Kiss Me I’m Irish!

1363128637st-patrick-kiss-me-im-irish[1]

Kiss me I am Irish…

Well actually I cannot make that claim. While I married a man with Irish origins, I myself have no Irish blood running through my veins. I have participated in several St. Patrick’s festivities during my lifetime, however it is not a holiday or celebration I really paid much attention to. I will even admit that there have been many years in which I did not even realize it was St. Patrick’s Day until a day or two passed, then logging onto my social media account I would see all the pictures people posted from the parties they attended. In my mind St. Patrick’s Day was about myths of leprechaun’s chasing after gold and drinking. Truth is St. Patrick’s Day originally had nothing to do with either of those things. Just as it had nothing to do with the color green or eating corned beef and cabbage.

As I was researching this holiday (this time around), I came across all kinds of interesting articles. I liked this one the best by Megan Maisano  friedmansprout.com/2018/03/01/8936/ From Blue to Green, and Everything in Between: The Evolution of Saint Patrick’s Day

It’s an easy read, well researched and even has pictures. But she ends her article with “Conclusion: Who Cares?” I believe we should care…I believe we should research and study history. We cannot assume that everything we are taught is truth.

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

Maewyn Succat (St. Patrick) has a really neat testimony. Born sometime around 375-390 A.D. into a wealthy (Scottish, English, Roman family) depending on what you read; he is not even Irish. Captured by pirates as a young man and taken to Ireland where he spent years as a slave learning the language and culture. He eventually escaped and returned home where he went on to become a priest. Then years later he returned to Ireland bringing with him the message of the gospel.

While he was not the first man to share the gospel with the people of Ireland at that time (another popular myth), he was undoubtedly the most successful in his lifetime. Why is this truth not taught? Why was I in my twenties when I first learned the true story behind the pots of gold, shamrocks and green?

Even deeper is that while the story of St. Patrick is an interesting one…why do we even have the holiday? St. Patrick’s Day is NOT a holiday that the Bible commands us to celebrate. Just like Valentines’ and many other holidays we celebrate it is NOT God ordained, man created it in the 17th century. While I believe the story of Maewyn Succat and his life is a great read, another inspiring example of what God can accomplish through willing servants, it is also sad how the story has been bastardized.

Take for example the shamrock…stories tell us that St. Patrick used it as a symbol of the trinity. And while I think that is a creative and neat way to explain the trinity of God, (if in fact he really did that), the shamrock was used by the pagans long before St. Patrick came along. It was the symbol of their triple goddess; Eriu, Brigid and Morrigan.

Beside the additions man has added to the story, the devil then gave man somewhere along the line the idea of adding leprechaun’s to the holiday. Leprechauns were thought to be evil spirits or demons by the pagans. Now our enemy has us thinking of them as cute cartoon characters…chasing after gold and rainbows. In March we see businesses, schools and sometimes our homes decorated with cut outs of ‘cute’ leprechauns. Some people even dress themselves, their children, even their dogs up as Leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. Think about that for a moment…people are dressing up as demons, and most don’t even realize it! Decorating with Shamrocks too, another pagan symbol.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 ESV

Just like this Bible verse says…people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We have the responsibility as believers to look into the things we are told, taught, see…to study the Bible, to pray, to make sure we are following God in everything we do! We are not to follow blindly after the ways of the world.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8 KJV

Now let’s consider the drinking that goes along with this holiday…a newer addition in the 1800’s. And while I know not everyone drinks on this holiday, or does so in excess, it does happen, and along with all the other pomp and circumstance, drinking is now an acceptable thing to do on St. Patrick’s Day. I am NOT against drinking…we may drink…even alcohol. As Christian’s though we are told not to get drunk.

“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18 NLT

After seeing that this holiday is not a true holy day, that it is tied to pagan roots, why would we as Christians choose to celebrate? Why would we choose to expose our children to these pagan rituals? Many won’t agree with me…they will say ‘it’s harmless,’ or even accuse me of being harsh or old-fashioned. Maybe I am…I am choosing to draw a line, to take a stand and say for me and my house we will serve the LORD!

