Is Christianity the Most Beautiful Religion?

Christianity is soooo beautifully simple AND practical!

If one were to just read the book of Matthew or John to see what Jesus said and did, or read one of Paul’s letters to the early church, Colossians, or Philippians, you’d see how…different Christianity is from other religions which are huge on either mystical, elusive, and abstract concepts and thoughts, or food-chain, climb-the-ladder type exaltation of participants, or severe bodily rejection and repetitious, ritualistic behaviors.

But not Biblical Christianity. Not the Christianity you find when you read the New Testament. The admonition and commands on how we ought to love one another and what that looks like practically are just so easy to grasp and refreshing and totally sensical and observable.

Indeed, it’s not like, dare I say, reincarnation, a mystical, never before observed idea. Even Christianity’s claims of resurrection from the dead has been observed time and again throughout history with people praying in Jesus’ name for life to return to someone who died and then it does.

So all this to say, I love the whole of Christianity, of what its Founder, Jesus, teaches. If there is anything more beautiful, more good for mankind, please, show me. It is for such teachings as these that I am totally unashamed to say I follow Jesus and His ways as recorded in the Bible:

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” –‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Don’t worry about what people may think if you proclaim to be a Christian. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Our God is so good and wonderful. Get to know Him better so your confidence in that fact can be assured and you can more boldly share His love unabashedly with others. At the end of the day, it isn’t about whether or not someone likes you, it’s whether or not you loved Jesus and that person despite.

blog_love_natasha

What Is the Emerging Church and are you unwittingly apart of one?

I had been attending a very popular multi-campus church in Georgia whose leader is Andy Stanley. When I told this to two older Christian women who I trust and love, the reaction was the same in a nutshell: “Be careful, Andy’s emergent.”

At the time, I didn’t know what that meant so I decided to do some research. I googled “Andy Stanley emergent” and got a better taste for what this whole Emerging Church thing is, but didn’t really grasp it in clear and simple terms until this morning.

Apparently, many Emerging Church leaders identify with “post-modernism,” another term I didn’t know much about until this morning:

“Modernism was a bad philosophy. Post-modernism is another bad philosophy. But in both cases, they assault the Scripture. Modernism made reason, human reason, the king. Reason was supreme in modernism. Thomas Payne, The Age of Reason, The Enlightenment…the Renaissance. Out of that came the worship of the human mind and the mind trumps God. Now, mystery trumps the Bible. The human mind trumps the Bible in modernism, mystery trumps the Bible in post-modernism. It is at the foundation an unwillingness to accept the clear teaching of Scripture…God holds us responsible for a right understanding of Scripture. We are liable before God for what we do with a true and right understanding of Scripture.

“These people, like the liberals, deny the clear teaching of Scripture. And I’m convinced that the reason they deny it is not because it can’t be understood, not because it’s unclear, but because they don’t like what it clearly says. And that takes you back to John 3, “Men love darkness rather than light.” The light is there, they hate the light, they run from the light. The issue is not that Scripture is not clear, it is crystal clear…

So I think the motive behind this whole Emerging Church thing, whether it’s a conscious or unconscious motive, is discomfort over what the Bible really says, whether it’s about the gospel or whether it’s about sin, virtue…they don’t like it and so the out is…Well, it’s not clear. This is just another way to set the Bible aside…”-John MacArthur

In a radio show, John goes even more in-depth on this topic, and I’ll just add one more snippet of the conversation because I think it’s powerful:

“What is so interesting about this movement is the Emerging Church sanctifies the culture. The Emerging church sanctifies the post-modern culture as if it is legitimate and says, ‘if we’re going to reach these people, we’ve got to become like these people.’ That’s never been the biblical way…never. The Bible does not change. It’s not a chameleon; it doesn’t shift and change and adapt to culture. It confronts culture. It confronts an aboriginal culture. It confronts an ancient culture. It confronts a modern culture. It confronts every trend with fixed unchanging truth in every situation. And the Emerging Church not only is unwilling to believe the clear statement of Scripture, but it’s unwilling to take the clear statement of Scripture and confront the culture. It wants to let the culture define what Christianity should be.”

To hear the whole talk visit Grace To You.

So the Emerging Church, often subtly, downplays the Bible and strips it of its superiority and authority. Using the excuse that it cannot possibly be understood, they make allowance for sins that the Bible clearly condemns, and makes God a more “accepting” God, which truly, the Emergents just want their churches to be more widely accepted because the bigger the building, the more seats it can fill, and the more seats it can fill, the more money they can make.

