The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~Leo Buscaglia
page updated: 2/17/15
Now is the time
For those who are believers, this is not the time to be back slidden. This is not the time to be luke warm in your walk following Jesus. This is not the time to give in to the sinful things you have been fighting for so long. If you are following the signs of the times, your spirit has to know that now is the time to be sober and diligent in your walk with Him. Now is the time to be repentant and move forward in holiness. Shake off the deception...pull off the blinders...stop twisting Truth into what you want it to be...come back to the Lord as a child who has lost their way. He stands there with open arms and an everlasting love...for you. Now is the time.
Talk to the hand 'cause the ears don't want to hear it! ~ Have you ever had someone say that to you? If you have, that means you are gossiping and they don't want any part of it. How many times have we all sat in church and the pastor talks about certain sins...adultery, and we say smugly to ourselves "Oh I've never done that"...he mentions stealing..."oh I've never done that"....He says: gossip, and we all squirm in our seats. "Oh Michaela, gossip isn't that bad...bla bla bla..." (a sin is a sin no matter what shape it is in.) Gossip and slander have ruined the good names of more brothers and sisters in the Lord, who through the years, have served the Lord with great diligence. What a great betrayal to have one who lifts praises to the Lord one minute - then turn to spew out lying venom from their mouths against a brother/sister. Gossip hurts people just as much as those other "bad" sins have. Gossip on the lips of the saints makes Christians look just like the world. (Col. 3:9) Gossip has one of three purposes: either to bring pity to the gossiper, or to be recognized as the first to know the juicy news, or to make someone else look bad. All three reasons are repulsive to the Lord.
If you are a pastor and you know your church is presently in this sin, YOU need to stop it! Don't sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. Do it for the sake of the innocent involved and for the spiritual lives of the ones involved in the sin of gossip.
Most gossip has been exaggerated so badly by the time it gets to most ears anyway ~ so if there was an ounce of truth in it at the beginning, there sure isn't now - besides true or not, it never should get pass that hand you should be raising at the first sign of it. Let's take a little look here at some scriptures about the subject.
EPH 4:29 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come
out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen'
PRO 13 'A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret'
COR 12:20 For I fear that when I come I may find you not such as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; that there may be rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
Proverbs 10:18 ....whoever spreads slander is a fool.
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
COL 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.
TI 3:2 They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgement on it.
1 PT 2:1 Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander;
LEV 19:16 You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen;
Proverbs 12:22 The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in the men who are truthful.
PS 15:3 Who does not slander a neighbor, does no harm to another, never defames a friend;
Proverbs 25:18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man (or woman) who gives false testimony against his neighbor.
Matthew 12:36 But I (Jesus) tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken.
Having read the holiness of the Word, may the Lord smack me clear across my head if I, from this moment on engage in this slick disgusting tool of satan to bring down my brothers or sisters in the Lord, or even those who do not know Him. When you have been a victim of this sin, it becomes even more repulsive and you wonder what kind of blinder satan has on those who go around quoting all kinds of scriptures to bring correction to others, but conveniently forget the ones that speak of their sin. We all have been involved in this sin, let us right now admit it, confess it to the Lord, stop it and THEN make a practice of saying: Talk to the hand 'cause the ears don't want to hear it!
"A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue" Proverbs 17:4
Tapestry ~ One of my absolute favorite Star Trek episodes is one called Tapestry. In this show Captain Picard gets killed by an explosion in his artificial heart. In his younger wild days he got into a fight with an alien species that pushed a sword through his real heart causing him to live the rest of his life with a fake heart. Upon entering death Captain Picard is given the chance to re-do his life and avoid the experience that led to the injury in his real heart, which decades later led to his death by the explosion. Very happy about this, Picard is thrown back in time to the moments just before the fight. Of course this time the fight is avoided and so is the sword through his heart. To make a long story short, Picard THEN gets to see just what his life became as a result of NOT getting that sword through his real heart. Instead of becoming someone who was not afraid to take chances in life to get ahead, THIS Picard amounted to nothing much, and probably would remain in the same place of complacency for the rest of his life. Realizing this Picard yells: "I would rather die from the explosion in my fake heart being the person I WAS, then to live out the rest of my days as that person I just saw!" So, he again is thrown back in time and THIS time does not avoid that sword and is given his life back again.
