My Fitness

Friday, May 26, 2017

praying to God

I've heard it said that people often develop a sense of who their Heavenly Father is based on who their earthly father is. I've wondered if I also did this. The examples are always of an uncaring and distant earthly father. My dad cared for me was generally nice. He exasperated me and teased me relentlessly and would then be condescending if I believed his lies jokes. But I didn't attribute those ungodly characteristics with God. I thought, then, that I didn't confuse the two.

Then I caught myself in prayer this past week. I was finding that I felt I needed to be very specific because I didn't want God to grant me my request but have it drenched in poison. Do you remember that episode of Twilight Zone The Man in the Bottle? The genie grants the couple's requests with catches to make every outcome worse than where the couple started. One wish was for money but then the tax assessor decides it must have been illegally acquired. The final wish was to be a great world leader and the man is turned into Hitler right before he commits suicide.

That's how my earthly father is. If you ask him for a dollar, he'd say, "How about four quarters?" And then cut a piece of paper into fourths - viola! Four quarters! of a piece of paper. Asking my earthly father for anything was met with sarcasm and catches. Sometimes he was outright and unexpectedly generous. He has more than once filled my car with gas when he went to move it out of the way of his car, for instance. If he were visiting I can bet that I will come home at least once to a very clean dining room or living room or both!

But if I ask him for something, I get nothing. If I expect something from him, I get worse. It's very backward. I never understood Luke 11:11-12 (What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg will give him scorpion?). As a 7-year-old I confronted my father with Colossians 3:21 and Ephesians 6:4 about how fathers are to treat their children. The NIV which I was reading at that age said "do not exasperate your children". I asked why he did this. Why tease me to tears and watch me get so angry about not knowing all the double meanings until I gave up talking to him? He said that isn't what the verse meant but couldn't tell me what it did mean. It's because that's exactly what it meant.

Now I have to remind myself that God is not like that. He's not trying to "get me" or to throw out catches with my granted request. If I ask to live at the beach, he's not going to say, "Wish granted! Now you're a homeless person and your children are taken by CPS and your husband is dead." That's not how God works. He's going to work for my best. If he doesn't grant my request, he will still be with me. He's not playing a game. He isn't teasing me or testing me to see if I can see every outcome of my words. He knows that I am not all-knowing. He isn't going to treat me as part of the god-head Trinity. He knows that I am a child. I do not have either because I do not ask or because I ask selfishly; not because he's cruel and not because he enjoys watching me squirm.

So I pray in peace now knowing that I cannot jinx my prayer and that God isn't waiting for a magic formula of words before he acts. I ask constantly just like my kids ask me for things. I pray without ceasing. I come to the Father like a child because he knows how to give good things. He isn't my earthly father and he isn't a Twilight Zone genie. He is my Good Shepherd.



[I guess this is also a lesson to fathers. I no longer ask my dad for anything and rarely talk to him even if we are in the same room because the amount of sarcasm and lack of straight talk is ridiculous. It's childish and immature. Know your children. If your child isn't enjoying your teasing, then stop. Some kids think it's funny. Stop being mean to your kids. It isn't funny unless they are in on the joke. My mother and father would say to me, "Why do we have to change? Why can't you change?" Because I was a child. I was a child acting like a child. I now act like an adult and I am distanced from my parents because of their immature behavior. They were and are adults acting and behaving as small children.]

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

surrender all

I have been going through a Beth Moore study called John. It's very basic but what I like about it is that it can be done quickly (handy with four kids running around!) and it can be in-depth or not depending on the reader.

With my husband flying to a work conference earlier this week, my overly-active pregnancy imagination has been thinking about what how we will cope when he dies in a plane crash. How we will survive. Where we will live. Our car, income, schooling, etc has all been considered. It sounds a bit crazy but I haven't been obsessing, it was just a thought. In my imagination, everything works out. But the point is that I would be stricken with despair for a period of time.

It wasn't any consolation when today's lesson was how to trust God through despair. I started wondering, "hey God are you trying to prepare me for something?"

And yes, He is. He is preparing me for eternity. He is training me in righteousness and conforming me to the image of His Son, Jesus. Who has suffered more than Christ? And through His Passion by the joy set before him he endured the cross and became sin, such a feat we barely understand. It is such a small thing then to say I surrender all to him!

