To the Ends of the Earth

Our youth group at Quiet Dell United Methodist Church participates in a 30-hour famine each year through the World Vision Organization (WVO). The students raise money to send to the WVO. The WVO feeds around 3.5 million children in 90+ countries. We do not know poverty like the kids in these countries do. Here is a glimpse on what our youth group does during the 30 hour famine.

Our students and some parents of students also participated in fasting for 30 hours. During the famine, our students prepared subs and served the Clarksburg Mission. Later that evening, we took the students to the mall arcade and laser tag before returning to the church where our Pastor delivered a message. The remainder of the evening was spent playing games.

The next morning, our students cleaned the church (cleaned the kitchen, restrooms, swept, mopped and cleaned windows. Once this task was complete, the students participated in delivering drive-by prayer bags around the community. We’ve had folks on our prayer list that have been ill, heart attacks, fighting cancer, etc. When we arrive at that persons home, we circle up, join hands and say a prayer over that person and leave a goody bag on their doorstep.
Many of the students this year had to come and go due to other activities happening that same weekend. We had two students present for the movie and we went to Cinemark before returning to the church for another famine game. Our students all met up again to break the fast at 7:00pm at the Grand China Buffett.

All money that is raised will be turned in the World Vision Organization.

 

GOING TO THE ENDS. WHERE NO ONE ELSE GOES. BECAUSE JESUS IS ALIVE IN THE HARDEST PLACES TO BE A CHILD. – WVO

Here’s why I will not gain wings when I die…

There is a common misconception that when saved humans die, they become angels.

To begin, angels and humans were both created by God. Angels were created to be in Heaven with God, to praise and work for God. There are different types of angels (Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangels…) just as there are different humans.  Humans were created with a soul and are lower in rank. (Psalm 8:5–  “You have made them [human beings] a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”)

I once BELIEVED that we gained wings when we die… but as I went to church, I learned this is not so.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that humans become angels. When a human does die, their soul separates from their body. The soul of a believer goes to be with Jesus and receives a new body and the soul of an unbeliever will be forever tormented in a lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). It takes more than just saying that we believe in God to get in… it’s a simple thing but not everyone knows or understands it. Please help others understand that being a Christian is a daily struggle! The difference is asking forgiveness, asking Jesus in your heart and to be your guide through all things and to spread the good news of Jesus with others.. He commands it. To just say that we believe there is a God isn’t enough. Do our actions reflect Jesus? Do we forgive people of their trespasses even when they do not forgive us? Do we volunteer or help someone that is less fortunate than ourselves? Do we turn away from worldly pleasures that constantly bog down our televisions, social media and society?

I don’t want to get to far away from my point… that I will NOT become an angel when I die. I will try daily to be better than the day before and when my time comes, I will await the Lord to give me a new body. One day, I do hope to live with Jesus on a new Earth as is promised! Fellow Christians, has anyone else wondered what this new Earth will be like? I think of all of the beautiful places on this Earth…many places that I will probably never see in person, BUT there is hope in this new Earth where Jesus will be King. Sin will not be around anymore…. I mean just imagine such a world! Yes, God is making a new Heaven and a new Earth where Jesus will be King. Let’s stop to think a moment… who would you like to see on this new Earth with you? Are you afraid someone that you love will be missing?  We can’t save people, but we can help to plant a seed in their hearts… that they will go on to ask to be saved. Angels rejoice when God’s children find their way back to Him.

*Side note, angles were given the chance to sin and those that did, the angel, Lucifer and 1/3rd of the angels that sinned with him against God are to spend eternity in Hell. (Matthew 25:45-46)

I am thankful today for God’s grace, sacrifice and love.

New from last week: My mom went to get PET scan results this past Tuesday and sadly the cancer has returned. It is in the top of her spine (causing her to have severe pain), it’s in her hip, and various lymph nodes. The Dr. said that it is a stage 4 now (it was a 3c breast cancer). He is going to begin with radiation and another type of chemotherapy. Your continued prayers mean so much! Thank you dear people.