And also, simply put, they want to enjoy sinning without the guilt trip. They want to watch porn, or fornicate, or cheat on their spouses, or indulge in greed without being judged by a Holy God for it.

Sounds a lot like the folks the Apostle Paul warned about:

“And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.”-Romans 3:8 NLT

“And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus —if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.”-1 Corinthians 15:32-34 NLT

So are you apart of an Emerging Church? I think one of the clearest indicators is their avoidance on agreeing with Scripture’s clear stances on topics such as sex before marriage or living together before marriage (i.e. fornication), homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion. Since these are big hot-topics in our day, many Emerging Church leaders will cower away from stating what the Bible says about these things and make some excuse for, or evade the topics altogether. Why? Because they’re more concerned with keeping those large numbers/pew sitters than they are about teaching the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at the cost of possibly becoming attacked, fined, imprisoned, or impoverished. They love their money and comfort more than they love Jesus and others.

Because at the end of the day, the old saying is often true, “The truth hurts,” or as the Bible puts it, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”-Proverbs 27:6 NLT

I’m gonna tell someone what I know and am 100% convinced of is unadulterated, divinely inspired truth. If I genuinely believe this incredibly prophetic, historically accurate, scientifically sound, ancient written record of how God revealed Himself to man and what He has to say to us, and I love Him more than I do my own reputation and relationships with others besides Him, then I’ll tell them what it says because I am genuinely concerned for the consequences they’ll face if they don’t know and believe these divine, eternal truths.

Many people have wrong desires: they’re married but they’re desiring to have sex with another person. Just because they have that desire,  albeit it can be deemed a natural one, doesn’t make that desire justifiable or good. The same is true for premarital sex and homosexuality. Just because someone has the desire to be with someone of the same sex doesn’t mean that behavior is justifiable.

A lot of people enjoy wrong desires; indulge in adulterous relationships, in drugs, in premarital sex and homosexual relationships, but it doesn’t mean that it’s right or good in the sight of God. And who on this earth has the authority or revelation to determine what God deems good and what He deems evil? God Himself! But how do we know which God is the true God and which teachings accurately reflect His opinions and commands???

I say, with 100% confidence, there is no other book in all the history of mankind, in all the millions of documents ever written, as prophetically accurate as the Bible, and as geographically, historically, and scientifically sound as the Bible. Even secular expert scribes agree: no ancient work holds more manuscript authority than the Bible, which simply means it is a completely reliable ancient record; what it says now is what it said thousands of years ago.

And again, no book or prophet comes an INKLING as close to as incredibly accurately prophetic as Jesus Christ and the Old and New Testament prophecies. If someone were to research the thousands of prophecies fulfilled in history that the Bible prophesied centuries and even millennia before the events occurred, they’d probably begin to doubt their doubts and start to hold the Bible in a much higher light than its religious peers. There’s no getting around it unless you avoid it.

So, are you apart of a church who downplays the Bible or reinterprets, or condemns its clear stances on sin? And if so, do you agree with your leaders that the Bible can’t be understood and that truth is thus subjective?

Who is right? The prophetically proven Bible, or these smart sounding, passionate men who’ve existed for fifty years or less on this earth and have never prophesied anything that came true to perfect detail?

I hope this makes you think and take stock as to the pastors you’re listening to and consider if they uphold the Bible as the ultimate truth, or downplay it as an ancient book that is only partially relevant now. Because, as the historically accurate ancient record holds, God has once said about mankind:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.”-Hosea 4:6

 

With sincere love and concern,

Natasha

Whenever someone rejects or hates you, know this…

As a writer–and a human being–there are times when God needs to remind me that no matter how bad or good my writing is, ultimately, it is He who gives favor.

“For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”-Psalm 5:12

“And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs…”-Daniel 1:9

“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”-Genesis 39:21

“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.”-Proverbs 21:1

 

How good is God? Being accepted or rejected is one less thing we have to worry about because ultimately, God knows how to deal with that. And how about Jesus Himself, literally the only perfect person ever, was even accepted by some while rejected by many others–both in His time in human flesh and to this very day!

