There’s A Scripture For That! What About Fake Ministers???

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This is the first of several devotionals that I will be posting called:
There’s a Scripture for That!
(You know…sorta like “there’s an app for that?!”)

My Premier Topic:

Fake Ministers

How do you handle a situation where you feel like a minister is ministering not because he/she is called to do so or because he/she truly wants to reach lost souls, but because they want to be seen? Because they want to feel important and needed? Because they want to prove how much better they are than another minister? Because they want to make money? Because they thrive on attention and holding a position of authority?

Guess what?
There’s a scripture for that!

In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul confirms the fact that there are (and always have been) people who preach/minister “for the wrong reasons.”

“And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:14-17 KJV)

So what does Paul have to say about those who have such vain and egocentric motives behind delivering the gospel to the multitudes? Should we shut them up? Sit them down? Rip off their masks and reveal to the world (and anyone on Social Media) just how big of a phony they are?

That’s how we usually handle posers, right? Because it eats at us that a person could have the nerve to embody such hypocrisy!

They must be stopped!

Well…that’s not what Paul says…

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (Philippians 1:18-19 KJV)

“Rejoice!” Paul says. Because despite their motives, the gospel is being spread.

Don’t call them out. Don’t murmur to other members of the congregation. And for YOUR OWN sake – don’t allow the circumstances to consume your spirit with bitterness and resentment.

Pray, instead, than someone receives a the message. That someone gives their life over to Jesus because of that “poser’s” choice to share the gospel.

After all… Nobody’s perfect! And the ultimate goal is to bring souls to Christ!

This is just one of many tough situations we will come across in life. But I can promise you that no matter what your question or circumstance is – There’s a Scripture for That, too!

Don’t Lump Jesus With Phil Robertson

Wisdom from above sounds nothing like the speech that was delivered by Phil Robertson this past Friday at a prayer breakfast.

If I weren’t a Christian… If I had never known truth, never gone to church, never read a scripture, never been taught about Jesus… I can honestly say that I would despise Christians after reading what such a well-respected, influential, vastly-supported, highly-praised man of God spoke in the name of Jesus. And since I would associate Jesus with this man, I’d probably despise Him, too.

I’m writing this because I’m sick of sitting back and allowing other believers ruin MY witness as a Christian.

I refuse to be considered as one of “them.” A person whose words impose hate & despise onto the hearts of anyone who hears or reads them.

Of course, Phil would see this differently, but God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for living the type of evil, wicked lifestyle that is both imagined and expressed by Phil Robertson vocally and proudly. The scenario painted on Friday was, in fact, much more graphic and offensive than the story of Sodom and Gomorrah itself. If you don’t believe me, go read it.

And the Bible explicitly tells us that what we think on and what we speak defines who we are.

If this is the case, then what is the definition of a man who would think and speak such terrible, degrading things about another human? Another soul?

I want the world to know that I have never fantasized about torturing anyone who believes differently than I do. Instead, (through Jesus) I seek to bless and encourage everyone I meet. No matter their lifestyle or belief.

It doesn’t matter how many Christians “get it.” If lost souls don’t “get it” and are pushed even further away from Christ because of “it”, then what has been gained? The hoots and hollers of camo-wearin believers?

Hot Dog & Hallalujah! We’ve done scooted another soul off a golden pew in the clouds!

I could ramble on about Phil Robertson’s speech and never say everything I’d like to say.

So I will keep it brief.

Jesus did not inspire those words.

And I beg the world to spare Jesus from being associated with the foolishness spoken on Friday by “Duck Dynasty’s” – Phil Robertson.

That Time I Prayed For A Robber…

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A little over a year ago, some nice folks broke into my house and stole over $8,000 worth of stuff.

Among the items stolen were several pieces of jewelry (most were sentimental), a Wii System, an iPod, an iPad and my MacBook Pro.

I’d lived alone for six years and never even entertained the thought that such a thing would ever happen to me.

