Thursday, March 12, 2015

First Fruits

I've been thinking about first fruits a lot the past few days. God's people were told several times to bring the first of their crops and offer them to God, sometimes as a sacrifice and sometimes as a gift to the Levites (the priests) so they would have food to eat. The first of the people's grain, the first sheer of the sheep, the best of their oil, the first of their wine, their first and often times best of their harvest was to be given away.

Bringing our "first fruits" today typically means giving financially of the first certain percent of our income. We write a check and give a tithe first, each time we are paid, before we spend the money on anything else. It's pretty simple, pretty easy, and almost never feels like a sort of sacrifice. It is (in my opinion) one of the most simple and most easy of the spiritual disciplines.

Our household has been out of fresh food for a few days now. And since I spent a little more money than usual on the past two shopping trips restocking pantry staples and other odds and ends, it will be another week or so before I can go ahead to the store. Sure we have money that I could go shopping now, but that would defeat the purpose of a budget wouldn't it?

And if I'm just being honest I don't like when we don't have a refrigerator and counter top full of fresh leafy greens, vegetables and fruits. I just don't. I want to eat a salad every day. I want to have fresh juicy fruit. I want to have lots of fresh veggies to put in all our meals. And it is sad to say but after about 3 or 4 days of going without, it starts to feel like a real *sacrifice* if I am even permitted to use such a term in this context. And to imagine going another week or maybe more without fresh foods feels really dreary to me. I'm not talking about going without, we still have two freezers full of foods, fruits and veggies, grains and beans, soups and dips, nuts and broths. We still have a pantry overflowing with tomatoes, beans, rice, noodles, flour, and spices. We will not go hungry by any stretch of the imagination. But I am so spoiled with the access to so much variety of produce and having fresh produce all year long, I rarely have to go without.

So to imagine going all this winter living off dried and canned and salted foods, even in our modern world having frozen foods too. To imagine living off bread and legumes for months on end. And then finally to see the berries ripening on the vines. To see tomatoes and bell peppers and cantaloupe, sweet corn and watermelon and cucumbers!! And to have our mouths watering just longing to bite in to them and taste the juicy fresh taste of the crops. And then have to wait longer..... Because the best fruits, the first fruits, we had to harvest and clean and prepare and take them to the Lord.... Now THAT feels like sacrifice. THAT is something a whole lot harder to give than a check from a banking account.

Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. -Proverbs 3:9-10

You shall give him [the Levitical priest] the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil, and the first shearing of your sheep. For the Lord your God has chosen him and his sons from all your tribes, to stand and serve in the name of the Lord forever. -Deuteronomy 18:4-5

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Praying for Iraq

I don't usually do the whole "change your photo to support a cause" idea, but I'm at such a loss of even being able to grasp and comprehend the unthinkable evil that our brothers and sisters are facing in Iraq. We need to pray. Actually, really pray. Not just say, "That's terrible! Praying!" and then go right back to enjoying our lives of ceaseless luxuries and unending comforts forgetting about our family in Christ. Each time we look at our children or grandchildren we need to be reminded to pray for the safety of these innocent lives being taken. Each time we see our mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, we need to be reminded to pray for the many lives ones running and hiding in order to escape this travesty. Surely we know that our government isn't the answer and help they need, not really. Surely we realize the evil is in the heart of man and no government can stop that. Only The Almighty, The Sovereign Lion of Judah who has delivered and protected his remnant since the beginning can address the evil in hearts of men.

But today I changed my profile photo on facebook to this photo of the Arabic letter "N" which is what is being put on the homes of Christian's in Iraq so they may be targeted and killed.  We can't forget them, we need to remember to pray and keep praying!!

Please be praying this prayer with me... Our Gracious Father, we seek your intervention and beg for the deliverance of your people. We praise You because You are worthy to be praised. We know that only You can protect Your children from evil and that You would make a way for them where there seems to be no way. Help us to remember them in our prayers that we may bring them before you continuously. In Christ's Holy Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Lord's Supper

If you're coming late the party then you might not know that it is "Holy Week."  We're celebrating and reenacting and remembering all of the events that happened the week before Jesus died and came back to life.

Today (Thursday) has lots of names.  Some of us call it Maundy Thursday.  Often it is referred to simply as Holy Thursday.  I have even heard it referred to as Sheer Thursday.

