April 23, 2017

Three Things God Cannot Do

Just a quick thought today. Over the years and here recently, I've heard people say, "God wouldn't do that," or "God already did this, so He won't do that to me," or "I just don't think God is fair," or "I just don't think God is that way," or "I don't understand why God...". Well, my response is always "what makes you say that or think that?" There are only three things God cannot do and that is 1-Lie, 2- be unjust, 3- make a mistake. That's it!!!  

God can do anything and everything He so chooses! It his His ball game. He created it (the world, and everything in it). He gets to make ALL the rules! Just because we have a Bible example over here in this spot where He did this, doesn't mean He must follow through in that same aspect over there in that situation. Just in case you aren't well versed in Bible, in some places he removes enemies, diseases, or situations that arise. While in others He allows a different person to suffer through situations. Hence the verse that says ...I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Ex. 33:19) The Bible also says it rains on the just and the unjust. 

God is the Supreme Being! Telling me or Him that He can't or won't do something is absurd. (such as, let a mom die of cancer and never allow a sister to then get cancer so as to not put the family through more) Telling me or God that He made a mistake or is wrong is also absurd. To me that is what transgender people are saying. God messed up and made them wrong. NO! God made them male and female. He made them separate. He DID NOT make a mistake and give one of them the wrong genital parts. --- Let me get this straight, He can create the whole world from nothing and speak it into being, create humans from dirt, His own breath and then a rib in 6 literal days, but He messed up making some of the people walking today by giving them the incorrect body parts to match what their brain tells them? Hmm? Who is making the mistake? Not God!

This last part was just something that came to me as I was typing. It actually wasn't the point of the post. It wasn't a lead in to get to rant. It just happened. It was more about saying that God wouldn't or can't or must... 

Even many Christians seem to have the attitude that God must fit their mold and thought process. I believe completely that He can and will do whatever and anything He wants to do. He is not required to fit a mold. Even in His wrath He is loving. You don't have to believe it, but just because you don't; doesn't mean it isn't true! 

Just to get you thinking and because I've gone too long without blogging. It's been an emotional month for me as April always is, so I haven't taken time to post. It's not like I'm reaching hundreds anyways! lol My average readership is between 25 and 35 sooo.  But, if I can get one of those to think and reason for themselves, I've accomplished my task.

April 11, 2017

Noah's Ark Series Lesson 3

Having Fixed Points in a Changing World
Matt. 7:24-27, Heb. 12:25-28

In a world of constant change there are some things in life that are fixed points. They don't change. they can be counted on.
--Navigators can count on the North Star
--Builders trust in plumb lines
--Musicians depend on set notes

Psychologists say that change is hard for most people - even good changes.
--change is threatening, frightening, & intimidating
--most people resist it  and down right avoid it

Psychologists also say that the best way to adjust to change is to remember and focus on some fixed points in our life.
--Fixed points are things we can trust & commit to
--Little kids learn this at a very young age - when they go into a new situation, they usually reach for & cling to a security blanket, teddy bear, or other toy, mom, dad or even their thumb because they want something that they know & makes them feel secure

So, what are some fixed points for us as our world shudders, shakes and we go through trials?
Heb. 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever

Because of this He gives us strong foundations to build upon
Let's look at some fixed points in anyone's life....

I. Truth
--Sometimes it is hard to sort out lies from truth but we can use Jesus as a measuring stick
--We need to measure everything we see, read or hear by the standard of truth found in God's Word
--If it goes against what Scripture says--it CANNOT be truth!
--By the way, God will NOT impress upon you to do something that goes against His Word
-- For instance, God doesn't impress upon people to murder someone, steal from others or even get a divorce - when someone chooses to do those things they have made up their own minds because God would not urge someone to do something contrary to His Word

Prov. 23:23 tells us to buy the truth and sell it not
John 14:6 - Jesus tells us He is the truth
Rom. 3:4  says that God is true and every man a liar

--When Satan makes us doubt - cling to the truths of the Bible

II. Love
--We love him because he first loved us - this is the only reason we know about love

Rom. 8:38-39 - Once we get saved, we become God's child and we can't be separated from his love
--even when we think that no one on earth loves us, we can rest assured of God's love for us

**True love is that which gives expecting nothing in return

III. God
--He is immutable or unchangeable
Ps. 102:27, Mal. 3;6, Rev. 1:8

Though God allows and sometimes even brings changes in our lives, we can trust Him for He is unchanging -- He is always just, always fair, and always loving even when He brings His wrath. Everything He does is for our good and for His glory

IV. God's Word 
--it endures forever
Ps. 119:89, Is. 40:8, Matt. 24:35, 1 Peter 1:25

--when we go through trials we can search the Bible for comfort and also for what to do

March 30, 2017

Just Who Is Running the Show?

