Imperfection 

Philippians 3:12

“12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”


Imperfection! Nothing destroys a person’s feeling of self-worth more than seeking physical and all-around total perfection! In a society of comparison and competition, we are constantly being judged. 

I could not help but be reminded of this when hunting for shells. What was I seeking? “The perfect shell!” Of course I was! In a sea of variety and versatility, my eyes were peeled for what the world would define as “the best,” most unique,” or “perfect!” What I found instead resulted in a deeper meaning-God’s creation is good – what we call imperfections are His attention to detail!

This passage in Philippians speaks volumes. We will not obtain complete and utter perfection until we are face-to-face with our Savior. However, we strive daily to follow His ways and be salt and light! 

As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you. Remember, the same God who raised Jesus from the grave lives in YOU! We may not be perfect, but we are special!! We may even be “imperfect” from a world’s-view, but you are fearfully and wonderfully made so I would venture to say – (just as the shell) you ARE unique and you ARE the best because the is no other you! That makes you a perfect creation! 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Stand at the Crossroads and Look

Jeremiah 6:16

“16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Crossroads

And there you stand – at the crossroads of life! There are only two directions one must choose – God’s path or your own. Often, you stand silently, quietly, looking in both directions asking yourself, “Which path is best for me?” – all while God is pointing you clearly into His direction. Yet, the anguish is real! You begin to feel the weight of destiny falling heavily upon your shoulders. What if I make the wrong decision? I just can’t see far enough down either path to wisely make the call! You step into the center and turn both right and left; you find yourself rising up upon your toes if only to get a better look – a longer look down the roads. In your limits, you find that shading the sun with a shaking hand in hopes of seeing just a bit further was just as futile. Your legs cramp, your eyes glaze, and you collapse.

Yes, there in the middle of your crossroad, you finally reached the point of surrender. After wiping the sweat from your temples, you attempt to gather yourself, and you see an outstretched hand. You look up but the radiance is blinding. You therefore reach – you reach for the hand in faith not knowing exactly how you will get up or move down your new path, but all you know is you have to reach!

This “stranger” begins to dust you off, but you politely refuse, “Oh I’ve got it; thank you anyway.” Yet, the draw is inviting. In your confusion and embarrassment, you’ve yet to comprehend who is assisting you. You feel your strength return and after looking within yourself for answers to questions you’ll never understand, you finally see beyond yourself and you —look! There He is! Your Savior God pointing the way. He was there all along – it’s often hard to see what is right in front of you when you are self-seeking! Do not rely on your own understanding or judgement – it’s faulty at best!

The topic of crossroads has come up several times over the past two weeks. I have been in a recent conversation with friends over how God called them to a new location out of faith in ministry. This sounded all too familiar – actually emotionally overwhelming. My wife and I have a similar story of God calling us away from Dallas, Texas, a place where we truly loved and where our son was born, to grow roots back in south Louisiana. Wait, we said we would “never move back home!” It’s the classic “never say never.” The providential movement occurred as God continued to open door after door proving His way was the best way. We could not see far down the road nor even anticipate the bumps we would encounter along the way. However, His ways have proven true and right!

During our last few days on vacation, our family attended a lovely beachside chapel service on Sunday morning – the topic: crossroads and this very passage in Jeremiah. This was such a wonderful reminder of how God is truly always in control, BUT when we come to those places in our lives where we truly have to turn right or left, it is always best to seek His will above all things. Attempting to see with your humans eyes will forever be futile.

The amazing part is God is not just as that crossroad directing your current path. He is also standing at your next one waiting for you to arrive all while He walks with you to speak life and love.

Question: What is your crossroad story? Did you see God in it? Do you now?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Living Water

John 7:37-38

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Living Water

After a long run on a rather humid Saturday morning, there is nothing more refreshing than walking into a cool room and grabbing a cold bottle of water. The liquid appears to cascade through valleys deep within the throat with a purpose to plunge into your core for complete and utter satisfaction; you initially almost cannot get enough. You pause only moments to catch your breath and then continue aggressively swallowing an overflowing amount of liquid until you are completely satisfied.

However, the sad truth about our earthly bodies is that this is only temporary satisfaction. While we experience immediate satiety, we realize this cycle must continue for complete wellness and hydration. This reminds me so much of everything this world “tries” to offer in place of God’s promise. There is absolutely nothing this world can offer that will fully satisfy you. Even more, there is nothing this world can offer that will save you! Earthly promises guarantee addiction. What do I mean by that? The initial promise is to satisfy a graving or an urge. Yet, you soon realize this promise never materializes. If anything, it punishes, takes away, and requires you to seek more.

