Saturday, July 31, 2010

Does Americans’ faith run only skin-deep?

Does Americans’ faith run only skin-deep?
(World Magazine: Marcia Segelstein)

In a newly released poll from the Barna Group, only 12 percent of those surveyed said faith was their top priority. This despite the fact that, as the Barna press release points out, more than 75 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians. David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, commented on the numbers: “The gap is vast between self-described affiliation with Christianity and ascribing highest priority to that faith. When it comes to why so much of American religion seems merely skin-deep, this gap between what people call themselves and what they prioritize is perhaps most telling.”


Click here to read this post.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Those who possess the (spiritual) gift of prayer are so amazing to me. I know all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26). But here, I am talking about people who get so immersed into prayer it is awe inspiring.

Friday, there was a prayer/worship service at the local Sovereign Grace church plant. Two of my loved ones and I decided to attend. And boy were we blessed that we did...(even though we were only able to stay for about 45 minutes to an hour because I had to pick up two of my kiddos from VBS (vacation bible school).

Moments before we went I was commenting to my loved one how I miss singing hymns at family worship services. When we arrived at the church, the worship team was leading the attendees in "How Great Thou Art". (That should have been a clue to me as to how this hour was going to pan out!)

We staked out or spot on house left (that's theater talk by the way meaning we sat on the left side of the congregation) and when asked to divide up into small groups of four or five for prayer, we joined a very lovely lady who (as God would have it) was there by herself. And let me just tell you what a rich, righteous breath of fresh air (of which we just could not get enough) she was.

She was so engrossed in communing with our King that at times it felt as though God the Holy Spirit Himself was sitting right there next to me. It was so comforting. Both me and one of my loved ones found ourselves overcome with eyes filled to the brim (and overflowing) with tears as if being calmed and rocked by a loving parent. And as this dear woman prayed, the words from MY own heart came pouring out of HER mouth as if she felt the pain of my tribulation. Her expressions so specific I waited with bated breath half expecting a particular soul to be mentioned. A detail of my own trial (one with which I struggle terribly and on which I get judged, by man) she DID mention, actually! Immediately, I was once again filled with peace (that God is making everything abundantly clear) and the knowledge I am doing the right thing! As I am not living in sin in any way, shape, or form (which is why I get so hurt and confused by man's judgment of me)...just outside the box.

I was once a "dead man (human) walking"...as were/are we all. But by the indescribable grace of God and the blood of the lamb, my debt was paid in full and I am no longer a dead wretch but rather the recipient of everlasting life (Romans 6:23) (with a remaining sentence in the prison of the flesh). Praise God! But I do have a "dead man" who is exceptionally close to my heart who is in dire need of prayer and the realization of needing a Savior. So, if you (like the sister in Christ I mentioned) are gifted in the department of prayer (unlike me), would you please bring my "dead man" to the foot of the throne so that God will lead this soul by the hand to the foot of the cross?!

Yes, Lord, I am begging Your bride to rally for this soul because it (and every soul, of course) is so important (John 3:16)! With each fleeting day this soul draws ever nearer to an eternity without salvation! Time is of the essence (though ultimately Father, I know beyond a single doubt Your timing is perfect).

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses
. (Matthew 6:7-15. ESV.)


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lord is My Teacher

Alright, I have already mentioned God is my Provider (many times), the Lord is my Banner, Jesus is my Way, but a concept that has been buzzing around my head for over a year now (and especially in this past week) is how God is my teacher.

Like God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the trinity, I feel God as the instructor is quite a challenge to wrap my head around...mainly because He is omniscient and I, of course, am not. In other words, He is all knowing about everyone and everything from before the foundations of the earth and into an eternity. This has posed a problem for me because I used to have a habit of putting God inside a box and limiting Him to my own restricted thinking capabilities...until He showed me He has no boundaries.

When I was in school, Science was my favorite class (not necessarily my most loved subject) but definitely the time of day during my studies to which I looked forward. This was mainly because I got to do "labs" (i.e. dissections, basic experiments, etc.). Now, as a teacher both in my home and in the field of dance, I have learned people have a preference when it comes to acquiring information and/or skills. I am more hands on, however some appear more visual, auditory, and/or prefer reading/writing to master comprehension. I feel, the same can be said when it comes to God's training and discipline. Several individuals gain knowledge from studying scripture. Others from listening to messages from their pastor. And there is also the group that finds things out best "the hard way".

So, is God's teaching the same for everyone? In my opinion, no. The principles remain identical and in the context of His written word, however the education of each man/woman/child is catered to his/her specific NEEDS (not wants or partiality)...kind of like long division. There is only one answer and the framework remains however the means of getting the answer may differ from one learner to the next.

In the bible, God used all kinds of ways to test, edify, and save His people. From uncommon means such as closing the mouths of lions (Daniel); allowing believers to walk through fire unharmed (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when Nebuchadnezzar threw them into a furnace); striking down those who brutally persecuted Christians (Saul...who was later known as Paul); or the underdog slaying the tyrant (David and Goliath)... to the more frequent ways like when God revealed His plan to His servant (Noah) and required obedience despite the mocking of man.

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8. ESV.)


Or when God notified David (through Saul's son, Jonathan) that Saul had it in his mind to kill David. After David fled for his life and hid, God gave Saul straight into David's hands and David spared Saul's life.

And, when the Israelites cried out to God He did not leave them to suffer and die at the hands of Pharaoh, He brought them out of Egypt using His servant Moses.

Each time I dare to think I have God figured out, I dig into His word a little deeper. God is omniscient and omnipresent, He is loving yet just, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!
" (Revelation 4:8. ESV.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest Blogger: Wanderwoman136

Introduction
I am so excited Wanderwoman136 has accepted my request to have her as a guest blogger! Currently she is on an amazing journey along The Camino de Santiago! I got to see her a couple days before she left on her pilgrimage and have been following her each leg of the way. And now, without further ado...may I present her most recent post, "A Rest in Leon".

A Rest in Leon
(by Wanderwoman136)

I sit here again, not knowing exactly where to begin. My journey is more than half way through and yet I feel I am only beginning to walk “my” camino. In a way, I feel like the first 500km (give or take a mile) has taught me everything I thought I knew but didn´t really have a clue. It´s taken a while to get the city off of me, so to speak. I´ve battled constant issues with my right leg and the hamstring of my left, heat rash, digestive issues – partly the chlorine in the water sources (have switched to bottled water recently and it´s helping) and partly stress related, as well as many less than restful night´s sleep.

I´m learning to listen to my body more and less to misconceptions and what others may think. There are many “camino experts” out here – purists they may consider themselves – but the truth is there is no right way to do the camino. I´ve had to walk nearly 500km to learn this first hand; to learn to push pride aside and slow down and shut up long enough to really listen to what my mind and body want to tell me.

I have met people from all over this amazing planet, all walking for various reasons and yet each one of us the same. Several people that I´ve met, who have walked from greater starting distances than St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, have all commented how “different” the camino in Spain feels as compared with France for example. I too have felt my time on the camino here in Spain to feel rather touristy, yet there have been some true gem-like experiences along the way. One such highlight was sleeping inside the church of the Confraternita de Santiago di Compostela in San Nicolas de Puente Fitero. There was no electricity, so you ate by candle-light and the hospitalitarios blessed your feet in the evening and sent you on your way with an Italian blessing in the morning.