But it did.

Now what?

This is not a sad story about how Kara Grey Wilson endured a heartbreaking loss, yet stayed positive and strong in the faith despite the fact that her home was violated and her most prized possessions were stolen. No…

This story is not about me.

This is a testament to the unspeakable awesomeness of Jesus Christ.

He is the only one who can turn an unspeakable act into an unspeakable gift.

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
– Romans 12: 9-14 (KJV)

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As I said earlier – nothing like this had ever happened to me. So I didn’t really know how to feel.

The robbery happened a few days before Thanksgiving; it was safe to assume the kind folks who stole my stuff made a desperate (and successful) attempt to accumulate some holiday funds…and possibly even gifts. For their family. For their children.

This realization made me sad. And even though I was technically and literally the victim of thievery… even though I had done nothing wrong… I felt guilty.

Did I hate that my stuff was stolen? Of course. But not as much as I hated knowing that someone resorted to stealing – potentially because of holiday pressures we all experience. Some, however, much more than others.

I am in the “others” category. Always have been. My family may not have always had the best of everything, but my parents provided my sister and me with the best they could give. And most of the time, we were indeed given the best – according to my small town’s standards, especially.

Even when we lived in a single-wide trailer out Jock Rd. and rode around in a beat-up minivan, I got teased for being a “rich kid.” That bothered me even at a young age because I could see the longing in my classmates’ eyes, and I could feel the resentment toward me in their hearts. I always wished they knew how I felt for them. I’d even try to make up for it by sharing my crayons or complimenting their outfits.

But I didn’t understand then that their hurt ran so much deeper than coveting my name-brand snacks and sneakers.

I never could bring myself to curse them – those who weren’t nearly as fortunate as I was. And evidently I hadn’t changed much over the course of twenty years, because no part of me wanted to have bitter feelings for my thieves.

So I didn’t.

There was nothing I could do to get my stuff back. That job was out of my hands and in those of the city police. Basically, mourning my loss would be pointless, and the guilt I felt made me feel like it would be petty to do so, anyway.

So I didn’t.

I’d recently gotten on a “I’m going to do what the Bible says to do when I’m not sure how to respond” kick, so I decided to step out in faith and bless my robbers. After all – what else could I do?

My prayer was very specific, and a little strange. But it was what I felt at the time, so I went with it:

Dear Lord, bless the hearts and minds of those who stole from me. I pray that, next time, they turn to You. AND…I pray that somewhere out there, a little boy or girl who never would’ve dreamed of getting an iPad for Christmas will be the recipient of my stolen iPad on Christmas morning. I pray that the gift brings them joy. An excitement like they’ve never known. And I pray that it instills in them a hope for their future – no matter how pitiful their childhood has been or is. Lastly, I pray that they somehow know that the joy they feel is Your Spirit, Lord. I pray that this crime is used to introduce a young child to Your unspeakable love. An unspeakable gift. I pray these things in the Name of Jesus.

I’ll never REALLY know what comes of this prayer, I thought. But I was fine with that. I knew I served a merciful God who could do whatever He wanted. And I had full faith that He would honor my prayer in whatever way He saw fit.

Almost exactly a year passed… And I received a very unexpected message.

A friend of mine had just purchased a MacBook Pro from a local Pawn Shop, and he/she suspected it was mine. The one that had been stolen from me a year earlier.

He/she said my information was still present when he/she tried to set up his/her e-mail account.

I was first shocked. Then excited!

I had forgotten about my special prayer, and I was selfishly interested in figuring out how I could regain possession of the laptop. MY laptop that happened to be worth a LOT of money. I knew it wasn’t my friend’s fault, and I hated that my friend may end up getting the sore end of a deal… but it WAS, after all, MY laptop! God was showing up for me, right?

I told my friend some of the other items that had been stolen from me in case he/she had seen something similar in the pawn shop. Maybe I can find those, too!