Jesus knows rejection firsthand, better than anyone on the planet. He’s experienced it millions of times throughout history, and every single day whenever people refuse to follow Him, but instead, follow themselves or someone else.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good, or kind, or awesome you are, people will still reject you. After Jesus raised up a man who’d been dead for four days there were still people who rejected Him and actually wanted to kill Him! Indeed, some people will never ever be pleased or satisfied with you, and you know what, it doesn’t matter, because when you run to Jesus, when you bow to the perfect King, He accepts you, whoever and wherever you are, and transforms your life with His incredible love. He opens His arms and tells you not to fear people, and reminds you that He knows exactly what being rejected, mocked, belittled, despised, and hated is like, to the point of being murdered! So no matter who rejects or hates you, always remember:

 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[a]: ‘They hated me without cause.’ 

26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.”-John 15:18-27

Jesus promises never to forsake us. He has sent everyone who trusts in Him to save them His very own Spirit, to live in them and be with them forever. And when you die, or He returns, He will gather you to Himself, where you will be with Him for all eternity in paradise, surrounded and filled with peace, joy, and love.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”-John 14:1-3

Jesus Loves Me so Don’t Judge Me

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face…”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The bible says God doesn’t change; He is steadfast, eternally the same. His character has always hated evil and loved good, and it always will. There are things we do that provoke Him to anger continually. Indeed, God loves us, but hates the sin we commit. To use, “He loves me,” as a defense or justification for not repenting of what He calls sin and what He hates, is to trample underfoot His sacrifice on the cross for your sins.

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I know way too many Millennial Christians who use the, “Jesus loves me,” tactic to fool themselves and feel okay about engaging in sin. They don’t want to humble themselves and repent: they want heaven, God’s acceptance, and their sin. But Christ is a sword-bearer who demands a sharp divide and says those who love the world make themselves His enemy. For us to think this holy God who hated sin so much He sent His Son to be brutally punished for it and die in order to cleanse those who would later choose to trust in Jesus and repent, is to create your own false version of God; a god of your own understanding that is cool with whatever you do and accepts you anyway; an unholy god, opposite to the one in the bible. If your god doesn’t care if you sin, then don’t call him Jesus. Don’t blaspheme and lie about the holy character of God and deceive others into following your false version because you’ll just be heaping up even more judgement for yourself in the end.

My prayer is that some, even just one person reading this will admit to themselves and God that they’ve been making excuses for their sin and creating their own god that makes them comfortable and not accountable to change. That you would realize that your god is fake and powerless and that you clinging to this false idol of Jesus will only harm you and others. Christ offers so many glorious things in exchange for our repentance: forgiveness, fellowship with Him, power to transform and help others change. He gives us power over demons, power over satan. But you give all that up when you choose to deny holiness and cling to your sins.

There is nothing more delightful than experiencing Jesus FOR REAL. Because getting emotional when you sing at church doesn’t mean you’ve experienced Him, and experiencing Him goes way beyond that and overflows into every area of your life. It is not mere feelings and emotional highs, it is undeniable evidence of Him transforming you, leading you, speaking to you, teaching you, answering you, helping you.

If you’re not experiencing increasing holiness and power over the sins in your life, if you’re not experiencing a greater desire for Jesus and His truth and a lesser and lesser desire and eventual hatred of sin, then you don’t have a real, surrendered, right relationship with Him. You are not His follower, you’re just His fan who visits Him at church, but doesn’t seek to obey Him. You’re not a child of God, you’re sorta religious. And what a tragedy, when Christ calls us to such a more meaningful and incredible life; to true life. You have no idea what you’re missing out on and that is why you’re holding onto the sins in your life rather than forsaking them and knowing following Jesus is SO much worthier and better for you and others.

It angers God and breaks His heart, and as someone who loves God and people, I’m telling you truthfully, He does not accept you if you continue to love sin. He just does not. This is not Natasha’s teaching, it’s the bible’s. And if you’re a professing Christian, you’re supposed to believe and seek to obey that book; not just listen to the parts that are nice and easy to accept; you don’t just accept as much of Jesus as you’re comfortable with, you let go and surrender all to Him and embrace everything He desires for you. And then your life will really begin.

Christian Women And Sexiness

As, “women who profess godliness,” who claim to love Christ, we are His leaders; we are to set the example God wants His people to follow. Inwardly and outwardly, our lives are supposed to point people to Jesus, not ourselves. 

Paul wrote about how we need to walk in love, and how if we imitate Jesus, thus walking in love, we will not be sexually immoral or cause our brothers to stumble. 