I’m back… with a baby & other updates

I wrote the blog below back in September 2019 (however, I have not updated this blog since April 2019.) One of my new year’s resolutions is to get back on track with Mountain Majesty Ministry and post regularly. Thank you for being part of my little ministry.

“If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” Back when I was not even a parent, I saw this quote and it hit me. As you know, my husband and I work with a youth program and are Sunday school teachers at our church. We believe that it is very important to go to church, but we need to teach our children why we believe what we believe, so that when someone asks them, “why are you a Christian,” they will be able to give a solid answer other than replying, “because my parents are” or “because I’ve just always gone to church.” Those answers are not good enough. If we do not equip our children to properly defend their faith, then we are just throwing them to the wolves. The world will teach them not to follow Christ. Unbelievers will shake their faith and have them questioning things that they should have learned how to defend.

Within the past couple of years, my husband has devoted hours upon hours of study on defending the faith. We all could do this… but I am guilty of not devoting enough time to it. However, if I ever need help with a question that someone asks, I typically go to him. Remember, you can always go to a pastor or someone that has studied the scripture/apologetics. (Apologetics – “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.”)

I have listened to some apologetics videos and podcasts with my husband and they are simply amazing, especially videos from Ravi Zacharias. I highly recommend listing to Ravi if you have deep questions about Christianity. I promise you will not be disappointed. I think that by teaching our young people, especially teenagers, how to defend Christianity, they will be better off when they go out into the world.

Now that I am a parent, I understand how important it is not to just take my child to church for teachings and fellowship, but I want him to understand why we go and dive deep with him in conversation, especially when he is older. Kids train hard for the sports they play, right? Well, as Christians, we need to remember to train our children how to properly defend Christianity.

So much has happened since I last updated this blog…

If you’ve followed MMM in the past, you know of my mother’s battle with breast cancer. Well, in May 2019, she had surgery to remove the cancerous tumors. The surgeon was not able to remove a spot on top of her collarbone or the couple of nodes that remain in her left arm. Soon after, she had to begin radiation and chemo pills that were geared toward those areas. She is still dealing with the recovery and soreness from the surgery and also from the radiation that she finished last month. She had 30 rounds of radiation and we received amazing news after her last radiation treatment in August… a scan showed no signs of cancer! Praise God! She then had to take the chemotherapy pills for 6 weeks (2 weeks on and 1 week off). She is still dealing with side effects not only from the past radiation, but from all of the chemo. She went for an MRI of her arm to determine why she has lost almost all use of it. They ended up giving her a shot for it. So far, it hasn’t helped. We continue to pray over the recovery of her body.

 

***

Another update: Our baby entered the world on September 4th at 11:04 p.m. after a long 23-hour labor. I must say that I am thankful for modern medicine and bringing our baby into the world safe and healthy. He is 5 months old. We love him so much!

Blessings ♥

Just what is religion?

Folks, my mother had her last round of chemotherapy last week! The last five months have been like a roller coaster for her and for the family. Many of you have followed her journey on social media and continue to pray for her. I cannot express how much your thoughtfulness means to her and to our family. Soon, she will go for a PET scan and plan for the mastectomy. I have seen such strength from her. My eyes have been more fully opened to what people with cancer experience.

***

I am a couple weeks behind in posting this blog. I wrote it and forgot to post it.

When I am out and about people ask, “how are you doing?” I am physically fine. The baby is doing fine. Dustin received a promotion at his job. We are doing alright and planning is underway to get the nursery room ready. Our schedules are busy. We have upcoming church events and community events to help plan.

Although, some days are rougher than others. I do want to mention that I have been learning to let go of worry. We are supposed to turn our worry over to the Lord. When I worried about how my mom’s body would react to chemo or when I worry about other things currently going on in the family… I’ve been trying to remind myself to stop and pray. I pray so often throughout the day. I remember when I use to only pray before bedtime. Now, I pray all day long and it’s like second nature. I talk to God. I have a friendship with him.

