Be sure to visit the blogs. They have really blessed many and helped them deal with the daily things we face by applying the Word of God. I update it about every day, so just go to Linda's Blogs and the current one for the day will display. You can also go back and read the older ones as well. But these are "hot off the press" things that I'm going through at the moment. I believe they will be of help to someone needing a little encouraging every day. Some of the blogs are teachings, some are revelations, some are insights, but I believe they are all life changing, because they have changed my life.
Pure in Heart
I want to share something that perhaps will help you in your own life. And if you have been keeping up with my past newsletters, you will see that I am honest and transparent, and true with you, the readers, at what God is doing in my life. This one is no different, except it goes a bit deeper and could cause judgment - towards me! I hope that it doesn't, but that this encourages you and builds you up in truth, because as a minister, if I had issues in this area, perhaps you do too? Remember, I am human just like the next person, and have things to continue working through as I follow the Lord.
This morning I woke up and something flooded my mind that isn't something we will easily want to do, but if we want to live a pure life with a pure heart, and if we truly love the Lord God, we will need to re-evaluate some things in our life. The Bible says that "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Now, I know we are under grace, but do we go around killing people? No. Do we go around committing adultery? Well, no. Do we go around coveting the neighbors things? Hmm... Some of us are doing these very things and not even knowing it!! How? Because what we bring into our house, we partner with and agree with. So you ask, "When do I allow this in my home?" What do you watch on TV? Ouch!
The past few weeks I've been staying up late at night, sometimes past midnight, catching up on shows I recorded from the TV. First, that's not wise anyway, I need to go to bed at a decent hour. But I was justifying it by saying, "I worked all day in ministry, writing books, reading the Word, I need some relaxing time." But what I'm getting at is that the shows I recorded may not be the best for me to watch. (I know this, but I still did it!) I find it interesting that when I do ministry, sometimes I cast out spirits such as fear, anger, adultery, death, hell and destruction... then only to watch movies and shows with all these things IN them! Yikes! I didn't see it clearly until this morning!! (The truth is God has been talking to me all along, but it took NOW to get the revelation for change.) Man, I was being deceived, and self-deceived in thinking it's okay to watch things on TV that I wouldn't even DO myself! I'm sure you can think of things you are watching that actually pierces your heart, but because you like the story and other parts of it, you continue watching it anyway.
So I am going to be aggressive today and clean off my recording choices, clean out my video collection, which I have been wanting to do for a long time anyway. However, never knew the "measure" to know what shows to keep or not. Every time I would clean out my collection, it was like I had soul ties or something to some of them and didn't want to let them go - even though I hadn't watched them in years. Well, just perhaps some of my health issues or problems could be associated with not being "pure in heart." But I had tried to clean them out in the past, but still kept most of them, justifying in my head to keep them. I suppose I could just clean out all R rated, etc., but that's not enough, because there are even evil things going on in G rated too! I am going to let the Holy Word be the "rating" not Holly Wood! Hmm... a play on words here... Holy Word, vs. Holly Wood!
This really hit home after I attended a church service last night as a scripture was quoted: Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." I had memorized this scripture years ago, but never saw it in this light before. Up until now, I had already been seeking the Word and memorizing scriptures so that my mind would think on these things. I was finding freedom, peace, and joy, good things began happening in my life, opportunities to teach and share my heart with others, awesome things going on now. I have received so much healing by getting my mind on things of God, not things of this world! Without really realizing it, only to fill my mind with "junk" each evening that could be hindering things God wants for me. Not really focusing on the fact that the shows and movies I watch contradict these things. After all, there is only a little sex, a little violence, a little evil and perversion.. But we become "numb" to those things, but at one time we were abhorred! After submitting to these things long enough, our conscious gets "seared by a hot iron" and we don't flinch any longer, it's just not a big deal any longer. We have been duped! And sucked into the lie. It actually waters down any compassion too... but that's another story...
