Thursday, May 30, 2013

From the Archives: Meat Eater in a Cotton Candy World



I'll admit it...I like meat.

When given a choice between a good ol' hunk of Angus or a carrot, I'll chase the cow down anytime.

I'm like this in my walk in Christ as well. I love a good hunk of meat over a little bit of milk. I love tearing into a good steak instead of eating a little cotton candy fluff.

We're in a society that loves cotton candy and sweet fluff. It is so common these days to go to a church and never once hear a bible verse. I've sat in a "mega" church that never once used a bible verse, and the house band rocked to Alanis Morisette and the "sermon" was based around Austin Powers!

 I sat in another service (different church) that gave all kinds of antecdotes but not one bible verse. The sweetness was so suffocating!

In Hebrews 5:12, it says For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Here the writer of Hebrews is not too pleased with those he's writing to, as they've not gotten beyond the "milk" of the Scriptures, they've not gotten to the "meat" of the teachings. They were still suckling like a babe, rather than ripping into the deeper parts of faith in Christ. This can well be said of soooooo many churches today!! There are so many people out there who never get beyond the Sunday School songs, who never sink their teeth into the precious Word of God!

In I Corinthians 3:2, Paul writes I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Here Paul shows almost disgust, as he wanted to teach and show those in the places he taught and preached, the meaty parts of the Gospel!

We don't have to be like this! 

We don't have to sit drinking milk and never taste the meat of the Bible!

  Are you in a church that doesn't have you bring a bible, open it, and use it in services? Does your pastor tell stories and jokes instead of preach out of the Word of God? Does your church put more emphasis in the music and entertainment instead of God's Holy Word?

No one gets beyond milk in any of those situations! Instead, the Christian starves in those conditions!

  Step out and find a church that preaches the Bible! Find a pastor that is not afraid to preach out of the Bible and stand on the promises it holds! Be willing to stretch and learn what the Bible says, dive deeper into the Word and learn all the things God has in store for you! There is so much more than "Jesus Loves The Little Children" and all the things learned in Sunday School! 

Don't be afraid to learn and grow in the Lord! Don't stay a babe and devour the milk and sweets when the Lord wants you to have the meat that He has laid out for you in Scripture!

I'm praying on a venture of doing an at least weekly bible study here. This is something that's been on my heart and mind as I've went about my daily chores. I so love diving into the Bible and learning and growing, and also listening to sermons and speakers and gaining more insight to the Scriptures. I would love to share with anyone who'd be willing to read! We women especially need to know more of what we believe, why we believe it, where it's at in Scripture, the deeper aspects of Christianity, history, etc--more than what's on just the surface!!

If you're interested in possibly going along in a study with me, leave a comment and let me know--I'd love to hear from you!        


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From Persecutor to Persecuted

Often when we think of Paul, we think of how he, as Saul of Tarsus, persecuted Christians in his zeal as a Jewish leader.  But, do we think of ourselves in our lives before Christ as a persecutor as well?

Think about this:  if you didn't come to Christ at a young age, you had time to do and say things that hurt Jesus.  I am no different.  In fact, I'll tell you a little bit about myself, the way I used to be before coming to Christ.  No, I wasn't a Christian at a young age, I waited until I was middle 20's before He got to my heart.  I had plenty of time to do and say things that hurt Him.

I'm ashamed to say that in my life before Christ, I mocked Christians.  As a child I grew up in a home where Jesus and God were curse words, and there was no respect toward God, church, or anything remotely Christian.  I learned to think of Christians as goody two shoes, hypocrites, busy bodies, based on what my parents taught me by actions and words.  I wanted nothing to do with those folks who went to church on Sunday, wanted nothing to do with whatever was in the building that made folks get up early on Sunday morning, get dressed up, and drive to town (we lived in the country) to sit in a hard pew and listen to some man yell at you.  As far as I was concerned, Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, all denominations and beliefs were the same.