***

I saw something on Facebook last week that was interesting. A post that read, “Religion is for people who fear Hell, spirituality is for people who have been there.” This quote made me think. So, what is religion? According to dictionary.com, religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

My next question, why do people believe in God? Hopefully, someone in your family or along the way has taught you about who God is. I think that in many cases when children grow older, they either look more into religion for themselves, turn away from the faith or they follow a “I believe in God life but they do not live a Christian life, we see many who may not understand that just saying that you believe in God will not get one into Heaven.” One must ask God for forgiveness of sin and try to live a narrow life and try not to repeat those sins again. Nobody said this life would be easy. You and me, we are fallen, we are sinners. Even after we are forgiven, even after we are baptized, we are still sinners and we will sin until our Earthly death. Christianity is not a “religion” it is a relationship.

But when we choose to take that next step and lead a life following Christ, many new doors open and I can tell you this first hand, they do. Now, living a Christian life is not easy. As always, people are quick to judge us (for some reason some folks cannot wrap their head around the fact that church people sin too and it is ok). Some church people are hypocrites. The same people who say these things, should humbly look at their own life and ask, “am I perfect?”

You know the old saying, “one bad apple ruins the bunch?” We all should know by now there’s more to it than that. Don’t look at the one bad apple. That bad apple needs Jesus too. Maybe that bad apple got drunk Saturday and is sitting in the pew on Sunday, shame on the church goer who judges them and shame on the non-church goer who judges them. I rejoice to know that they made it. Maybe another bad apple lives a life sexual immorality, but unfortunately that is becoming so accepted in our society today. But when this person shows up to a church on Sunday, we should rejoice! A decision was still made to go to church that day.

Church has a stigma with it. I hope to see that stigma broken! So, what if you drink, so what if you live together and are not married, so what if you have not reconciled with someone, so what if you cuss like a sailor, so what if you are a gossip, Jesus is your friend. Find him.

I want to leave you with this. For Lent, I am reading the gospels in the New Testament. The gospels are the accounts of Jesus’ life written by his apostles. The apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No two stories are told in the exact same way. They used their own words to tell of the miracles of Jesus and his death. We can think about it this way. Let’s say you are a witness out of four witnesses to see a crime. No two of your witness statements would be written the exact same word for word… yet the same story would be told about said crime. Well, think of the gospels this way. Scholars have used these accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to follow the life of Jesus. Netflix has the episodes of the gospels, word-for-word that you can watch or listen to (if you are not a big proponent of reading).

I want end with this scripture from Mark 2:15:

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 To break this down quickly, Levi (also known as Matthew) was a tax collector. As Jesus passed by the tax collectors, He told Levi to follow him and Levi instantly got up and followed Him. Later, Jesus dined at Levi’s home with others in attendance who were all sinners along with his disciples. The Pharisees (who were interpreters of religious law) and they clashed with Jesus. They of course thought that Jesus blasphemed God but Jesus was the indeed the Messiah, the son of God, He is the savior of mankind. My point here that I want to emphasize is the last line in the scripture above. Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus dined with drunk folk and sinners and THESE are the ones who he most wanted to spend time with and teach. I want to see this stigma associated with church broken. Jesus wants all to come through his door. I’ve heard people say that if they stepped foot in church then it would fall down. People make excuses, plain and simple. Jesus wants you and your past. He will wash your past away. Do you think that your past is hidden just because you do not go to church? God sees all, he already knows what you do in your home, and He does not need you step foot into his church for it to fall down around you. He wants to heal you. He wants each and every one of us to look at our lives. What is going wrong in our lives (maybe that metaphorically is the “church that is falling down around us”). I know that there are areas that I need to work on. I have come a long way in the last two years of devoting my life to Christ.

