It’s okay to break the law

 

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This topic of immigration is like a bomb of feelings on the internet.  The emotions are so high and explosive and raw, you start the topic and the rage starts flaring…and logic is tossed out the window.

Trump is seen as an evil man, a Hitler who will put immigrants in concentration camps and kill them off one by one.

To me this topic also hits close to home as when I was eight I immigrated to this country with my parents and my sister…LEGALLY.  I have watched conversations on Facebook, both on Fox and CNN on this topic and have seen sentiments differ among those who came here legally and those who came here illegally and they clash…for very good reason.  One side followed a painstaking, time consuming, pricey process to come here, sacrificing much, giving up much in order to do that and to follow the law, while others came through and even broke through the back door illegally, skipping each step.

I will address a few points of fear.  One fear is that there will be mass deportation of parents that have children that would remain behind and ‘How is that fair?’ they ask.  To me that question could also be asked by other people who break the law who get sent to jail and leave behind children.  When you break the law, there are excruciating, heartbreaking consequences that you failed to factor in or bother to think about because you were too busy breaking the law and profiting from breaking the law.  My father had a saying that I always found to be true:  What is hidden will always come to light.  Well that is what is happening now.

For years and years there were people who came from other countries who worked under the table for next to nothing and payed no taxes on that money and drove the rest of the market down for the rest of the business owners.  Let me just give you a few examples:  In my parent’s line of business (commercial and residential cleaning), they often went out to companies (mass companies) and gave bids on how much it would cost to clean their building and TIME AND TIME AGAIN they lost the bid to illegal immigrants who would do it next to nothing (and believe me my parents learned quick to bid as low as possible to still try to make a profit and they WOULD STILL LOOSE).  The only way that is possible is when someone doesn’t pay taxes on the bid they offer because they don’t have to factor in those costs.  The same goes for cabin cleaning or house cleaning, or farming or any line of business.  Immigrants that are here illegally would claim that no one else would do the jobs they do and THEY ARE RIGHT…not for NOTHING because they drove down the market in those fields, they set the standard so low that people are not willing to pay fair market price for labor.  This is just ONE of the reasons Trump won, because Americans (immigrated Americans and those born here alike) are TIRED of this manipulation.  No one has a problem with people wanting to come to the United States of America…but COME HERE LEGALLY and PAY YOUR TAXES.

Another point that has been cried about is the time it takes to come here legally…and here forgive me for sounding callous but I don’t have much pity.  I will tell you my family’s story and I can guarantee you that there are other’s like us that have had a harder story than ours.  We lived in Romania during the time of communism.  Before my parents were even married my father wanted to come to America and put in for a visa (that was 10 years before I was born).  There was one time my father tried to flee the country but I truly believe it was God putting His foot down and saying no when my father actually got caught and he spent nine months in jail in Romania (turned in by his best friend).  He was young and he learned the hard way that God will not have him going into any country the back way, he did not try again.  Not because he was a coward but because He believed if something was God’s will then GOD will open those doors…and He did…AFTER communism fell..after the danger and lack of food had passed (interesting to me).  Even after all this, when the visas were approved for our family we had to pass through Rome and we had to go through a vetting process, we were without much money, we had to stay in Rome for two weeks (now Rome is beautiful if you have money for sight seeing but we did not).  Anyway, we were in Rome, we were placed in a hotel, it was not a bad hotel, but it was not fancy.  We were not mistreated but we had to wait our turn until we could go to speak to the Ambassador and be vetted.  I do not remember much of this as I was only eight, just bits and pieces.  I remember spaghetti..it was very good, I remember the hotel room that we stayed in, for me it was impressive.  In any case, my point is there was vetting to be done and it was done and we did not make a fuss about it because it was the law and it was what was required to come here legally and it was done.  Once we came here after five years we naturalized and my parents took their citizenship test and we are Americans…that my dear people is how the process works.  It is long, for some it was longer.  For some it was harder.  But they did it legally.   And for those who did it legally and suffered WORSE to hear those who cry and whine that came here illegally is like a HUGE slap in the face.  It is like seeing a drug dealer make a ton of money while the rest of us wallow in debt, it is exactly like that.

