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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.


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The White Cross. What a Peaceful Community Protest Means to Me.

I would love for you to watch my video before you read my post.  Go walking with me beside the Sabine Lake on the Texas coast.  Find out what my story about weed-whacking has to do with the white cross and what it means to me.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are  taking their faith very seriously?  And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage…to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth.  Their goal…to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity.  In their minds, Jesus followers are not only gullible, and stupid, but are  dangerous to the future of society.  Therefore, there are active campaigns all over the Internet with very logical, intelligent sounding discussions, refuting that beautiful name of Jesus.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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There is an organized society called Freedom From Religion,  that has taken it upon themselves to make sure all religious icons are removed from public property.  In one of our local parks, a white cross has stood for 45 years.  This atheist organization is pressuring the city to remove it.  Our community has responded by posting white crosses in our front yards as a peaceful protest to this request, thanks to an area business that gives these crosses out free.  I took a walk on my street and took a picture of all the crosses just on my one street.  This silent protest is happening throughout my community.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

Let me tell you what the white cross in my yard means to me.

I believe that more than just torture and death happened on that cross.   Yes, it hurt physically.  Yes.  But there was something else at work there.  A burden was borne.  A great weight.  As if every man, woman, and child climbed on His bleeding back.  And once He steadied Himself with the heaviness of the world, He noticed He was alone.

Alone.

Hell.

For isn’t hell the absence of God?

This is what I believe was happening in the garden.  Not just distress over the coming pain, but absolute anguish of even one moment without His Father.  Crushed with grief over this death for billions.  Grief experienced without the tiniest fragment of sin.  Pure, beautiful, agonizing submission to His Father’s will.

The scriptures say that His Father heard His prayer in the garden, and an angel was dispatched to strengthen His son.  Have you ever wondered how the Savior of the world gets strengthened?  This is my imagination at work y’all, but I think the angels showed Jesus family pictures.

Of you.

Because after all, this cross was all about love.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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 What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.  God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. Hebrews 2:9-10 NLT

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT

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Pictures:  + the controversial white cross found in one of our local parks, ++my bridal veil bush that is in full bloom.  This bush only blooms for a couple of weeks and then it is gone until next year.

Please click the DEEPER Bible study guide below or the side menu link to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files like the DEEPER Bible study guide, to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines. They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter. Sanctified Tourist publishes once a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month. My newsletter will include friendly inspirations and personal updates on our move to Cambodia. I know your in-box is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward getting emails from from Sanctified Tourist.

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Profanity on Christian blogs is a cultural trend that I want to make a comment on. This post is about Jesus followers...His teachers... the ones He has sent out... who deliberately chose their words and type them on the page. Then when editing, they say to themselves, "This is a good idea. I think these words will make my point."


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Since When is #@%! Holy? Profanity and the Christian Blogger

Jesus and Culture:  Profanity and the Christian Blogger

First of all, let me assure you that I have had my moments.  In a fit of anger I had said some not so pretty words, usually to my husband.  Those days, thankfully, have passed, but just so you know that this post is not about throwing out a few salty words as punctuation to overflowing emotion and then being regretful afterwards.  This post is about Jesus followers…His teachers… the ones He has sent out… who deliberately chose their words and typed them on the page.  Then when editing, they say to themselves, “This is a good idea.  I think these words will make my point.”Profanity on some Christian blogs is a cultural trend that I want to make a comment on. This post is about Jesus followers...His teachers... the ones He has sent out... who deliberately chose their words and type them on the page. Then when editing, they say to themselves, "This is a good idea. I think these words will make my point."

My Christian Alma mater sends out a quarterly alumni magazine and I noticed that a popular blogger (that I was not familiar with) had come to speak on blogging in today’s culture.  So naturally, I went to her blog to see what she had to say.  The current blog post was a rant about people who had annoyed her with stupid questions about a family activity.  At some point she felt it necessary to capitalize HOLY S***. to let the reader know, without a doubt, she was MAD.  I had assumed she was a Christian because of the title of her blog.  Y’all, after picking my jaw off of the floor, I went to investigate her ABOUT page.  Yes, she is a Christian…her husband is a pastor.  And this is not an isolated incident.  I have observed other Christian bloggers with just as much profanity.  I guess they are attempting to be relevant.

I have two points to make about this.

Teachers are Held to a Higher Standard

I think some have forgotten this verse.  Maybe their version of God is different than mine.  But from what I read in scripture, God is pretty serious about being represented well.

Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1 NLT

This one statement should cause all Christian bloggers to pray passionately before hitting the publish button.  The theme of this passage is taming the tongue.  In essence our keyboard is our tongue. Maybe you would like to read all of James 3 here.

