Don’t Allow Broken Walls

 

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By Dawn Bennett

“A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.” Proverbs 25:28

When we don’t exercise self-control, we leave an open door for the enemy to take entrance.

The dictionary defines self-control as this…. “the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.” We use self-control in numerous occasions, everyday, all day. Self-control is used in the big stuff like; controlling yourself not to steal, kill, commit adultery, down to the little stuff; keeping your mouth quiet, temper, spending habits, eating habits, what we watch or listen to.  Even though there is a big difference between murdering someone and watching a particular movie, it is all important to God. Don’t fool yourself that the “little” things don’t matter. God wants our hearts and motives to be pure. He wants us to practice self-control in ALL matters.

When we don’t form a habit or self-control in every day life we allow the devil entrance. We can not afford to allow any cracks, gaps, or broken walls that the devil can get into. He will use any way possible to gain access into our lives.  When we don’t use self-control in a particular situation we allow him that access. But when we practice what God has clearly told us in His Word to do, then the devil has no way in.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  His goal is to wreck havoc in our lives.  But this is a step we can take to seal up the cracks and close the open holes as to not license him to gain ground.

God has called us to live a life that is worthy of Him. Self-control is just one more way we can honor Him in our everyday life. Be watchful of the way the enemy works, don’t allow him entrance. Use self-control in every matter, because it all matters to God.

Titus 1:8 “…. but be hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Revelation 21:7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

Echo Our Father’s Voice

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By Jeanne Ferranto

We need to be a people who remind each other of who God is. The enemy reminds us of who we were. He replays and records our faults, failures and mistakes. Many of us are still walking in the enemy’s camp, when we replay theses faults and failures of ourselves and others.

But God is a Father who forgives and doesn’t accuse. He never uses the darkness of our past. He uses the accomplishment of the cross of Jesus Christ to bring us into a glorious future. Remember His promise, His voice, remember that Jesus pulled us out of darkness into His glorious Light. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Let’s be a people who echo His voice and replay His promises, looking to our future in Him and never mediating on the accusations of the enemy. Refresh the weary with His Word. Don’t judge others or remind them of their mistakes. Remind His children of their Father’s great mercy, long-suffering, outpouring, protecting love.

Replay His thoughts and re-sound His voice!

“So encourage each other and build each other up”…… 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The Heart

By Dawn Bennett

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We are told to guard it (Prov. 4:23), to trust with all of it (Prov. 3:5), to store God’s commands in it (Prov. 3:1), To seek God with all of it (1 Chron. 22:19), to love with all of it (Luke 10:27), to be peaceful (Prov. 14:30), to be true & right (Ps. 36:10), to be cheerful (Prov. 17:22), to be honest (Ps. 36:10), to pour it out (Lam. 2:19) And there are so many more examples in the Word, that our heart should be. Seems to me that God takes our heart pretty seriously. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7. He is clear on how our heart should be, but He also warns us of things that we need to make sure our heart is not. Hardened (Ex. 4:21), deceived (Deut. 11:16), envious (James 3:14), crooked (Prov. 11:20), bitter (Rom. 9:2), have hatred (Lev. 19:17), plot violence (Prov. 24:2), and be far from God (Mark 7:6). Again there are so many more examples that we could look up. God warns us of all these things, because he knows how easily we can be swayed by our own hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Another translation says “…….. for everything you do flows from it.” If you have bitterness, jealously, or hatred in your heart that is what your life will produce. You can expect for your life’s course to reflect those negative things. BUT if you seek God to remove all of the hidden junk, and fill your heart with love, compassion, righteousness, and honesty then you can live a life God is proud of, and your life will produce HIS goodness.

There are great promises when we fill our hearts with these things. God promises health for those with peaceful hearts. He promises to save those who have hearts of purity and are right in His sight. He promises a straight path for us when we trust in Him with all our heart. He promises a long life for those who keep His commands in it. And so on….(look up all the promises). You can pretty much expect the opposite of all those things when we have the negative in our heart. Ask God to show you all the hidden hurts, motives, faults and emotions that are not pleasing to Him. Sometimes we don’t realize they are there and sometimes we know exactly what it is that we need to let go of. Proverbs 21:2 says “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.”

So let the Lord examine your heart, seek His ways and put truth into your heart!

Christianity and Horror Movies?

By Cassie Eack

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Are we and our children being influenced by these terrible movies, shows, violent video games?

MY EXPERIENCE!!

When I was baptized as a follower of Jesus I remember being told that watching demonic horror movies and ghost tv shows allowed negative energies into my life and at first I thought…” It’s just a movie, it’s not a big deal and it’s all fake” I loved horror movies and everything about them I was like addicted. I didn’t want to give that up because that was my favorite genre of movie and my favorite show was Ghost Adventures. I fell asleep watching the show every night, would binge watch indie horror films, and loved paranormal activity and all the following movies.

