Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Blog Has Moved

My blog has moved to The Bachus Blog at

If you would like to read why I have changed the name and address of my blog, you can do so here:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stop Arguing

I am reading through the Bible again this year, probably for the 9th or 10th time. (I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying it so you know that I have a pretty good knowledge of what’s in it.) Yet, every time I read it, something new sticks out to me.

I find something that, although I’m sure I’ve read multiple times, seems as though I’m reading it for the first time. I come across it and think “Surely this wasn’t here before!” This time it was Romans 1:18-32 which reads:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

When I read those verses, I couldn’t help but think about our society here in America.

God has made Himself known in our country. We are all fully aware of Christianity. But instead of worshiping God, we are trading Him for idols. Our idols may not be made of wood or gold, but they are still just as worthless compared to God.

But that’s not the part that really struck me. What caught my attention was that God is allowing us to do this. He is allowing us to give in to our shameful lusts. He gave us what we asked for.

And look where it’s gotten us. We are a society that is depraved. We have become God-haters and took God out of our schools. In return, school shootings have increased. We have become murderers, allowing abortions to be legal and defended. Homosexuality is normal and protected. We are arrogant and boastful, thinking we are the most powerful country around. There is no respect for our elders, and children disrespect their parents. People rejoice that an actor thanked God for his success in a role where he contracted AIDS from having sex with a prostitute.

We not only continue to do the things that we know are wrong, but we approve of those who practice them.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the state of America, we were told it would happen 2000 years ago. God doesn’t force us to follow Him. But there are consequences when we don’t.

Instead of arguing for our rights, and against the rights of others, we should focus on sharing the Gospel. If people are going to choose not to follow Christ, they will reap the consequences. Christians need to stop forcing their “dos and don’ts” lists on those who don’t know God. They need to focus more on sharing Christ’s love with them.

How can we expect someone that does not have the power of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s truths? Instead of trying to make them see things our way, we should show them grace and love.

There is a place for speaking the truth. I wrote an entire blog about that "Speak the Truth", but the truth is for those who are already in Christ. If they aren’t in Christ, they won’t understand the truth.

So let’s stop arguing with unbelievers and start showing them love.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hypocrisy Vs. Christianity

Many times hypocrisy and Christianity are synonymous. People don’t want to become Christians because they think we are all just big hypocrites.
But I think a distinction needs to be made here. There are people who call themselves Christian. They go to church, they may read the Bible and pray, but they don’t have a relationship with Christ.

Then there are those who call themselves Christians, and they live the life of a Christian. They have a personal relationship with Christ.

You may be wondering, “How do you tell the difference?” Well…many times you don’t. It’s a heart issue. Only God knows our hearts, and knows whether we have a relationship with Him. But there are some ways to differentiate the two.

Jesus says “If you love me, you will obey my teaching” and “anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching” (John 14:23,24). Galatians 5:22 says that the “fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.” In James 1:22 we are told “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.” Then James chapter 2 gives an entire discussion on having faith without deeds.

So someone who truly has a relationship with Christ will exhibit these qualities. That doesn’t mean that even the most devoted follower won’t make mistakes, but their life should be noticeably different than those who don’t have the relationship.

Jesus warned us that there would be those who pretended to be Christians. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Even Judas looked like a Christian, until he betrayed Christ. (You can read my blog post about that here.)

This isn’t a blog about how to become a believer, and I’m not saying that works get you to heaven. That would be a whole other topic. But once you become a Christian, and truly have a relationship with Christ, it should be evident in your life.

So yes, many “Christians” are hypocrites. But there needs to be a distinction between a self-professing Christian, and a follower of Christ.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Speak the Truth

Churches have become soft. They are too worried about hurting feelings and driving people away from church. The focus is on love and grace, and too often sin gets overlooked.

Now don't get me wrong, we are supposed to show love and grace. But we need to speak the truth as well.

The church takes a stand on the controversial sins like homosexuality and abortion. But then they gloss over sins like divorce, remarriage, sex before marriage, and gluttony, which have all become not only socially acceptable but normal.

The finger is pointed at those outside the church, but the sins inside are being overlooked. Instead, they are shown grace. They are forgiven, so it's alright to sin.

No wonder we are called hypocrites.

That's not what the Bible teaches though. In many of his letters, Paul rebukes the churches that he writes to. He points out their shortcomings and sins. He wants them to know what they are doing wrong so they can correct it. He even tells the Corinthians "Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance" (2 Cor. 7:8-9).

The Bible doesn't sugarcoat sin, and neither should we. I struggle many times with speaking the truth to someone who is going down a path to sin. I want to tell them the truth, but am afraid that I will discourage them, or cause them to turn away from God completely because they don't like what they hear. But worrying how someone will receive the truth isn't my job. I just need to speak it.

The truth does need to be spoken in love, not judgement, but we can't just sit back and say nothing. Or worse, we can't help them justify the wrongdoing.

I'm not saying we need to just start pointing fingers and judging everyone. First, we need to take a close look at ourselves, but we do need to stop turning a blind eye. We need to be speaking the truth in LOVE.

I know that I am not perfect. There have been many times in my life where someone has had to call me out on something I was doing. While I may not have liked it at the time, I'm grateful for it now because it caused me to take another look at what I was doing, and make changes. Again, speaking the truth is not passing judgement on someone. It should be bringing attention to a sin, so that it can be corrected.

The trick is finding the balance between truth and love. The problem is that the body of believers has become so afraid of being judgmental, that they error on the side of love. They think they can just love through the sin, but if no one ever brings light to the sin, they can be loved right to hell.

