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Family Events

Changes

Isn’t it often hard when family changes? How do you let go of a person who’s been in your life for 18 years and watch them make a life parallel to yours? To a mom, this change doesn’t seem right and your first and last desire is to prevent it. But that’s what it means to deny yourself. You go against the natural inclinations of protection and holding close. You choose outside of yourself and push them away from you – AWAY. I suppose some mom’s continue to hold on tightly, but that’s not what keeps them close. Actually pushing them away brings them back. Encouraging them to develop themselves apart from us is what will maintain the tie that was tightly knotted throughout their lives. But then, the knot had to have been tied by the both of you early on. Children who never tied the knot will drift away and maybe never come back. With some of our kids, the knot was tied very tight. Yet with others we just couldn’t seem get the second part tied. Oh, we tried, but “it takes two to tango” or in this case, “tangle.” All that said, here’s my first step in pushing away. Above is our family as we embark on Jillian’s journey – her journey that will hopefully bring her back home. You can see more pictures on her blog luv4him.

After a couple of hours on the road we stopped to Devin’s, then about an hour later met April and Adam on the road and visited for about 15 minutes.

They were on their way home from Austin’s wedding. Seven hours later we were standing in Katie’s apartment, dropping Jillian off for a day of shopping. The rest of us settled in at the timeshare. That night, to our surprise, Katie called and told us she got Tuesday off and would spend the day with us. We spent the day watching the Olympics and then went to Crossville shopping. Adam, I took the picture of Katie eating just for you – but then, I couldn’t have gotten a different one if I wanted to since she’s always eating! Today the boys played in the gym while Jillian and I worked on our laptops, checking our mail and loading our new Adobe software. Tonight we’re checking out a new church in the Glade, Fellowship Baptist.

Categories
Spiritual Truths

Hatred

We were in Galatians again in Sunday school which gave us the evidences of hearts that are unregenerated.

Gal. 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

I’ve heard preachers say that we’ll be surprised in heaven when we look around for someone and discover they’re not there. I’ve also heard estimates that perhaps even 50% of our church members are unsaved. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself, wondered if so-and-so were really saved. Sometimes you just have doubts based on their actions. We know that only God can be the true judge, but He’s listed for us behaviors that indicate an unregenerated heart. Let’s just look at hatred:

(I John 2:9-11) “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

Basically, if you truly hate a brother or sister in Christ, the Bible says you are walking in darkness.

(1 John 4:20, 21) “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

There you have it. If we hate others, we are not of God. This isn’t talking about a temporary outburst of anger that we repent of later, or ill feelings that last for a short time. These verses are talking about a life-style of hatred – a deep down despising that would like to see that person fail or be hurt. This is a person who spreads rumors or lies about the person he/she hates, tells others about their failings and/or wishes they were dead. Realize, fellow believers, that if you are listening to a story about another brother/sister in Christ that is damaging, that you are not only contributing to the sin of gossip, but you are allowing that person who’s telling the story to hate his/her brother outwardly. It is very easy to tell when someone hates another person. Just hearing what they say about them is enough. So why do we listen to someone who doesn’t love God?

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Musings

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Have you ever been to the place in your life where you have been so blessed that words cannot adequately describe how good God is? Well, that’s where I am. So many blessings have come our way this past couple of years that I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot find the right words. Even though we’ve have some hard times in the past, God has continued to give us the desires of our heart, well mine, anyway. Pictured here is the condo we’re enjoying in Tennessee. Every time we turn the key in the door, I’m blown away by how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy a week of luxury. Back when April was about two years old, we bought a timeshare week at Fairfield Glade in Tennessee. It’s been a long time since we’ve been here as a family, but I thought my kids might enjoy a pictorial reminder.

Kids, remember the jacuzzi that we’d fill with bubbles and have you all jump in and sculpt beards out of suds? Remember sitting around watching movies or going for walks out in the woods? Remember the church that we visited that was having a Sunday school contest? With our 17 people they had no trouble hitting their goal! Remember our “kids family picture” on the steps? Remember going to Hardees for a fish sandwich late at night? Remember taking turns eating dinner because there were only enough seats for 10? Remember sleeping in the closet, bedroom floor, bed, pull out couch and living room floor? What good times we’ve had.

Categories
Musings My Kids

Blast From the Past

Pastor Ron gave me a CD with some old pictures on it. This one is of Mollie, Jillian and Amy at Amy’s birthday party. This was taken 8 years ago when the girls were in fourth grade. All three of them graduated this past May. Where does the time go?