Whatever you decide to call it, today is the day we remember the events that happened the night before Jesus died on the cross.  The account of Holy Thursday is very familiar to most of us.  Even for those of us who aren't super religious or may not go church very much, we have a pretty good idea what happened on "this day" in the Holy week.

Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples.  He washed their feet and told them to wash each other's feet as well.  He enacted the Lord's supper by breaking bread from the table and offering up a cup of wine calling them His body and blood.  He told his disciples to remember Him each time they broke the bread together and shared in the wine.  He called out Judas and predicted his betrayal.  He gave them the commandment to "love one another as I have loved you."

So each year we remember and celebrate that day and the events that took place.

But each week we take time to celebrate and remember The Lord's Supper, The Last Supper, The Breaking of Bread, Communion.  (We really are not satisfied in the Church unless we name and rename and have more names for each event in the Bible.....)

We listen to Scripture read, we maybe hear a short devotional thought on what Communion is, we bow our heads solemnly and very reverently take a tiny bite of a wafer or a piece of bread and we drink a tiny sip of grape juice and we remember that Jesus gave his body and shed his blood on the cross so that we could have forgiveness and eternal life and salvation through Him.

And I am glad we do that.  Trust me, I'm glad.  It's by far my "favorite" part of the service.  I need that weekly reminder to draw my heart back to the Cross.  That's the central focus of my faith and without that short time set aside for The Lord's Supper each week I would not so easily remember what Jesus did.

But Communion in our church, in most church buildings and among most church families, looks like a ritualistic time of sacrament more than it does a meal.

When Jesus first gave the example to his disciples, they were gathered around a table.  They were already enjoying the Passover meal together.  There were cups of wine on the table just as there would have been for almost every meal and certainly for every Passover meal.  There was bread on the table just like there would have been for every supper together.  And Jesus took what was there, used a common food and a common drink and gave his disciples a new way to remember Him once He was gone.

He knew He was about to leave them.  He knew they would forget his sacrifice, and they would need to be reminded all the time.  So he made sure they would have a simple way to reflect back on His death on the cross and remember His new covenant.

In Acts we know that the disciples were continually meeting together and breaking bread together.  They were continually (daily?  more than daily??) meeting together with the Church, sharing in meals together, sharing bread, sharing wine, and remembering Jesus....continually.

Jesus was the topic of conversation around the supper table.  I imagine when the women were baking the bread they were thinking about Jesus and how his body broke on the cross.  When someone started pouring the wine, they were telling and retelling the story of Jesus' blood being poured out and how terrible his death was and how grateful they were for his sacrifice.

Picture it.  This is what communion was.  That is what communion is.

It's important we remember that Jesus was using common elements that were easy for his followers to understand, common elements like bread and wine. 

I don't mean to say communion isn't holy and that it isn't sacred and that it isn't special.  It is.  Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:27 that whoever eats and drinks it in a unworthy manner will be guilty of the blood and body of Christ.  It is holy.  It is sacred.  It is special.

But I don't think it was ever intended to be *just* a mere moment of silence during our worship services where we have a pinch of bread and a sip of wine.  It has to be more.  We have to guard our hearts that it not become a mere religious act.

My husband and I were talking recently about how some churches and some people don't let their children partake in communion until they are baptized or until their children fully understand the weight and meaning of communion.  I would encourage you, if you have children that you begin to share the Lord's supper with them.  Baptized or not baptized, old or young, whether they understand its meaning or not.  As parents we make sure our children partake in lots of acts before they fully understand their meaning.  We make them start brushing their teeth long before they understand the concept of a cavity, we tell them we love them before they are old enough or mature enough to grasp the abstract concept of love, and we prompt them to say please and thank you years before we begin to teach them what those manners and expressions of gratitude really mean.

Our 1 and 3 year old sons take communion with us and we simply tell them to say "Thank you, Jesus, for your body." and "Thank you, Jesus, for your blood."

Jesus said to let the little children come to Him and do not hinder them for His Kingdom belongs to such as these.  (Matthew 19:14)

This was a meal that Jesus used to encourage and build up and strengthen his followers.  I truly believe He meant for all of his followers then and all of His followers to come to remember His death and His sacrifice.  To be continually reminded so that we wouldn't forget.  I don't think, judging from what we read in the gospels and in 1 Corinthians and in Acts that what is BEST for us to is limit The Lord's Supper to a few brief moments, to a pinch and a sip, and to ban and bar our children from partaking in it, even if that's the way we are used to doing it.  Even if that's the way we've always done it.  Because that isn't the way it's always been done.

