Monday, March 14, 2011

I Refuse

Warning: this is a very different kind of post for Lily's blog.

I have a family blog where I address things other than life with Lily, but because Lily's blog has a bigger "audience", I really wanted to post this here.

This has nothing to do with Down syndrome or orphans or adoption, so if at any point you're reading and you're offended...there's a little red x up in the corner that you can click.

But I hope you don't.

Because what I'm about to say is, in all honesty, more important than anything I've ever said on Lily's blog.

I'm so honored to be a mama, so blessed to be a wife, so thankful to be a friend, but more than anything else in life, I am first and foremost...

...a Christian.

That little "about me" box on your right says it all in a nutshell- I am a born again Christian. Jesus is not just a name I put on a bumper sticker (if I were into them...which I'm not...) or a magnet on my fridge or a bracelet that I wear.

He's everything to me.

And I say that proudly and without shame and knowing that there are some who read here who won't agree with me when I say- He is the way, the truth and the life.

And maybe you're wondering why I would be blogging about that fact, when it is probably already obvious to most who read here that I believe in Him.

I watched some footage tonight about what is happening in Japan...and I am more convinced than ever that we are living in the last days.

Maybe you're reading those words and that very thought sounds preposterous or overly dramatic to you. Consider the following:

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 8.9-magnitude earthquake was the strongest in the country's history.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an 8.9-magnitude quake would be the fifth-largest earthquake in recorded history.

And this is all on the heels of other recent natural disasters :

•230,000 (and perhaps as many as 290,000) people in 12 countries -- including about 168,000 in Indonesia alone were killed in the 2004 earthquake just off the west coast of the island of Sumatra, and the tsunami that followed.

•More than 80,000 people were killed in the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.

•More than 69,000 people died in the 2008 Sichuan China earthquake.

The Bible describes the last days of mankind, before Jesus returns as this:

Matthew 24:7 (King James Version)
7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.

Maybe you look around you, and you read the headlines, and you think- it's always been this bad, natural disasters have always occurred, this is just part of the world we live in.

The Bible also talks about this train of thought in the last days...

2 Peter 3:4
They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created."

I'm reading the headlines and I'm reading my Bible, and right now things are matching up pretty closely for exactly what Jesus predicted.

I would be remiss if I blogged from my heart about how much I love Lily and how much I love the life I've been given, if I left out the single most important element of my life-


I know just by putting that name out there I've risked offending some. But I'm going to take that risk, because my life would be nothing without Jesus, and standing for Him is more important to me than maintaining my audience on a blog.

When I gave my life to Jesus as a 17 year old girl, I didn't embrace a religion, I didn't become a member of a church or denomination, I didn't just decide to start being a good person. I asked God to forgive me for my sins and I put my faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for me. I didn't get religion- I got a Savior.

Does that make me better than others? Nope. I'm still a sinner, saved by grace. Does that mean I'm perfect now? Absolutely not- ask my kids:) Does that mean I have a permanent smile fixed on my face, and never experience heartache or anxiety or grief? Not at all. I've met happy atheists and bummed out Christians.

What it does mean is that Jesus took a little messed up 17 year old sinner- and is still taking a faulty, flawed, sometimes really downright screwed up 43 year old mama- and gave me the hope of Heaven. Not because of anything I have done- because according to the Bible "all of our righteousness is as filthy rags to God" and "there is none righteous, no not one!"

You know that little box on the right called "followers"? ...that is not my aim in life. I want to do something truly meaningful with this life, I don't want to just live my allotted time here and then enter eternity breathing a sigh of relief that I made it. I want to point people to Jesus, and I hope and pray with all my heart that if you've never had the joy of knowing your sins are forgiven through Him, that you will ask Him to do that today.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelations 3:20

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

And if you stuck around til the end of this, thank you... I promise sweet pictures of Lily next post:)


I Refuse,by Josh Wilson
Sometimes I,
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright
When I know they’re not.
This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch.
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong.

But I refuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately,
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of you, oh God.
So, if you say move,
Then it’s time for me to follow through,
And do what I was made to do.
Show them who you are.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

To stand and watch
The weary and lost
Cry out for help.
I refuse
To turn my back
And try and act like all is well.
I refuse
To stay unchanged,
To wait another day,
To die to myself.
I refuse
To make one more excuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.