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Notable Acts

Dismantling Evolution Made Easy

An old friend of mine, Arv Edgeworth, wrote a book that is being published this week. It’s called Dismantling Evolution Made Easy. I’ve reviewed the book and believe it’s a tool that we all could use when we need to answer questions regarding evolution. It’s full of quotes from renowned scientists on both sides of the issue. Information for purchasing this book can be found at Truth and Science Ministries.

Arv holds many types of seminars: from 1 to 8 day meetings; senior camps, junior camps, VBS, mission’s conferences, educator’s conferences, Christian schools, public schools, area wide meetings, exposing evolution workshops, radio and television. His seminars are designed for those who seek to critically and logically investigate the scientific evidence that refutes the unsubstantiated hypothesis of evolution.

Here are some of the topics of his main presentations: 1. What About Dinosaurs? 2. The Age of the Earth 3. The Fossil Record 4. Science Versus Religion 5. What’s In The Textbooks? 6. The Evidence For Creation 7. The Impact of Evolution 8. The Pre-Flood World 9. Evolution and Dating Methods

He also has a four-part series on false teachers, Bible versions, and UFO’s – Satanic Deception in the End Times

Categories
Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Anyone Sucking the Life Out of You?

I’ve always wondered why there are some people who, after spending time with them, leave me empty. You know, as you interact with them it feels like they are drying out your spirit like an old piece of bread that sat on top your fridge for a week. Having adopted kids with special needs, I’ve probably had more experience with this than the average, because I’ve lived with very needy people 24/7/52/12. I’m sure some of my kids remember very well me telling them that they “suck the life out of me.” Why is this? Well, I found out today in Sunday School. It’s very clear and I have verses to back up the explanation. I love it when things come together and you just want to hit yourself on the forehead with the palm of your hand and say, “duh!” That’s what happened with me this morning. Actually, it’s been happening a lot lately – what a blessing that has been!

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:13-18

This is the deal. You know those people who just suck the life out of you? It’s because they’re not walking in the Spirit. If they were, they’d want to serve others, lift up and edify people rather than take from them. We all know people who constantly want something from us. They are downtrodden in spirit, needy and demanding. If we walk in the Spirit we will be consumed with serving God by serving others. If we walk in the flesh, we are consumed with ourselves and think others ought to be too. The Bible cautions us to be careful because if everyone in the church is a “canibalistic christian,” we’ll soon devour each other and there’ll be no one left to serve and glorify God. The Bible says our soul will be made “fat” if we love and serve God. Perhaps that’s so when others who do not walk in the Spirit need our help, we’ll be able to meet their needs. We need to be “filled” so we have to give to others. I believe in the law of reciprocity. If we give to others for the cause of Christ and drink at the well of living water often, we’ll be well supplied.

Proverbs 11:25 “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

And just a side note: You can train, counsel, and teach a person, meeting their needs consistenly every day, but still never see a change in them. Why? Because without a change in their heart and a sincere desire to walk in the Spirit everything will just be superficial. They’ll take from you and use you up, but not become closer to God. Of course we can’t make them desire to know God and serve Him, only the Holy Spirit can woo a person’s spirit, but we can show them who Christ is by the way we live. Everything we do should direct them to Christ. The rest is up to God.  Even if our efforts are successful, we cannot claim the glory for it. It is all of and by God. We are only to obey and be His vessel to do His good work. It’s not about us.

Let me say it again. We are not responsible for the results, nor can we claim the glory. We are only to be obedient and point others to Christ.

Categories
Spiritual Truths

Good Stuff

Well, another great Sunday has passed and the Word has once again proven to be riveting. Really, I sit at the edge of my seat just waiting to see what’s next. I’m not kidding. I have so enjoyed the dividing the Truth each Sunday. Today we were asked if we were willing to hazard our life for Christ. We used Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, and Acts 15.

“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29 I say, “ABSOLUTELY!”

Men like David Brainerd and Jim Elliott freely gave of themselves for the sake of the Gospel. Bruce Olson was 19 years old when he first made the decision to be a missionary to the primitive Motilone Indian tribe of South America. What made these men different from the average Christian we see in America today? These are “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 15:26

Ask yourself the following questions. Then honestly answer and you’ll know if you are one of the few who are willing to hazard their lives for the sake of the Gospel. If not, what is more important in your life than a soul?

1. Do I see the value of Christ and His work on the cross more than my own life? Am I willing to share it with others even when it’s detrimental to my own comfort or well being?