I want to close in prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank you today for this day your have made and we are here to live in it. We thank you for all that we have because in countries around the world people are suffering in ways that we cannot imagine. I am thankful to live in America. I pray for those who are hungry, those who face persecution for you, those who live a life of evil doing, I pray for peace in this world. I pray for people who are fighting illness, disease, and cancers. Please bring healing to their lives. I pray that folks will turn their lives over to you so that you many work in their lives. You are good. We pray for those who are lost, may this be the day they find you. In your holy name, Savior Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Written by:  Cassandra Freshour

 

Updates and heavy questions

Quickly following up from last week, I wrote about a family friend (Rick) who was admitted to the hospital. Rick is still on a ventilator, he still fights his restraints when he wakes up from being sedated and they are still going to keep him sedated until a specialist is able to see him this week. The nurse said that he has made some improvements but they are planning to remove the ventilator on Tuesday to see how he responds.

***

Folks, my mother has one more round of chemotherapy to go! The last five months have been like a roller coaster for her and for the family. Many of you have followed her journey on social media and continue to pray for her. I cannot express how much your thoughtfulness means to her and to our family. Thank you!

***

When I am out and about people ask, “how are you doing?” I am physically fine. The baby is doing fine. Dustin just received a promotion at his job. We are doing alright and planning is underway to get the nursery room ready. Our schedules are busy. Now that we are close to Spring, I will be getting back outside to do more outdoor photography. We have upcoming church events and community events to help plan. We are getting ready to begin a new youth bible study program. That is just a glimpse. 😉

Mentally though, some days are rougher than others. I do want to mention that I have been learning to let go of worry. We are supposed to turn our worry over to the Lord. When I worry about how my mom’s body will react to chemo or when I worry about other things currently going on in the family… I’ve been trying to remind myself to stop and just pray. I pray so often throughout the day. I remember when I use to only pray before bedtime. Now I pray all day long and it’s like second nature. I talk to God. I have a friendship with him.

***

I saw something on Facebook this week that was interesting. A post that read, “Religion is for people who fear Hell, spirituality is for people who have been there.” This quote made me think. So, what is religion? According to dictionary.com, religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

My next question, why do people believe in God? Hopefully, someone in your family has taught you about God. I think that in many cases when children grow older, they either look more into religion for themselves, they follow a “I believe in God life but they do not live a Christian life, we see many who may not understand that just saying that you believe in God will not get one into Heaven.” One must ask God for forgiveness of sin and try to live a narrow life and try not to repeat those sins again. You and me, we are fallen, we are sinners. Even after we are forgiven, even after we are baptized, we are still sinners and we will sin until our Earthly death.

But when we choose to take that next step and lead a life following Christ, many new doors open and I can tell you this first hand, they do. Now, living a Christian life is not easy. As always, people are quick to judge us (for some reason some folks cannot wrap their head around the fact that church people sin too and it is ok). Some church people are hypocrites. The same people who say these things, should humbly look at their own life and ask, “am I perfect?”

You know the old saying, “one bad apple ruins the bunch?” We all should know by now there’s more to it than that. Don’t look at the one bad apple. That bad apple needs Jesus too. Maybe that bad apple got drunk Saturday and is sitting in the pew on Sunday, shame on the church goer who judges them and shame on the non-church goer who judges them. I rejoice to know that they made it. Maybe another bad apple fornicates (yes I went there) but unfortunately that is becoming so accepted in our society today. What will be left untouched for their future spouse when these things have already been experienced. But when this person shows up to a church on Sunday, we should rejoice! A decision was still made to go to church that day.

Church has a stigma with it. I hope to see that stigma broken!

So what if you drink, so what if you live together and are not married, so what if you have not reconciled with someone, so what if you cuss like a sailor, so what if you are a gossip, Jesus is your friend. Find him.