This continued on after school, and on into my adult years.  I mocked.  I cursed.  I did things I am not proud of in search of MY own life.  Life was about ME, what I wanted, My wants and MY wishes.

When I became an officer in the Dept. of Corrections and was assigned to a high medium/max security men's facility, I walked into the place where God was needed most.  It was depraved.  I saw things I wish I could scrub from my mind's eye.  I heard things I wish I could forget.  I mocked inmates who were sincere in wanting to seek Jesus--I was taught in the Academy that they were into jailhouse religion in order to get in good with the parole board, and I bought into the idea.  During my time as an officer, I met 3 different ordained pastors, all active in ministry outside the prison system and who were officers on the night shift.  I made life rough for them when I worked around them.  None of them tried to tell me about Jesus.  During those depraved years, I drank on my days off, partied, did things that were "cool" according to my fellow depraved officers.  On the job, the folks I hung around with after work made the shifts hard for the professing Christians who worked with us.

I'm not proud of it.  In fact, I am ashamed.  I did this to the One who died for me.   I mocked, I persecuted, I was no better than Saul.

Jesus brought me out of that world, out of that life of mocking, of making fun of Christians, of persecuting Him.

I am eternally grateful.

Now, I am a member of the side who is mocked, who is persecuted for beliefs (ok, it's not like in China or any other Communist country yet, but we feel soft persecution already), who hurts when someone does that to our Lord.  The tables turned.

It doesn't take someone the magnitude of Paul to have such a huge life change.  It can happen in that everyday person such as you and I.  We don't have to have Paul's reputation as Saul in order to do those same hurtful things to our Lord and to other Christians....we just have to have that same heart as Saul did.  We also don't have to stay like Saul--we can come to Christ, repent, turn away from our sins, and live a life in Him, never to do that again.

Going from the persecutor to the persecuted.





From The Archives: Tales From The Washboard


(from winter 2011)



Ah the washboard, the musical instrument, the washing machine for generations, and my friend. So so many callouses have I gained from this little wooden and metal piece. But, callouses aside, this little wooden item is a frugal housewife's friend. Seriously! I didn't give a remote thought to handwashing laundry until this summer. Our family doesn't have a washer and dryer--no real room for them, nor a spare couple thousand dollars for a decent set. When finances turned south this summer, not allowing for me to take our seemingly hundreds of pieces of laundry (for a family of 5) to the laundrymat, Momma (me) got inventive. Seeing a mountain of clothes threatening the lives of myself and the pets, I took a trip to the local antique shop/flea market/computer shop/vac repair building. I found a Columbus Washboard Co washboard for $4, in nearly new condition! Ok, so you aren't as enthusiastic as I am about it, but if you look at the prices of these new (yes, they are still manufactured), they are $30+. So, a savings of $26 made me happy. When I got back home, the mountain, by then named Mt. Wash-Me, was growling. I first started with the soap I had on hand, just simple store bought liquid and softener. But, after looking around on the net, I started gaining serious interest into making my own soap as well. Hey if I could save a bit of money, I was interested! I'll get to my recipe in a bit... I started my washing outside. Why? I have a concrete slab within literally 2 feet of my clothes line. The slab goes over the basement, and it is the perfect height for standing and washing in a tub. So I brought out my clear Sterilite tubs, filled up one with wash water, one with rinse water, and a bucket with rinse water (I didn't have a 3rd tub at the time so I improvised). I kept another bucket on hand for collecting the washed pieces to take to the line. The water was cold, but heated fast in the summer sun (July), and the washed laundry dried very fast, as it was around 110 to 120 during that part of the year (very very hot even for SE Kansas!) I am not so good at explaining how I use the washboard, but I did find a YouTube video that explains well. It's more pioneer style, but overall shows a pretty good idea.

