Saturday, April 18, 2009

The HereAfter House

Everybody has a day or time that speaks out to them the most. Maybe for some its a grand vacation. Or for another graduating college. I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to share my special day that changed my whole life.
I was laying in my bed last night, thinking about this special night. Remembering all the details of what happened on this night. Little things that you wouldn't normally remember about something...unless it mean that much to you.

We were in the church bus. I remember all who was there. Scott Pevehouse, our youth pastor. Rachel Muller, Rebekah MIlcroy, Michael Bowman, my brother, Reese Lovell, Craig Spencer, and another guy that I don't know his name. I never knew his name and never saw him again after this night.
Scott was taking us to see a Heaven and Hell house drama at a church in Benton. He said he wanted us as a youth group to have our own, and wanted to see if we would be inspired to come up with one by seeing this particular drama.
I remember what I was wearing that night. I had a plain orange long sleeve shirt, black pants and play shoes. The necklace I wore was my great grandmothers that was a golden circle and had a red bird in the center. I didn't have contacts back then.
And my hair was parted down the middle.
We took a break at a truck stop where Rachel got me to try my first Cappachino, which burnt my tongue very badly. I even remember the floor of the van was so hott that the souls of my shoes started to melt.

I remember waiting in line at the church for nearly an hour. I'm guessing it was about 7ish something in the evening. We all had to sign a visitors card and only had one pencil. So it took time for us to fill out all the information. And when we finally got in the place, we still had to wait in line for almost another hour. Then they took us to a sitting area where we were told that in a few moments we would be entering the drama with another group of young teenagers. I remember the man telling us about what we were about to enter, and reminding us that the drama all the way through was about 45 minutes if everything were to run smoothly.
Our turn finally came. We walked up some stairs before entering the first room. The halls were dark. And we were walking on something like black trash bags. The whole purpose was for us not to be able to see anything. The first room we stood on an incline. And we were looking down at a car crash scene. There were three bodies laying around this car. Smoke was everywhere. The drama before us was about seeing these lives are no longer. They are dead. The parametics were looking over the young students and discussing what happened to each other. We were then led out of the room.
Back in the hall, we still couldn't see anything. I didn't know where we were going. It would all be quite, then we would hear a man scream and jump on somebody and then everybody would start screaming! When we could see a little light, I saw tall men in black clokes, with painted faces. They had yellow eyes and didn't say a word to nobody. They didn't even look at you. But every once in a while, they would jump at you. Everybody knew who they were supose to be; demons.
The next several rooms held almost the same scenes. Each room representing hell. You could hear people crying for help, piercing in flaming pain. The rooms were always dark, and you couldn't see much. The drama before us constist of two demons with high voices. There were several people in this room, representing dead souls. Each one had their story as to why they thought they would be in Heaven. One admitted to being a drinker, a gambler, and a murderer. One admitted to being in prison. One woman admitted to being addicted to drugs and ended up abanonding her children for her adiction. One mother was watching a television screen. She was watching her family living on earth. All her life she knew who God was. She knew that the only way to heaven is through Jesus. But she never made that commitment. Instead she chose to live her life. So as she watched this tv screen, she prayed hoping that God would send somebody to her family to warn them about hell. But it did nothing. She suddenly saw that her daughter was out of the picture. She cried and yelled, "Where is my daughter!?" And a few seconds later she heard her daughters screams. She looked up and saw that her daughter was being thrown into flames. She yelled to her mother, "Mom why didn't you tell me about Jesus!?" And they both cried.
There was one more scene. It was about a woman. She claimed to have been raised in church her whole life. She was in church everytime the doors were opened. She taught Sunday School. She taught VBS. She did nursery duty. She sang in the choir service. She read her Bible every single day and prayed to God. But not once did she recieve Jesus as her personal Savior. And she asked the demons, "Why am I here? I was a Christian!"
The demons said the same thing to every person in that room. They spoke the truth. They spoke of what the Bible said. " There is nothing you can do to get yourself into Heaven. Because you never repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart, you have been cast into the never ending flames." These demons quoted Scripture. They mocked them and admitted how many lies they have thrown at these souls when they were still alive. And they told all of us the same thing.
I knew what hell was. But now I really knew God meant business.
There were a few more rooms like this that we were led into. To us girls it was getting scary. I remember Rachel grabing my hand because she was scared too. I remember later all three of us held hands for a while, afraid we might loose each other in the darkness.

At the end of the walkway stood an angel, who was holding a candle. She was an older lady with blonde hair, and of course she was short like most women (no offense). She told us that she would take us through a journey back to earth. She then led us to a room, where we recognized the three teens we saw at the car crash, meaning this story must have happened before the crash. The three teens were talking. One boy claimed to not care about God. One was in question, and trying to earn his way to heaven. And a young boy, who admitted he knew where he was going when he died. And was sharing with these two teens about Christ, but they rejected it.
We were then led into a second room, where a girl who was a Christian was friends with another girl who wasn't. The girl was telling her friend that she was going to a party. And the Christian girl told her to have a good time. A guy walked up to her and asked her why she let her friend go to the party. The girl said, "I don't want her to think I'm a moron. I mean, she's my friend. I don't want to loose her. Besides, I don't know how I can talk about Jesus to her."
" Aren't you concerned about her soul, where she will spend eternity at? She needs to know."
"Yeah, but I can't do that. I'm scared to."
We later saw that girl who went to the party, was also in the car crash scene. She didn't survive and she died.
This was hitting me pretty hard. It was hard to not be effected by the story. To not feel something inside of you trying to give you a message.
The very last room we entered in, was apparently the churches sanctuary where we saw angels and bright lights and a pearly gate. This was Heaven.
Jesus appeared. His hands held the nailed scars. We saw the cross. We saw His blood. We knelt at the alter. And one by one souls were entering Heaven, and Jesus was welcoming each one with a hug. And he spoke of what He had done for our sins. I was crying at this point. We watched as the boy who died in the car crash entered Heaven. He really did know where he was going. And Jesus welcomed him with open arms.