2. Do I see the value of eternal souls more than my own life? Do we see “lost” or “saved” engraved on the foreheads of those we pass by? (Phil. 2:3-8)

3. Do we see the value of eternity more than this temporal home? (Rev. 22:1-6; Matt. 6:19-21)

Back when April was two years old, Mark and I decided to place our lives on the altar and were willing to “hazard our lives” for Christ. That was 24+ years ago! Yes, we’ve been through many hazards and met with more challenges than you can shake a stick at, but we’ve also enjoyed many a blessing that others will never know. Has it been worth it, you ask? Perhaps a better question would be, “Did you have any other choice?” The answer is, “No,” not if I wanted to be a friend of God’s like Abraham. I choose friend over comfort. After all, look at what He did for me. I am driven to hear the words, “Well done.”

We have lost so much by putting ourselves in harm’s way to be a soldier of Christ, but it will pale in comparison when we see the rewards in the end (or should I say, “beginning?”).

When we see Christ

“It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One gliimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.”

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quotes Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Wednesday Night Bible Study

Wednesday night Pastor Mark gave the Ten Principles of Reformers Unanimous to the people at church for our Bible study. They bear repeating (or in this case, listing, for he only got through principal 4!)

1. If God is against it, so am I.

2. Every sin has its origin in our hearts.

3. It is easier to keep the heart clean than to clean it after it has been defiled.

4. We cannot fight a fleshly appetite by indulging in it.

5. Small compromises lead to great disasters. (Little sin leads to big sin.)

6. Those who do not love the Lord will not help us serve the Lord.

7. Our sinful habits hurt those who are following us.

8. It is not possible to fight a fleshly temptation with fleshly weapons.

9. We lose our freedom to choose when we give in to temptation. The consequences of our choices are inevitable, cannot be calculated, and are up to God.

10. God balances guilt with blame. Accept the blame for your actions and God will remove the guilt.

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Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

A Bad Day Gone Good

Saturday April and I went to Jamie’s house to attempt another garage sale. With her living in Battle Creek, we thought we could make a killing. My last garage sale I did very well, and was hoping to do the same this time. Well, it didn’t exactly go as planned. It rained all day, got all my stuff wet, and only brought me another $27.75. I was tempted to complain, but really, why? If I truly believe God is in charge, then it was up to me to find the good in all of it. So, I did.

1. Four families are going to get several bags of clothes. They hold great sentimental value, so now I may “give them to a good home.” They are worth way more than the 25¢ tag I had on them.

2. We had a nice time fellowshipping with Jamie’s family and watching the Jacob and Isaac play in the rain. Jamie even bought us pizza.

3. I got a great deal on two new bikes for Isaac – bikes I could never have afforded on my own.

4. For three days, while I dried out tons of clothes and bag them up, I’ve enjoyed watching the series “Alias” with my family and working on my blog and yearbook in between loads of laundry.

I can leave the financial stuff to God. He can supply our needs and he doesn’t need me to do it. I proved to Him I was “willing to work for food.” Now He will prove to me He is faithful – as He always does, time after time.

So, the day was not wasted. My efforts were not wasted. Besides, it’s about who we are not what we do. We’re just supposed to be faithful and then let God work out the details.

I picture the conversation in heaven going like this:

Angel: We’ve got another garage sale request. What do you want me to do? They’re asking for a clear, sunny day, but the Christian down the road asked for rain for his crops.

God: Give them rain.

Angel: Rain? With all due respect, I think they really need the money and if I send rain, they won’t sell a thing.

God: Give them rain. They’ll have a good day visiting with their friend, several families will benefit from the clothes that don’t sell, and the Isaac will have a lot of fun. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.

Angel: Of course. You know best. But, won’t this discourage them? They really need grocery money.

God: No, I know these folks, they trust me to take care of them. I’ll just supply their needs some other way. They pray and expect answer A, B or C and I usually give them D. They’re used to it. It’s kind of an inside joke between us.

Angel: OooooK, you know best.

God: Yes I do.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Even rain during your garage sale can be a blessing.

Categories
Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

God Gives an Answer

Recently a friend told me that there had been a lot of gossip going on about our family, and then proceeded to tell me a dozen things that have been said. Some were about me and some were about my husband and my kids. All of them were false and I actually had to laugh at some of them, they were so ridiculous. I was given the opportunity to set the stories straight, which is a rare opportunity. Today in church I was given the answer as to why some “Christians” gossip about other believers. Here is he answer that God gave me:

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” I John 4:20

The answer? He doesn’t love God. So, the next time you hear someone tearing another person down, quote this verse to them and see what they say.

The intent of gossip is to injure. Hatred is the motivation. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the person who’s being gossiped about. It all has to do with the heart that doesn’t love God.