As far as the albergues go, most of them are very nice, whether you pay a set price or simply a donation. Some are simply mattresses on the floor while most others are bunkbeds, some are simply one giant room with 50-100 beds while others are divided up or provide smaller, more private rooms. Some albergues provide you pilgrim meals and breakfast while most do not. I´ve taken to paying a little extra for the smaller rooms or even inexpensive private hostels/B&Bs when I feel I really need rest. This is yet another lesson I´ve learned…the body needs sleep to heal! Unfortunately when there are 50+ people sleeping in one room, even with ear plugs and an eye mask, it´s not always possible (for me) to sleep. So, camino purists be [darned] – there is no rightway!

Pushing aside the difficulties that I fully expected there to be, this has been such an amazing journey thus far and I will be so proud if I am truly able to finish. I believe I will but have learned the need to slow down if I am truly to see this through, especially considering my walk will not end in Santiago de Compostela as I had originally intended, instead I will walk the additional 90+km to Finisterre/Fisterra, aka: The End of the World. After that…who knows?


Wanderwoman136. Posted here with permission.)

Experiencing God: Part Three

I love in Exodus 14:15-16 where God says to Moses,
"Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground."


Whenever I am trying to walk in faith and I begin to doubt God, worry, and start begging Him for help, I can just picture Him saying to me (like Moses), "What are you going on about? Don't panic, just listen and follow directions!"

Regarding Moses and His leadership of the Israelites across the Red Sea, authors Blackaby, Blackaby, and King of EXPERIENCING GOD state,
"Moses must have felt humbled and unworthy to be used in such a significant way. Yet Moses obeyed and did everything God told him. Then God accomplished through Moses all He intended. Every step of obedience brought Moses (and Israel) to a greater knowledge of God (see Exodus 6:1-8)."


Likewise, I'm sure I will feel insanely sheepish over what the good Lord is orchestrating in my life. I just pray I do not struggle with my sin of anxiety too much in the process. My heart's desire, of course, is that God is glorified in my "crisis of belief" (as Blackaby, Blackaby, and King call it). I know my King has the attention of quite a few people...and I have faith the outcome is going to be nothing short of miraculous (like with Moses and Israel).

So why exactly do I cringe when someone remarks about how "religious" I am? I guess it is because some view faith in a negative light. Perhaps it is seen as an organization, set of rules, and/or hypocrisy. I do not consider myself involved in those but rather what I believe goes beyond that. It is the love for a parent, respect for a King, thankfulness to a provider, worship of a hero, and awe of a Savior. It is a lifestyle, goal, and promise for the future. It is fulfillment, a family, a place to call home.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16. ESV.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our God Is An Awesome God



Awesome God
by Richard Mullins

When He rolls up His sleeves
He ain't just putting on the ritz
(Our God is an awesome God)

There is thunder in His footsteps
And lightning in His fists
(Our God is an awesome God)

And the Lord wasn't joking when He kicked 'em out of Eden
It wasn't for no reason that He shed His blood
His return is very close and so you better be believing that
Our God is an awesome God

(Chorus)
Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
(repeat)

And when the sky was starless
In the void of the night
(Our God is an awesome God)

He spoke into the darkness
And created the light
(Our God is an awesome God)

Judgment and wrath He poured out on Sodom
Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross
I hope that we have not too quickly forgotten that
Our God is an awesome God

(Chorus)

Our God is an awesome God.
Our God is an awesome God.

Seek Ye First

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Experiencing God: Part Two

Truly God is amazing...awesome! Not only does He provide what we need, he also gives little extras from time to time.

In the preface of the book EXPERIENCING GOD the authors, Blackaby, Blackaby, and King write,
"...God simply gave me one assignment at a time, and I sougt to be faithful. Eventually I grew to realize that God is always actively at work around me and, if I looked for it, I will recognize God's activity in the lives of the people around me. I also discovered that every time God told me to do something - no matter how difficult it might appear - He always enabled me to accomplish what he asked....

"...Each new assignment took me well beyond what I felt comfortable or skilled to do. Yet each time, God proved to be more than just my Creator or Savior. He was also my sustainer, councelor, comforter teacher, strength, protector, guide, and much more. Every time I obeyed God, I came to experience Him in new and deeper dimensions than I had ever known." (p. ix and x.)


Sunday, at church the message was regarding the scripture about a house built on the foundation of a rock and when the storms come ("trial by fire" and tribulation is immanent) will each believers' "house" stand up to it? Fantastic food for thought, I feel.

"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."(Luke 6:46-49. ESV.)


Daniel Doriani said,
"Jesus is making a point here: it is not enough to study, to know a lot, to even say amen to what He has said: We must do what He says. If not, we are in danger of hypocrisy, in danger of facing a great crash."


God knows my heart. He knows EVERY heart. As I was reading and praying the prayers in Stormie Omartian's POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE, the following sentence stuck out to me: "I know that only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can make changes last." What a powerful thought. Yes, God is capable of rearranging lives and indeed He can make those alterations last forever! There is always hope for those who have faith and whose house is built upon the rock.

But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.". (Matthew 19:26. ESV.)

Marriage and the Mercy of God

Okay, I admit I have not listened to it yet but this Regional Marriage Conference was with speaker Dave Harvey and I know his work...which is fantastic. So, I am posting the link to the media (MP3 and PDF) for the sessions. Further, I encourage those who have not yet listened to the conference to please do so. Did I already mention Dave Harvey's stuff is absolutely fabulous?

Please click here to download the audio and notes for this conference.

Bible Time for Kids

When I first started bible study with my younger children I was not quite sure where to begin. Thankfully there are some fantastic resources for parents out there. My personal favorites are:

"Children Desiring God" by John Piper's Desiring God Ministries

"Plants Grown Up: Projects for Sons on the Road to Manhood" by Doorposts

"Polished Cornerstones: Projects for Daughters on the Path to Womanhood" by Doorposts

In the "Plants Grown Up" spiral-bound book there is a check list that I copied for each of my children. Using it, they have an outline of what their bible time should look like including: time in God's word, communing with God at the foot of the throne, memory verses, and projects outlined in the "Plants Grown Up" guide.

Once they had an idea of what study time should consist of, they were able to fine tune it to what was going to work best for them in their pursuit of a relationship with God and His precious Son, Christ Jesus, and studying scripture. Generally, their time with God looks something like this:

* Reading out of God's word and a discussion on their comprehension of the gospel.
* Drawing and/or coloring a picture of what they read or a memory verse.
* Reciting, reviewing, and learning memory verses.
* Prayer

Sometimes they have study guides and other memory verses from Sunday School, VBS (Vacation Bible School), AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15)), etc. which we work on during this time too, to switch it up a bit and give them additional fun activities, games, and projects. And, thankfully this time is met with enthusiasm and not legalistic notions!

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it
. (Isaiah 55:10-11. ESV.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

"On Christ The Solid Rock" by Avalon



My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Confidence In What?

Confidence In What?
(Our Daily Bread: Bill Crowder)

Paul said their self-confidence should warn us. His conclusion? “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Psalm 118:8 shows us the best way: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man,” or in ourselves. Where is your confidence?


