Free Time and Pharaoh

I subscribe to a week day Bible study of sorts called Join the Journey. Monday-Friday at approximately 4:07AM my phone gets an automatic email from someone in my church who has analyzed and expanded on a piece of Scripture. Thankfully I keep my phone on silent at night and am not awoken to the “dooo doooo do!” of my notification but, I can assure you my day starting a few hours earlier to diving into the Word would make me significantly more productive than waking at 7AM and catching up on my beloved Kardashians, Teen Mom 2, and The Voice episodes. All of them are wholly edifying to the Lord, wouldn’t you agree?

As of late I’ve had significant conviction of how I spend my free time, my down time, K’s naps, times when K is awake, and family time. I’m fairly certain my dear husband has informed me on more than one occasion that 1. I’m addicted to my phone and/or 2. he’d like very much to throw my phone against a wall. The point in all this is my life, my priorities, and the opportunities I have to grow my relationship with Christ are increasingly selfish.

“You deserve it” is something I tell myself on about an hourly basis. I deserve a latte. I deserve a latte from a coffee shop. I deserve ice cream. I deserve ice cream from Sonic happy hour. I’m in shape so I don’t need to wake up at 5:30AM to go to the gym (my HDL cholesterol and recent trip to the doctor would tell you a different story.) I deserve to sleep in. Sleeping an extra hour will make me feel better than waking up early. K is content to play by herself. K is content to eat by herself. K is content. 

The truth of the matter is this life I’ve been given is a gift. One I’m daily squandering to fleeting fits of self pleasure, a scale tipping at 150 lbs, and passing off the parenting of my daughter at times to self play (“she needs time alone to develop her imagination,”) Nick Jr., Disney Channel, and to her wonderful daddy.

Frankly, I’m on a journey to being just a body in my home that makes sure K doesn’t hurt herself enough to warrant medical intervention and I’m a wife who has become complacent. I’m a Christian who, despite her every attempt to “get it right” never will. Alas, grace abounds.

I don’t have to do it all. I can’t. I never will. God certainly has a sense of humor, causing us to need Him to do anything. My desire to rely on myself and tell God that I’ve got it under control and He can go ahead and relax in the backseat because I promise I’m a really fantastic driver is slowly becoming more apparent.

And thus begins the purpose of the post. It’s not for accountability but for transparency. Not for encouragement but for honesty. Certainly not for you to step in and parent my child or play wife to my man. No, the intentions are most(ly) pure and I believe my heart is in the right place. Serious changes have to happen and my selfish desires are tugging at my little heart strings.

Allow me to take a moment and steer you in what I believe to be an accurate depiction of some main stream “preacher’s” who may convince you that a life of leisure, immense wealth, and never ending happiness are what God will give you if you just pray hard enough, believe enough or give enough to a church. My leaning to selfism is often encouraged by Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, etc. (note there’s no link to these teachings as in generally every time they open their mouth they have no theology, bad theology, and have completely distorted the Bible to encourage people to give exuberant amounts of money, tell others about the Prosperity Gospel which is atrocious and I have no intention of bringing more traffic to their sites. Should you be interested in more examples of my point feel free to click here.) For your listening pleasure you can get a condensed version of my point with a sick beat here. Can’t listen to the song because you’re at work? Don’t care to sit through 4:01 of a song? Below are the lyrics. You’re welcome.

Special dedication to my brothers and sisters on the great continent of Africa
To Saints to Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe.
Don’t be deceived by what America is sending y’all man