It is possible that this blogger’s overall theme does not involve teaching.  That her select audience is clicking to be entertained not led in deep discussion.  Christians that find themselves in the national spotlight, like the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty, or Candace Cameron from The View, are also entertaining the masses, but make no mistake they too are actively teaching the world what a Christian walk looks like.  If you have confessed to belong to Jesus in your Bio, then you are a Christian blogger.

It is impossible to write a blog without teaching.   We are light.

 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:10 NLT

I am sure I will not convince some of you that this is a big deal.  I am sure some will mark me down as out of touch.  But I can’t help myself y’all, it’s the mission of this blog to encourage holiness within our culture.

And speaking of holy…

#$%!  is NOT holy, God is!

I have heard the word Holy put in front of many not so nice words, even in front of hell itself.  It’s the culture y’all.

Profanity on Christian blogs is a cultural trend I want to make a comment on. This post is about Jesus followers...His teachers... the ones He has sent out... who deliberately chose their words and type them on the page. Then when editing, they say to themselves, "This is a good idea. I think these words will make my point."

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Maybe culture needs a review of what holiness is.  How about… perfection beyond comprehension, or purity beyond imagination?  It is the first name of the Holy Spirit.  He is what makes us holy and sanctified.  When Christians use holy in an unholy manner are they misunderstanding the Spirit within them?  Are they disregarding the unseen world, the heavenly places?  Just because we can’t see the invisible doesn’t mean our words are not effecting the unseen. I am just speculating y’all, but wouldn’t calling poop holy be an anti-prayer…the opposite of the living beings in heaven singing,” Holy, Holy, Holy?”

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight.  Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:6-8  NLT

Profanity on Christian blogs is a cultural trend I want to make a comment on. This post is about Jesus followers...His teachers... the ones He has sent out... who deliberately chose their words and type them on the page. Then when editing, they say to themselves, "This is a good idea. I think these words will make my point."

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I would love to hear back from you on this subject.  Have you run across profanity from Christian bloggers?  Does it bother you like it does me?

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Pictures:  +  a forlorn looking gate to the entrance of an old oil refinery that is no longer standing. Located on the Neches River in Texas.  ++original picture of the sun setting taken on my way home from Houston through the front windshield of the passenger side.  It was HUGE that day.  +++ taken inside the chapel at my Alma mater.  Many couples love to use this chapel to get married because of the exquisite stained glass.

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Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist

 

 

 

 

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


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TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

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I am not paid to endorse any products on Sanctified Tourist.

 

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.


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Three Attitudes to Beat the After Holiday Blues

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Being a little down after the holiday season is perfectly normal.  We see family that we haven’t seen in a while and then they quickly go.  Divorce divides the children and leaves one parent alone.   This time of year forces us to look behind us at goals not met and a new year already upon us.  We feel our age, and wonder how time has escaped us.

It’s all mental.  Warfare of the mind.  There is only one way to fight this spiritual battle of the blues.  The Word of God.  Here are three positive attitudes found in scripture along with suggested mental exercises to help in banishing these painful thoughts.

Live in the NOW

Regrets can haunt.  The only thing that looking over your shoulder is good for is education.  Look back and learn, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Looking to the future can bring fear and dread.  The only thing good about looking to the future is education.  Look ahead and prepare, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

 First Mental Exercise:  Use your phone to record yourself spontaneously  thanking God for everything you see as you walk around your environment.  Play it back for yourself.  Sometimes the best teacher for yourself is yourself.

Take Control

How easily it is for the mind to wander.  Today on my walk, someone’s naughty, little pooch stood just outside a dog-sized hole in her fence yipping at me.  She had squeezed through the gap, intent on wandering the neighborhood.

This is exactly what my mind does y’all when I don’t keep it contained, controlled, fenced in…thinking only  of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) … when I allow myself to squeeze through the culture-sized hole in the fence of my mind and wander away from safety, dwelling on things that crush my joy.

Second Mental Exercise:   Take a break from social media and listen to a Christian speaker on YouTube or maybe a little private praise with your favorite worship music.  Look on my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Hope

Sometimes lost hope creates a pity party.  The enemy loves to fill you with dark thoughts about yourself and the life you lead.    The Liar throws shadows on truth until all you want to do is watch TV and eat ice cream.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Satan urges you to forget that God is highly invested in you and has beautiful plans for your life.  Plans for you to do good works in His name.  Plans for you to live for Him, not for self.

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Third Mental Exercise:  This is where the church comes in y’all.  It’s time to phone, email, or text a friend.   Find a believer who knows scripture and explain exactly how you are feeling.  Request scriptures and prayer.  Spend time looking at the scripture given to you as if it were sent from God.

It was.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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One final scripture for you to meditation on…

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:7

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+  Picture taken outside of my classroom one morning on a foggy day

++ Picture taken at the Grand Canyon of me taking it all in…

+++Picture taken after at storm at the family ranch in Montana

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.