The drama was over. We were then led into a large tent with lots of chairs. There a pastor talked through what we had just seen. He quoted the Scriptures and talked to us about what Jesus did on the cross for our punishment. I remember him leading us in prayer, and asking anybody who would like to recieve Jesus as their Savior to repeat the sinners prayer. I didn't say the prayer he led. Instead I said my own. That night right there in that big tent I accepted Jesus into my heart. Immediantly I felt a huge load lifted off my shoulders. I felt so light and free! I was crying majorly because at first I saw how guilty and ugly I was. But now I was crying with joy, because I knew that I would somebody spend eternity with Jesus.

I put my arm around Rachel as we walked out of the church. We all hanged around the sidewalk and thats when I told her I had just gotten saved. She gave me an enormous hug and didn't let me go for a long time. Living never felt so good before.

It was after midnight when we finally left the church. Come to find out, the guy who I have no clue what his name was, was also saved that night. I remember that we were all starving and there were only two fast food places open. Taco Bell and Wendy's. So we drove back and forth to each drive through window about four times ordering food and then forgetting to order something else, or somebody changing their minds over what they had ordered and decided they wanted to try something else. We became friends with the employee's afterwards.
Rachel gave me her chocolate flurry from Wendy's. "Happy Birthday." She told me.
We didn't get home until three in the morning.

I just wanted to share with everyone what I went through. There was a story that was leading me to this place before hand that I did not share. Simply because thats a whole nothing story thats part of my testimony. But sharing my testimony wasn't the point of this blog. The point of this blog was to show you the night Jesus spoke to me and how He did that. I remember this night more than any other day in my life. The details are little things that I know nobody who went that night remembers today. But I do because it was my night to meet Jesus. It was my day to live.
People are so scared of experiences like these, because they don't know what will happen or what it consist of. But this kind of experience is not something to fear. For if you do, you have allowed Satan to enter in. Because fear is a sin, it is not of God. If we can earn our way to Heaven, then Jesus dying for our sin was done in vain. It counted for nothing. If there are so many roads to Heaven, then Jesus came to earth for nothing. The difference between Religion and Christianity is that Religion is man-made, mans way of getting to heaven. No religion in this country is there a relationship with their god. While with Christians it is not based on what man created, but on God's Word. Its a relationship with no rituals or symbolic principles. Its based on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. The people in this drama thought the worlds views about their life. "I don't need God. I'm a good person. I never killed anybody. I hope I'm going to Heaven." It doesn't matter if you've never done anything as bad as sexually harrasing somebody. We are all born into sin. That sin is what put Jesus on the cross in the first place. Because we could not pay the cost of it. It should have been us who died that day! Would you want to die for the world? Of course you wouldn't. This world is not worth it. But because Jesus is unconditional love PERIOD, He saw this world was worth it. A lie I told many years ago, put Him on that cross. The glitter ring I stole from Walmart when I was five, put Jesus on that cross. There is none righteous, no not one.
We can't live on our own way of thinking that will get us into Heaven. This is something you do now. Don't just take my word for it. Do the research yourself. Get a Bible and compare it to what other religions teach and preach. You will see a dramatic difference. People also forget that the Bible was the very first book ever written in this world. Inspired by God, which gives us more reason to believe that it speaks the truth. And its truth was not meant to harm us, it was meant to save us. The reason we may feel uncomfortable about it is because Satan doesn't want us to believe it. Conviction sets in and we fight. But fighting doesn't get you closer to Heaven.
There is only one road to Heaven. And again, do your research about the truth. I'm just telling you that what happened to me is real. Because I am not the same person that I use to be. I have been born again, and my life is not my own. From letting Jesus live in me, I have become more like Him. " Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. " 2 Corinthians 5:17. Thats what it means to be saved. Your old self is being cast away. You are cleansed by Jesus' blood and made pure, white as snow. And you are transformed into a new human being. Your decisions aren't the same. Your desire's and wants change. You began to understand that life in Heaven is worth more than life itself. And you have the peace to know that when you die, you will spend eternity with the Man who died for you.
Jesus is so much more than Bible Stories, church activities, and kiddie songs. Jesus is real. And when my time comes for me to leave, I know where I am going. I hope to see you there.

October 30, 2002, almost near midnight - The day my life was born.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Fight

How do we love? Love is the topic among most of this generation. There are so many acts of love, and we all desire that love.
There are many times that love isn't shown. Instead its replaced with anger, lust, and disrespect. Love is so complicated don't you think? But what this world doesn't know, is that we have the answer. Love is not at all complicated.
We all remember as young teenagers how we had our little so called crushes, and we were so sure it was love. I didn't realize who I was becoming, because I felt I wasn't recieving love at home. I wanted the worlds love, because I saw everybody had it. All girls need boys in their life, I would often hear. My dad wasn't there for me, so I believed this lie.
When the day came when I gave my heart to Christ, love came into me. It wasn't the worlds view of love. Because the world doesn't want to give its life for me. It only wanted to give a little something to satisfy me for a short period of time. I use to believe, "It would be better to love for a time, than to not love at all." I've seen that quote so many times on the internet. And I know drama queens who take it to heart. But why is it worth having a temporary love, than to not love at all? Some people think if they can get just a little, its enough. I am ashamed to say that I was one to settle for second best. Its too hard to fight for the first love, so why try, when you don't even have to fight the battle, when you can just take the worlds invitation which requires no fighting at all.
I can't say that about Jesus. Because Jesus fought for me. He didn't work out at the gym to prepare Himself physically. He didn't take special classes to give Him more knowledge. But there was one thing He did. He walked in my shoes. He became like me. He had flesh, a mind, a heart and spirit. If His arm was cut from a branch, He would bleed and feel the sting. He was perfect, yet felt as I felt.
Six and a half years ago, I never thought I would be where I am at today. Back then God wasn't always first. I wanted a boy, that was my top priority. Here I am today, and my Jesus is so sacred to me, that men are farther down the list. For once I know what its like to be in love with Jesus.
Why are so many Christians just the opposite? It bothers me to know I have friends who are throwing their lives away, and they know the truth, yet do not care. I am saddened by this. It litlerly breaks me. But I have seen a change. For when I get to witness people accepted the Lord at church on Sunday Mornings, I start to get emotional. I have never been that way before. I'm so happy to see that people have found the Love.
There are many definitons of love. But there is only one that I believe to be true. Love is a choice to give to somebody who constantly rejects it, spits in your face, and tears you down. You see my Jesus fought for me. He went through a battle I have never been in, the day He took my beatings. He allowed me to whip away at His skin and reveal His bones and ribs. He was so weak, but He kept fighting. He was prepared to face my death for me, because He had already walked in my shoes, seen through my eyes, and felt my pain. Years ago, I would not speak of my Jesus like this. Thats because He didn't mean that much to me then. I wanted to live my life. It was all about me. And for many, its still like that today. But God has not given up on me. And til this day, Jesus is still fighting for me.
I have seen Fireproof. Its such a brilliant story about Marriage. And for the first time, I saw what love really is. We have our own idea's and how we would want love to feel like. But you will never know love, until you know The Love. You will never understand love, until you understand The Love. You will never know how to show love, until you know how to show the love Jesus showed us. To those who mock us, who cuss at us, who throw rocks at us, who hate us, who desire to kill us. We can only do one thing, and that is love them. Because Jesus died for them too, and continue's to fight for them. You may ask, "How can I love somebody who has hurt me, who has done these things to me?" Aren't you forgetting, that they are doing the same thing to Jesus, yet He still fights for them every day? When you understand Jesus, you will be able to show His love in His way, and its all a choice. For when we ask for it, Jesus will give us the desire to show love, even when they constantly reject it.
It makes so much more sense to me now. I shouldn't be here and neither should you. Who are we who take in the worlds lie's. We both know, that we will end up alone in the end. And for some, it takes harder to accept the truth. The truth was never meant to hurt us, but to direct us to the right path. Admiting your wrong is not a bad thing. It shows how imperfect we are and that we cannot whatsoever live without Jesus.
Please accept this. Jesus is sacred. Its not something you accept at a point in your life, then lock it up in your closet. Then when it gets cold, you get it out to warm you up. Jesus is not a coat. Jesus is the skin. He is fighting for you. He is fighting for me. Thats why He is so sacred to me. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are You Ashamed?

