Sunday, May 28, 2017

Christian Mentoring and the Pursuit of Christ-centered Relationships

Relationships are so important. But developing relationships usually takes some amount of time. However, Christian women have a responsibility to develop not only caring and servant oriented relationships for the Lord, but to develop specific mentoring relationships that can help other women become everything that God created them to be, no matter how little or how great the amount of time it may take to develop the relationship. Usually, though, it takes very little time to develop a relationship if we are authentic, trustworthy, kind, caring, and willing to listen to the other person. In fact, you may already be actively mentoring another woman without having thought about it or without having recognized that mentoring was what you were actually doing.

As I was fulfilling God’s direction for me to write a book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring (ARCM), The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring (now available at Barnes and Nobel, Amazon, Google play, and iTunes), I realized that I had been mentoring women throughout my adult life. Some of those mentoring relationships were only for a short period of time to fulfill the specific mentoring purpose that was needed by the mentee at that particular moment in time, while other mentoring relationships developed into lifelong friendships. Most importantly, though, I fulfilled my service to God to be there for other women when they needed another person to talk to them or when they needed someone to help them through a definite struggle or spiritual need. But, I was also there to share the Word of God whenever the opportunity arose. Along the way, I acquired first-hand experience and knowledge about how Christian women can mentor women as a selfless service to the Lord.

In looking back at the mentoring that I had been involved in, I discovered that active Christian mentoring is all about developing a relationship that would enable another woman to open up and acknowledge the type of help that she needed in her life. Active Relational Christian Mentoring is also about each Christian woman finding the time to listen to the mentee and to be there for her. Sometimes, though, it took a little longer for the woman to open up and talk openly about her needs or problems, because she first had to develop a trust in her mentor. But whether it takes a short amount of time or a longer amount of time to develop a trustworthy relationship, every Christian mentor will discover that the service of Christian mentoring is extremely important and very rewarding.

The Importance of Active Relational Christian Mentoring Today

The service of Active Relational Christian Mentoring is more important than ever today. Why is it so important in today’s world? Well, today we are living in stressful and uncertain times; more so than most of us have ever before witnessed. Yes, there has always been a spiritual battle going on between good and evil since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. But, Satan’s spiritual battle is now intensely and constantly vying for the souls of men and women, because Satan knows that time is winding down for him and this earth, so he wants to steal as many souls as possible before the end.

Unfortunately, most people don’t want to accept that there is even such a thing as a spiritual battle between good and evil. But who can deny that there is actually a verbal and spiritual battle against those who trust in and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ which is perpetrated by those who ridicule Christians and Christ and hate the Lord. Moreover, this spiritual battle has been going on since the snake in the garden got Eve and Adam to take a bite of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, now this battle is getting worse by the hour as more and more people are refusing to even listen to God or are refusing to acknowledge God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Consequently, the selfishness and the evil that can permeate the hearts of humankind is growing by leaps and bounds.

Adding to the selfishness, thoughtlessness, and evil that now permeates humankind is the devilish agenda of many politicians and liberal professors to control all areas of society through a specific political belief that harkens back to the threat of Marxism/communism. Unfortunately, the young people today who have not truly studied and learned from the political and world history of the early nineteen hundred’s and even up through the nineteen sixties are now being duped again by Marxism/ communism that is being spoon fed to them as socialism. Not knowing the truth of where socialism leads means these people are doomed to repeat what they have failed to learn from the history of a previous time period, and so they will repeat the mistakes of the past. But this time, society may not be able to stop some deviant dictator who appears to want social justice for all.

Today, young and middle-aged people and even some older ones, who have been duped by liberal professors, the liberal media, and duped by the liberal leaning politicians, are swallowing the political agenda of progressivism lock stock and barrel without truly understanding where it can lead. Besides falling for the socialist/communistic idea that government can make everything right and equitable for everyone, they are all leaning toward the socialistic/ communistic belief that religion has no place in society. In fact, their attitude toward Christians is so bad that Christians are being looked down upon as never before. Indeed, Christians can not only feel the spiritual battle around them, but they can now actually see the battles against Christianity that are continually being played out on the world stage today.

Active Relational Christian Mentoring (ARCM) is just one way Christians can touch the heart of the non-Christian as well as it is a way to help the Christian through times of difficulty or during times of need for empowerment. Developing an active mentoring relationship will enable the Christian woman to speak into the life of another woman and will give her the ear of the mentee so that godly discussions and truth will be the norm. Indeed, Christian women have to step forward into the fray in order to teach about Christ and to correct misconceptions put forth by the world and Satan’s minions. Christians who do nothing, though, are allowing the devil to gain footholds in the lives of people who need Christ. However, just by developing a trustworthy and godly mentoring relationship with another woman, a Christian woman can shine the light of Christ upon her mentee, which will allow her to see that there is indeed something called “truth” out there that can make all the difference in her life.

Relationships based on caring, and along with God’s truth will stand up against the spiritual enemy who is always determined to bring individuals down to their lowest point. But we all have to be aware of arrows that fly to bring down Christians and non-Christians as well. That is why Christians must “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”  -- (Ephesians 6: 16-18. NIV).

Spiritual Battles are Taking Place Everywhere

The battle against Christians can be seen in many different aspects of our lives today.  These battles are no longer subtle hidden agendas, but instead are just anti-Christian agendas that are right out there for all the world to see. In fact, we can see the plots and agendas against Christianity every day as they are played out in lawsuits around the nation, because they are specifically set against the rights of the Christians to express their religious beliefs in their homes as well as in their work places.

In attempting to stop the rights of Christians to worship in their own way and to stop them from living their faith in their businesses just as they live it daily at home, there is now every excuse and ruse imaginable being used by those who are against Christian values and morals. Lawsuits and the twisting of the truth are just a couple of the ways that that those who are against the belief in Christ and God will attempt to stop the rights of others to worship in their own way. It isn’t good enough anymore to simply let each person have or express their own beliefs. Now, many Atheists and non-Christians state in some form or another that expressed Christianity or one’s stated belief in Jesus Christ actually infringes on the non-believer’s rights not to be around a Christian’s beliefs.

Once upon a time, our country was founded on the belief that everyone could worship God in their own way, and that each person had the right to believe the way they wanted. Each person could also express their belief at any time as given to us in our Constitution’s right of free speech. Simply stating what we believed in and living out our belief in our own way was not infringing upon by others who did not believe the same way. Now the opposite seems to be the norm today wherein if any individual doesn’t like the way that you do your business for the Lord or for yourself, they can claim that you have infringed upon their rights as a customer. Moreover, now just saying the name of Jesus Christ in a public arena can get a person in trouble with the law, and lawsuits can be filed against them because someone else feels like their rights have been infringed upon. Yet, those that worship Satan, Allah, and Buddha have the right to say and act anyway they wish.

If someone had told me twenty years ago that atheists could claim that the Cross or the Ten Commandments makes them sick or could claim that it gives them headaches and that they could actually be taken seriously, I would have laughed. Yet, that is just what many atheist and other anti-Christian people have claimed today, and they are taken very seriously. Atheists no longer just accept that it is their right to worship or not worship in their own way, but now do not want others to be able to worship God in their way. What makes this so unsettling is that they are only going after Christianity as the belief that disturbs them. These atheistic groups leave all other beliefs out of their aim of fire. But it doesn’t stop with just the atheists. 