I read some various blogs as well about how to use a washboard that were very informative. I found that the clothes washed on the board even with the store bought soap was much cleaner. Why? I was able to warm up the fibers first, soak the clothes in the wash water, and rather than having the agitating paddle in the middle and swish clothes around, each piece was scrubbed (agitated) against the raised metal on the washboard, pushing the dirt and *cough* other items through the fibers and into the water, leaving the clothes cleaner. I was able to get stains out I thought were totally set in...and that was my first time using the board!! To get that nasty dirt and grime out, I go in first up and down scrubbing, then in a diagonal way across the metal. It seems quite effective! My particular board is called a Dubl Handi and it has a "softer" side as well--if you flip it over and look, there's ridges without the raised ridges. This is for silks, nylon, softer fabrics, etc, and one I like to use for "unmentionables". :) During the summer and fall months, I worked outside under a simple market tent. It was a nice reprieve from the beating down sun! As the months have gotten cooler (it's December and in the 40's and 50's during the day), I've moved my tubs and board inside--they now live by the kitchen sink and get lots of attention. It's freezing overnight, but thus far I've been able to get my wash nice and dry, even if it takes a couple days hanging. The rains of the season are to me a free rinse--the clothes are softer and smell fresher after a rain! No commercial softener can beat that! :) For my soap, I have made my own and I LOVE it! I did some searching for recipes, and used the same basic ingredients as many other folks, and messed with the amounts to get the concoction that I like best. Since I use a lot of soap--handwashing for 5 will take a lot over time--I make a lot at a time. I shredded down Fels Naptha first, and then mixed it with half of a stock pot of water. It melts, and then I add in a cup or so of Arm and Hammer Wash Soda and a cup or so of 20 Mule Team Borax. All 3 ingredients can be found in the laundry soap aisle of your grocery store, Walmart, and other fine establishments. :) For me, this made a thick gooey goop that hardened into about 5 gallons. Not liquified--hardened. I'd poured the solution into the bucket, added water to near the top, and let it set...and it turned into a bucket full of nice concentrated soap. So, for 3 or 4 months, I simply spooned out about 1/4 cup of the mix for a large wash (about the equivelent of 4 regular sized wash loads). This melts in warm water, and all is well.   I will admit, I get funny looks while outside washing, hanging up, and taking down clothes. I live in the city limits, and am the oddball. But that's fine--being the oddball has saved our family many hundreds of dollars, which is making better use of the finances the Lord gives us.

  It's the middle of December, and I really am getting odd looks when I'm out putting clothes on the line. Sure, the clothes take a couple days to dry--and when it's freezing they still dry if the humidity isn't too high and the sun comes out. I have a rack in the bathroom to hang some on hangers to dry with a small heater to assist--this I do for the clothing we need done more urgently. Something I noticed early on with this soap recipe and also have heard from others over the past months--the Fels Naptha mix whitens your whites better than bleach! I haven't had to use a drop of bleach in months since starting the Fels soap. My whites more often than not look brand new! No yellowing from bleach, no holes, no burns, etc. My colors are brighter as well, and there's no lint (line drying doesn't pill fleece or create the lint that dryers do).

Even if you don't go the route of handwashing (I admit, it's not for everyone), you may want to consider line drying your clothing. You save on electricity, and you keep more of your clothing longer. Think about it...the lint in the lint trap is fibers from your clothing! To get your clothes soft when on the line, use vinegar, softener, or extra rinses. My towels come out soft, as do our jeans! You may want to try making your own soaps as well--it is a real money saver, and you get the benefits of the whitening, and using so much less per load than with commercially made soaps. If you have allergies to many commerical soaps, this may be a route that could work for you. With our own family, I've noticed my stepdaughter with lots of skin allergies has had a much better time with the Fels mix vs the commerical brands.

I hope this has been a little helpful! :)

--Angie



Monday, May 27, 2013

Moving The Landmarks Part 3--Pastors and Leadership






We are in week 3 of the series "Moving the Landmarks".  This week we are focusing on the leaders of the church.  This may step on some toes, as this is a biblical look at leadership, not necessarily denominational or traditional roles.  As I've written before, these are not my opinions, but what thus saith the Lord.  If you don't like what is written in Scripture, take it up with the Writer--He's always listening!