Click here to continue reading this post.

India: Christian's Hand Severed

India: Christian's Hand Severed
(Voice of the Martyrs)

On July 4, unknown assailants attacked a college professor, severing his right hand and part of his arm in Kerala, India. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts T.J. Joseph, a professor at Newman's College in Thodupuzha, was returning from a Sunday service at his church when a van pulled up beside him.


Please click here to continue reading this post.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Visits From 71 Countries/Territories

Thank you to all of the representatives from 71 countries/territories who have visited this blog! Please come back again soon!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16. ESV.)

भगवान के लिए इतना है, कि वह अपने ही पुत्र दे दिया, कि जो कोई उस पर विश्वास नाश अनन्त जीवन नहीं करना चाहिए लेकिन. (यूहन्ना 3:16)

Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, dass er seinen einzigen Sohn gab, damit jeder, der an ihn glaubt, nicht zugrunde geht, sondern ewiges Leben habe. (Joh 3,16)

Porque Deus amou o mundo, que deu o seu Filho único, para que todo aquele que nele crê não pereça, mas tenha a vida eterna. (João 3:16)

Porque tanto amó Dios al mundo, que dio a su Hijo único, para que todo aquel que en él cree no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. (Juan 3:16)

Perché Dio ha tanto amato il mondo da dare il suo Figlio unigenito, perché chiunque crede in lui non muoia, ma abbia la vita eterna. (Giovanni 3:16)

Kerana Allah begitu mengasihi dunia ini, sehingga Ia telah mengaruniakan Anak-Nya yang tunggal, supaya setiap orang yang percaya kepadaNya tidak binasa, melainkan beroleh hidup yang kekal. (Yohanes 3:16)

Car Dieu a tant aimé le monde qu'il a donné son Fils unique, afin que quiconque croit en lui ne périsse pas mais ait la vie éternelle. (Jean 3:16)

神のために、彼は、誰が彼に滅びることなく、永遠の命をと考えている彼の唯一の息子を与えた世界を追加しました。 (ヨハネ3:16)

כי ככה אהב האלוהים את העולם, כי נתן את בנו יחידו, כי כל המאמין בו לא יאבד, אבל יש חיי
נצח. (בשורת יוחנן 3:16)

Για το Θεό τόσο αγαπούσε ο κόσμος, ότι έδωσε το μόνο γιο του, ότι όποιος πιστεύει σ 'αυτόν δεν πρέπει να χαθεί αλλά έχουν αιώνια ζωή. (Ιωάννης 3:16)

Căci Dumnezeu asa a iubit lumea, că a dat pe singurul Lui Fiu, pentru ca oricine crede în El să nu piară, ci să aibă viaţa veşnică. (Ioan 3:16)

For så har Gud elsket verden at han gav sin eneste Sønn, for at hver den som tror på ham, ikke skal gå fortapt, men ha evig liv. (Johannes 3:16)

Want God de wereld zo lief dat hij zijn enige Zoon heeft gegeven, opdat iedereen die in Hem gelooft, niet verderve, maar eeuwig leven heeft. (Johannes 3:16)

Ty så älskade Gud världen att han gav den sin ende son, för att de som tror på honom inte skall gå under utan ha evigt liv. (Joh 3:16)

Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел жизнь вечную. (Иоанн 3:16)

Albowiem tak Bóg umiłował świat, że Syna swego Jednorodzonego dał, aby każdy kto w Niego wierzy, nie zginął, ale miał życie wieczne. (Ew. Jana 3:16)

พระ เจ้าดังนั้นรักโลกว่าเขาให้เฉพาะบุตรของเขาว่าผู้ใดที่เชื่อในพระองค์จะไม่ พินาศ แต่มีชีวิตนิรันดร์ (John 03:16)

هكذا أحب الله العالم ، حتى انه اعطى ابنه الوحيد ، أن كل من يؤمن به لا ينبغي أن يموت ولكن الحياة الأبدية.
(يوحنا 3:16)

Mert úgy szerette Isten a világot, hogy egyszülött Fiát adta, hogy aki hisz őbenne, el ne vesszen, hanem örök élete legyen. (János 3:16)

Tanrı bu yüzden, onun, o kim ona yok olmamalı ama hepsi sonsuz yaşama inanan tek oğlu verdi dünya ekledi. (Yuhanna 3:16)

For således elskede Gud verden, at han gav sin enbårne søn, for at enhver som tror på ham, ikke skal fortabes, men have evigt liv. (John 3:16)

Vì Đức Chúa Trời yêu thương thế gian, rằng ông đã ban Con một của Ngài, để ai tin Con ấy không bị hư mất mà được sự sống đời đời. (John 3:16)

Lebo Boh tak miloval svet, že dal svojho jediného Syna, aby žiadny, kto v neho verí, nezahynul, ale mal život večný. (John 3:16)

Sillä niin on Jumala maailmaa rakastanut, että hän antoi ainoan Poikansa, ettei yksikään, joka uskoo häneen, ei hukkuisi, vaan hänellä olisi iankaikkinen elämä. (Joh. 3:16)

하나님이 그래서, 그 사람이, 그 누가 그를 멸망해서는 안하지만 영생을 믿고 그의 유일한 아들을 준 세상을 이처럼 사랑. (요한복음 3:16)

Бо так палюбіў Бог свет, што аддаў Сына Свайго Адзінароднага, каб кожны, хто веруе ў Яго, не загінуў, але меў жыццё вечнае. (Ян 3:16)

Sest nõnda on Jumal maailma armastanud, et ta andis oma ainsa poja, et kes usub Temasse, ei saaks hukka, kuid oleks igavene elu. (Johannese 3:16)

برای خدا تا دوست جهان است ، که او داد ، تنها پسر او ، معتقد است که هر کس به او نباید نابود اما زندگی
ابدی است. (یوحنا 03:16)

Kwa maana Mungu aliupenda ulimwengu, hata akamtoa Mwana wake wa pekee, ili kila amwaminiye asipotee, bali awe na uzima wa milele. (John 3:16)

Защото Бог толкова възлюби света, че даде Своя Единороден Син, че всеки, който вярва в Него, да не погине, но да има вечен живот. (Йоан 3:16)

Бо так полюбив Бог світ, що віддав Сина Свого Єдинородного, щоб кожен, хто вірує в Нього, не згинув, але мав життя вічне. (Іван 3:16)

神爱世人,甚至将他给了他唯一的儿子,谁相信他应该不会灭亡,反得永生。 (约翰福音3:16)

Want so lief het God die wêreld gehad, dat Hy sy enigste Seun gegee het, sodat elkeen wat in Hom glo, nie verlore mag gaan, maar die ewige lewe kan hê. (Johannes 3:16)

Јер Бог је тако заволео свет да је свог јединородног Сина дао, да ниједан који верује у њега не погине, него да има вечни живот. (Јован 3:16)

Jer Bog je tako ljubio svijet te je dao svoga Sina Jedinorođenca da nijedan koji u njega vjeruje ne propadne, nego da ima život vječni. (Ivan 3:16)

Karena Allah begitu mengasihi dunia ini, sehingga Ia telah mengaruniakan AnakNya yang tunggal, supaya setiap orang yang percaya kepadaNya tidak binasa, melainkan beroleh hidup yang kekal. (Yohanes 3:16)

Jo Dievs tā mīlēja pasauli, ka Viņš devis Savu vienpiedzimušo Dēlu, ka lai kas tic viņam, nepazustu, bet dabūtu mūžīgo dzīvību. (Jāņa 3:16)

Dig Deep: Living and Active, Sharper Than Any Two-Edged Sword

The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright
. (Proverbs 21:18. NKJV.)