So forgive me if I am callous when it comes to the immigration issue.  Because for me, I remember the Romanian revolution.  I remember both my parents going to join the revolutionaries.  I remember worrying about my school teacher who lived near the revolt.  I remember seeing a charred body of a communist officer in the street the next day…and that is where I came from…legally.  Please don’t tell me that it can’t be done legally.  Don’t tell me excuses as to why we should let people in our country un-vetted, because we were vetted (and were treated humanly and it IS possible) if there is a will to do it right.

Also I will say Melania Trump probably knows a thing or two about what I am talking about, so to those immigrants that are worried about their safety…I would say, instead of slut shaming her, appeal to her, because she came from a country like mine, she would understand poverty quite well, she rose from quite a bit to get to where she is (and yes perhaps in questionable ways, but she did).  But I’ve said it before, perhaps she can be an advocate…not your enemy, if you are only wise enough to make an ally of her and not just swallow all the junk the media sells you.

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Should you try to change a Predator/Abuser?

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There are many in this world who have a compassionate heart and as such are driven to make a difference, to make a change.  After all, as Christians we are called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Does this mean that we should try to change people, that we should try to change a person who is clearly showing the dangerous traits of an abuser, predator and a manipulator?  Should we go into a relationship thinking we can change a person by being a light to them and salt to them…a flavor?

Personally, I have learned the hard way that a person cannot be changed by another person…only God can do that.  If a person does not want to be changed they will not change, they will only devour your flavor that you give to the world and you will be left flavorless…salt-less, light-less–extinguished, and only the grace of Jesus will revive you (and the grace of Jesus is great because the Bible DOES say nothing can separate you from His love, so don’t let satan blind you from the cross).  The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (NASB) In a relationship, you are not to be bound together with someone who doesn’t believe in Christ as you do because of the fact that YOU cannot change them and there is no guarantee that they will ever come to Christ and you will suffer for this because either you will be pulled away from the light that is in your heart, or worse the abuser, manipulator/predator will do far worse (remember you cannot change a person).

This being said, there are ministries in church that DO minister to people that are disturbed, that have mental problems and you CAN partner with such groups to reach out to such people if that is your desire and if that is where your heart is.  There are churches and local ministries in your areas (I can almost guarantee you) that minister to prisons, to shelters, to all sorts of groups that are in need of hearts such as yours.  My recommendation is to PARTNER with such groups and never go alone.  You CAN do something, you CAN be a light in the darkness and the HOLY SPIRIT can reach out to a lost soul through you, but don’t go alone.  Be smart.

As always, I stress, don’t become a victim.  Christ never intended that.

Matthew 10:16-20  “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.  But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given to you in that hour what you are to say.  For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of the Father who speaks in you.  (NASB Bold added by me)

See, Jesus never intended for us to be blind victims, He wants us to be wise in our walk, and when we are to speak out and let His light burst forth…UNDERSTAND that it is the Spirit of the Father speaking…and ultimately dear one THAT IS WHAT WILL CHANGE A PERSON, because it is the power of the Gospel that is life changing.

That is what I will leave you with:

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (NASB)

Not more adult than God

 

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Why do we fall into destructive behavior?  Why do we fall into traps and go for people that harm us?  Are we weak?  These questions are asked by those on the outside who perhaps have never known a day of sorrow, a day of loneliness, a day of yearning…a day of longing…and yet there are grains of truth in those questions that can’t quite be denied, they nag at me.  They are offensive, sure, but truth often scratches at us, doesn’t it?  We bristle uncomfortably at it, we draw back in fear from it.

In our darkest times, we are weaker, that’s the truth.  There is a danger to this as well, because a predator, a person with ill intent grasps at this and holds on and latches on and uses every weakness, every loneliness, every insecurity, every piece that hurts to draw us to them as your anchor…because when we are weak, trying to stay afloat in a storm we seek an anchor.

As a Christian we know the truth.  The Holy Spirit tells us that truth.  He tells us WHO that anchor is.  He tells us WHO that ROCK is.  He tells us who will never fail us.  He tells us who can carry that heavy burden, He tells us who can heal the broken heart…but we push Him away.  We push the true Lover of our hearts and souls away, because in all honesty we say HE IS NOT ENOUGH.  Lets be real.

