Distractions

Read 1 Kings 20:35-43

It took me a couple times reading this passage, plus reading some commentaries to really understand how it applies to life today. But I finally got it. Read the passage closely. The prophet here is setting a trap, like Nathan did with David regarding Uriah, hoping to ensnare him with his own words.

The set up is simple: the prophet tells Ahab a story about being put in charge of a prisoner. If he failed to watch the prisoner fully, and the prisoner escaped, the prophet would have to replace the man or pay a fee that would be so high, he would never be able to pay it.

With the trap set, Ahab falls right into it, telling the disguised prophet that he must take the prisoners place. The prophet reveals himself, and Ahab runs off depressed and angry.  To truly grasp why this is such an important section of scripture, go back and read the portion before this passage and you will see that Ahab had the chance to follow God’s instructions, but did not.  Ahab become distracted by the men who came to beg for mercy.  The prophet used his ruse to show that he was distracted while guarding his prisoner, and did not accomplish his assigned task.

This is where we, as Christians, come in. We have remain constant in the task which Jesus has given us. We can not become distracted by those who wish to pulled us away from Jesus. Ahab took his eyes away from God’s mission for him. He allowed for societal pressures to pull his focus off of God. And we do the same. It does not matter if it is personal relationships with others, entertainment, family issues or personal issues, we must not allow our world to influence our relationship with Jesus. We must remain diligent in keeping on task for God.

But what is the task God has given you? While we are all called to go out and make disciples of all the world, we are each given different gifts to accomplish this. I hear people around me say things like “God really did not give me any gifts, I am just ordinary.”  When you say this, you are saying that God did not create you with a purpose, that He made you simply to exist and nothing more. Is this what you really want to be saying to people?  Instead, you should be asking God to help you find your gift. Then, begin to train yourself to use that gift whenever the occasion arises.

Remaining faithful to God’s instructions is the number priority we should have in life. But what happens if we fall away? If we fail to follow through on the instructions He has given us? We can once again take a look at how Ahab responded.

1 Kings 20:43

So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.

Instead of repenting from disobeying God’s instructions, Ahab became mad. He essentially went into his palace and pouted. Does this sound familiar? Do you take this approach too? How many times have you played the If I can’t have it my way, I will just go home card with God. This attitude is not a healthy one for spiritual growth. And don’t take my word for it, go right to the source:

1 Kings 21:25

But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that is not exactly what I would want to be known for. It seems that today’s society would use that passage as a badge of honor. Everywhere we turn, we are being asked to chip away at our morals and beliefs more and more. We are asked to step away from God’s Will for us, and instead become more like the world.

Ahab did just that. He let one little misstep away from God build into another, then another, then another. And eventually he had fallen so far away from God that he could not even see Him. Notice what I said there. Ahab could not see God, it was not the other way around. God is always right there when we look for Him, but we have to be willing to look and listen. Ahab lost this willingness. Have you?

Advertisements

I’m Saved, Now What?

The modern church does one thing very well, and that is brag about the number of baptisms it does on a weekly basis. We see pictures of churches setting up pools in their parking lots, and “dunking” hundreds or even thousands of people on a weekend. We see the numbers flash across the big digital displays about how many people “came to know Christ” on any given Sunday. The list goes on and on. But the one thing we never hear about is what happens to those people after the baptism. We never hear the plan these churches have to help strengthen those new in Christ. And the reason is because there is no plan. It is all about the flash and spectacle of the baptism, and then just push them aside for the next group of dunkees.

So to those out there who may be asking “Ok, I am saved, now what?”, I want to give you a little help, because I was fortunate enough to be become a member of a church who does not believe in the dunk them and leave them strategy. If you feel like you are wandering, wanting to know Jesus more, but have no idea how to, let me guide you a bit (which some help from a discipleship notebook I have been going through).

The first step is to pray. And not just a recited prayer written in a book somewhere. Have a discussion with God in a private, quite place. Tell Him your fears, your sins and your dreams. Let Him know what is in your heart. Let Him HEAR you say why you need Him. A prayer spoken out loud to God does not carry any more weight with Him than one said silently, but it will help you unburden yourself to God.  If you do this from your heart, you will feel better. Think about your attitude change when you tell a good friend something you have been hiding from them.  Now think about how much greater that change will be when you tell your Creator what is troubling your heart and what you are thankful for.