I do not know why I'm so amazed at what I find in God's word. It honestly covers everything!

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house with a contentious woman
. (Proverbs 21:9. NKJV.)


Ooh, wow. Thank you, Lord, for that bit of wisdom. I pray I am not...and NEVER will be...a "contentious" woman!

A disreputable witness scorns justice,
And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity
. (Proverbs 19:28. NKJV.)

A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again
. (Proverbs 19:19. NKJV.)

Better to dwell in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman
. (Proverbs 21:19. NKJV.)


And I could not help but be amused by a tactic Paul uses in Acts 23. After the high priest Ananias commanded Paul be "struck on the mouth" (an illegal act of a mob's beating) Paul addressed the counsel which he "perceived" was made up of "one part Sadducees and the other Pharisees".

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial." 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, "We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?" 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks
. (Acts 23:6-10. ESV.)


Creating a disagreement, Paul was able to get out of the pickle in which he found himself and into protective custody away from his accusers.

Not entertained or astonished by God's word? Dig deeper! Or, as Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) said, "...throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12. ESV.)

All of the Way My Savior Leads Me



All The Way My Savior Leads Me
by Frances J. Crosby 1875

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?

Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.

Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Measure of Faith

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3. ESV.)


The good Lord has given me much, blessed me abundantly, taught me a lot...and continues to do so. I consider myself very fortunate. Though outsiders looking in might disagree, have their doubts, or speculate the worst. I do not necessarily blame them, I guess. The blots on this area of God's canvas do appear to be disastrous, confusing, and perhaps even unattractive. But my faith does not waiver. My hope is in my God, my strength through Christ, and I know a beautiful work will emerge.

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23. ESV.)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20. ESV.)

And in every work that [Hezekiah] began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment , to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:21. NKJV.)


I too want to serve the Lord and "seek" my God with ALL my heart not just a portion. I put a decent amount of time into studying scripture which seems mind boggling to some. "Why not do something more enjoyable?" I've been asked. But to me digging into God's word is exciting, inspiring, interesting, and thrilling like an athlete's participation in a sport, an archeologist's desire for artifacts, a computer guru's fascination with the computer, a paleontologist's passion for prehistoric life, etc.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21. ESV.)

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God
. (Philippians 1:9-11)

It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity
. (Proverbs 21:15. NKJV.)


I cannot wait for God's tapestry to be unveiled and available for viewing in all its glory. It will be one thousand times more breath-taking than my limited thoughts can imagine!

He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.
(Jeremiah 17:8. ESV.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My People are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6.)

I believe God is our creator and FATHER and is sovereign over ALL His creation. One of the references the bible uses for God is "The Potter" and for us "The Clay" (Jeremiah 18).

But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
(Isaiah 64:8. ESV.)

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (Romans 9:21. ESV.)

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. (2 Timothy 2:20. ESV.)

You turn things upside down!Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? (Isaiah 29:16. ESV.)


Sometimes the children I have been entrusted to help raise and train up like to test the envelope. At times a rebellious streak will appear and occasionally temper tantrums take place...but ultimately, regardless of the topic of discussion, the parent has the final say. Further rebellion or disobedience brings about discipline, either from me, their dad, or merely the consequence for the action...like not wearing proper protective gear before riding a bike, dirt bike, or ATV (quad) would cause injury in a crash or if thrown. A description of God in scripture is "Heavenly FATHER". In my life, He has the last word. He knows best and ultimately is going to direct me, for my own good (Romans 8:28).

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights
. (Proverbs 3:11-12. ESV.)


From time to time I tell my kiddos, "You have to trust me." The same can be said for God. I must have faith He does all things for my benefit not to hurt me. Even if that includes a hurricane, tornado, illness, car accident, death of a loved one, fire, etc.

Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 'Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.' (Jeremiah 18:11. ESV.)


Job lost everything. He questioned his Heavenly Father though did not curse Him. To the questions God replied (starting with Job 38) with:

4"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
8Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
12"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
16"Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19"Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
24What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?...


The above are just a few of the many questions God had for Job...but mainly, in my opinion, God was basically asking, "Who do you think you are questioning me?"

Christ was tortured and suffered further on the cross. Though He asked the cup be taken from Him if it was the will of His Father, Christ Jesus did not throw a fit. He knew it was going to be very bad and even sweat out blood because of his distress but He was not disobedient nor did He whine and complain. He knew #1 it was for the greater good (Thank you, Lord!) and #2 God has the authoritative say-so and that is the bottom line. Sound unfair? Yeah, my youngsters think that of me when they do not get their way. They view everything in the "here and now" however I factor in more information before making decisions regarding their lives and welfare. I feel the same can be said for God.

...the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing... (Ezra 1:1. NKJV.)


I love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19) just as my children learn all kinds of stuff from me. I am not their Holy Spirit though. Only God can "stir up the spirit". And when He takes action it is for a very specific reaction...cause and effect.

Sure, I have a certain amount of liberties (freedom/ free-will) just as the adolescents under my care do...however, at the end of the day God, my Father and my King, is sovereign and oversees all. I could die tomorrow and no will of mine would be able to change that. I am under His rule and His protection (which I love). Truly, there is nowhere else I would rather be. And, thankfully, (because of Christ) I am allowed (free) to commune with my King!

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe
. (Proverbs 18:10. ESV.)


Praise God!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope

Hope
(Our Daily Bread)

When David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (v.4), he was in a place where evil was an ever-present reality. Yet he refused to give in to fear. He wasn’t expressing hope that God would abolish evil so that he could pass through safely; he was saying that the presence of God gave him the confidence to pass through difficult places without fear of being deserted by Him. In another psalm, David said that the Lord was his hope (71:5).


Click here to read this post.

Glorious Conversion

Glorious Conversion
(Tim Challies)

Spurgeon had been raised in a Christian home, had heard so much of God’s truth and had even begun to live in a moral and upright way. And yet he knew that he was not saved and, though he sought and sought, he could not find. Here is how God eventually found him.

Click here to read this post.

Science and Faith Come Together

The History Channel has been airing a show about the Shroud of Turin (also known as the Shroud of Jesus) and "The Real Face of Jesus". Yesterday, I first watched as individuals used a scanner and a computer to gather various information from life and death masks to create realistic, computer generated pictures of worldly icons like George Washington, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Shakespeare, and Abraham Lincoln. This showed the way computers are used in this process.

Following that was the program regarding the "Shroud of Turin" which covered the history of the shroud and at what great lengths scientists and computer artists went to "lift" the face of Christ Jesus from the shroud. After six months and extensive scientific and biblical investigations, a computer generated face (believed to be that of Christ Jesus) was revealed. The blood stains on the shroud are consistent with the unbelievable torture to Christ, the crown of thorns which had been placed on His head, and the piercing of his side.



