Tag Archives: Photography

Cleansing Our Temple

Our bodies are our temples.

(Biblical Reference: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 12:1-2)

In Matthew 21:12-17 we learn how Jesus cleansed the Temple in Jerusalem. We read what infuriated Him and what was not permitted inside. Using Christ as an example we will delve into how we could cleanse our temple (mind) and be prepared for worship, by helping others, as disciples of Christ.

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple and overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling doves.

Reverence, as Jesus sought for the Temple, is how we are to conduct ourselves with Christ in mind. Reverence is a state of being; it keeps us humble and our envy at bay. If we gravitate towards the elders and spiritually mature people in our lives, they will help us learn how their non-threatening demeanor, calm wisdom, deep respect for Christ sets them apart from others. Their strongest desire is to seek the Lord and do His will. People who are anchored in Christ are not seeking praise for various worldly objects, such as their accessories or newly acquired purchases. When we regard Christ with reverence our attitudes change. Love and devotion to His purpose for us is clearly defined because our attention is on Him.


How distracting are our attitudes? What we “sell” forces others to “buy” before they can be heard. Are we “selling” beauty? If so, are others required to “buy” us with compliments? Are we “selling” superior intellect? If so, are others required to “buy” academic credentials? Are we “selling” unstable emotions? If so, are others required to “buy” resentment to soften the blows of our mood swings? Jesus cleansed the Temple of all that was defiling and proved a stumbling block to those seeking to worship. Being disciples of Christ we need the help of the Holy Spirit to adjust our attitudes toward Him, ourselves and others. Being intentional. Take steps to heal hurt through deepening our relationship with God.

Step One. Acknowledge our flawed mindsets and how, through Christ, we can become the confident, courageous, and bold doers of His will. Dear brothers and sisters do not let another moment go by allowing painful emotions to be sold. Betrayal, loneliness, unworthiness, are distractions the enemy plants to keep us feeling inferior.

Step Two. Prayer is therapeutic, it begins the healing process. Our responsibility is to Christ, through His shed blood, God gave us eternal life; He died for our sins. We are made whole in Him. God receives us with open arms no matter how broken, scared, or confused we may be.

Step Three. Surrender all to God, allow His grace, love, and mercy to heal from the inside out. We were already purchased and redeemed by the Redeemer, our “for sale” signs can be removed. Through repentance of our sins and seeking His forgiveness we can forgive ourselves. In God we are loved beyond measure. 

~Torrie

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Low Key Faith?

Bible Reading: Matthew 14:22-33; Proverbs 16:1-9

Oh, social media…where would we be without it? Or more importantly, where are we with it? Over the last few months I have increased my “internet” presence and become more, uh..socially active???? I engage in conversations, give thumbs up to funny memes, react to heartfelt posts, and regularly post content as well. IT-IS-SO-HARD!!! God bless the people who do this for a living by managing profiles for others. The silver lining?….I’ve made connections with people from around the world, found Believers that share my theological views and even those who do not. I’ve been inspired by so many amazing artists, photographers, and writers. It really is a great big world out there. Proverbs 16:2


I become overwhelmed managing all the various outlets we have at our disposal and lose sight of God in the midst. (Matthew 14:30-31) However, I remember to remain calm and wait patiently for God’s will to be done. (Proverbs 16:3) I do have a few things that will quickly unnerve me. Confession: I feel most out of sorts when I’m the passenger in a vehicle. “Hello my name is Torrie and I am a side seat driver!” I will press on imaginary breaks, brace for impact if I believe a crash is imminent, or “talk” to other vehicles: telling them to slow down or speed up to merge into traffic. Yes!! I am an absolute joy to have as a passenger! 

Reading God’s Word showed me how I allow others to control how I react. As a believer in Christ and knowing that He has a plan, I should remain calm in stressful situations. I know to lean into God’s almighty, powerful omnipresence and not take my eyes off of God. I should be praying. I should not put my trust in the individuals behind the wheel but in God. This forces me to ask the question, “who or what is driving my thoughts and actions?”


Peter began to sink when He took His eyes off of Jesus. Where is my faith? Why do I give other “stuff” control over my emotions? Why do I doubt?…. Well because I’m human, we are all human. God knows our limitations. Yet, He will still stretch out His hand and guide us to safety. We are to be interdependent with Him, to do what is natural while He performs the supernatural. Let us all pray for our belief to be strengthened so that He our Father in Heaven can increase our Faith.

~ Torrie

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com; 2018-2048 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Indifferent to Persistence

Bible Reading: Luke 18:1-8

Indifference- the lack of interest, concern, or sympathy: apathy.


What are we indifferent to? Is it homelessness, hunger, child abuse, drug trafficking, money… perhaps our spiritual or academic lives? Are we indifferent to our social media presence, the forms of entertainment we enjoy, gossip we engage in? What are the things we don’t give a second thought of?