Been observing society lately. --- Both in public places such as stores and restaurants along with church and extended family. Some days I can't help but wonder who is running things in everyone's home. 

This can be a touchy subject. I reckon I was raised a certain way and was taught that the adults are in charge and have the authority. When I forgot that, I was reminded real quick with some sort of punishment and discipline. Those are two different things by the way! That being said, I am sure there were times I and my sister were allowed unknowingly to run the show. I suppose  all parents can be guilty at times of allowing the kids to run things. 

This needs explaining. When my parents told me to do something, it was done or there were consequences. When they said "no", I understood and there was no whining until I got what I wanted just to get me to be quiet or out of their hair. (there was a short time in late grade school when if I cried my dad would give in and we would go for a visit to my cousin's house...I believe this only happened because my dad actually didn't mind going for that visit or wanted to himself visit also) My parents were not constantly running me places or to activities just because I wanted it. I didn't get to choose the tv programs or radio stations in the living room. I could listen to music in my room but we never had more than one tv while growing up and Bob and I only have one now! However, every parent has been guilty of giving in because they don't want the argument. It just wasn't the norm at my house growing up, nor do I believe it was the norm while raising my kids.

When I was in high school (this was after my dad passed away) I ran track and cross country my freshman and sophomore years. My sister ran cross country her freshman year but then was in Poms after that. Outside of this, my mom was NOT running us here and there and all around the square to every shindig we wanted on a regular basis. In other words, my mom did not cater to my life's activities. She had her own activities and she was also taking care of the home while working. This did not make her an unkind, uncaring or unloving mother. Quite the contrary. My mom was the most giving person I have ever known. However, back then, children did not decide what was happening each night, which activities were taking place or which tv shows were being watched. And most assuredly parents weren't running around, spinning like a top trying to get each kid some place they each wanted to be. No wonder there is such a need for gasoline! lol 

I watch today as parents are doing nothing but budgeting their time around what each child in the home wants to do. This includes budgeting around church time and most of the time church loses!  Marriages are falling apart because there is no time for the grown ups to enjoy time together or go on a date or relaxing even. It is go, go, go around the kids' schedules. When and why did this happen in our society?!

Some of it comes out of feelings of guilt due to parents working so much. Some of it comes out of wanting to give children everything the adult missed out on including all the activities along with material things. Some of it comes from listening to society telling us that kids NEED activities to develop social skills. Baloney! Many of the social skills they are picking up at these activities are things that will cause you headache in the future with your children! Some of it comes from lazy parenting and not wanting to set boundaries. I don't reckon the reasons really matter. It needs fixing! I do not understand why a child needs to be on the go constantly. I do not understand why a child should get to be the one to choose what is watched on tv. Just to keep them quiet? I understand using the tv as a babysitter at times, but this should not be the constant. 

What are we teaching these young people? We are teaching them that what THEY want and what THEY think is all that matters. We are doing them an injustice because guess what, their future boss is not going to care! Their future spouse is going to need their own needs met also. This is why so many young people today can't hold a job. They can't take orders or do what is expected because they want to be in charge! We already have a generation that my generation in general raised up to not be able to handle it when things don't go their way. We currently have a generation of adults that need their safe room,  safe space, lapel pins, and time out areas just to cope with things when life doesn't happen the way they want. 

It is time that parents parent! It is time they be the ones in charge. It is time that boundaries are set. It is time to take time for marriages not just family activities or children's activities. It is time to teach. It is time to teach self control, consideration for others, that I am not the only person that matters, there are rules and consequences when the rules are broken, sometimes life isn't fair, sometimes life hurts, AND you don't always get everything you want! Parents need to let kids know that they were not put on this planet to serve and cater to their every whim! 

March 19, 2017

A Close Look at Luke 22:31-34

I did some serious delving into this passage in Luke. A few things brought this study about. I recently had someone say that this passage says that Jesus prayed for Peter to be saved. When I read it after this person said that, I immediately thought, this passage doesn't mean what you think it does. I don't know what it is about me unless it is discernment from the Holy Spirit but when someone is using a verse to back up what they are saying or proving a point in a sermon, something often doesn't sit right with me when it is being used incorrectly or out of context. It will immediately nag at me somewhere in the recesses of my mind that makes me go and study further. (That's a good thing by the way!) We should every one of us do this if someone is teaching or preaching something that doesn't sit quite right with us in our minds. Never just assume the preacher, teacher or lay person is right because they should know more than you. I'm not saying you should challenge them on the spot but go and study for yourself and if you find them incorrect then go to them in private and show them what you have found. Many will not hear you because of arrogance and feelings of offence but SOME will! 

Anyhoo, I wasn't sure why it was nagging at me about this passage but I intended to find out and it wasn't an immediate understanding. I had to think it through in different scenarios and compare scripture with scripture and/or other thoughts alluded to in the Bible. (Also, should be how you study!) 

First of all, saying that this is proof that Jesus prayed for Peter to be saved goes against what most preach about the apostles. Most preach that the apostles at this time in Christ's ministry were saved. This is a whole other topic for a different day. But, if you hold to that thought then this clearly isn't what is happening when Jesus says "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." If he was already saved at this point because he was an apostle of Christ, then why would Jesus need to pray for his salvation? 

Now let's look at this reasonably and rationally. What does it say?  ... Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:   But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not:...There was a time in my life when I believed(because I heard it preached this way) that this was a prayer that was in reference to Peter denying Jesus later that night. This thought actually doesn't fit either! If Jesus were praying anything wouldn't you think His prayer, of all people, would have power to be answered? (No, you don't get to go to the Garden when He prayed let this cup pass from me because He also prayed not my will but yours LORD.) In this passage in Luke, He doesn't say Your will LORD. Yet, we know that Peter DOES deny Jesus three times later! So, did Jesus' prayer have no power? 

What does sifting wheat do? At harvest time, the wheat is thrashed and sifted to remove the unusable parts of the wheat. Now, there is nothing noble about Satan's intentions when it comes to a follower of Christ but I believe this is very similar to the story of Job. Satan kept going to God and trying to get permission to do things to Job to prove that Job wouldn't keep trusting in God if bad things happened. Sifting is sorting out the good and the bad. Notice it says Satan has desired but Jesus prays that Peter's faith doesn't fail. He could have just told Satan no, you don't get to sift Peter. Also,He doesn't pray that he be converted. It says WHEN you are converted! 

I believe this passage is talking about Peter's faith not failing in the end, beyond the night of the Crucifixion and unbelief of Jesus' resurrection. (Poor Thomas gets a bad rap because in reality, NONE of the apostles believed until they saw Jesus in bodily form or have an angel tell them he was resurrected) We know, because we have the rest of the Bible after Luke and the gospels that Peter went on to be a strong leader and witness for Christ to the Jews and gentiles. (Paul may be considered the apostle to the gentiles but it was Peter who started that ministry!) Peter is the one whom Jesus said He would give the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He is the one who gets to preach at Pentecost. Peter needed taken down a notch or two from his arrogance. When he denied Christ, Jesus looked right at him and Peter was well aware what he had done and that Jesus had told him so and he went out and wept bitterly (and I believe humbled to serve like never before). 

No other explanation makes sense logically looking at scripture. I fully understand that sometimes we can't look at scripture and try to make sense or be logical because of our finite minds not comprehending but when we CAN figure it out, we should! 

I'm sure some will disagree with my take on this passage. If so, feel free to post a comment to try and prove your point. I certainly don't mind debate. Maybe I have missed something to look at but right now, I believe what I have posted is correct. And, if I have done nothing else but make you study then I have succeeded at my intention! Have a blessed time in the Word! :)

March 12, 2017

Some Things You Can't Borrow - Lesson 2 Noah's Ark Series

Matt. 25:1-13
When a crisis comes in your life you must have your own resources of faith and spiritual strength because they can't be borrowed at the last minute.

I. Can't borrow someone else's commitment to the Bible
A. Need your OWN Bible that YOU have read, studied & memorized 
--others can hand you a Bible and/or quote scripture to you but if you haven't got it inside you yourself, it won't be as comforting, it won't have as much meaning for you

B. If you don't know the Bible - YOUR Bible, when you need verses to help yourself or someone else you won't be able to find the verses you need
--I often know that a particular verse is somewhere in a certain area of the page on the right or left in my own Bible

II. Can't borrow someone else's commitment to prayer
A. Need your own personal time with God
--this is to have your sins confessed up so that your relationship is right with God - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear.

B. Don't just rely on others for prayer
--many people want others to pray for them but never pray for themselves
--others can pray and it can be helpful and powerful but others do not know you or your needs, thoughts, & desires as well as you do!