Church Camp 2007. It was after the worship service that evening. I remember it was on a Wednesday night exactly. Because during the invitation I was able to witness a girl being transformed by the power of Jesus before my eyes. I was so inspired by the situation that was happening before me that after the service was over I went to my cabin, pulled out a notebook, and began to write down my thoughts (which later turned into a song). But God had a lot more instore that night for me to see.
As I was writing, there were a lot of people walking passed my cabin who were chatting, eating snacks, or munching on the watermelon we were giving out to everybody. I was able to fade them into the background as I finished writing. But something caught my attention. Something spoke to me dearly. I looked up from my notebook and saw a really skinny girl who I would say was about eleven or twelve years of age. She yelled out for everybody to hear, "JESUS SAVED ME! JESUS SAVED ME!" Of course everybody heard her, but nobody really seemed to jump up and say, "I am so happy for you!" More likely they were walking around her. The more I watched her, the more I started to notice her appearence. I saw she had long brown hair, and it looked as if she hadn't brushed it in a while. I looked at her clothes. Her light blue plain shirt had a hole at the bottom of it, and it looked dirty. Her pants weren't at all fashionable. And her shoe's looked worned out. Yet this girl who from your first impression, seems to own nothing of great worth, was overjoyed about Jesus coming into her life! She was walking passed my cabin and locked her eyes with mine, "Hey, Jesus saved me!" She said to me running. I was so happy for this girl. We hugged each other, and I told her as she walked on, "Hey, I'll see you in Heaven." She said a happy OK and waved to me good-bye. I never saw her again the rest of that week.
That moment reminds me so much of when I was first saved. I was thirteen and at a Heaven and Hell House drama never thinking that I would leave that church with a new heart and a desire to please God. I was like that girl. I wanted to tell the world what Jesus had done to me. I may have known all along about Jesus, but for the first time, I experienced it for myself.
I think that event at church camp will always be a memory worth thinking about for the rest of my life. I don't know many people today who claim to be Christians who still show the joy they felt when they were first saved. Actually, most Christians today look like everybody else, a.k.a. the world.
When I go to church every Sunday, there are the usual people that I notice more than others. I don't know exactly why that is. I guess its because I want to watch them. There are a lot of teens who I know text during church, who don't pay attention to the service, who don't appear as if they want to be there, yet claim to have Jesus in their heart. When I see those people, it shows who they really are. They don't have the desire to know Jesus. They'd rather be with friends, or hang out with their boyfriend or girlfriend, or they are there just to say they went. I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
There are some people who only show up on Sunday Mornings. No Sunday school, no commitment. I don't understand why they don't want to be commited. I mean if you can be commited to sport games why can't you be commited to going to church? I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
I know people who see nothing wrong with abortion. Who see nothing wrong with homosexuality. I am not saying that free will among individuals shouldn't be, but why do we want to encourage and support sin? Does this mean that since they have the right to abort their baby, then I have the right to steal something and it be alright? You wouldn't support me of my choice, because you know stealing is wrong. Yet then why do you support the choice of gay marriage (Genesis 2:22-25, 1Corinthians 6:9-10) but you won't support my choice to steal? What makes stealing more wrong that allowing a gay man become a deacon? Many Christians see nothing wrong with it. I have a question for this group of people. Are you ashamed of the faith of which you believe?
It looks as if I have divided people into groups. Well duh, thats exactly what I have done. You might not like it, but thats how it is. Because really as Christians we are in groups. Not that we should be, its that we choose to be. We are pretty much divided among the church because we choose to be. A church is supose to be one, a whole, the body of Christ. Yet some people just don't want to be a whole part. And its all because of one thing...apparently....somebody is ashamed of the faith which is in them.
I have been to church with a lot of different people. We are all at different area's in our walk with Christ. Some are more mature than others, but thats not the problem. The problem is we have too many people who are babies and very few people who are adults. There are people who will wrap their brain around the Bible and make it say what they want it to give them the right to do as they please. People will take the Bible out of content and change the whole entire message of what it claims. And its not just unbelievers doing this. Its mostly Christians.
I remember at Winter Jam this year, I believe Tony Nolan stood up after the break and told us the story about the girl he had just met five minutes before. He said to the crowd, "This girl came to my table. She listened to the message of God's Word. She had claimed to be a lesbian. But she recieved Jesus into her life, and she is changed. She has given her life to Christ and no longer lives the lifestyle she was living, but took up her cross and is now following Jesus!" And the crowd roared all around. It was a moving story to hear. Another life was changed, transformed. Do all believers care? I know during some concerts that I go to, there are people who are happy to hear a story about somebody being changed by God. Yet then I see others who are sitting down flirting with the people around them, or texting somebody, or simply not paying attention. Do they not care? Are they ashamed of the faith which lives in them?
There is a story that deeply moved me that I read in one of the Jesus Freaks books. I don't remember the place or time, but I remember that a group of people were having a secert church service. And when the communist found out, they raided the house. They held all the church members at gun point and said to each one, "Spit on the Bible, or die with a bullet in your head." A man walked near the Bible, with tears in his eyes, he spit on the Bible. They let him go free. Next a woman. She also spit on the Bible. They also let her go free. Then came an eight year old girl. Nobody knows what her name was, but what she did proved she wasn't ashamed. She held the Bible in her hands and whiped away the spit. "Oh God, look what they have done to your Word." she cried outloud. A guard loaded his gun, and he shot her in the head. Can you answer this question; was this eight year old girl ashamed of the faith of which was in her heart?
I really want to know. No, I really really want to know. What do you believe? Does anybody know what they believe? Who you are on the inside is what will show on the outside. Who are you really? Will you know who you were when you enter the Judgement seat for God to play back to you?
Anybody can say, Jesus is the Son of God. Anybody can say Jesus died on the cross. Anybody can say that. But who is living it? Who is really living it? All the artist who entertained us at Winter Jam cannot be the only ones living for God can they? Why do we see the movement at a concert but not in our own church? Why is this generation silent! Are you ashamed? You must be to allow such a thing as gay marriage to be okay. You are ashamed to believe that its impossible for abortion to be murder, when you know very well what the Bible speaks on the matter of both these topics. You must be ashamed because you party all night and try to go to church the next morning to keep your reputation. You must be ashamed when you leave home and go to school and talk and curse God like everybody else. You are ashamed of the gospel of Christ when you conform to the ways of the world, SO YOU CAN HAVE FRIENDS! You are ashamed! Church is another social thing. You go because you know you are supose to. Not because you want to. Its a chore, nothing really happens at church. For all we know you are wasting two hours of your morning hearing the word of God being preached in the pulpit. Look inside yourself and see something is not right here! If you are the same way as you were before you became saved, then you are in deeper trouble than a child playing with a sex offender.
We need to be as that eight year old girl who would not spit on the Bible. We need to live it. Not just speak it when the time feels right where you won't be made fun of. You live it now or become like everybody else, completely wasted. Everybody is wasted. And thats why the gospel is here in the first place. How can we be silent, when the fire burns inside us?( Million Voices, written by Barlow Girl) God has callen this generation for a purpose, and you'd be a fool to not accept the calling He has given us. To be the witness to this dying world. If you won't step up to the call, God will get somebody else. You will miss out on the blessings He has instore. God has big dreams for everybody. You just have to let yours go before you can experience His eternal plan for your life. This world is not our home. We are not living for ourselves. We are to not support sin but to stand against it when its being thrust upon us. The world accepts it. Why do we have to be apart of it?! This isn't a matter of opinion, but its the truth. And for those who don't want to listen to it, are convicted by the truth because they know its the truth. How many times must we read it before we apply it..." For God SO loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son..." Even the muslims know the most popular verse in the Bible. Yet we know it and take advantage of its powerful message. To so many its just words, and not a reality.
I really want to know. Are you ashamed? Are you ashamed to open your Bible and find the answers for yourself, but instead go to the world and seek their opinions? The world vs. the Bible. Which came first!? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 1 John 1:1 The Bible is the truth. The world is an opinion. Don't you want the answer right now?
So, can you answer my question? If you are not ashamed, that means you live the truth everyday, right?

