When Christianity and Culture Collide {Genesis 19}

when Christianity and culture collide

 

In our culture, the only wrong – is saying something is wrong.  Tolerance is held as the world’s moral standard.

But so far in Genesis, we have seen that God was not tolerant with Adam and Eve’s sin.

God was not tolerant of Cain’s murder of Abel.

God was not tolerant of the wickedness during Noah’s day.

God was not tolerant of the pride of those building the tower of Babel.

And in this week’s reading, God was not tolerant of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In God’s great mercy, He sent 2 angels to rescue Lot and his family before the destruction of the city – but look at how Lot hesitated:

Genesis 19:15-17

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Why did Lot hesitate?

Was it his material possessions he couldn’t leave behind? Or his friends, perhaps his son-in-laws who refused to leave or the fun?

They were told “Don’t look back and don’t stop!”  but Lot’s wife was too immersed into the culture of the city of Sodom to obey…and she faced judgement for looking back.

God did not tolerate the sin and wickedness of the men of Sodom or even Lot’s wife —-looking back!

God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah in judgement.

Genesis 19:24-26 says:

24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

In America, Christianity and culture are colliding and some Christians are giving in to the pressures.  As they immerse themselves into the culture in the hopes of leading some to the Lord, they themselves are being led astray. God calls us to not love the world or anything in it – and yet we hesitate.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
~1 John 2:15

This November, I am a part of an on-line Church Leadershp Summit discussing how to respond to the change of culture in America.  The title of this on-line conference is Culture Crash.

I wasn’t planning to share this video today – it was recorded and sent in and will be played during their conference – but I have a really bad cold this week and hardly any voice left.

So while I drink this:

honey and tea

Grab yourself a glass of something hot or cold too – and listen to my video I recorded last week –  on how I believe Christians should handle the collision of culture and Christianity in America.  I think it is relevant to this week’s reading in Genesis.

{if you are subscribed to Women Living Well and are receiving this in an email – don’t miss out on the content of this video – please click through here to view it.}

**Chime In**

Do you feel there has been a shift in our culture in America?

How should believers deal with these changes?

What are you learning so far in your reading in Genesis?  

How would you answer this question:

Genesis 19 discussion questionWalk with the King,

Courtney

This week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan Week 3

 

BLOGGERS: Are you blogging through the Bible with us or have you written a devotional based on your own quiet times this week? Link back to GoodMorningGirls.org or put this graphic in your post and then link up below – we’d love to come visit you! Blogging through bible with GMG button



Comfort For Those Who Have Had a Miscarriage

Sad woman calling on the phone

 

I remember sitting in a conference room surrounded by a sea of women.  The speaker asked all the women who had suffered a miscarriage in the past, to please stand.  As women slowly scooted out their chairs and stood to their feet, the tears began to flow. My dear friend next to me stood and 2 more at my table of 8, stood as well.  Then we looked out over the room and nearly half the room was standing.  There was not a dry eye in that room.  It was on that day, my eyes were opened to how many have walked this painful road –silently.

And so from time to time on Thursdays, rather than sharing one of Janelle’s recipes from ComfyInTheKitchen.com, I want to share with you some of the articles written over at her second on-line home – OvercomerOutreach.com.

Today’s post is written by Erica Elm:

Erica writes:

Long before Joe and I officially started “trying” to start a family, as most couples- we talked about how many children we wanted.  I look back and laugh at how we decided on the number of children that would be right for our family.

I am the oldest of six children and he is the oldest of three. I was used to and loved the larger family I came from, while Joe was comfortable with a smaller family. I desired to have four children, and Joe thought that two children would be a good fit for us, so we compromised on planning to have three children.

Looking back, It sounds as though we were deciding on how many pieces of furniture to put in our family room. “Yes, we’d like to order 3 pieces- a couch, a loveseat, and an accent chair. Eh hem..2 boys and a girl.” We had everything planned out, it was just God’s job to deliver..SIMPLE, right?!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

{Read the rest of Erica’s story here – over at OvercomerOutreach.com}

Nothing Is Too Hard for the Lord {Genesis 18}

Nothing is too hard for the Lord

Good Morning Girls!