What does it mean to surrender all to Jesus? It means I give up my culture, my identity, my desires, my thinking, the people I love, the activities I enjoy, the possessions I have. It's all gone. Practically that means any time my culture conflicts with the Bible, I side with the Bible. If my culture says that morally we do one thing but the Bible disagrees, then we disagree. If I identify as one type of gender but the Bible says otherwise, then I surrender my rights to decided who I am and let God decide. If my desires are for a certain lifestyle but the Bible says "no" then I give up my desires and stop seeking that lifestyle. My family and friends are not here to serve me or for me to serve them, but together we serve Christ. They come and go to the glory of God. I do not get to cling so tightly to my husband that I say he is the love of my life - that honor is for Christ alone. Our marriage is built on the solid foundation of God - not on love, mutual respect, or even the desire to do good. Should he leave me through death, my life goes on. Our marriage dies when one of us dies. It does not carry on. If I burry one of my children, their memory will live with me, but they will not. They don't live in my heart and they don't watch me from the clouds. They can't hear me when I call out to them. Signs and omens will be a construct of my imagination and not come from ungodly power source they discover upon death.

I surrender my thinking. I don't get to decide what is right and wrong based on what I feel. I get to read the Bible every day and decide what is right and wrong, morally, based on what pleases and displeases God. My opinion is conformed and changed into his opinion. I don't get to say, "All babies go to heaven because I just can't imagine God sending a baby to hell." That's not what the Bible says. The Bible is silent about special circumstances; so I remain silent about special circumstances. But I'm not going to LIE and say "God would not do that" when he never said such things. I get to say, "I don't know what he does but I know that after we die the truth will be revealed and we will agree that what he has done is GOOD."

If my possessions do not honor God, I get rid of them. If I am not using what he has given me to bring him glory, then I change that item's purpose. If I enjoy an activity that is ungodly, then I stop. If my motives behind an otherwise good activity are not godly then I change my attitude or stop the behavior. I do not have kids because I want kids. I have kids to honor God.

I give it all to him freely, not begrudgingly. I'm not reluctant to give him my birth control because I know that only He creates life and any life (or 12) that he creates was on purpose. Does that mean I give up vacations and a nice house? Quite possibly. But I give that to him too. I give it all. My life is not my own. I do not live for me. I do not live for happiness. I do not live for justice. I do not live for the greater good. I live only for God's glory which is the only way to receive true happiness, true justice, true goodness.

I will always love him because he did the greatest sacrifice for me - he became my sin so that my sin is gone. We don't grasp the vastness of that sentiment. We don't understand the enormity of disgustingness that is our tiniest sins. We see people as "innocent" and "guilty". But if surrender all to him, I surrender that concept too which is counter-biblical. The Bible says that all have sinned and we are all sinners. We are all guilty.

But I trust him. Trusting God means I know his word is right. He will do what he has said he will do. I trust that he is working everything together for good for those who love him.

Daily, I will be in his presence. That means I'm more than a church-goer. I'm more than just a check-box Christian. I read the Bible every day, but I also meditate on it. I memorize it. I let it change me.

I fail hourly. But I'm trying. I want to be better and be more like Jesus. It's hard. I do not understand my own actions. I don't do what I want to do, and I do the very things I hate. I don't understand me. But I surrender me to God.








Monday, April 3, 2017

cultural blind spot

Traveling across the United States, I've experienced many of the cultures that call this country home as well as many cultures that have come across the sea to call this country their second home.

Originally I was going to write in detail about the strangeness of this one particular culture that I was forced to inhabit. It was decidedly odd due to the fact that it claimed to have a singular grasp of Christianity and yet failed to be godly in almost any regard. But digging up the memories was painful and lead into another lesson I've been trying to grasp about learning to love a people despite their culture and even through their culture (although especially difficult with this group of people who were so lost and blind and yet thought they were the only ones who could see..."hypocrite" is an understatement). So instead of this tangent curve, I'm using this one paragraph to say that this culture had giant blind spots.

It's easy to see other people's blind spots.

What they revealed to me was that blind spots exist. And being a bit of a realist and humble enough to know that I am sinful (and not just a vague "nobody's perfect"), I started asking myself where my blind spots are.

It's easy to see other people's blind spots. But you can't see your own. You need help. When it's pointed out you have to be willing to accept that you are wrong. You have to change. You have put your pride aside and let yourself be conformed into the image of Christ.