Maybe this Thursday we could decide that we want to partake in the Lord's supper together with our family.  Maybe we could decide to start baking bread or buying bread and juice to have at our meals at home on Sundays or Saturdays or Tuesdays.  Maybe we could think about forming the habit of taking bread and juice or wine to the next church potluck in lieu of our cake and casserole so that when we meet together to have that meal, we as a church family could break the bread and drink the cup and remember Jesus.  Maybe we could start searching our hearts and start asking ourselves if we would like to begin including our children in the Lord's Supper on Sundays, even if they might not fully grasp its meaning.  (Maybe we don't fully grasp its meaning either....)

Let's not waste this "Holy" Thursday by just reading our familiar Bible text and have a feel-good moment about Jesus washing our feet.

Instead, let's change and grow in at least one tiny way, let's remember Him, actually REMEMBER HIM and find a way to remember Him more often.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Doing the Very Thing I Hate

This week celebrates by far my favorite "holiday" of the year.  I love the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday and all that it entails.  I love, love, love, the extra church services, the extra reminders of Christ's death on the cross, his victory over that death, the reminder of God's Passing Over and freeing his people from slavery, the 'first' Last Supper Meal, the reminder of why we have communion each week, the focus on our forgiveness and the reminder of God's grace.  I love it.

You know what I don't love?


And unfortunately, just like Santa Claus with Christmas, and chocolate with Valentine's Day the two go hand in hand in our culture.

(This is *not* going to be rant about Easter.  I'm sure I have written about that elsewhere if you're so inclined to know more about why our family does not celebrate it.)

This *is* going to be about how no matter how good our intentions are, how much we strive to rid our lives of distractions, pagan rituals, sinful habits, unhealthy behaviors, impurities and the funk and gunk that clogs our hearts and minds, we are always fighting a battle against our flesh.


The closer my relationship becomes with God, the more ways (and more creative ways) I see Satan at work in my heart.  And you know what?  I let Satan have a pretty easy job because my flesh is so stinkin' weak and wicked it actually sickens me.

Ever heard a well meaning testimony-giver tell you about their Life Verse?  This is neat idea and I don't mean to knock it....a lot of people will share their testimony and then read a bible verse that has become their Life Verse.  It is either a verse that has been a stronghold in their faith journey, something they go back to over and over again to regain focus, or it is a verse that has inspired them or taught them a Truth about life.  

The Lord is my Shepherd.....he leads beside still waters.....

It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.....

For I know the plans I have for you.....

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.....

It is usually one of those feel good...ahhhh...God loves me and has me in his hands type of verse.

You know what my Life Verse would be?  Romans Chapter 7 verses 14 and 15 and it basically says this.... I am of flesh and in bondage to sin.  I don't even understand what I am doing and I am not practicing what I would like to do.  Instead I am doing the very thing I hate.

Yup.  That's me.  In a nutshell.  That's my life.

I know all of these truths about God and Jesus and the Cross and the Church and Forgiveness and Sin and Heaven and Hell.  I so desire for my heart to be pure and kind and loving and generous and genuine.  I possess all of this passion and drive and focus and have these Godly intentions about how I would like to use my gifts and bless my family.  I have this Godly idea of what I want my life to look like.  I can write and teach and talk about Scripture passage after Scripture passage.  If you need a ladies Bible study group leader, I'm your girl.  If you need an encouragement throughout the day from another mom or wife or women, I'm the person you should call.  If you need someone to give a short devotional or testimony before your next church event, I'm first on your list.

I can do all those things.

With ease.

What I can't seem to do???  Actually practice all of those wise words of encouragement I offer, all of the biblical principles I can teach, all of that heartfelt sold out to Jesus lifestyle I talk about.

I'm doing the very thing I hate.  I am not practicing what I would like to.  I don't even understand what I am doing.  I am of flesh and I'm in bondage to sin.

So this time of the year is my favorite because.....  Because I get a non stop pounding on my heart from sermons and services and rituals and plays and songs that remind me to refocus on the Cross.  I am reminded that Easter offers no hope for me, but the Resurrection does offer me hope and life and grace.