But why is He not enough?

Jeremiah 17:5-10 says:

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.  The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?  I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

A loaded verse.

In my experience, time and time again I have put my trust in people and time and time again I have come away broken.  Some people have intentionally, maliciously hurt me.  Some people have hurt me unintentionally, and yet have hurt me all the same.  Friends, family, a spouse…people.  People who were supposed to be there in times of need and loneliness and yet when needed were not there to carry heavy, heavy burdens…because THEY COULDN’T.  I expected them to care for my hurt like the LORD cares, to wipe my tears like the LORD does, but you see, they can’t see the deepest parts of me, nor can they fully care even though their words may convey such care.  ONLY ONE CAN TRULY DO THAT.  And yet again I let my HEART get ahead of me…this deceitful thing beating inside and I let this heart feel and I let the feelings dictate that trust should be placed on another person who is just as flawed as I am, who perhaps is just as hurting as I am.

Do you see?

Have you done this?

Well, let me tell you a predator preys on this.  And if you don’t have Jesus as your armor, you will fall.

In previous blogs I’ve talked about how to protect yourself from online predators, I’ve talked about human trafficking, about domestic abuse…and all of this in some way perhaps can be brought back to who you trust.  No, not all things can be avoided.  You can’t help if someone kidnaps you.  But being LURED away as an adult can be helped.  You CAN protect your heart if your heart is in the hands of Jesus.

He is not an imaginary friend.  He is not a fictional character.  He is the God who became man.  He is the one who came from Heaven and died on the Cross for all your sins, all your flaws, for that deceiving heart that constantly is selfish, that constantly fails, that constantly mocks you, that constantly tells you that you are not good enough.  He is the Son of God who is here to tell you that you are his Bride and you are made SPOTLESS in Him and He has chosen you, and He DOES love you, AND THAT MATTERS!  In the end, if you do meet a man worthy of you, He must honor Him and in honoring Him HE WILL HONOR YOU, he will not defile you.  He will cherish you, he will point you to the Cross when you are weak because he will realize that a man is not strong enough to carry a burden by himself, he will take you back to your Groom.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

The verse goes on to list (read on your own), the armor you are to put on: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).  This is the armor you must have in your daily life, whether it is in dating, work, church, family, etc.  You must have it on EVERY DAY, because you don’t go to war without armor and satan constantly attacks you, if you are unarmored, you will fall and then you will ask God why…well, you were not prepared.

We often think because we are adults we can make decisions and we know better than God…but lets not forget…we are not more adult than God, and He knows better what can protect us.  If He whispers, or shouts to your soul: NO!  Or stay away, this person is bad…LISTEN!  Stay under His protective wings and seek His heart above all else, He is your/my beloved and He loves us well.

 

Stay Smart…Because you are Priceless

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It is almost indisputable that in this day and age love has become a word we have become desensitized to.  We don’t understand it’s meaning anymore.  We don’t understand that above all love is the very definition of commitment.

Not many are willing to commit, it is too much of a sacrifice.  The ‘what if’s’ win out (what if my feelings change, what if I’m no longer attracted to him/her).  What we don’t realize is that feelings are deceitful and they can wreck our lives worse than a tornado if we base love solely based on feelings.  We often use the term: falling in love.  No I disagree with this.  Falling implies chaos, an accident, pain, horrible consequences.  Love needs to be more intentional than this if we don’t want to be left with horrible scars that take years to heal (believe me, I know a bit about this).  Love is the thing that remains when the feelings go away, where you would still battle through hard days with that person even when you are hard pressed to like that person because you simply know that despite everything, despite the flaws, you would die for that person.  It is a friendship that develops and blooms, it is a seed that is planted and watered and cared for and then can be enjoyed with it’s beautiful aroma.  Love is not simply going to a flower boutique and picking a rose that you have not tended and nurtured (yes this coming from a person who has no green thumb).  There is no satisfaction in that.  But to know that the flower will continue to bloom in the garden where it belongs with your love and care, there is a satisfaction to that, because you have poured out your time into that.  It is the same with friendship that develops into a forever love.