My God offers a living water, a promise, that will not only fully satisfy your soul but will save you from eternal separation from your Maker. The only requirement -“Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!'” I am pained by all the religious rules and regulations we humanistically impose upon mankind. When Jesus bore the sins of every human, the veil was torn! There is no separation for those who simply…come!

So, today, I ask you this very important question – are you thirsty? Are you tired of not being satisfied? Jesus is offering living water for ALL who come! Don’t delay!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta 

Illusion

James 4:7

“7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Illusion

Oh the lights! It’s just so memorizing – the wave nature of the lights appear to draw you in just like a magnet. Atop the inviting staircase, a peak of majestic brightness calling you one step at a time in curiosity. A wondering soul hears optimism as if all things in this world are good and safe. This calling makes each step easier, lighter, faster as anticipation overtakes reasoning. You break from the safety of the Father’s wing and just like the force of a mighty wind you race to the attraction.

Wait! This can’t be! I’m here but the light isn’t as pretty in person. Your eyes span across and you see the unveiled truth of what you were chasing – broken glass, burned out lights, pests, trash, danger! What went wrong? From a distance, it was all so beautiful; I just wanted a closer look! How could this have happened? I’m afraid, it’s cold up here. Where did my protection go? – and then as quickly as you raced to the unknown, you hear the cold whisper pass just across your senses alerting you of the very thing you failed to consider – you fell into the trap of the evil one’s illusion.

Dear friends, I hope we never forget that the devil does not masquerade around with a pitchfork attempting to scare – quite the opposite. He was initially described by the Creator as perfect in beauty. Therefore, it would make complete sense that his easiest tool for drawing people into complete destruction is through enticement, illusion, allure.

Yet, we stand again on another promise from our Father. We are to submit to God and resist the devil and He will flee. Yes and amen! This does not say that the devil may consider fleeing or that he is even strong enough to withstand the rebuke. Despite the tricks, he holds zero authority and power in the presence of God almighty. Remaining under the protection of God’s wing assures a successful resistance – so do NOT leave your safe space!

Whether you are a believer or a seeker, trust and seek God! The devil has lied to you far too long. Take back what is rightfully yours – kingdom authority given by Jesus Christ alone! As you develop a deeper relationship with God the Father, you will begin to see these traps and illusions a whole lot easier. Yet, do not be prideful. Satan is a master craftsman, and his skill is destruction. Yet, my God’s skill is perfection in salvation and NO ONE on earth, above or below earth is more powerful than that. Let us strive to be blameless in His sight.

Question: What are examples of your life’s illusions and traps? How have you learned?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Path

Proverbs 4:26

“Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established.”


I love God’s promises. They are well-established and true. I am sadly often reminded that we “trip” on our life’s path when we veer right and left from a straight path – God’s path. 

It starts with a glance. We quickly take our eyes off the cross ahead. Yet it’s only a glance; what harm can that cause in my life? However the seed has already been planted. Without rebuke and forgiveness, this seed grows in the cognitive soil of pollution. What grows is not a beautiful example of Christ’s character; instead, choking weeds sprout deep and entangle the soul – temptation! 

It starts with taking your eyes off your path. The evil one entices as a lure. Before you know it, you are clearly off your path and into the traps of the world. However, I am here to say that it only takes one action, one moment, one decision to make it right – forgiveness. Through God’s sovereignty, He graciously forgives those who humbly ask. You then place your feet firmly back on your straight path protected under His wing. 

No matter how far you’ve gone – there is absolutely no place untouchable by God. You can never be “too far!” Search Him today; seek His path, and set your feet firmly on His ways. Bask in His promises for your life. 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Don’t be Blinded

Luke 21:36

“36 But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”


I see so much in this picture. It speaks volumes to me. I’m very much a visual person – not just a visual learning – I process stories as they unfold right before my eyes. I pray to always be “in touch” with God. I want to be deep rooted in His vine. Our very nutrients for spiritual survival come from the Father – remaining connected to His branch guarantees a life of spiritual satisfaction through surrender. 

While enjoying God’s creation today, I noticed the announcement in the sky as depicted in this picture that I snapped, “I’m on my way to blot out the tranquility and peace and there’s nothing you can do about it!” What a warning – and then…the stroms arrived, rain fell, harder and stronger. We thought we would be exempt from this passing storm. You see, the weather app didn’t predict this summer thermal storm to pass right over us – but it did! 

The visual formation and route of the clouds proved in advance that we would be facing storms in the very near future; yet we didn’t heed the obvious warning. The app may have failed us but our eyes did not! Weren’t we warned? YES! Did we listen – NO! 

