Let me be honest, I love listening to music! It has inspired me and encouraged me but as I have gotten older I find I care less about who is singing the songs I hear on the radio.  I just do good to remember the words to sing along!

For years, music was a huge priority in my life. I sang every day; followed my favorite artist; knew every word of every song they sang. I entered musical competitions and won; I opened concerts for some famous groups – people who are literally dead now. Boy!! I sound old!! But truth is I was doing this between the ages of 13-17 and the average age of the members of the groups back then was probably 50. I was even approached about making a record by a Christian record producer. But I turned it down because all I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mother.

So, needless to say, two weeks ago when we attended the Gathers concert, I sang along to the top of my lungs with songs I had grown up with. I am not going to lie, I can’t help wondering when I watch those Homecoming videos if I could have been there.

This past weekend we went to a totally different genre of music. We attended the For King and Country /Skillet concert. Now to be completely honest, neither Jeff nor I really knew what we were getting into, going to the United Wireless Arena. You see, I didn’t recognize the name of the group, but there were several from our church who wanted to go. So, because I am so busy, I trusted their judgement and didn’t bother looking them up and seeing if I knew any of their songs.

I am the kind of person who believes you can worship the Lord in about any style of music. I sincerely believe that if you think you can only worship the Lord in one kind of music, and you have a true disdain for everything else, you probably aren’t worshiping God. You are worshiping the music, the tune, the memory you have associated with that song, etc. So, I do my best to discipline my will and desires to be open to what God has for me, not just what I want or is traditional and comfortable to me.

When the group, For King and Country, came on the stage, I recognized most of their songs right away and their testimony and message was awesome. But I noticed, the audience was only semi-participating. Then, Skillet came out and the place came alive.
I only knew one song Skillet sang and I only understood a few words of the rest of the songs. But here is what I did see: I saw a group of young people from the ages of probably 8 up singing along with every song; the attendance was at least double what it had been the previous week when the Gaithers were in town; and what touched my heart more than anything was seeing one young man jump to his feet and raise his hands when he heard the song “Hero.”
Here are just some of the words to that song: “I’m just a step away, I’m just a breath away, Losing’ my faith today, It’s just another war, Just another family torn, Just a step away from the edge, Just another day in the world we live, I’ve gotta fight today, To live another day, Its just another war, Just another family torn, I need a hero to save me now, I need a hero to save my life, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, We’re in a fight of our lives, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I’ve got a hero, Livin’ in me, I’m gonna fight for what’s right, Today I’m speaking my mind, And if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die, A hero’s not afraid to give his life, A hero’s gonna save me just in time, I need a hero to save me now, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I need a hero, A hero’s gonna save me just in time.”
Tears ran down my face as I saw the passion of the people in the audience, who were singing this at the top of their lungs. Words that to me sound as if they are coming out of pain and despair. These people were totally different from the generation of people who had sat in these same seats the previous week. Songs sung previously, were words like, “He Touched me;” “Because He Lives I can Face Tomorrow;” I Will Serve Thee Because I love Thee;” and “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I know”. One generation sang the praises of their King, another generation was calling out for a King to save them.
All that got me thinking. We have a generation that is crying out for help. Their lives are in shambles, homes torn apart, and if you read last week’s story I believe a lot of it stems from what I talked about there.

Here’s what God spoke to me: it doesn’t matter if I like the music! What He’s asking is, “What am I doing to be the Hero to the next generation?” God has called us all to share His love with others. His word says to “…Love one another as I have loved you…” John 13:34-35.  Notice it doesn’t have any exceptions that say, “Unless they listen to ‘that music,’” or “As long as they don’t look weird.” We have a dying hurting world that is going to Hell, while we sit on our privileged pews waiting for the world to come to us in the church. If you believe any of this is OK, you’ve bought into the lies of contentment that Satan wants us to believe.

I am so thankful that there are concerts like this. This group welcomed all those who didn’t know Christ. The lead singer gave his testimony of living with an abusive father, his mother dying of cancer when he was 15. He shared how one day in his bedroom he asked Christ to be his Savior, his Hero. It’s time we get real; it’s time we get transparent to those around us and share our struggles and challenges. It’s time we take the hand of someone who isn’t as far along in their walk with Christ or maybe hasn’t even begun one and take their hand and love them into the kingdom of God. Whose Hero will you be today?

This article was originally written April 16, 2018

Oklahoma Teachers Walk out for Love or Money?

Oklahoma Teachers Walk out for Love or Money?

This past week Oklahoma Teachers walked out of their class rooms. Why? Well if you asked the news companies reporting on this issue and even most of the Teachers and Legislators, they would probably all give the answer that it is for more pay, it’s for better schools and better supplies for their students. But I have a different view of the whole thing. So hear me out…..

Last week we were in Oklahoma, and as we were driving home we were listening to the radio. I heard the story of several teachers and principals who even though they were not in school they are going into the communities that their kids come from and passing out meals to those kids because they didn’t want them to go hungry. I must tell you that broke my heart and as I sat in my car and cried the vision of seeing Americans pass out food to the hungry orphan children in impoverished countries passed before my eyes.  It was if the Lord spoke to me and said the United States is spiritually impoverished. It broke my heart that America has come to this.

We are a spiritually impoverished country because we have forgotten the value of human life. Unfortunately, for many children that are not aborted before they are born, they are aborted in a sense after they are born. Why? Because parents do not know how to parent, and why is that? Because many times they had no examples.

If you have been around me any length of time you have heard me say “If satan can destroy the family, then he can destroy the church, and if he can destroy the church than he can destroy the nation.” Well, look around.

My heart goes out to school teachers across the country because in their laps everyday are being dropped the responsibilities that parents should be taking. From disciple, to hygiene, to providing meals and basic needs for education and survival. Too many parents are dropping the ball in general nurturing lessons. Somewhere along the way, we now have a generation of parents where many thinks that their children are just a commodity, a result of a moment of pleasure. A cute little thing to dress up, until they get annoying or to costly, then that parent gets overwhelmed and often discards them in one form or another.

If the human life were more valuable, than the Legislatures would value the education of our kids more and find the money needed, if human life was valuable and we didn’t live in a selfish world then the school districts would allocate more of the money they get from the state to the education and not to their own pocketbooks. If human life was more valuable, parents would realize they are raising warriors for Christ, they would remember what the Psalms says “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” Somewhere along the way, we forgot or rejected the fact that we were all created to be warriors for Christ and we all are just raising little warriors for Him. But the value of life is just part of the sin that has seeped into this world.

No one blinks twice that we have people living together that aren’t married or having children out of marriage. It has become common place that if we get tired of our spouse we just divorce (if we were married to begin with) or go sleep with someone else and why?? Because “We’re not Happy” and we “Deserve to be Happy”.  All the while God told us “You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 This self-center attitude is exactly what leads us to deeper and deeper sin.

See there is a reason God said that having sex before marriage is wrong, it’s because it leads to unexpected pregnancies which often leads to single mothers, which often leads to poverty. Some of you may be appalled I would say such a thing but let me ask some questions. If that isn’t the case than why does http://www.nokidgoeshungry.com report that over 13 million children in the US live in “food insecure homes”? Well you say, that isn’t the parents fault it is poverty that have put them in these situations. Isn’t it? Does poverty just happen or is it a result of someone’s choices that over time often snow balls and therefore many times effect generations to come?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that Wikipedia reports that there are 13.6 million single parent homes. And why is there so many single parent homes? Is it because we are having sex before we are married, getting pregnant unexpectedly or is it the 50% divorce rate? These facts combined with the knowledge that young girls who grow up without an active father figure in their life are more apt to get pregnant before marriage than those with fathers in the home.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying stay in a marriage if there is real physical and emotional abuse.  I believe we serve a big God that stands without stretched arms ready to forgive and love those who make mistakes. But what concerns me is we don’t even look at any of this as sin any more. It used to be a couple of kids would have a passionate moment in the back of a car somewhere and it would go too far and she would end up pregnant. But today, we have parents letting kids who are not married sleep together right in their homes, or adults who choose to live together or just sleep around. It is no longer a “Oops baby!” but it is intentional acts of sin. It has become so common, that now we are exploring new sexual immorality. Past Homosexuality, we now have Poly-amorous relationships that are becoming acceptable, and that’s when there is more than 2 partners having relationships with each other all in the same home and same bed.