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38, NASB

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16, NASB

" Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me (Paul) His prisoner, but join with me in suffereing for the gospel according to the power of God," 1 Timothy 1: 8, NASB

"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:33, NASB

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Empty ( I need you to need Me )

As children, we depend on the parents God has placed in our lives to provide for us, to nuture, to love, and give us everything we need to survive in this world. There are things we cannot understand at this point in our lives that our parents try to keep away from us because we simply are not ready to face it. Like when people have "the talk" its something most general parents don't want their children hearing until they believe they are at the appropraite age to hear it. To eat our meals everyday we have to depend on our parents to put food on the table, to give us the clothes on our backs, and to go to church to learn about God. We are totally depended on our parents during this time, but when we are at the right age to get out in the world, for the most part, we are on our own. Our parents can guide us and give advice, but the decision to do things is totally up to us. So we think.
I believe there is something we all desire in this life, more than anything. Its called love. We all want to recieve love from something or somebody because we were made for it. God created us out of love. We are in His image, and God is the image of love.
Exspecially for teenagers, its even harder to understand love. Because we don't all have the Christian parents, or the good godly church to go to. We aren't all always protected from the things we should be protected from. And when it hurts the most is when we are the most vunerable to seek out love, in any size or form.
Our lives are put in our parents hands, for a short time. We depend on them. When we put our lives into God's hands, its forever. But a lot of us, don't depend on Him.
I had such a hard time depending on God through a circumstance that lasted about five and a half years. It wasn't until a month ago, that I saw how much I was leaving God out of my life, and out of my most difficult trials, which only made things harder for me. As a young girl I wanted love so badly. Sure my mom gave me love, and still does today. But to me, it didn't seem like it was good enough. Not even God's love seemed good enough. Because I couldn't see Him, and sometimes felt that God wasn't really there. At that age I felt that I had to see love for the most part.
I don't want to go into detail. It was quite a hard case for me. But I wanted what I wanted. I dreamed of it, I desired it. The void in my life was like any other void a young girl has. Only I wasn't about to put my heart up for sale like all the other girls did. But I can still relate to their pain. The pain of giving a part of yourself to a guy. Kisses, holding hands, saying "I love you." Even some who thought they should give more, hoping it would make him love them more, but only left them broken, confused, and doubting that God even cares about them. How much I can relate to the stories I have heard from girls, and I only wish there was some way that I could numb their pain, and show them what love was really supose to be like.
I never thought about when I was hurt, that God was sending me a message. I refused to believe such a thing. I could always do what Joel Osteen says at "his" church, "Be happy and it will all go away!" Ha, yeah that always works! Pssh.
I may have let God into my heart, but there was a part of my heart that I wouldn't let Him in. And its the same for so many people. There is always a little piece of ourselves we aren't willing to give over, to give up. And for the most part, its always in the area of relationships with the opposite sex. I was one of them.
Through such a difficult time, I was being brokened little by little, each time God was sending me the exact same message, but I didn't want to hear it. Instead I complained, and asked God why things weren't going the way I wanted them to.
For all of those who have been hurt from relationships, going from one to the other, hearing him say the same things the other guys said...the things we girls so desperetly want to hear..."I love you"... why do we hurt so much after its all over with? Is this how God wanted it to be? Do we even care what God thinks anymore? Or is it that we are suddenly not depended on the wisdom of our parents but dependable on what the world is telling us to act and become? Are we not listening to the media, Cosmopolitain, Seventeen, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake? Do we not listen to their answers to our problems? Are we depending on the world to give us the love we were born to have!?
I may have never been in a relationship before, but that doesn't mean I know nothing of what it means to experience a broken heart, to cry night after night to where I had deep migranes that lasted for days sometimes. I know what it feels to hate who you are, and what you have become because of a mistake you've made, and to want to kill yourself because you sense no purpose to your life...because you can't find love. You can take the pills and drink the drink all you want to make you forget about it all...but it only makes you want to crave love more. Love that we are depending on in this world, from our friends and magazines to give to us. We end up empty. The void is still not filled, and we are exhausted.
How many days can I count that I was hurting? Who knows. I'm sure God remembers. I simply didn't think the value of God's love was enough to fill in my empty. Why do so many girls ignore Him, and don't rely on THE LOVE to find love for us?....which is Himself, His blood, His sacrifce.
As I am typing this, I'm thinking in my mind about a girl who I grew up with. I wish I could reach out to her so badly, but from the past times that I tried to love her, she wouldn't listen. I know she has been hurt so badly. She has had guys who have toyed with her emotions. Its been this way for so long. She lives in parties, and I have yet to know where she sleeps at night. I don't care about any of that, neither does God. For we don't have to be perfect to run to God. When God found me, I was emotinally damaged at a young age, torn apart because I was hoping to recieve love from a certian somebody, who later almost killed me mentally. Words can't describe the depth of my heart-ache.
When we hurt, like so many of us in the world do, its still a message from God. Something that took me so long to learn, yet it was so easy, so simple. When we hurt, it reminds us of how much we cannot live on our own. Its like God calling out to us, "I need you to need Me. Because without Me you won't live." Sometimes when the pain comes so suddenly, sometimes it may not be so big, its God simply reminding us that we are totally dependable on Him. We leave our parents after a while, but even if we can live on our own, we cannot be independant on ourselves or anybody else. We have to let Jesus carry us. We have to fall in love with God our Father. We have to acknowledge what He was done for us, and the depth of it all. When we find our value in Christ, love overflows and doesn't even compare to the love a godly husband or wife could bring. We can't let people fill in our empty. Its pretty much forbidden, except for God. And when we kick God out of the picture, and continue to let things go as they go, we will always experience the empty. We will never recieve love if we don't let it in. I wanted to fall in love with a man so badly I would watch chick flicks to keep my hopes alive. But what do I gain, but discontentment and desperation...all which is not from God? Even if I get married one day in the future, he can't be my Savior. He can't complete me. I can only depend on him to a certian degree. But my total dependance has to be in God. "I need you to need Me," I felt God say. And it goes out to all of us. No matter where you are at in life, what you have done, and what you hope to acomplish in the future, you can't ignore the truth. You need Jesus. You need Him more than a boyfriend, more than a spouse, more than your friends. You need Jesus period. And you, nor anybody else can argue about what Jesus has done for so many lives today, and still does.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

