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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / A Work in Progress Welcome Guest
    A Work in Progress
          My journey seeking God and trying to be what He wants me to be.

    Sun, Nov 26th - 8:15PM

    Consequences of sin



    I'm back from visiting my family for Thanksgiving.  It's so great to get to see everybody gathered together in one place.  This year we were missing several people as the kids are growing up and have other committments and couldn't all make it home. 

    There have been several things recently that have really opened my eyes to the far reaching consequences of sin.  Someone I know is going through a very difficult, painful situation that has its roots in a sin that was committed about 25 years ago.  His family and entire life are being destroyed due to the consequences of this sin.  The sin? Fornication.  Just last week I found out that a sin I committed over 10 years ago has the potential to destroy everything careerwise that I had planned for the rest of my life.  My sin was that my exhusband and I lived together for a period when we tried to reconcile after our divorce. 

    The world wouldn't think much of either one of these sins.  In the eyes of the world, who even believes that fornication is a sin anymore? Yet in the case of my friend, families are being destroyed and a church is being shattered.  In my case, I have spent years pursuing an education in a field where I may never be allowed to practice.  I'm scheduled to graduate in a few weeks with highest honors, summa cum laude, but will it turn out to have all been for nothing? I guess I should explain that my ex was abusive and there are multiple police records where I had to call for help.  These very cries for help could possibly keep me from fulfilling my dreams.  I've been open and honest with those in authority in my school from day one and they didn't feel that there was a problem, but it turns out that the state may feel differently.  It looks like I'm going to have to request medical records detailing counseling sessions that cover not only the abuse that occurred in my marriage, but also some VERY painful things from my childhood.  Not only might I have to submit these records to the state, but also to every company at which I apply for a job.  Can't you just see your average Joe Blow in an HR department reading through every detail of my private life? Some things are so full of pain and shame that you don't want others knowing about them.  I'm really having to cling to God through this.  It hurts so much.

    Anyway, back to what I was saying...Sin has very far reaching consequences.  Look at the life of King David.  Not only did his child die, but his family was in turmoil and Absalom tried to overthrow him.  If we could ever see all of the consequences of our sins before we sinned, I don't think we would do most of the things that we do.

    Do you think the good things that we do have consequences that are just as far reaching?  It doesn't seem right that the consequences of bad things would so outreach the consequences of good things.  Maybe the reality is that the consequences of our good actions stretch to Heaven and are eternal.   That makes me feel much better to think of it that way.  Good does triumph in the end!

    Please pray for my friend, his family, and his church.  They're hurting.



    Comment (4)

    Wed, Nov 22nd - 1:22AM

    Thanksgiving



    I will be leaving in the morning to go out of town for Thanksgiving and won't be back until Sunday.  I probably won't have a chance to write until then, so I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  Let's all remember the true reason for this holiday which is to thank God for His provision in our lives during the previous year.

    Father, I thank you for helping me through this last year.  It hasn't been easy, but your grace is sufficient.  Because of your love and care for me through the last year I can sing the old hymn "It is Well with My Soul" and mean it.

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blessed assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



    Comment (1)

    Tue, Nov 21st - 6:12PM

    Following God



    I get so confused sometimes when it seems that everybody has a different belief of who and what God is and what the bible actually says.  I decided yesterday to truly study the gospels, not just read through them.  I want to know God better and how better to know Him than to study Jesus? After all, Jesus said in John 14:9 that "He that hath seen me hath seen the father." And in Hebrews 1:3 we are told that Jesus was the "express image of His person." I am asking God to reveal Himself to me through His word.  I don't want someone else's interpretation of what God was saying, I want the Holy Spirit to teach me.  Isn't it wonderful the way the Holy Spirit can open your eyes and your understanding to a scripture that you have read seemingly hundreds of times before? I love those moments of revelation.  What was hidden is suddenly so plain that you wonder how you could have missed that so many times before.

    I started in Matthew last night.  I was reading chapter two where the Magi followed the star to Jerusalem.  They spoke with Herod who sent them on their way to Bethlehem.  In verse 9 we are told that the star went ahead of them.  I always took that to mean that the star was leading the way.  But last night I really noticed verse 10 for the first time..."When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." The Magi had followed the star all the way to Jerusalem and then it went ahead of them to Bethlehem.  The Magi continued on their way to Bethlehem without the star to guide them.  They traveled on to Bethlehem trusting that God, who had led them that far, would show them what to do when they reached Bethlehem.  When they reached Bethlehem, the star was already there over "the place where the child was." (v.9)

    Now I don't know about you, but if I were following a star that God had provided and it suddenly left before I reached my destination, I would be full of doubt.  I would be questioning myself where I had gone wrong. Had I grieved the Holy Spirit? Had God given up on me? When all along, God's provision was already there, waiting in Bethlehem. 

    This verse may have been something that was obvious to everybody else from day one, but it just really stood out to me last night.  Maybe God is trying to tell me something. I think I let all the stressors that are currently in my life cause me to doubt God's continual love and presence.  I need to relax and trust that even when things seem darkest, God will never leave me on my own.  He already has the answer to my problems ready up ahead, I just have to continue in Him.



