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???

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 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 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


Love you all and praying for you daily,


~Sam and her beautiful little girl~

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