He Carried Me

What does it mean to you to be carried? Perhaps maybe for a married woman, it means the love of your life lifts you up into his arms to carry you across a small mudd puddle to keep your feet from getting dirty. Maybe for a parent, it means running towards your child who during a soccer game fell and hurt his knee. You lift the child into your arms and carry him to a calmer place and help ease the pain. Or for somebody who lost a loved one, it means closing the casket and carrying the loved ones body into the grave, back to the dust where it came from.
Well, I have never had the love of my life carry me across a small mudd puddle. I have never been a parent, and freak out when I see a child who got his knee skinned while rollar blading. I can't exactly say I have ever lost a real loved one who I was close to, and watching his or her body being put in the ground. But countless others have stood in these three positions.
We all have a story, a past a lot of us would like to forget all together. Me being one of them. But when I look back, I see a journey that made me who I am today. From what I went through growing up, I can now see God's fingerprints everywhere. Even in the hard times that I am now facing, God is letting me know He's still there. Because I choose to seek Him. And we all know that when you seek after something, exspecially God, we will always find it.
There have been many times personally when I have taken the fall. I kept telling myself that I am supose to accept the pain, believing God has a plan that will come from it, and try to move on with life carrying it behind me and on my shoulders. It wasn't until after a while somebody told me that things such as pain and death does not come from God. Well with that being said, why does God allow such things to happen?
I can't say its been an easy road for me. Depression has been a big factor in my life. And during those times I felt very much alone. I felt that I was to accept defeat because God was allowing it to overcome me. But I found that when I took it upon myself this way, it only got worse. My trust wasn't where it needed to be, and my faith almost disappeared all together. And when you don't have trust and faith, well DUH of course its only going to get worse!
I discover that God may allow things that hurt us to come to pass, but I also have learned that they seriously are not from God, but from our number one enemy. In Ephesians it says to put on the full armor of God, so that we may stand against the schemes of the devil. Whats the purpose of that verse being there is we see it right for us to accept the pain without fighting back? That verse is proof enough right there that we are to fight back against the constant attacks being made on us every single day. For a long time I allowed the sufferings to enter me, to become who I was because I thought it was only normal. But where was my faith and trust in God? I can't believe how patient God can be when for years and years the answer was right there but I wasn't listening. I had my own way of thinking.
You don't read often about fighting spiritual battles. I've read a lot of books that aren't blunt about fighting. All they tell you to do is pray and eventually it will go away. Well theres a lot more to it than just praying ya know! Ever heard of faith without works is dead? Thats right. You can pray all you want about something but if you worry about it all day whats gonna happen in the end? Zero! You must apply God's Word to your life and put your faith in action, or you won't get anywhere. You'll end up like I was for five and a half years boo hooing and complaining to God why this still keeps happening. And seriously, where in the Bible does it say that God wanted us to live life like that? He says in John 10:10 ,".....but I have come so that you may live life, and live it abundently." Pure joy was the purpose to life. And it all comes with a choice. Through all the times through my depression, I chose to suck it up like a kid eating sour candy and sulk. I decided to accept defeat and wait for God to fix it without me doing anything on my part. When will we learn that it will never and I mean NEVER get us anywhere!? One of my best friends commited suicide because she accepted the defeat. She chose not to fight. I do not want anybody to get that far away to where you feel like you HAVE to end your life because giving God back the gift He gave you is a sin!
Growing up, I never liked it when people would tell me, "Well you're not alone. God is there." As bad as I sound, I knew God was there. But to me that was not enough to get me going the next day, because really I felt like God had abandoned me. I can't explain all the reasons why I fell into depression. But what I can tell you is it didn't take me long to hit rock bottom, to where my feet was dragging on the ground, to where I was questioning God, to where doubt came crawling in. I felt like I had no strength whatsoever to get myself stable. I went on that way for a long time, accepted that this is God's plan for me to suffer and I am to wait for some miracle to come along like all those chick flick movies. But thats not God. Thats not my God. My God is a God of love. And I didn't realize exactly what I was doing. I was seeking alright, and I found what I wasn't looking for. In order to feel peace, we have to seek The Peace. The peace I was seeking I was hoping to hear from a friend, a guy, a tv show, something that didn't aquire me to turn to my Bible to look up the answers. No, I wanted the answer to come to me. And I got what I was searching for...absolutely nothing.