And who is to blame for all of this, well besides satan himself, I would have to say the church is. For far to long, we rejected people who weren’t exactly like us. We rejected young girls who made a mistake and forced them out of the church walls instead of coming alongside them and loving them the way Christ would. We forced them because of the pressure of being perfect before man’s eyes, to go and have abortions.  For to long it was easier to get forgiveness from God for an abortion than it was to bring an unwed mother and her child to church.  Make no mistake I am not talking about the institution itself, I am talking about the people sitting in the pews that make up the church. It was the same with anyone divorced they were outcast. More often than not, the old ladies in the church whispered behind their backs in the grocery stores or the leaders of the church asked them not to come back. To many times, we sit up on our high horse looking down on others because we have forgotten what we have been forgiven of, and we forget that God’s Word say’s, “If we can’t forgive other’s there is not forgiveness for us” Matt 6:15

You may be asking, yeah but Alesa what does any of this have to do with the Oklahoma teachers walk out? See, I have a different perspective about why teachers walked out in Oklahoma. I say it is because sin is on such a rampage in this country and has been for many years now. That our country is like the old story of the Frog in the pot of boiling water. The US is that frog in boiling water. You see, you can’t cook a live frog if you just throw him in a pot of hot water, because it will jump out. But you can slowly cook a frog if you put it in cool water and slowly turn up the heat. Unfortunately, Our Teachers are having to pick up the pieces left behind in this sin rampaged world. The heat that has been turned up on high and the pot is starting to boil now.

I have great compassion for our teachers they carry a heavy burden, they are on the front lines of seeing how sin has rampage this country and they deserve our greatest support. They are having to do what the parents and the church were created to do. So, what is our responsibility in all this? Well, if you think sitting here in our sweet little town in Kansas you are immune from this, you have bought into a bigger lie than all the others put together. Satan wants us to become complacent and content, so he can sneak his way in and when he does, we are either those committing the sin or the ones looking down on those that do. Which one are you? I say choose a different road and love like Christ loves, ask Him to help you to see others as He sees them. It is only then that we will change the world, sin will never stop until we get to heaven. But we can make the world a better place, and we can bring more people to His saving grace if we will love them.  No matter what the differences are, or the sin that they may have committed because we are all sinners just saved by grace. We are all valuable to Christ. Let’s not just pray for our teachers but let’s, try to start right where you are making this world a better place. Because, money in never going to solve the real problem, only Christ’s love can.

True Love!

True Love!

Do you see this pillow? This pillow to me means love. Not the pillow itself, but it’s the act of my sweet husband making sure it’s in the seat of his truck every time I have to use it, because he’s borrowed my car. I never have to ask, I just walk out there and it is there. He knows I can’t see over the steering wheel of his truck without it. He know I can barely reach the foot petals. He knows driving his truck is not my favorite thing to do, because let’s just say it’s” his” truck. But when there is no other choice and he has to use my car and I have to use his truck, he makes sure I’m taken care of, by this little act of putting the pillow in the seat. It’s just one of the selfless acts he does all too often for me. He is always thinking about me. When he is at the store and sees something I like on sale he makes sure he picks it up. He remembers the little things I say only to try and fulfill them for me at a later date.  I have to admit I am not that good. I rarely remember what he tells me he would like to have, and thinking about it, it’s because he rarely asks for anything. The other day Jeff and I were visiting with some friends and the husband said that he asked her “What do you want…..?”  concerning some remodeling project they were doing, and I thought that was so strange that he would have to ask. You see, because Jeffrey would never have to ask me, I would have already told him, and probably gave my opinion of how to do it.

Every relationships is different though,  See, I show my love to Jeffrey Miller in a different way. To him, love is making sure his underwear drawer is always full. I would be mortified and would feel Jeff would be implying, I am not a good enough wife, if he started doing the laundry all of the sudden. Another sign of respect is I always make sure he is served first at the table, when the kids were at home, and still to this day when they come back home, they know, daddy gets the plate with the largest portion and is always served first. It is just a sign of respect and honor because he works all day everyday to provide for this family. He deserves it. I also, feel he deserves to come home to a relatively clean home, (It’s not perfect by no means) but he and I made a deal a long time ago, as long as I stayed at home, I would manage the house and maintain it and he would provide for the family. So this is my job, to make sure there is peace when he comes home and before he leaves every morning I try to ask ” Baby, is there anything I can do for you today while you’re gone?” Just assuring him, if he needs me to do something I am here.

You know all this got me thinking? How do we show our love to God? Do we ask everyday before we walk out the door “Lord, what can I do for you today?” Do we consider what He needs from us? Do we serve Christ first out of everything He has given us?  See, all to often we try to separate our spiritual life, to Sunday mornings only while the rest of the week, we live like we want. When instead Christ wants a relationship with us. None of our marriages would last very long if we only saw and talked to each other 1 hour out of a week,  Would they?