    Comment (5)

    Mon, Nov 20th - 8:20PM

    Help us, God



    My husband and I just got back from visiting my stepson.  He is incoherent today and saying bizarre things.  I think cancer must be one of the most horrible ways to die.  I look at my stepson now and it's so hard to reconcile what he is now with what he was just a year ago.  Watching the life slowly seep out of someone until there's nothing left except an empty shell is so difficult.  He's so thin now that he is literally skin and bones.  He's so thin that I could actually watch his heart beating between his ribs when we had to take his shirt off.  For a week now he has been talking to himself saying that he wishes he would go ahead and die.  How much suffering and pain is enough? When is it okay to start praying for someone to die?

    I hear my husband crying out to God asking Him to take him instead of his son.  What do you say to something like that? What can I offer in the face of such pain? The only answer is God and he doesn't want to hear that.

    My husband is becoming more and more angry with God.  He says things like, "God gave His son and now He's taking my son, so I guess we're even."  I understand the anger, but he's cutting himself off from the greatest source of comfort there is.

    God, we need your mercy.



    Comment (3)

    Sun, Nov 19th - 10:12PM

    My introduction (kind of long)



    I've never had a blog before.  I guess since I'm new I'll tell a little about myself.  I registered as anonymous hoping that my family won't see it and know it's me.  Everyone in my family seems to be completely convinced that they know "the" way to God and if you don't agree with them...well, your eternity isn't looking that good.  I don't exactly agree with them, so it makes it a little tough on me at times.

    I was raised Independent Baptist.  My parents were very active in church, but later divorced when I was 11 and neither one attended church for years.  When I was a teen I started attending a Southern Baptist church on my own and was saved.  It was the typical story of backsliding and sporatic church attendance for years.  Due to some traumatic experiences in my life, I decided that God didn't like me and had it in for me.  I made a "deal" with God that if He would just leave me alone, that I would leave Him alone. 

    God reached me through Christian TV.  I wasn't really sure about some of the things I saw and heard at first, but I later came to believe the Pentecostal/Word of Faith teachings.  Over the next few years I did grow as a Christian, but the more I grew, the more troubled I was by the Word of Faith teachings I was hearing.  God really did teach me through two particular Word of Faith teachers and I was finally able to forgive some horrible things that had been done to me in my childhood.  I'm not saying these two men are good or bad because I know God can speak through a donkey if He wants to.  However, it seemed that the entire Word of Faith movement started taking a huge swing toward teaching prosperity.  Something inside of me just couldn't buy the "send me $10 and God will give you $1000" teachings that I was hearing.  I became so confused and discouraged by these things that I quit going to church and resolved to know nothing except "Jesus Christ and Him crucified."

    Fast forward to the present.  My stepson has cancer.  He's in the final stages.  This has been the worst year of my life.  I never understood how horrible it is to watch a person die with cancer.  I'm also in nursing school.  Combine the stress of nursing school, my stepson having cancer, and a brand new marriage and you end up with me starting to have what looked like some serious health problems of my own.  I had nowhere to turn and was feeling so lost and afraid.  I began to turn back to God.  I initially gravitated toward the Word of Faith group because that's all that I had really known.  I just couldn't do it. 

    Now I'm searching for the truth.  I've been very drawn to the Chinese church because they seem to have such devotion and love for God.  Before I even started studying the Chinese church, I had been praying to God asking for the right church.  I found what I thought was a good local church, but lately I've been wondering.  The pastor has mentioned prosperity a couple of times and it's making me uneasy.  He doesn't preach about it, just mention that it's God's will for the church today.  Anyway, I was so hungry for a church like in the book of Acts and that's what I kept telling God.  Maybe that's why I've been so drawn to the Chinese church.  I feel so much love for these people I've never met and I want to help them any way that I can.

    It was through reading the biography of a member of the Chinese church (Brother Yun) that I first heard of Times Square Church.  I started listening to some of their sermons online.  What a wonderful church! What a privilege that we live in a time when we have access to the word of God that is being taught around the world.

    I think God is leading me in the direction of the truth, but it's a process.  I keep praying that God will not let me be led astray by winds of doctrine.  First He led me to the books and sermons of Corrie ten Boom.  Her quiet faith and confidence in God have been very soothing to me in this season of my life.  Then He led me to study the Chinese church.  Their devotion to God shames us here in the United States.  What most of us "Christians" here in the US have is not true Christianity.  I think maybe Americans have heard the gospel so often that our hearts are hardened.  I am also intrigued by some works of Tertullian that I have read recently.  I am thinking about studying his works.  I know that some believe he later converted to Montanism, but some feel his beliefs were actually the same as modern Pentecostals.  If I study his works I guess I will find out for myself.  I am learning more and more to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me and not let me be led astray by winds of doctrine or those who preach to ones with "itching ears."  I feel that I am finally moving in the direction of God's plan for my life.  I just keep praying that the Holy Spirit will teach me and I won't be lead astray. 

    Please pray for me and I will share with you as I learn.  Please share with me what you have found.  However, I want to state up front that I'm not looking for a feel good, self centered, prosperity kind of faith.  I want to reach into the realm of darkness and sin and offer a hand to those who are dying.  I want to lead those who would be our brothers and sisters in Christ to salvation.  I want to place bibles in the hands of people in the Middle East and China.  I just want to stay on my knees pouring out my heart and my tears for these people.  I don't understand what this is inside of me.  I've never felt this way before, but everything else in life seems trivial in comparison.  



    Comment (3)

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