 The judge in Luke 18:1-8 showed no concern or sympathy to the widow’s need. He did not fear God nor respect his fellow man. (Luke 18:2) Through the widow’s persistence, he finally relented and gave her the justice she sought. (Luke 18:4-5) 

Applying the timeless lessons of God’s Word, we see ourselves in these parables. Every day we are given an opportunity to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8) How can we do that if we are so consumed with our selfish desires? We miss the sacrifices of those wanting to help us through their persistence. The widow was the one in need but, her persistence helped the judge and us see how we can serve God by serving each other. God is in control. (Luke 18:6-8)


I am struck by how many times I’ve had to learn the same lessons over again. The times I have let go of God’s hand and sought my own fleshly desires instead of His divine will; the feeling becomes uncomfortable. It’s as though I’m standing naked in the middle of a busy intersection allowing everyone to gawk at me. Although that feeling of utter embarrassment is overwhelming, I thank God through the Holy Spirit that I feel embarrassed rather than indifferent. It ushers in a fresh remorse and repentance for the things He has warned me against.


If we find ourselves feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or even humiliated we should quickly turn to God and thank Him for the awareness. The gentle discipline that comes from our emotions are far easier to grow and learn from than the complete destruction of judgement that awaits us for not heeding His warnings. Let us all have repenting hearts eager to act justly, and show kindness, because of His mercy.

Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

~ Torrie

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Amphibious Ice Cream

Bible Reading Exodus 8:1-15

Frog- a tailless amphibian with a short squat body, moist smooth skin, and very long hind legs for leaping.

What if we could only use what we were able to carry? What if our entire lives, everything we owned, rested on our backs? I know some of us would have a very hard time departing with belongings, while others would happily fling things out the window. We live in a world of extremes. And then, there would be the ones in the middle. Those that would take a long look at everything, become sentimental, brush off layers of dust, and debate all its uses, trying to decide the right course of action. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the beautiful things we acquire. Our exquisite taste comes from the Creator Himself; art, fine dining, lush furniture, magnificent homes, elegant automobiles. So if we can afford and not allow possessions to rule our lives, where’s the issue?


Idolizing! When we go into debt over something that is temporary, what are we doing? Trying to please a man by giving the appearance of success. But at what cost??? Time with God, time with our loved ones, time for ourselves? What have our possessions cost us? How long will we allow the stench of idolatry to permeate our lives?


Moses asked Pharaoh when he would like the frogs removed and to let the children of Israel go, Pharaoh said tomorrow… Exodus 8:9-10 Who would want to go another day holding on to something that could be removed immediately? Pharaoh was influenced by greed, pride, and perceived power. Who or what is influencing us to keep our “frogs” in our ice cream? What are the mental nooks and physical crannies of our lives we know should release to grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and academically? 

As we move closer to God lets set goals. Talk to God about what needs to be released to soften our hearts and make us more purposeful each day.  Let’s fervently pray that we are always removing the mental nuisances or even the people to facilitate growth. Whatever or whoever is holding us back I pray we may all release it according to God’s divine plan.

~Torrie


© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and Our Given Purpose ™ http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com, 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography and http://www.ourgivinpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Catfished??…

Bible Reading: Genesis 2:15-18ESV & Genesis 3:1-6ESV

Gaslighted!! Catfished!! Oh my! Both these terms essentially mean the same thing.

Gaslight- to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Catfish- to lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.

No one wants to be scammed. No one wants to lose out on a luxury, or have it swapped for something less glorious; however, it happens every day, and more easily since the invention of the internet. We have all been catfished or gaslighted at some point.

The thief is able to hone in on our insecurities, fears, desires, hopes, and dreams. This gives the thief a way into our minds. When we talk about how scared we are or how badly we desire something, eventually we will be met with the opportunity to overcome it or acquire it. The thief may use this tactic in order to coerce us out of our normal routines and onto his playing field. By manipulating us psychologically the thief will take away time. The time God desires us to have in order to fully develop a relationship with Him and to learn about ourselves. The thief will have us rushing to make decisions; not pausing to consult with the Holy Spirit. Genesis 3:6  **Do you want to get married, have a family, become rich…famous? Is your house big enough, your car new enough, does your body need an overhaul? **  These are just a few questions we will begin to ask ourselves constantly, letting go of our original God focus. It’s how we may be manipulated into doing unthinkable and questionable things. The false hope we are given drives our “new” focus making us willing participants in the insane confusion the Thief wants us in.

There was one rule in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:16-17 By obeying this rule everything would be kept in order. The thief sought to destroy this order. (CATFISH—–GASLIGHT)  The serpent disguised himself as a fictitious friend and had Eve question the sanity of God’s one rule and manipulated her desires by giving her false hope. Genesis 3:1-5. The serpent was a master manipulator; unfortunately, we have many “people” here on earth that do just that; they manipulate, befriend, and make us question our sanity. They believe they are working on their own behalf but in truth, they are just underlings fulfilling an evil agenda orchestrated by Satan. Ephesians 6:12

When we take control and give our minds over to God, He will help maneuver us through the schemes we may not be discerning enough to see at first. We are not to let one or even several catastrophic events land us in mental turmoil. By the grace of God we can see the Light and be redeemed…nursed back to mental and spiritual health. Of course, this takes time. When we get to the root of our problems or emotional triggers we can lift up our heads and say “not today Satan, I see your schemes coming and I am prepared!”

~Torrie

 

© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com (Our Given Purpose trademark pending), 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com (Our Given Purpose) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.