On the other side, you can't become so consumed with speaking the truth that all you do is judge. The sin needs to be brought to light, but not beat to death. And when you rebuke someone, it's important to encourage the good they are doing also.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I did it!

If you've read my book, you might remember me referring to my attempt at training for a half marathon. I gave up training because it was too hard, and made the comparison to taking care of my husband. I didn't know how I was going to keep up the strength because it just required more than I had.

Well let me give you a little update...not only did I get through the most difficult days with Jeff, but I completed a half marathon. Not just one though, but 2 half marathons. Then this weekend, I completed a FULL marathon, that's 26.2 miles!

These are all accomplishments I never thought I would achieve. There where many times I wanted to give up. Times I thought, I couldn't go any further. But I just kept pushing through. I kept thinking, "just a little further".

With Jeff, there wasn't a clear goal in mind, but I knew I just had to make it through one more day. I couldn't focus on the end because I didn't know what it looked like. I just had to get through that moment. And now, he's amazing, and so is our marriage. We got through something we never thought we could survive.

With the marathon, I focused on the finish line. I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Now, I can say I did it!

If I can keep running when every ounce of energy is gone, and every part of my body is screaming at me to stop...If I can make it through my husband's traumatic brain injury, and find joy through the journey...then I can do anything!

I didn't accomplish any of this because I'm "strong". I did it because I leaned on God in the hardest times, and had determination. I am no stronger than you. You can do anything you put your mind to, you just need to know where your strength comes from, and it's not from within yourself.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lesson Learned

I've been on a bit of a health kick lately. I have heard about all the bad things in our foods and try to eat only non-processed foods.

I use the word try very loosely as I really enjoy eating, and I can't say no to yummy food when it crosses my path (which is a lot).

OK, so really I am on a health kick in my head, but in reality I eat terribly. However, I'm running a marathon this weekend so I'll burn off the calories (and hopefully all the harmful preservatives and other poisons too).

So on this health kick, I'm also learning about all kinds of other products that are bad for us, and the new remedies. The newest product I've been introduced to is coconut oil.

It has all kinds of fantastic health benefits and can be used for so much more than just cooking. It helps reduce wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars. It makes your skin soft and your hair shiny. It can remove eye makeup, and heal cracked feet.

Since it has all these great benefits, I thought it would be a great idea to just slather it all over my body! I also thought this would be a great idea to do right before heading off to work...

So I get out of the shower this morning, and lather up with the coconut oil. The trick is that a little goes a long way. I read that, but I thought that the more I slathered on, the better my skin would look.

Did I mention it's coconut OIL? Oil is not like lotion. It does not absorb into my skin as smoothly as lotion.

I'm now covered in oil, and the blog I read said to let it sit for 15 minutes and it should soak in. So I finished getting ready and let it "soak in".

20 minutes later I was still just as oily, and now I have to get dressed to go to work. I thought I would speed the process up a little by standing in front of a fan.

That didn't work.

Then I started trying to wipe it off with a towel. At least that helped me be a little less slippery.

By this time, I need to leave, and I have to get dressed, or I'm going to be late to work. So I decided my clothes could just finish soaking the oil up.

On the bright side, my skin is very soft...and I now know to try my new remedies on the weekend so I'm not late to work.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Everything I Ever Wanted

I was praying this morning, asking God for some things that I want, and praising Him for what I have. I began thinking about all the blessings He's given me, and realized that He has given me everything that I've ever wanted and more.

I've always had pictures in my head of how my life would look, how it would play out. While none of it played out the way I planned, somehow, I have still been blessed with all of it.

I graduated college, got married to an amazing man, finished graduate school, have a wonderful job, and now we are talking babies. They are all typical things that most people want from life, but I did a lot along the way to mess things up.

I shouldn't have been able to have all this. I made a lot of choices that should have made several of those blessings disappear. And, like I said they didn't all happen the way I thought they would.

There were a lot of bumps along the way. Jeff's brain injury being a major one. Yet, somehow those bumps made life even better.

I have a relationship with God now that is just beyond description. I was just telling Him this morning how much I love our relationship because I can sit and talk to Him like a friend, like He's sitting right next to me. I don't have to bow my head and close my eyes. I don't have to pray some formal prayer. There is a time and place for that, but mostly, I can just have a conversation with Him. I can share anything and everything, there are no secrets. I can sit and cry, yell at Him, thank Him, praise Him, ask for something, or say nothing at all and just bask in His presence.

I am simply amazed at how God has worked in my life. How He has given me everything I ever wanted, in a way that I never thought was possible, never would have asked for, and yet it is better than anything I could have imagined.

All the while, knowing that I deserve none of it. I have done nothing to earn it.

The only reason is because God is good, and He loves me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shining the Light

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” Matthew 5:16.

I haven’t always been one to start up a conversation about my faith. I used to keep quiet about it unless someone asked me. I thought that if I lived a good life, that people would just assume that I was a Christian. I thought that people would see my joy and ask where I got it from.

But that rarely ever happened.

Many people who aren’t Christians do good things for others, and many that are Christians don’t. So simply being a good person wasn’t a witness to my beliefs.

The previous verses give a little more insight. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” Matthew 5:14-15.

I cannot hide the reason for my actions. Christ didn’t come to save me so that I could just be a good person. He wants me share what he did with others.

I’ve learned that I can share my story and at the same time share Christ. God worked numerous miracles after Jeff’s accident. I saw his handiwork throughout our journey. Now, all I have to do is share that story and give God the glory he deserves.

As a Christian, I need to act like one, but in doing so I need to share my faith. I need to let my light shine to help others find their way.

In what ways can you let your light shine?