Love honors above all else, it knows how to sacrifice, it knows how to respect that which is beautiful and pure.  It does not tear down and storm through and then leave everything wilted and dead.

Many of us have known the kind of ‘love’ that is not love.  The kind that defiles the very sacredness of love and we are tempted to never love again…but that is only because we have never encountered the Christ love that can exist in a man or a woman who know Christ.  You see, Jesus said this to men:

Ephesians 5: 25-28 (NASB) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his own wife loves himself;

If men were to HONOR women like in the verse above, a few things would happen:

  1.  He would give himself up for her, put her above himself (sacrifice)
  2.  He would sanctify her and cleanse her (by the washing of water with the word).  To me this means he would point her to HIM (Jesus), he would seek to purify her, he would not lead her into temptations that he shouldn’t, provoking her etc.
  3. He would love her as he loves himself…now lets admit it, we all can be a bit selfish and think of ourselves first, if men were to put their wives and think of them as they do themselves, they would have a happy spouse.

If the above is done, then it would be very easy for the wife to SUBMIT to such a man as it is preached over and over from the pulpits.  That is the kind of man that is worthy to be the head of a family, because he KNOWS what family is.

NOW, keeping all of the above in mind, many young and older people these days find it hard to find the kind of love described above, because as I said, not many people value that kind of love anymore, or if they do are tired of waiting for their Boaz or Ruth and so we seek other avenues.

This is where online dating comes into the picture for many ladies…and men.  So, if you must go on this hunt, in this manner, I would say please be safe.  There are a few steps you can take in staying safe:

The Online Dating Game: Tips That Can Help You Stay Safe and Protect Your Identity

The above article mentions not giving your address, phone number or real email until trust is established, this should be a give in.  I would also add if you have children, no meeting of them until a deep level of trust is established.

Don’t get lured into going far distances and don’t be naive enough to believe sob stories…because most likely that is what they are.  Predators prey on sympathy and if you are a caring person they will pick up on that.  Check facts…run background checks if you must (some go as far as hiring an investigator to run background checks though keep in mind just because someone comes back with a clear record doesn’t make them a good person…just hasn’t gotten caught).

Move slow, don’t get sucked into moving into a fast relationship, don’t let your emotions rule you, take a step back and let your logic take over for a bit.

Listen and watch for clues in behavior once you do meet that person.  Does this person constantly want you AWAY from friends and family?  This should serve as a red flag.  A person with good intentions would normally be eager to get to know both your friends and family just as you would his.  It goes both ways.

When you go on your dates, tell a friend or family member when and where you will be (especially in the beginning stages) and as the article above mentions, YOU drive your own car, though it might be romantic to be picked up by a gentleman, keep in mind this is NOT someone you have known for years and in this case it is not safe or appropriate.  Oh yes, and don’t go to a secluded place for heaven’s sake…make it a good populated, public place, in broad daylight.

As for in case things do go bad…I would say it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have pepper spray or at least know how to defend yourself.

Remember, you are worth being safe.  You are worth not compromising.  You are worth loving.  Don’t become a victim, stay smart and don’t let your heart be torn out by a person who preys on those with good hearts who just want to truly love.  Above all else, love is forever.  It is not fleeting.  It is not a fling.  It is not just a physical relationship…and for the physical to exist, I truly believe that man/woman needs to be ready to commit to marriage.  Don’t compromise, you are priceless in the eyes of Jesus, you were bought with a price!  Demand that whoever you meet treats you with the honor that Christ demands.

 

LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN HE WILL SPIT YOU OUT

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REVELATION 3:16 (nasb)

16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

I honestly can’t say that I’m surprised.  This past week I have seen people who are ashamed of Christ who cowered behind political correctness and ‘tolerance’ (which by the way if you haven’t noticed…is NOT given back).  I have seen this mantra repeated over and over to the point of making me sick:  God is love.  (Period)  But as I mentioned in my previous post…He is so much more:  He is just, He takes vengeance, He is forgiving, He is merciful,  He is all knowing, He is holy and perfect without a single flaw.  None of those were mentioned by any of the lukewarm Christians.