Can you imagine if God came to your front door?  What would you do?

Today we are reading in Genesis 18 and that is exactly what happened to Abraham and Sarah.

Genesis 18

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.  3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

First, we see that three men arrived and one of them is the Lord Jesus. Bah! Exciting!!!  Abraham runs into the tent to Sarah and demands that she quickly make some bread.

Look at Sarah – such a willing wife.  She does exactly as her husband requests, while he runs off to get some meat prepared as well.

7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.  “There, in the tent,” he said.  10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.

So after Sarah helps prepare and serve the meal, she listens in.  If God were in my dining room eating with my husband, I would listen in too!

So, the guys are eating and then she over hears her name and the words “next year, Sarah your wife will have a son” and…

she laughs.

11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.

Caught laughing!

Sarah was caught doubting God and when He asked why she laughed…she lied!

Scripture tells us that everywhere Sarah went she was instantly favored because of her good looks. Two Kings pursued her hand in marriage immediately after seeing her. She must have been stunningly attractive.

Sarah had beauty, the attention of others and Abraham’s wealth but what she really wanted was a child.

The first thing we learn in scripture about Sarah is that she was barren (Gen.11) and in her desperation she persuaded Abraham to have a baby with her maidservant Hagar.  Scripture literally says – Sarah “gave” Hagar to Abraham (Gen.16:3) – UGH!

But as soon as Hagar was pregnant, Sarah despised her and mistreated her and sent her away (Gen.16).

You see, Sarah carried this burden of a promise that a nation would come through Abraham but Sarah could not see with her own eyes, how God would provide these descendants – so she took matters into her own hands.

Her lack of faith – made a mess.

Which is why it’s so amazing to find these words said about Sarah in Hebrews 11:11 :

 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

We see in the book of Hebrews, Sarah is commended for her faith…but what about that laughter we read about in Genesis?

Did Sarah have a change of heart?  Indeed she did!

Praise the Lord, after being caught in her doubt, lie, and mess, the words of the Lord rang true in her life.

“Is anything to hard for the Lord?”

Oh how I love the grace of God that overlooks her mistakes.  He is a God of second chances. A God who is patient with our failings, ever strengthening us and making us more like Him.

Nothing is too hard for the Lord.  And Genesis 21:1,2 tells us that the Lord was gracious to Sarah and did for Sarah what He promised. She became pregnant and bore a son named Issac.

God stepped into Sarah’s situation.  He waited. He waited until Sarah was past the childbearing years – past the age when it would be humanly possible for her to have a child – and then he stepped in and got all the glory!

Is there something in your life that is hard?  You can’t imagine how God can change it?

Life is hard.  Finances, relationships, health issues and loss are hard.

But God…nothing is too hard for Him!

Let’s learn from Sarah’s faith and remember, God always keeps his promises. Let’s wait on God to work out his plans in our lives. Let’s not take matters into our own hands.  Though with our human eyes, some things may seem impossible, let us remember, NOTHING is too hard for the Lord.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

This week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan Week 3

**Chime In**

Genesis 18 discussion question

The “Messy Beautiful Love” Book Club {Begins Here – November 3rd!}

Book Club Announcement

 

I know we are all in the midst of the Making Your Home a Haven Series on Mondays and we aren’t really thinking about November’s Monday series quite yet BUT since it’s a book club, I want to be sure you have enough time to order your book before November 3rd!

So here are the details:

When:

Every Monday and Thursday in November we will be reading and discussing the book Messy Beautiful Love* by Darlene Schacht, the Time Warp Wife.

Where:

Here at WomenLivingWell.org

Why:

Because marriage is Messy right? But it’s Beautiful too. This book is an inspirational testimony of Darlene’s messy marriage made beautiful and laced through out are Biblical and practical applications for building a Christ-centered marriage.

How:  

Purchase the book, Messy Beautiful Love, and follow the schedule below.