How often in life are we given a warning of impending “storms?” Not very often indeed! This passage in Luke instructs us to “be alert at all times…” If you allow me to say, this is such an easy principle to follow that almost assuredly guarantees strength through the passing. This does not exempt us from storms nor assures a pain free journey. However strength and reliance on the Lord are heightened principles in faith. 

What does it truly take to remain alert at all times: 

1. Praying without ceasing

2. Daily Bible study

3. Scriptural memorization

4. Daily praise and worship

5. Crucifying the flesh 

This list is not finished. We could continue this list, and I encourage you to post your best methods for remaining spiritually alert at all times to this blog. Let’s build each other up and help one another remain spiritually fit and therefore alert! 

My dear friends, the storms of life are coming; we are not exempt. They will not cease their passage but God will shelter us as we remain in Him. Shelter does not mean prevent – simply allowing His sovereignty over our lives! Let’s praise Him in the storms – don’t avoid – be prepared and stand firm!

Share your thoughts…

Thankful,

Christian Armetta 

Arise & Shine

Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you.”


What glory fills the soul when you rest on the promise that God is for us and not against us. In a season of conflict and darkness, we hear these strong words – Arise, Shine! 

Currently, I’m in a season of seeing light! While driving early this morning, the sunrise peaked over the land as to announce its authority; it’s coming; it cannot be stopped. It’s worth repeating, no amount of darkness can stamp out God’s light! 

The glory of God lives within us; therefore we no longer shall remain silent – Arise, Shine!

His faithfulness endures forever and to all generations – Arise, Shine!

His mercy is new EVERY morning – Arise, Shine!

His hand is in all things, and He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him – Arise, Shine!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Light Up the Darkness

Philippians 2:14-16

“14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For a moment, just sit back and take a long look at this picture. What do you see? I find such peace and quietness. Don’t miss the greater purpose here. This is not simply a ray of light. My soul is transformed into this place – this very moment – where God’s light breaks the darkness and my eyes are drawn to majesty. For most, our eyes are drawn to the light, and this example does not disappoint.

Breathe it in! The piercing quality of God’s light represented in righteousness and holiness shatters the darkening grip this world assimilates upon society and culture. Let me make it clear – no numerical force can overpower God’s light. A single ray of God’s holiness breaks through the thickest and ugliest of forces. How does this apply to us my dear friends? You and I are not perfect; we are not God. The answer is such sweet resonance. As a believer, God in the presence of the Holy Spirit lives in you and me!

Therefore, our fundamental goal is to live like Jesus Christ! You may never preach or teach…but the world will know who lives in you by observing your actions and listening to your daily speech! Therefore, we are to do everything without complaining or arguing as the Scripture instructs.

Sadly, our culture is chipping away at all things respect and submission. Today, we teach our children that it is right to complain and argue when we don’t get your way. This leads to very unproductive adults attempting to survive in the workforce. I am sure we can all agree that work is not a democracy. We don’t get to “take a vote.” On the contrary, we are given a set of rules, responsibilities, policies, and procedures to follow. We have a choice. We follow these rules without complaining or arguing, which ultimately gives God the glory or we simply do just the opposite leading only to destruction and division.

Jesus made it very clear that we are to live blameless lives. No matter the situation you are in – tough, difficult, unfair, etc., I encourage you to shine like the stars in the universe! Follow the instructions outlined throughout the Word and specifically in this passage – “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

Remember, people may be drawn to darkness because the flesh is weak, but their eyes see light from distances far away! Be the beacon of light that others focus on because you are the only example of Christ that they may ever see!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Protection

Psalm 36

“1 I have a message from God in my heart. It is about the evil ways of anyone who sins. They don’t have any respect for God. They praise themselves so much that they can’t see their sin or hate it. Their mouths speak words that are evil and false. They do not act wisely or do what is good. Even as they lie in bed they make evil plans. They commit themselves to a sinful way of life. They never say no to what is wrong. Lord, your love is as high as the heavens. Your faithful love reaches up to the skies. Your holiness is as great as the height of the highest mountains. You are as honest as the oceans are deep. Lord, you keep people and animals safe. 7How priceless your faithful love is! People find safety in the shadow of your wings. They eat well because there is more than enough in your house. You let them drink from your river that flows with good things. You have the fountain of life. We are filled with light because you give us light. 10 Keep on loving those who know you.  Keep on doing right to those whose hearts are honest. 11 Don’t let the feet of those who are proud step on me. Don’t let the hands of those who are evil drive me away. 12 See how those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down and can’t get up.”

Protection

During a small group discussion this morning, we were called to read Psalm 136 and apply it specifically to the challenges in our lives. We were asked to insert our specific life markers with “His faithful love endures forever” after each one, which brings confirmation that God was not only with us but also very well aware of each situation we were going through. Thank you Leslie M. for that powerful message this morning. God is speaking through you! What a message and such truth.