“…then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 NIV

I am all about learning about the man (St. Patrick) and his life, as I said earlier he has an amazing testimony…something which should be shared. What I am NOT willing to do is celebrate a man-made holiday that incorporates pagan symbols and traditions. I will NOT bring them into my house. I am Not willing to serve the gods of my ancestors. Especially when God himself gave us holy days to celebrate.  Yes, as we are under grace and not law we are not required to celebrate the holidays in which God gave to the Israelites. However if I am going to celebrate a holiday I would much rather choose to celebrate those that God himself ordained…holy days that honor him, that point to his son Jesus and the redemption we have in him.

I am NOT willing to compromise my faith! Following Jesus is not always the easiest path.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 ESV

I know that what I have written here is not going to be a popular…but I don’t care. This is not a popularity contest… (John 15:18-27)

Someday I will stand before God. Someday YOU will stand before God. On that day we will give account for what we did with this life he has given us. And while I am far from perfect, (I am a work in progress) and though I am covered by the blood of Jesus, I still want to do my best to live in a way in which points others to Christ. If I look like the world, think like the world, act like the world then how will the world know I am different? How will they know I am a child of the most high God?

And one more thought…what would St. Patrick himself think? If he knew that millions of people all over the world were celebrating him, would he agree? Do you really think that a man who spent his life pointing others to God would want men celebrating a man-made holiday with its roots in paganism honoring and glorifying him? Or perhaps would his heart be saddened to see all the pomp and circumstance that occurs during St. Patrick’s Day? After all this life is NOT about us…it’s about Jesus! If we are going to lift anyone up, why not Christ?

We Don’t Need Thoughts and Prayers…

GUnFlickrPhotos_350_3419_farm5_static_flickr_com_40369207261_b02ab4363e_326[1]     We don’t need thoughts and prayers? Wow this surprised me! I was sitting on the couch writing one evening when my husband came into the room and turned on the news. I was not surprised when the news was covering stories of the latest school shooting, or even the fact that there were now massive gun protests going on all over the country…what surprised me was some of the signs people were carrying. We don’t need thoughts and prayers??? Really??? The Bible encourages us to pray…in fact to pray first, often, even unceasingly! (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18, and many more).

So you may be reading this and thinking…well that’s nice, but what does prayer have to do with shooting in schools? This does not solve the problem…innocent people died, these shootings are happening more frequently and we need to do something. Yes, innocent people did die, what happened was a tragedy! And yes it is happening more often…and unfortunately it will continue to get worse unless we do make a change.

Many today believe that gun control is the answer, some even believe that outlawing gun ownership in its entirety is the solution. Making it harder or impossible to own a gun will not keep people from doing evil things. The attacks on 911 were not done with guns, they used box cutters and knives. What the people protesting don’t realize it that prayer IS the answer.

In 1962 Engel v. Vitiate prayer was taken out of our schools. In 1963 Abington School District v. Schempp the Bible itself was removed.  In 1963 there we very little gun restrictions and yet there were hardly any gun related deaths. While President Kennedy who was shot on November 22, 1963 was not the first man to be assassinated it was still a shock…these things just did not happen as a ‘norm’.  Just read this paragraph taken from Wikipedia…

“On the day of Kennedy’s funeral, November 25, 1963, people around the world attended memorial services.[43] This was a day of national mourning in the United States and in many countries around the world.[44] Events were called off because of the mourning. Town streets were deserted while services were held. Everyone who could followed the proceedings on television. Others heeded the call for the day of national mourning by going to their place of worship for a memorial service.[45] Around the world, footage of the funeral procession was sent abroad via satellite.[46] Many schools, offices, stores, and factories in the U.S. were closed.[47] Those that were open scheduled a minute of silence.[44] Others permitted employees time off to attend memorial services. During memorial services, church bells tolled. In some cities police officers attached black mourning bands to their badges.[48]

In many states, governors declared the day of national mourning a legal holiday, allowing banks to close.[44] There was silence across the United States at 12:00 EST (17:00 UTC) for five minutes to mark the start of the funeral.[44][49] 

In reading this artical did you niotice that there was no division…no left wing, no right wing…no protesting in the streets. Instead people were encouraged to come together and pray. Nowadays  whenever I happen to hear about a bombing or a shooting on the news, while it is heart breaking and saddens me, I will admit I am not at all shocked. Nor have I gone to my place worship and prayed. (I have prayed, but not as a community of believers). The sad truth is events like this have become ‘normal’ for our generation, and the enemy is using them to divide our nation even more than we already are.