But I still find myself focusing more energy and thought about how many of my Christian friends are celebrating Easter (what I hate about this time of year) instead of allowing my thoughts to be consumed with Christ and His Resurrection (what I love about this time of year.)

Almost every holiday that comes around becomes a struggle for me.  And that's MY struggle.  Holidays and separating what isn't glorifying and what is glorifying.  But this Romans 7 principle applies to any area of my life (or your life) that I find myself doing this very thing I hate, not understanding why I am doing it.

I have to refocus.  There will always be distractions.  But the foundation of God is so 'simple.'  It is so basic.  And we can turn His Message into a big complicated web of distraction.  Or we can look at it for what it is.  A Great Love Story.  A Honest Fairytale.

I had to remind myself of that tonight.

I do not imagine that what God really wants from me is to see me focus my heart on my exhaustion and annoyance with all the Easter-ness instead of focusing on Him and what He has done and what this season is actually about.  I mean that's why we don't celebrate Easter, right?  Because we instead want to celebrate Christ and the Resurrection?  But how are we actually any better off if we still allow the distraction of Easter (and how much we don't want to partake in it) to become a stumbling block?  Is that any better than just celebrating Easter along with celebrating Christ?  

I had to read this passage tonight and after I did, I just thought of how meaningless everything is if it isn't about Him.

And I'm sure by tomorrow I will forget.  And I will need reminded again.  Who am I kidding?  I'm sure by bedtime tonight I will forget.  Because all I seem to be able to do is the very thing I hate.  And I forget that what I want to do is bask in the glory of Christ, to boast in nothing but his Resurrection, to breathe in His grace and forgiveness and salvation.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:3-14

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Luau Fruit Display

One of my very good friends is getting married this fall and we celebrated her wedding shower today with a Luau!  One of my bridesmaid duties was to create a fruit display for her and I was so excited that she asked me to do it!

She sent me two photos (a palm tree platter and a pineapple tree with monkeys) that she really liked to give me some inspiration and set me loose to create something.  This was by far my favorite fruit adventure yet.  I loved this display more than anything I have done in the past, even more than the Sesame Street fruit and veggie trays that I made in February for our son's birthday party.

This is the entire display which included a pineapple tree with a bride and groom monkey and "coconuts" (kiwi), fruit bowls made from the rinds of a watermelon, two pineapples (one cut vertically, one cut horizontally), and two honeydew melons.  I added whole bunches of bananas, green and purple grapes and strawberries to decorate around the fruit bowls, a palm tree platter, banana dolphins eating grapes and a bowl of fruit salad.

Pineapple tree and monkeys.  The fruit needed to make this exact display is 4 pineapples, 2 mangoes, 2 oranges, 1 lemon, 1 tangerine, 2 grapes, 1 bunch of miniature bananas, and kiwis.  I used wooden bamboo skewers and toothpicks to assemble.  The most important part of this display is your base/dowel rods.  This is a VERY heavy tree and the monkeys add weight as well.  You need a sturdy and heavy base and a sturdy rod (or two).

The pineapple parrots were my favorite part of the display and they couldn't have been easier to make.  The watermelon bowl is filled with chunks of fresh pineapple and some bing cherries.

I also loved how this little bowl looked.  Once I started cutting up fruit for my fruit salad I couldn't stand to just compost all of the "skins" of the fruit.  This gave me inspiration to use them as bowls to hold my fruit.  This pineapple was cut vertically (you need a very sharp knife) and I added a orange peel flower.

Honeydew melon was filled with cherries and you get a glimpse of the banana dolphins in the background.

Close-up of the banana dolphins.

Using fruit is a wonderful way to bring life to your food table, add to your theme decorations and make eating healthy foods even more fun for your guests.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stumbling Blocks - Personal Confession

It's easy to *want* to love Jesus even when it isn't easy to show love to Him through obedience.

It isn't so easy however to love His Church.  It's hard.  And the biggest hindrance for me in loving the Church is the judgments I pass and the stumbling blocks I cling to.

So I am about to get real.  Total honesty.  If you get squeamish easily about "religious" matters, you can leave without offending me, and check back next time I write about my homemade laundry soap or something less meaningful.

