What Are You Running From?

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Just a short few years ago, a sight like this would have sent me into full-blown panic mode. Chances are that by the time I spotted three Deputy Sheriffs behind me in traffic, my heart would have been leaping out of my throat as my paranoia hit me like a ton of bricks.

My thoughts would be racing – first surveying the situation to determine if they were or could be potentially after me for any reason – then onto more strategic thinking of how to most quickly and efficiently get out of there.

The nagging feelings of guilt and shame for the way I was living my life, though dulled, never completely disappeared. I attempted to change my ways on my own, only to fail time and time again. I simply thought these feelings were because you can’t run from your conscience – but what I found out was that you can’t run from your King.

Today was different. My reaction to this sight now is one of redemption and assurance, forgiveness and peace.

I went from a wayward prodigal son to a cherished child of the Most High.

I praise the Lord that for all the years I turned my back on Him, He never once turned His back on me.

My message is simple and sure: You can never run too far for the hand of God to save you. Change is real, my friend. There truly is power in the cross of Christ.

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HB2568: The Fight for Life

In light of the WV House of Delegates overriding Governor Tomblin’s veto of HB2568 – the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, I expect to see and hear a flurry of comments and opinions. So, I feel it necessary to address a few things about this particular bill before the firestorm –

Abortion Legislation

For those who say that abortion is about a “woman’s body and her choice” – I respectfully disagree. It is no longer only the woman’s body for which she is responsible. The fact is that there is now another body inside of that woman. Her actions and choices (should) now reflect the best interest of the life inside of her that has no choice. (with the exception of life threatening circumstances)

On that note, for those claiming that the bill “harms the mother in instances of medical emergencies” – have never actually read the legislation. There are, in fact, legal exceptions for life threatening circumstances. Should a pregnancy pose an extreme risk and/or life-or-death situation, the bill does allow for necessary doctor/medical intervention post 20-weeks.

For those who use the defense “what if it’s rape or incest or…”? If someone was a victim of rape or another heinous sexual violation resulting in a child (which actually accounts for only 1% of abortions performed in the U.S.), she would know before the baby was 20 weeks old. It does not take 5 months to realize the circumstances of a pregnancy or to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

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Further – for those who simply disregard the life of the unborn despite the circumstances, I pray for your heart to be softened and I implore you to consider that we are all made in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. No person is a mistake. Every life is precious. Human life is a divine gift; something for which we are responsible to value and respect. Each person is known to God before he is known to the world. 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” Jeremiah 1:5

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

If you are more fact-driven, consider these statistics about abortion:

  • Since Roe vs. Wade, there have been over 56 million abortions performed in the U.S. – one part of the single greatest genocide this world has ever known.
  • Why do abortions occur? On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).
  • 89-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC). While 7.3% of all abortions occurred between 14-20 weeks’ gestation; 1.4% occurred ≥21 weeks’ gestation (CDC).
  • 40% of minors having an abortion report that neither of their parents knew about the abortion (AGI).
  • 17 states (AK, AZ, CA, CT, HI, IL, MA, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) use public funds to pay for abortions for some poor women. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds—virtually all from the state (AGI).

Every life deserves a chance. Every BODY deserves a life.
May we live to see justice for the unborn.

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Death is Funny.

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Death is a funny thing. Not funny ‘haha’ but funny interesting.

 

It invokes sympathy for a family’s loss, and empathy if we’ve been touched by similar circumstances.

It rains emotions far too raw and complicated to comprehend or even deal with at times.

It raises questions of “what if” and “why” and “why not” and “how”?

It causes introspection. Pondering the meaning of our own life, its impact on the world and evaluating the satisfaction of its current course.

It strikes fear in those who are forced to consider their own end; those who aren’t settled with what might come next.

It brings unexplainable joy for others who know that on the other side of this life is an eternal life far greater, with the One who is responsible for it all.

 

Death is interesting.

It is in death that we often find reasons for living.

 

Living like your life isn’t promised tomorrow.

Living like things actually matter.

Living like people actually matter.

Living with the goal of preparing your heart to meet Jesus.

Living with a fire in our souls for others to know Him too.

 

Death, in a way, makes us live.

And live in a way that we should have been living all along.

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You Better Recognize

Resurrection Blog Post #2: You Better Recognize – check it out by clicking ———> here.
Or read it down below. Or both.
I suggest both because there’s other great posts to check out. And a cool logo. And awesome people. Just do it already.

This week’s Christmas Sunday message was the familiar story of Christ’s birth, with an interesting twist. Though the story had not changed (nor should it ever), the shift in perspective certainly had—posed in the question of, “what do you really see when you see the baby Jesus?”

Sure, you see a cute little baby in a manger surrounded by hay, barnyard animals, His parents and maybe some townspeople—but even the most faithful of believers can sometimes become desensitized to who it really was laying in that Bethlehem manger.

manger
The core team was challenged to read the book of Luke this week.  As I began the first four chapters, which also included the account of Christ’s birth, there was something that the Lord pointed out to me—both as an amazing correlation with the question from the sermon and an equally amazing reality check for me, an old desensitized believer.

In Luke 2:25, a righteous and devout man named Simeon was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Lord’s Christ. And when Joseph and Mary had presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon proclaimed to God, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace…for my eyes have seen your salvation…”

Automatically I thought, sure, the righteous man, the one who had long-served God, and was most likely raised in the traditions and teachings pointing to the coming King—of course Simeon would recognize and proclaim Christ for who He was.