In 1968 after the death of president Kennedy more rigid gun laws were pushed through congress…and have been ever since then. Today we have 20,000 gun laws/restrictions on the books…in 1963 two. That is a huge difference! And yet if gun laws protect us then why are there more shooting today with 20,000 gun laws than there was back in 1963 with only 2? Well to me its pretty obvious…we removed God from the schools.

Before 1963 each school day started with prayer and in many school districts a reading from the Bible as well. WAIT STOP…you might be saying…Separation of Church and State! Well the truth is we are not taught in schools today what that really means; and while I wont get into it here…please  check out this article which does a great job explaining the true meaning of separation of church and state and how it relates to us today.

How to Respond to “Separation of Church and State” – WallBuilders

We have removed God from our schools; and unfortunately in many other aspects of our lives as well. Children were once taught that they were created by a loving God. That they were precious, had worth, value and purpose. Now our schools are void of God and his message that we as humans have value and worth. Instead our children are being taught that we are here by chance, that we are an accident…we have no creator, no purpose, no value, no worth…we live in word where we kill our unborn…with that train of thought why not kill the living? If an unborn human being is worthless…then what makes a living human have any more worth? I mean we are all here by accident, chance…there is no God…I should be able to do what makes me feel good, despite how it affects those around me.
This is a dangerous way of thinking! But this is what we are being told daily. That we should live life doing what makes us feel good, makes us happy. And we wonder why these school shooting are happening and are happening more and more often? We do need prayer! We do need God! Gun control is not the answer, but God is.
” 14 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
 
Unfortunately I highly doubt we will ever get prayer and the Bible back into our schools. As followers of Christ we need to stop burying our head in the sand so to speak. We do need to gather in our homes, in our places of worship with other believers and pray when events like this happen. We also need to gather and pray BEFORE events like this happen. We need to step it up…we need to spread the gospel with more enthusiasm and emphases than ever before! There is a reason that God leaves us here in this earth after we have come to accept Jesus as our lord and savior…we are the salt of the earth! We are his ambassadors!
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 (NIV)
We need to boldly speak out and say ‘Hey, yes this happened and yes it was awful, but this is why it is happening and I have something that you to can have…peace.
Did you notice the other sign in the picture above that the young protester was holding? “Fear has no place in schools?”
The truth is fear has NO place! Not just in schools, fear has no place anywhere!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 timothy 1:7 (ESV)
 
The fact is the farther we fall from following God as a society the more ‘evil’ will be allowed to reign, and events like this latest school shooting will become the ‘norm’. The good news is that there is a cure for all this unrest, this chaos, this fear, this pure evil that is running ramped throughout the world…JESUS! And while we know that until Jesus is reigning on earth as king, we will never experience world peace. We as believers have peace…a peace for this life, on this earth, for this time…a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
We need to do everything in our power to spread the good news of the gospel, so that those who are wandering this earth, hurting, fearful and lost too can experience God’s peace. The gift of salvation is not meant to be kept…it is meant to be shared!
I like what Oswald Chambers said. “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first like of defense.”

 

 

What’s in a name?

images-11[1]Not too long ago I went through a name change…I did not publicly announce it to everyone I knew. It was a gradual process, done over the span of several months. God had placed the idea  on my heart a couple of years before I even choose to step out in faith and actually make the change.

For several reasons I struggled with the decision to do so. One…everyone knew me by my old name. Two, it is not something that is commonly done…our names are given to us by our parents. Most people are born and die with the same name. The third reason and the biggest hurdle for me to get over was the fact that I did not believe that I deserved the name God had given to me. You see Nava means beautiful and I did not see myself as beautiful. I am not just talking about outward appearances, I am speaking of who I am inside. I was ashamed of my past, what I had done, who I once was. Even though the Bible clearly tells us that we are a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), that our sins are washed clean (Isaiah 1:18), I was not believing this! The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I  had a lack of faith! I was not really, actively believing and as the last part of Romans 14:23 tells us… ‘and everything that does not come from faith is sin’.