First some history.  Since my husband and I met we have been involved with four different church families in addition to our church family at the Bible college we both attended.  All incredible churches, where we have met some of our closest friends and shared some of our most meaningful life events.  Two of the churches he has been a paid minister on staff.  Two of the churches are of the "denomination" with which we would identify ourselves if asked on a survey, which of course means that two of the churches are of different denominations. Some of the churches had elders and deacons, some of them were led by the preaching minister alone.  Some of them served communion every week.  Some of them hardly ever served communion.  One of them believed in and practiced the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.  One of them sang almost exclusively from hymns.  One of them didn't use any musical instruments at all.  Almost all of them had differing beliefs and teachings about baptism in specific and about the gospel in general.  Considering the churches that my dad, my mom, and my husband's parents grew up attending or attend now, as well as our experiences in churches, I would say every mainstream Christian denomination and Catholicism has been covered.  

With all of these influences, I would think I would be *less likely* to hold such serious judgments about people's beliefs, church operations, and matters of faith.  I mean shouldn't such an eclectic background help me to understand that "church" can be meaningful and real and Godly even when some aspects differ?

Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying.  There is Truth.  Absolute Truth.  His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  His mother was a virgin when he was conceived and she remained a virgin until after his birth.  He lived a sinless life.  He was crucified, buried and came to life on the third day.  He ascended into Heaven.  There is no way to have a relationship with God except through Jesus Christ.  The Gospel is Truth.  We must believe, repent and be baptized.  We can have the Holy Spirit living within us.  There is a Heaven and a Hell.  The Scriptures are God-breathed.

Every church family we have ever had the pleasure of growing with has believed this above paragraph.  We all agree on that Truth and yet our services, our teachings, our beliefs about God's Will still vary GREATLY from one body to the next.  And I am okay with that!  I think we all need to be okay with that.  In fact I'm confident one of the ways in which God has refined my character is by allowing me to experience worshiping Him among many different kinds of believers, even believers who believe some things differently than I.

We are called to Unity.  Unity with all people in God's church.  Unity regardless what name is on our building, what title we use for the man (or --gasp-- woman) who is delivering the sermon on Sunday, regardless what style of music we play.  So in order to strive further toward Unity I want to lay out my sin and struggle in hopes that you can relate to some of them, that you would be challenged to identify your own stumbling blocks, and that you will hold me accountable in continually giving theses areas of my life over to Jesus.

Some of the areas I am going to list stem from a very profound or significant conviction from Scripture.  For example my beliefs about Baptism and Communion come from the example set by the apostles in Acts.  Some of the other areas come from personal preference that is based more on my culture or my personality.  (For example, my preferred Scripture translation.)  But whether they are from a Scriptural standpoint or a personal preference, all of these have become a foothold for Satan to tempt me or distract me from the ultimate goal of unity with Christ and His followers.

*Deep Breath*

Here's my exhaustive (and exhausting!) list of church struggles in no particular order......

1.  Churches who don't regularly (weekly or perhaps in some cases daily) partake in communion together.
2.  When someone refers to the preacher as a pastor.
3.  Churches serving absolute nutrient-deficient, high fructose corn syrup, bleached white flour, high fat type of "food" products.  (Think ice cream socials, pizza parties, soda, chips, cakes, donuts, cookies)
4.  Any Bible translation other than the NASB which is what I prefer (I'm just being honest don't throw anything at me!!)
5.  When someone talks about the gospel and salvation as "a prayer asking Jesus into your heart"
6.  Thinking of baptism as an after thought or ceremonial ritual rather than as part of the Gospel message
7.  Sprinkling babies
8.  Church membership
9.  People who are not welcoming of children in the church service
10.  Excessive time spent trying to figure out if someone is "saved"
11.  Women in leadership roles (preacher, elder)
12.  Referring to "worship time" as the part of the service when there is singing
13.  Fervent allegiance to a denominational creed
14.  Congregational voting
15.  Bulletins

I'm not perfect.  I'm still learning and growing.  Although surely you realize that after reading all of the areas I still allow to get in the way of my relationship with my brothers and sisters.