In the problems and battles that we face this day of age, we are to seek God in all of it. Find Him, search Him, know Him. I wasn't doing that. And I know a lot of people who won't even look to God because they blame Him for the trama that has happened in their lives. You can ignore it all you want, but it won't get you anywhere unless you are searching for the right thing. And the right thing, the right answer as been here all along waiting for us to grasp it.
When I started to seek God in the battle I was facing, it was then the answer to everything came. It was to trust. God has to have our trust. We have to be depended on Him completely, holding nothing back. I have tried giving God most of my life, only certian area's I wasn't too scardish of. But other area's I wanted to keep for myself because I was afraid God wouldn't give me what I wanted, but something that would make me uncomfortable or unhappy. How selfish I became through that time. Selfishness isn't a word in my dictionary, and I didn't want it lying around in my heart. For instance, the area of marriage. I was so scared to give it to God completely, because I thought that meant I would never find a strong Christian guy and God would just keep me single and feel miserable. But is it really God's plan to make us miserable? Wait, whats that verse again? "...but I have come so that you may live life, and live it more abundatly?" Whatever God's plans are, we are going to be happy no matter what! And if it doesn't go the way we think it should go, God will change our hearts and we will see the bigger picture that God really does know what He is doing if only we would give up everything in the first place. God hasn't let me down yet. And its not just me. God doesn't choose certian people to live happy and get all His glorious blessings and pain free feelings. I know people who are the happiest and most Christ-like people in the world. And yet, even they face trials and struggles I never have faced. But they keep their head up high through the pain, because God does not want us to accept defeat. He wants us to fight back! Happy people cry too you know.
I know a song from Building 429 called You Carried Me. The message to that song is so powerful. I have felt time that I was drooling on the floor of my living room because I couldn't stand. It was in those moments, that Jesus was carrying me. Because He already carried my punishment with his death. My sins were thrown upon His body. The sins I commited today put Him on that cross. If God didn't care about us so much to allow us, me, you, and the rest of the world to throw our blame on Christ, He wouldn't allow us to breathe! God wants us to live, even though He had to send His Son to die. He carried my cross, he carried my shame, and to this day, He still carries me when I am my weakest. And I feel Him most when I put everything down at the cross. Because we must take off out fears, our insecurities. Everything that feels like heavy luggage down before we can be carried by Him. Because He already carried our heavy luggage to the cross.
I believe this is what it means to be carried. To be carried by Jesus.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


For all of those who call me stupid and dumb when it comes to flirting, this is why I choose not to.

"Meet Mr. Smith," Paragraph written my Leslie Ludy

In modern relationships, flirting seems about as innocent and harmless as window shopping at the mall. "Whats the hard of browsing, as long as you don't actually buy anything?" a young man named Chris jokingly asked during a discussion on the topic.

Even young people who have chosen God's pattern for relationships and are seeking to live a set-apart life for their future spouse often shrug off flirting as a natural part of any male/female interaction. But take a closer look at what flirting really is, and it becomes clear that some important principles in God's pattern are violated by doing it

Flirting is, in essence, drawing another person's attention toward you. it is, using your feminine power to entice another person to notice, admire, and be attracted to you. It is putting your personality, body, humor, and wit on display- playing a game in which you score more points the most positive attention you recieve from the other person.

Flirting, at its core, is based on selfishness.

If Eric flirted with other women, I would be hurt, jealous, and angry. If I flirted with other men, he would feel outraged and betrayed. We are in a covenant marriage relationship and have pledged to have eyes only for each other. I belong to Eric- mind, body, and heart. And he belongs to me. We honor each other by keeping our attention sacred- reserved for our spouse alone. Most would agree that this is the way it should be.

If then, as a married person you would not dishonor or hurt your spouse by flirting with anyone else, why would you hurt your future spouse now by flirting with others before marriage? As you interact with guys(girls), ask yourself this question: If your future spouse was standing beside you, seeing you interact with the opposite sex, how would he(she) feel? Once you ask that question and answer honestly, flirting no longer becomes a harmless, innocent activity.

The goal in any God centered relationship should be to continually point the other person towards Christ, not continually draw attention toward you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Are You Worth?