Many of us have so many regrets about our pasts, so many times we wish we could be thrown back in time to certain moments and re-live them and make changes. But hey, that only happens on TV! The past is in the past and if we know the Lord, we can be thankful that He is a merciful and a forgiving Father. Do not live out your days in regret, use that hurt, that pain, that learning experience for the Kingdom, let God turn it for good. Perhaps something bad has happened to you in the past and in a way it has made you the person you are today...possibly you are more compassionate towards someone going through that same thing right now? More understanding? Stronger? Maybe you can even become an activist for that very thing...who knows... God has a way of taking our broken pasts and turning them for good....He is a master at it! ("To give them beauty for ashes" Isaiah 61:3.) Let the Lord take all the threads, (the things from your past), and allow Him to make a beautiful tapestry from it all, the good and the bad....
Look Up! ~ "Look Up!" A few years back I was at a relay race that my daughter was in. While waiting for her race, I really wasn't much interested in the other runners but boredom got the best of me. I glanced up at the runners in front of me as they ran by. My attention was drawn to a girl who was running as fast as she could and was in the lead, but she looked behind her at the runner who was gaining speed coming up next to her. Doing this caused her to somehow lose speed and fall behind. As I observed this, I said "hmmm...there is a lesson in there about life." As I continued to watch the runners in the different races there was yet another lesson to be observed. The next set of runners ran pass and one runner in particular stood out. This kid was looking straight up! I don't know how he did it but he never looked down for a second - he just kept looking straight up and running with a speed that blew everyone away. Well of course you know the lesson there! Run the race that is before you, keep looking up, not hesitating for a second to look to the left or right, or down. Keeping our eyes, and minds, and hearts on our goal - the Lord Jesus Christ, that is when we win! Keeping Him as our focus in the "race" of life will prevent us from losing pace - looking up at Him will prevent us from stumbling....Look up!
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:20-25
The Missing Ingredient
by Chip Brogden
In the palm of His hand ~ This morning the Lord put a scripture on my heart to place on this page. I truly believe a lot of you need to hear this: "I have loved you with an everlasting love." "I have drawn you with loving kindness." "Your name is inscribed in the palm of My hand." In other words, "I love you, I love you, I love you..." Love from, Jesus!
Be Humble or Stumble As the year comes to a close, I want to share some thoughts for Christians. Especially those in ministry. I know a pastor who would always say: Be humble or stumble... I took those words to heart because he truly was living proof of this. I never saw him take glory for the work that he knew the Lord had done. Every time I heard him speak those words I tucked them deep in my heart. As ChristianGoth.com grew through the years I have had the pleasure of receiving many emails singing praises to me for the website. At the recent Christian Gothic Gathering we just had in Maryland, one of the precious attendees jokingly bowed down in "honor and gratitude to the Lady Michaela" for the work on the site, that so many have come to appreciate. Of course this was funny - yet uncomfortable for me, in my spirit. Praise and accolades are nice...but, deep down we always need to know who the real Author of the work is. We are mere vessels that He works through. We have the distinct honor to be a vessel and servant of the King and should never bask in any glory He so rightly deserves. Stay humble, do not be tempted to say in your heart "wow, these folks really love my work!" "They love me!" "Ya know, I really am something aren't I?!" Give God the glory, less you fall. In my particular case, the Lord has so wonderfully let me see without a doubt that this is His website. You say how is that? One of my favorite scriptures talks about how the Lord uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise....well, I do not believe myself to be foolish, but I do have something that would keep me from being able to write commentaries & such, it is called APD a form of Dyslexia. When the Lord is the author of a work that He wants carried out, He can work through any willing vessel regardless of it's weaknesses. I leave you with these suggestions: Try to not call something the Lord asked you to do, YOUR ministry. Try not to say things like:' I helped so many people', it was the Lord Who helped them through you. Resolve yourself to remain as humble as possible when given a compliment, say thank you, THEN give God all the glory. It is not all about you. Perhaps, you will tuck those words of wisdom deep in your heart. Stay humble, and the Lord can accomplish great things through you NOT because of you....Be Humble dear friends...it is a sweet sweet fragrance to the Lord and to the world.
I've never been called a Borg before!~ As one might expect, I receive many interesting letters about this site. One in particular was from a teenage guy who did not like the site at all! I will never forget his letter though, because he used an alien species on the TV show "Star Trek" to compare what he thought Christians are like! He said "Christians are all alike, they try to assimilate everyone into their collective". If you are a "Star Trek Next Generation" fan, you know that The Borg are cybernetic life-forms that are part organic, part artificial life - they are linked to a collective consciousness, (they do not speak as "I" but rather "we" the collective.) These cyber monsters go out and assimilate other species, turning their victims into Borgs. So, what this guy was saying is that we Christians try to make everyone else a Christian. I found his comparison extremely interesting and probably accurate in his eyes. He probably encounter a Christian who just tried to share the Gospel message with him, (the Word does instruct Christians to go and tell others.) We Christians do not blindly go out and do this, we do it because we KNOW the Truth and we know that the Truth will set men free. This is where my letter writing friend is mistaken though, no Christian can "assimilate", only the work of the Holy Spirit can draw men in... But! The Holy Spirit is not forceful - Father God allows us all to make our own decisions... But, go ask any true Christian... they will tell you, that as far as the Holy Spirit is concerned: 'Resistance IS futile!' (a Borg expression) ...... I would have preferred to have been called a Vulcan instead!