(Christ does not belong to a single culture. Your culture is not Biblical or godly unless it is the culture outlined in our ancient Scriptures. It isn't, so it isn't. Democracies, republics, socialism, anarchy, or communism are not godly forms of government. Stop worshipping your political preference.)

I have four kids and am pregnant with my fifth. I am almost exclusively exhausted. This is hard. My job and hobbies are physically active and require a high level of fitness. I pity myself regularly that my arms seem more adept to holding hands than for a perfect port de bras or solid plank. I literally cry. Why can't I seem to stay fit while pregnant? It makes me sad. It makes me mad. I should be able to be fit.

Enter in my husband with his ever-blunt words of practicality. Apparently in my culture of physical fitness I have been blinded into what womanhood is. Raising kids and being a good wife while maintaining my temple is good and right. And I'm doing that. Being at my physical peak is not a requirement that God has placed on me. That doesn't mean I sit around and eat Doritos all day. I do my best to beat my body into submission but I do it knowing that it's a secondary or even tertiary to my main goal of glorifying God with my family.

[Some people get to focus on their physical fitness and God has called other people to other things. I'm not downplaying that or saying they are not being women. But when you are a wife, your focus should be your husband. If children enter the picture, they come next. A wife takes a seat behind her husband. A mother, behind her children. (Husbands take a seat behind their wives. Fathers, behind their children.)]

So here I've been critically and painfully aware of the shortcomings of the cultures that surround me wondering how they can be so blind all while my own fitness culture has blinded me to the fact that I am very physically fit. Idolizing fitness is not necessary. And it's sinful.

Thus I slay that idol. All cultural idols must die. I will never be happy as long as they live in my heart.

If you are prideful in this area, you will fall and it will be painful. The only way to find those blind spots and slay that dragon is to honestly let God shape your worldview. I've seen many people who claim to have a Biblical worldview but they still bring their culture into that worldview. You have to be willing to be wrong. You have to be willing that people you dislike are right.





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

tiara wearing first

My friend, Lissa, has inspired me with her hashtag #tiarawearingfirst It speaks to the royalty of children of God. If God is King, and I am his heir, then I am a princess. I wear a tiara. If I am a follower of Christ then I should desire to read God's Word and follow it. Lissa starts her day with Bible reading. For some reason, the quirkiness of "wearing a tiara" makes a daily devotion time more enjoyable. It helps me to see the privilege of being able to read God's Word. Instead of begrudgingly reading my Bible and fearing boredom, I read it gladly. Wearing a tiara, helps me rightly see that I should be excited about spending time with God just like wearing a tiara is exciting. It means I am special. I am the daughter of someone special. 

To help me align my heart and mind before diving into Scripture, I pray. Otherwise I get in the habit of speed reading just to get it over with. Obviously not the right attitude to go into the most important part of existence.

I wrote a prayer that I change every now and again but the same meaning is there. I change it so that the prayer doesn't become route memorization. I don't want to just be saying words. I want my heart to be speaking genuine desire. 

Here is my prayer:
Heavenly Father,

As I read Your Word, use it to cleanse me of impurities, convict me of sin, and encourage me in righteousness. 

Help me to focus on You. Help me to enjoy You. Help me to worship You. Help me to become more like You every day.
Amen


Here's an image of this morning tiara wearing first session. My daughter was coloring my written out prayer. She woke as I was starting. It's ok for tiara wearing to be sloppy looking. It's the heart that matters.




Monday, March 20, 2017

bragging on my son

Let me tell you about this amazing young man, Caleb. He's an inward thinker. He's really goofy. He likes being around other people but after a couple of hours he needs seclusion to recharge. He loves video games and does not really like school. But he's really good at schoolwork! Like, REALLY good.

He went to public school from August to December. Admittedly, his school was pretty bad, his teacher was pretty bad, and the rest of the faculty there was hit or miss. My son would bring home 50% on his mathwork. I knew that was not right for someone of his intelligence level. But the teacher couldn't be bothered - she did have 20 other students that needed her attention. Whenever he would get home we would spend another hour or two going over what they were supposed to have learned that day. I thought it was ridiculous that I had to teach him on top of sending him to school.

