A Temple That Doesn’t Stand

“Your body is a temple.”

A phrase that you are sure to hear if you attend a Christian church for a long period of time. This phrase is an answer you’ll get if you ask a “good Christian” if you ask to do something such as get a tattoo, another piercing, etc.

In the Christian church I see something that is bothersome. The more conservative settings that you investigate, the more they will use “your body is a temple” in a hypocritical matter.

A church potluck is an example of this. Growing up in a Messianic synagogue, I have grown up around very healthy families and individuals. Typically, a Jew has a healthy diet. Not just eating frozen vegetables with dinner, but more in the way of primarily eating fresh fruits and vegetables. At my synagogues congregational potlucks you will find lots of salads, healthy soups, fruits, vegetables, etc. You will never go to a congregational potluck and have a hard time eating a vegetarian diet.

Several months ago I was in a situation where I had to eat at a church potluck in a conservative Sunday church. I noticed that many dishes had cream of mushroom soup in them and was loaded with sodium, and hot dishes loaded with carbs, I finally got to the part of the line where the salads where. To my disappointment, about every flavor of Jello had been made into a “salad”.

I find that hardening because this kind of church would consider things such as smoking, drinking, and doing drugs a sin. If you ask about any member they would say, “your body is a temple.” What I absolutely do not understand is how are those things are a sin, but eating junk at the church potluck is not. In the end, what is the difference between smoking a cigarette and eating a cream of mushroom casserole. If you have a problem with someone else’s issues because thier body is a temple, I suggest you look at your own diet first.

If you go and look at this passage, it is talking about sexual immorality, but we take it out of context all of the time.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits is outside, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you whom you have received from G-d? You are not your own;
You were bought with a price, therefore honor G-d with your bodies.”

Feel free to look up this scripture for yourself. Yesterday I was watching a Christain movie with someone and the main character was a smoker. My friend said, “Woe, he’s smoking but smoking isn’t actually a sin.” With my background my natural inclination was to say, “Your body is a temple…” But I couldn’t say anything because so often that is taken out of context.
I question why we take this out of context all of the time. It is because we are taught something but don’t go and look it up ourselves. I challenge you to not just listen to what others tell you, but go and discover the truth for yourself.

Little Boys Who Play With Fire Will Get Their Hands Burned

Bright, warm, smells great,  you can get close, but if you touch it, it will hurt you. Any guesses?

Yankee Candles are wonderful. To me, something is comforting about walking into a home that has that amazing smell of a candle burning.

In a way a candle being lit can resemble sin and the consequences of it. Sin looks appealing from the outside. It looks good, bright, and warm. It is disguised as not having consequences. But as soon as you taste that “fun” sin, after awhile your fingers will be burned from the consequences of falling into temptation. It may not happen in this lifetime, but remember all good and evil acts will be counted for on the day of judgment.

Romans 2:5-8 says,“But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of G-d’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed; G-d will pay each person according to what they have done to those who by persistence and doing good see glory, honor and immorality. He will give eternal life but for those who are self-seeking and reject the truth and follow evil, there’ll be wrath and anger.”

One of my favorite movies is Finding Nemo. At one point in the movie, Marlin and Dory end up in a physically dark section of the Sea. They cannot see anything, and find a light which ends up being a violent fish who tries to kill Marlin and Dory. When they see the
fish, it looks promising; they did not see a fish at first, they saw a light. They were all alone and they were searching for something; they wanted that light! When they approach the light, they realized that it was not what they thought it was. The light turned out to be violent towards them. They did not use much caution because they were desperate; just as sometimes when we feel like we are alone, we get desperate to find something. Satan will sometimes put lights or candles in our lives and disguise it as something beautiful, warm, and  promising, and we end up in a deeper mess than we were before.

