May 15, 2012

Tuesday SHINE....




Today's Reading: Job 19

Good morning, SHINE! 

Before we get started, I wanted to say congratulations to Blake Adams!!

Blake did exceptionally well in the PGA golf tournament this weekend! The Golf channel even had a special on him last night! Lem and I cheered him on all weekend. (i have no idea the name of the tournament, but it was a big one!!)

Blake is the husband, son, and brother of 3 of our fellow SHINE sisters! Beth Adams is his wife, Freda is his Mother, and Courtney Butler is his sister. 

All 3 of these ladies were featured on our SHINE girl spotlight posts!  Yay! We are very proud of Blake and so happy for his precious family. 

Okay, moving on. :)

Samantha Schlund is our guest blogger today. She is very passionate about spreading the Gospel, and she is very bold in her walk. I told her just yesterday that she reminds me of a female Paul from the New Testament! 

Samantha sees the urgency in spreading Truth and God's word to those around her. She never beats around the bush, and she always speaks out of love. Her faith is inspiring to say the least. 

Be blessed by her story today, SHINE sisters. 


Taking off the blinders
by: Samantha Schlund


Have you ever been pushed out of your comfort zone by the Holy Spirit? I mean really convicted about something??? I have a few different times in my life - you might remember if you read my testimony here on SHINE a few months ago, that the first time this happened to me I took off running in the opposite direction....but I have good news!!! My blinders were taken off about a year and a half ago and I will NOT make that mistake again. This is an awkward blog for me - I am not judging anyone nor am I suggesting that I am in some way superior - I am simply concerned about women I know and women I don't really know all that well, that are buying into a lie of the enemy without recognizing it for the lie it is and the slippery slope of bondage it causes. I am not gifted as Jill is with the ability to gently express an opinion. And please know that this blog comes from a place of complete LOVE for everyone reading it.

 It is my opinion and belief that some of us (most of us) are willingly participating in activity that we do not realize is poisoning our minds thus our families. I have lived in complete bondage and I have believed lies of the enemy for years that nearly destroyed me. I did not recognize the lies for what they were and I had no idea at the damage they could cause. But today, I find myself very aware and concerned for those around me that don't see or maybe don't want to acknowledge a lie that they are feeding themselves. Something that starts so innocently and leads to very dark places - Lies of the enemy are sometimes like seeds planted, that given the chance will take root and take over!

Now again I am not perfect - NO WHERE close to perfect. And I am no expert, scholar or otherwise in what the scriptures of God say with regard to this subject. My past life and experiences taught me a lot about lies and the damage that can result. My ever growing personal relationship with God,and my continued effort to grow and maintain my relationship with Him have made A LOT of changes in me. My faith, my relationship with Jesus, is the most important thing in my life and I want to share and bring glory to Him! For years, I did not recognize these lies for what they really were....but thankfully my eyes were opened, I took a hard look at them and compared them to the TRUTH of God's word - I finally started to heal - really started to feel - my eyes were opened and there is NO WAY I am going back! I am not without faults...I have MANY! I am a work in progress just as we all are, so I share this with you - hoping you will not be offended, rather that you will be willing to look honestly at the subject at hand. So what am I rambling about!?!?!?! What is the subject at hand, you ask???
 
Pornography....