“The people who had the laptop before me wiped most everything. BUT…there are a couple of pictures on here. Of the previous owners and their kids it looks like.”

And just like that, my prayer came back to me. A knot formed in my throat.

No way… This isn’t about me getting my stuff back, is it?

 

“Can you tell anything about the family from the pictures?”

“In one picture left on here, there is a little boy playing a game on an iPad…”

 

Oh. My. God. You did it, God! You really did it!

 

“and based on the living conditions I can see, it doesn’t look like they could have afforded a computer and an iPad...”

THIS is the God I serve. He ALWAYS answers prayers! And His gifts…they truly are unspeakable.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
– 1 John 5: 14-15 (KJV)

Why I REALLY Went Home

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The day you showed up, you stole his heart.

He hadn’t looked at peace in years. But he does today. In his favorite red blazer, surrounded by pictures of his family. His granddaughters. Us.

I think I might have been his first true love…

Sure, he loved Mamaw. But I doubt he ever crawled around with her through cardboard boxes scattered on the floor simply because it made her smile.

What would I have done if I hadn’t been home?

He conditioned himself to say, “Aw, heck” instead of “Aw, hell” when I was around. Bless his heart, though…old habits are hard to break. And when he’d slip, my eyes – all bright and alarmed – would remind him why he tried not to around me. Maybe even anyone.

He’d be happy with the decor, I surmise – taking inventory of the sentiments and gifts scattered around the coffin he had picked out for himself. There was even a worn, leather saddle straddling the heavy lid’s edge

“What happened to Papaw BB’s nose, Dad?”

 

“An old mule kicked him, Greybo.”

Poor Papaw BB. I had a slight fear of horses simply because of his large, knotty nose. But I don’t think he ever knew that…because when I was eight, he got me what every child dreams of getting at one point in time or another.

A pony.

“Kara Grey…” Mamaw wraps her arms around my entire body, and her trembling embrace finishes what her tightened vocals cannot…

“I’m sure glad you’re home.”

We look at him hand-in-hand for minutes. No words. He himself was a man of few.

He preferred to express himself through dancing. And music. Through the washtub base he built. Through guitars and banjos. Through the spoons that he holds even now under his unnaturally-crossed hands. Directly, however, over his heart.

“This old music ain’t got the same soul.

I like that old time rock-n-roll!”

No matter where I sang or how many teeth I had missing under my fuzzy head of blonde hair, I had a slew of old kodgers lining up to dance a jig with me. And Papaw BB was always first in line.

“That DB says his granddaughter can right smart sing. And play them spoons like no tellin’ what. ‘She’s just got it in er,’ he says, tickled. ‘Beats all I ever seen.’ He sure thinks she’s sumthin…”

Though “better” didn’t look like anything Papaw DB would be getting ever again, Aunt Neacie had told me she figured he’d last til at least Christmas.

Thank God. I didn’t want to think about being gone when he passed.

“I don’t think he will understand you anyway, Grey. And you don’t want to confuse him any more than he already is. Just tell him you love him and give him a kiss.”

I did.

See you in 9 weeks

 

“& all the folks round Brownsville think she’s crazy.

She walks round town with a suitcase in her hand.

Lookin for a mysterious dark-haired man…”

“Ladies…if you did not receive a rose tonight, please take a moment to say your goodbyes.”

Two bittersweet goodbyes. Both I’ve had to say sooner than I expected or wanted.

October 6th, 2014

Barely home a week…

“Kara, you know I’m not the type to be sentimental… It doesn’t look like Dad’s going to make it another week. And I was thinking, you know, since Dad loved to dance…”

“Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance…

And if you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

I hope you dance.”

I went straight to my room and recorded seven songs I knew Papaw DB would love – including Aunt Neacie’s request.

I was so looking forward to witnessing his reaction to the music. He was always dying to hear me sing…

But Duard Bennett Wilson passed away at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7th.