“Sin will take you farther then you want to go, keep you longer then you want to say, and cost you more then you wanted to pay

Marlin and Dory just wanted some hope. I caution you to be careful for the kind of light that you try to pursue when you are looking for hope. Romans 8:38 says,
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither their height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Blessings to you, and have a blessed Thanksgiving.
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The ABILITY in disABILITY

Not every disabilities are visible. I strongly believe that you have no idea what may be going on in anyone else’s life until you have spent a week in their shoes walking the trail they are on.

As I have written about before, I have dyslexia. I didn’t have the choice to have it, but I do have the choice of how to handle it. For most of my life I have been told that something is wrong with me because I don’t learn, read, process, or simply think the way I am suppose to. Yes, it can be overwhelming at times? but what really is wrong with not being the way everyone else is?

Five years ago I was officially diagnosed with dyslexia. When I was tested some really nice people talked to me and tested me. Now all this time I truly believed that I was not dyslexic. I thought I just… was not a smart person. If anything I was NOT dyslexic. During my test they asked me how to spell certain words (btw the word “cupid” is really spelled Q-U-E-P-E-D). After talking to the “nice people,” they discussed my results privately with my mom without me in their presence. After that meeting I could finally leave.

That day I was confident because all I thought I needed to do was pass the little test and be done with that forever. Through the walk in the parking lot with my mother I didn’t say a word. I was sure a already knew the results. By the time I was in the car, I decided to confirm the results, I already had known for myself. My mom tactfully told me I was indeed dyslexia.

I was puzzled. All my life I was the dumb one. I hated that but at least that was better than being dyslexic. When I got home I went straight to my bed and cried. I barely said anything for the rest of that summer day. My parents asked me what sounded good for supper and I told them ice cream. We had ice cream for supper that night.

I was sad because I believed that something was wrong with my brain. For a long time I have despised it, but I have learned being angry about it won’t change my brain. My attitude change has helped tremendously because one of my dearest friends is also dyslexic. This friend has taught me that nothing is wrong with my brain — it is simply different. If my brain functions the way everyone else’s does that would be boring!

Because of this blessing in disguise, I am creative and can solve problems in ways that are outside of the box. When I am in leadership positions, I can quickly come up with new approaches to achieve the task that I am trying to conquer. When I am making a piece of art, I can use different everyday objects to make a piece. Most importantly, I can connect with others who are dyslexic in ways that you can’t even imagine.

My disABILITY is not visible. But through the ABILITY in my disabilities opportunities are endless.

“Why be the same when we were born to stand out?” ~ Doctor Suess

Unashamed Vs Lukewarm

Before I start blogging I have something to say.

“My name is—-… and I believe in Jesus Christ… He said deny me in front of your peers and I will deny you in front of my father.. if you are not ashamed, put your name in my place of mine and make it your status. #facebookchallenge
Clean copy in the comments.”

If you have been on Facebook anytime lately, you have most likely seen this on at least ONE of your friends profile. As I scroll through my feed I have seen this multiple times. This is great, but too often I have seen posts, videos, and pictures from the same person that contradict this statement.

I hate to break it to you, but G-d says that if you deny Christ in front of your friends He will deny you in front of his Father. He also says that He will spit out lukewarm Christians.

Putting a status on Facebook does not mean that you will automatically go to heaven. Similarly, going to church won’t make you a Christian. Being a true follower of Christ means more than going through the motions of being a Christian. It is more than singing a Mercy Me worship song on a Sunday morning and watching Fifty Shades of Grey in the afternoon. It is a consistent search for G-d and His Rauch HaKodesh, and striving to live for something higher in this world.

When one declares on social media that they are a Christian and love Jesus, but their lives and other posts say the opposite, those messages are more effective in a negative way than in a positive one. If you ask almost any random non-believer what they think about Christians, their answer would be, “Christians are hypocrites.” When one posts this message all it does is it makes this myth bolder. The truth is not everybody who says they are a “Christian” is necessarily one. There is a visible difference from a lukewarm Christian and one who has a personal relationship with Christ. Likewise, not every Muslim is going to be a member of ISIS; and not every Catholic lives a sinful life six days a week and confesses on the seventh. We take one stereotype of each these groups and believe it is true for every follower or the religion itself.