This reminds me of a story I heard once. A teenager asked her father if she could go to the movies with her friends. He asked, "What is the rating?" She said, "R" but daddy, there isn't any sex actually, just pretense, and there isn't too much cussing." He said, "Sorry, but that's a big No." She went away to her room where her friends were waiting, and told them she couldn't go. A bit later the dad goes into her room with a plate full of brownies. He said, "I know you wanted to go to the movies, so I decided to make something to cheer you up. These are the best brownies ever, I only used the best and freshest ingredients. However, I added something a little extra. Just a teeny tiny teaspoon of dog poop. But all the other ingredients are good! Did those girls eat the brownies? Hmmm.... what are we eating?
This sounds like a pretty good measuring tape against what I watch! Then so many other scriptures come to mind like: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind." There are many christians who thrive on being scared! It's a thrill... But it's sin! And I would imagine some of these individuals have issues in their life that they can't seem to get free from! Sin is sin, and we have to take accountability for it. Matthew 22:37-40 says to love God with my whole, heart, mind and strength. What am I doing when I fill my mind with these things? Am I loving God? Do you know how many people ask me, "How do I love God with my whole, heart, mind and strength?" Well, that's what I'm talking about here. Because anything contrary to the Word of God, is sin. It seems like the shows we watch is a small thing to have to deal with, but remember where the Bible talks about the little foxes that spoil the vine? Even one DROP can leaven the whole lump. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. One drop of dog poop can ruin a batch of brownies? You get the picture? I have.
So as I just started thinking of the movies I have in my shelf, I can already see so many I don't need to have there. And this is even harder to do, throw them away not sell them or give them to the thrift stores for a tax write off! Yikes!!!
It reminds me of a story in the Old Testament where all those who had books and materials and tools that taught you how to read the future, cast spells, etc., and they repented, brought all those things to a big gathering where they threw it all into the fire. They said that the costs of those things were in the thousands of dollars! Yet, they didn't sell those things for profit, they destroyed them so others didn't fall into that same trap.
This is aggressive my dear friends, cause I know how much each DVD and VHS (well if you still have those) costs!! But, do we want to DO the Word or just hear it and go about our business? In James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." I had been self-deceived thinking it was okay to have these things going on in my own home! Again, whatever you watch on TV, would you do? Would you have relations with another person's spouse? What do we watch on Desperate Housewives? How about brothers and sisters? What about "2 and a half men?" I hear some saying, "What's the harm in that?" Can I be frank? (well you know I'm Linda) What you don't know can hurt your! We are opening our hearts and minds to sexual impurity and not even knowing it. America has so much sexual crimes and it ought not to be so. But many of these individuals have been fed from the TV!
Now here's a hard one! Would we have people being murdered in our own home? What do we watch on all those crime shows, etc? Ouch! Now again, I said this was aggressive! How about some of the news stations? They talk only of the BAD in the world, there are news stations that may talk about it, but then give hope in their messages, like 700 Club, Jack Van Impe Presents, Bill Ramsey, etc.
Now I'm not against entertainment, I love entertainment, but at what cost? In my last blog I talked about murmuring and complaining? I wonder if these shows have fed me "murmuring and complaining" too? We have to get rid of all things that we have in our power to get rid of out of our lives. Now, we don't need to get rediculous because that can only lead to judgment and pride. There are certainly things we simply cannot avoid seeing, and in those cases, we pray for those individuals IN the show, or on the billboard, and their creators. We are to love and forgive! Not judge and condemn. Otherwise, we are sinning there too!
But you see what I'm saying. It's a choice we have to make. We need to "do" the Word as James says. Will we? or will we continue dwelling (habitually choosing to) in these things? We are to keep our mind and heart on things above not on things on the earth. I have some repenting and changing to do, do you?
I do know that God wants us to be pure in heart, but if we are being filled every day with this stuff, how can we?
I have been working on a book that is being published called "What Was I thinking?" It's about our thoughts and how they can make us or break us. One day as I was talking with Tom, I realized that the reason I wasn't feeling good that day was because of the stuff in my head. Then he responded by saying, "I don't feel good either because of the stuff in your head." We both laughed.
You know that song from Mary Poppins... "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?" Well, I know that is what God does. He gives you a really good shot of truth, but then puts a bit of sugar on it to go down smoothly. That's what Tom and I go through all the time. Because in everything we learn, we end up laughing!