There was a man I met one day, who was talking about God finding himself a wife. We were in a chatroom by the way, and its not always easy to read several convo's going on at once. But after a while you gain the speed to respond to 20 people at once. A skill worth earning in my opinion. One day this man was just going on and on about one day having a wife. I didn't really pay attention until I saw a sentence he wrote stating, " I have served God my whole entire life. I have done mission work, I have worked at church, etc. Since I have been a servant for Christ, now its time that God's owe's me a wife." I was no longer talking to anybody on that chatroom. The only thing I could do is stare at that sentence and read it over and over again in my head. Does anybody see something a little, uh I don't know....Wrong?!
I clicked on this man little profile tab and saw that he was 46 years old. Hmm, made me curious. Like anybody is going to listen to someone who is my age, and I know we are to respect our elders and stuff, but I believe that when God gives you a big mouth like I have He expects you to use it. And I did, which a lot of you who know me personally know that I have gotten in trouble from opening my mouth. My mom will be the first to tell you. Sorry but I couldn't pass this one up.
I didn't know if this guy would read it or not, but I typed back to him, "Sir, God owe's you nothing. What makes you think you can bargin with God?" After that he started talking to me like he was my father so I decided to let go of the matter and feel sorry for this 46 year old man. Heh, there's got to be a reason he was still single at his age.
This happened a long time ago. But I still think about it sometimes. Like how so many people will bargin with God to get the goods. People don't seem to realize God see's why we do the things we do. And because of that, I don't believe He has the right to reward us. We should be serving God because we want to, not to get something from Him. God gave us His Son without us asking Him to. And for me, if I never owned anything in my whole life God's Son is good enough for me. Because truely if You don't have Him, you've got nothing.

Do you ever look at the people who go to your church, your school, the place you work, and wonder just what they are seeking? Some people seek money, education, a good job or career, or etc. But you know every single person on the planet it seeking? When you think about it, it all makes sense. Everybody is seeking self-worth, significance, in everything they do.
I have known a lot of girls who were seeking their self worth from a boyfriend. Going from one to the other. I have known girls dress immodest seeking approval and self-worth. I have known guys who go to church all good but enter high school as a complete hyprocrite of his actions. I have known people who use to be good friends, but then once enter Jr.High split up and follow different crowds. And its not just teenagers doing this. Every age group is doing this.
I use to go to church with a family who practically owned the church. I think if it were possible, they could rename the church and put it in their name. They had to be in charge of everything or they wouldn't give any support. What does this have to do with self worth? Almost everybody in church commented them on the great work they did inside the church. I'm not saying there isn't anything wrong with recieving praise. Personally for me, it makes me want to keep going and knowing I'm doing a good job, it makes me want to do more for Christ. But when peoples approvals come first instead of doing such work for Christ, it is no longer right. And soon what you are doing isn't good enough anymore. So you always have to do more work better than before to make youself look good. Then somebody else comes along with a humble spirit and soon everybody is ooo and awe-ing over them, so the family now has competition. Seriously, I've seen it happen.
I will be honest and say I have seeked self-worth from other people before. For a long time I didn't believe I was worth anything unless some guy would call me beautiful, a guy ask me out, call me, etc. Coming from a girls point of view, this is why we breathe. From the moment we first enter Jr. High, we have only one thing on our minds and thats to please not only the people around us, but the boys are the top priority.
For a long time I was thirsty for any guy to call me beautiful. I was craving for it. At the time Britney Spears was like my role model and I wanted to look like she did. I wanted the stupid shiny diamond navel ring so I could wear shirts that would show my stomach to show it off to everyone. Secretly I wanted the fabulous life of a pop star with the sexy hair, curves, clothes, and make-up. Even though I was homeschooled,I learned very quick that this sort of living got the attention from everybody. My mom would never let me wear clothes like that, or wear my make-up but I often dreamed of it, and I made it very clear that thats where self-worth comes from, other people.
Even after I was saved, the same thought still stuck in my head that my significance came from how other people view me. Only this time I saw it a little differently, and it didn't make me happy.
I knew many girls who did all the right things to get a guys attention, who said all the right words, who had all the right friends, who had all the right clothes, who knew the best ways of flirting, but even after putting up with all of that I noticed they still weren't happy. What about the girls who crossed the line to keep their boyfriends, but in the end they broke up anyway? Was it really worth it? Is this what I must do to be worth something? Everybody is always putting up a front. We all make fun of the kid at school because everybody else is. And even though we aren't a bad person we still tease him. Its all for the same reason, we all seek approval from somebody in this world. When you feel what you think you need, why doesn't it last long enough? And why does it hurt? We don't learn from the start that we will repeat the same pattern over and over again and it still doesn't get us anywhere. And when we grow up, we will look back and see all the time we have wasted, and then thats when we will feel the failure we have brought upon ourselves. Very few people believe that there is stil l hope. But thats when they are right about something, there is hope.
You know for a while I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to Psalms 139, because like duh, I know God loves me. But I would rather hear it from somebody else. Who has thought like that before? I'll be the first one to say that was my old way of thinking. We all know Jesus died on the cross, he was in pain, he died, he rose, now we have the Holy Spirit and we all lived happy ever after. Thats how a lot of people put the best story ever told. There just isn't any passion or meaning to it. People make it sound like it was just something that happened over 2,000 years ago and then you move on with life. I personally have been in the state of mind that if I gave my all to Christ I wouldn't get anything out of life. I thought once, that if I decided to live the single life then I would never get a boyfriend. I fought for that for a very long time. And I've known so many girls who have done the same thing, and who continue today doing that. But seriously where does it get us? We end up nowhere. It wasn't until it dawned on me that seeking an earthly price to recieve my self worth isn't going to happen, ever. You aren't worth more when you get married. And some married couples aren't unhappy because they married a bad person.
I think I said once before that I talked with a girl who refused to let God write her love story because God takes too long. I guess that just shows how much God means to her. Her self-worth to her is found when she finds it herself. And to be honest, I don't believe she has found it yet.
I was that way. I'm not bashing anybody for making that kind of choice. And I am not saying I'm perfect. For most of my teen years I was seeking to feel beautiful if I got a boyfriend. I believe that to be my only cure for the lonliness I was feeling inside. And since I had nobody, that must mean I was worthless. I meant nothing to nobody. I might as well be dead.
So time after time again, we seek after this and that, on and on for most of our lives, expecting to hit a breakthough any moment now. Think about it though, has it really brought you the self-worth you were seeking? I can see it lasting for a little while, but who wants to settle for temporary. Who wants to settle for second best in life?
I was blinded by the truth, of how selfish I really was. I was living all holy, yet some other girl in church who was living unholy got a good boyfriend. It just wasn't fair to me. Shouldn't I be the one to have the good godly boyfriend? But then it dawned on me again. I was acting just like the 46 year old man in the chatroom. I was bargining with God! I was doing all these good works in life because I wanted to earn the boyfriend! Who knew that would happen?! My self-worth was lying in my own hands and I broke it on my own. I can image glass breaking from my fingers. My hands all bloody looking. I ended up hurting only myself.