Is it loving to use your body and looks to entice a man and manipulate him into a relationship with you? If you use your flesh to snag a guy, he’s operating in his flesh, and the bible says the mindset of the flesh is death, and that those who walk in the flesh cannot please God. If you use your flesh to reel a brother in, the foundation of your relationship is based on the flesh, and thus, you’re not pleasing God, and your fleshly mindset will lead to the death of your relationship. 

I see too many sisters using their faces and bodies to capture a boy. I say boy, because if a brother is swayed by your fleshly manipulation, he’s weak or immature in the faith, and has not built up his spirit-man strong enough to resist temptation. 

Ungodly enticement is dishonoring first to God, then to yourself and others. As James says, practice true religion by being unspotted by the ways of this world. Don’t be conformed to their patterns, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

See 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 and Romans 12:2.

You’re a princess of God’s kingdom. He makes you beautiful. Trust Him.

Love,

Your sister, Natasha 

I’m 8 Days Away From My Due Date

I’m set to deliver me and sir Jonathan’s first child on February 21st. If I write all the ways God has provided, and all the prayers He’s answered, this post would be at least 10,000 words long. But here are some:

-Jonathan got a second job for a Christian ministry
-I didn’t have morning sickness
-We got blessed with three baby showers
-We have all the essentials; strollers, car seat, bassinet, baby clothes, diapers, baby wipes to last months, pediatrician who’s five minutes away
-All the nursery wants/needs have been gifted to us; changing table, crib (eventually), crib mattress, lamp, crib mobile, sheets, the cute forest animal-themed decorations we wanted
-We haven’t paid for anything for baby out of pocket, not even my prenatal visits
-We got blessed with a new, quality brand-name mattress (ours has been marked in several places by two different dogs and was causing me pain)
-We were working toward getting out of debt and had $500 left that we owed Jonathan’s dad and then randomly received an unexpected check for $500 in the mail. We’re now debt-free
-Jonathan was approved for not one, but six weeks off paid from his higher paying, longer-hours job to bond with baby

God truly is our provider. He has certainly blessed us incredibly and answered so many prayers. I’m blown away by His love and provision, and by His great care for His daughter and son. All the details He paid attention to, even giving unnecessary blessings. He has fiercely protected me and the baby from enemy attacks, and though I’ve become extra clumsy thanks to the increase in hormones, I haven’t fallen once in my entire pregnancy. Every time I stumbled (which was often), His angels caught me.

I just wanted to encourage you all to pray about everything that concerns you, casting your anxieties on Him because He truly does care for you—practically beyond comprehension.

It’s so vital for us to grasp the depth of His love for us and how much we do not deserve it. As we pray for that revelation, we will be compelled to truly surrender all to Him, to live for Him and obey Him because we genuinely love Him and are so grateful for all He has graciously done for us.

I pray a greater understanding of Christ’s love and worthiness to be worshipped is revealed to you that you may offer up your life—the life He’s loaned to you—for nothing but His glory.

Grace and love to you,

Natasha

“I Follow Jesus Because It’s The Right Thing To Do.”-Wrong Answer

If we are following Christ simply because we know it’s the right thing to do, we are missing the whole point of our salvation. Not only are we missing the point, but we are walking in religion rather than in love.

God is love. And God so loved the world He gave His only Son. It does not say, “For God so wanted the world to obey Him He gave His only Son.” Obedience is important, but notice what Christ says should be the only precursor for obedience:

“If you love Me, you will obey Me.” (John 14:23)

Are we fooling ourselves into thinking we are obeying God because behaviorally we are “good?” I guarantee if you do not have a deep love for Christ that is rooted in the understanding and conviction of all that He has done for you though you don’t deserve it in the slightest, then you are not really obeying Him. The bible says if you break one commandment, you’ve broken them all. You may not be lusting, but you’re gossiping. You may not be a drunkard, but you’re prideful.

When someone is just trying to obey Jesus because he knows that’s the right thing to do, it’s somewhat obvious. And when someone is obeying Jesus because he really loves Him, it’s also obvious.

My challenge to you is to really examine your heart; your motives. Why do you follow Christ? If the first answer is not something along the lines of, “Because I’m so utterly grateful for all that He has done for me, He is so worthy of my love and devotion because of who He is and what He did for me and does for me on a daily basis,” then I would suggest you really pray and ask God to help you fall in love with Him. Ask Him for a revelation, a great understanding of the depth of His love and His worthiness to be worshipped. Ask Him to give you a passionate love for Him. If you’re sincere, He will answer.

I pray you come to that most powerful revelation and begin to walk in genuine love for Christ.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha