There’s a well nearby. You’ve probably seen it. It’s in a dusty abandoned town. You wonder who used to live here and why they all left.

Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.

You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.

I urge you to come back.

Things are not always what they seem.

There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.

Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.

Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?

Are you ready to go deep?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twilight - To read/watch or not?

One of the bloggers I occasionally follow recently posted a question to her readers that I was definitely interested in. I was looking forward to reading everyone's comments about this topic - a controversial one within the Christian community (We have alot of "controversial topics" - don't we? Jesus himself was controversial in His time too!). It was on the topic of the books and movie - "Twilight". Here's her post on Praise and Coffee.

Below is my response to her query.

Don't be afraid to go DEEP!

Lori :)

I've been reading the GREATEST love story ever!! I can't get enough of it! It is full of mystery, wars, lust, adultery, betrayal, miracles, death, and more! Have you read it?! . . . If not - you should!! :) It's written by the One who experienced it all Himself!! It's not even fiction (but can read like it!)!!

I have not read the Twilight books or seen the movies. I can feel the tug -the seduction - to see what "all the fuss" is about. I have felt that same tug many times in my life . . . and unfortunately -have given into those tugs one too many times . . . in many areas of life.
Is Twilight evil? Is it wrong? Should we as Christians be reading/watching it? Is it ok to read fictional stories about vampires or witches?. . . . For that matter - Should we be watching The Bachelor? Grey's Anatomy? Soap Operas, murder mystery shows?

I agree - I would probably love the books and the movie. I also loved Dirty Dancing when it came out. I was wooed by Pretty Woman. I thoroughly enjoyed The Holiday. I am a sucker for romance movies and stories. We all are. But here's why . . .

God is the author of romance! This whole thing - this earth - our lives - Jesus coming to earth the first time and dying for us - and His final return to earth (hopefully soon) . . . .it's all about romance! It's all about relationship. It's all about LOVE! He put within each of us the need, the desire for romance - for love - for the most intense and personal love and romance we can imagine!

God didn't just create us FOR love . . . He created us BECAUSE of LOVE. He sent His Son to die for us - to pay for our punishment, our judgment against us - because of LOVE. He has been wooing and calling His church . . . His BRIDE . . . out of LOVE! But His bride has been seduced by another lover. His bride has thought it was ok to be "engaged" but still "just look" at other romances - other things that make us feel good - that look good - that seem good - that the world says are good. Are they good? Are they bad?

Shortly after getting engaged, I was walking with some girlfriends and we passed by some really cute guys. I made a comment about how cute one of them was. My friends were in shock - "Lori! You are engaged!! You can't be looking at other men like that!" :) Well . . . he WAS cute. But that's where it ended. I didn't continue looking. I didn't continue thinking about it. I had made a decision to marry my boyfriend - and it was a done deal in my mind. Are there still cute guys that pass my way? Yes. Are there romantic movies/tv shows that I have watched over the years and enjoyed? Yes. Is it healthy for me to watch them? . . . . hmmm . . .

Over the past couple years I have been more intentionally pursuing the one love relationship that has had the power to transform my life like no other. . . . .my relationship with Jesus, my heavenly Daddy, and the wonderful Holy Spirit. It has been INTENTIONAL! It has been with PASSION! I've made a decision. I have started to notice though, recently, that as I have tried to watch various romantic movies/shows . . . I can feel the Love of my life being sad. It's not that He thinks I won't love Him. It's that He knows that the world's version of Love is only a counterfeit for His TRUE love - His PERFECT love.

Yes - the world's love makes us feel good . . . .temporarily. But we keep seeking after the next venue to experience it again.
God's love is different. Yes - His love makes us feel good - and yes - it makes us want to keep seeking after the next experience of it . . . but here's the difference. . . .

One path leads to death . . . the other leads to life! And life ABUNDANTLY!

Satan is crafty. He's not dumb. As one of the head angels in heaven - he couldn't have been dumb. He has spent decades, centuries, crafting the perfect traps - subtly seducing not just the non-Christians . . . but the Christians as well.

"It seems harmless". "What can it hurt?" "It looks/looked good." "It made me feel good." "I enjoyed it alot". "Did God really say/mean you/I can't . . . ?"

However - He really has been using the same trick since the garden of Eden. . . . . . "Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?" Satan knew he had Eve when she replied - "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and YOU MUST NOT TOUCH IT, or you will die."

In actuality . . . God never said anything about not touching it. Satan had won. He had manipulated Eve's thoughts so cleverly - to make her think it was her own - her own decision and idea.

I bet Eve thought the same things about that fruit that we have thought about many other things - otherwise I don't think she would have offered it to her husband. But when the Love of their lives came by . . . their thoughts definitely changed about the fruit! In the light of His perfect love - they knew they had been tricked - they knew they had sinned. They were ashamed.

Being close to a bright light will always cause any dirt to show up more easily. When we are further away from the light (or sitting in darkness) we don't notice any dirt on our clothes/body as much.

I agree with the one poster/blogger who said her mom's philosophy was "When in doubt - throw it out." My hubby has always said "When in doubt - say no."

There is that part of me that wants to read the books. I did read the first Harry Potter book (as i have a friend who is a huge fan). I read a good book about why Christians should read H.P. and how they can use it to witness to others. I do believe in being "in the world but not of the world". Christ spent his time in the homes of tax-collectors, prostitutes, etc. Would Jesus watch H.P. or Twilight? I don't know. But I do know this . . . He would still love all the people who do! He still does!

So - I am not in a position to judge. I am only in a position to do what is right for MY relationship with my future Groom - with my heavenly Daddy - with my Comforter and Friend. Do I always do the right things? Do I make mistakes still? Of course. :) Are there things He will allow others to do and not me? Yes. But there are things others can't do that I still can. We are all unique and different and have such a personally unique relationship with the Lord! So I definitely can't judge! (Judge not - lest ye be judged.)

We become what we think about. We are what we "soak" in. I am constantly asking my kids "what are you soaking in? Is this something you want to soak your minds in?" Because, just like a sponge - when the pressure is on us . . . whatever we have been soaking in is what will come out of us!

I want pure clean water to come out of me! It's rarely totally clean . . . but I'm working in it. Little by little. . . . . decision by decision . . . big or small. I'm getting there. And above all - I just love seeing and feeling the smile on my Savior's face when He sees that I only have eyes for Him . . . by choice! :)

God bless you all and thank you so much for sharing your opinions and insight! I truly appreciate it. I hope this didn't come across judgmental or harsh. I truly just have a passionate love for my Daddy - for Jesus - and I want everyone else to experience the same thing!! It's life-changing and gives FREEDOM!! Jesus doesn't want us to be bound by rules . . . He wants us to live in FREEDOM! Free to love - to live - to enjoy life abundantly!

Blessings to you all!

Lori West :)


Praise and Coffee said...

I really liked your response to my post, thank you for taking the time to give a very non-condemning point of view :)

I plan to use many of these answers at a Praise and Coffee Night I am hosting soon.

Terri said...

I agree with you. I actually wrote about this a little while ago. Here is something I want to point out is that we do not need to read stuff that is inappropriate just to "discuss with the world". Cause I totally believe that God will give you what you need to say. That's why I won't read anything from Brown or read The Shack. I don't need to read those books to be able to say that Jesus is NOT a woman or that he was not married. I don't have to let those things into my lineage or heart. I battle enugh stuff. :) Jesus served the sinner, He didn't sin. He showed mercy to the robber without ever robbing someone. You know? I think that it is just our flesh's excuse to do that which we know we shouldn't. Cover it up under "ministry".

Lori :) said...

Terri -
I agree! I have enough to battle as well! :)
Yes - we are to be "in" the world but not "of" the world. To me that means - being aware - but not necessarily participating. Do your research - pray about things - but we don't have to join in to be "relevant". Jesus was relevant because he hung out with the tax-collectors and prostitutes and LOVED on them . . . not because he was doing what they were doing. :) We can do the same!
I actually did read The Shack. There were many things I liked about it - but of course, several things that were "strange". I didn't get hung up on the minors - but heard/read the message that was being written. Most of what was being said wasn't new to me (but I can see how it could be to alot of people)- except one thing . . .the difference between having expectations and living with a sense of expectancy (in relationships) as well as feeling responsible verses responding. I realized that when I feel "responsible" and have "expectations" of people I can set myself (and our relationships) up for problems. When I choose to live with a sense of expectancy, and the ability to respond to people - life is much better. Relationships are much better. It's not all about ME then . . . it's about the other person!
Anyways . . .
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and heart!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori,
I stumbled upon your site as I was looking for articles on Twilight and good, solid reasons why my friends should not watch it. (They are single and in their 30s). It is absurd, it seems like the world is posessed, rather that obsessed by this phenomenon. And there is NOTHING to it, but definite demonic attraction.

I talk to godly friends after they have watched it, and they defend it - people who are really "black & white" kind of believers. I am horrified. This lead me to think...
What is it going to be like when the Antichrist reveals himself? The Bible says he will be magnificent, very clever.

And Twilight's picture on the first book... the garden of Eden... it is as if satan is making sure he will be able to turn around and say: "Don't tell me you did not know this was wrong!" We will have to be wise indeed.

Estelle Fabricius

Lori and Jeremy West said...

Well said Estelle! I agree - the Antichrist will be VERY appealing (if he's not already here!)! It's sad. We are to keep watch - to be ready . . . but sadly many Christians may not be . . . we are being dulled by all we put before our eyes and ears . . .

L :)

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