Our minister, Aaron, has been a big influence on me examining my heart and desiring to push aside the (many) hindrances I have.  He is one of the most incredibly passionate men I have ever met.  His heart is so on fire for Jesus that you can't help but feel the essence of God radiate from him. God has used Aaron's words to penetrate deep into my soul this past year. I have had to come face to face with my ugliness, my brokenness, my sin and my struggles as a direct result of God's speaking through Aaron during a sermon.  He and I wouldn't agree on every doctrinal issue, we probably approach sharing the gospel in drastically different ways, and I would guess that each of our views on church contradict the other person's in some areas.

Aaron preaches Jesus and loves Jesus and knows Jesus.  Jesus is what matters.  And of course the other issues matter too.  We need to spend time studying God's word and seek to understand His will through Scripture.  We need to talk about differing beliefs with our fellow brethren.  It is acceptable to have personal preferences.  It is okay if the other issues matter, they just can't matter MORE than the issue of Jesus.  If my belief about a doctrine is hindering me from unity with the body, it is hindering me from unity with Christ.

Using the words of Hebrews 12:1 as my guide, since I am surrounded by such a ground cloud of witnesses, I must therefore lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles me and run with endurance the race that is set before me.

Will you join me?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Christians and Entertainment: Oh how we LOVE to Condemn!

I was glancing over a thread online today where a heated debate had been going on between people using the term Christian and quoting Bible verses as reasons they weren't going to support or watch a new show that is starting soon.  Others of course had equal amounts of reasons and beliefs and words to throw back about what these Christians were saying.  Sad to say but I sort of agreed with the "other" side on this one.....

May I just be frank?  I say this with love and humility and sincerity.  We (I am including myself) are a people who have become very fixated on being entertained.  We live our lives feeling a lot of burden and stress for various reasons.  I get it.  We like to watch our "shows" go to the movies, listen to music, read books, play video games, play computer games.

I don't honestly think any of that in and of itself is necessarily wrong, disgraceful, sinful, or destructive.  We need to make choices that edify ourselves and there is a lot of liberty and grace in being a Christian in my opinion.  -1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.-

All this being said, I want to ask if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and you choose a certain lifestyle to be your soapbox, your sin of utter condemnation, or your hated wrongdoing, are you maybe focusing on someone else's speck and ignoring your own plank?

If we are allowing ourselves to be entertained by watching things that do not edify us (I am including myself in this), that glorify sin and sinful lifestyles, are we really then at liberty and in a position to criticize, speak out against, boycott or otherwise speak words of shame and condemnation toward forms of entertainment that we don't watch "on grounds of being a Christian"?

Is it that somehow we as Christians, have reached a point of "holiness" in our walk that allows us to justify watching (myself included) shows that glorify pre-marital and extramarital sex, grossly inappropriate wardrobes, adultery, pornography, murder, lying, revenge, violence, excessive drug and alcohol use?  Because I don't hear a lot of us getting all worked up about the shows *we* watch, the entertainment that *we* choose, until it involves a lifestyle that *we* aren't comfortable with.

Let's just be honest, and say what we are thinking.  We don't LIKE or we aren't COMFORTABLE with *that* lifestyle or choice or belief.

Let's consider our own struggles and sin.  Let's consider our own areas of weakness and growth.  Let's consider our own plank, before we start dragging the name of our Lord Jesus Christ down into our muddy and messy entertainment agenda and using HIM as the reason we aren't going to support a movie or TV show or book that we don't like or agree with.

Folks, if we are okay watching Dancing with the Stars and justify it's filth, then we don't have grounds to condemn people for watching The Walking Dead because of it's gore and violence.  If we are okay watching Scandal or Grey's Anatomy or Pretty Little Liars and justify it's filth, then we don't have grounds to condemn people for watching Modern Family or The New Normal or any other show that embraces homosexuality.  If we are okay watching The Bachelor and justify its filth, then we have no grounds to condemn whatever show it is that Snooki or Khloe Kardashian is on.  (Yes, I googled their names to make sure I spelled them correctly.)

If we are to be a LIGHT and an EXAMPLE to the WORLD, that light radiates out of choices of Godliness, out of choices of obedience, out of choices of sacrifice and purity.  Light doesn't radiate from us when we jump on Facebook threads and quote Bible verses to condemn people for watching a show that highlights a sin we aren't comfortable with, all the while our TiVo is loaded with sins we *are* comfortable with.

Let's start letting other people worry about their own choices, and let's start focusing on our OWN choices.  In case you missed this before: Myself included!