Some liberal towns are now forbidding Christians to hold Bible studies or small groups in their homes, siting that these gatherings are acting as a church and that a person’s home cannot be designated as a church. The ACLU has even gotten certain public crosses taken down because they are infringing on the rights of others not to view them. Then there is the military that has now limited the use of the name of Christ and the handing out of Bibles by their military chaplains who in the past have used the words in the Bible and the love of Christ to strengthen the spiritual lives of the soldiers. Therefore, it is now more important than ever for Christian individuals to engage in Active Relational Christian Mentoring – mentoring one individual at a time, while allowing the mentee to see the love of God. People need to know about God and His Love for them.

We have to get back to what the early Christian church did in the first century, which was to engage others in talk about the Good News or Gospel message through one-on-one relationships that could answer questions and at the same time be there for the other person. By showing that we care about another woman through the building of a relationship, we can open the door into many different discussions, but most of all we can engage in the discussion of who Christ is.

The Spiritual Battle Between Love and Hate   

Who today can deny that there is a spiritual battle going on between those who hate and those who love. In fact, even in the ever-present world that we can see all around us, we have been introduced to or have seen with our own eyes an ultimate world religion that bases its entire theology on hate as it battles against the people who want to love and to help them. This hate filled religion is the religion of extreme Islam that has morphed even further into the hate-filled politically motivated religion of ISIS. Indeed, ISIS is a particular group of Islamic believers who are living moment-by-moment wrapped in hate and evil that desires that promotes the killing of all Christians, Jews, and followers of any other religion that does not conform to their beliefs.

ISIS hates Christians, Jews, or any group of people who will not succumb to their specific belief in extreme Islam, which is based upon the original hate espoused by Mohammed, their prophet, and is based upon his hate filled writings of long ago espoused in the Our‘an against Jews, Christians, and anyone else who does not succumb to Mohammed’s belief in Allah as the only god. As a political and power based religion that is grounded upon Mohammed’s and their hate of anyone who does not succumb to their form of Islam, ISIS plans are for taking over the world through their bombings, beheadings, and the use of suicide bombers as well as through the overpowering influx of hate being inspired by these extreme Islamic people throughout the nations of the world.

The world of the ISIS warrior is wrapped up in a hate-filled power-based political religion that expects their members to give their lives in order to achieve heaven and peace. Nearly every day somewhere in the world, there are large numbers of people who have been killed by ISIS believers. In fact, just this last week, on May 23, 2017 a terrorist infiltrated a concert in Great Britain and many were killed and hundreds were extremely hurt from just this one act of hate. This is a very evil religion whose believers want to impose their beliefs through world domination upon people everywhere. It is through their efforts of hate and evil actions that they believe they will be accepted by their false god Allah into heaven. Moreover, it is through their own efforts and actions of murder, intimidation, and mutilations that they believe they will be accepted by their false god and brought into paradise forever. So, it is no wonder they behead and torture people.

Christianity is not a “religion” per se, but is about God’s Love for Us

Christianity, though, is not a religion per se, this according to Hal Lindsey who wrote the book, The Late Great Planet Earth. Lindsey said, “Christianity is not a religion. Religion is the process of man trying to achieve goodness, perfection, and acceptance with God by his own efforts. Christianity, on the other hand, is God taking the initiative and reaching for man. Christianity is God saying that man cannot reach Him except through the one path He has provided – through the acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ. But the scene has changed rapidly in the intellectual community in the past few years. Many of those who scoffed at ‘religion’ have become addicted to the fast-moving upsurge in astrology, spiritualism, and even drugs.” (p.104, The Late Great Planet Earth, c. 1970). In other words, peoples’ religion is now some form of spiritualism as found in astrology, drugs, and other false religions such as Christian Science and Scientology. In fact, the “me” generation now depends on drugs and false religions to get them through the day. Sadly, they are still searching for what can fill that God-shaped hole in their soul.
Indeed, Christianity should not be categorized as a religion according to Hal Lindsay’s definition of a religion. For, Christianity is the result of God sending His Only Son to take on the sins of mankind as He hanged upon the cross. God’s love for His creation, humankind, was the reason God sent His Son to earth. Moreover, in sending His Son to earth, God knew that His Son, Jesus Christ, would die for all our sins, but He also knew that Christ would rise again the third day conquering the eternal death that Satan wanted for everyone. For, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Satan’s plans for the soul destruction of all of humanity was defeated. Because of Christ’s actions, now those who believe in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Son of God, will be saved from eternal destruction, and they will instead spend eternity in Heaven.

Sadly, there are still many who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. Instead, they are continually misled by Satan, who has even used Christian denominations and their theologies to misrepresent the truth of the Bible and the love of God to them. Moreover, Satan continues to spiritually battle for the souls of people through his lies and deceptions to mankind and through the encouraged evil actions of men and such groups as ISIS. That is why it is more important than ever for Active Relational Christian Mentoring to become second nature to every Christian woman. This is because, women have the opportunity to develop godly relationships with other women for the purpose of sharing the Gospel, of helping other women during difficult times, or of being there to encourage and empower them to be all they can be for God, themselves, and their families and friends. In other words, women have an opportunity to stop this rumble of hate that flows throughout the world today. Just by being authentic trustworthy and loving Christians, women can show other women the Christian love which can fill their souls in knowing and accepting Christ as their Savior. Indeed, Christian mentors who step up to help other women can change the world one person at a time.

Although, Satan knows that he will be ultimately defeated, He is still doing everything in his power to destroy the human soul and to keep that soul from experiencing the love of God and a future eternity with Him. And because Satan’s evilness has permeated the hearts of many people, those people will also do everything in their power to keep God’s love from being experienced by the non-Christians who have yet to find the truth of God’s love for themselves. That is why Atheists, non-believers, and many others work so hard to keep Christianity out of schools, out of the work-place, out of organizations and out of any other area they can. Instead, they preach inclusion of all religions except Christianity. For some reason, they are afraid of the love that surrounds those who are true “born-again” Christians. And for some reason, they have bought into the idea that hate and mistrust is a better way to live than to love your neighbor as yourself. Christians know better though. For, love is the key to all goodness in the world. Moreover, God is love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. (paraphrased. See John 3: 16). But Satan does not want people to know about God’s love, so the spiritual battle against Christianity and God continues.

What can Active Christian Mentoring Relationships Do to Stem this Tide of Satanic Deception?

Sadly, this spiritual battle perpetuated by Satan and the religions of hate against the Christian belief of “loving each other as we love ourselves” will continue until Christ comes again. In the meantime, it is important that Christians continually share Christ’s love with others through such services as every day active mentoring relationships. Yes, we are living in an extremely stressful time, because it seems that the evil and hate that we face in this world is sometimes winning. We feel that way because the killing for pleasure and the type of extreme killing espoused through the hate of ISIS seems to have invaded every part of world today. Moreover, it is easy to see the results of this hate within the nightly news about people who were killed by evil men or groups like ISIS. Then when you add to their promotion of evil and hate, which is being promulgated throughout the world, it can seem overwhelming. But, what is so terribly sad for our country is the hate that is not only within the hearts of atheists and within the hearts of liberal progressives, but is now avidly expressed in words of hate and derision from politicians and the media on a daily basis. These words of hate and disgust are projected within their political views that portray “everyone else as stupid” and deplorable if they do not believe and adhere to what “I”, the progressive, believes which are shown within the belief and verbal expressions voiced by the progressives’ on a daily basis. They believe that their rights are the only rights that should be allowed.

