Resisting Temptation

In two subplots in the movie Courageous, we see examples of integrity – one man who had it and one who didn’t.

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

Sheriff’s Officer, Shane Fuller, played by Kevin Downes, is a Christian, divorced dad struggling to pay his child support and alimony.

Javier Martinez, played by Robert Amaya, is Christian, married, father of two struggling to feed his family and pay the rent and bills. He hears about construction jobs, but when he gets there, they have enough men and he’s sent home.

Javier later gets a job at a factory and after a month, is presented with an offer. The company’s president tells him he can be promoted to a managerial position with increased pay if he would just fudge the inventory a bit.

Shane, is also tested daily. As the Sheriff’s Office arrests drug dealers in the city, Shane is in charge of getting the recovered drugs to the evidence locker. He is tempted to take one or two packets thinking that they wouldn’t be missed.

Which one do you think passed the test? Which one do you think stuck to the integrity and moral values of his Christian faith? Which one do you think fell to desperation and greed?

The answer is surprising. Sheriff Officer, Adam Mitchell, played by Alex Kendrick (who also co-wrote and directed the movie), notices that the amount of drugs collected doesn’t match the amount in the evidence locker. He suspects his partner, Shane, who is later caught in a sting and sent to jail.

Javier, after thinking it over and talking to his wife, tells his boss, that no, what he was asking him to do, lying on the inventory sheet, is dishonest and it goes against God’s Word. As it turns out, it was a test and Javier passed. They were looking for the honest, man of integrity to promote. They had tested many other people and Javier was the only truly, trustworthy person.

Continue reading

When Everything is Heading South…

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

Usually when things begin to go south in our lives, it’s not because we’ve had nothing to do with it. But we often look for someone else to blame. Those “downward spiral” times when everything in our lives just starts to hit the fan are precisely the times when we need to stop and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We need to get on our knees alone with God and honestly ask Him, “How am I doing, Lord?” What do you want to teach me right now? Not so-and-so, not my mate, not the government, not my bank—but ME!?

Christ's ArmsA couple of ‘spiritual tune up’ suggestions:

Memorize James 4:8 and take it like big boys and girls as if God were getting right up in our faces. It goes like this:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8

We also need to understand and really believe that God is looking lovingly, deep into our hearts for something. He’s not looking for perfection; He’s just looking for openness to Him, a willingness to repent and change, and a desire to be used by Him.

Have you ever wondered what God does in his spare time?

Here’s what he’s up to:

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.~ II Chronicles 16:9a

God’s looking for a reason to rescue us, help us out of our downward spiral! He’s looking for some sign from us that we really want Him!

We’re going to see as we journey thru The Story of God this year together that rescuing His lost & fallen creation is THE PLOT in God’s Story—in Our Story.

Next: In the Beginning…

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Additional Reading: The Devil Made Me Do It

4 Misperceptions of the Christian Life

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 we read:

Cracked clay jarBut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. Here are 4 misperceptions of the Christian life:

1: Misperception: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life

Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I’m transformed.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Just like jars of clay, we are vulnerable, breakable, but we hold invaluable messages. Any power that we have is from God not from ourselves.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.~2 Timothy 1:7

You can trust God – You’ve seen Him work in your life so you believe and speak accordingly. The same God who raised Jesus will raise you up, too!

We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.

2. Misperception: Once I’m saved, I can do what I want and play it safe

Reality: I need to die to myself and be a witness for Christ

We carry the death of Jesus in us so His life may be revealed in me, as I dei to myself.

Paul faced a lot of hazards on a very regular basis: threatened, hardships, beaten, people trying to ruin his ministry, etc. But he had given up his life for the sake of Christ. the death and life of Jesus are present with us all the time. Death through baptism, and life by the Spirit living in us.

Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24

We die to ourselves and He lives in us. We have new life – Born Again!

3. Misperception: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is please with me.

Reality: God’s power sustains me through hardship and distress and as I endure, I become more like Jesus.

We will all face trouble to some degree. Hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down.  Our light and momentary troubles strengthen us.

Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; James 1:12

The futre glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).

4. Misperception: life is about this world and the here and now. What can I get in this life? It’s all about me.

Reality: It’s about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!