Where had this come from?!? This lack of faith…this sin that was so silent I had not even noticed it creeping into my heart and my mind? It had come from years of allowing the enemy to speak lies over me. So now that this sin was revealed how did I break it off? I had to turn to the scriptures…

‘For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,’

Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

‘But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ Luke 12:7 KJV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ‘ John 3:16 ESV

The Bible contains so many more scriptures describing just how precious we are to God, so many that I cannot list them all here for times sake. God loves us! In fact the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is a love story written to us from God. I was believing the enemy instead of the creator of the universe when it came to how I viewed myself. I was picking and choosing what I was going to believe…for I believed that Christ has died on the cross for my redemption, and yet I was not believing what the Bible said about my self-worth!

THIS IS DANGEROUS! We can’t have it both ways. Either the Bible is the inspired word of God as 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:’ (KJV) or it’s not, in which case, it is just a man-made story about a great prophet…and nothing in the book is absolute truth.

Well I KNOW that the Bible IS in fact the inspired word of God, I KNOW that their IS a God and everything written in the Bible IS true! I am living proof…I am a new creation. The old ‘me’ is gone. When I look back on my life its like looking at a stranger…which is exactly why God gave me a new name! My sins ARE gone! They HAVE been washed away! Once I understood this I was fully able to embrace my new name. Of course Satan did not like it! Right away he came in for the attack. I was accused of changing my name as a way of running from my past. I laughed…just like it says in Proverbs 32:25  ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.’ NIV

I laughed because that could not be farther from the truth. I don’t try to hide my past…now obviously I don’t go around giving an account of all my past sins to everyone I meet on the street; who does that? But I do when led by the spirit share my testimony. I am not afraid of my past, where I come from…what I did…I am not proud, but I am not ashamed. You see I did not publicly make an announcement of my name change for two reasons. First, God was still working on me. (Just as he is today) Second, I did not need to…those who know me…really know me, know my story and the reason for my name change. My testimony has touched and changed the lives of too many others for me to be ashamed. It is powerful and it points to God’s redeeming grace! Just as our testimonies are supposed to do…my name is not about me! The truth is that my name points to God the father and just how much he loves each one of us.

More Precious Than Rubies

0ba912_fe3851786c7145309dd2409ee53b021a~mv2[1]

Welcome! So excited you have come to check out this site 🙂

I have been writing stories on and off for several years now. I never thought much of it other than it was a way for me to relax, unwind, be creative. Then one day God gave me an idea for a new story. I sat down and wrote it in about a week! The fastest time ever (for me). Just like all my other stories I held onto it, however God had other plans and he told me to send it in to a few publishing houses. So I did,  I sent out my manuscript, still not really believing that anything would come of it. Then just a few weeks later I was contacted by a publisher and offered a contract. I was super excited and after praying about it with my husband, I signed. I thought that would be the end of it, perhaps I would write and release more books, but that was the extent. Once again God’s plans are not mine!

He spoke to me yet again, this time to inform me that my book was not His big plan for me…he was using my book to open doors, to make a way for me to start a women’s ministry. He even gave me a speech…WHAT! You want me to speak to women, I questioned? Yes he does…he made very clear that is His plan for me. So now I am not just a stay at home wife, mother, author, but I am an inspirational speaker as well.

The truth is, I am humbled that God has chosen to use me as his vessel to relay His message to women all over the world. A message letting us know (as women) just how precious each one of us truly is in the sight of God. Our past does not matter, if we have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior our sins are forgiven. (Psalm 103:12 and Romans 3:23-26) We are not defined by our past or who others say we are…we find our identity in Christ and Christ alone. (John 1:12, 1 Corinthians 6:17, Romans 6:6, Jeremiah 1:5, 1 Peter 2:9, Galatians 3:27-28, Colossians 3:1-3…just to name a few).

I am excited about this new journey…my speaking engagements and my book, Box of Treasures, as of now, is to be released on May 8th. I can’t wait to share this story of a young woman’s journey through life set in the 1940’s . Her trials and tribulations, her joy and her tears…her journey that ultimately leads her into a relationship with Christ. His forgiveness, redemption and most of all his grace and love.

My prayer is that this story will touch the hearts and souls of countless women. That all women will realize just how much they are loved by the creator of the universe…how they too can experience God’s grace, love, joy, healing and most of all His peace, His indescribable peace! That every woman will see and know her worth…for you are far more precious than rubies! (Proverbs 3:15)