Sometimes I wonder…Are we that different? Are we different from the world enough to influence-to have a platform of any integrity?  If you are not a Christian, this blog post is not for you…For you are not trying to be a “Christian”- A Christ Follower.

When you decide to follow Jesus, slowly but surely, you will change…You will become more like Him because we all know, you become like those you hang out with.

But once you do change, and are adapting to your new life, you have to keep the ground you have won by always recognizing that the devil would love to come and take you back to where you started…Meaning, always being aware of small changes that take you back to “slave life”…(If you are not a Christian, this is going to be hard for you to understand–And I will spend the entire blog defining everything…Maybe that is not such a bad thing).

So, you ask Jesus to make you new, make you different, make you “saved”…And you start reading the Bible, start praying, start changing…You change because when you know His Love you start to love others, you start to have more patience, more joy, more peace.  You aren’t as worried about what everyone thinks because you know that ultimately, it’s His opinion that matters.  Slowly, you stop doing the things you use to because it’s just not “you” anymore.  You read the Bible and you want to please God.  You understand that sin (missing the mark, mistakes, lying, cheating, manipulating, gluttony, stealing, sleeping around, adultery, lust, porn, jealousy, envy, impatience, rebellion, selfishness, materialism, greed etc) separates you from God.  So you don’t want to do it all…You don’t want to be what you use to be because you know doing all that stuff got you into trouble in the first place.  But it’s not rules and regulations that drive you—IT’S LOVE!  His love leads you to want to obey him, want to love others, want to give your life away for the furtherance of the Gospel.  His Grace and blessing surround your life and you can’t imagine going back to the way you use to be.  But it’s not always an overnight process.  You have to reprogram your brain that was brainwashed by the devil.  You have to put new thoughts into your mind if you plan on getting rid of the old thought patterns.  We all get into habits of thinking certain ways but it’s God’s way of thinking that brings success and peace.

So, we change.   And then we realize, no one else changed with us.  Hollywood. Clubs. Bars. Movies. Music. Books. People.

It’s funny that we can all agree that when I become a Christian I should stop sleeping around, and I should stop using Heroin, and I should stop getting drunk, and I should stop saying the F word, and cussing out my boss, and stealing from my parents—but we can’t agree about gluttony, we can’t agree about nasty movies that lead us to lust, nasty music that leads us to idolotry, nasty books that lead us to selfishness or whatever.  Just interesting what we call “okay” and “not okay” when to God, sin is sin.

Dilemma:  You want to go to the theater.  What are you going to watch?

You want to listen to the radio?  Spirit 105.3?  Really?  That’s all we got? God help us.

You want to read a best seller book.  Harry Potter?  Twilight?  Stephen King?

So, you start asking around.  To the people who have been Christians.  And you realize, everyone and their mom and their twin and their dog have a different opinion.  You of course hang out with the ones who most reflect your views about what “Christians” should watch, read, listen to but…what happens when we base our standards on what friends or “leaders” or “mentors” orpeople who are older, are doing?  What happens when we base our standards on each other and not on God/The Bible?  A slow watering down of what we all use to say was “not okay”—a slow but sure compromise of all that use to make us different than the world, different than we use to be.

I am not trying to be your Holy Spirit, your conscience, your guide.  I am not telling you what to do.  You do whatever the heck you want to do.

But let me ask you something.

What if our definition of “on fire” Christian is God’s definition of lukewarm?

It’s not about what you are “doing” for you are not what you do necessarily.  It’s not about rules and regulations and comparing ourselves to each other and trying to get brownie points with God and looking better than everyone else at church.

I recently told someone that I was done trying to catch up on Lost-I got through Season 1, Episode 15.  Then I got a revelation.  “WHAT AM I DOING?”  This is an addictive soap opera that is cleaner than most but still has people sleeping together, cussing, doing “ungodly” things and I am running home from work to watch it.  I got free from soap operas in middle school and I am going back?

Some of you just got offended that I said I don’t watch Lost (someone is going to their facebook page right now and unfriending me…bummer)- But I had to stop because I LOVED it too much.

Being a Christian is going to cost you.  It’s going to cost you the world. It’s going to cost you friends, time, entertainment.

Here’s a thought:  I believe there is a direct relationship between how much you give up regarding this world and how much God will speak to you.  When I am watching something I shouldn’t, all I can hear from God is, “Rhonda, turn it off.  Just turn it off.  I have so much more for you!”  I don’t hear revelations, get visions, have dreams when I am sinning—or at least not as much as I would if I would give God the time of day.

We want to fit in, we want to be relevant, we want to be cool, we want to have something to say…So we watch whatever, we listen to whatever, we read whatever…And then we wonder why we are not having revelations, changing nations, seeing lives changed…I am not saying we don’t see those things but I wonder how much MORE there is…And this is all we get because we are so set on wasting our time trying to be relevant.  I can’t have a conversation with you about Twilight.  I don’t want to see it.  I have no desire to see it. Have I lost friends because of this?  I don’t think so.  I can still be fun, exciting and relevant without seeing it.   I know someone who was forced to watch it at her small group so they could play a game that had questions about it.  She didn’t want to watch it. And after she watched it, she was reminded why she did not want to watch it.

IS THIS WHAT WE ARE?  We are so intent on being entertained by the things of this world so we can…so we can…so we can what?  Laugh? Make more friends? Pass time until our dreams come true? Or is there just not that much out there and come on, it’s not that bad.  Give me a freaking break, Rhonda.  Are you so much holier than the rest of us?  Get off your high horse and just watch it.

Since when is sin suppose to be entertainment?

I have a feeling I am losing friends as I write this.  I just wonder what we are coming to.

Is there grace?  Of course.  Is God going to build His church using us?  Of course.  Is anyone perfect?  No.  Will we regret how much time we spent doing what we are doing when God shows us later how much he wanted to tell us but just couldn’t compete with our addiction to whatever?  Maybe.

I wonder how much more there is to God that I will never know because I am too busy watching movies of people having sex, getting drunk, sleeping around, fighting, yelling, swearing, blah, blah, blah.

What’s the worse that can happen if I decide that I am done listening to secular music?  Maybe in the silence I will hear His voice!  What if I stop going to movies with the friends?  Maybe in the solitude, I will hear His voice!  What if I replace stupid books with the Bible?  Whoa, now there’s a thought!  I could actually read more that what is on the Bible reading plan?  New ideas!  And I am being sarcastic.

I am not the standard.  I am not trying to be your standard.  I just think we don’t think about it enough.