Christ is there everyday, watching over us, assuring we have what we need before we even ask. (Ephesians 3:20) and notice I said what we need. All to often we get that confused with what we want and expect Him to provide all our wants and dreams. When the truth is, he is always their making sure we have what we need. He is the one that diverts the drunk driver away from us before we ever even see him. God is the one that sees that financial set back coming and keeps you from investing in something you think is a sure deal. He is there in the quiet of the night giving you a peaceful sleep, refusing to let any harm or restlessness come to your thought life. He is there all the time that unseen hand reaching out to protect and provide for us. We don’t have to ask, He is just there like that pillow shows up in Jeff’s truck.

So today, ask yourself, “What do I do everyday to show, love and respect to my Heavenly Father?”

When is Enough, Enough?

When is Enough, Enough?

When is enough, enough? When do we stop sharing Christ’s love? When do we stop telling others about Him? When do we decide we should stop praying for our unsaved friends? We can we quit being the witness that God has called us to be and just focus on us? When do we get to do what we want to do and not have to think about anyone else but ourselves?

I don’t know? Would it have been enough for our sins to be redeemed by Jesus as he prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane and asked His Father, “Please if there is any other way, don’t make me do this” How about just for being arrested? Could God have called out from the heaven’s and said “Cut! That’s enough this show is over” Would it have been enough for Christ to just be beaten? Or maybe it was just enough for Him to carry the cross up the hill? No! No!! I’ve got it!! Maybe it would be enough for the 3 nails to be hammered into his hands and feet? Surely, that would have been enough right?

The truth is, the only way we could find remediation for our sins was for a sinless sacrifice to come and die for us. DIE do you get that?  Capital D-I-E.

The other day as I was traveling back from Wichita I was listening to Christian talk radio the show was taking questions from callers, and one of the people who called in asked the question ” Should I give up talking to my unsaved family about God?”  You see the young man said that he has 3 or 4 family members who were not living for God. He had encouraged them to read their bibles and go to church,  and because they all had not responded to his expectation, his question was,  “Should he just give up on them?”

My immediate response to him, (Because you know, we all have our opinions in situations like this) So what was my answer you ask? Well, I asked him (as if he could hear me through the radio)  “Did Christ ever give up on you?” “What would you want someone to do for you? Would you want someone if you didn’t know Christ to just give up on you because you were not meeting their expectations? Because things did not happen in the timing you thought they should?” I think the answer for all of us to that is a resounding “NO!”.

But all to often don’t we do that? Don’t we subconsciously or consciously make that decision about co-workers, family members etc. We decide I am done with them! They are too far gone!  They don’t want to hear the truth! Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying to pound people over the head with the word of God until they submit and come to know Him. No!

The bible says it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4) So I understand that we can’t talk all day everyday to them about coming to Christ. And we certainly aren’t going to win them over by judging and condemning.  No! Far to many people have been run off from the church and God with that one. Nor will isolating people from us help either.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that with every person is a different situation and a different personality you are dealing with. But no matter what the circumstance or situation. We never stop praying for them we never stop loving them. We may have to set boundaries, we may have to be sensitive to their feelings and more often than not we need to meet them where they are. We need to meet their physical needs before they will every want to hear about their spiritual needs.

I don’t know about you, but I am thankful God never gave up on me! I am thankful that Christ was not only beaten for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities  and the stripes on His back were for our healing. (Isaiah 53:5)  I am thankful that I serve a Savior that didn’t give up on me! He didn’t quit!!  But He holds the keys to death, hell and the grave! (Rev 1:18)

He went all the way for you and me!! Praise God! He rose again on that 3rd day!! Now, He is seated at the right hand of the Father making intersession for you and for me! (Mark 16:19)

SO, When is enough, enough? When do we stop sharing Christ’s love? When do we stop telling others about Him? When do we decide we should stop praying for our unsaved friends? We can we quit being the witness that God has called us to be and just focus on us? When do we get to do what we want to do and not have to think about anyone else but us?

I say the answer to all these, is Christ example! There is never enough! There is never enough reasons to stop calling on the name of the Lord for our loved ones and friends to come to know Him. Look at all He went through for us! He followed the specially design plan God had for Him and He has a plan for you to reach the people you love and care about too!

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Roman 2:4)

So like Christ’s example! It is NEVER enough until we reach the other side and join our Heavenly Father in heaven.