But then—an encounter drastically different from Simeon occurred in Luke 4; Jesus was preaching in the synagogue when He met a man possessed by an unclean demon. The man tauntingly questioned Christ but then acknowledged Him saying “I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” A demon, Satan’s minion, saw Jesus Christ with all power and authority; the One from God.  

Two very dissimilar people.
Two very dissimilar relationships with Christ.
One very similar reaction.

God then forced me back to the original question: “what do you really see when you see the baby Jesus?” A cute little baby or the Son of God, our Savior, our Sacrifice and our Salvation reigning with all power and authority of Heaven?

Even the demon saw Christ for who He really was.

Do we?

 

<3 Carrie

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You Better Recognize

Originally posted on Resurrection Church:

This week’s Christmas Sunday message was the familiar story of Christ’s birth, with an interesting twist. Though the story had not changed (nor should it ever), the shift in perspective certainly had—posed in the question of, “what do you reallysee when you see the baby Jesus?”

Sure, you see a cute little baby in a manger surrounded by hay, barnyard animals, His parents and maybe some townspeople—but even the most faithful of believers can sometimes become desensitized to who it really was laying in that Bethlehem manger.

manger
The core team was challenged to read the book of Luke this week.  As I began the first four chapters, which also included the account of Christ’s birth, there was something that the Lord pointed out to me—both as an amazing correlation with the question from the sermon and an equally amazing reality check for me, an old desensitized believer.

In Luke…

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At My Party God Serves Pie

Too often I notice myself throwing a party of the worst kind—with a theme of pity.

I’m single. I suck at long-term relationships.
I don’t like where I live. I feel stuck and isolated.
I’m lonely. I don’t have any friends.
I want a new job. But I’m not good enough for anything else.
I’m ugly. I don’t look like her or have a body like that.

You know, Satan is the prince of the power of the air. And without giving him too much credit (because even he must first ask God permission), he is very cunning and has an incredible way of hitting us right in the gut, right where it hurts the most. He knows our weaknesses and uses those against us as our greatest temptations to try to get us to curse God, feel sorry for ourselves and lose hope. Satan and his demons watch us now, just like he did with Job.

Job—the man God Himself described as His servant of “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” While I consider myself far from that description, that’s the exact man who God led me to for a big helping of humble pie.

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It didn’t take me long to get a wake-up call. Not even having to go farther than the first chapter of the book, Job lost nearly everything: his oxen, donkeys, sheep, servants, camels and all of his children—one right after another (talk about when it rains it pours)—and what does Job do? Have a little Bowe fit? Sit down, cry and have himself a good old-fashioned pity party? Hardly…

Job 1:20 – Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.

Say what? This man who just lost all his earthly possessions and his children…worshiped? Wow. Talk about a hit in the gut.

Even though it’s often easier to say than do, it’s just the type of reminder that I needed (God’s always good at that). I certainly haven’t lost all my possessions or even nearly the majority of my family but yet I still find it in me to get down far more than I should. Job is an amazing example of this: It’s not about what happens to you, it’s how you respond to it. Amen. The next time I start to feel low, it’s all about perspective. It’s all about letting God whisper to you in the midst of the valley, speaking truth into the lies of which Satan tries to convince us. And the next time I find myself feeling empty, all I need is a big slice of humble pie.

I’m single. Sometimes, single-hood is a gift, just ask the Apostle Paul.
I don’t like where I live. Be thankful you have a home.

I’m lonely. You are never alone, for God is always with you.
I want a new job. Be grateful you have a job.
I’m ugly. You are perfectly and wonderfully made, and God thinks you’re beautiful.

 

Less Whine. More Worship.

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It’s a Resurrection!

Just a little update – I am excited to be a part of the core team working to plant a new church in Charleston, WV called Resurrection Church. We, as a team, have started a blog to share our journey and the background of the church. I do hope that you’ll take some time to get to know us, pray for us and join the movement to shake our city for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is my first contribution to the Resurrection Church blog titled “If We’d Only Obey…” :

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Acts 9: 10-19
(October 20, 2013 Core Team Meeting)

“Had Ananias not obeyed God, there would have been no Paul” – Pastor Mason

No Paul?
It was a seemingly straightforward statement that dumbfounded me. Had Ananias not accepted the call on his life to “go”— the man who has been noted as Christianity’s most important early convert and the first major missionary to preach the Christian gospel to non-Jewish people might not have ever existed.

Obedience is woven into the very foundation of the Christian faith—how differently the human story would have turned out had Abraham not been willing to sacrifice his son; had Noah not been willing to build the arc and gather the animals; and had Ananias not been willing to accept his call from God to visit a powerful, Christian killer named Saul.

So often I view characters of the Bible as superheroes that are untouchable, with unattainable power for someone as common as me—when in reality most were considered to be pretty ordinary men that possessed extraordinary faith. And were it not for the obedience of these seemingly everyday people and their example, the course of history would have been forever changed. These regular people transformed the face of Christianity and paved the path that we walk today.

Just as Pastor Mason heard and obeyed the call from God to begin this movement, and we as core team members have obeyed the call to join the movement, God is still looking for common folks to follow him in obedience.

So I have to wonder—whose life might God be calling you to lay the foundation for— who might you effect if you’d only obey? Maybe your neighbor, your coworker, your family, your friend—or maybe yourself?

#TrustAndObey #FromOrdinaryToExtraordinary #Resurrection

<3 Carrie

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