Though only part of the history of the shroud is available on some websites like shroud.com, it is my understanding a more complete (though, of course, debated) history is recorded in a book by author Ian Wilson entitled THE BLOOD AND THE SHROUD: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL. Some argue the carbon 14 dating in 1988 of the shroud was accurate while others state:

In January, 2005, things changed. An article appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta, which proved that the carbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin was flawed because the sample used was invalid. Moreover, this article, by Raymond N. Rogers, a well-published chemist and a Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, explained why the Shroud of Turin was much older. The Shroud of Turin was at least twice as old as the radiocarbon date, and possibly 2000 years old. ("Shroud of Turin Story". www.shroudstory.com/)


For me, the History Channel documentary was interesting and quite thought provoking.


News story regarding History Channel "Real Face of Jesus" program.


Last eight minutes of the show. For the history and explanation of how they recreated Christ's face based on the Shroud of Turin please see other videos. There are nine on Youtube or catch the History Channel presentation.

Dos videos: Sábana Santa de Turín y el rostro de Cristo Jesús. ¿Usted cree?
Deux vidéos: Suaire de Turin et le visage de Jésus-Christ. Croyez-vous?
Twee video's: Kleed van Turyn en die aangesig van Jesus Christus. Het jy glo?
شريطي فيديو : كفن تورينو ووجه يسوع المسيح. هل تعتقد؟
Երկու տեսահոլովակները: պարուրել է Թուրին եւ դեմքը Յիսուս Քրիստոսի. Հավատում եք?
Два відэа: Турынск плашчаніца і аблічча Хрыста Ісуса. Ці верыце вы?
Два клипа: кърпа на Торино и лицето на Исус Христос. Вярваш ли?
兩個視頻:裹屍布的都靈和基督耶穌的臉。你相信嗎?
Dva videa: Torinskog platna i lice Isusa Krista. Vjerujete li?
Dvě videa: Shroud Turin a tvář Ježíše Krista. Věříte?
To videoer: Ligklædet i Torino og over for Kristus Jesus. Tror du?
Twee video's: Lijkwade van Turijn en het gezicht van Jezus Christus. Gelooft u?
Dalawang videos: sapot ng Turin at ang mukha ni Cristo Jesus. Mayroon ba sa tingin?
Kaksi videota: Torinon käärinliina ja edessä Kristuksessa Jeesuksessa. Uskotko?
Zwei Videos: Grabtuch von Turin und das Gesicht von Jesus Christus. Glaubst du?
De videyo: anvlòp la Turin ak figi Kris la Jezi. Èske ou kwè?
दो वीडियो: ट्यूरिन के कफन और मसीह यीशु का चेहरा. क्या आप मानते हैं?
Két videó: Torinói lepelről és a Jézus Krisztus arcát. Hiszel?
Tvö myndbönd: líkklæði af Tórínó og andlit Krists Jesú. Trúir þú?
Dua video: Kain Kafan dari Turin dan wajah Kristus Yesus. Apakah Anda percaya?
Due video: Sindone di Torino e il volto di Gesù Cristo. Credi?
2つのビデオ:聖骸布とイエスキリストの顔。あなた信じますか?
두 동영상 : 토리노의 패브릭과 그리스도 예수의 얼굴. 당신은 믿습니까?
Dua video: Kain Kafan dari Turin dan wajah Kristus Yesus. Adakah anda percaya?
To videoer: Likkledet i Torino, og ansiktet til Kristus Jesus. Tror du?
دو فیلم : کفن تورین و از چهره عیسی مسیح. آیا فکر می کنید؟
Dois vídeos: Sudário de Turim e do rosto de Cristo Jesus. Você acredita?
Două videoclipuri: Giulgiul din Torino şi faţa lui Isus Hristos. Crezi?
Два видео: Туринская плащаница и лик Христа Иисуса. Верите ли вы?
Mbili videos: Shroud ya Torino na uso wa Kristo Yesu. Je, waamini?
Två videor: svepeduken i Turin och inför Kristus Jesus. Tror du?
สอง ภาพยนตร์ : ผ้าห่อศพของ Turin และใบหน้าของพระเยซูคริสต์ คุณเชื่อ?
İki videolar: Shroud Torino ve Mesih İsa'nın yüzü. sen inanıyor musun?
Два відео: Туринська плащаниця і лик Христа Ісуса. Чи вірите ви?
دو ويڈيوز : ٹیورن کے کفن اور عیسی مسیح کا چہرہ. کیا تم یقین کرتے ہو؟
Hai video: Shroud của Turin và khuôn mặt của Chúa Kitô Chúa Giêsu. Bạn có tin?
Dau videos: haenau o Turin ac wyneb Iesu Grist. A ydych yn credu?
צוויי ווידיאס: שראָוד פון טורין און דעם פּנים פון משיחן יאָשקע. צי איר גלויבן?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Using the Bible Biblically to Parent Biblically

Using the Bible Biblically to Parent Biblically
(Tim Challies blog: Mark Tubbs.)

To the degree that you use the Bible biblically in your parenting, the grace of the gospel of Christ will be evident to your children, operating as a “trysting place,” in Martin Luther’s words, of personal encounter between your children and your God.


Click here to read this post.

Judge Not!

Judge Not!
(Our Daily Bread: David H. Roper)

He meant that we should not be condemning or accusing, a point Paul made eloquently: “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts” (1 Cor. 4:5).


Click here to read this post.

Seeing our afflictions

Seeing our afflictions
(World Magazine: Andrée Seu)

...the Angel of the Lord sees our afflictions. And just knowing he knows is wonderful.


Click here to read this post.

Thankful for Rachel Ray

In my endeavor to be a Proverbs 31 wife, I feel it is helpful to have inspiration (in each of the areas). When it comes to preparing meals for my family (Proverbs 31:14-15, 27, 31) Rachel Ray (via her cooking show) offers me encouragement.

For the past eight years (give or take) I have believed myself to be an awful cook (if even considered a "cook" at all). But come to find out (after some positive feedback and words of support) I'm actually not half bad. And, instead of dreading dinner time I now actually look forward to it. As a special incentive/ motivator, I flip on cooking programs (while in the kitchen) for recipes, meal ideas, and tips! It is astounding how God stretches and "grows" people especially when there is nothing to stunt that progress and development but rather nourish it.

Being I enjoy eating, health and fitness, and being creative...it stands to reason I would be at least moderately decent at making tasty, healthy dishes. I have found myself to be more of a fish and rice girl (as opposed to meat and potatoes) but I'm ready to chuck the "1,000 Ways to Make Chicken" book (figuratively speaking...along with my dependency on other cookbooks), trust my palate, spread my wings, and fly by the seat of my pants.

And Lord, I thank you for Rachel Ray.

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life....
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised
. (Proverbs 31:10-12, 30. ESV.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Prayer for Tim Tebow

Formerly one of my Gators, Tim Tebow has made it very clear he is God's guy. With it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24, 1 Timothy 6:9), I pray Tebow will never lose God's way...as he has been blessed abundantly with talent and is a sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16). Though I have to say, what a great mission field.

