What Happened on September 23rd 2017?

What Happened on September 23rd 2017?

The world didn’t end.

Whenever someone claims that the world will end, the mocking begins because we know better.

Or do we?

You only need to know one verse in the Bible to know these people aren’t right. “No one knows the day or hour…” (Matt 24:36)

So what was the significance of that specific day, and if Jesus wasn’t coming back that day, should Christians still be concerned?

The answer is yes.

For those who are unaware, on the evening of the 23rd constellations and planets formed a unique image in the night sky.

Venus, Mars, Mercury, the Moon, and the Sun lined up at the constellations of Virgo and Leo. Biblically Virgo is “The Virgin” and Leo is “The Lion or Tribe of Judah.” A serpent named Hydra slinked underneath both the Virgin and the Lion’s foot touching its head (Gen 3:15). Jupiter represents the “man child” exiting The Virgin’s womb and the serpent is ready to devour it.

Below are pictures I took from the star-gazing app “SkyView Free” on that night.
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The above description is an accurate description of a sign in the heaven’s laid out in Revelation 12.22068966_10156647184308502_1951770134_o.jpg

Some facts to take into consideration. This exact same formation has been seen 4 times in the last 1000 years. The new moon at The Virgin’s feet is an annual September occurrence symbolizing the Jewish New Year.

If Christians think that this sign is just a coincidence and nothing more than the universe doing its thing, I’d advise you to take a closer look. The universe may be following its natural clock, but God has purposed everything and the Bible demonstrate God’s love for images, patterns, numbers, and more. They all work together over thousands of years to proclaim God’s sovereignty.

His timing is no different.

This same star/planet formation appeared around the time Jesus was born and we all know how the night sky impacted that event. If the same formation appears to us now, God is trying to tell us something.

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. – Matthew 24:42-43

Just because there wasn’t any cataclysmic event or rapture on the 23rd doesn’t mean that in God’s timeline, the day is significant to God’s plan.

It is never wise for God’s people to be asleep or numb to His voice. The parable of the ten virgins in *** constantly reminds me that some people will not be prepared or be asleep when he calls.

We should live knowing each day we get closer to His coming. But the event in the world during that time will be far from pleasant.

Be alert, seek and you will find, and be ready for anything. This is all advice from the Bible. I encourage you to be wise and test all you read and listen to. Let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts and give you more understanding every day.

God bless
-LJM

4 Addictions Christians Ignore

4 Addictions Christians Ignore

“I struggle with pornography.”

“I have a problem with alcohol.”

“I can’t stop smoking.”

These statements often result in prayer and intercession, counseling and possibly rehabilitation. Christians have a heart to help the people who fall into these addictions, because God wants His people to overcome them, right?

If that’s the case, shouldn’t that include all addictions?

These are just a few of the addictions that Christians, including myself, let slide under the radar.

1. Coffee

I’m a coffee lover, and though it started as an occasional indulgence, college ushered it into a daily habit. After being confronted, I realized I needed coffee more than I believed I did, and the thought of giving it up made me almost angry. Do you see the red flags? Coffee has become more of a trend than a drink, an appearance over the nutrient. For those of us who cling to this beverage, we need to ask ourselves ‘why?’

2. Social Media

Nowadays having social media is almost as necessary as having a cell phone. How else are you supposed to stay connected with friends, market your talents, or stay up to date with current events? I find myself browsing through my media accounts seeing the same dozen posts because I just checked it five minutes before. It’s something for our fingers and eyes to do, and we spend hours scrolling because we haven’t reached the point where we’re satisfied. How many minutes do we waste a day and is that healthy?

3. Video Streaming

“Done with this TV series, what should I watch next?” I’ve seen this post and I’ve shared the same thoughts. With Netflix, watching TV or movies is at our fingertips. When we binge watch a show and feel the loss and sadness when it’s over, we jump right on to the next to fill that silence. We justify vegging out to our feel good show, but we should consider, what we watch, how much we watch, and how it affects our minds in the long run.

4. Junk Food

Salty or sweet, we are simply drawn to foods that will never be healthy for our bodies, and every one of us has their weak spot. Mine is chocolate. Like coffee, if it’s difficult to give up even for a few days, you may need to reflect on the root of addiction. Foods that become addictions lead to gluttony and I don’t think I need to prove that point in our society.

“[The grace of God] instructs us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” -Titus 2:12 (NIV)

The only reason I can point any of these out is because I can relate to all of them. They all have some hold on my life and as a Christian, I believe God wants to break every chain, not just the ones we declare harmful. Addictions of any kind affect how we live for God and that alone is why Christians should take them seriously.

What I’ve learned is that we keep coming back to these things because we’re not satisfied. And though something may seem harmless, like an idol, our dependency on it can sneak in and distract us from the One we’re supposed to depend on.

Pray for me as I begin to wean myself from these things as I will pray for those of you who may be caught in these snares too.

God bless!

-LJM

 

What Kind of Bible Reader Are You?

What Kind of Bible Reader Are You?