Hayley said...

i just want you to know... i've been thinking this for a while. i'm only 16, but i agree wholeheartedly.

cathy said...

thought provoking


Elissa said...

I don't know if it is tge end times or not, but I would challenge even the deepest cynic to try and brush off the events described in the Bible and the similarities in what is happening "now". I am not an avid Bible reader, but I know enough to know that it is not all meant to be taken exactly literally. I believe the verses you quoted are absolutely literal, but the "timing" of the end days could be years, months, days or thousands of years. Our wordly time is for us. Wow. Sorry, guess I need my own blog post about this. Anyway, my point is, I agree. I think we are living in the end times. I do not know if Jesus will come again in our lifetime, the lifetime of our children, or that of our children's children. I do know that I may not be living a life worthy of his mercy and grace right now. That scares me. Anyway...again guess I need my own blog post. Thank you for posting this. Very thought provoking.

Jessica from Germany said...

Dear Patti,
You know I love your blog. And it touches my heart every time. This time you touch the deepest of my soul and heart. You are absolutely right!!!
We are in the last time. There is another hint for it: the time goes faster. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the people unsaved. Most of my friends, my family and even my fiancĂ© are unsaved. It breaks my heart. Over times I feel so lost by myself I can´t even think about the others and I´m cold. I´m just in this phase at the moment. I don´t feel connected to God, my heart longs to him, but my prayers are empty. I know Jesus is here with me...
Thank you so much for saying what I can´t say at the moment. Please pray for me, even when you surely have many people to pray for.
Thank you Patti, I will go on praying for you.
There is another blog that helped me yesterday it makes me cry and breaks my heart. I tried yesterday to get donations for Angelina, but nobody want to help. And some of the reason were pretty good (Why should you pay for a child? You buy it and I don´t want to support human trafficking.). I feel so lost about it. But there is a good reason for it, this blog showed me: In memory of Chrissie. It makes you cry hard.
Okay write so much again. Let´s pray for all the lost souls in Japan and that there will not be an atomic disaster. And for all other lost souls.
Our God is good. Praise the lord. Thank you Jesus for dying on the tree for us!
I wish all a good day and Gods blessing.

nicole said...

I can't say if the world is in its last days, but I know with certainty that I am in my last days because I only have this life to love and serve God.

"O Lord, I ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to my soul. Help me to love you with a pure and contrite heart and to humble myself beneath Your cross."

Unknown said...

Amen, sister. ;-)

Catalina said...

Oh boy, you know that I love coming here?
Its tough explaining the faith that you, and many others have to people, especially when all the world hears is how bad things are.

Christianity is not a promise of peaceful life of comfort and convenience. Quite the opposite. We are expected to have troubles. But we have a promise that when all goes south, when the ground will start falling apart beneath our feet - we will have hope. If not in this life (because, honestly, this is all so temporary) - but for the rest of the eternity.

I tend to ramble on when people talk of my Jesus. Your Jesus. :)

I weep for Japan, and pray that first and foremost His truth spreads there like fire, like flood waters. THAT is what is going to matter in the end.

RK said...

Wow. Well said. I think about this alot and it's definitely hard to ignore the scale of what's happening around us. Today is already, at 738am, one of those days when I'm all about the "come quickly Lord Jesus" attitude. But it breaks my heart at how many would be lost still...

We have work to do, don't we? :o) You minister so well through your words AND actions, Patti. What a wonderful representation of your Lord!

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing your heart with your large audience and taking that step of courage.

patsy said...

reading through tears, patti you are such an amazing woman for following your heart....

Tara said...

Beautiful words, my friend. Praying they are received as my heart wells up for those who don't yet know.

kecia said...

thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Amen. Love your boldness.

Anonymous said...