On the first day of Christmas break I started homeschooling him. We have been using the computer-based curriculum Time4Learning. When we started I was hoping that a computer based curriculum would be able to hold his attention better because he likes computers. And I was right. One time he got a 50% and I asked him why. He said he didn't know which one was the answer. I explained that you have to read the question, think of the answer, and then pick which option matches your answer. He says, "oh" and then got a 100%. Turns out that no one explained how multiple choice questions work to him before then. #PublicSchoolFail

Over the rest of the break he kept flourishing. His behavior was getting better and better. My other children loved having him back home. His grades were excellent. So we kept him home in the Spring Semester. I started him at the beginning of the school year at Christmas.

Get this:

He will be completely finished with first grade in the next day or so...depending on how much he drags his feet. (Those last couple assignments get tedious for a six year old.) It's March 20. He finished an entire grade in 3 months! #HomeSchoolSuccess

I am so pleased with him. He makes me so happy. He is such a hard worker. Even though something is hard and he doesn't like it, he still does it. I don't let him play video games until his school work is done for the day. He only has a little amount of time he's allowed to play and when the time is up, he can do the next day's assignment early if he so chooses...he's never done that, btw.

So since some of you reading this can't help being negative I'll address some of your responses before you write them.
You may be thinking "well, Time4Learning isn't very hard. The Public School has harder material." No. That's not true. Sure, think whatever you want. I saw the materials Caleb came home with. I couldn't believe how simple the materials were.

"Time4Learning is easy." Caleb thinks it is hard. It adequately challenges and teaches. He knows the material now which is the goal so I don't care how "easy" or "hard" a program is as long as my son knows the materials.

"That much time on a computer is bad for kids. I read a story of a kid DYING because he did school on the computer." There's always that mom, isn't there? I'm sure I'll notice my son's failing health long before he dies. Technology is the path of the future, we'd be fools to not use a computer on a daily basis.

"What about penmanship?" Don't worry, we still use Spelling-You-See. Also, he's doing great with that. He is not almost done there because I forgot about it for TWO MONTHS! During that two month period I was having him write various things and it was when I thought, "Why don't have a curriculum doing this for me?" That I remembered my old purchase.

For science we had a subscription to Magic School Bus monthly mailers, but we only have one month left. Time4Learning does have a science curriculum  but it is really basic. Turns out that at this level all science curriculums are pretty basic. I guess I have high standards having majored in biology. I'm hoping to get a microscope and go through my own ideas. And also we have some science museums that we can becomes yearly members. Once the kids get a bit older then we can have some real science fun. I still have a bunch of my college science supplies.

"I would never let my kids have video games as a reward. Don't you know kids shouldn't be playing that much on screens?" I know! I am the worst! How dare I let my kid have fun in the way he chooses...Excuse my sarcasm. I don't want my kid turning out like your kid, so we're good. If God wanted you to parent my kid He would have given you my child, but he didn't. My son learned how to correctly read a map because of a video game. He learned budgeting, spacial awareness, strategy, and also gets reading practice and addition/subtraction practice. The best part is that he doesn't even realize that's what's going on. It's "real world" application of his schoolwork. I've seen his game playing ability increase as his schoolwork ability increases. He's reading and planning ahead based on concepts he learned in school.

So, if you have real questions and not any snarky attempts at masking your jealousy as you try to burst my bubble, feel free to ask. Every parent will have to find what works with their child. Every child is different. You have to figure out what style, setting, and curriculum works for both of you. Maybe Public is best for you. Good for you. It was terrible for us. Maybe you hate computers, well how are you reading this then? Keep your fake concern, send your genuine questions.


I don't have any arms!
Zoë helps!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

motherhood is more than a calling

I always discourage people from trying to discern God's will through their feelings. "What do you feel like God is saying to you?" Is not something I would say. I think our feelings are fickle and deceptive. So it's no surprise that for myself I don't "feel" called to motherhood.

Awhile back I was trying to figure out what my calling is and what it will be after my children no longer need me. I was trying to figure out how to use my gifts and talents for God and his glory. I didn't see that I was currently doing that and I wanted to start.

Being a dancer I was trying to think of different outreach avenues I could pursue when I thought of the clever idea of having a ballet pregnancy photoshoot and then auctioning the canvasses to support pro-life organizations or donating them to pro-life pregnancy centers. I contacted a couple of places and they loved the idea! I was excited to finally be of use to the Kingdom!