Sadly, at every turn we now have a world that seems to be leaning toward hatred within every arena of life rather than a world that turns to Christian love. That is because people were not taught that they are loved by God and that Christ loved them so much that He gave His life on a cruel cross for them. For in conquering death, Christ has given them the right of life everlasting, if they so choose to believe on Him. But only with Christ in your heart can you truly understand what love is. That is why we must do what we can to help others by stepping forward to develop relationships that can lead to Active Relational Christian Mentoring and that can explain and show what Christian love is about.

Trying to Find the Truth

To make matters worse, few people know where to look in this world to find the truth let alone believe that there is actually something called the truth. That is why we live in a media frenzy that continually perpetrates false so-called truth, or downright lies for the pleasure of it and for the money that can be made from the juicy falsehoods or deceptions. Why is this occurring? Or rather, how did we let this situation occur in the first place, let alone how did it happen so rapidly? Well, it did not happen rapidly. It has gradually happened over the last 75 years as we Christians have failed to speak into the lives of others and have failed to mentor for the Lord. We are in today’s situation because we have failed to mentor each successive generation with the truth and with God’s love. We created a vacuum where love should have been espoused and lived and taught to each generation. But, when there is a vacuum, something fills that vacuum quickly, and that something does not have to be love. For example, when Christians failed to teach each other and their children about God and Christ, something else easily came into that empty space. In this case, it was selfishness and false religions as well as false narratives by those progressive liberals who would like to take over the United States and make this country into a communistic nation.

Oh, you are probably saying to yourselves that is not possible and I am just trying to scare you. But I am not trying to scare you. The scare is already here and it is the realization that we are now in the midst of false news reports, groups of people trying to overthrow the president by any means possible and coups planned by groups with hidden agendas, while we are at the same time in the midst of selfish, anti-Christian people who will do anything to put a stop to the worship of God and Jesus Christ. They will also do anything to bring down our nation by inciting and promoting riots, by allowing socialistic/communistic professors to teach our youth and be paid for it, and by teaching our young people a different view of capitalism and patriotism than the one that their forefathers enjoyed. They have made the truth a lie.

Whether it is a teacher, a college professor, an entrepreneur with hidden agendas, or just liberal progressives who want what they want, they are teaching our youth and the next generations that there is no such thing as truth. Instead these false teachers, professors, entrepreneurs, and liberal progressives as well as our politicians are teaching young people to hate those that have conservative Christian love and values in their hearts. They are teaching the young people that those who espouse love actually have hate in their hearts. How did we get to this point where simply changing the story or making up a false story can easily breed even more hate? It occurs when people believe the false story that Christians don’t really love others. Sadly, these young people have instead been taught to hate all Christians because they have been told that Christians lie about loving others.

So, what can we do about stopping our fast-moving world from being overcome with hatred?  Well, we can continually show our love to others by reaching out and doing loving acts of kindness. We can show our love by sharing the Gospel. And we can begin again where we left off so many years ago. We can again “actively” mentor our children, our youth, our young people, our friends, our neighbors, and our family members. We can show the falsehoods for what they are by instead being that loving mentoring Christian who is willing to help and to fill people’s lives with the truth. We can also start this mentoring process by developing active Christian mentoring relationships with other women.

The Role of Women in Spreading the Good News

Women are extremely important to the spread of the Word of God. We know this to be true from the many women in the Bible who developed relationships to teach and mentor others about the Christ and the Gospel message. Just think about Pricilla, who with her husband, Acquila, spread the Good News by starting small groups and sharing the Word with others. (See Acts 18). Then, think of all the women that supported Christ and the disciples during Christ’s ministry, starting with Christ’s own mother, Mary. At the wedding in Cana in Galilee, Christ’s mother knew that Jesus could do miracles and “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” – (John 2: 5. NIV). Shortly thereafter, Jesus turned the water in six ceremonially washing jars, with each holding twenty to thirty gallons of water, into wine. Moreover, the wine was the best wine that could be had. Mary supported her son and later she was with the disciples in the upper room as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit that Christ had promised. She believed He was the Son of God and supported Him.

Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby cities and villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God. He took His twelve disciples with Him, along with some women he had healed and from whom He had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Johanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing their own resources to support Jesus and the disciples.” – (Luke 8: 1-3. NLT). Notice that these women believed in Jesus and were there to show their support. Later after Jesus went back to Heaven these women surely supported each other during the backlash from the Jewish leaders and Rome against Christianity. These women would have also taught their children, family, friends, etc. about Christ and redemption. In other words, they were not only developing Christian relationships but they were mentoring those that needed to know Christ as their Savior too.

Other women played important roles in the spread of the Gospel message. What about the Samaritan woman at the well to whom Jesus explained what living water was? She then ran into town and told everyone that the Messiah had come, for Christ had told her everything about herself that no one else could have known. Long after Christ left the area, this woman surely continued telling everyone that she ran into that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. She was not afraid to let the people around her know who Christ was. (see John 4: 1-26). Are you afraid to tell others about Christ?

Then there were Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus. These women hosted Christ and the disciples in their home. Furthermore, they too would have told other women about Christ. Moreover, Mary would certainly have told them what she had learned sitting at the feet of Christ. Then when Christ resurrected their brother, Lazarus, they would certainly have told all their friends and family members what Christ had done. Obviously, they did not sit back and keep quiet about Christ, so how can we. We must tell others and especially our children and family members about the salvation offered through Christ. But we must also help them in any way that we can. However, in order to help another woman, we have to first develop a relationship with her that will allow us to speak into her life. What are you waiting for? You have the power to influence and change the world one person at a time. Just reach out to another woman and develop a mentoring relationship that will allow you to help her, counsel her, befriend her, or support her. You are important to God, and you are important in the lives of those who need your talents, knowledge and love.  

To know how important a woman’s knowledge and influence is, all we have to do is go to the Bible and read about Christ’s resurrection and then His appearing first to two women. It was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who went to the Christ’s tomb and found it empty. As they were turning away, Jesus met them and told them “Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”  -- (Matthew 28: 10. NLT). So, the two women ran on to tell the others that Christ had risen and was alive. Can you imagine the affect that seeing Christ alive had on those two women? Certainly, no one could stop them from telling many people that Christ is God and is alive? Can you imagine the mentoring relationships that these two women must have developed with other women during that time period? Surely, they, just as the disciples, helped the world to discover the love of God and the Salvation offered to all who would believe on the risen Lord and Savior. You, too, can share the Good News! Just start by developing a mentoring relationship with another woman.

I could go on and on with the names and godly acts of women during the first century who must have developed active mentoring relationships with other women in order to share the Gospel message. In fact, the Apostle Paul speaks of the relational mentoring of Timothy’s mother and grandmother and gives them great credit for raising such a godly young man. Thus, we discover that parents can have a great relational influence upon their children and even upon their children’s friends. That is why it is so important for mother’s today to speak into the lives of their children through their mentoring relationship. It is also why these same mothers can easily speak into the lives of their children’s friends, if they so should choose to do so. Please choose to reach out actively mentor others for the Lord. Are you speaking into the life of your children? If not, you should be that example of Christian values and truth.