Pastors are the overall physical leaders of our churches.  They have qualifications to meet according to scripture.  They bear the brunt of the responsibility for the flock, and answer to God for what has or hasn't happened within their church.  They have their own book dedicated to them, also known as I Timothy, or the "pastoral epistle".

What are the qualifications of a pastor?  Let's look at I Timothy to find out.  Paul wrote to Timothy, who at the time was a young pastor at Ephesus, and warned him to fend against false doctrines that were already seeping into the early church.  Paul also told him how to protect public worship, and how to develop mature leadership.  This epistle lays down the foundations for the ordination of pastors/elders in the local church, and provides the apostolic guidelines for pastors.  It's basically a leadership manual for church administration and organization. (1)

"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  (2) a bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (3) Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous. (4) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (5) (For is a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (6) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (7) Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." (I Tim. 3:1-7)

Now, I'm not stopping at the King James.  I'm going back even farther, to the Geneva and Bishop's Bibles....prior to the KJV.

This is from the e-sword (2)program, the Bishop's Bible:




1Ti 3:1
This is a faithful saying: Yf a man desire ye office of a bishop, he desireth a good worke.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop therfore must be blamelesse, the husband of one wyfe, watchyng, sober, comely apparelled, a louer of hospitalitie, apt to teache,
1Ti 3:3 Not geuen to ouermuch wine, no striker, not greedy of fylthy lucre: but gentle, abhorryng fyghtyng, abhorryng couetousnesse:
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his owne house, hauyng chyldren in subiection, with all grauitie.
1Ti 3:5 For yf a man knowe not to rule his owne house, howe shall he care for the Churche of God?
1Ti 3:6 Not a young scoler, lest he, beyng puffed vp, fall into the condempnation of the deuyll.
1Ti 3:7 He must also haue a good report of the which are without, lest he fall into the rebuke and snare of the deuyll.
1Ti 3:8 Likewise must ye ministers be graue, not double tongued, not geuen to much wine, neither greedy of fylthy lucre:
1Ti 3:9 Holdyng the misterie of the fayth in a pure conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let them first be proued, then let them minister, beyng blamelesse.
1Ti 3:11 Euen so must their wyues be graue, not euyll speakers, sober, faythfull in all thynges.

Next, we have the Geneva Bible, also found at E-Sword:




1Ti 3:1
This is a true saying, If any man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a worthie worke.
1Ti 3:2 A Bishop therefore must be vnreproueable, the husband of one wife, watching, temperate, modest, harberous, apt to teache,
1Ti 3:3 Not giuen to wine, no striker, not giuen to filthy lucre, but gentle, no fighter, not couetous,
1Ti 3:4 One that can rule his owne house honestly, hauing children vnder obedience with all honestie.
1Ti 3:5 For if any cannot rule his owne house, how shall he care for the Church of God?
1Ti 3:6 He may not be a yong scholer, lest he being puffed vp fall into the condemnation of the deuill.
1Ti 3:7 He must also be well reported of, euen of them which are without, lest he fall into rebuke, and the snare of the deuill.
1Ti 3:8 Likewise must Deacons be graue, not double tongued, not giuen vnto much wine, neither to filthy lucre,
1Ti 3:9 Hauing the mysterie of the faith in pure conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let them first be proued: then let them minister, if they be found blameles.
1Ti 3:11 Likewise their wiues must be honest, not euill speakers, but sober, and faithfull in all things.


Then, we have the Wycliffe bible, from Bible Gateway (3).

