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Sunday, January 4, 2015

A prayer worth remembering

This is attributed to "St Francis" ... I appreciate it a lot. 
Lord, make me a channel of your peace,
that where there is
hatred, I may bring love;
where there is
wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
where there is
discord, I may bring harmony;
where there is
error, I may bring truth;
where there is
doubt, I may bring faith;
where there is
despair, I may bring hope;
where there are
shadows I may bring light;
where there is
sadness, I may bring joy;
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to
comfort than to be comforted;
understand than to be understood;
love than to be loved;
for it is by
forgetting self that one finds,
it is by forgiving that one is forgiven,
it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Headcovering sale

I just wanted to pass along this information: Covered With Style is offering 50% off their entire website. They have a few lightweight, 100% cotton, square scarves that we like to wear in the summer months however it seems their color selection right now is pretty limited.

The coupon code is WOW50

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just because you can doesn't mean you should ...

As an "american woman" in the 21st century there are all sorts of things I can do, but that does not mean I should. This post could go so many directions, but let me narrow it down to a few examples for the sake of time; feel free to add your own.
Just because I can go to the store every day doesn't mean I should.
Just because I can use the internet to look up all sorts of things doesn't mean I should.
Just because I can get in my vehicle and drive 8 hours doesn't mean I should.
Just because I can pick up the phone and talk for an hour doesn't mean I should.
Just because I can sit on the couch and watch television for any amount of time doesn't mean I should.
Just because I can speak my mind freely to whomever I want in any way I want [writing, talking, social media, etc.] doesn't mean I should.
And so on.
Just because we can do so many things does not mean they are profitable and good for us to do. So often we are busy doing things that have no eternal value (and in fact these things hinder our walks with the Lord) instead of just simply doing what is right in front of us. In today's fast paced, modern society we forget that things were not always this way nor should they be this way. Our minds have been skewed, God's truths perverted.

Something David said in his message today fits very well in here. Our job is to do what pleases our master, not us. For children, that is to please their parents. For women, that is to please their husband or head. For men, that is to please Christ. For Christ, that is to please God. We must each lay down our own will and do the will of our head or master.

David pointed out that it's not real submission if you do what pleases your master only so you can hurry up and get back to whatever it is YOU want to do. But rather, our whole lives and beings are to be wrapped up in doing what pleases our master and none of it wrapped up in what pleases us. We are to lay our lives down and die to self. That is submission.

Women today are so out of order and I know our selfish, humanistic society has greatly helped this lack of order. If we love the Lord we will spend our time focused on ways we can please our master/head ... and in doing so we are doing what pleases the Lord.

So, just because you can do xyz, first examine yourself and ask, "Is this the most profitable thing I could be doing right now?" "Am I doing this for selfish motives?" "Does this  action serve my 'head' / 'master' or my flesh?" Etc.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Eternity is drawing nigh

In less than a year we have lost around 20 elderly friends; some of them we were very close to (the closest of all being a year ago today). Now just last evening a man that was dear to several of us passed into eternity. His was a long, sad struggle. Was he ready?

Being close to and around all of these people that are sick and dying, most quite old but some not so much, helps keep eternity in view. As each one passes I cannot help but ask myself, "Am I ready?" Are you ready?

What are we doing with our time? Are we spending our days in ways that are pleasing to the Lord? Or do we keep back part or all of our day to do what pleases us? Do we strive to walk in all of the light we have? Or do we push the limits and compromise 'here and there'?

We will give an account and God wants all of us, not just the parts we are willing to give up. This is very, very serious. Our life is but a vapour that appears for a short time and then vanishes away. Eternity is forever.

Priscilla / Prisca

What does the bible have to say about her that leads women to believe they can go against the clear command that women are to be silent and are not to teach or to usurp authority over the man?

Acts 18:2 she was the wife of Aquila
Acts 18:18 she sailed with her husband and Paul into Syria
Acts 18:26 Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos learn the way of God more perfectly
Romans 16:3 Paul calls Aquila and Priscilla his helpers in Christ
1 Cor 16:19 they (husband and wife) send greetings to the Corinthian church at the end of Paul's letter to the Corinthians. Paul also says the "church that is in their house" sends greetings too.
2 Timothy 4:19 Paul sends Prisca and Aquila greetings, as well as the household of Onesiphorus.

She is mentioned 6 times in the New Testament, each time with her husband. Somehow from this women glean that they may teach and preach to others because "Priscilla did." "She helped build the church!" "She taught the church that was in her house!"

Just because she is mentioned in the bible when the church was being formed does not mean she was the one doing all the 'moving and shaking'. It is more likely, and more biblical, that she was simply helping her husband - just as God created her to do. To say that she was the one making things happen is to totally go outside of what is stated in the scriptures. Nowhere in the passages that speak of Priscilla and her husband does it say that she had the dominant role, and if she did she would have been totally out of order. It is clear that they were a godly couple because Paul loved them very much and God used them in a great way. Paul, who was as righteous as he knew how to be, thought very highly of them. I do not think I am out of line when I say that if she were not in her proper place Paul would not have thought so much of them and neither would have God.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Modesty is more than your wardrobe ...

... it's a whole way of living.

Some of us were talking about this this morning. A brother advised: consider your attitude just like you would your clothing. Being shamefaced and chaste is a part of the whole picture of modesty and lacking these things would be just like wearing skimpy clothing with a nice head covering - it just does not work.