Relationships are extremely important for many reasons, but they are especially important in telling others about Christ and in showing them how Christians lovingly care about their friends and family and even strangers. Active Relational Christian Mentoring can begin to staunch the flow of untruthfulness or lies. Indeed, Active Relational Christian Mentoring can turn this country back from the brink of disaster, one person at a time. But, if Christian women do not step forward to develop relationships and speak into the lives of other women, then we will all get to see what fills the vacuum that we have left by doing nothing. Certainly, that vacuum will not be filled with love and truthfulness if we do not tell others about the love of God and our Savior. However, if each Christian woman steps forward to take even 20 minutes a week to speak into the life of another woman, we can fill that vacuum with love and the light of Christ. You can do it! You can mentor another woman for the Lord.

If you are interested in the Christian service of mentoring, you might want to read Vicky Lynn Thomas’ recently published book on Christian mentoring entitled: The Three Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Living for Christ and Eternity -- Part II

Walking in Truth and Honesty

How do Christians show the world that our lives have been changed through Christ? What makes Christians different from those individuals that are not saved? Well, upon salvation Christians know immediately that their lives have been changed forever, because we have the peace of Christ’s forgiveness in our hearts, as well the Holy Spirit’s assurance that we are now a child of God’s. For, once we have believed on Jesus Christ and asked for forgiveness of our sins, we are given the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and to guide us and comfort us in all ways. However, showing the world that our lives have been changed through Christ is a harder thing to do.

Showing the world that our lives have been changed is harder, because although we have a new desire in our hearts to tell the world about the new birth in us through salvation, we do not always know how to live and behave differently from the rest of the world. Learning how to live for Christ takes time and study. That is why we must commit ourselves to learning everything that God has set before us in the Word of God, i.e., the Bible, so we will know how to walk in truth and honesty. For, we need to live as righteously as possible in order to shine the light of Christ into the world. However, it is within the Bible wherein we learn how to set ourselves apart from the secular fleshly world that the devil represents. In fact, the Apostle Paul succinctly explained salvation and how we are represent our new life in Christ within the following scripture:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and world lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”  -- (Titus 2: 11-14. NKJV).

Believers can offer evidence of their new faith and salvation, as well as their total commitment to Christ by putting their best foot forward for the world to see. How do Christians put their best foot forward and show the world that they are no longer the doomed unforgiven sinful person that they once were? Well, they must be a person of truth and integrity as they choose their words carefully and do godly deeds to help others and to contribute to the Kingdom of God. Living a life of virtue and integrity is the only way to show consistent evidence of their new life in Christ. Then in showing the world that they are truly living for Christ with virtue and integrity, Christians must set higher standards for their behavior or actions, as well as set higher standards for good gracious attitudes and the use of good words. Then, their kind deeds and love will reflect their love of Christ and others.

Christians are to listen to the Holy Spirit within them so they can be guided into righteous living for God and then for others to emulate as well. We are to strive to obtain all of the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. … Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”  -- (Galatians 5: 22-26. NIV). In other words, the heart’s desire of the born-again Christian should be to live in such a way that when we get to Heaven, we will hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”

Part of living for God is to avoid hurtful arguments and to cling to the virtues that the Bible has delineated for those who are living a righteous life. Indeed, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians in which he told them that when they accepted Christ as their Savior that they were to change the way they previously lived. Paul said that “Born-again” Christians are to: “…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” – (Ephesians 4: 22-24. NKJV). This means that there are certain behaviors, actions, and even words that Christians are not to participate in or use so that we can constantly reflect true righteousness and holiness for God.

In Part I of Living for Christ and Eternity, we talked about avoiding anger and bitterness that can not only hurt the other person with words that cut deep, but that can lead to a life of bitterness and sin for the one who refuses to forgive the person that they believe has hurt them. I especially emphasized the importance of forgiving others like you would want the Father to forgive you. Today, though, we are going to focus on another of the worldly sins that can get us caught in Satan’s temptation trap. That is the sin of stealing. Stealing and coveting, though, go hand in hand, so we will touch on coveting as well. Both of these sins are listed in The Ten Commandments, so we know that God does not approve of these actions. Furthermore, we know that there will be no stealing, anger, bitterness or coveting in eternity, because only born-again Christians with their righteousness will be allowed to come before the Lord, because the Lord abhors unrighteousness. Therefore, as “saved” individuals, we are to attempt to live our lives here on earth as righteously as possible, thus setting good examples for others to be able to see Christ in our lives. We are to reflect truth, honesty, and love in all we do.

Stealing is Wrong!

God gave Moses Ten Commandments for the Israelite people to live by. God gave us all of the commandments to show us that there is a right and wrong way to live and that sin can come at us from many different directions. The eighth commandment says: “You shall not steal”.  – (Exodus 20: 15. NKJV). All people understand that stealing is taking for ourselves something that does not belong to us or that we did not pay for. It can be the taking of something that we did not work for or the taking of something abstract such as an idea. But when we take from someone else something that belongs to them, we have stolen. Usually our parents teach us that stealing is wrong, but sometimes the temptation is so great that an individual succumbs to the stealing even when they know that it is wrong, such as in certain cases where stealing is for self-preservation. For someone may steal something to eat, because they have no money and they or their family are starving. Still, this justification doesn’t make stealing right or less sinful. It would be better to offer to work for the food than to take it from someone else.

 For years stealing was considered to be such a terrible crime that the laws in some countries became so strict against stealing that one could have his right hand cut off for stealing, even if their stealing was just to survive. Some ethnic groups still adhere to this form of retribution. On the other hand, in certain cases one’s life could actually be taken if the person was caught stealing. In fact, even in the old west of the United States, if someone stole a horse and was caught, they would be hung as a horse thief. Fortunately, times have changed. However, a person can still go to jail for stealing a horse, but taking the person’s life for stealing is no longer allowed. Furthermore, only those countries that are considered barbaric or under Sharia law still cut off the hand of the one who stole something. 
In decades past, stealing was considered to be a highly punishable crime with severe punishment. Society today, though, has allowed the virtues and values of the Bible and of previous generations laws to be circumvented or eroded away to the point that we now live in an age when stealing no longer has the terrible offense or stigma attached to it that it once had. Yes, most people still believe that stealing is wrong in most situations, and believe that people should be sent to jail for stealing. But, even though most people, at least those from age 40 and up, have grown up understanding that stealing is wrong, they have also accepted that extenuating circumstances may come into play. Although many people yet believe that it is still a sin to take something from someone else, we have also entered a time period where there seems to be a great deal of subjectiveness to what were once firm rules of law and behaviors of truth, thus creating a subjectiveness to the act of stealing. To make matters worse, some in our younger generations have not been specifically taught by their parents or teachers that stealing is wrong, so they do not have the same abhorrence of stealing that past generations have had.  Indeed, some of our youth and young people now see no problem in grabbing what they want from someone else or from a store as long as they don’t get caught. That is because even if they are caught, there are the lawyers who can help them avoid jail or a fine.

What type of things can someone steal?

There are many types of stealing. Stealing does not have to involve the literal taking of a physical item from another person. Stealing can also be the taking of an idea or the appropriation of someone’s work without their permission. Corporations steal from each other, ideas are stolen from other people, and people steal in order to avoid having to do work of their own. This last kind of stealing often occurs in our high schools and with college age students who copy off their neighbor on tests. Still others find ways to get a copy of the test before they even take the test, or they buy class project papers that someone else has written so they can pass the paper off as their own in order to pass a course without doing the work.