Patti- I am SO thankful for you! And I praise God that you are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I know that you truly love your readers because you are willing that they might be offended or do not like you so that you can be a voice of truth to them. You care more about our souls than anything else. And we are all perishing without Christ. I am SO thankful that He rescued me when I was around the same age as you. I cannot imagine going through life without Him. He has carried me daily and been my strength for everything. He has forgiven my sins and upheld me daily with His Righteous Right Hand. And I cannot imagine looking at the world around us without Him. There is HOPE in Him. There is sincere PEACE in Him. He is LOVE!! And He desires that all come to Him and allow Him to carry their burdens. He will!!!
The verses you quoted are the verses Jon used for our family prayer and Bible time on Saturday. I think that these signs are on the hearts of His people. He gave us clear signs to look for in His Word. And people always say that people have always thought they were in the last days. But I think that if you look at the whole world, it is clear that there is something different today that is taking place. And we want to be ready when He returns. His blood was shed on our behalf, and His blood is our only covering.
Thank you for speaking the truth today with love. Love you, Cara

Rochelle said...

Great post!

Everytime a disaster happens I talk to my hubs about time is near. We absolutely don't know when that day will be but thankful for Jesus who died for me so that I made be saved on the last day.

Girl, you know I am not ashamed to talk of Jesus!

How about the gathering of the Nation of Israel in the past 10 years back to Jerusalem. Cannot deny what God has written in the Bible!
Hugs dear friend,

DianeSS said...

Your powerful, moving post reminded me of one of my favourite scriptures - Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...." Thanks for sharing your beliefs, your commitment and your testimony.

Unknown said...

My favorite post by far:) (Would have been perfect if it ended with a picture of your beautiful Lily!)

I have been saying all week that the end is so close. My husband and I had a conversation the other night at dinner about how silly it is that we so often hold back our thoughts because of the fear of offending them. I am so thankful that there are bold Christians like you in this world who make me want to strive to break out of my shell! I got saved when I was 11 years old...and I felt like you just told my hearts story! I found a Saviour...not a religion!

Beautiful, full of truth post!


Laura said...

I was just talking with my husband about this last night. And I mentioned the same Scripture verses.
I do believe we are seeing the beginning of the end. That is both exciting and convicting. Redeeming the time...

Sasha said...

My favorite post by far:)Would have been perfect if it were followed by a picture of your sweet little Lily, but I know you are trying to get a point across with no distractions!

I have been saying all week that the end is here....we are standing right on the edge. My husband and I were just talking the other night over dinner about how silly it is that we hold back our thoughts for fear of offending anyone. Why? We are speaking for their very lives...and if we do not tell them...then who will? I would never be one of those pushy, you're going to hell people, but I would love to have the boldness to speak my mind. When a nonbeliever shakes their head at the sadness Japan or any heartbreaking event I just want to say...the end is here and I cannot imagine how scared I would be if I weren't right with God. I am thankful for Christians like you who are bold and push me to want to strive to be more so.

I got saved when I was 11 years old. I knew I was a sinner, but what got me was the instant change God made in my mom and stepdad. Nothing or no one could have ever changed my mind on God. I feel like you just spoke RIGHT out of my heart...I found a Saviour...not a religion, and I am so thankful that He is my Everything!

Thanks for the beautiful, full of truth blog:)


Crazy Beautiful Love said...

I'm about to write something that I only sometimes share. My oldest daughter once described to me a world in which our heavnly father was sad and that everyone died. She also described how it would be "okay because we would all have a birthday". "We all get to live together with Jesus mommy and have a birthday together." She said it happens when she and her sister and brother are very old. At the time, Emma was an only child. I have since had another little girl. Emma was three when she told me this. She had NEVER been taught or exposed to Revelations before. Ever. I believe my little girl.
Although I am not sure of when our savior will return, I do have to prepare my children for the chance that they may be witness to the coming. Beside desperatly trying to live by HIS word, I strive daily to honor him and help my children develop wisdom they need to follow greatness.
I do love the post. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Mom to Max said...

Great post! I love the fact you posted this, we should all stand up for God more often!

Unknown said...

Yeah Patti!! I want you to know that I am always looking for guidance so I turn to the Bible and my amazing church family often but this post has also been so helpful. It was just last year after Irelyn was born that I turned to God and told Him I needed His help and I turned my life over to Him! I still struggle with speaking out about this but this post has given me strength. Thanks from a Mom that will read to the end of all of your posts :)

Jasmine said...

Love this post Patti! God has called us to warn those who don't know Him about the consequences of not knowing Him and to tell them that He is coming again. (And you may have just saved someones soul by doing just that with Lily's blog :D ) With things going the way you are, it makes you wonder what is their ray of hope in such a dark world if they don't know Him!

Deanna said...