But after I was baptized I had this feeling of pure dread when I went to watch these movies. It wasn’t guilt at all. It wasn’t me saying to myself “I really shouldn’t be doing this because it’s against what I believe in”. I just had this gut feeling like this really isn’t a good idea. And I NEVER had this feeling before. I would start to sweat and get anxiety and I just didn’t want to feel those things so I said to myself that it just wasn’t worth it. If I did find myself giving in to the urge to watch it, I would test myself at the beginning or watch the trailer. And if there was something I didn’t like or see or felt was offensive I either wouldn’t watch it or would stop watching it halfway through. I’m a little biased because I don’t believe every horror movie is bad. I think that the people who create the worst ones are definitely under some struggles in their lives and have a scary sense of imagination. And some horror movies are just that. Made to scare you senseless for fun and are totally silly and made up like “the blob” or “attack of the killer tomatoes”. But today’s horror movies are almost all demonic or possessive and scarier in that way because it gives you a sense of “man this could really happen” or it will tell you “based on a true story. Which then you OF COURSE have to look it up and freak yourself out. It’s like the older we get, the more graphics we use and the fact that we need SCARIER AND SCARIER MOVIES..the realer the creators want to go with them because they really want these movies to affect you and terrify you.

Before I was baptized I had seen this trailer for a movie I honestly could not wait to see. About a month after I was baptized I FORCED myself to watch it. Kind of like a last hoorah. It didn’t feel good to watch it, I felt like I was being stared at but I chalked it up to me getting myself worked up and finally FORCED myself to watch it. And soon after relaxed and watched the first half which was of course boring… At one point in the movie the cop was doing an exorcism on someone. Speaking in tongues and in Latin. My windows and doors were closed. Everything was fine and then in a matter of MAYBE 2 seconds I started to smell something disgusting. It wasn’t skunk, farts, or anything like that it was like rotten eggs and sulfur mixed with death. I checked to see if the dogs were in the bedroom and they weren’t. I literally thought the dog had farted so bad but he wasn’t in the room. It had just come out of nowhere as if it came from the corner of the room where there is no door or window just the left side of my bed.

The exorcism in the movie was still continuing as I was trying to figure the source of the smell out. And then all of a sudden I had this unreal feeling like something was standing next to me and the smell got immensely stronger. It went from “this is my imagination, something outside, or the movie was freaking me out that’s all” to “okay this isn’t funny anymore. This WAS NOT an anxious feeling…it was not a panic attack…the movie was not scaring me. Because majority of the time I watch these movies in ridicule as to how dumb they are and how they never scare me. But the feeling got stronger, the hairs on my left arm and neck stood up and that was it. I jumped to the other side of the bed, grabbed my Rosary beads and I screamed “Jesus protect me!!” And grabbed the remote and turned off the movie, deleted it from my list, turned off the TV, and kept praying “Jesus protect me, go away evil please I am sorry Jesus Jesus Jesus”.

In seconds…the feeling of being watched was gone….the smell just left. As if something vacuumed it up. It didn’t dissipate like a fart or a skunk spray through the window.. it just stopped. I got up to smell around and that was it. Over just like that. I felt clean again and peaceful. Never ever ever in my life did I feel something like that, smell something like that, or experience something like that feeling. Never. I never want to again because it was one of the most real and scariest moments of my life.

STUPIDLY, the next day I just HAD to finish the movie because I wanted to find out what happened. So I did. I didn’t watch it alone this time and when that scene came up I muted the TV, covered my eyes and ears, and prayed the entire time. No excuse for my actions knowing what I went through the night before. The movie sucked. I felt foolish. I swore I would never watch that kind of movie again. That was almost 2 years ago.

It is very hard when you find yourself in a group of people and all of them want to watch a movie like that. You feel pressured so you do it even though it makes you uncomfortable. So in situations like that I give myself an option. I can sit there and play with my phone and pray to myself, find something else to do like straighten up in the other room. But I don’t let myself in to that movie even if it’s playing around me. That’s just me. Everyone including Christians are entitled to make their own choice and I truly believe that. I made mine and I felt attacked, I really did. When it comes to personally watching similar types of shows or movies, there are guidelines I give myself. Some movies are okay, NOTHING demonic, I stick to strictly science fiction and thriller movies now. For example, I’m not going to watch poltergeist but I’ll watch clover field. It’s about an alien sea monster who smashed down Manhattan. It’s a little scary a little thrilling the storyline is okay and it’s entertaining. Or Godzilla I don’t particularly like the name but the new one was pretty good! The 5th wave was a great movie! Very imaginative very well done. These movies have amazing artists, graphic designers, actors, things like this I find myself feeling safe to watch and if I see something I don’t like I turn it off RIGHT AWAY and leave it at that. And honestly, it took months to feel clean from all the stuff I had loaded my body with. I can’t explain the “clean” feeling but all I can say is it feels safe and peaceful like you have a loving bodyguard. Jesus is my body guard and his angels protect me!!

How do you feel about this topic and what do you think about my experience? Do you think there needs to be happier adult movies and I don’t mean “adult movies”. Like happier movies that aren’t just for kids. Heaven is for real is a great movie. I love happy ending movies and they don’t have to be religious either. What do you think!