He didn’t get to hear the CD…

“Blue Moon of KY, keep on shinin’

Shine on the one that’s gone and left me blue.”

Had Papaw DB been in his right mind, I have no doubt in mine that he would’ve cut up with me about going home night one roseless.

But only after he let it be clearly known how silly and no-count that Bachelor feller must’ve been.

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil.”

I feel so self-absorbed. This is just wrong. I’m in a graveyard. Surrounded by black umbrellas and long faces. My Dad’s Dad’s body is about to be lowered into the ground. He was my Mamaw’s husband. My Papaw BB.

Yet, the way I’m finding beauty and closure in this ominous moment is by thinking:

“I wonder if this is why I really went home?”

My God. I could’ve been gone.

I would’ve been gone.

If I hadn’t said that goodbye, I wouldn’t be saying this one.

Please forgive me… I’m just trying to make sense of, like, everything.

The preacher closes. It’s over.

Take a moment to say your goodbyes.

“Also, if you were one of DB’s granddaughters, don’t leave before taking one of these…”

The day you showed up, you stole his heart.

“Kara Grey…will you accept this rose?”

Papaw DB’s Funeral Slideshow

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0eafxqm43idg614/Papaw%20DB.m4v?dl=0

I’m so thankful that I was home…and able to take the time to make this slideshow (and the CD) for my Papaw’s funeral. THIS is what life is about. These moments…they are roses.

God Bless

I Have A Dream

I have a dream…

I dream of a world in which God’s people come together instead of picking each other apart.

A world where God’s plan is fulfilled by believers who truly believe that He can do anything through us. Because we can do anything through Him.

A time when fear is but a grain of sand on the shore of a sea of blind faith. And we believe without having to see. Or hear. Or feel.

A generation that breaks the law by going places believers have never gone and accomplishing greatness that has yet to even be imagined. Because we are strong enough to be in the world and not of it.

A movement so radical that Secular vs. Spiritual would be no more. Because we would claim the good in it all. And pray the devil out of the rest.

An army willing to give their mind, heart, body and soul to a cause it will never fully understand. Willing to fight against hate with pure love.

An age of rebellion – led by arsonists who ignite the world with Holy Ghost fire. Because we boldly stand, walk, talk and live in the mighty Name of Jesus.

Jesus already conquered the world.

Now it’s our turn.

I’m ready.

Who’s with me?

Just A Little Servant

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What does it mean?!? Or better yet… What SHOULD it mean to us all?

(Copied from my Instagram)

Andy Martin is #JustALittleServant

We pull out of the high school and see my future brother-in-law (Andy Martin) backing up to help with a car that had driven into the ditch. In the freezing cold.

This came as no surprise to me. It’s just what Andy does. I know my baby sister and her future babies are in good hands. Because God gave Andy the heart of a #Servant. And a strong one at that.

#Servanthood is a #lifestyle. It knows no prejudices and has no biases. It doesn’t #judge. There’s not enough time to. It is #selfless and expects nothing from those being served. #Sacrifices are made daily, but not begrudgingly, in the name of #charity. In the name of #love.

Often times, servanthood is overlooked. Unnoticed because it looks like this picture. It’s not fancy. It’s not loud or dramatic or advertised. It’s simply #real.

If one mentality could change the world – make it a better place – it would be that of servanthood.

Thank you, Mom, for pointing this beautiful #ActOfService out to me today. I would’ve overlooked it while thinking way too hard about how to answer this question:

What did Eliminated #Bachelor contestant Kara Wilson mean when she said, “I’m just a little servant?”

Here’s your answer, folks.

As it turns out, I am an #AspiringServant.

Because how wonderful would this world be if we were all #JustLittleServants like Andy…willing to do whatever whatever it takes? Willing to do whatever we’re supposed to do?

A Christian blog with a more “mature” perspective = DionnaStanton.WordPress.Com

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.