I want to leave you with this. For Lent, I am reading the gospels in the New Testament. The gospels are the accounts of Jesus’ life written by his apostles. The apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No two stories are told in the exact same way. They used their own words to tell of the miracles of Jesus and his death. We can think about it this way. Let’s say you are a witness out of four witnesses to see a crime. No two of your witness statements would be written the exact same word for word… yet the same story would be told about said crime. Well, think of the gospels this way. Scholars have used these accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to follow the life of Jesus. Netflix has the episodes of the gospels, word-for-word that you can watch or listen to (if you are not a big proponent of reading).

I want end with this scripture from Mark 2:15:

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 To break this down quickly, Levi (also known as Matthew) was a tax collector. As Jesus passed by the tax collectors, He told Levi to follow him and Levi instantly got up and followed Him. Later, Jesus dined at Levi’s home with others in attendance who were all sinners along with his disciples. The Pharisees (were interpreters of religious law) and they clashed with Jesus. They of course thought that Jesus blasphemed God but Jesus was the indeed the Messiah, the son of God, He is the savior of mankind. My point here that I want to emphasize is the last line in the scripture above. Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus dined with drunkards and sinners and THESE are the ones who he most wanted to spend time with and teach. I want to see this stigma associated with church broken. Jesus wants all to come through his door. I’ve heard people say that if they stepped foot in church then it would fall down. People make excuses, plain and simple. Jesus wants you and your past. He will wash your past away. Do you think that your past is hidden just because you do not go to church? God sees all, he already knows what you do in your home, and He does not need you step foot into his church for it to fall down around you. He wants to heal you. He wants each and every one of us to look at our lives. What is going wrong in our lives (maybe that metaphorically is the “church that is falling down around us”). I know that there are areas that I need to work on. I have come a long way in the last two years of devoting my life to Christ.

I want to close in prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank you today for this day your have made and we are here to live in it. We thank you for all that we have because in countries around the world people are suffering in ways that we cannot imagine. I am thankful to live in America. I pray for those who are hungry, those who face persecution for you, those who live a life of evil doing, I pray for peace in this world. I pray for people who are fighting illness, disease, and cancers. Please bring healing to their lives. I pray that folks will turn their lives over to you so that you many work in their lives. You are good. We pray for those who are lost, may this be the day they find you. In your holy name, Savior Jesus, we pray, Amen.

 

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

Look for a new blog next week!

Finding my place and thinking about Matthew 25:40

There is a man who has lived with my grandmother for the last 11 years. While he has gotten on my nerves from the things he says and does at times (because he is a joker) he has always been good to my family. He has attended many of our family parties over the years. I know that he does not have much family around and so he has become part of ours.

I do not consider myself close to him. To me… he is just, Rick. Well, Rick was doing fine and one day he started having a nosebleed. My grandma said that she would call for an ambulance and he said “no”. As the night progressed, he started to cough up blood and grandma called an ambulance for him. Rick was transported to a local hospital where they wanted to transport him on to a larger hospital in the area. There weren’t any open beds open at the larger hospital. The next day, Rick was able to be transported.

I went with my aunt and cousin to see him today. When we arrived, we saw him struggling with the nurses as he was fighting the ventilator and before they sedated him, he saw us. Soon, he was asleep and the nurse talked with us. The nurse did not have much information to give us at this time. They are waiting for him to stabilize before they can run tests.

During this time, my faith has been put to the test. I am not close to this person and yet I am. I have asked for prayer for him on social media and prayed over him silently in the hospital room. This scripture kept coming to my mind throughout the day:

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV)

Even though I am not a blood relative or consider myself very close to him, I care and I will visit with him because I serve a God that cares. Because I love Jesus and follow Him, I will go. I hope that comfort will be brought to him by familiar faces. My aunt talked to him before he was sedated. He was unable to speak due to the ventilator.