This was a gutsy post, and I think it's wonderful and totally amazing that you posted it!

Sydney said...

Okay first of all, I don't think ANYONE could click the red x on this post {or any other!}. It was AMAZING!

I'm so grateful for everything you write on this blog becase it's all such an encouragement! You are such a sweet person and I totally agree with you on this! Jesus is most important! This reminds me of something I put on my blog a while ago..."Even if He doesn't appear on my Google Friend Connect, Jesus is my #1 follower!

Bless you, Patti!

mrmeadowlark said...

My mom and I were having a discussion this evening while I was practicing my driving. The subject of the conversation was current events and somehow it got around to the economy.... I told my mom, The Economy is the Economy. It has had its ups and downs.... always has, always will. Besides, god takes care of his own. My mom made a comment about me burying my head in the sand..... it is things like that why, on certain levels, I fear the second coming of christ.... because of my family.... My mom claims to have said the Sinner's prayer with Joel Osteen on the TV, but also says she will never embrace Christianity the way her parents and I did. Most of the rest of my family is no different, and I fear for them, because Jesus is coming back. As for those who cannot understand why we are so "Fanatical" (and I use their own words), I can sum it up in a nutshell.... Jesus went all the way for me, I want to go all the way for him.

TheFoleyFive said...

amen sista! love it...and love the support of your readers! holy moly you got a great fan base!!!!!!

Ilisa Ailts said...

I too sometimes worry about offending but why? We are who we are and Jesus is proud!

Lora said...

Good for you for posting this! My husband and I talk about this all the time of how we are in the last days. We really feel that if we are NOT in the last days; we are certainly at the beginning of being in the last days. I am looking foward to heaven where I will see my son stand and walk for the first time, free of disease!! But, you are so right...we need to share the word and save as many as possible as one day, it will be too late.

Catalina said...

Hello, I come to you with another heartfelt prayer request on behalf of my friends:
They run an orphanage in Ethiopia, and things have been getting tough, considering all the commotion there lately (regarding the orphans).
Please say a prayer or two on their behalf. Thank you. Love =)

Anonymous said...

"These are hard times. These are not end times." Jon Stewart.

All the New Testament authors, including the apostles, believed they were living in end times. The apostles believed Christ would return during their lifetimes.

I am thrilled they were wrong about that, and I believe that you are mistaken as well. I have a long and happy life to lead, and I want my children and grandchildren to have the same. I "refuse" too. Refuse to believe that the end of the world is near, no matter what the Christians or the Mayas say. I believe that life as we once knew it is over, and we have to embrace a different worldview (prosperity for all? Not hardly), but I have faith in humanity.

Patti said...

Thank you, anonymous, for your opinion- every commenter is entitled to one here!

In reference to your statement that the New Testament authors and early Christians believed they were living in the end times: I believe that's why Jesus said no man knows the day nor the hour- because God fully expected every generation from the death and resurrection of Jesus on, to anticipate His return in their helps us keep our hearts right if we believe it could be any moment! (there is abundant scriptural proof for the doctrine of imminence as well: the parable of the ten virgins, etc.).

Having said that- there will be a generation that witnesses the last days and the return of Christ, at least if you believe the Bible. According to scripture, that generation will first see the nation of Israel restored, which occurred in 1948. No other generation prior to ours witnessed that event, and had it not been for that historical reference point, I might be inclined to agree with you.

I don't have much faith in humanity...I have seen too much...but I do have faith in Jesus.

And as a total side note...I place zero faith in Jon Stewart:)

But it is certainly your prerogative to do so!

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to take the words from some of the other comments... but AMEN SISTER!!!.... that's all I could think of the whole time I was reading your post!! HE is the KING OF KINGS and the LORD OF LORDS!! And HE will prevail over all!

Thanks for sharing your heart. I think your message was awesome!

Catalina said...

I think its not the point of whether this IS the beginning of the End. I think the point is to live like it is. Like it could be the very end, and what do we have to show for it?

The end will surely come. Maybe not this decade or even this century, or maybe we have only one years left to live.

Does it matter? As cliche as it sounds, who cares if we wrong or right, what are we going to have flashing before our eyes in our final minutes?

Because all of this, this life, these people are are sharing this ball in space.....actually matters. Actually adds up to something.

VERONICA said...

amen, sister. :)