I’ll Never Say It’s Ok

Today I was working away in the kitchen, making tomato sauce, peanut butter, and smoothies at the same time. I guess I was so busy I didn’t notice a little intruder make his way past the baby gate fortress into my thicket of house maker taskmaster solitude. I looked down just in time to see Timo reaching his hand towards a mop bucket of boiling hot water. When I saw what he was about to do I screamed, “NOOOO!” as loudly as I could. He was in danger, and I needed to be as forceful as needed to prevent him from getting hurt. If I could have reached I would have pushed him away from the water bucket, but thankfully he heard the tone of mommy’s voice and backed away. He looked at me for an explanation and I told him, “It is very hot!” He said, “uuu hot” (he says uuu for it). Then he walked over for me to pick him up and take him out of the kitchen.

We’re Getting Closer

As we get closer to our Lord and Savior coming, this world is getting more and more dangerous. There is a specific danger that many societies used to be more aware of, but as time progresses it becomes more and more acceptable in it’s various forms and frequencies. That danger is sin. As Christians we are called to share about the danger of sin. Just as I was not about to willingly condone Timo getting third degree burns, Christians are supposed to warn the people around them about the dangers of sin. What is so dangerous about sin, you might ask. God’s holy word tells us that, “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death,” in James 1:15. Hopefully we are also familiar with this verse, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” from Romans 6:23. Sin is so dangerous because it leads to death, which can also be stated as eternal separation from our Eternal Father in heaven. Sin leads to the worst possible thing that could ever happen to any human being, eternal separation from God. Let me just state the obvious here, which is that if you are separated from God for all of eternity, that means you will be spending eternity suffering in hell (Matthew 25:31-46). I know most of you know that, but I wanted to make sure not to gloss over that very important destination.

When God tells us not to sin in the bible, it is because He loves us and He knows how destructive sin is to our souls (and many times physical bodies). He is warning us!!! As Christians it is our duty to warn others about the danger and destruction of sin. Let me remind you that Satan, “The their does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In the rest of John 10:10 Jesus offers that He represents the opposite, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

That is why, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I will never, ever, tell someone it is ok to continue in sinful behavior. Whether that is an adulterous lifestyle, drunkenness, gossip, or whatever other sin the bible teaches us about. If I am loving someone the way Christ demands that I do (Romans 13:9), then I can never tell them it is ok for them to continue in behavior or activity that will hurt them, and possibly keep them from entering into a redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean I can’t warn them in a loving way. If I am going to go around calling people out on their sin simply because they are sinners, and I have no love for them in my heart, I’m not any better than the Pharisees that Jesus confronted.

This week in the media there have been two stories revolving around two popular bands in Christian circles, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay. Switchfoot (who does not even call themselves a Christian band, although their fruits speak for themselves that these guys are obviously Christian) has been getting harassed by protestors claiming that they are going to hell because they sing rock and roll music. Their response? Jon Foreman takes water bottles out to the protestors and tells the band’s fans to show these protestors love, keeping in mind that is what Jesus taught. Then we have Jars of Clay’s lead singer, Dan Haseltine took to twitter to show his support of gay marriage and implied that those that didn’t agree with his supportive stance were ignorant, tweeting back and forth saying things like, “Could there be something to learn from them {the LBGT community}? Or are we passed the ability to learn?” But I think the bigger issue is that Mr. Haseltine is missing the point, because by encouraging someone to continue in a life of sin, you aren’t loving them. I don’t want to start a huge discussion about homosexuality and Christianity at this moment, but I will say that I love homosexual people, and I care enough about them to tell them the truth, without being hateful or judgmental, because of that love for them. I’m a sinner too after all. Jesus loves all sinners, and He came down to earth and was tortured and sacrificed His life to get that message out! As a sinner that was dead in my trespasses and miserable living in a life of sin, I cannot tell you how much that means to me personally.

And that is why I’ll never say it’s ok to sin. Because if I love you, I just can’t tell you that.