I think if we all sat down with one another we could all agree that pornography does not bring anything positive and uplifting into our world. I have given it some thought and I can not come up with an argument that supports pornography as something positive in our world/culture. We (as women) often think of magazines, Internet sites, and movies as pornography. And we (women) associate pornography with men, "their" issue - you know their dirty habit...one that often makes us (as women) a bit uncomfortable. I remember being married and feeling disgusted, worthless, and completely detached due to my ex husband's habit with porn. After my divorce and as a single woman, I came to "accept" porn but at the very same time I felt as if I competed with those images and had to live up to expectations in the bed room due to the images boyfriends watched (and I sometimes watched with them) - I convinced myself that it was exciting in some ways, the very fact that it was "naughty" made it feel sexy - but in reality and over time what it did was diminish and cheapened something that should have been and should always be precious. Sex became very empty, it became a perversion, less satisfying and completely detached of what it should be. I can tell you that I have many many friends in my life that have expressed the same feelings. Most times not realizing the damage had been done until reflecting years later. Many times when we are in the middle of something we can not see it for what it really is or the damage it is doing to us, the people we love, and the relationships we cherish. I don't know many ladies that have an "issue" with pornography in the terms above....nope ladies, we don't buy the magazines full of naked people nor do we watch porn online or have a collection of DVDs readily available to us....but the world is clever and gives us our own special brand of porn wrapped up in a pretty, neat package...BOOKS.  Ladies...I know "romance" novels seem harmless, it's a book, it is make believe, it is fantasy...it is not hurting anyone. But ask yourself, how do men defend the magazines, the Internet, and the DVDs that many of us find perverse.

Jesus tells us in Luke 21:34-36  “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." In other words - don't let your mind and spirit be dulled by careless living or foolish pursuit of pleasure. Jesus is coming again and we need to watch and be spiritually fit until that time.

A few months ago - this idea of guarding my mind was brought to my attention. I had already made many changes without really trying as my walk and relationship with Christ deepened....for example the type music I listened to completely changed. But it was while reading the book Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, I was challenged to really look at my life and the "things" I entertain myself with - the TV programs I watch, the books I read, etc. Priscilla illustrated her point by pointing out that rat poison is 3% poison and 97% food.....that we kill rats with a small bit of poison laced within something perceived as good or harmless. She wrote and I quote:

Strategically hidden, carefully disguised. Underneath the surface, just below the radar. We lick our lips and go about our business, thinking that everything is going to be fine. It may take days, maybe weeks, before we begin to notice. But eventually our spiritual organs start to fail. Our passion quells. Our sensitivity and discernment wane. We lose our gag reflex. We're dying a slow death.

Maybe you are not into the "romance" novels, but there is something else that comes to mind while reading this blog....some other way you entertain your mind....movies? TV shows? music perhaps? Could it be the Holy Spirit stirring you to make a change? I ask you to start with that one thing...make the choice to follow the Him...I dare you ;)

We are all longing to to become the women God calls us all to be & truly wants God's best in our lives. Are you willing to stand against  what culture and society says is okay or will you believe the "hype"?  Having been a woman that lived the "hype" for years, there is nothing sexy, fulfilling, or worthwhile without God. The world/enemy works hard to make us believe that it is harmless, hoping we will let down our guard and look to "greener" pastures. But though the grass may look greener, I promise you it is not.  It is, in reality, just dirt.

Trust only Him, compare what you see and hear against His word, and believe He knows best. God does not want to rob us of our fun, rather He is jealous for us to have  all of His blessings

So friends - BE ON GUARD, SO THAT YOUR MINDS ARE NOT DULLED

Love you all and praying for you daily,


Sam


~Sam and her beautiful little girl~


9 comments:

Lisa said...

Thank you for moving forward on the Father's prompting you to write about a subject women don't talk about, or think can "get them". But the enemy is so subtle...ya know he does all that "roaming around seeing who he can devour" 1 Peter 5:8. And we are ALL his target.

Praying today for all of us girls, that we will take a long look at what we are letting in...Jesus help us please.

Mary Hudgins Balicki said...

What Lisa said!
Thank you, Sam - God bless you for taking this stand on a difficult subject..
I am standing right here with you.
Much love!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for boldly talking about pornography and it's deception. It is everywhere, it has many different faces and will strike out to mislead our society as it already has. God's most important gift, is love, and it is pure and not evil. Don't be deceived by the commercials, magazines, and all the others vices as Sam pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Your honesty and boldness are so refreshing! I love it.....nothing better!

I see single women all around me who are defining their self worth by what men think of them.......or through acceptance of men or a man! Women who sacrifice what they know is right just get some attention from a man........and I think it all goes back to the lies satan has told for generations---if I don't do this or that, then he will leave or if I am not skinny he will choose her..........I want to say GIRLS.....if this man is not honoring you and your children (if applicable) in a way that is pleasing to God, if he is asking you to things that go against the Bible, if he has expectations that are not in line with the Bible...then he is NOT WORTHY and he needs to GO!