I was never taught reserve, never saw it in action, or even knew it existed until not too long ago ... but this is how the Lord desires us to be. This is how I want to be and what I am striving for because meek and quiet women are of great value to him!

For those who struggle with this as well, here is a suggestion: before dealing with a man, simply pray for wisdom and guidance from the Lord. He will give it to you. No, we do not need to be afraid to talk to men, but we must guard our tongues and our actions for our sake and theirs. We must always strive to do what pleases the Lord and fight hard against what is not pleasing.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Being a Witness

A while ago I transcribed a message that David preached and was really blessed by it. In the message he speaks about the catch term "a personal relationship with Jesus" (which is the title too). What do people mean when they say this? Well, I wont get in to that because their ideas certainly do NOT bless me and have only served as confusion when I was an atheist.

Christ has called us to be his witness here on earth, just as the Father sent him to be a witness on this earth. And what does that mean? David shared several passages of Christ's relationship with God and used that as an example of how our relationship should be with Christ.

I'll put a quote here from the message:

"Jesus said in Matthew, “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth. You are my witnesses.” Well what is a witness? We think we are a witness because we can spout off the right doctrines. We can say the right things. But a witness – Jesus bore witness of the light. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. He came and dwelt on this earth, at one with God. He was God with us: Emmanuel (Emmanuel means God with us). He was at one with God, doing the will of God, living the will of God and set right in the middle of a bunch of people who weren't living the will of God or doing the will of God, who wanted nothing to do with God. That is what a witness is. That is you BEING God's witness. You BEING that light in this world. You BEING that salt of the earth. That is what a witness is. You BEING a Christian, not just being able to explain it, not just being able to talk about it, not preaching loud, but LIVING that way. BEING the salt of the earth."

And this is to happen ALL THE TIME, not just once in a while. Our whole lives are to be lived this way: salt and light in this dark world. We must always keep in mind the example of Christ, because there are plenty who think they are being an example of Christ yet if you but only take a few minutes to see how Christ lived and see what he taught while here you would quickly see that most who profess to be Christians are not actually Christians at all. He certainly was not afraid to stand for the truth, even knowing it would cost him his life. And that's exactly what he is telling us to do while here.

Continuing on in the message David said:

"John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

They would rather walk with the world and have the praise of the world than to be set apart and be the light of God.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

Do you see the union, the relationship that Christ had with God? It wasn't a 'touchy-feeling' thing. It wasn't an emotional experience. The relationship Christ had with God was because he was at one with God and he was representing God in this world. That's what the relationship was all about."

Are WE representing Christ on this earth? Or are we like those who love the praise of men more than the praise of God? 

I believe loving the praise of men can happen in such subtle ways. One way that seems innocent enough is by participating in their celebrations and festivities. Be it an xmas event, easter, or even something that is not a holiday. For instance, each month a few of us go preaching at the Joplin Art Walk. Each time we go we usually see some 'plain people' there [a.k.a. certain brands of Mennonites and/or Amish]. No, they are not preaching or even handing out tracts ... they are walking hand-in-hand with the world, right there among the live heavy-metal bands, belly dancers, fire jugglers, skate boarders, hip-hop dancers, and so on.

Public entertainments, holidays, amusements, etc. - participating in these things is having fellowship with the world.

Are we so afraid to tell the truth and offend someone that we end up joining with them and become their friends? Many say "Oh, but I AM Jesus' friend and he is my friend!" but what does Christ say? "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." There is a major CONDITION there --> that tiny little word "if". Jesus was not afraid to speak the truth. Yes, he got killed for it, but he was not ashamed of his Father. He loved the praise of his Father much more than the praise of men.

Can we say the same? I ask again, are WE representing Christ in this world? In all that we do? Or is there some little bits of compromise 'here and there'? 

David says later: "You are not sent here to make a farm. You are not sent here to make a business. You are sent here to be a disciple of Christ. Sometimes you have to do a few of those things along the way to support yourself. He was a carpenter. He worked, but that wasn't his life. His life was to do the will of God." 

And might I add, we are not sent here to have fun and rub elbows with the world. This is not the example Christ gave for his followers. We are to pattern our lives and activities after the pattern CHRIST gave us, not after the pattern of the world.

I am reminded of my recent experiment to try having a facebook page for my other blog. I was hoping to build up a fan base of some kind so I could eventually share a recipe book I'm working on. A few months was all it took. All of these people 'like' my page and in order for me to get anywhere I have to 'like' their page and we have to interact with each other ... yet the only thing we have in common is cooking or gardening or some other similar, activity of no good eternal value. Yes we have to cook and yes it's ok to have a garden, but if this is where your fellowship is then it's quite shallow. No thanks, I'm not interested. It took a few months of trying it out to come to this conclusion and it's very clear to me that it's just not worth it. It takes time and effort to build it up ... and build it up for what? What is more important? I'd rather be transcribing a message :) Life here on earth is much too short. I'd rather 'redeem the time because the days ARE evil.'

Who are we trying to please?

I'm currently working on transcribing David's message from a few weeks ago titled: The Face of the Deep. If you have not listened to it, I highly suggest you do so now. There is a lot of good stuff in there, and some of it is pointed right at us women.  A blessing and encouragement for sure.