1 Timothy 3

Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
3 A faithful word [I shall say]. If any man desireth a bishopric [If any man desire a bishopric], he desireth a good work.
2 Therefore it behooveth a bishop to be without reproof [Therefore it behooveth a bishop to be irreprehensible, or without reproof], the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, chaste, virtuous, holding hospitality, a teacher;
3 not given much to wine, not a smiter, but temperate, not full of chiding, not covetous, [not given much to wine, not smiter, but temperate, or patient, not litigious, or full of strife, or chiding, not covetous,]
4 well-ruling his house, and have sons subject with all chastity [having sons subject with all chastity];
5 for if any man know not how to govern his house, how shall he have diligence of the church of God [how shall he have diligence, or keeping, of the church of God]?
6 not new converted to the faith, lest he be borne up into pride, and fall into [the] doom of the devil.
7 For it behooveth him to have also good witnessing of them that be withoutforth, that he fall not into reproof, and into the snare of the devil.


So, we see it's not just the old KJV that has the same wording, but also the translations prior to the KJV.  Most of the newer translations also continue on with the pastor being a male, husband to one wife.  This can be seen at E-Sword.net or at Bible Gateweay.  If you get a moment, take a look at the different translations--it really is interesting to see the wording differences!

From these four translations, we can gather that a pastor/bishop must be a male. A husband is not a female. 

Based on the qualification of being husband to one wife, this takes out many who claim to be Pastor/Rev./Minister/Bishop and are women.  This runs a lot through the Charismatic churches and in many mainline Protestant denominations.  According to Paul's list of qualifiers, women are not able to be pastors/bishops.  Now, before you shoot the messenger, remember the scripture that we just read.  This is not my opinion.

In Titus, we see qualifications again concerning the office of Bishop/Pastor/Elder.  All three of these terms were used for the same office.  In Titus 1:5-9 we find the order of the church.  At this time the church has been established, and needed organization to be effective. 

"If any be blameless, the husband to one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly, (7) For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.  (8)  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good , sober, just, holy temperate; (9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."  (Titus 1:6-9)

Blameless in this passage doesn't mean sinless.  No man is without sin, or else we wouldn't need Jesus.  It means without blame or rebuke.  "Husband to one wife" is pretty self explanatory, especially in the early days when polygamy was common.  In our world today it eliminates the divorced/remarried man from the pulpit, as he is no longer husband to one wife by man's law.  Some denominations allow a divorced pastor, the more conservative denominations do not.  Of course, some denominations allow for women in the pulpit, as well as practicing homosexuals in the pulpit.  But let's stick to what Scriptures say.

A Pastor/Bishop/Elder in the church is not the lone ranger.  Or at least he's not supposed to be.  If he is following the scriptural model, he is under submission first to Jesus.  Secondly, he is accountable to the qualified deacons of the church.  What are deacons?  These men meet the same qualifications as a pastor.  They do administrative duties, they assist the pastor in various offices of the church.  Their wives are to meet the qualifications we find in Titus 2.  A Pastor is also accountable to the elders of the church, who are most usually older, who meet the qualifications of pastor, and who helps in teaching, such as in a Sunday School class, fills in for the pastor when he is gone, maybe oversees the children's ministry.  They are more of the supportive non-administrative position.  The pastor who bucks accountability shows the thread of pride, a dangerous trait that can ruin a church.  There are many wonderful pastors who work well with deacons and elders, there are some pastors who will not allow for deacons or elders and must run the church on his own, micromanaging each detail along the way. 

Take a look within your own church and view how your leadership operates.  Do they stay by the landmark of a Scriptural pastor and leadership? 

There are a great number of wonderful, bible preaching and teaching pastors out there.  They are shepherds who lovingly tend their flock.  There are also some who are hirelings, who, like those who are hired to tend sheep, do not care much about their flock and let the wolves come in amongst the sheep.  If you have that solid biblical shepherd, pray for him, take good care of him, and be very thankful!


This concludes our 3rd installment of "Moving the Landmarks".  Stay tuned for part 4 coming soon!

If you'd like to keep up with this series or other postings found here, you are welcome to friend us on Fac ebook (on the left), subscribe (on the right), or use Google+ (also on the right).  We'd be glad to have you on board!