Let me begin, while there is still ink left in my pen,
I am set to contend for Truth you can bet will offend,
Deception within the church man, who’s letting them in?
We talked about this years ago, let’s address it again (Yeh)
And I ain’t really trying to start beef
But some who claim to be part of His sheep got some sharp teeth (they’re wolves)
You cast at me when you criticize them when you criticize them
But Jesus told us: Matthew 7:16, we can recognize them!
And God forbid that for the love of some fans
I keep quiet and watch them die with their blood on my hands!
So, there’s nothing left for me to do except to speak to you
In the spirit of Jude 3 and 2nd Peter 2
And I know that some would label me a Pharisee
Because today the only heresy is saying that there’s heresy:
“How dare they be specific and drop some clarity
On the popularity of the gospel of Prosperity”
Turn off TBN, that channel is overrated
The pastors speak bogus statements, financially motivated
It’s kind of like a pyramid scheme
Visualize Heretics christianizing the American dream
It’s foul and deceitful, they’re lying to people
Teaching that camels squeeze through the eye of a needle!
Ungodly and wicked, ask yourself how can they not be convicted
Treating Jesus like a lottery ticket
And you’re thinking they’re not the dangerous type
Because some of their statements are right
That only proves that Satan comes as an angel of light
This teaching can’t be believed without a cost
The lie is you can achieve a crown without a cross
And I hear it all the time when they speak on the block
Even unbelievers are shocked how they’re fleecing the flock
It should be obvious then, yet I’ll explain why it’s in
Peep the Bible, it’s in 1 Timothy 6:9-10
It talks about how the desire for riches
Has left many souls on fire and stitches, mired in ditches
Tell me, who would teach you to pursue as a goal
The very thing that the Bible said will ruin your soul, huh?
Yet they’re encouraging the love of money,
To make it worse, they’ve exported this garbage into other countries!
My heart breaks even now as I’m rhyming
You wanna know what all false teachers have in common? (what?)
It’s called selfism the fastest growing religion
They just dress it up and call it “Christian”.
Don’t be deceived by this funny biz
If you come to Jesus for money, then he’s not your God, money is!
Jesus is not a means to an end
The Gospel is He came to redeem us from sin
And that is the message forever I yell
If you’re living your best life now you’re heading for hell!

(Talk to them)
Joel Osteen – false teacher!
(Let them know)
Creflo Dollar is a false teacher!
(Who else? Who else?)
Benny Hinn is a false teacher!
I know they’re popular but don’t let them deceive ya!
(Talk to them)
TD Jakes is a false teacher!
(Tell the Truth)
Joyce Meyer is a false teacher!
(Let them know)
Paula White is a false teacher!
Use your discernment, let the Bible lead ya!
(Keep going)
Fred Price is a false teacher!
(Tell the Truth)
Kenneth Copland is a false teacher!
(Who else? Who else?)
Robert Tilton is a false teacher!
I know they’re popular but don’t let them deceive ya!
(Talk to them)
Eddie Long is a false teacher!
(Let them know)
Juanita Bynum is a false teacher!
(Who else? Who else?)
Paul Crouch is a false teacher!
Use your discernment, let the Bible lead ya!

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

For the record I’m fully aware of the log in my eye, see also the first several paragraphs prior to my TBN rant. I’m well aware of my need for a Savior and how frequently I turn from Him. I’m also well aware that my doctrine is less than solid on occasion and as such I’d ask that you extend some grace and see to the heart of the matter. The issue at hand is beyond elementary…it’s so simple! 

Though I pride myself in my writing abilities I’m not Lecrae so I’ll try to bless you with his awesomeness and a link to the video to hopefully drive the point home.

You’re trying to figure what to do with your life
If you make a lot of money hope you’re doing it right
Because the money is God’s you better steward it right
And stay focused
You ain’t got no ride
Your life ain’t wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear, the job you work
The color your skin naw you’re a Christian first
People get to living for a job
Make a little money start living for a car
Get ’em a wife a house kids and a dog
Then they retire they’re living high on the hog
But guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
To live is Christ and that’s Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He’s the treasure you’ll never find in a mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him He’s the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He’s too true to chase that ice
Here’s my gifts and time
‘Cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he’s truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.

I’m encouraged to know I’m not the only one struggling with the fallacy of this world and the “goodness” it can offer. My desire is not to emulate the subject of James 1:19-27: 19 My dear brothers and sisters,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”> take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”> and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AK)”>all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AM)”> 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AN)”> and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AO)”>
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”> deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AQ)”> orphans and widows<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AR)”> in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I hope you’re encouraged by my forthright honesty and will not giggle at my being out of touch with the world around me, but rather embrace my desire to lean on Christ in all my ways and in turn experience relationships with you that are exponentially more deep than talking about the what’s happenings on television and what that rude stranger did to you as your newest Facebook status update.

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