If you have profanity on your Facebook page, I ask you not to post the short paragraph on the top of this post. All you are doing is proving that Christians are hypocrites. You will do more damage to un-believers than restoration.

One does not need to make a status saying they are not ashamed of the gospel; others will see it in your life without social media.

Flying High

It was the night. It was finally happening. On Valentine’s day I was going to a formal dinner with a lovely teenage boy who was Tall, Dark, and Handsome. I had been looking forward to this for awhile. I had a purple high low dress on and high healed shoes. He treated me like a Princess that night. I arrived at his house about a half an hour late — my make-up artist took longer than anticipated, so I was in a rush.

One thing I didn’t do before the evening was to practice walking in my shoes. Some part of my thought process was that it was an “okay” idea to wear high heals when I don’t typically wear that style of shoes. We were about to depart his house and I made the comment, “Hey! I can actually walk in these shoes!.” Can you guess what happened next? I fell off his parents porch, and had countless fashion disasters at the dinner.

Recently, I was reflecting about when I fell off my Valentine’s day dates parent’s porch. I thought of it in the sense of trying to do something by myself knowing I can’t do it. Deep down I knew that I could not walk in those shoes based on the style. Sometimes I (and most people) become guilty of trying to conquer something challenging without G-d in the picture. We come in knowing we can’t do it on our own, but yet we try. I wonder why we do this. I think why this is so easy to do is because we don’t want to acknowledge that we need someone to walk with. Many times it is easier to do things on your own than ask anyone for help. Pride plays a huge role in this. I wanted to wear those shoes. I thought that they were cute, nobody was going to tell me that I can’t wear them. If we focus on conquering challenges with G-d by our side we can potentially save ourselves from heartache, disappointment, and frustration. Without G-d possibilities are limited, but with G-d possibilities are unlimited.

For the rest of the night, my date walked with me at the snail speed, and helped me get to where we needed to be, and it was a lot easier that way.

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Fall Leaves

Fall, a season for hoodies, pumpkin spice lattes, and leaves falling under the trees. There is a definite change in the atmosphere, fashion, and appearance of nature.  Besides pumpkin spice lattes, the colors and variety of leaves is my favorite thing about this season. As an artist, I love noticing variation in colors of leaves.

Today was the first day I noticed a definite change in the leaves. Some are brown, orange, red, or yellow. All of the leaves are different but have similarities. Just as a leaf falling from a tree never lands in the exact same place, in life people never “land” in the same place. In life it’s easy to compare one person’s path to another. We all blossom at different times. Just as you can’t compare how one leaf has changed in its color, texture, and size, you can’t really compare yourself to others about how they are growing spiritually, thriving in the workforce, or walking on paths that you wish you could have walked.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to talk to a man who has written a book on following your dreams. He asked me what my dream is. I was reluctant to tell him because I haven’t really gotten many good responses when I tell others what my dream is. After a little convincing, I finally told him that my dream is to be an artist someday. He gave me some advice that I have been pondering since then. He told me that sometimes when you try to follow your dreams it isn’t always your time to pursue them. He told me that the important thing is to continue to follow them after you have grown. That was encouraging because even though I would love to be a professional artist now, it may not be my time to be one. I might have to wait a long time, or it may never happen. But that won’t stop me from doing and enjoying art. I cannot compare where my leaf is falling compared to other’s leaf because G-d has a specific plan for everyone’s life.

At times I have been angry at G-d for allowing me to go through certain things. Many times I have questioned Him during enduring trials, but I am starting to see how it has all been an a part of His plan for my life. I am slowly learning that without my experience, heartache, and at times misery, I would not be able to connect with others the way I can through the trials. This blog would be very different without them because I would be a lot more close minded and unable to write with empathy towards my readers. Lama-Leah is just a small way that I’m able to use my long journey in beautiful ways.