Pray is not a one and done activity. It is an ongoing communication with God throughout your day. You should set aside time each day to seclude yourself to be alone with God, but this is not the only time you should speak to Him. I find myself all throughout my day asking God for guidance, thanking Him for His blessings and asking  forgiveness. Do not fall into the “this is my time to pray” trap so many do. Pray whenever you want to take something to God, not just when it is time to run down your prayer list or prayer chain.

Once you become in Christ, it is time to seriously invest in a proper bible. Many will say “but I have the bible app on my phone / tablet and will just use it”. That’s great, I have that too, and use it every day. But that app will not substitute sitting down with God’s Word in front of you, alone from all distractions, and studying. You know what else your phone or tablet has on it? It has your email, your Facebook, your Twitter and all other distractions the world can throw at you. Turn the phone off, put it away, and pick up a notebook and your own bible and start to read the Word of God distraction free. I would also recommend a solid bible dictionary (I use a Smith’s).  As you start studying the bible, you are going to find yourself wondering “what is that?” or “who is this person”.  Write it down and go back and look it up when you finish reading. This is what is means to study the bible as opposed to simply reading it. The stronger you become in God’s Word, and the more you start to understand it, the more powerful and focused your prayer life will become.

So you are now praying and studying the bible with vigor, but still feel like you are not getting that full connection with God? That is because you are only halfway there. Like most everything here on earth, you need a support system in place to help you. And for Christians, that support system comes from fellow believers. Find a bible teaching church and become active and involved. Showing up on Sunday mornings for an hour and maybe Wednesday evenings is not being active and involved.  (You can see many other posts and videos from me on this subject). You need to dig in and ask questions. When you come across something in your daily reading you don’t understand or need clarification on, go to your pastor or a deacon and ask. That is what they are there for. If you find you are not getting a solid bible foundation in your pastor’s messages, then it is time to start looking for a different place to fellowship. Even Jesus quoted scripture when we spoke to the masses. Fellowship with other believers is vital to helping you grow in your relationship with Christ.

Finally, it is time to go out and tell others about this wonder gift of salvation God has given to all who believe in His Son.  This is the call to every single one of us in Christ. This is also where almost every one of use falls staggeringly short. If you are new in Christ, you may be scared or feel like you do not have the knowledge to be able to speak with someone about God. Let me share this little passage of scripture with you to show you that you are not alone:

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” … Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” (Exodus 3:11, 4:10-11 NKJV)

Two times Moses, the writer of the first five books of God’s Word and the leader of the Israelites, tells God “send someone else, I am not capable of doing what you want.” But look at God’s response “I will be your mouth and teach you what to say.” That same guidance and power is with every single person in Christ today, all we have to do it ask God to guide us. Pray to God to make known to you the chances you have to give His salvation message, and pray for the heart and the head to carry out His will.

Pray, study, fellowship and evangelize. If you are new in Christ, those are the four foundational pillars to grow from.  Rejoice in the grace of God, and immerse yourself in His Glory.

Are You Ready?

Think about how many times a day you ask this question, or something similar. “Kids, are you ready for school?” “Is that report ready?” your boss may ask. “Is dinner ready?” “Is my dry cleaning ready to be picked up?” Over and over again, we ask it in one form or another. 

But the most important “are you ready?” is never one we think about. Are you ready to meet God? Are you ready for eternity? Are you ready to go create disciples in the world? 

The above scripture passge lets us know that there are only two types of people in God’s eyes: those who produce good fruit (words / works for Him and His kingdom) and those who produce bad fruit (words / works for Satan and the world). There is no gray area or fence sitting here. So you need to ask yourself, are you ready to face God and answer for the fruit you have produced while here on earth? Are you ready to say yes, I have been a good and faithful servant, doing all I could let people know about His kingdom, about repentance and about salvation through Christ. 

It is a simple question with a complex answer. Because I don’t think any of us would be willing to say there are ready. Because all of us know there is more we can do to help move God’s Kingdom forward here on earth. We know there are many missed opportunities every day to tell someone about Jesus’s blood and love. But we don’t. We don’t because we are too busy getting ready for the things of the world, and don’t take the time to produce the good fruit we are called to produce. 

Emotions like anger, jealous and doubt creep into our minds and make us stay quiet about God. We make excuses like “I don’t have the money to do this” (one I am ashamed to admit I have used many times in the past) when in our hearts we know we don’t need a dime to tell someone about Jesus. We get our feelings hurt when we are told no by our church (once again, no problem admitting this one as well) when upon reflection we realize that no was the right answer at the time. 

Are you ready does not mean do you have the money, resources or man power to do something for Jesus. Are you ready means do you have the spirit inside you to say yes God, use me anyway you want to use me on this earth for Your good works. 