When someone is about to stick their hand into boiling hot water, I am going to warn them. That doesn’t mean all I do is bring up people’s short comings, well all have them. I have many friends that are unbelievers, and my main goal is simply to love on them and let my life and actions be a witness for Jesus Christ. However, when I see a friend or family member involved in some kind of destructive behavior, I am going to point it out to them as lovingly as possible.

Sacrificing For A Real Relationship

God’s timing is also very important and I rely on the Holy Spirit to tell me when I should speak up. We also have to establish trust with people before they will be willing to listen to our warnings. My son understands that I love him and I was warning him because I cared about him. He wanted to know why I yelled like I did, and he responded to my warning by listening and asking me to pick him up. This is possible because we have a relationship. He trusts me. If you really care about being an effective witness for Jesus that can speak into people’s lives, you first have to be willing to invest in a real relationship with them. Make whatever sacrifices you can to show them that you love them like Christ loves the church, with no strings attached. Then when the time comes, be bold and speak truth in love.

So here is my encouragement for all of us as Christians:

We need to be warning people, in love, and in God’s timing, that their sin is killing them.

Sincerely,

Kristin

P.S. In case you are interested in some amazing and encouraging words, check out the utmost.org excerpt for today here.

Feeling Discouraged

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t have the thought, “I am a missionary.” Maybe some people get used to it, but after three years I never really do. It’s a good thing though, because I am constantly reminded that God has blessed me with a unique opportunity to serve Him and die to myself every single day.

feeling discouraged

On the other hand I struggle with feeling discouraged, as we all do. But sometimes I feel especially overwhelmed by the fact that we are missionaries, and our calling is strange. Our specific calling doesn’t fit into any of the ordinary missionary journeys that many other missionaries take. We spend almost all of our time investing in relationships with people, which takes place in various forms. I spend a lot of time with other moms that have young children. I am very blessed to have both believers and unbelieving friends to spend time with. Recently I was able to lead a friend into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You would think something like that would validate our presence here, but it doesn’t. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am really full of joy to welcome another sister into the flock of believers of Jesus. But I have come to realize that the only thing that can validate my journey as a missionary is God. No matter what happens, God is the one that tells me what to do and where to go. Honestly, He is the one I answer to. Even though we have plenty of accountability and support from the pastoral staffs of our supporting churches (which is very important for all missionaries), God is truly the one that guides us. My husband does a lot of “unconventional” missionary tasks, like going to Jiu Jitsu, or spending time driving teenage boys back and forth to their soccer games (this is pretty much my favorite thing he does, these teens have such a special place in our hearts!).

But there have been many, many tears getting to the point of being able to rejoice in this strange place (geographically and ministry wise) God has us in.

I feel like I have gone through some kind of torturous missionary boot camp over the last three years. I have gone through some crazy things, just to list a few… my father had heart surgery and I wasn’t there, my brother (and only sibling) got married and I wasn’t there, we had a baby in a foreign country, enrolled our oldest child in school for the first time in a language we can barely understand, had visa issues, had a moped crash into our car, experienced my husband having serious health problems… the list goes on, but you get the idea. These last three years have been hard, and lately it has really started wearing me down. Well, on top of sometimes unbearable homesickness. I haven’t been back to the US in almost two years, which is the longest I have been away between visits.

All this to say, yes, sometimes it is too hard for me and I am completely discouraged. That comes out in different ways but this last week I have been a complete and total mess. Then something happened… I was working on our update and I thought about how much joy I get out of serving God in Greece. I know there isn’t any other place He wants me and my family to be right now, and that is comforting. Two years ago, when we were going through a particularly difficult trial God gave us this verse,

“For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;”

Proverbs 2:21

In so many ways I felt that was a promise for us, and a warning, not to try to justify our obedience to what He was instructing us to do. God told us just to be quiet, listen to His voice, and trust Him to take care of us. And guess what? He did! And He continues to.