Bibliography:
 1. Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible Notations, 1988, Liberty University
 2.  E-Sword, found at www.e-sword.net
 3.  Wycliffe Bible found at http://www.biblegateway.com






Joyfully shared with:

The Better Mom

The Modest Mom

Far Above Rubies

Growing Home

Time Warp Wife

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moving the Landmarks Series Part 2 : Preaching Salvation



The first preachers were the 12 Disciples (minus Judas of course), followed by Paul, and soon others who grew under the teaching of the Apostles, such as Steven, Ignatius, and so on.  They didn't have the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem, but they had locations where they built churches by evangelism--house churches by the hundreds.  They followed the Great Commission, to go out into the world and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They had the Old Testament that they'd learned in the temple (at least those that were Jewish), the Gentiles didn't have that foundation to work with, but the teachings of the Disciples who had been with Jesus. 

As the disciples went preaching and proclaiming Christ after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, they founded many small churches.  These churches weren't built on ear tickling music and fluffy messages.  They were built on the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ, by those who had walked with Him, sat under His direct teaching.

Acts 1:8--But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Sumaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

What did these men teach and preach?  Salvation by Jesus Christ alone!

What is the purpose of the local body assembled as the church?

"The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people.  Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers.  The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service.  A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others.  The Great Commission is a comman with three steps--evangelism, baptism, and education.  The Great Commission is the stretegy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel.  Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God's objectives for that institution."  (Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, 1988, Liberty University)

The church's main objective is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do you hear an unadulterated salvation message in your church?  Do you hear the way to salvation through Jesus Christ alone? 

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared.  (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.  (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3-7)


"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.  (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconsiliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you to us:  we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (11) For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.  (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  (13) FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. (Romans 10:9-13)

If these verses are not familiar to you, please keep reading!!! 

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:  as it is written THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.  (18)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.  (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:16-20)

"For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:11)

"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.  (11)There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  (12)  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:  (14) whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  (15) Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16) Destruction and mistery are in their ways:  (17)  And the way of peace have they not known:  (18)There is no fear of God before their eyes.  (19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  (20)Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:10-20)

"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.  (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference.  (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  (25)  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God.  (Romans 3:21-25)

"Repend ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."  (Acts 3:19)

"...believe on the Lorrd Jesus Christ, and though shalt be saved...."  (Acts 16:31)

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."  (Luke 19:10)

"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."  (John 6:47)

If your still here and awake, and interested in learning more, see Psalm 85:2, Psalm 103:2, I John 2:1, I John 1:9, Hebrews 8:12, Isaiah 55:7, Colossians 2:13, Jeremiah 33:8, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 32:1-2, I John 4:14, Epehsians 2:4-5, Psalm 106:8, and 2 Timothy 1:9.


If the church you attend does not tell you how to run to Jesus, find forgiveness in Him, how to get salvation by way of the Cross, then your church has moved the landmark.  Churches are not built for entertaining the masses, for circuses, rock concerts, feeding and clothing the poor, being a social club for the rich.  No, the church is for preaching the Gospel according to the Lord Jesus Christ.  While outreach is a good ministry, it shouldn't be put ahead of preaching the Gospel of Jesus! 

A "church" that does not present the plan of salvation in essence is not a New Testament church.  It is merely a social club in the guise of a church.  A social club church teaches that you're good enough to get to heaven, that good works will save, don't worry about reading the bible, and so on.  That is completely unscriptural.  Unfortunately it is becoming all too common here in America.

If you are in a bible preaching/teaching church, count your blessings!  If your church has stood on the landmark of preaching salvation, thank your pastor for NOT moving the landmark!  Encourage him in his preaching! 

What is your church like?  By all means you're welcome to share your church with readers here!



This concludes part 2 of the "Moving the Landmarks" series....  Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon!










Joyfully shared with:

The Better Mom

The Modest Mom

Far Above Rubies

Growing Home

Time Warp Wife

Living in the Shoe

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Friday, May 17, 2013

Safely Through Another Week

Safely through another week
God has brought us on our way;
Let us now a blessing seek,
Waiting in His courts today;
Day of all the week the best,
Emblem of eternal rest;
Day of all the week the best,
Emblem of eternal rest.