Making yourself ready to do God’s work is the first step. God will provide the tools you need to produce His fruit, you just need to be ready to accept them. 

Why Do We Go To Church?

This morning, my pastor shared on article on his Facebook page that I thought I was going to hate. (you can see it here). The title told me I was in for another one of those “us vs. them” lectures on how bad modern church worship is. I was all ready to type out a response, but I figured it would be a good idea to actually read the article first.

The first third was exactly what I thought it would be. But at the start of the second third, I realized the writer was conveying the message I delivered on a Wednesday night in church a couple months back. And that message is simply one single question: Why are you stepping through the doors of your church?

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:14-17)

The article quoted some scripture, but to me, this is the entire key verse in regards to the modern worship movement. It to my own paraphrase on it:

To the church of America write, because you are disengaged, I will vomit you out of my mouth

The issue is not worship styles, or the “entertainment” factor, it is the engagement factor when people leave the walls of the church. We take for granted the privilege we have to be able to walk into a house of worship and openly praise God. All over the world, people are walking 5 miles to a church with no electricity or water, and share a bible and sing praises to God. Yet we want to argue about what instrument should be played on Sunday?

The point of the church is worship, but so often, we do not even know what this word means. I read two definitions of worship that I think sum it up best for me:

  • An offering of your life to God in response to His life in you
  • A response to who God is to you and what He does in your life

In other words, worship does not just take place in a building 2 hours on Sunday morning and an hour Wednesday night. It is a continuous process of thanking God for all the blessings He has given you.

I do agree with the author of the article in that I sometimes think that the more glitz and glamour that are added into worshiping God, the less worship actually takes place. It becomes more about the show than the substance.

I know this sounds incredibly strange coming from me, someone that is pushing for more and more tech in my church. And the reason I am pushing for a more modern looking church is to attract a more, shall we say, youthful demographic. So I am completely aware that what I am typing go against the things I am pushing for in my home church. But, those things I am pushing for are geared to bringing more of the unchurched in our community through the doors. Once those new in the congregation come in, why are they staying? That is where the key question is. If all the new purchases we are making do not bring about a worshipful spirit in church walls, then honestly I have to ask the same questions brought up in the article. Worshiping God should be the top priority we have in walking through church doors, and anything blocking our path do doing that needs to be put aside when we enter.

Which brings me to the second reason we should be coming to church, and that is to learn. We should be coming through the doors of our churches with our minds focused on learning and understanding God’s Word better. In our Sunday school classes, we should be bringing to the table questions we have from our bible reading the week before and then we should be offering up answers to others questions.  During the sermon message, we should be taking notes on what we hear, and going back and looking at those notes as we read through the bible passages that are mentioned. Your mindset should be on gaining biblical knowledge and understanding. And do to this, your mind needs to be free of any and all worldly distractions what might be in it.  YOU MUST BE ENGAGED. And you cannot be engaged if you are concentrating on other things other than the message that is being presented.

Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.  (Acts 17:10-11)

Self-evaluation – you should be made to feel uncomfortable and want to make a change in your life every time you leave the church. What is said from the pulpit should make you examine your life, and make you want to make actionable changes to draw closer to Jesus. If you are not feeling moved to change when your leave your church, either your pastor is not telling you the truth or you are not engaged in what they are saying enough to see the areas in your life which they are talking about.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. (2 Cor 13:5)

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1: 23-24)

You see, if we simply sit in church each week and hear the words being said up here, without actually listening to what is being said, we are doing ourselves a disservice. We should be made to feel a need of action in our lives about what is being said up from our pastor. If we are not, either the pastor is being ineffective or we are simply choosing to ignore those parts which will make us question the way we are living.

And finally, we should be coming to church for community.  I have spoken many times about how the church used to be the center of social activities in communities.  And I am convinced this has stopped being true because we have become disengaged with our own community. The church as a whole has lost the urgency to create a feeling of community.  When you come through the doors of your church, you must be of the mindset that the church is the focal point of your community.

Since joining my church, I have witnessed firsthand how, when it has the right mindset, can show what a loving community is can be. Both with my mom’s passing and with my accident, I came to realize how I had fallen short in engaging myself into the community mindset.

This is one of the reasons I decided in 2016 to give control of the music booking website to someone else. I realized that I was focusing on the wrong things, and that my time and energy should be placed locally in helping achieve the things I am speaking of here.