III. Can't borrow someone else's commitment to Christ
A. We must have our own relationship with Jesus
--you can't go to heaven because your mom, dad, spouse, or anyone else is saved - must have it for yourself

B. We must have our own peace & trust in Christ when the storm is raging
--the disciples had no peace on the ship when the storm came even though Jesus was there with them, and He was calm and sleeping
--they had seen His miracles & still had not drawn close enough to Him to have peace & trust that He would care for them

We can have peace & joy in the storms of life but only when we abide in Him.

We need to be building an ark of spiritual strength because there are some things that just can't be borrowed - especially at the last minute. Build it by having a commitment to the Bible, to prayer, and to Christ.

March 10, 2017

Mixed Up About the Gospel

There seems to be some confusion about what the Gospel of Jesus Christ actually is in this world thought process today. Let me just clarify....it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus! Gospel means good news or good message. 

So many seem to be mixed up about this. Many think that the gospel is "love your neighbor", or doing charity work, or giving to the poor, or don't judge others. However, that's not it. Those things come as a result of becoming a Christian...really those things should be a result of just being a decent human being! But that is not the gospel. 

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 This is referred to as the "Great Commission". The gospel is the good news that Jesus is the Son of God (and He is God in the flesh!) and that He came being born of a virgin, was crucified and died for the sins of mankind and rose the third day to conquer death for us. That's it! Telling people about this and having them believe in it to have their sin debt paid in full is what the command above is about. This will change the population of heaven. This and nothing else is the gospel! 

Now, should the other things mentioned above be taught to new believers? Absolutely! Should we all live it? Absolutely! But, telling people to do the things that Jesus did while He ministered for 3 1/2 years is NOT the gospel. Conducting yourself in a Christlike manner is something we should strive for every minute of every day but those things come as a result of the gospel. No one is saved to heaven from hell because they do any of those things mentioned. It is ONLY by believing and trusting in what Jesus did to pay our sin debt. He came, He died, He rose again to remove what separates us from a Holy God that demands perfection. We can only stand perfect before God by having the righteousness of Jesus covering us. It's called imputed righteousness...which simply means when someone gets saved or trusts in what Jesus did, and when they stand before God, He doesn't see them and their filthy sins, He sees His Son. That's the ONLY way to enter heaven! 

Just felt the need to do some clarifying. 

March 3, 2017

Warning! Straight From the Horse's Mouth!

The other night Bob and I were watching the local news and there was a woman being interviewed who was a former Madame/Sex Traffic Recruiter who now helps police. She was very forth coming and blunt in the hows and whats of the industry. --- How she researched and recruited and on whom she preyed. Bob and I were like "that's exactly why we teach and preach the things about dress that we do"! 

She talked about how she used social media sites to zero in on teens (especially girls but not all). Obviously her first warning was about having your Facebook page be public instead of having it only read by fb friends. She checked out all of the friends of someone she was able to get access to. She focused solely on those posting about fighting with parents AND on those who post selfies of themselves in provocative poses or who are scantily dressed or posing with kissing and touching their boyfriend. She said...and I quote.."I don't bother with the girls who stay dressed modestly or conservatively because I don't have time to break through their moral beliefs. There's too many troubled teens who are vulnerable to bother wasting my time on the other ones. The more I recruit into making me money the more money I make." 

There! You heard it straight from the predator's mouth! It says it all! They prey on young people who are upset with their parents and life and who are already pushing lines of rebellion. They offer them a way to make quick easy money. The lady said she actually got to a point that once she recruited a girl into the industry she would take her to the "house" and put her in a room and tell her she had until noon to make $1000! That makes my stomach sick and my heart actually hurt! It is down right scary!!!! These recruiters don't really have to try that hard to get them to comply. 

This woman is now trying to redeem herself by helping the police get as many young people out of the industry as she can. She is also teaching the police who to watch out for and what predators look like on the spot. She is teaching them how to target would be recruiter/predators.

Technology can be a wonderful thing but it is also an evil that has far reaching ramifications. The destruction and domino effect that can come from the dumbest or smallest mistake of online use is completely devastating. 

Soooo, this is why Bob preaches modest dress from the pulpit and why I teach it to ladies and girls. Persona, testimony is everything! It can mean the difference in being preyed upon by evil people, for a young person. Parents, stop worrying about popularity when it comes to your daughters....teach them to love God and their future husband and their self more than pleasing the friends of the world and being popular today. You can be stylish without being immodest!  Be an example to them moms! And it's ok to set rules and boundaries!