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Change is good . . .sometimes

August 3, 2005

My friend Jennifer surprised me once by telling me that she’d been “warned” by a long-time friend of hers not to get too close to me. Her friend and I had only met once or twice, so I was a little angry that she had passed judgment on me so hastily. What nerve! She didn’t even know me!

But she knew the guy I was dating at the time. And, because she knew him, she thought that anyone who would be with him must be like him, too. She didn’t know me, but she drew a conclusion about me—although it wasn’t a true one—based on the company I kept. It was a wake-up call (and no, btw, I'm not still with that guy).

Whether I want to admit it or not, I am influenced by the people I hang out with. In the book Patriarchs and Prophets, page 90, it says, “It is a law of the human mind that by beholding we become changed.” Whether it’s a friend, movie, music, web-site, TV show, magazine--whatever, by “beholding”, you will be changed. Even if you don’t want to admit it.

Our lives are a witness--whether we want them to be or not--either for or against God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Who is your master? What are you beholding? Are you changing to be more, or less like God?

- Re: Change is good . . .sometimes from Vicki Redden, August 8, 2005

Hey Arian,

It's been my experience that all relationships change through time and go through "highs" and "lows". The trick is not to get too discouraged during the "lows"!

If your devotional time is getting a little stale, try something different; find a quiet place outside to study; look for God in the things around you; study a specific book or topic in the Bible; help someone else; listen to uplifting music; talk with your friends about their relationship with God and what they've learned about Him; find (and read!) a good, Biblical devotional book; make a list of all the ways He's blessed you, or that you're thankful for, or of different traits of God you've studied. The important thing is to stay in the Word--to know what you believe and why and, most importantly, the God those beliefs exemplify. Keep in the Word, Arian--God has promised in Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. YOU WILL SEEK ME AND FIND ME WHEN YOU SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART." Keep seeking! And be careful what you are "beholding".

Your friend, Vicki

- Re: Change is good . . .sometimes from n/a, August 5, 2005

It's really hard not to serve two masters, especially if the thing that's ruling you, taking up sooo much time, is something as simple but commonplace as the TV. It's really hard to find "good" shows to watch these days, so besides the soaps, reality TV and R rated movies (even movies for kids), the only thing that seems left is sports and the news. But you know what who ever got it into our heads that we need to watch television??

- Re: Change is good . . .sometimes?? not this time. from Arian Emanuel, August 4, 2005

To tell you the truth, I feel change. I think its bcuz of the friends I'm keeping, they're not bad at all. It's just that their life style is soo much different from mine. And now, realize some people that used to say, "Arian is sooo much different from ya'll", are now saying, "woah, arian since when u do stuff like that", or "woah, since when u talk like that?" That realy burns. I don't like it when people say I'm changing, n its not n a great way. who does? So what can I do. I mean, I still love God n everything, but even though I never really show it, I know it in my heart, that I don't feel as close as I usef to with God. I use to love getting up early n study, my study Bible and my quarterly, all of a sudden I'm doign it,not bcuz I have to (cuz no one in this house honestly cares if U do), but bcuz I wannna get back. But the study doesn't feel genuine. DO u feel me? Cuz I've been blabbering on. lol. Tell me, apart from prayign and desperately trying to study, what can I do to get back my close relationship with God that I luv, and to enjoy the good things that I had always enjoyed? With deepest sincerity,Arian.

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