Growing up, reading the Bible was like pulling teeth for me. I had trouble understanding the flowery language, staying engaged with the density of historical facts, and applying the truth to my relationship with Jesus. Have you ever felt the same way?

When I started college, I was determined to read the Bible for myself which I believe was a turning point in my spiritual journey. From then I’ve experimented with Scripture reading methods and have come to the conclusion that there are 5 types of Bible readers.

Which one are you?

The Readers

These people approach the Bible like a trilogy combined into one book. They will most likely use an easy version to read and their priority is to tackle each book from front to back. Entering into one book, they will read all the chapters before going onto the next. Each one completed is a small victory until the day finally comes where they’ll celebrate having finished the entire Bible.

The Artists

A trend has emerged known as “Journaling,” but instead of pens and highlighters, these maxresdefaultreaders decorate their Bibles with water colors and calligraphy. Special Bibles have been printed with wide margins and even coloring templates to encourage the process. Their priority is to tap into their artistic mind and meditate on one verse or passage at a time. While savoring the intricacies of Scripture, they result in aesthetically pleasing pictures.

The Writers

When these people pick up their Bible, they come armed with highlighters, pens, pencils, and maybe even a notebook. Similar to The Artists, they prefer a wide-margined Bible so they have plenty of room to take notes. Their goal is to interact with the text, and they do so by writing questions, comments, and applications. Their Bibles are covered with rainbow streaks of color, underlined words and phrases, and notes squished in every possible empty space.

The Students

Scholars who want to understand the depth of Biblical mysteries fall into this category. They open the Bible with the goal of diving into specific topics or issues and research everything they can find about it. The versions they use probably include commentary from the original Greek and Hebrew translations. Their findings help make connections, support beliefs, and gain a better understanding of God and His ways. The students may be the best and most thorough group and one that bleeds into the others.

The Collectors

You may assume the collectors have something to do with the many versions of Bibles this group collects, but instead, it’s actually something their Bible collects.

Dust.

The Collectors use their Bible when needed whether on Sunday mornings, Bible studies, or in desperate situations. The rest of the time Bibles sit on shelves or nightstands while dust sneaks onto their leather covers.
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I believe the Bible speaks to us in diverse ways. I believe His angels swarm around and minister to us as soon as we open the Scriptures. I believe that spiritual growth is stunted without consistent time in God’s Story.

The world will suffocate the life out of us, and even though we have the means, we choose not to take a breath of fresh air. Choose to breathe in the clean air of Jesus’s love, The Father’s presence, and The Holy Spirit’s truth daily.

Choose to be less like the Collector and more like the Student, but whatever group you fall under, take something away from the Word every time you read it. You never know when it may come in handy.

You are loved and Jesus wants a relationship with you even more than you with Him.
So who are you?

God bless!

-LJM

How to Succeed in College

How to Succeed in College

As summer ebbs into cooler evenings, I braced myself for the seasonal change. Not only were pumpkin spice lattes on their way, but also were students heading back to school. I watched as my social media erupted with reuniting friends, cute dorm room pictures, and growing anticipation for the school year.

This season hits hard for us recent grads, and it makes us look back on those years that flashed by like a dream. So, after contemplating my four and a half years of school, I’d like to share with you just 3 essentials to having a successful college life whether you’re starting a new year like a veteran, or entering for the first time like a starry-eyed tourist.

1. Don’t Stress

The easiest college trap to fall into is the stressful one. I noticed a pattern: whether it’s the beginning, middle, or end of the semester you will hear this statement, “Well, it’s that time of the semester.” The phrase acts as an excuse to be stressed but the truth is, you will never get away from “that time.”

Yes, classes can be difficult, projects will all be due at the same time, and some tests will have more weight than others. You may be in several clubs that have events coming up, but you can choose to deal with all of the above with readiness or let it collapse on you like a ton of bricks.

How do you stay away from stress? Follow these rules religiously:

Pray, prepare, sleep, and trust God through the results.

2. Get involved

Nothing sucks the life out of college than doing nothing but going to class. Go to an event even if you don’t have anyone to go with. Find a club that you can be passionate about. My freshman year, I immediately auditioned for both the play and the glee club, where I could use my passion for performing. I met my closest friends the more I got involved.

If you’re not just starting out, maybe you could apply for a leadership position like RA (resident assistant) ,or president of a club, or mentor for incoming freshmen. All of these will help establish connections and help shape your level of responsibility as well as provide an outlet for creativity.

These are memories you will need to hold onto once you graduate.

3. Spend time with Jesus

This is the most essential because your relationship with Jesus influences every aspect of your life. College is where I had to take my faith into my own hands and hang on for dear life. Whether you’re at a Christian college or not, you are now an independent Christian and that means pursuing it for you and only you.

God uses college to test you in many ways. You will do a lot of growing during this time. Many college students pull away from the God they grew up knowing. I want to encourage you to take the time to grow closer to God. College will come and go, but He will be your constant.

Savor the independence, adhere to the call of responsibility, stand firm in your faith, discover who you are, and enjoy!

Did you takeaway anything different from your time in college? If you’re in school, what has worked for you? Please share in a comment!

God bless!

-LJM

James 4:8