I am not surprised or shocked at the way people who don’t claim to be Christian act (they at least have the excuse of not knowing God on a personal level), but CHRISTIANS who claim to know God and His word condoning the homosexual lifestyle is inexcusable….for heaven’s sake at least don’t claim to be Christian, no one is forcing you to bear that name.  Perhaps these people are timid and afraid to loose a friend if they express what the Bible says on this subject.  Perhaps they think God will compromise on what He said not to do.  Perhaps they think they are being loving.  But I ask you, if you truly believe in Christ and that the Bible says He is the only way, and that the Bible tells what is right and what is wrong…how in the world do you consider it being loving not to tell a person that because they don’t know Christ they are going to hell?  Don’t you want to see that friend in heaven?  Are you so selfish that you won’t put your fears aside and lovingly but boldly speak the truth about what the Bible says instead of sugaring things up?  That dear on is hate, not love…because for the sake of not offending someone you will not tell that person the truth that could have saved them…what if no one else will put that choice before them and tomorrow they die?  How will you be able to have a clear conscience that the person you called friend will eternally suffer because you couldn’t sit down and put before them the choice of forgiveness that is offered by Jesus Christ?  That person’s blood will be asked out of your hands…and you dear lukewarm Christian will be spit out of God’s mouth.

I wonder what would have happened if Jesus did not speak out, if He let fear stop Him from going to the cross.  You dear Christian know what would have happened…hell would await us all if our ransom for our sins (mistakes, lies, adultery, cheating, hate, stealing, gossiping, homosexuality, drunkenness, etc).

I wonder how you dear lukewarm Christian would feel when you stand before the Savior He will be just as ashamed of you as you are of Him and His word?

Luke 9:26 (NASB)

26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

That dear lukewarm Christian is what will happen.

I am not saying to be hateful, but I am saying not to cower.  Standing for the truth is never, ever easy…and most of the time people hate the truth.  But the truth is always worth it because it is steady and unchanging.

Here is a quote that I love:

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”

–Alexander Hamilton

CHOOSE NOW WHOM YOU WILL SERVE:

Joshua 24:15(NASB)

15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

You can’t be both with this world that will one day perish and with God.  You really can’t have it both ways.  Either you will please one and anger another and visa versa.  Who would you rather anger?  The world which can judge your body?  Or  God who can judge your eternal soul.

To those who are not Christian and reading this, please understand that the above portion is not referring to you, it is strictly for those who claim to follow Jesus Christ.

For those who are not Christian and reading this blog I do have a message for you as well if you are willing to read on:

I don’t hate you.  If I don’t agree with your lifestyle does not mean that I hate you.  For example, you might be perfectly okay with sleeping around before marriage, whereas I am not, I believe in giving that kind of love to one person.  But if your lifestyle is like that I do not hate you.  The same if you are homosexual.  Please understand my conviction and that of my fellow Christians.  We believe in a loving, just, holy, perfect God who has the best intentions for all on this planet (therefore the laws He gives are given to protect our bodies from disease and our souls from hell).  If I as a Christian that something is not pleasing to God according to the Bible, I do not say it with malice or hate…sure, I DO get fired up…it is how I express myself when I am passionate and I firmly believe something (perhaps you are the same in that perspective), but I don’t say it with malice or hate…I say it with passionate love, with a passionate desire that you come to know Jesus Christ so that you can know how awesome He is and that you would have a heavenly attorney who will when accused by satan of your every mistake and sin, He would be able to erase your sin and pay the ransom for your soul and give you entrance into heaven…not the eternal, painful prison of hell.  If I hated you, I wouldn’t bother writing this and I wouldn’t risk my good standing in your eyes.  If I hated you, I would keep silent and let you go to hell…because silence is often easier than speaking.

John 3:16(NASB)

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 8:9-11 (NASB)

When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said,“I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

What you need to know about following Jesus is this:

–If you come to Him and accept Him into your heart and soul, and ask forgiveness for your sins (your wrongs), He WILL forgive your EVERY sin.

–He will begin to change you and through His word will teach you right from wrong.