I often wonder where my ministry lies. Does it solely lie in helping our youth in the church? My husband started volunteering over two years ago with the youth group and I followed. I take on the local relay for life and this will be the second year in organizing a team. I have taken lead in this ministry blog. Although, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I stopped writing as much. I haven’t posted a new blog since November. For this season of Lent, I want to get back on track and blog more often. Writing is my ministry. I may not always have proper grammar but that is okay by me.

I keep wondering though… is there a totally different ministry out there that I should be taking part in?

I leave you with this prayer. Heavenly Father, we pray over all of those who are battling cancer and other illnesses. Please lift up their spirits and fill them with your almighty love. Bring your healing touch on their lives. We pray over those who are seeking their place in this world and those who would like to further your kingdom. All of these things we pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior, Amen.

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

 

Rick

 

Cameras, Cancer and a Cause

            You may have noticed that it has been quite some time since our last blog post. A lot has happened since August. For one, I resigned my job from the insurance agency and went full time with the photography business. As of October 1, 2018, I started a new adventure but God has used me in an additional way that was not foreseen. You see, my mom went to the ER midway through October for chest pain. Blood clots were found in her lungs, but the underlying cause of the blood clots was something that shocked our world… cancer was found.  Mom spent 15 long days in the hospital and during that time, I spent every night with her and most days. I give thanks to the new-found flexibility of being self-employed. I wouldn’t have been able to handle this very well in any other capacity. The Lord has brought me to this point and I look up and smile and laugh in disbelief at times at His timing. Through it all though, He is good.

            Mom was diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer and will have to do 20-23 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes. The final step is radiation. Although the road will be long, we feel blessed that the Doctor caught this in time to do these treatments. Thanks be to God.

             I may not understand or always be strong, but I know that no matter what happens in this life, it is all a second compared to eternity. No matter what we may suffer here on Earth, obedience and faith will see us through to a place where there is no more suffering or pain. The Lord wants what is best for us and through our Earthly trials, we must remain loyal to the one who reigns eternal.

            I have been through a lot of emotions during the last month. Some days, I ran on just an hour or two of sleep. I’ve been strong and I’ve been weak.  The Lord has been my rock. I continue to be amazed by God’s people. I have seen folks who do not know my mother pray continuously for her and aside from family… there have been complete strangers donate to her (even anonymous) in this time of need. Most of the time when this happens, I cry. I feel Gods love for her during this time in so many ways and some that I have not mentioned here. Our hearts will be forever touched.

            While I want to shut the world away and be recluse, I make myself go out. I sat through church last week feeling like I was beside myself. I stared directly ahead and kept to myself as much as possible. I think that is okay because we all cope in different ways. I need the Lord and while I may not have my normal “bubbly” personality during this time, I do remain strong in the Lord and I keep telling myself something that a dear friend once told me, “God’s got it!”

Blessings to you,

Cassandra

Below, you will see my mother’s Go Fund Me link. However, if you wish to send a card through mail, I can provide her mailing address.

https://www.gofundme.com/sandra039s-breast-cancer-fight?fbclid=IwAR1vAg0F0_g24IBSJWci9tV_76btUDxD1iOSFXvOEy_x6-0svMUczhVQZng

mom tanya and i at qd

Photo taken at the 2018 mother daughter banquet at Quiet Dell United Methodist Church (Myself, my mom Sandra, and sister Tanya)

Be The Light

the fest ariel

Our youth group trip this year was to The Fest in Wickliffe Ohio and to Cedar Point. The Fest is put on for one day by the Catholic church. The Fest had over 40,000 people in attendance this year! Many tents were set up with free items, children’s activities, and so much more! Our youth group signed up to volunteer and some helped with the small children’s area and a couple of us worked the bubble station for two hours. Once our shift was over, we listened to top Christian artists who were there to sing throughout the day. The talent this year was Big Daddy Weave, We are Messengers, Mandisa and Toby Mac!