These young people who cheat off of others or who buy papers to hand in as their own have not been taught ethics, let alone taught what constitutes stealing. Nor have they been taught how stealing not only hurts the one whose item was stolen, but it hurts the thief in the long run as well. For although the thief may have passed the class because of the stolen paper or test questions, they have not gained the knowledge needed for their future life or the knowledge which was acquired from their classmate in order to pass the test or class. Moreover, they have certainly not acquired the personal knowledge needed to pass the test on their own or to use the information in future situations. Nor have they discovered the joy of working hard to accomplish or achieve something in life on their own. Worse still, their morally deficit values will chip away at their soul. Ultimately, that is just what the devil wants too. He wants us humans to constantly be sinning so that we can’t see the truth of God’s grace and love. So, if a person has denigrated their soul by being unethical, immoral and dishonest, perhaps they will do even worse things as time goes on. Furthermore, those who steal and who also profess to be Christians are hurting the Christian faith and are keeping others from seeing the Truth and the Light of Christ.

How can a true born-again Christian steal when he/she knows that it is against God and that they are misrepresenting the Christ of their salvation? Well, we live in a fallen world and it is easy to emulate the behaviors of the society in which we live, starting with the small things in life that do not seem to be a big deal. But, Christians have to set themselves apart from the ordinary and make sure that they do not even steal small items which is easy to do and for many on their jobs is the norm. For example, stealing time from an employer to do personal things on the job is something that most employees have done at one time or another. But, Christians should hold themselves to a higher standard.

Other things like mooching off a friend for meals or borrowing clothes because the person just doesn’t want to work hard or long enough to get the money to buy their own is something that many college age non-Christian students do. Many non-Christian students have gone through college by mooching off the government for loans they probably have no intention of paying back. Then, if they can’t get the lucrative job they dreamed of upon graduation from college many non-Christian graduates will not even try to find work of any kind, but will instead go home to mom and dad and mooch living off of them. Why? Well, they have not been taught about a strong work-ethic nor have they been instilled with the desire to make it on their own even it means taking a menial job. It seems that getting something for nothing is the more common way of doing things now.

Once a person invites Christ into their heart and is saved, the Holy Spirit starts guiding them and leading them into all truth. But, it takes time for the newly saved person to fully understand what the difference is between living in a secular world that accepts the lowest of virtues and the lowest rungs of truth and honesty and in living for Christ. They need to have had a background in truth and honesty as well as having had parents who have tried to teach them right from wrong in order to grow quickly into virtuous and loving people who care about others.

Sadly, though, parents and grandparents are now reaping what they have not sown. They are reaping weeds instead of beautiful blooming plants or young people that will continue to reproduce even more beautiful blooming plants or children for God. Instead, parents and grandparents are reaping weeds that will continue to reproduce the weeds of selfishness, thoughtlessness, greed, etc., because they have not sown the Ten commandments or the virtues and values of living a truthful and honest life within their children. They have failed to set the standards for truthful and honest behavior. Moreover, they have failed to teach their children the basic difference between what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do. Although God gave parents and grandparents the responsibility of teaching values, virtues, and morals, many have let God and their children down. Furthermore, they have failed to recognize that because we are all born sinners, that this teaching of their children must start out early in life in order for it to be truly instilled within the person.

Most parents know their children need to be taught early in life that stealing is wrong, because they have seen first-hand their one and two-year-old age children or even their small grandchildren take a toy from another child without out any qualms. Unfortunately, both society and their secular parental love within their hearts tell them it is wrong to discipline a child for any reason. But, even for parents who understand that admonishment is important for wrong actions, it is still hard to do. To make matters worse, once the child is confronted with the fact that the toy is not theirs, most toddlers will even go so far as to lie and say that it is theirs. Now, the child has not only stolen an item, but has now lied about the stealing. It is at this point that the parent must take the toy from their child and give it back to the other child and then place their child in timeout for taking the item and lying about it. But, if a parent does not take action for whatever reason then the child will continue to both steal and lie, coming up with even more deceitful ways of stealing and lying as time goes on.

 Most parents soon discover that the stealing is not just a one-time incident, so if they are not on top of each small stealing situation, their child will often find ways to deceive them about their stealing again and again while getting more inventive in their stories. But, if the parent is aware of their child’s “take and claim” tendency and stops it with discipline and love, the child will begin to understand that stealing is wrong. However, parents cannot just assume that their child will never steal again. For, like everything else in life, our children need a firm foundation of truth and honesty in order to not succumb to this particular sinfulness again. Certainly, they need to be taught from the Word of God about right and wrong.

Unfortunately, as children grow up, parents may begin to feel that their child has already learned what he/she needs to know about stealing and truth telling, so they no longer keep tabs on situations wherein their child has opportunities to steal and to lie about it. Moreover, the actions or inactions of the parents can greatly affect the way the child views stealing. For example, if the child or youth sees the parent bring home paper, pens, and paper clips from work that actually belong to the office where they work, the parent has in essence told the child that it is okay to steal in certain situations. Or if the parent fails to discipline the child for taking things that don’t belong to them, then the child will see no reason to stop stealing. These are just a couple of the many reasons that high school and college age students have come to believe that there is no harm in stealing. For, the parents have set an example of “no big deal” for their child.

Although God has given us the commandment to not steal along with the other nine commandments given to help keep us from sinning, there are other verses in the Bible that also address stealing. In fact, as Christians and as Christian parents, we are to emphasize all the Scriptures in the Bible that relate to our Christian walk here on earth, including the ones that relate to truthfulness and honesty. One of those Scriptures relating to our Christian walk specifically addresses the commandment against stealing. Indeed, the Apostle Paul lists not stealing within his letter about Christian behaviors to the Ephesians in Ephesus. In fact, Paul specifically states that once we are born-again, we are not to steal. For, Paul said, “He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.— (Ephesians 4: 28. NASB).


Coveting is an internal or heart form of stealing that can actually lead to the physical taking of something from another. So, what exactly is coveting? Well, coveting is to ardently want what someone else has, which means that the person is burning or passionately aflame with the desire to acquire what the other person has. A synonym often used for covet is envy, however, I believe to covet or coveting is a deeper form of envy which leads to ardently wanting what the other person has. For example, one can envy someone’s car, wishing that they had a car like the one that the person has, yet they do nothing about it. Yes, it is wrong to envy what another person has and envy may cause a person to say something snide about the other person not deserving the car, or to be hateful to that person for their fortune, but they don’t usually do anything else about their envy. Yes, the envy can eat up their heart causing them to be jealous which is again against God’s laws. But, most people who envy are simply jealous of the other person’s good fortune or wealth that enables them to purchase such a wonderful car. Only in situations of extreme envy and jealousy will the person begin to covet with a passionate burning fire within that makes them then attempt to get what they want. However, when a person finally succumbs to coveting, they will take both initial envy and jealousy one step further.

Obviously, there are not degrees of sin, for all sin is sin, and sin is unrighteous in the eyes of God. However, God’s Ten Commandments specifically tells us that we are not to covet. Actually, the commandment says: “Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything your neighbor owns.”  -- (Exodus 20: 17. NLT). Although coveting includes envy, coveting goes so much further. For, when a person covets, they not only want what the other person has, but they are resenting the fact that the other person has what they would like to have. They do not want the other person to have the item. They want so much what the other person has that they are only focused on their desire to get it. Their coveting also can focus on resenting the other person for what they have, which can then lead to even hurting the other person to get what they want. Unfortunately, the coveting desire can be so strong for what the other person has that it can lead to stealing the item or thing from the other person in any way that the the one coveting can find to obtain it, which can even lead to murder. In these cases, this sort of desire also becomes idolatry, because the person is putting the thing that they are coveting above God thus making it an idol. Moreover, God says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.– (Exodus 20: 3, 4. NIV). But, the second commandment also states, “You shall not make for yourself an idol. …” Certainly, coveting then can lead to idolatry which leads to having or placing something else as an idol above God.