Don't give up that seat! ~ Some years ago while on a plane in the extremely luxurious first class section on a 747, I was seated next to a middle age man in an expensive looking suit working on what looked like business. He smiled refinely as I took my seat with my three year old son and then went on with his work. As the ride went along my little boy became restless (this was a flight from New Jersey to California)...as my son got more restless, this finely dressed man made it obvious that he was becoming annoyed. At one point I marched into "coach" and sinfully announced to my husband that "I can't stand rich snooty people, who think they are all that!"...then suffered for the rest of the trip next to this man, who I unkindly formed an opinion of and all who looked and acted like him. As soon as we landed I headed for the ticket counter and DOWNGRADED my first class ticket to coach, for the ride home-I wanted to guarantee that I would not encounter another like him!....that was years ago, I think of this event many times and think about how stupid it was to let the actions of one person make me do something so drastic like that....but it is exactly what a lot of people do - what some of you tell me you are doing. What do I mean? Just recently two of my dearest goth friends online have told me they can not take the "hypocrisy of the Christians" anymore. They want nothing to do with Christianity, because of the actions of some. They are letting the bad witness of some "Christians" they know mold their eternal destiny...just as I gave up the classiest first class existence there ever was on a plane, they are giving up so much more.....they are letting man, as I did, effect their experience. These two friends I spoke of are not the only ones... some of you have written and told me stories about how you are treated in church AMONG your brothers & sisters in the Lord...Do not look to other Christians as the example, you will be disappointed. Jesus Christ is the example...look at Him. Don't give up the Kingdom and ALL that is YOURS, because of others. Don't give up your First Class seat!
A Zillion miles in the sky ~ On my way to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado recently on a much needed vacation, I looked out the window of the plane and looked down at the land below us. I saw tiny houses, tiny businesses, and tiny little cars moving along the streets. This went on for thousands of miles. I began to feel somewhat insignificant with each mile we went because of the vastness of the country and all those many many people I flew over. I was just a tiny spec in the sky as they were all tiny specs on land. The Lord reminded me that all the people down there were souls, so many of them! But the wild part was thinking about how much God loves each one of those specks in those little houses and cars. He knew everything about each one of them, their past, their nows, and even their futures. He sent the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) to be the Savior for ALL those people. That insignificant feeling then turned to elated Joy when I fully comprehended that I was one of those specks too. I was no longer small in worth and no longer were the people way below me....we were all big in His eyes, 'cause He made us ALL, and truly loves and adores us ALL. Those wonderful moments with the Lord a zillion miles up in the sky, helped me to put into perspective an earlier upset over the very nasty guy at the ticket counter in Newark and the fact that flying is so utterly horrible & boring, and I almost drove everyone near me crazy opening and shutting the little window shade a thousand million times! (Just for something to do!) There will always be annoying things, and we may at times feel small, but He loves us!! He loves US. He really truly ( I don't know why ) loves us!
What ChristianGoth.Com is & what it is not ~ After an entire year, I finally have a new commentary! This commentary is mostly something I want to say about what ChristianGoth IS, and what this site is not about about. Recently this site has been visited by a few folks who disagree strongly with the ChristianGoth concept....Let me stress the fact that this site does not push for folks to become goth along with their Christianity. This site IS FOR those who ARE already Christian Goth. What that means is: 1) The person WAS a goth then they met the Lord, OR 2) they grew up as both goth & Christian....and 3) I know a few people who became goth after being a Christian...either way they all kept their gothness and NOW bring Jesus Christ to their goth friends....It's so simple~the Word ( the Bible) tells Christians to GO AND TELL OTHERS THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT what the Lord has wonderfully done in their lives. The regular goths who visit this site and other sites like it, who have in their hearts rejected Christianity and sadly the Lord...are convicted and they need to lash out...the mere thought of a fellow goth embracing the Cross...just makes them enraged! I have seen the statement: "There is no such thing as ChristianGoth" so many times! ~ Just because you don't believe something to be true does not make it not true! Praise God there are MANY Goths out there coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are not embracing a religion - they are coming into a relationship with the creator of the universe who can make all things new (a new heart)...sites like this one are for them...Why do Christian goths need their own site? Because on the right you have SOME Christians "attacking" them and on the left you have the goths "attacking" them. ...ChristianGoth...an OXYMORON in many people's eyes. Who would have thought that this precious group of people would have caused such upset from both ends of the scale. So in writing this commentary it is hoped that some light has been shed on what this site and C.G. is about.
