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.

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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

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

6 Traits of a Leader

In this time of predictions for the new year, as one reads them, one wonders if they will come true. Did last year’s predictions come true? Probably not. But we have to realize that the unforeseen keeps making the future unforeseeable.

We can plan and set goals, but one thing is certain, there will be obstacles in our paths and how we deal with those is the sign of a person who follows God’s teachings or the Devil’s.

Whether you’re a leader or a follower, these 6 traits are what a godly person should have that will help them handle any crisis. And when you think about it, they are the traits we should look for in presidential candidates.

  1. Integrity: the person’s life and words match
  2. Justice: the person rejects dishonest gain
  3. Convictions: the person’s values won’t allow their to accept bribes
  4. Positive Focus: the person refuses to dwell on destructive issues
  5. Pure: the person disciplines their mind to remain clean and pure
  6. Secure: the person is firm, stable in their identity and source of strength (God)

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=0849995949 Adapted from Leadership Promises for Every Day by John C. Maxwell based on Isaiah 33:14-16

Religious rightThere is no perfect candidate just like there are no perfect people. Only Jesus is perfect and a godly person strives to be Christ-like and that shows in how the person lives.

People change. We need to look at the change for the better which shows that they have the traits listed above. Watch for these traits in the presidential candidates.

We all make mistakes. It’s how we handle ourselves when we realize our actions were wrong is the sign of the WWJD? person.

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

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

Stop Complaining!

Boy do we like to complain! And I admit, I’ve done my share of complaining and arguing.

Now, some complaining and arguing is necessary when something is wrong and it can be made right. But there are many things in this world over which we have no control. We can complain and whine, but it will accomplish nothing.

In Philippians 2:14-16, Paul tells us to “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

As Christians, we are to shine with His light in the murky world.

In these past two weeks, I had to accept the fact that my 88-year-old mother doesn’t want my help in dealing with her recovery from surgery or with her financial issues. She prefers the help of her “godson,” Jorge. She doesn’t want to move to Arizona with me. She said it loud and clear.

I could have argued, but I didn’t. I said, “fine.” I did what I could to help her, and I headed back to Phoenix. I put it all in God’s hands. There’s nothing I do about it.

Same thing with losing my job. I could argue about the success of my efforts, but my boss only sees the lack of clients directly related to my marketing and doesn’t see the value in paying my salary any longer.

I’ve accepted the fact and see it as an opportunity to now devote all my time to promoting my Award-Winning novel, “Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century,” continue writing book #2, “Follow Me: Love in the Second Century,” and blogging to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I’m at peace with it all.

Christ left us His Peace. We have it all the time, but we tend to lose it when we react to the world in a negative manner.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.~John 15:27

If you ever feel yourself losing God’s Peace, stop and think is what I’m doing counterproductive? Is my complaining needless and futile? WWJD? What would Jesus do in this situation?

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