It is important that we teach our children not to envy and not to covet what someone else has. For, coveting can lead to stealing or worse, murder. The Apostle Paul said, “For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting – and any other commandment – are summed up in this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements.” – (Romans 13: 9, 10. NLT). When we love others as we love ourselves, we do not want to do anything to hurt them. Certainly, we would not want someone to hurt us by stealing from us or by coveting something that we have. So, why would we want to hurt another person by stealing from them or by coveting what they have, if we love the other person the way that we love ourselves. That is why it is also so important for us to teach our children and grandchildren not to steal or covet as well. For, they will grow up to be parents who set examples for their children as well, and teaching the truth of God’s Word is accomplished through each successive generation.

Having a Christ-like Attitude and Christ-like Characteristics  

It is through these and other verses in his letter to the Ephesians that the Apostle Paul further explains to us that Christians are to have a different attitude and are to have different behaviors and characteristics than those people who are not Christian. Moreover, now that we have turned our lives over to Christ and have been given the gift of salvation and are living for Him, we must also change our behaviors. This means that among other things we are not to steal to get what we want. Instead, we are to work or to labor for everything that we want or that we get.

In another letter, the Apostle Paul went even a step further in teaching/mentoring the Christians that we are not to mooch off of other Christians, which is also considered to be a type of stealing. The Apostle Paul said that all Christians are to work for our food and not steal food from others, nor are we to expect others to feed us when we have not contributed to the acquisition of the food for the group. The Apostle Paul also wrote something similar to the Thessalonians saying, “Whoever does not work should not eat. Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. … we command them: Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.” – (II Thessalonians 3: 10, 11. NLT). In other words, we are not to expect handouts, but are to work for our food and clothing. Most importantly, Christians are to set an example of working hard in every situation so that others can see that we represent what is good, truthful and honest. In doing so, we can then help others who truly have a need to have food or clothing, or who truly have a need for help; even if the help that they need is help in studying for a test. One of the best examples that we can be is to be for another person an Active Relational Christian Mentor who can be of help to those in need or who can find the help they need from another mentor no matter what the area of need is. At the same time, we are to be an example of righteous living and of honesty, truthfulness, and integrity.

Later, the Apostle Paul again wrote specifically about Christians working for the Lord when he wrote to the Colossians. It is in this letter that Paul wrote: “we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God– (Colossians 1: 9, 10, NASB).

Notice that in both his letter to the Ephesians and to the Colossians, Paul speaks of “laboring, or preforming with our own hands what is good”, so that we can bear fruit “in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. Bearing good fruit in our Christian walk, means that we have not only learned how to work to receive what we need, but that we can work to help others receive what they need as well. Thus, we are bearing fruit in every good work or service to the Lord while at the same time we are “being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

Christians then, are to walk in a manner that is worthy of representing Christ’s name to the world. Representing Christ to the world is more than just having loving, kind, and thoughtful conversations. We are to conduct ourselves in a way that will represent Christ with honor and give Him glory. We are to share the Gospel message and tell others of eternity with God through salvation. That is why it is so important to not steal and to not do anything that will dishonor Christ or His message of salvation. Indeed, it is our attitude and behaviors that allow others to see Christ in us so they, too, will want the peace, joy, and happiness that comes from personally knowing Christ and accepting His forgiveness. Furthermore, it is those same attitudes and behaviors that will allow our children and grandchildren to learn how to represent the truth and Christ to the world through their own attitudes and behaviors.

Moving from a World Wrapped in Darkness to a World Emblazoned with Light

We were all born into a world that is full of darkness. It is the darkness of sin that surrounds each of us. It is that darkness that Satan wants us to long for and not resist. Sadly, though, it is that darkness that can lead us right into eternal hell, if we do not grab onto and hold on to the light of Christ that God has offered to each of us. For years, people thought that they were helpless to escape the bondage of their sin. However, God defeated Satan, the master of this darkness and bondage, when He sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ into the world to die and then arise from the grave conquering death for our sins. How did Jesus conquer death and give us the chance to be cleansed of our sins? Well, Jesus defeated Satan and eternal death when after taking our sins upon his body and dying for our sins, he arose from the grave and its eternal darkness. It is Christ who can bring each of us into a world emblazoned with light and give us the freedom from eternal death and darkness. For, if we believe on the one and only Son of God, we can be Saved from eternal darkness and never have to fear that death again.

In being born into this world of darkness and sin, means that each of us starts out our life by being alienated from God. But, God did not want us to be alienated from Him, so in His mercy and grace, God has given each of us a way to spend eternity in a world emblazoned with God’s light, if we so choose to accept His free gift. For, if we believe that Christ is God incarnate and that He came to earth to reconcile us to Himself through His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection, we can be saved for all eternity living forever in the Light of God. We will be immortal, because our relationship with God will have been cleansed and restored to us through Jesus’ blood on the cross, i.e., if we choose to accept God’s gift of mercy and grace.

Unfortunately, some people will refuse to believe in Christ as the living Son of God. But, God does not want anyone to be excluded from His eternal world of light and love, yet some people will exclude themselves. Why do they refuse to believe and repent of their sins? Well, their hearts have become hardened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, or they have become stubborn and refused to believe in what they cannot physically see. To make matters worse, they have come to love the darkness of this world in its words and actions and want to trust in their own wisdom rather than the Lord’s. Sadly, they have grieved the Holy Spirit to the point that he no longer reaches out to them or touches their hearts to gently call them to God.

Living a Life Within God’s Light

  Christians know that they have been sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. We know this, because God has given us the Holy Spirit to live within us and to guide and comfort us daily. Moreover, we know that when we die we will leave our physical bodies and exchange them for “… an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands. (As Christians) We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit… That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.”  -- (II Corinthians 5: 1-5, 7. NLT).

This is why the Apostle Paul also tells Christians “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children: and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper for the saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting but rather giving of thanks.

For this you know with a certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 30-31, 5: 1-5. NASB).

Christians are to be imitators of God. If a person cannot walk in the ways of the Christ and the Heavenly Father, we must question if they are really a child of God. For, God wants His children to be lighthouses to the world, living in the light of God and shining the light of Christ on the world, i.e. showing others the way to safety and Salvation which leads to eternity with God. Moreover, the Holy Spirit living within us not only assures us of our Salvation, but born-again Christians live in submission to Him, so that as He prompts us to do the right things, we immediately respond to Him in obedience.

Are you responding to Christ in obedience to Him? Are you living an honest, trustworthy, integrity light filled life for Christ so that others can see Christ in you? Are you eternity bound? If not, perhaps you need to focus on living for Christ. Or perhaps you need to ask Christ to come into your heart through your repentance of your sins? If you want to live for Christ and be forgiven of your sins, just call out to Him in truth and honesty. Tell Christ that you want to be forgiven your sins and that you repent of all your sinfulness. Christ will hear you and you will be saved! Then tell someone that you have been saved and find a church where you can follow through with God’s commandment to be baptized by immersion. Following Christ in baptism shows your obedience to Him and tells the world that you are indeed a child of God’s. Then, it is time to listen to the Holy Spirit that is now within you and live exemplifying God’s virtues, values, and love. Also teach your children about God and Jesus Christ, so that they one day can make a decision on their own to ask Christ into their heart. Also teach them about right and wrong and show them that stealing and coveting are wrong. You can be the light for the next generation to see Christ in you.

