Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot, Cold, Lukewarm

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

What does it mean to be a lukewarm Christian? Is there such a thing? Do any of these sound like you?
1.       A lukewarm Christian believes in God, but is not quite comfortable sharing Him with others.
2.      A lukewarm Christian presents him/herself one way around believers and another around non-believers.
3.       A lukewarm Christian doesn’t want to lose friends by standing up for their beliefs. Christians are called Christians because they are Christ followers and they believe Gods Holy Word…the Bible. Lukewarm Christians only choose to believe parts of the Bible.
4.      A Lukewarm Christian doesn’t allow God to control their life.
5.       A Lukewarm Christian makes decisions based on life on earth without thinking of eternity.
6.      A Lukewarm Christian lives in the flesh and not the spirit.
7.       A Lukewarm Christian stands up for what the world believes in and not what God calls us to represent.

These above are just a few examples. I have been guilty of some or all of them at one time in my life. Even today, I find there are times that I am convicted of my actions because God has revealed to me that I am not living according to His Word.

This world is ever changing. Daily we are faced with many issues that we must decide which side of the fence we sit on. Christians do not want to appear hypocritical, mean, judgmental, or rude so they bite their tongue when it comes to heavy, soul saving, life changing issues.

I think where Christians at times get hung up is that yes, Jesus wants us to love all. However, many think that a part of loving is to ignore sin and remain quite so as not to hurt anyone’s feeling. Yes, He wants us to be compassionate, caring, giving, and loving. But, part of loving is pointing out sin and standing up for God and His word. Jesus pointed out sin to the sinful often and lovingly, without condemning…“go and sin no more” John 8:11

Below are some verses which explain how God wants us as Christians to be in the world, but not a part of the world. I hope they help you as they have helped me.

1 John 2:15-16 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Matthew 12:30 

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

James 3:10-12 

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Matthew 16:26 

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

2 Timothy 4:3 

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Timothy 3:4 

Treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

1 Peter 3:15 

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…

It is my prayer that I will be a true follower. I pray that those who I disagree with will know that it is not out of hate but out of love. We will never agree with everyone on the same issues. I do not hate those whose opinion differs from mine. Often times with Christians that is not the case, as people will believe I am being close minded and hateful. I only hope that regardless of whether someone thinks I hate them or hate the sin, that at least I am genuine and true to God. I want to be a HOT Christian on fire for God. 

Rachel W. Clark

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

50 Shades (not for young readers)

I know talking about this will spark discussions for and against what I want to say and I welcome both. Recently, someone loaned me 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Not knowing what I was getting myself into I read a few reviews on the book and opened with caution. At first, the book was riveting. I love a good romance. It was fun and playful to remember the feelings of first falling in love. Boy meets girl. Boy pursues girl. Girl daydreams about boy and on and on.
Within the turn of a single page, however, the book takes on a dark, twisted, and distorted view of relationships. I am not known for my ability to stomach harshness, crudeness, or vulgarity so it is no surprise to some that this book would not be on my top ten list of must reads. In fact, I ended up turning to the last two pages of the book to see how it ended and gave it back to the person who loaned it to me without finishing it.
What I did read from the book is enough to have based an opinion. I fully believe in the sexual unity of a man and wife according to God’s word and believe that it is a gift meant to give pleasure and for our personal enjoyment. I do not believe that it is meant for abuse, domination, submission or unhealthy fantasies.
The characters in the book are Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Christian’s good looks and what some may call “charm” instantly rivet Anastasia. She craves to know more about him. His success, intelligence and good looks make Anastasia feel like a giddy schoolgirl because his interest in her, regardless of the warning signals that she feels within, make her think she must be important to have his caught HIS eye. As their “relationship” begins to grow, so does the dark and mysterious ways of Christian Grey.
My intent is not to give the book away for those that have not read the series. However, I do want to point out a few things that made my decision to put the book down emanate.
1.      If sex was designed by God for a man and wife’s pleasure, this book quickly knocks that down. Two people who barely know one another engage in borderline abusive sex.
2.      God created man and woman equally in His image. This book takes the role of submissiveness to a whole new level by making the act of sex what a man DOES to a woman, rather than an act of love given from a man and woman to each other.
3.      God made woman to bring out the best in a man and to be his partner. Grey’s acts of dominance, requirements of discipline and obedience, and complete control over every aspect of Steele’s life are forms of abuse to make Steele feel she can’t live without him.
I am not naïve enough to believe everyone will agree with me or that my review will make someone who is intent on reading it, stop from doing so. However, I want to caution my Christian friends who want to read this book. I believe that with the right frame of mind, it can be read. The only way it should be read is cautiously and with the intent to form an opinion to share with our culture in hopes that it will bring someone to Christ.
We all have needs and desires that we seek to fulfill in ways God did not intend. This book, I feel is a danger to the single woman who wants to remain pure and the wife who feels her needs are not being met by her spouse. There is a reason we have wants and desires that we seek temporary fulfillment for. Because deep down we know our every need cannot be met by anyone or anything. That is where I encourage each of you to look towards God. He designed and created us and only He can satisfy completely. And His love is not abusive, nor is it dominant or penalizing.

Rachel W. Clark

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blessed and Loved and a Giveaway

I was feeling a little down and a bit overwhelmed when a package arrived at my door. Forgetting that I had been given a great opportunity to review some fabulous DaySpring products for free, I tore into the package as fast as I could. Who sent me a gift?

Oh, my DaySpring products!!!! Inside the package was the beautiful Blessed and Loved Collection.

I was so excited as I looked through each item. Which one should I use first??