The bible is chock-full of events where wise men fell victim to temptation and the lure of sin with its momentary gratification that costs a man his life (Romans 6:23). My prayer is God will never cast Tebow away from His presence and not take His Holy Spirit from him (Psalm 51:11).

My words are not nearly as eloquent as some (like the Puritans) who breathe beautiful praises to the Lord and pleas on behalf of those for whom they are praying. For that I apologize.

Sovereign Father,

I bring your faithful servant Timmy Tebow to the foot of your throne and humbly ask for your hedge of protection around him (Job 1:10) and his heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Please continue to grant him wisdom like that of a serpent and innocence of a dove (Matthew 10:16). Please do not allow the ways of this world to weigh heavily upon him nor the wicked to persecute him.

The line of David crumbled and was reduced to one - Joash, yet you held him up and protected him against those who meant him harm (2 Chronicles 22:10-12 and 1 Chronicles 23:12-21.) I beseech, likewise, you will not permit evil to touch your child Tebow. Please keep pride at bay so he does not reap the same fate as Sampson but rather bless him with a daughter of your favor who will be the best helpmate possible (Proverbs 31:12).

I thank you, Father, for this beacon of light (Tebow) who boldly and unashamed stands firm and proclaims You and Your precious Son, King. I am grateful he is not embarrassed to walk in Your statutes though worldliness is in stark contrast and demands much of its idols. I pray he may have a long reign in his profession and in the media...for Your glory, Lord.

I ask forgiveness if my utterances are found offensive or inadequate. My heart's desire is for the furthering of Your kingdom, that many may be saved. All honor and glory are yours my King, our rock and our redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

In the name of your precious Son, Christ Jesus, I pray...Amen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Long Shall My Honor Be Turned Into Shame?

The Lord look on it, and repay! (2 Chronicles 24:22. NKJV.)


When sinned against, how easy is it for the flesh to demand that things be set straight and made right? But God instructs,

Be angry and do not sin; (Ephesians 4:26. ESV.)

Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. (Romans 12:19. ESV.)

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9. ESV.)


When my 19 year old cousin was murdered I saw wrath, repayment, and wickedness rear their ugly heads...yet no repentance. And how many countless crimes are committed without confession? Just recently a teen was killed in his own home yet no one has come forward to take responsibility or apologize. When lies are spewed, love betrayed, trust abused...acknowledgment, admission of guilt, and heartfelt offering of remorse would be greatly appreciated...yet may not come.

a bruised reed he will not break,and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. (Isaiah 42:3. ESV.)

a bruised reed he will not break,and a smoldering wick he will not quench,until he brings justice to victory; (Matthew 12:20. ESV.)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice
. (Proverbs 21:2-3. NKJV.)


Though I am so impatient when I or someone I love is hurt (whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually) because of the wicked, God's grace is amazing. A BRUISED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK, AND A FAINTLY BURNING WICK HE WILL NOT QUENCH!

HE SAVES! REPENT!

For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS our Lord. (Romans 6:23. ESV.)

Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro. (Romanos 6:23).

對於工資罪是死的,但自由的恩賜,上帝是永恆的生命在基督耶穌我們的主。 (羅馬書 6:23)。

पाप की मजदूरी तो मृत्यु है, लेकिन मुफ्त उपहार परमेश्वर हमारे प्रभु मसीह यीशु में अनन्त जीवन है. (रोम 6:23.)

Ибо возмездие за грех есть смерть, а дар Божий жизнь вечная во Христе Иисусе, Господе нашем. (Римлянам 6:23.)

لأجرة الخطيئة هي الموت ، ولكن هدية مجانية من الله فهي حياة أبدية في المسيح يسوع ربنا. (رومية 06:23).

Porque o salário do pecado é a morte, mas o dom gratuito de Deus é a vida eterna em Cristo Jesus nosso Senhor. (Romanos 6:23).

Kerana upah dosa adalah maut, tetapi karunia Allah ialah hidup yang kekal dalam Kristus Yesus, Tuhan kita. (Rom 6:23.)

Car le salaire du péché c'est la mort, mais le don gratuit de Dieu c'est la vie éternelle en Jésus Christ notre Seigneur. (Romains 6:23).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Past

Everyone has a past...be it good, bad, or indifferent. I feel a person's walk (whether with the Lord or with a rebellious heart filled with resentment and bitterness) contributes to what the individual looks like as an adult. When dealing with the past (no matter to whom it belongs) I feel Omartian gives some excellent advice.

During my reading of Stormie Omartian's THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE, I came across the following:
"The past should not be a place where we live, but something from which we learn....God is a redeemer and restorer. We need to allow Him to be both. He can redeem the past and restore what was lost. He can make up for the bad things that have happened (Psalm 90:15). We must trust Him to do those things." (p.144.)


God's word tells me,

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39. ESV.)

The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes
. (Proverbs 21:1. NKJV.)

God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:24-31.NKJV.)

He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
16he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure
.(Isaiah 33:15-16. ESV.)

I am so thankful God directs my steps (Proverbs 16:9). I can always feel it when my eyes are not gazing at the cross and I am not seated at the foot of His throne. My flesh is so easily distracted and things become out of focus. It is times like these that my daily dive into God's word is so refreshing. The longer I stay immersed, the more I feel relief from the stifling heat of worldliness, sin, and death (Romans 6:23).

We Are the Church

I have been combing the internet searching for the lyrics and (if possible) a video of a song that recently popped into my mind. It is one I learned as a child (in church) and the tune is still fresh in my brain. Some of the words on the other hand have escaped me or morphed into something incorrect (as children sometimes tend to do when something is not completely understood). Anyway, after much looking I was only moderately successful in my endeavor.

I am not sure if these lyrics are completely accurate (as I have not been able to find much online and do not have a hymnal in my possession) though they sound correct:

"We Are the Church"
by Richard K. Avery and Donald S. Marsh, 1972

Chorus:
I am the Church,
you are the Church,
we are the Church together.
All who follow Jesus
all around the world,
yes, we’re the Church together.


First Stanza:
The church is not a building,
the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place,
the church is a people.


(Chorus)

Second Stanza:
We're many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colors and all ages, too,
from all times and places.


(Chorus)

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Creation Observation of the Sabbath

(Desiring God Ministries: Tyler Kenney)

In Miscellanies 28 Jonathan Edwards expresses his thoughts on how bygone commands to observe the Sabbath now apply to the church (some paragraphing added):

[Israel's] seventh day was the day wherein they were brought out of Egypt. Our seventh day, or first day—it's no matter by what name we call it—is the day that Christ brought us out of Egypt, out of bondage to sin and Satan; of which deliverance theirs was but a faint representation. . . .

'Tis true the sabbath day used to be kept in remembrance of the creation of the world, but the first creation is spoiled; we have ruined it, and have reason to lament that ever we were created, except we are created again.

We are truly to keep the sabbath in commemoration of the creation, but it is of the new creation. We are truly to keep the sabbath on the day wherein God rested from the creation of the heavens and the earth, but we are to do it in the day wherein God created the new heavens and the new earth, by which name God calls the restoration by Christ (Isaiah 65:17-18; Isaiah 51:16; Isaiah 66:22).