In what I now realize as a providential mistake, I did not look up Psalm 136 this morning; instead, I “accidentally” (providentially) looked up Psalm 36 and not 136. I must admit, God had His way with me in this passage this morning! [For the record, I did go back and read Psalm 136 and complete the challenge as instructed – blessing – and I encourage you to do the same!].

As I read Psalm 36, images of the spiritual battle that tormented my mind all week flashed across my brain as though sitting directly in front of a big screen. I now fully understand why God drew me to this passage. I was meant to read this today, and it is worth sharing.

It is very clear that when you make a stand for Christ, the forces of evil get nervous and often make strategic plans of attack. I am fully aware that my God is more powerful than any force that attempts to come against me. However, the pain is real. In the passage above, David is reflecting on the evil in the world. David’s words resonate as we battle those who attack us today. We must all understand that our battle is not against flesh and blood – the Word says so! Ephesians 6:12 clearly states that our battle is “against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.”

This is why it is imperative that we (A) pray for each other to bind evil forces from influencing those close to us and to also (B) put on the full armor of God daily to protect ourselves from possible attacks. David acknowledged God’s perfect character by describing His love, faithfulness, and holiness. This beautiful passage reminds us that we are to remain in the light of Christ and under the protection of God’s perfect wing. In doing so, God’s character will be shown through us and we will be ultimately protected.

My prayer for us all:

My Protector and Deliverer, you see all things. Nothing on earth, in heaven, and below the earth surprises You. You’ve ordained each second by your mighty right hand. The darkness prowls around attempting to avoid your light but they cannot evade your presence; You permeate all spaces and they cannot hide. They corral in the ungodly for refuge as your light is a witness to their wickedness. They cannot even find refuge in your creation because even the rocks cry out to You! Yet, they search scorched lands seeking the faintest of hearts with hidden secrets, unforgiveness, bitterness, rage, revenge, and retaliation. They rest in these dark areas only to evade your presence but you are everywhere! So they bleed decay within the human soul out of rebellion. Out of madness, they influence the seekers, unbelievers, and unguarded alike to hurl fiery arrows of confusion, sadness, anxiety, depression, and hurt all in an attempt to tear down the temple of God. Your wrath is great and timely. There is only prayer and petition that flow from the lips of the persecuted. Your powerful wing envelops the weak, tormented, and battered. In your presence there is healing and strength. You restore the broken-hearted and renew a right spirit within me!  Amen

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Community

Hebrews 10:24-25

“24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.”

Community

The message I continue to receive from this passage is togetherness. God truly does not intend for us to “do life” alone. This type of thinking does not even match Jesus’ life here on earth. Jesus surrounded Himself with His own inner circle in order to teach, sharpen, and save. Why – so these apostles and disciples would go forth and spread the gospel. This is exactly our calling today; it has not changed as His Word never changes.

After a long work week, there is nothing more reinforcing and refreshing than spending time with your very own community. Just this evening, peace, love, and laughter were common themes as I watched several “intense” games of dominos. You see, I don’t play games – shocker I know! As sad as that may sound, I never enjoyed board games, card games, etc. Don’t get me wrong, my enjoyment comes in a different way. I’ve always been a multi-stimuli receptive personality – in other words – I love to listen and watch!

As the polystyrene plastic of each domino slid and banged across the dining room table, I couldn’t help but be transformed into a scene from “Alice in Wonderland.” There appeared to be a beautiful marriage of six to eight different conversations, singing, joking, laughing, dancing, and encouraging all at once. As it was even stated, “…to the introvert, this would drive him or her mad.” Yet, it was beautiful – peaceful even. I truly understand why; there is no condemnation in this house, in this group, in this place. There is zero tolerance for critique, arrogance, pride, and above all things judgement.

With eyes wide open, you take it all in and place the stimulation deep within your systematic recharger. You can only sit back and thank God for such a community. This brought me straight to the passage in Hebrews tonight. We can see that we are instructed to help each other and encourage each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.” Again, we are not designed to do life alone.

This passage also makes it clear that we must encourage each other to meet in the name of Jesus – through worship, prayer, and thanksgiving. This type of meeting within the assembly is not about what you can GET but what you can GIVE. This is a fundamental error in church attendance today. We are not to attend expecting to GET but to GIVE. We must give our worship to the One who is worthy of praise. We must give our attention in learning and sharpening. We must give of our talents in any way that pleases the Father. However, sadly, the devil has confused many believers into believing church is about pleasing them. We must look back to the very first church and gain wisdom. Seek a positive, Christian-community that you can share life together.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta