Barabbas

Nicole Bush

They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber

How many times in life do we choose “Barabbas”? How many times is Jesus standing right in front of us, calling us, with his arms stretched wide wanting to help us, comfort us, protect us.. and yet, we choose Barabbas?

What kind of Barabbas’ do we as Christians face today?

  1. The devil. He is real and he is on the prowl – just bein’ real with ya all.
  2. Flesh/ Ourselves.
  3. The world.

Now, at some point, we all choose these modern day Barabbas’ but (I’ve news for you all!) JESUS STILL LOVES US. Yep, he does. Unconditional love my friends and because of what Jesus done for us we’re able to have a relationship with him.. and because of what he done, we get to enter into God’s presence. Guess what? We are not enough. Haha…

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Fifty Shades of Nope: A Plead For Purity

chains

Dear Sisters,

If you’ve been on any form of social media in the last week I’m sure your news feed has been filled with the title of the latest book series turned movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey”.  If not then fantastic, lucky you!  I haven’t read the books nor do I plan to see the movie, but I am familiar with the plot and content.  I have no intention of glorifying the above title in anyway, so if you are familiar with the story, I’m sorry keep reading and if you aren’t then congratulations feel free to move onto another article!

What upsets me the most about the posts I’ve seen on social media are the amounts of Christian women talking excitedly about seeing this movie.  I can’t seem to wrap my mind around what part of this movie is acceptable for viewing.  But it’s just a movieIt’s not real!  Okay, so yeah Christian Grey isn’t “real”.  But you know what is?  Sex outside of marriage, pornography, abuse, lust, manipulation, unrealistic standards, etc.  Those are all very real things!  And I hate to break it to you but, paying to see a movie, posting about it on social media, glorifying it among friends and watching it says that you are okay with it.  You’re partaking of sin that has been sugar coated by the enemy.  You are guilty by association.  Harsh? Maybe so, but I’d rather tell you the cold hard truth than a warm and fuzzy lie.

 “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”  // Ephesians 5:11

Satan will do everything he can to distort God’s plan for love, marriage and sex.  He’s been doing this for a long time, and he will continue to do it.  And as long as we buy the books, watch the movies, click on the links and read the articles he’s got us exactly where he wants us.  A study done last August shows that 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women admitted to viewing pornography at least once a month, compared to 65% of men and 30% of women who identified as non-Christian and said they watched porn at the same rate.  I don’t want to be another statistic, I don’t want the enemy to have a foothold on my future.  But as long as we continue to do the same things as everyone around us we are going to continue to have the same results.  Sex and lust outside of the covenant of marriage is a sin.  There are no loopholes aside from the Grace of Jesus.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” // 2 Corinthians 12:9

Okay, so maybe you don’t watch porn…you just wanted to see a spicy chick flick with your girlfriends for Valentines Day.  This “timeless love story” as the New York Post is calling it, is about anything but love.  There is no love in emotional and physical abuse.  Things don’t end well for abuse victims,  and abuse victims don’t change their abusers.  On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.  Hmm, not very glamorous.  Maybe the story line isn’t real but the statistics are.  And the more we view these types of things and the more money we spend the less of a problem is becomes to us.  Desensitization, anyone?  The more we glamorize a real issue the less likely we are to see it as a real issue.  As a strong advocate against human-trafficking and sexual abuse, it makes me angry that Hollywood thinks they can make this seem okay, or even “sexy”.  Really?  You want a man that will treat you with love and respect, but you’re looking at Christian Grey?  Let’s compare this “love” with God’s definition, shall we:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out // 1Corinthians 13:4-8

Nope, not seeing anything in common with Mr. Grey’s “love”.  Love has very little to do with getting and a whole lot to do with giving.  When love becomes about us, it’s no longer love but simply self-gratification.  Which is the exact opposite of God’s plan for love given in 1 Corinthians 13.  I don’t want the cheap dirty version of love that world has to offer, I want the kind of  love that the Bible talks about in Ephesians 5:25:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Men are commanded to love their wives the same way that God loves us,  that’s some pretty serious kind of love.  Why would I take Mr. Grey’s kind of “love” when I could have something like that?

My intention for writing this post is in no way to condemn you but to inform you, God has so much better for you than you could ever dream or ask.  I beg you, please don’t buy into the lie that the enemy is selling you.  Don’t be another statistic.  You claim to be follower of Christ, and people are watching you.  They want to see if you’re different, are you?  Are you going to take a stand for your purity, are you going to take captive your thoughts?  There is a daily battle waging for your purity, your innocence, and your thoughts, Satan wants them and he’ll do whatever he can to get a hold of them.  And with them he will destroy you and everything God has for you.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. // John 10:10

This week is may be just a movie, but what’s it going to be next week, or the next?  It’s not going to stop until you take a stand.  It may look good and feel good, but the consequences are serious.  Don’t let the enemy define love for you, don’t let him make you think that you deserve anything but the same type of love Christ has for us.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. // Philippians 4:8

I hope that my words will resonate in your heart, if this post can change one person’s mind then my job has been done.  Because it only takes one person to start a revolution.  If you think it’s too late for you, I want you to know that there is no such with Jesus.  His Grace is sufficient and by is His Grace you can get right on track.  Don’t be a statistic, don’t buy into the lie.  Stand for what is pure, and God will bless you!

 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. // Proverbs 4:23-27

Pretty Enough

Jade Williford

“She’s so pretty. I wish I was as pretty as her.” From a young age we start asking ourselves: Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?

The girls in magazines, on TV, and on the Instagram “popular” page are flawless (p.s.: Reality Check-they are not real)… but we reason with ourselves that if we skip a few meals, agonize over working out, go to the dermatologists, whiten our teeth, and maybe even make ourselves throw-up just a couple of times, that we’ll finally attain that standard of perfection. But truth be told, I don’t want to be perfect. How boring! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting whiter teeth or being fit. The problem comes when that standard of perfection dictates our thoughts, our well-being, and ultimately our happiness. In our adolescent lives we are constantly told and shown to think our most important asset we can have is…

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