Sanctified Tourist

Living holy and fit both spiritually and physically in today's culture.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.


2 Comments

Why Our Family DE-emphasized Santa

From the earliest of age I have not been very impressed with Santa.  I remember laying awake terrified that a strange man would be lurking around in our living room, and worse, that my parents would let him.  Later, the idea of presents dried my tears when sitting on the mall Santa’s lap, but I still didn’t like it and I have pictures to prove it.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

When I had children of my own I decided that there would be no more white lies about Santa.  Here is my reasoning.  I spent a good deal of time training my kids to know the difference between real and make believe, especially from the Bible.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of crazy stories in the Bible that seem like fantasy.  When we opened the  Bible together, everything they heard…snakes talking, arks floating, men in fiery furnaces, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, God being born in a  manger…no matter how fantastic…all of it was TRUTH.  I was determined that my children would be able to trust me to tell them the truth, even about Christmas.  I would stop the innocent Santa lies of my mother, and my grandmother before her.  I would never tell them that there was another man who had the same omniscient qualities as God…someone who knew everything about them…when  they  sleep, and when they are awake. I just couldn’t do it.

Lest you think we were opposed to Santa altogether, let me be clear that Santa still came to our house.  We still had all the fun of Christmas morning that the rest of the world did.  The only difference was that the kids knew the real origin of all the gifts under the tree.    Our children enjoyed talking about Santa as if he were real, much like my granddaughter imagines she is having conversations with her stuffed animals.  We never had any problems with our children revealing this big secret to their classmates once they were school-aged.

I know this idea is not for everyone, but it worked for our family.  My daughter is now a mother and she and her husband are putting more emphasis on the birth of Jesus than I ever did.  If I could do it again, I would use this time of year for our family to grow spiritually together with an emphasis on giving.

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Alice

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

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

The word IF is a testing word that usually shows up in the middle of despondency. Somehow, we think that a harmless little test will somehow increase our faith.


2 Comments

Do You Require Proof?

I have been studying the red words of Jesus, and when I focused on the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4,  the Holy Spirit helped me notice the phrasing that Satan used with Jesus…

If you are the Son of God, then do this…

If

This seemingly insignificant word, corrupts  the bold statement, You are the Son of God, with the stain of doubt.  I believe the enemy tickles the ears of the church with the word if.

If you are the Son of God, then you will take away my pain.

If you are the Son of God, then my child won’t suffer.

If you are the Son of God, then my marriage will be saved.

If you are the Son of God, then I won’t lose my job.

If you are the Son of God, then I’ll get a good diagnoses.

If you are the Son of God, then you will support my lifestyle.

The word IF is a testing word that usually shows up in the middle of despondency. Somehow, we think that a harmless little test will somehow increase our faith.

The word if is a testing word that usually shows up in the middle of despondency.  Somehow, we think that a harmless little test will somehow increase our faith.  As if a gallant rescue from Superman will tip the scales in His favor. These dark thoughts are lies from the enemy and dethrone the King of Kings.

Instead of plucking a daisy…He loves me, He loves me not…why not read the words Jesus proclaims about Himself?  His words make it impossible to deny His character and purpose.  Once His words are written in your heart, the word if will seem absurd.  The light of truth will shine on if and it will be exposed for what it is…a tired, ancient attempt by the devil, desperate to discredit the Son of God.

The word IF is a testing word that usually shows up in the middle of despondency. Somehow, we think that a harmless little test will somehow increase our faith.

i love 2

 

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

 

The fourth commandment is not about church attendance it's about rest from work and honoring God with your rest. Isn't it about time you find time to rest?


2 Comments

Ignoring the Fourth Commandment

Spiritual Disciplines Series

The fourth commandment is not about church attendance it's about rest from work and honoring God with your rest. Isn't it about time you find time to rest?

I have really felt convicted lately to take a good long look at the fourth commandment.  In examining scripture I have discovered that the emphasis on this command is not about corporate worship, even though the Israelites were called to holy assembly on the Sabbath.  I always assumed my church attendance fulfilled this commandment, but that is definitely  not the point of number four. This commandment is specifically speaking of rest.  REST.  The absence of work.

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. Exodus 20:8-11NLT

The fourth commandment is not about church attendance it's about rest from work and honoring God with your rest. Isn't it about time you find time to rest?

The words that stand out in the above scripture are:

Remember

Dedicate

Rest

Apart

Holy

God wanted His people, even the animals, to rest so they would be refreshed.  And God was very serious about resting, even to the point of  a death punishment for disobedience.  The point of the seventh day of rest  is found in Exodus 31:13   It is given so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.  