If you are interested in Active Relational Christian Mentoring, please look for my book entitled The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring on Amazon, at Barnes and Nobel, at INGRAM, iTunes, Google Play and Christian Faith Publishing.  Please check out my webpage at: 

Friday, May 5, 2017

My book, The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring; Women Mentoring Women with Christ at the Center

I am so excited to share my news with you!  My book, The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring with the subtitle of Women Mentoring Women with Christ at the Center has finally been published! For the last 13 years, the Lord has, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, had me writing a book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring for women. The book is now finished and has been published. In fact, it can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Ingram, and Spring Harbor, as well as from my Publisher, Christian Faith Publishing Co. The e-book will also be available in about four weeks and can be down loaded from Amazon, I Tunes, and Google Play.

What is my book about?

Although this book focuses on specifically encouraging women to become active relational Christian mentors, it is really a book for both men and women who are interested in serving the Lord in a ministry that can make a huge difference in the lives of the mentees, with women mentoring women and men mentoring men. Along with the interesting true mentoring stories, this book provides a look into the different types of active Christian mentoring available while giving examples of each category and type of mentoring available. It is also a book that can be used as a guide for churches wanting to develop a mentoring ministry within their congregation that can further enhance the discipleship of all Christians.

This Holy Spirit inspired book is about many of the different aspects of this fruit producing service or ministry that I have entitled Active Relational Christian Mentoring. Along with interesting true stories about personal Christian mentoring relationships, there is also an explanation of what Active Relational Christian Mentoring is and the difference between active and passive mentoring. Although most Christians engage in some type of passive mentoring, we must take Christ’s commission to share the Good News and to help others to heart by becoming active relational Christian mentors. So, this book also gives an easy explanation and directions on how one can become involved in mentoring for the Lord.

As my friend Donna says, “This book is gives everyone a look at where mentoring started, how mentoring was used in the Bible, the Ultimate Mentor, Our God and Lord and Savior, and how you, too, can touch the lives of others today through a Christian mentoring relationship with those who are Christians and those who aren’t. In addition, the reader will be able to see how active mentoring fills a place of great need while giving a helping hand to others. It is just one way we can reflect the loving kindness of Jesus, as in a mirror.

I know that although most Christian women wear several hats covering many responsibilities, many feel that they have little time to fulfill their desire to be of service to the Lord and others. Indeed, many women probably wish that they could do more for the Lord, but they simply do not know where to begin or how to fit a service for the Lord into their schedules. But, The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring is a ministry or service that any Christian woman can engage in, because it is about our relationships with other women, and women usually can find time for relationships whether it is a relationship with a family member or friend. Moreover, because we are born-again Christians, Christ is with us and will guide us into the right mentoring relationships with acquaintance, work related, or church related relationships. Furthermore, Christian mentoring relationships do not require us to go to another country or to put in hours of extra time.

I have discovered that whether you are a wife, mother, partner to your spouse, sole breadwinner, or even a career woman, most Christian women have a heart for serving the Lord. However, women often do not know where to start serving even though they may have a deep longing to serve God and others or a need to bring Christ’s message to those who don’t know Him. This book, The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring, will show women the importance of and the ease of engaging in Active Relation Christian Mentoring (ARCM).

Through true mentoring stories throughout the book, I explain and show the importance of Christ being at the center of all mentoring relationships and how Christ and the Holy Spirit will guide each of us into a mentoring relationship if we are just willing to listen to the Holy Spirit’s still small voice inside of us. Then, when we start to form a mentoring relationship with another woman, we do not have to be afraid, because Christ is right there with us guiding us with insight and discernment.

 Having Christ at the center of the braided three-strand cord of mentoring (i.e., one strand of the cord is you, the mentor, while another strand is the mentee, with the middle strand being Christ), means positive, meaningful, and loving help is there for the mentee, while guidance, insight, and the empowerment to work for the Lord is there for the mentor through Christ’s help. The three-strand cord of ARCM then provides a caring and efficient way for Christian women to support, encourage, enlighten, and empower another woman through the development of godly mentoring relationships. It is through their personal mentoring relationships that women are given the opportunity to shine the light of Christ on others.

My book on The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring: Women Mentoring Women with Christ at the Center is an easy read. The book starts with a true mentoring story and then explains the meaning of the three-strand cord and why the words active and relational are important in mentoring. It then gives the reader the Biblical background of relational mentoring which was established by God. For, it was God who gave us the ability to form relationships. Furthermore, it is God who gives each of us the ability to mentor one another, to be able to share the knowledge that God has specifically bestowed upon us or to be able to share the knowledge that we have acquired through our God-given abilities to study and observe. I also explain within the pages of the book the importance of developing personal active mentoring relationships within the lives of women. I have further included several personal mentoring stories throughout the book that demonstrate the importance of and the different kinds of mentoring relationships available, as well as how they can mirror the different types of mentoring categories.

Each of the true stories in this book also provides examples of women being empowered to be all they can be for God, themselves, their family, and their friends. Moreover, each of the stories are also examples of the different kinds of mentoring relationships that can be developed between two women. So, whether you are interested in becoming a teaching type of mentor, a coach type of mentor, an accountability mentor, a sponsor mentor, a counselor mentor, or a fellowship/friendship mentor there is some type of mentoring that every Christian woman can engage in.

How did this book come about? 

It’s funny you should ask! But the truth is that it was the Lord and the Holy Spirit who not only inspired me to write this book on mentoring, but then actually helped me to write this book for Him. And although it took me 13 years to finish it and get it published, I believe that is within the Lord’s timing that this book became a reality, while the idea for the book also came from the Lord. Let me explain further:

Nearly thirteen years ago I was meeting with a couple of my friends to work on developing a pamphlet for our church on mentoring. Our church was wanting to establish a mentoring program and our small committee of three was to write a pamphlet that set the standards and the do’s and don’ts of Christian mentoring. We had met a few times previously, but on this particular meeting day, which was probably the fourth or fifth time we had met, something different and exciting happened during one of our breaks.

Our now deceased friend, Carol Graves, had sent a Jewish prayer shawl back to Israel to have the blue tzitzith cords attached to the corners of the prayer shawl that she was giving to her husband for his P.H.D. graduation. She wanted the shawl to have the blue cords added, because she had learned in studying Jewish history and from the book of Numbers that having the blue cords on the corners of not only the prayer shawls but on the Israelites’ clothing was something that God had told Moses to tell the people to do. God told Moses: “Say to the people of Israel: ‘Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach the tassels at each corner with a blue cord. The tassels will remind you of the commands of the LORD, and that you are to obey His commands instead of following your own desires and going your ways, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all My commands and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt that I might be your God. I am the LORD your God!’”  -- (Numbers 15: 37-41. NLT).

Carol had purchased this particular Jewish prayer shawl for her husband the previous year, but she also wanted it to be authentic, so she had sent it back to Israel for special rabbis to add the blue tzitzith to the corners of the shawl. She had just gotten the shawl back from Israel a couple of days before. She was excited to show it to us before she gave the shawl to her husband at his graduation party. So, during a break from the planning of the pamphlet, Carol got the prayer shawl out to show us.