–As with the woman caught in adultery (in the above verse mentioned) He plainly told her He does not condemn her…and yet He ALSO told her FROM NOW ON SIN NO MORE.  Meaning He was telling her to stop living a lifestyle that is not according to the word of God.  (Jesus had saved this woman from being stoned to death for her sin).  When you come to Him and ask forgiveness and you accept Him as your Lord and Savior, your RESCUER from satan, HE FORGIVES YOU, you get A BRAND NEW FRESH START IN THE EYES OF HEAVEN (consequences on earth may still remain, however you name is written permanently God’s book of Life)…when you come to Him and ask for forgiveness, like I say he gives it, but just as with the adulterous woman He tells you: FROM NOW ON SIN NO MORE.

–Even after putting your life in His protective hands, you WILL still make mistakes…being a follower of Christ does not mean you are perfect.  It means that when you make a mistake you can come to Him and ask forgiveness and He will help you start again.  (Please understand that there is no way you can take advantage of God…He knows your heart, if you are sincere or not)  Still, you are a new creation through Jesus and when that day of Judgement comes and satan (who DOES remember every mistake and sin) comes before the throne of God to tell Him why you should go to hell, Jesus Christ will stand in front of you and God will declare you pure and clean, because when Jesus stands as your advocate, He wins (He paid your ransom with His blood).

I pray that God will lead you to Him dear reader, I pray that if not on this earth…I shall see you there in heaven (and against contrary belief….God is not a boring God who made a boring heaven, there will be wonders untold that I look forward to discovering along with you!)

Rich preachers…poor souls

There are many social medias in which I see a lot of 'inspirational' quotes from various preachers.  They sound really good, uplifting, hopeful...and they ring false.  I'm normally a very positive person, but I'm also a realist.  The following quote is from Joyce Meyer (and I have no beef with her so don't misinterpret):

"It may be through small or big things, but God wants you to live an exciting, amazing life."

My first thought in reading was: Wow, really, is that so?

Lets examine this briefly.  She seems to imply that the Christian life is a walk in the park, full of vibrant, happy days...where all your dreams come true.

Yet this is in stark contrast with what Jesus Christ said, namely that in this life we will have MANY trials (hardships, turbulence, etc.)  We are not promised heaven on earth.  We are warned about trials and tribulations in which an enemy is constantly trying to bring us down.

My next thought was:  It's so easy for you to say this Joyce (or for that matter any other rich mega church pastor), you have everything.  You don't worry about bills, loosing your home, food, having to work so much just to get by.  (After all most of Americans are in that second class, namely not rich like her).

Personally, I'm tired of this false 'prosperity' preaching that tickles the ear and sounds so pleasant...that is false...and this is why so many Christians backslide in my opinion.  Because these preachers talk about giving your ten percent and then God will richly bless you, and often it's the poorest of the poor who give their all and yet are left with nothing, and then wonder what's wrong with God...  Let me tell you, nothing is wrong with God.  You can't bribe God.  Yes, there will be times when He will bless you.  But there will be times when the enemy attacks you and tries to snatch you from God.

These prosperity preachers are like a false General in an army.  This false 'General' preaches to his army that if they do all their training right, and go through all the right motions, then none of them will be wounded or killed in battle...in war.  I give this analogy because we are in fact in a war against an invisible enemy that sometimes manifests himself through the harshest, bitter loss (of a loved one, home, etc), or perhaps through verbal attacks through others, or even abuse.  We are in a war.  In war, you have the possibility of getting wounded, even killed.  These false 'Generals' make God's army weak, making Christians (the army battling against the principalities of darkness) expect an easy road, with no hardships, with a war already won simply by doing everything right.   In a war, even if you do everything right, the enemy can still get to you (just ask anyone who has lost someone in the wars our country has faced).  These false 'Generals' make God's people complacent.

A true 'General' would in fact warn his/her army of the dangers they face, the attacks and ambushes they may encounter, and of how to get strong enough where they can truly fight and counter evil.

So these rich preachers can talk their pretty talk, but when they are standing before God, I wonder, will they be found lacking with utterly poor and bankrupt souls?