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

We love the idea of community.  Everyone engaged and involved and connected, but how many people show up here longing for  someone to reach out to them, shake their hand and have more than a 2 second conversation.  – Craig Groeschel

 So while I am not agree with everything in the article linked above, I do understand the need for us all to question why it is we walk through our church doors. Is it for the entertainment, or is it to draw closer to Jesus. I say it a lot: It is ok to bring the lost through the doors with the fun stuff, but once you get them through the doors, it has to turn serious. And there is nothing more serious than eternal life.

The Final Destination

2016 is coming to an end soon. And the past week has seen three “icons” (for lack of a better term) in the entertaiment industry pass on into eternity. As we watch the tributes and reflections of the lives of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, we will remember fondly the joy they brought us for a brief moment through their work. And this is fine. It is good to remember where you were the first time you watched Star Wars, the first time you saw the classic Singing In The Rain, or the first time you heard Father Figure or Careless Whisper. It is ok to let those memories put a smile on your face. 

But the importmant thing you should take from the passing of these entertainment figures (along with the others we lost this year like Prince and Gary Shandling) is a question. And that question quite simply is: Did they know Jesus as their Savior? Did they have a relationship with the God of the universe? If the answer to this question is no, then they are damned to a life of eternal torment.

This is a reality that society does not want to think about. But just because you do not want to think about it and accept it, does not make it any less true. Whenever we read or hear about someone passing away, be it a famous figure in our society or a friend or family member, it should make us examine our relationship with Jesus. It should make us get our house in a little more order. It should make us reach for our bible for comfort and security in knowing where our final destination will be. 

I hear all the time after someone passes “I pray they are in heaven now”. It is too late for that prayer once they have left this earth. Right now, today, we should be praying for those who are not in Christ to come to know His love and mercy. We should be making sure that we are doing everything we can to bring people to Christ. 

Once someone leaves this earth, the decision is made. And not making a decision is a decision. Ignoring God and Christ is a choice. You can not stand in front of God and say “but I did not know” because the bible is clear that everyone will be given a chance to come to know Jesus. 

For those who are not in relationship with Him, there is no guarantte of tomorrow. Romans 5:8 tells us:

But God demonstrates Hs love towards us, in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us. 

Make no mistake, you, me and every single person you encounter today is a sinner. There is no one walking this planet today that is not living in sin. What you need to ask yourself is, are you sins covered by the blood of Christ? If you know they are, then you know your enternal destination is secure in God. If you don’t know that they are, it is time to stop what you are doing right now, and accept Christ as your Savior. 

If we learned anything from this past week, it is that our time on earth is not guaranteed. It is now time to start making your final destination plans. It is only one of two choices: heaven or hell. There is nothing in between. And the choice is completely and totally up to you. 

As I Have Loved You

I rarely get into discussions with people on social media, because it is the pure definition of an exercise in futility. But every now and then, I will see someone comment on a story I read that makes it impossible not to respond. This was the case today, as I read the story of how the nation’s largest jewelry chain (Zales) now has an ad glorifying homosexual “marriage” (no, I this is not what this blog will be about). After reading the article, I glanced the comments section, where I saw this:
“Jesus said we are to love everyone, no matter what, so why can’t all you homophobes just do what your make believe God told you to do.”
Now, I did not engage with particular person, because, well, as you can see from their comment, it would have done no good. But this comment did spark something in my mind. Like so many other well quoted verses of scripture, this misguided commenter is only getting half the truth. Because what these people are doing is quoting John 13:34, where Jesus says:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another
Sound nice doesn’t it? We all just get in a circle, hold hands and sway as we sing around a campfire. But wait! There is that pesky second part to the scripture that no one ever bothers to recite. And that second part makes ALL the difference in what Jesus is saying here. You see, just like “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, if you stop right there, it is easy to make the bible fit into your sin. But you can’t stop, you have to finish to the end of the sentence. And the end of John 13:34 is:
as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 
Oh now why did Jesus have to go and add that. You see, without that last part, it is perfectly fine to accept anyone, and let anyone do anything , because you can always go back and say “see see, Jesus said you have to love me like I am.” But oh my how it changes when the second part to the sentence comes into play. 
How does Jesus love us? Well, let’s take a look shall we:
Mark 2:15-17

Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Well that does not sound good for all who want to keep sinning and think we should just accept it. But surely that is the only time Jesus says something like this, right? Um, wrong:
John 3:17-21