  • It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in my weakness as I’m transformed to be more like Him.
  • It’s about our need to die to self and to be witnesses for Christ
  • It’s about God’s power sustaining us through hardship and distress and as we endure, we become more like Jesus.

Adapted from “Misconceptions Message” delivered by Pastor Jon Taylor, 2/14/10, First Christian Church of Phoenix

Follow WWJD on Twitter

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author & Inspirational Speaker
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

God will meet all your needs

…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

Faith in God will not get for you everything you may want, but it will get for you what God wants you to have. The unbeliever does not need what he wants; the Christian should want only what he needs. ~Vance Havner

WWJD? Reflection: Did Jesus have all He needed while He walked on the earth? Of course. His Heavenly Father saw that He had His needs met. For us to ask: “What Would Jesus Do?” we must realize, no matter what our financial status, that we are very, very, very rich. Our Father has for us “glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” In Him we have all we need to live life.

What else could we possibly want?

Excerpt from
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0060638761

Follow WWJD on Twitter

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

Check out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Grieving the loss of a job

Losing one’s job is sometimes like losing one’s identity. When you’re gainfully employed, you introduce yourself as your job title. When that’s gone, what do you have? Nothing?

No, you still have you.

But you’re angry, bitter, resentful, vengeful. You are lost. You feel like a failure.

If you hold on to all those bad emotions, you’ll just bury yourself in a deep depression finding it difficult to move on.

Your anger translates into aggression when interviewing for a job. That’s not good.

You need to release that anger – but not onto your friends and family! Yell at God. It’s ok. He’s heard it all before. He knows what you’re going through. Go ahead and ask, “Why me, Lord? Why now?”

Let go and let God. God is in Control. Trust God, it works!

You will not be able to move forward if you keep looking behind you. The past is past – let it go and face the future with confidence. Read: Fear vs. Faith

Here are some bible passage that will help you through the tough times.

Psalm 40
Matthew 6:25-27
1 Peter 1:6-7
1
Peter 5:6
Jeremiah 29:11
John 16:33
James 1:2-4
Philippians 4:13-14
Philippians 4:4-7
James 5:11
Psalm 121:1-2

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – not matter what format benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar or http://twitter.com/wwjdrevival

 

 

 

God is in Control

The world is under the influence of the devil, but it is not under his control. God is in control- now and always. ~Charles Stanley

God is involved in every moment of your life if you acknowledge Him or not.

God is a part of all things – He is the creator, sustainer and orchestrator of everything that is.

God gave humans free will and he will never override it.

God’s ultimate purpose will be accomplished. In the end, God will have His way. His will will be done!

God does not always manifest “control” when or how we think He should. God, however, knows precisely which method to use in which circumstance. He knows what is best for each life. And He knows precisely when to employ His chosen method. Our role is to trust Him implicitly. ~Charles Stanley

God is in control of the situation, and He will accomplish His purpose.
You can put yourself on God’s side- the side of victory.

You can trust God to act in precisely the right timing and with precisely the right method to accomplish the ultimate good in any situation and in any life.

Consult God always: 2 Chronicles 15:2, Isaiah 55:6, Psalm 63:1, Romans 8:28, Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Deuteronomy 28:25, James 4:7-8, James 4:10, Psalm 145:17-18

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out: www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Getting through the storms

 

The monsoons bring haboobs – dust clouds
that move over the city covering every inch.

Summers in Phoenix bring not only the heat, but monsoons. And some of them can be fierce – like mini hurricanes, which do their fair share of destruction. But it’s comforting to know that they are short and in an hour or two, the storm will be gone.

Hurricanes can last all night and do a 100 times the destruction of a monsoon. When you’re hunkered down, it seems like the storm will never end. But somehow you know that it will. The wind will die down and the sun will come out again.
Many people these days are going through storms of their own. And it may seem like there’s no end. It’s scary, you worry if you’ll make it through. You cry out – “Stop! Why can’t things be back to normal?”
Back in the summer of 2004, Florida’s “Treasure Coast” suffered two hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne, two weeks apart. After Jeanne, I took a walk on the what was left of the beach and saw beautiful, expensive houses and condos with half of their foundations washed away.
It reminded me of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew: Right after speaking the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” ~Matthew 7:24-27



Hang in there, God loves you
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Novelist
Debut Novel Now Available!