My husband was initially supportive but for some yet unknown reason has at least become temporarily unsupportive. (EDIT 3/19: turns out he was unsupportive because he thought it was going to cost us money. When he found out that it didn't cost us any money only time, he became supportive again. But now this makes me wonder about the sincerity of what he said next. Maybe he was just trying to say anything to get out of spending money.) And then he said the most shocking thing- he said that I already am using my gifts and talents for the Lord by being a mother and that I'm doing a good job.

This shocked me because he's never told me that he thought I was doing a good job. I had the distinct impression based on his number of criticisms and comments (he says are meant to be helpful. They are actually discouraging) that he thought I was a bad mother. Words are apparently not his gifting.

So this got me thinking about motherhood. On one hand I don't want to be a mother because it ruins my body and my health and takes my freedom. On the other hand, I am a mother and it is my calling so none of the negatives matter. It takes an extremely selfish person to use those reasons to escape motherhood or prevent motherhood. Besides, I do want to be a mother. I enjoy being a mother. I've always wanted to be a mother. I love my children.

Why is motherhood hard sometimes? One reason is because of how selfless I have to be. When I have to teach the same academic or life lesson over and over, it's tiring. It's frustrating. Then I remembered that this is a calling. To better understand this calling and better understand motherhood I had to think of my children as the talents in the Parable that Jesus told. To some he gave one, to some he gave two and others ten. What am I going to do with this investment? I can shirk it and run away in fear. Or I can humbly walk alongside my children in hopes to point them to Christ. When I see my calling as a change of focus from me to what does God need see to do, it helps me see myself better. It makes it easier for me to pour myself out completely.

I may never achieve my dreams if I pursue God's calling on my life. To me that means my desires were not in-line with God's desires. In that case, it is good that I never achieve my dreams. So now I am free to pursue God's dreams for me. I can wipe that nose, clean that mess, prepare that food, and love my children. Ultimately God's calling is not "motherhood" but "disciple maker". That puts everything into focus.

discernment

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more 
with knowledge and all discernment -Philippians 1:9
It seems that here in the Bible Belt, at least, perhaps everywhere, it is very difficult to discern the difference between Scripture and what I coined "feel-goodery".

One example of lack of discernment comes out of Mississippi over a decade ago when madness over a natural soap took hold of my circle of friends. They said that because the maker of this soap prayed over the soap that it had mystic powers to cure cancer among other amazing miracles. Of course, none of this was verifiable. It was absurd. I had a young and well-meaning friend ask me, "Lauren, if they want to believe that it cures them, why not just let them believe it?" On the one hand, why was I so concerned over what blissful sheep believe? I didn't lose or gain anything by their belief in superstitions. On the other, these were my friends being duped. So what did it matter? By trusting in some watery goop to heal you instead of science, you're putting yourself in danger. You're putting your children in danger. And besides all the science, your giving glory to a substance instead of to God. It's idolatry. Like the science. Love God. Don't trust scammers. I mean, seriously. The maker was in jail for scams and these poor people were still falling for his scams. I don't understand the willfully blind.

Another example of lack of discernment comes out of Texas last year when madness over the presidential election reached a peak. I had written that I couldn't wait for Pastors to stop being so hysterical over it and a friend wrote, "We are grateful for a pastoral staff who is not afraid to stand up for biblically based truths and beliefs. I am particularly grateful that we are not a "seeker" church and do not have "feel good" sermons every Sunday." She failed to see how her pastor was tickling the ears of his congregants. It broke my heart to see my friend blinded by a man she trusted. The lack of discernment of the pastor, my friend, and the rest of the congregation is typical in the Bible Belt and especially Texas. Here, they confuse patriotism and Christianity. They think "Republican" is synonymous with Biblical. Her pastor actually said that the Republican platform was the Christian one. It breaks my heart to see such ignorance and stupidity being preached and my blind friends following it unquestioningly. Of course, anyone familiar with the Bible knows that to not be true. The platform of Christ rests on two sentences:
Jesus answeredThe most important is, ‘HearO IsraelThe Lord our Godthe Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:29-31
Neither of which are found in the Republican platform of over 40 pages. But that church has stopped preaching from the Bible and has decided to take refuge in political speeches. That church lacks discernment and has failed to teach discernment. Instead now the pastor tickles the ears of his very Republican congregation and shares what they like to hear. He even came back his next sermon saying, "most people liked what I said." As if that is any indicator of what God would want him to preach. So sad.