God told us that when that was done we should no longer commemorate the first creation, but the second. Isaiah 65:17, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind." But if we set apart one day in seven for this very end, to remember them and call them to mind, this is beside the revealed will of God.


These thoughts sound similar to those shared by John Piper in his sermon, "Is There a 'Lord's Day'?" Commenting on Jesus' words in John 5:17—"My Father is working until now, and I am working"—he says,

What does this mean? I think it means this: When Adam fell into sin, God got up from his Sabbath rest after creation, and started to work again—not this time on creation, but on redemption—toward a new creation. A new humanity. “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” You do not understand what I am doing. I and my Father are creating a new world, a new humanity, and when we are finished, we will celebrate with a new Sabbath.

And that work of redemption and new creation was finished decisively on the cross. And three days later Jesus rose from the dead to celebrate the victory he had won and the new creation he had decisively obtained and inaugurated. Now he could take his seat with his Father on the throne of the universe and enter his Sabbath rest.

This is why the early church took the first day of the week as its day of worship and turned away from the seventh day. The seventh day marked the victory of the first creation. The first day marked the victory of the new creation with the resurrection of Christ.


© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Saturday, July 10, 2010

If We Walk in the Light, We Have Fellowship with One Another

Yesterday I went back to reading THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE by Stormie Omartian. I had started this book months ago, got over halfway through it, but then put it down. I'm not sure why but I do know God's timing is PERFECT and perhaps I was given pages 13-126 earlier this year because then is when I needed its encouragement and now is when pages 127-203 will inspire me the most.

Today's reading included how important it is for married couples to have godly friends. I am so thankful to have close, mature sisters in Christ with whom I can fellowship and from whom I can seek wise, biblical counsel. Sadly, my husband and I AS A COUPLE do not.

Omartian states,
"Every married couple should have at least two strong believing couples with whom they can share encouragement, strength, and the richness of their lives. Being around such people is edifying, enriching, balancing, and fulfilling, and it helps us keep perspective when things seem to grow out of proportion....Being good friends with people who love the Lord doesn't just happen by chance. We must pray that such people will come into our lives....We should also pray the bad influences away....our closest, most influential relationships should be with people who know and love the Lord, or there will be consequences ....(Proverbs 12:26). That's why it's very important to have a church home where it's possible to meet the kind of people you need." (pgs 131 and 132.)


For many years I have 1) been blessed with wonderful relationships, 2) been praying for the relationships in the life of my husband (that he may be as fortunate as I), and 3) that we may be given knowledgeable, unwavering godly couples for fellowship (and support when needed). I know my King is faithful to provide.

Some of God's word from the chapter:

Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue
. (Proverbs 28:23. ESV.)

God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:11. ESV.)

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; (Romans 14:10. ESV.)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44. ESV.)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25. ESV.)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7. ESV.)

Friday, July 09, 2010

God of All Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4. ESV.)

Bendito sea el Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Padre de misericordias y Dios de toda consolación, 4 quien nos consuela en todas nuestras tribulaciones, para que podamos ser capaces de consolar a los que están en cualquier tribulación, con la comodidad con que nosotros mismos somos consolados por Dios. (2 Corintios 1:3-4).

願頌讚歸與我們主耶穌基督的父基督,神之父憐憫和安慰的所有4誰安慰我們在我們所有的痛苦,使我們可以安慰那些誰在任何痛苦,與舒適感而我們自己則感到安慰的神。 (林後 1:3-4)。

Béni soit le Dieu et Père de notre Seigneur Jésus Christ, le Père des miséricordes et Dieu de toute consolation, 4 confort qui nous dans toutes nos afflictions, afin que nous puissions être en mesure de réconforter ceux qui sont dans la détresse, avec le confort laquelle nous nous sommes réconfortés par Dieu. (2 Corinthiens 1:3-4).

Gepriesen sei der Gott und Vater unseres Herrn Jesus Christus, der Vater der Barmherzigkeit und Gott allen Trostes, 4 der uns tröstet in aller unserer Trübsal, damit wir in der Lage, Komfort diejenigen, die in irgendeiner Trübsal sind, mit dem Komfort mit die wir selbst von Gott getröstet werden. (2. Korinther 1,3-4).

Ευλογητός ο Θεός και Πατέρας του Κυρίου μας Ιησού Χριστού, ο Πατέρας του ελέη του Θεού και του όλες τις ανέσεις, 4, οι οποίοι ανέσεις μας σε όλους μας θλίψη, έτσι ώστε να μπορεί να είναι σε θέση να άνεση εκείνους που είναι σε καμία θλίψη, με την άνεση με την που εμείς οι ίδιοι ανακούφισε από τον Θεό. (2 Κορινθίους 1:3-4).

परमेश्वर और हमारे प्रभु यीशु मसीह, हमारे सभी दु: ख में दया और सभी आराम, 4, जो आराम हमें परमेश्वर के पिता के पिता इतना है कि हम करने में सक्षम है जो किसी भी दु: ख में हैं आराम किया जा सकता है धन्य, आराम के साथ साथ जो हम अपने आप को परमेश्वर के द्वारा शान्ति रहे हैं. (2 कुरिन्थियों 1:3-4).

Sia benedetto Dio e Padre del Signore nostro Gesù Cristo, il Padre misericordioso e Dio di ogni consolazione, 4 i comfort che noi in ogni nostra tribolazione, perché possiamo anche noi consolare quelli che si trovano in qualsiasi genere di afflizione, con la comodità con che noi stessi siamo consolati da Dio. (2 Cor 1,3-4).

父なる神たちの主イエスキリストは、父あわれみ、神のすべての快適さ、4快適私たちのすべての私たちの苦しみは、のように我々にできるように快適な人も悩んでいることがありますが、快適に恵まれ、我々が自分は神によって慰めている。 (2コリント1:3-4)。

יהי אלוהים האב של אדוננו ישו, האב הרחמים ואת אלוהים נחמה כל, 4 הנוחות מי מאיתנו כל הסבל שלנו, כך שנוכל לנחם את אלה של סבל כלשהו, עם הנוחות עם אנו עצמנו הם ניחמו על
ידי אלוהים. (2 הקורינתים 1:3-4).

Bendito seja o Deus e Pai de nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo, o Pai das misericórdias e Deus de toda consolação, 4 que nos conforta em toda a nossa tribulação, para que possamos ser capazes de consolar os que estiverem em alguma tribulação, com o conforto com que nós mesmos somos consolados por Deus. (2 Coríntios 1:3-4).

Благословен Бог и Отец Господа нашего Иисуса Христа, Отец милосердия и Бог всякого утешения, 4 утешающий нас во всякой скорби нашей, чтобы и мы могли утешать тех, кто в какой-либо бедствие, с комфортом которые мы сами утешал Богом. (2 Коринфянам 1:3-4.)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

When Children Suffer

Tribulation (in my opinion) is incredibly difficult . But what makes it even harder is when children are involved. How resilient are they really?

(Being this is a topic that is quick to stir up emotions and perhaps even strife I want to keep my words soft (Proverbs 15:1) and progress lightly.)

Trials come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They span across physical, mental, and emotional planes, exercise minimal restraint, and provoke strong feelings including (but not limited to) sadness, anger, and/or confusion.