I can’t buy the book:  

That’s okay – just join us here anyhow and hopefully the blog posts will bless you.

Is there a Reading/Study/Companion Guide available?

I’m SO glad you asked!!! Lol!

Yes – there is a free one right here -> just click this link and it will open!  This is exclusive for us – it’s the first time for it to be released to the public free with just the click of the link!

Messy Beautiful Love Study Guide Cover

The Schedule:

Messy beautiful love book club schedule

Darlene and I were together in Dallas, Texas this past August
and we made this video for you!
Meet the Author:

(if you are seeing this post in an email – click here and come watch this video)

Love gets messy.

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.
~ Darlene Schacht
Darlene blogs at TimeWarpWife.com, is the coauthor of Candace Cameron Bure’s New York Time’s best-selling book “Reshaping It All” and the author of Messy Beautiful Love*.

Messy Beautiful Love Cover

The book is available on Amazon at a great price today >> here* <<

I really hope you will pick up a copy of this book and invite a friend to join us for this book club!

It should be a lot of fun!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

*Amazon Affiliate Link

 

Making Your Home a Haven {Week 2 – Music}

Candles on  vintage tray with nuts and pumpkin on wooden background

Music.

It has a strange effect on people.  Certain songs can flood our minds with good memories.  Others can touch a painful and tender place deep inside of us where we’ve been hurt and bring tears.  Others make us lift our hands in worship while other songs just make us all want to boogie! lol!

Edith Shaefer says “There is a charm in making music together which not only stimulates interest and creativity, but which breaks through whining and fussing and clears the atmosphere.”

Music changes the atmosphere of our homes.

In our home, soft piano music plays 24/7.  Yes, even in the middle of the night we have music going.  We can’t hear it in our bedrooms but I like coming down the stairs in the morning to a serene atmosphere.

6 things I absolutely love in my home:

1. Vaccuum cleaner lines on freshly vaccuumed carpet.

2. The sound of the dishwasher running at the end of the day – signaling the kitchen is clean and closed.

3. Warm towels fresh out of the dryer.

4. The way the house is sparkling clean ALL at once right before guests arrive.

5. A flickering candle on my kitchen counter.

6. Soft music playing in the background.

I simply enjoy these gifts in life.

But…

They are momentary.

Soon the kids will come running into the room and wrestle around and the vaccuum cleaner lines will be gone.

The dishwasher will stop running and need emptied – that’s not so fun!

The towels – they’ll be cold and wet soon. And most likely, left laying on the floor somewhere.

After the guests leave, the house will need cleaned all over again.

It’s the cycle of life.

But…

My candle keeps on burning and my soft music…keeps on playing.

Morning, noon and night they serve me. My candle serves me with a flickering warm light, a pleasant scent, and a reminder to turn to God as my source of strength and help.

My music serves me with a soothing sound.

They don’t make messes, they don’t need managed, they just simply bless me and my family.

This week’s challenge:

Keep your candles burning, your prayers going and add soft music in your home.

Choose worship, classical, jazz or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships.

Work on gentleness and self-control this week.

Now we can’t have our candles burning and our music going and not pause to take a look at our own hearts.  Our homes should be different than those who do not have the mercy, grace and help of the Lord.  As we go to Him in prayer, may we take the time to see if there is anything in our lives that is displeasing to God, that we need to repent of.

Here are 4 ways to pursue gentleness and self-control this week:

4 ways to pursue peace in our homes 

So let’s begin. Light your candle, crank up your music and continue praying over your home. Every time the glimmer of the candle catches your eye – pray for peace. Peace with each other and peace within your soul.

Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

**Chime In**

Are you taking the challenge this week?

What kind of music is playing in your house?

Have you been lighting your candle?

How has God worked in your home through this challenge?

If you are a blogger and are writing about this- please leave a link to your blog post in the comment section so we can visit you!!

Thank you all so much for your accountability. I so appreciate you joining me on this journey!!! We are in it together!

Walk with the King,