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Read the italics again. This is Jesus saying this right after he says what is probably the most quoted piece of scripture ever. How Jesus loves us is by showing us the path to eternal salvation. And that path is one way and one way only: belief in Him and repentance of sin. 
So how can we love anyone like Jesus loves us unless we show them the destructive ways they are living. Now, make no mistake, Christians have a long long way to go in learning how to communicate this message with love and understanding. We all could us a little dose of “look in the mirror” before we speak with someone about their sin. But that does not mean we don’t speak to them. 
To love like Jesus loves us means we have to be willing to have the hard conversations with those around us. It means we have to be willing to make ourselves and those we care about uncomfortable because that is what Jesus’ message of love is. It is uncomfortable to know we are sinners, to know that only through seeing and acknowledging our sin can we love like Jesus loves us. It is only through making the choice to stand up against society and say No, we will not accept the sin of the world, and we are doing a EXACTLY what Jesus called us to do, that we can truly love people like Jesus loves us. 
So remember, next time someone wants to throw this verse in your face, tell them to go to the end of the sentence, and then tell them you are doing exactly what Jesus said you are do to. 

Concentrate On The Good

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

Those who have heard my testimony know this is the verse that changed the course of my life. While most will tell a new Christian or someone who wants to begin to study God’s Word to start in the book of John, my mom urged me to read the 4 middle epistles of Paul (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians). I took her advice, and when I stumbled on the above passage of scripture, it was like a great big CLICK. I came to realize that in order for me to begin to grow closer to God, I had to begin to purify my mind from all the garbage I was spent years putting into it.

This occurred three years ago today. I, like many others, can tell you exactly when I turned my life over to Christ. It was as I sat in a jail cell, completely guilty of what I had been charged with, and not knowing when I would be getting out. As I went through those four letters Paul had sent out to the churches thousands of years earlier, I began to realize how long and how far I had run from God. It was not just the turning away from church as soon as I could get out of my parent’s home. It was the complete lack of any conscience of what I should be doing with my life versus what I was doing with it. I had made a mess of everything I came into contact with, and as I sat in that cell, not knowing if anyone who I had I abandoned and burned would ever speak to me again, I realized that it didn’t matter. Because the only thing that did matter to me in that moment 3 years ago today was how can I make it up to God.

I know now this is not the proper way to come to God, but when you don’t have the biblical knowledge of what is the proper way, you will seek out the human nature way. And we all want to “make it up to” people we hurt. So every day for the 4 months I served, I would dissect parts of the bible, looking for how to make up all the lost time I had not given God. Slowly, I realized that it was not the past that mattered, but what I did in the moments I had left on this earth. And almost every day (and still to this day), I would go back to Philippians 4:8.

What do you spend your time on? What do you use your thoughts for? That is what this passage is speaking to. It is not speaking of money or possessions, which in the scheme of God’s plan for our lives comes second. Paul is telling us with these words that the biggest way we can glorify God is to use our minds and our time for Him. We are stewards of everything we have on this earth. This does not just mean the material things, but also what we spend our thoughts and time on.

I bring this up because I see so many of my social media friends putting their time and thoughts into nothing but negativity. A large chunk of it has to do with politics, but that is not everything. Whenever I speak to young adults (which is where a majority of my ministry focus lies) I always encourage them to go through their social media sites and ask themselves “is there anything on here that I would be ashamed of if Jesus saw it?”  This is a tough question to answer when you have your love for the newest Drake song plastered all over your Twitter page.

Go back and read Philippians 4:8 again. Does everything you do, both in your online AND offline life fit into this passage? If not, how will you start to make the changes in your life to bring it in line with this verse?

When speaking of this passage, I sometimes will use the metaphor of food. I love to eat, and what I eat would not fall on the healthy side. Buffets, burgers, steaks, pasta are my go to foods. I know it is bad for me, I know it causes me to gain weight and I know I shouldn’t do it, and it is one of the things I pray about often. When I eat healthier, I feel better, have more energy and actually normally can get more done in a day. And for about a week, I will be strong. Then the call of the Big Mac happens, and I am right back to my old ways.

The same is true with our thought diet. The more sinful TV, movies, music and online content we put into our minds, the less room for what is holy and righteous we have.  Every time I sit and watch a movie I know that is against God, I feel just yucky and I ask myself “why did I do that instead of picking up the bible and read?” Everytime I see a new disc from a band I used to love, I think “man, I would love to buy it” but then I remember Philippians 4:8 and know that it will not be good for my mind diet.

I urge you all to start concentrating on the good and holy. Look for feed your mind with thoughts and words that will help you shine for God to those around you. Break out from the crowd and start saying no to the things you know you God would not want you to be watching or listening too, because remember, you are not hiding anything from Him.