Something dramatic was about to happen though. As Carol came back into the room with the prayer shawl, she said that when she picked up the shawl she began to get goose bumps all over her body. Then both Donna and I came close to look at the shawl. Donna touched the main part of the shawl, but I chose to touch the blue tzitzith on one of the corners of the shawl. Immediately the Holy Spirit came upon me. I felt like I was receiving the softest and most loving hug while engulfed in the softest of clouds. From somewhere in the distance, I heard the voice of Carol saying, “Donna, grab Vicky, because she is about to faint or fall over!” Then I felt both Donna’s and Carol’s hands holding me and guiding me over to a couch to sit down.

It probably took only a few minutes, but it seemed like ten or fifteen minutes before I could see the world around me again as it really was. When I was finally myself again, both Donna and Carol said my face was glowing. I did not know what had happened to me, but I knew I was in a euphoric state of peace and happiness. We tried discussing what had happened, but we could not figure it out. So, instead of trying to continue on with the writing of the pamphlet that day, Donna and I decided to go home. It was a good thing that Donna and I had driven over to Carol’s together, because Donna had to drive me home. I remember that during the drive that Donna would look over at me every once in a while, and remark that my face was glowing and that I couldn’t seem to quit smiling.

When I finally got home, I decided to sit down at the computer and type up the notes that I had made that day on our discussion of the mentoring pamphlet. But, something strange happened. I started writing about mentoring in general and I couldn’t stop writing for three or four hours. I had never wanted to write a book or article on mentoring or write any book for that matter, yet here I was writing my heart out on Christian mentoring. After I finished writing that day, I thought that was the end of my writing. But when I sat down at the computer the next day, the same type of immersion in writing on mentoring happened again. This went on for four days. In fact, it wasn’t until the fifth day that I actually felt back to my old self again and quit smiling all the time (I was still smiling quite a bit, though, for several more days). But that did not end my writing for the Lord.

For the next thirteen years, between surgeries, illnesses, and moves from one state to another I continued to write this book on mentoring for the Lord. Something continued to draw me to the computer to write and when I sat down to write, it seemed easy to do so. That’s not to say that I didn’t grow and mature in my writing ability and style, for I did. There were of course many starts and re-starts on different sections of the book, but I never had what they call “writer’s block”. I always had something to write, I just needed to choose what I wanted to include in the book from my many writings and researches on mentoring and relationships.

All the time I was writing I felt like I had been given a special job to do for the Lord. Having touched the blue tzitzith on the prayer shawl, I had somehow been reminded of God’s commands and had also been given a specific job to do. Remember, that God told Moses to tell the people that “The tassels will remind you of the commands of the LORD, and that you are to obey His commands instead of following your own desires and going your ways, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all My commands and be holy to your God.”  Touching the blue tzitzith tassels on the prayer shawl that day at Carol’s had somehow inspired me to not only write this book for the Lord, but to live my life mentoring others for the Lord. Certainly, I needed to obey God’s command and not just follow my own desires and ways. Moreover, I found that I grew closer to the Lord each and every day as I researched the Scriptures for the book, wrote, and prayed to God about what I was to do for Him.

God had also blessed me with a husband who also believed that I had been given a special commission to write a book on Christian mentoring for the Lord so that women could learn how to engage in the service of this ministry. My husband was always there to encourage me and to tell me that the book would be finished and be published in God’s timing, so do not give up. Indeed, God’s timing is perfect, for even after many writings and re-writings, God had the exact publication date and the exact day that all my efforts would come to fruition.

Now, I pray that this book, written for the Lord and for all those Christians who want to be of service to the Lord, will inspire all Christian women and perhaps even some Christian men to develop active mentoring relationships.  I pray that these three-strand mentoring relationships will be used to disciple other women, to encourage women, to empower women to be all they can be for God, for themselves, and for their families and friends, and that they will be empowered to help other women in whatever area they need help. For Christian women are to share their knowledge, their love, and their heart for the Lord with other women as they teach other women to love others just as they love themselves.

Women can be strong, smart, and caring. They also have many different gifts, talents and abilities to share. It is in using all of these individual attributes, which God has endowed us with, that women can make a difference in a world that has reached an important juncture in time. Without a doubt, women can make a difference in this world one woman at a time simply by reaching out in Christian love to help those who are in need or to help those who need to know about the Savior of the world. But with our knowledge, the truth of the Bible, and knowing the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, I truly believe that Christian women can change the outlook of this world by sharing the Gospel message and by engaging in The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

If every Christian woman could reach even one woman through Christian mentoring, there could be a tidal wave of Christian mentoring throughout the earth leading to the knowledge of and love of Christ.  All it takes is to have Christ at the center of every relationship and for that active mentoring relationship to culminate in truth and love for God and each other. But, without Christ at the center of each relationship, women are just spinning around in circles without knowing that true north can guide their lives into productive eternity bound lives for the Kingdom of God.                                       

Where do you go from here?

Obviously, I hope that many of you will choose to read The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring: Women mentoring Women with Christ at the Center. For, I believe that you will find this book to both be informative in the ministry of active relational mentoring as well as inspirational. There is now a short video trailer about the book on You tube which can give you more insight into the book and how Christian mentoring can be of great service to the Lord and others. If you choose to read the book, I then also hope, if you know Christ as your personal Savior, that you will reach out in an active mentoring ministry that will enlighten and help other women to become all that they can be for God, themselves and for their family and friends.

Certainly, this book will tell you how important Active Relational Christian Mentoring is and how you, personally, can have a great effect on lives of others by engaging in Active Relational Christian Mentoring. So, if you have ever wanted to make a difference in another’s life, this book is for you. Moreover, no matter what your strength or weakness is, there is a mentoring category and type of mentoring that will fit your personality. You just need to be willing to step up to mentor another woman by developing a relationship and pursuing a mentoring style, and this book will help you do so.

If you have not yet come into the loving arms of God …

Even if you have not yet accepted Christ as your Savior, this book can show you the importance of looking closer into the Gospel message. Christ can be found throughout this book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring, for it is through Christ that lives are changed for the better, and it is The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring that touches the lives of people. But there is a book much greater than any other book ever written and that is the Bible. For, throughout the Bible God tells us of His Son, the Redeemer, the Deliverer, and the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ is the living Son of God who died for our sins and who arose from the grave conquering eternal death and damnation. It is through Christ that we can be forgiven of all our sins and can find an eternal relationship with the Trinity. But even before we get to Heaven and while we are presently still here on this earth, Christ gives us peace, hope, and joy, as well as the assurance of a future eternity spent with God. All of us who are “saved” have become immortal, for when our souls leave this earth, we will live in eternity with God.

If you decide to read this book on mentoring, I think that you will enjoy reading the true mentoring stories of women who have come to know Christ personally. Their mentoring and salvation stories can show you how living for Christ can empower you to be all that God created you to be and how you can always have a friend in Christ who will always be there with you. I believe you will feel the importance of reaching out to others in Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

If at any time you are ready to ask Christ into your heart, it is really quite simple. For, the Bible says: “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus as Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation…. For whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.” – (Romans 10: 9, 10. 13. NASB). Please don’t let time get away from you. Ask Christ into your heart today!  Then go and tell someone that you have been saved!