Our response?  I for one do not want to ignore the fourth command anymore. These rules of love were so important to Him that He carved them into stone tablets with His own finger.  Jesus tells us that the most important command is the first one, loving God, and that all the other laws hinge on it and on loving our neighbor.  The fourth commandment is just another way to express love toward Yahweh, our Father.

Here are some ideas to incorporate resting into your family life.

Pick a Day every week to rest.

Sunday is the natural choice, but shift workers might have to pick another day.

Individualize your definition of rest.

Will you mow or cook on your day of rest?  How will you lead your children in restful activities?  Is TV viewing or video games your idea of rest?  How about sports?  You make the rules. Be flexible.  Nothing should be set in stone.  Let your rest time have a natural ebb and flow that develops into something personal for you.

Be intentional.

Plan ahead so that work related activities are finished the day before.  Plan quiet family activities.  Resting doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Our culture of full speed ahead from dawn till dusk can easily distract us from focusing on God and family.   I would love to hear what you think of this idea of resting once a week.

The fourth commandment is not about church attendance it's about rest from work and honoring God with your rest. Isn't it about time you find time to rest?

i love 2

 

 

You might be interested in other posts from the Spiritual Disciplines Series below:

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.

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.

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father? Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end? A speck of hope?


6 Comments

Is Your Endurance Inspired by Hope?

Have you ever prayed for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil was coming to an end?  A speck of hope?  A crumb the Father sends to you to let you know things are not quite as desperate as once thought?  An endurance inspired by hope?  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end?  A speck of hope?

 

Hope

In the blindness of the dark, it is the feel of a hand on your back.

In the panic of falling, it is the open chute.

In the drifting sailboat, it is the kiss of a breeze.

In the confusion of lies, it is the whisper of truth.

In the isolation of self, it is the elbow in the ribs.

In the sadness of despair, it is the embrace of love.

Hope

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

And hope, when fully realized, brings a life of joy…even while you wait.

i love 2

 

 

bottom 3

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

 

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.


4 Comments

Unpainted Toes and Other Ways to Suffer in Prayer

Did you click on my post because of the title?  Give me a minute and I’ll explain.

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.

Fasting is a Spiritual discipline that I am interested in but am NOT an expert on.  From what I understand in scripture, people withheld food from themselves in order to pray.  I guess there is something about suffering that focuses the mind, and lets Jesus know that you are serious.

But couldn’t fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray?  Does it have to be just food?  Several years ago a beloved uncle was in the throws of cancer.  He was riddled with it,  and there was nothing left to do but pray.  I found myself forgetting to remember him on certain days that I was consumed with my job and life. I DIDN’T WANT TO FORGET!   So I devised a plan.  I stopped painting my toenails.  Hear me out y’all.  In my part of Texas we wear sandals all the way up until winter.  When I look at my toes, it makes me happy to see shiny, bright colors staring back at me.  When they are not painted I cringe.  (I know some of you are laughing…me too)  These unpolished toes reminded me to pray.  Not only that, but it reminded me that while I was living a perfectly healthy life, someone I loved was in agony.

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.

 

And now, another person I love is in agony over an ongoing job situation.   I should be praying for him daily, but I became frustrated when my prayers seemed tiny and brief.  I wanted my prayers to be as big, and bold as my love.  So I devised another fast,  especially for this situation.  I will continue this fast until a conclusion is reached.  Since this fast is current, I will keep it private for now.

Jesus gave specific  instructions for fasting.

 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.  Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.   Matthew 6:16-18 NLT

Did you notice that Jesus says WHEN YOU FAST.  Not IF you fast.

Other ideas for long term fasting are:  television, computer, phone activity (you could use it just to take calls),  coffee (taking it black when you don’t usually would be a great fast), sodas,  makeup, jeans, earrings, nail polish, even taking a different out of the way route home from work would be a great reminder to pray.  Anything that could purposely cause you inconvenience.   And by the way, if you recoiled when you read one of these ideas, and said to yourself you could never give up that particular item…I hate to tell you, but THAT’S the one you should go for first!  It’s all about suffering y’all.  Click here for Long Term Fasting Ideas printable PDF.

All of the above are long term fasts.  There are times when immediate abstaining from food fasts are more appropriate.  Big decisions, upcoming surgeries, safe travels, marriages are a few examples.  In scripture there were times when fasting was done with a group.  Once my sister and I fasted and prayed for a immediate need in her family.  And on a side note, EVERY time I have abstained from food to pray I have received deep, powerful insights from the Holy Spirit.  He is working with you, n sync with you while you suffer in prayer…bringing your groans to the Father.  (Romans 8)

Be creative with your fasting y’all.  Think outside of the box and become powerful prayer warriors.  Blessings!

i love 2

 

 

 

Bottom of post

Sanctified Tourist does not get paid to endorse any ads or products.