One thing that also hurts with self-worth, is the fear of failure. I am one to know what the true story of depression really is. I have often entered into depression by surprise. One time we were eating at Pizza Hut and all of a sudden I became so insecure about my surroundings. People were everywhere and I had the strange feeling they were all pointing at me, staring at me, laughing at me. I could almost hear them. I almost broke down crying right in our booth. I refused to go get my own plate of pizza from the buffet! I was litterly shaking because I was so afraid! I hated myself and thought I could never change. I could never be the woman God wanted me to be because of all the mistakes I was making. I was ready to end it all completely.
There was another time that I cut myself with a stick. I couldn't seem to obey my parents right and we argued a lot. So I went out to cut myself. I wanted to throw my body up against a tree and I wouldn't care if I was hurt and bruised, because I felt like I deserved it. I felt that those who do wrong and fail deserve to be punished. So I didn't refuse the pain I brought on me physically, because I deserved it. I no longer had self worth. And if a guy told me I did, I'd call him a liar.
Not too long ago I wanted to cut myself again. I told myself to never do that ever again, but I seriously wanted to. But thanks to my good friend, Rae, she was praying for me the whole time. And it was there that I discovered my self-worth.
When we look back at all the things we failed at in life, our mistakes, our misunderstandings and brokeness, we feel numb and alone. I can't help but to think about Jesus. He was somebody who carried a tree on his back. You know He had to be strong to do that. He felt the sting of a whip that had animal teeth and sharp knives attached to the ends of it, and felt it pull away His own flesh. Do you think Jesus has those same scars on his back and chest today as the same for his hands and feet? I'll find out one of these days.
His disciples, the people who followed Him, they had no clue what was going on. They couldn't see the pathway he was providing. And when Jesus looked back, He didn't see failures and mistakes. He saw a race accomplished. Since Christ didn't do anything wrong, nobody understood why He wouldn't fight back the cruel punishment that was being put on Him. And it was in that moment, that He truely was alone. Because when He was dying on the tree He carried on His back, God turned away from Him, and wouldn't look at Him. Because God cannot acknowledge the presence of sin. And sin was being thrown on Jesus' body. He is the only one in the world who has been in this place. A place nobody else would enter.

I started to see the seriousness of God's love for me. The sins that I have committed just yesterday was paid in full over 2,000 years ago. Would a boyfriend do that, or a girlfriend? There were people in Bible times that failed. I look back at the women at the well. She had several husbands, and the one she was living with then was not her husband. What about the women who commited adultry? Jesus said that to those who never sinned to cast the first stone. Not one of them did. And Jesus told the women that her sin was forgiven. David slept with another mans wife, murdered him, and ended up loosing the child that would be his. But God still called him a man after God's own heart.
All these people performed horrible sins. Sins of worthlessness. Sins of guilt. Sins of anger and hate. But what did God do in all this? He forgave them. The three people that I mentioned, did they let their sins keep them away from the meaning of significance? I don't think so! When Jesus encounted the woman at the well, she went and told everybody she knew who Jesus was and what He had told her. It was that time Jesus was able to minster to other people who weren't Jews! The woman who commited adultry was Mary Magdinlen. Back then women where more of a possession, not a person. She was one of Jesus' loyal followers. She was the first one to see Jesus after he had risen, the first one to see angels at the tomb, and she was the one who ran after the disciples to tell them about the stone being rolled away. She gave her all for Christ. Her passion and love was in Him. She didn't care about the sins she had commited, because Jesus forgave her and she didn't let her past define who she was.
David may have made a really bad move, but he gave up his sin to God, and God called David a man after His own heart! David later became the father of Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs! Solomon was a very wise man, and he was very well known.
Despite what these people have done, God still blessed them. Because God refuses sin to determind who a person is and what they can do. But we must accept that we need a Savior to guide us and forgive us. People in the Bible did fail at some point in their lives. None of them were perfect. In fact, everybody that is mentioned in the Bible did fail! We today fail. I have failed in so many areas. I haven't always been where I am in Christ today. I have fallen and gottan angry at God plenty of times. I have hated myself time and time again. But should I let that determind who I am in Christ?! Let the healing begin!
Psalms 139 makes more sense to me now. Some really smart person didn't just write pslams up just to show off his good english skills, or hebrew skills. This man whoever he was, was inspired by God Himself. So really the words in the Bible are God's words. He spoke them. He doesn't make any mistakes. And after all that I have failed at in life. Like seeking other peoples approval, seeking self-worth from a guy, or experiencing sudden failures that I'm afraid to admit, God still intended that passage to be written for me! I must surrender all my wrongs to God once and for all, forgive myself, and strive on to be more like Christ. We will fail along the way, but before we can gain anything we must first admit that we are sinners and that we are going to fall. But I am no longer letting the sins and wrongs that I have done to value my significance of who I am to Jesus. I don't care what you say. I don't need a boyfriend. I don't need somebodys approval of how good of a job I am doing. I don't need to be searching my self worth from others because thats not who I am, and thats not who I'm gonna be. Laugh all you want, but my self worth is found in Jesus Christ. And nobody can say anything or do anything to change that. And neither can anybody take Him away from me.
We are to seek Christ with everything we have! God's not going to love us more or less than He does now. He loves me as I am. I don't have to dress up nice and fancy, say all the right words, or have the nicest prince at my side in all the land. I already found my Prince. And before we can have anything in this life, like a husband or wife, a good job, or anything, we must realize that our significance is found in Jesus and Jesus alone. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get married, wanting to meet that special someone. But thats not why we are here, and thats not where self worth is found. You will not be happy with anything in life unless Jesus is your number one. Thats not just Scripture. Its a fact.