While we pray for pardoning grace,
Thro' the dear Redeemer's name,
Show Thy reconciled face,
Take away our sin and shame;
From our worldly cares set free,
May we rest this day in Thee;
From our worldly cares set free,
May we rest this day in Thee.

Here we come Thy name to praise;
Let us feel Thy presence near:
May Thy glory meet our eyes,
While we in Thy house appear;
Here afford us, Lord a taste
Of our everlasting feast;
Here afford us, Lord, a taste
Of our everlasting feast.

May Thy Gospel's joyful sound
Conquer sinners, comfort saints;
May the fruits of grace abound,
Bring relief for all complaints;
Thus may all our Sabbaths prove,
Till we join the Church above;
Thus may all our Sabbaths prove,
Til we join the Church above.



John Newton/Lowell Mason
Broadman Hymnal










Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whiter Than Snow

snow in Kansas








Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself and whatever I know--
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessed Lord, at they crucified feet;
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow--
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, Thou see-est I patiently wait.
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst No--
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


James Nicholson/William G. Fischer

Broadman Hymnal




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Question For The Ladies

Hubby presented a challenge the other day, and I would love your input in how to go about this.

As you all can see on the right side of the page, I run a little Etsy shop.  So far it's mostly children's items, up to mainly size 14. 

Hubby has suggested I work on making modest skirts, dresses, vests, etc for the more...generously...sized women.  Us plus sized folk. 

I'm all for this--there really isn't that much out there that's modest, especially for those of us over size XL.  Either that or I'm looking in the wrong places. 

My question for you is.....what lengths do you all prefer on skirts?  This is for any size...where do you all prefer them to fall?  My personal preference is between calf and ankle, mainly to hide discolorations due to diabetes (from the calves down it looks like I got hit with the ugly stick and it left marks).  I'm sure not everyone likes the way long look...so I bring the question to you all--what do you all prefer for a "modest" length? 

Please feel free to comment--I'd LOVE to hear from you!










Monday, May 13, 2013

O Day of Rest and Gladness

O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
Must beautiful, most bright;
On thee, the high and lowly,
Bending before the throne,
Sing "Holy, Holy, Holy,"
To the great Three in One.

On thee, at the creation,
The light first had its birth;
On thee, for our salvation,
Christ rose from depths of earth;
On thee, our Lord, victorious,
The Spirit sent from heaven;
And thus on thee, most glorious,
A triple light was given.

Today on weary nations
The heavenly manna falls;
To holy convocations
The silver trumpet calls.
Where Gospel light is glowing
With pure and radiant beams,
And living water flowing
With soul refreshing streams.

New graces ever gaining
From this our day of rest,
We reach the rest remaining
To spirits of the blest.
To Holy Ghost be praises,
To father, and to Son;
The Church her voice upraises
To Thee, blest Three in One.



C. Wordsworth/L. Mason
Broadman Hymnal






Moving The Landmarks

Each day our world mirrors Laodicea a bit more.  Sometimes a LOT more.  Foundations once built firm and strong crumble out of neglect, apathy, lack of discernment, allowing the world to infiltrate the church. 

What happened to once thriving, bible preaching and teaching churches?

The landmarks moved.

I'm sure you are familiar with what a landmark is.  For some it's the Arches at St. Louis.  For some, the Golden Gate Bridge.  For others, maybe an old scarred tree marking a turn.  It's something that marks a location on the route to where you're going.  It's something familiar, something that doesn't move easily.

For the Christian church, it is the preaching of the whole Gospel, scriptural baptism, separation, a scriptural Pastor, discipline, orderliness, and other "marks" mentioned throughout the New Testament. 

Landmarks were well known throughout the Old Testament.  When the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea, did not they stop and put stones at the place they landed on the other side?  Landmarks were used also in marking inheritance via land.  If you inherited a piece of land from dad, it was marked by stones for your borders.  Now, if you had an unscrupulous neighbor, that neighbor could slowly move those stones, reducing your land and increasing his, until you have nothing and he's got it all. 