When my kiddos display these behaviors, sometimes words escape me. I pray for wisdom (for me) and peace (for the youngsters) that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I seek the ability to explain to them #1 I have very little to zero control over the situation and #2 I cannot foresee the future.

Questions regarding how I can best assist my young ones swirl about in my mind and yet I already know the answers...which are #1 God's grace, #2 God's word, and #3 prayer.

God's Grace
I feel 2 Corinthians 12:9 says it perfectly:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV.)


God's Word
All the answers are right there in scripture.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11. ESV.)


Prayer
Because of Christ I have the unbelievable privilege to commune with my King. I can sit at the foot of His throne whenever and however long I desire.

The LORD has heard my plea;
the LORD accepts my prayer
. (Psalm 6:9. ESV.)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7. ESV.)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27. ESV.)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33. ESV.)

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7. ESV.)

Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved
. (Psalm 55:22. ESV.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Eternity

When I was in high school, I had an amazing teacher. I enjoyed her classes so much I took a few she instructed like child development, parenting, sewing, etc. I even joined the club she sponsored, known then as FHA (Future Homemakers of America). Anyway, whenever she was addressing the topic of "suicide" she would say, "It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

When I look at sin, worldly trials, etc. God's word calls me to be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16). The ramifications of worldly actions will echo into an eternity. So when considering options (and if they are sinful) in response to various things in this world (like evil), I have to ask myself, "Is this a permanent solution (Romans 6:23) to a temporary (worldly) problem?"

The bottom line (for me) is, attached to each human being is a soul. A soul that, I believe, will stand before God to give an account/defense, either with Christ as a mediator/advocate or not. My behavior in this vapor of a life will not only affect me, today, but myself and others (involved in each situation), forever. Scripture warns me about causing others to stumble in Romans 14:13. (cross references: 1 Corinthians 8:13, Romans 14:21, 2 Corinthians 6:3).

Yesterday, as I read from the MACARTHUR DAILY BIBLE, Romans 8:28 captured my eye and thoughts. It says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."(ESV.)

I feel John MacArthur explains this beautifully by saying,
"Now we understand that there is evil, not only in the world, but in us. It isn't saying that all things are good. It says that God causes all things to work together for good. This leads us to the profound element of God's supreme authority and power over all the issues of life to produce out of them His own good purposes. God takes all the contingencies of life, all the choices, all the good, bad, and indifferent things and weaves them together for ultimately a good purpose. That is the promise that God is giving to those who have been called to salvation. Every suffering, temptation, trial, even every sin, God works together into a tapestry that ultimately is for your good. You might not see it at the time. It's like looking at the back of a Persian rug. It's just a bunch of threads going into chaotic directions. But when you turn it over some day in eternity, you'll see how it all worked together for good."


I cannot help but think of Joseph who after being sold into slavery by his own brothers was later imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. There he sat in jail, WAITING ON THE LORD, until summoned by Pharaoh who went on to make Joseph a governor. Regarding the actions of his brothers Joseph said, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." (Genesis 50:20. ESV.) I wonder if Joseph was ever down (Psalm 42:5), frustrated, or tempted to grumble and complain? Though I am in waiting, I am not in prison so what is my problem? Why do I struggle with my sin of impatience? What right do I have to get bothered, anxious, or discouraged?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13. ESV.)

Я магу рабіць усё, праз Хрыста, які умацоўвае мяне. (Фил. 4:13.)

Ես կարող եմ անել ամեն բան, մինչեւ Քրիստոսի, ովքեր ամրացնում ինձ. (Philippians 4:13.)

يمكنني أن أفعل كل شيء في المسيح الذي يقويني. (فيلبي 4:13).

मैं मसीह जो मुझे मजबूत माध्यम से सभी बातें कर सकते हैं. (Philippians 4:13.)

Jag kan göra allt genom Kristus som stärker mig. (Filipperbrevet 4:13).

Мога да направя всичко чрез Христос, Който ме подкрепява. (Филипяни 4:13.)

私はキリスト、私を強く介してすべてのことを行うことができます。 (ピリピ4:13)。

Jeg kan gjøre alt i Kristus som styrker meg. (Filipperne 4:13).

من می توانم همه چیز را از طریق عیسی مسیح که مرا تقویت می کنید. (فیلیپیان 4:13).

Posso fazer todas as coisas em Cristo que me fortalece. (Filipenses 4:13).

我可以做所有的事情通過基督誰加給我力量。 (腓4:13)。

ang maaari kong gawin ang lahat ng mga bagay-bagay sa pamamagitan ni Cristo na strengthens ako. (Filipos 4:13).

Io posso ogni cosa in Cristo che mi dà forza. (Filippesi 4:13).

Is féidir liom a dhéanamh trí Chríost gach rud a neartaíonn sé mé. (4:13 Philippians.)

Ich vermag alles durch Christus, der mich stark macht. (Philipper 04.13.)

Ek is tot alles in staat deur Christus wat my krag gee. (Filippense 4:13.)

Ja mogu učiniti sve stvari kroz Krista koji me jača. (Filipljanima 4:13).

Je peux faire toutes choses par Christ qui me fortifie. (Philippiens 4:13).

Я могу делать все, через Христа, который укрепляет меня. (Фил. 4:13.)

Я можу робити все, через Христа, який зміцнює мене. (Фил. 4:13.)

ฉันจะทำ ทุกสิ่งคริสต์ที่ทำให้ผมแข็งแรง (4:13 ฟิลิป . )

Ben Mesih bana güç veriyor aracılığıyla her şeyi yapabilirsiniz. (Filipililer 4:13.)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Holding Pattern

"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10. ESV.)


I am currently in a "holding pattern". And I am pretty certain that anyone else in a similar boat (waiting on the Lord) can attest to such a challenge...a season of the unknown, standing in one place while surrounding lives go forward at seeming astounding speeds. I feel as though I am that person in a commercial or show who is firmly planted in one spot while the activity in the background and foreground is blurred with motion. So why don't I smell the roses since I am already stopped?

In (1 Samuel) God's word does not speak of David complaining while in hiding from Saul. I feel David knew #1 God had the whole thing sorted out and so trusted in Him completely and #2 it was only for a season and then he would be on his way again. Not to mention God provided for David the entire time. All he had to do was remain faithful until God delivered Saul right into the hands of David (who spared Saul when given the opportunity to strike)...thus showing Saul what he needed to see in order to have a change of heart toward David. God orchestrated the whole thing and did all the work while David waited in faithfulness. That is all I have to do so why is it so difficult for me?

The Lord is my portion (Psalm 119:57). He fills me up completely. He provides...and it may not look or feel the way I might prefer but God does things a specific way for a VERY IMPORTANT reason. He loving cares for many I cannot even see! And my flesh is extremely self-centered. I am just a speck (a blot) in an insanely much larger picture!

As I read today from 2 Chronicles 7:1-8:18, the following caught my attention. The Lord is speaking to Solomon when He says,
"Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually."


Though, in this passage, the Lord is speaking about a "house of worship", I pray the same may be true for my home in which I dwell.

As I went on to read from Acts 13:26-52, I was drawn to verses 38 and 39 which say,
"Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses."

I am thankful for Christ through whom I am justified (freed), sanctified, and (one day) glorified by the grace of God whose mercy endures forever!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails