned when others gossip about us.  When others slander us behind our backs, telling lies, it’s so good to know that God has our back!  We can trust in Him completely, because He is Truth, and it will eventually come out.  Those who belong to the Lord don’t have to be discouraged, because when people slander you for walking in truth, you will be set free.  The bible says you will be blessed for it.  “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”  (Matthew 5:10-12 New American Standard).

One day, I sat down specifically looking for bible verses that prove God protects us from slanderous lies.  Immediately, I discovered an email from a spiritual sister who does prayer drawings each day.  She draws, while praying, and then writes her devotion based on the image God has provided.  I opened my email that day to find the perfect verse sitting in front of me:  “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.  Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.  Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.  For I am the Lord, you God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’ ” (Isaiah 41: 11-13 New International Version).

My spiritual sister had been given a drawing of a jester; her devotion was about fools, and how we are not to contend with them.  God has a sense of humor, and confirmed His message, when a co-worker showed up at her door in a silly jester hat she had just made.  Bells and all, she modeled it from the doorway, as my spiritual sister finalized her devotion!  My sister had even prayed her message would reach “someone specific” that day, and that it would be verified.  I was that “someone specific”.  The devotion’s message contained a warning; contending with foolish people robs us of our peace.  God wants us to have peace.  I’m so excited about the freedom that this brings!  This knowledge takes all kinds of stress off my plate!  It means I don’t have to do anything at all, except to trust in my Father God to take care of it for me.

If you are anything like me, your first reaction to gossip, lies, and slander, is to defend yourself.  I used to jump to this immediately.  “Lie about me?  I’m going to set you straight!  I’m going to email you right back and tell you like it really is.  Then, I’m going to call all my friends and family members and tell them what you just did to me, and make sure they know the truth!  How could you do this?  It needs to be fixed…right now!”  No, it doesn’t.  Yes, your name is out there.  Yes they are talking about you.  Lies are told, and your name is being slandered.  The bible itself says, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends”  (Proverbs 16:28).

Perhaps God is allowing this trial, because someone along the way needs to learn a simple lesson: If someone is gossiping to you, then they are gossiping about you.  Everyone gets hurt at some point, and we are all blind until God opens our eyes.  Perhaps healing is needed in someone else’s life, and God has given you the strength to handle it.   Perhaps you need growth in this area yourself.  Sometimes a few hearts get broken along the way. God offers a wealth of advice and warnings throughout the book of Proverbs, in order to help us avoid getting involved in some of these situations.  When things are not our fault, we can take comfort in the fact that God will take care of it at just the right time.

You can get all worked up about it, and lose sleep over losing friends, or you can turn it all over to the Lord, and let Him take care of it all in His perfect timing.  It may be that He’s filtering out “friends” who do not know how valuable you are to God, or “friends” that are unhealthy for you.  Perhaps some of these people are not your “friends” at all.  God may be doing His work through some of these people and you, to accomplish a higher purpose for His glory.  He will not leave you behind while doing this.  He will lavish you with blessings.

Jesus was insulted, spat upon, beaten, and ultimately killed.  He did not deserve it, but he accepted God’s will, because he knew it would give us a chance to be saved.  He loved us that much.  Can we do the same? Even though people sinned and treated him terribly, he overlooked his mistreatment, and still loved, healed and prayed for all sinners.  That means you and me.  “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments” (Luke 23:34 English Standard Version).

When you are slandered, follow God.  God gives boundaries.  Boundaries protect our well -being.  We should pray for people who hurt us, and love them in a Christ-like manner, but we do not have to accept or tolerate behavior that is bad or abusive. “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25 New Living Translation).  People who lie and gossip are angry.  Get away from them, before you become trapped in their webs.  “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard, or swindler.  Do not even eat with such people” (1 Corinthians 5:11). It’s clear that it is acceptable not to communicate with people who slander you.  This is not unforgiveness. In fact, it is obedience to God, and He will protect you and bless you for it.

Jesus also used silence as a boundary.  He knew that his Father, God, would take care of him:  “Then Pilate asked him, ‘Aren’t you going to answer?  See how many things they are accusing you of.’  But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed” (Mark 15: 4-5 NIV).  You are not obligated to answer questions involving slander.  It gives you more free time, and it is liberating for your spirit when you realize you don’t have to do anything at all, except leave it to God!   The bible says so!  “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14 ESV).  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me!  “You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.  These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself.  But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Psalms 50: 20-21 ESV).  Jesus knows all about it.  That’s because he went through it too.

God gives many opportunities for people to ask forgiveness for sin and to truly repent.  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful ad effective” (James 5:16 NIV).  The bible gives clear instructions on how the church is to deal with unrepentant hearts.  The book of Matthew, chapter 18, clearly outlines what should be done.  Until then, boundaries must remain in place.

When there is true repentance for slander, lies, and gossip, there comes a change within a person, a desire to be more like Jesus.  It is possible for a person to change, and turn her life around.  Until God shows you without a doubt, that a person has repented of slanderous behavior and is now living life with a true, Godly change of heart, as difficult as it may be, do not remove the boundary.  “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28 NAS).  Take comfort in the fact that God is the ultimate boundary, and He’s in charge.  All we have to do is follow Him.

A 33-year-old drawing created by Angela when she was in sixth grade. The blonde girl in the foreground is observing three girls in the background. Sadly, two girls are gossiping about the third girl behind her back.

© 2014 Angela Royse Pelleman – The Silver Lining