"But thanks be to God! For through what Christ has done, He has triumphed over us so that now wherever we go He uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Gospel like a sweet perfume. As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved (those who do not know the Lord) all around us. To those who are not being saved, we seem a fearful smell of death and doom, while to those who know Christ we are a life-giving perfume...." 2 corin. 2:14-16 LB
What it is like on the other side of the dirty looks. '99 ~ After two years of seeing those looks I feel compelled to talk about it here. Since I spend a lot of time hanging around with the Goths at the mall, I see directly what they see..it's not a pretty picture. I see people laughing at them, I see outright staring, I see condemnation!! Did you know that Jesus looks at them with absolute and total love. He looks past the black clothes, (which by the way-what's the big deal! It's just a color.)...He looks past the makeup and piercings, and so on. 1 Samuel says: "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." We need to be changing hearts, not clothes....The day I was called to start this ministry with the Goths, I remember being at the mall and a Goth walked by. I remember asking myself: Now, what would Jesus do...this was, by the way before that little phrase became popular. The answer was so clear, I could almost see it! Jesus would stand up with the biggest smile of Joy on His face and walk over to that guy and put His arm around the Goth's shoulder and walk around the mall talking and laughing with him...He would shower that guy with so much love and all that He is. Sadly, very sadly I see most people shaking their heads and assuming they are all satanist!! How do I know this? Because I use to be one of those self-righteous folks who didn't know any better. When the Lord opened my eyes and heart to how very much He loves these people, I was consumed with something I had never felt before....it was an all consuming Love, that only a Heavenly Father could feel for His children...I believe He let me feel only a glimpse of that Love, if I got the full impact of that love....it would have blown me away......we as Christians need to watch what we do in front of these people who "do not look like everyone else." We can't let them to think that Jesus looks at them the way some folks do? I know, that I know, He doesn't...they are His babies...He loves them so very much...He died on the cross for them also.
Compromise ~...ever think about that word? I bet each one of us can think of several areas in our walk with the Lord where we compromise. How about what we watch on TV...or the music we listen to...how about the internet? The books we read?...how about our beliefs? Our Time, How about our conversations!! There are so many areas where we can stumble. Jesus sees them all, yet He loves us in our stumbling. But if we love Him as we say we do, shouldn't we want to desire the things He desires of us...just because we are saved is not an excuse to deliberately sin, AND WE ALL DO IT! If we are to make any difference in this world we need to walk like the Word tells us to: "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17. Non-Christians need to see THAT difference in us, agree? If your TV gives you problems, get rid of it! Throw out all those questionable CDs, If you are drawn to pornography on the internet, think of the expression on satan's face, then, think of the look on your precious Saviors face...satan HATES you, don't ever forget that, he wants to pull you down, Jesus wants to lift you to higher places, to all the things that are good!! If thinking about Jesus' face or Him giving His life for you on that cross with big old nails hammered through His body doesn't do it...you need to get help! Sorry!....Same with the books and magazines....are they worth the blackness in your soul? Our beliefs--got any new age ideas in that Christianity of yours? How about you Christian Goths, what's with the continued interests in vampires?...Our time--There have been so many times the Lord has called me to spend time with Him, and I said: Ah, not right now Lord, I have this to do or that - but I sure wanted Him there when I wanted Him to be! Time, wow, we waste so much of it plastered to a ball game or some stupid afternoon garbage ~ (What in the world is the matter with us for choosing other things over being with the King of the Universe!) !......Now here's the tough one--our conversations! The Bible says that our tongues are uncontrollable! Well, unlike the other things mentioned, we can't throw out our tongues! This is an area where self-control must be administered...with diligence. Believe me, I use to say whatever I thought of!! (What helped me? One day something happened! I was surprised by Joy! I came to the end of myself and the Lord changed me...you can read about this on the 'What about the Joy of the Lord?' article. ~Now, I try to say whatever He wants me to say! Bottom line- sin is sin no matter what shape it is in...we can't and mustn't compromise it away.....this message was not meant to condemn, I cringe at condemnation, but I love conviction. It was meant for those who have allowed compromise into their walk. That probably includes most of us, especially me...so don't think I am some self-righteous jerk! ~ Today I heard Joyce Meyer (Christian speaker) say something so valuable and so true that I have to quote her: "If you live in Father's will - Joy will chase you down the road and over take you!"... I truly TRULY, believe with all my heart that obedience (to the Lord) produces JOY! Don't compromise ~ Jesus is worth it! Till next time, think on these things!
God convicts ~ satan condemns
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"If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14