Quite contrary to Scripture, this pastor said he was afraid "for the babies". I can respect that sentiment except that the Bible clearly says that fear has no place in love and that anything done out of fear is sin. This pastor's personal assistant said blatantly "I am very afraid of the evil that will be unleashed if Hillary Clinton wins. " What place does fear have in the hearts of the Believers? This lack of faith and trust in God was preached and learned. If this PA had discernment she'd see her own hypocrisy once it was pointed out to her. And I'd like to do my "I told ya so" dance (probably not out of humility...I'd really enjoy to be proven wrong in the coming months) as I point out how abortion is still legal despite all the lying politicians clamoring for the hearts of the blind republicans hod the majority in the House, Senate, and the Presidency. I've said it so many times but it needs repeating- I don't care who the president is. I am very concerned for the hearts of my friends trusting in lying men and fearing hypothetical doomsday scenarios instead of trusting God. This breaks my heart.




My final example for now probably snags the majority of women I know. It's a combination of trendiness, Prosperity Gospel feel-goodery, empty positivity, and plain ol' ear tickling. I qualify the type of positivity to be clear that there are good forms of positivity and then there's the empty variety. Being positive for positivity sake is useless and leads to danger. Sometimes you don't "just keep swimming". If you can base your positivity on Christ, then your positivity is well-founded.

In particular, there was a post shared that read, "God knew what kind of mother our children would need long before they were even born." I don't want to embarrass anyone with this specific example of lack of discernment so I won't name names. Google it if you absolutely MUST know where this comes from. It does not come from the Bible. My friend shared this. But this implication that because God knew what would happen, then you're ok, is precisely the ego-stroke that narcissistic mothers love to hear so they don't have to change and be the women God wants them to be. Rather we should instead go with Biblical encouragement and Biblical positivity which reads like "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 This is comforting because it tells mothers not to "rest in who they are even if they're garbage mothers" but to try to do what God wants them to do according to Scripture (none of this "I can audibly hear the voice of God telling me to kill everyone" madness. I mean actual Scripture.) and even when we fail as mothers, which will happen, instead point our kids to Christ so that they can lean on Him and not us. Perhaps that was the original intent, unfortunately that was not what was written. I get being a poor writer. I'm a poor writer. But this is not my job. For a writer to be a bad writer and a self-proclaimed teacher to be a bad teacher, is grave "for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." (James 3:1)

It takes discernment to detect the difference between these two sentiments. It takes Scripture reading, Scripture studying, and Scripture meditating to see the lies in feel-goodery, empty positivity, prosperity gospel ear tickles. I get it - I'm a "Debby Downer" for not just letting people blissfully walk off cliffs. Maybe I'd have more friends if I didn't speak about foolishness. I like it when people point out where I'm wrong. I've had to learn humility to accept correction. I get corrected all the time. It's ok to be wrong, just change your stance to be in-line with Scripture. It's that easy. This post will only upset you if you are too prideful. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.  (Proverbs 16:18) My husband and I were recently discussing how some people insist they are right even when proven wrong and instead of easily saying, "oops", they carry on and on about how they were actually right or how everyone else is wrong. It only makes her look more stupid. I've looked stupid on many occasions. In humility, I admit many mistakes. The easiest way to be mistake-free is to base all your decisions on Scripture. It might seem hypocritical of me. I don't trust anyone who denies their own hypocrisy. That person is a victim of their own lies and does not know Truth.

If you want to ask my opinion on pieces requiring discernment, then I'd point out that, still, you lack the very simple discernment that I am not an authority on discernment. Tricky, huh? I can point you to Scripture, hopefully, but anyone who points to themselves or anything other than Scripture is a deceiver. I'm trying to not be hypocritical. I'm trying to be humble. I am genuinely apologetic if my tone does not com across at humble. Discernment is a strength of mine and I do not mean to only compare my strengths to others' weaknesses. I hope that instead of accusing me of pride here that you will give me grace and instead accuse me of not writing eloquently. I try but I understand that I fail. Not everyone hears things, read things, the same way; or the way they're intended.

Any positivity post that is unbiblical is from the Father of Lies at worst and a blind teacher at best. Any preacher preaching any gospel other than that found in Scripture, let me echo Galatians 1 and say, "let him be accursed". Any product taking the place of prayer in your life, is an idol.