The theme of the Fest this year was, “Be the light.” We can shine the light of Jesus by being kind and respectful to other people. We can donate clothing to help those in need, we can say to someone, “have a blessed week” or visit someone you haven’t seen in a while. We can be a light in big and small ways. How bright does your light shine?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Here is the website link: https://thefest.us/

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

Seven Deadly Sins – Pride

Wrath may be the strongest of the emotion leading to sin, at least for a brief moment, pride is the root of all sin. Being selfish and putting our desires, urges, wants and whims before everything else is the main reason we rebel against God’s will. The desire to find fulfillment in ourselves is totally against God’s desire. It is such a powerful urge that even the angels fell prey to it. Satan desired to be as God and it cost him his place in heaven.

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble.” Isaiah 14:12-16

Wanting to be better then everyone else happens constantly. Its way we do not talk to strangers, give money to the poor and why we get angry with our neighbors or those stupid people on TV. All sins steams from placing ourselves over others. We lust after the flesh because we want to have someone else. We envy what others have because we should have what they have, how could they have more then use? We are clearly better and deserve more. We gluttonously eat all we can because we should have all we can, we’ve earned it. We greedily horde our money because all of our hard work has earned it. We laze around because we are entitled to take it easy. We unleash our wrath on those who have wronged us. Do they not know how great we are? How dare they.

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13

Heavenly Virtues – Humility

To counter our selfish desire, we are in courage to submit to God’s authority, recognize others virtues and talents, and the limits of our own talents and abilities. This means we must recognize that we are not the center of our worlds. We need to seek purposes beyond ourselves.

First, we need to remember that we were created by God for a purpose. While that purpose may not be easy to discern the base purpose is to worship God and reflect his image. Beyond that we need to strive to reach others with the message of Jesus Christ. How we do that is based on our talents and gifts given by our creator.

Next, we need to look at others around us and recognize that they also have amazing gifts. We often say we have been humbled by others when we realize they are better at something then us. It makes us realize how far we need to go to become as skilled as someone else when we allow ourselves to see their ability. Praising someone’s ability is also recognizing and glorifying God’s image.

Finally, we need to recognize that we have limits. We are not the smartest or most skilled in everything. By understanding that we all have limits allows us to realize when we are wrong or at least over stretched. We need to be humble and look to others, most importantly God, for help.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

I pray that we each look to God for our meaning and purpose. That our eyes are open to the amazing ability of others and our own short comings. May we each strive to reflect Gods image and spread Jesus’s message. Amen.

Written by: Dustin Freshour

Seven Deadly Sins – Wrath

Emotions are powerful. It is easy to let them cloud our judgement. All of the deadly sins come from letting our feelings over power our logic. Wrath is the most powerful emotion at least for the moment it arises. A flash of uncontrolled anger can lead to terrible mistakes. In fact, it is so common that we have a phrase to label crimes that occur due to a brief moment of extreme anger, crimes of passion.

Another type of wrath is that of long-term fixation is when we are angry with someone and want vengeance. So, we plot and plan against them. We become focused on the other person and exacting some sort of revenge.

I personally struggle with momentary wrath. For me personally it comes from things not going my way. Typically, I find myself in a fit of rage any time the project I am working on is not going smoothly, I receive an injury or even so small as other people cutting me off. It is easy to feel like these things are slights against us personally.

Heavenly Virtue – Patience

In reality, we are not owed anything. There is no reason to take things personally when someone cuts us off or our project goes side way. This is why it is so important to practice patience in a moment. Instead of getting angry and getting into a heated argument or screaming at inanimate objects, something I have done a time or two. We need to take a deep breath and focus on what really matters. Being an example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Patience may be the most important of the virtues. Often stopping and thinking through our feelings and instead using our mind can save us a lot of trouble. We would be less tempted by that slice of cake, nap on the sofa or eye balling that lady in the red dress. Instead we pause and think through how to better live out our Christian values.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Written by: Dustin Freshour