So blessed by your post and ditto to the above comments......satan is the ultimate deceiver and he loves nothing more than to sneak into our hearts and minds through, what we perceive as, harmless means--a good book, a girls night out to a harmless movie or fun hot spot, a sleepover with someone who makes you feel pretty when the kids are gone......what ever form it takes.....if it goes against God's word...it has satan written all over it!

On another note..............Every time I see a pic of your sweet baby girl...I know that she, like my oldest was for me, has been a game changer for you! I keep hearing the song...."A baby changes everything"...while that song refers to Jesus as the baby....I find it's words comforting and very familiar because for me....a baby coming in my own life allowed me to open my eyes long enough to realize it was time to take the blinders off---everything began to change----!

thank you Sam...keep speaking God's truth...it may hard for some to hear but God is with you every step of the way!

love you,
Kim J

Women Who Pray said...

Woo Hoo!!! Leaving behind all that besets us...taking time to be Holy...words flowing this morning...

After Jill's message and this one today...no doubt that the Holy Spirit is calling us...the Church...out of Babylon...

Revelation has always been such a hard book to nail down...so much written metaphorically...so much the Apostle John trying to explain from 2 mellineums (sp? tried 3 ways...lol) anyway ...all that time ago and trying to explain to people throughout the next 2000 years...what he saw on Patmos...

But, today...May 15, 2012...Revelation 18 jumps off the page...
Read the whole chapter...but look at specifically verse 2-6...

"Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become adwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. And I heard a voice from heaven saying "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you received of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities..."

Babylon is not a city today...not a physical one...

But all the nations have bought into this dwelling place of demons.

Zion is a spiritual city...for we who are Believers...Isaiah 52 says that all that are on the wall...interceding...will see Zion come.

Babylon is a spiritual city...and will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the LORD God who judges her." Verse 8

We are called in this year of Divine Order to judge ourselves that we be not judged.

We are lining up...aligning ourselves with Jesus Christ the Messiah, who is coming soon.

How do I know? I'm looking at the fig tree...I'm watching the signs...I'm hearing GET READY...batton down the hatches...

The LORD is building a House...a temple...US!!!

Are we in and safe...like Noah in the Day of Judgment...when the flood came...

Or are we like the others...eating and drinking and being merry...not paying attention as the Day of the LORD approaches...

God's Glory is one way for we who are looking up...

His Glory is judgment to those not watching...

The Day of the LORD is as a thief...

Ready...in the tent...like Israel...Blood of the Lamb on the Door...eating the passover...while the death angel passed over...

Ready or not...the LORD is Coming!!

He's drawn the line in the sand...

Who's on the LORD's side???

Love you all!!

Aunt Teddi

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sam! It's not easy to share something like that and you did a great job. We all need the reminder, because the enemy has a great way of sliding in things before we even know it. Like Lisa said, we are all his target. Thank you! Love, Sarah

Becky Knox said...

Perfect Sam!!!

SouthMainMuse said...

The argument that books like the 50 Shades of Gray -- and others of erotic fiction offer fun and escape -- begs the question from what? I think like men watching pornographic fantasy:sight-based, this plays to a woman's psyche: emotion/story-based. Just as men become disenchanted with their wives bodies after viewing lots of pornography, a woman might begin to fantasy about being with another more exciting mate.

Anywho. I'm really not the prude. The honest fact of the matter is that there is so much worthwhile and intellectually-stimulating and enriching books out there to read (and so little time), I can't see why anyone would waste time reading erotic romance. Enjoyed reading your thoughts Samantha.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you wrote this! I've been thinking a lot about 'mommy porn' and how even sweet Christian women are being pulled into books that offer them "fun and escape" (as SouthMainMuse said above). I love to read.. and although I avoid the obvious romance novels, I occasionally get a book with a steamy scene or two. And sometimes I keep reading b/c I am really into the plot. Lord, forgive me, I know better.