In conclusion, each leaf is beautiful in their own way, they all land in completely different places, so don’t try to emulate somebody else’s landing speed.

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The Piano Keys

Music is a part of my life. In my instrument collection I have a violin, xylophone, a toy bagpipe (that actually works), and an accordion. Out of all of these instruments I have only been trained in the art of playing violin.
Even though I have not taken lessons in the other instruments, I still attempt to play the other ones. I learn by ear and love to explore how other instruments work. One instrument that intrigues me, but I do not own, is the piano. I can spend hours at my grandparents house teaching myself how to play the piano.

Whenever I have the opportunity to play any new instrument, I have to learn how to play the notes so that they sound as though they should “go” together.

On the piano it is easy to hear what notes don’t sound good together. For instance, when you play two white keys next to each other it is a guarantee that won’t sound pretty. You will hear music that you will not to hear 24/7.  On the piano, I have to learn the notes to play that will make beautiful music.
Piano keys or music notes resemble words. Just as I can combine notes that are “ugly,” I can combine words and sentences that can turn out “ugly” to others.

Words have an amazing affect on others. They can pick others up, but they can also bring others down. I could sit at a piano and play the most horrific song that you have ever heard. I could easily play something that is a combination of the sounds of a dying cat and a protester for P.E.T.A.

On the other hand, I could play a beautiful song such as Aaron Copland’s, “Simple Gifts.” I would also have a more difficult time playing this, because I would have to put in more effort and concentration instead of pushing random keys down intending for it to sound bad.

We all have a choice as to how we use our words. Many times it is easier to say things that others don’t want to hear. At certain times, in particular, it can be extremely easy to do this. When you use your tongue in fulfilling ways, you will make you those words go further then you think.

There are 88 keys on a grand piano and thousands of words in the English language. You have a choice in how you play keys. Use it wisely.

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“Cinderella Never Asked for a Prince, She Asked for a Night Off and a Dress” ~Kiera Cass

For little girls fairy tales are magical things. Many want to grow up to be a Princess falling in love with Prince Charming and live the classic “happily ever after.”

This is a great goal. Unfortunately, most little girls don’t end up having a royal wedding, living in a castle, and growing old in a “happily ever after” lifestyle. Life happens. Life gets busy, the house gets dirty, and bills need to be paid. At times life is rough, sad, happy, and joyful all at the same time.

When I think of classic fairy tale, Cinderella, I think of her being just an exhausted girl who needed a night out on the town. When she wanted to go to the ball she wasn’t looking for Prince Charming. She wanted fun. I applaud her for this. I don’t think she would have exactly been looking for happily ever after.

What is fun about life, is it is unpredictable. You can meet the most interesting (or boring) people anywhere. Cinderella had to be open to meeting a new person. Yeah, you may not have married Prince Charming or live in a castle or had a royal wedding, but you can still meet amazing people. Cinderella wasn’t looking for a Prince – she wanted a night off. I encourage you to have fun and be open to new relationships.
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A Sunny *And Rainy* Day?

This past week it rained. Rain is a great thing, but this rain was different then the typical storm. About twenty minutes before it stopped raining, it became sunny.

It looks funny when it’s raining and there’s minimal clouds, and the sun is shining. Because rainy days are typically suppose to be gloomy and dismal.

When I stepped outside to see the beautiful storm it reminded me of how on the days that will be rainy, G-d will still shine His light through to you. Sometimes when bad things happen it’s easy to take G-d out of the picture because you don’t immediately see His goodness.

In my own life I have come to realize that trials and temptations are blessings. Because when they are over, I see a clearer picture of how AMAZING G-D is! Even though it’s not by any means easy, but after every trial I see just how much His light had been showing through when I didn’t yet see it.

Typically,  all I feel is the rain but I don’t look at the light. I tend to forget that He is working in my storm. Constantly focusing on the rain makes it much easier to lose faith but the storm will not last forever. Through your own rain storms, stay faithful, meditate on His words, and look for the sun.

James 1:2

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