The adorable teacup? I imagined sipping a nice hot cup of tea outside on my porch with my blanket and my Bible.

The beautiful journal? Maybe I will use this for making notes as I read my Bible. Oh look, there are inspirational verses on each page.

The perpetual calendar? I can totally use this at work for a great pick me up.

A gift bag? Wait a minute…you know what? I believe I will use this gorgeous gift bag to share a part of these great products with someone special to make them smile as I am smiling.

I chose to share the journal with my sister. That was the right decision. When I handed her the gift bag she smiled and commented on how pretty it was. Her smile got even bigger once she pulled out the journal! “It looks just like the bag. Cute!!”

Since I have received these great products I have been blessed each day as I turn to a new day in my calendar. The inspirational passage greats me and reminds me just how much I am loved.

I am so excited to have been given this chance to review some fabulous products. But want to know what is even better??? They have given me the opportunity to host a giveaway so that you can purchase the Blessed and Loved Collection at a discounted price or to browse their site and choose your own gift.

All you have to do is leave a comment in the section below explaining how utterly excited you are that you could win a $20 coupon to use towards any purchase you choose to make from

I am so thankful to be a part of the review team with Dayspring and cannot tell you how Blessed and Loved I feel with my collection. (pun is intended)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Does This Good Girl Need Grace?

Only finished Chapter 1 of Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman and already I am nervous regarding what I will discover about myself. I am not perfect, was not perfect nor ever will be perfect. My life is not perfect, was not perfect nor ever will be perfect.

Someone once told me, “Yes, you have accepted Christ but you have not accepted Grace.”

You see, I have a deep desire to be perfect. I even pray that God will help me to become a better wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, granddaughter, employee….Christian. I tell myself that it is not perfection I am seeking, only to grow more. To grow more spiritually and as a human being. But is that really what I mean?

Or do I mean, please love me. Please let others like me. Please give me validation. Please show me I am lovely. Please be pleased with me. And I will “work” to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Even if it mean striving for perfection. Please just love me Lord.


Rachel W. Clark

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But Today....

A Year Ago Today:

I was sobbing uncontrollably.

I experienced one of the worst days of my life.

I surprisingly confided in someone I just met who saw my hurt and reached out to me.

I was filled with pain, anxiety, frustration and fear.

But Today:

I am smiling and peaceful.

I am stronger.

I am thankful for the new friend in my life that turned into a true friend.

I am learning to let those comments people make about me that are untrue roll off my back a little easier.

There were no tears and the sun was shining on me and inside of me.

We all have seasons in our life. They can be seasons of darkness and pain or of light and laughter. I am thankful that God’s promises always remain true no matter what season of our life we are in...

He will never leave nor forsake us…( Hebrews 13:5)

We will be delivered if we lean on Him ..(Psalm 91:14)

Rachel W. Clark

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Until Then

It sure has been a while since I have sat down and shared what was on my mind, in my heart and flowing in my soul. Writing for me has always been a huge passion. It has always been the best way I could express myself. If I owed someone an apology, I wrote a letter. If I needed to confront someone, I wrote a letter. If my heart was overflowing with so much love that I had to express it or burst, I wrote a letter.
So why after 20+ years, writing has become a stranger to me? Why is it that something that once flowed so freely from within can't break through this wall that has been built up?
Because I have helped build that wall and only I know how to tear it down.
Sitting here and "talking" to you all on a regular basis and opening up my heart, revealing to strangers my innermost thoughts, suddenly became a "fear" of mine. Being a blessing to someone who may be going through the same thing as me suddenly became scary because I suddenly became accountable for all I said. If I told you to hold on to God even if you did not feel His presence, it meant that I had to. If I told you to pray for others instead of being angry at them, it meant I had to. If I told you to hold your head high when your heart was breaking, it meant I had to.
The pressure was too much for me...And I honestly did not realize that this is why I was holding back until I just NOW grabbed my computer, logged onto blogger and started typing.
God revealed to me that I have not allowed grace to lead me through this process of sharing. Instead, I was letting the fear of failure stop me. And STOP me, it did.
I can't promise that I will be able able to sit here daily, weekly or even monthly and share what I have on my mind and in my heart with you like I used to. But I can promise that from here on out if that is what God WANTS me to do, I will try.
Until then........

Rachel W. Clark

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I am not forgotten!

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (Psalm 43: 5 KJV)

Today, I have been feeling slightly blah; a little downhearted, a little mope-y. Maybe it is changes in my life, maybe it is that I missed the much needed encouragement of fellowship with my Christian family today, or maybe it is a little bit of both.

Needing encouragement and support that can only come from one place, I diligently and desperately prayed to God tonight for His guidance and direction. I sank into a warm bath with my Bible in hand, closed my eyes and asked God to lead me to the place I needed to be; for Him to answer my hearts cry with wisdom from His word.

I opened to Psalm 43. I read, read and re-read. I felt God answer me- “Hope in - Me…. Praise - Me….Rely on - Me….” God’s timing was perfect and His answer to my prayer for wisdom left me feeling loved and renewed.

Encouragement is what I sought;it is what I prayed for God to give me. After already feeling blessed by His answer to my prayer, I felt a deeper tug from Him to look up the definition of “countenance” (who is the health of my countenance)

What did I see? approval or favor; encouragement; moral support---

He said to me yes, Rachel I approve of you and I favor you. I want to be your encouragement and I will always be your support.

Fill in the blank with your name: Yes ______ I approve of you and I favor you. I want to be your encouragement and I will always be your support.

Love, Rachel