So when I saw this verse today I thought, this perfectly sums up my life at this moment. The last three years have been far from easy, but,

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:5

I know that all the tears I have wept for this country and through all of our difficult times here, we reap joy. Today, in this moment, I am enjoying that. I’m not saying I’ll still be a rational person half an hour from now, but at this very second, I feel the joy of the Lord that comes from the tears only God has numbered.

The second, and last verse of this very short Psalm also gives me great hope:

“He who continually goes forth weeping,

Bearing seed for sowing,

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,

Bringing his sheaves with him.”

And in case you are wondering how to deal with discouragement, I will tell you the three steps a very wise woman gave to me… Face it… Take it to the cross… Get over it. It sounds simple, and it can be, but sometimes I tend to over complicate it. God is so gracious and merciful to me!

May God bless you and sow joy from your tears.

Sincerely,

Kristin

What Marriage Isn’t

Welcome back to Sincerely Adorned, Discipleship Online for Women. I’m Kristin Spencer, your host and sister in the faith.

This is my first official topic podcast, now that we are finished with introductions and my personal testimony, yay!

what marriage isnt

What Marriage Isn’t

There are quite a few weddings coming up in my family, and I know too many people that are struggling in their marriages because they had the wrong idea  about what marriage actually is when they got married. So let me start out by saying, Lindsey and Christi, I love you both so much and I am praying for your marriages!! I am so excited for both of you and your future hubbies!

We live in a day and age when the concept of marriage has been twisted and spoiled. No, I am not going to talk about homosexual marriage. What I want to talk about today is how marriage has become an act of self-satisfaction thats ultimate goal is lacking the very essential meaning of marriage as God intended. Today I want to talk about what marriage isn’t.

Listen carefully, because if you enter into marriage thinking it is going to make your life happy and complete, you are absolutely wrong. If you have listened to my testimony, you know that I am happily married, but making myself happy wasn’t my motivation for getting married. My happiness is also not the reason my husband and I enjoy our marriage to each other so much. Jesus is the one that healed me and taught me how to be fully satisfied in Him alone. That is where my joy comes from. Read more

Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8 has been such a spiritual compass for me in the last three years. I still have vivid memories of the last time I heard it taught and I thought, “Wow… this one verse has completely changed my life!”

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the LORD require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?”

-Micah 6:8

I have the three distinct parts of this verse hanging up in my living room as a reminder of what God actually requires of us. I love this verse so much because it can be applied to every aspect of my life, whether I’m encouraged and feeling great, or super discouraged and in need of some spiritual guidance.

If we remember to do justly (not seek justice, the Lord is the one that delivers justice), love mercy, and walk humbly… everything else will enter into the proper perspective. I’m not saying it is easy to do these things, but I am saying that if you choose to ask for God’s help to do them, that you will find yourself in accordance with God’s will for your life, and that is the place you want to be!!

God bless you!

Sincerely,

Kristin

Personal Testimony – Part Two

This is part two of my personal testimony. If you haven’t listened to part one, you can check it out here.

When we left off I was a senior in high school and I had just rededicated my life to the Lord. I started regularly attending the High School group at my church and even started a new Christian club at my high school, since there wasn’t one that year. I was trying to change my behavior and let God give me an inside/out make over, but I was still clinging onto sinful behaviors. I was trying to missionary date an older guy I had met the previous year, and it didn’t work at all. Can I just take a second to say how bad of an idea missionary dating is? Read more

Personal Testimony – Part One

The first thing on my heart to share with you is my personal testimony. It is rather long so I am going to do it in two parts.

Part One

I always think about what I would tell myself if I could go back in time and warn my teenage self about all the bad choices I would make before they happened. Maybe it’s the Doctor Who fan side of me, but I think about it quite often. I also think about what I want to share with my own girls now that I’m a mother. Everything boils down to this…

God loves you, and that really is enough. Read more

Introductions

This is my first ever podcast! It officially signifies the beginning of Sincerely Adorned as a working website, and I am so excited for whatever God wants to do through this. Thanks for taking this ride along with me, we’ll work out the bumps along the way. For the full text that goes along with this podcast, please click right here —> Read more