The landmarks have moved.  They didn't move on their own.


According to The Compact Bible Dictionary (1967, Zondervan), a landmark is defined as:  an object (stone or post) used to mark the boundary of a field.  Removal of landmarks was prohibited by the Mosaic law.  (Deut. 19:14; 27:17).  Hebrew piety denounced the act (Prov. 22:28; 23:10) and it was considered equal to theft. (Job. 24:2)

Let's look at these verses. 

Deuteronomy 19:14 (KJV):  Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which though shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it.

Deuteronomy 27:17 (KJV):  Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor's landmark and all the people shall say, Amen.

Proverbs 22:28 (KJV):  Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Proverbs 23:10 (KJV):  Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless.

Job 24:2 (KJV):  Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away the flocks, and feed thereof.

God doesn't speak too kindly of those who move landmarks, does He?


The landmarks of a church do not move on their own as well. More often than not they move subtly, slowly. Gradual. Of course there are instances where they move rapidly, where the congregation finds themselves in a whole new church that they don't recognize. Once good, solid bible preaching, hymn singing, Jesus proclaiming churches turn away from the landmark and crumble on the foundation that was left to fall in neglect.


The major landmark of a true church is preaching of the gospel unashamedly.  Another landmark is separation--keeping the worship upward to God instead of bringing in the world to make it an entertainment occasion.  Music falls in the landmarks, as music was used back as far as Moses' time in worship.  Scriptural baptism is another landmark.  Promoting and following out the Great Commission is a landmark.  Church discipline according to I Corinthians and other New Testament examples follow among the landmarks.  Having a Pastor that lines up with the I Timothy model is a landmark. 

I'll be honest, no church is perfect.  If it were, we'd not be allowed in it.  Churches are made up of people with the fleshly desire for sin.  That's human nature.  Irregardless of our desire for sin, God put in His Word a design for His church.  Oh, it doesn't get into the color of the curtains or the size of building or anything that minute, but it DOES get into the major pillars.  When those pillars move, it takes down the structure.  Think of it like an old porch, when the columns holding up the roof of the porch give way, the roof falls in and destroys the structure.  When the pillars of the church fall for rotting and lack of upkeep or intentional movement, the church falls in on itself.

This series may step on toes.  It has stepped on mine as I've been researching and writing.  Some things I've gotten comfortable with myself over the past few years that weren't exactly in line with a true bible model, and our family has changed to go back to the solid foundation that we'd slowly left behind.  Our own journey away from the foundations was a gradual one, we didn't even really notice it much until the past probably 3 to 6 months, when it started becoming much more glaring to us as we asked the Lord to open eyes.  Boy did He! 

I'm grateful for the eye opener, for the reminder that we needed to get back in line with the Bible and not our fleshly desires.  I hope that while this series opens eyes, that it works to help you find the foundations that Bible presents. 


If you'd like to receive updates on this series, sign up for This Housewife's Diary's email at the right side of the page.  You can also join us on Facebook on the left side of the page.  We're available on Google + as well!  We'd love to have you join us!

********************************

Shared with:

The Better Mom

The Modest Mom

Growing Home

Time Warp Wife

Deep Roots At Home

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Come To The Garden Alone.....

but it's afternoon, and there's no dew on the roses....

It's officially May here in Kansas, but it sure hasn't been much beyond February.  But since the freezing has more or less stopped (but kinda have an eye out for June snow, just in case), we've got some of our planting done.  So far the front yard looks the most ready. :)


I tried to grow lavendar from seed.  It didn't happen.  So I went to a locally owned nursery and picked up this little beauty.  It smells heavenly!! 

 
 
 

And since my parsley, dill, and oregano never popped up, had to replace those.


 
 
 
 
then added peppermint

 
and lettuce

 
spinach and mesclun

radishes
 
and the rose that Hubby bought for me--double knock outs.


Our big garden plot has beautifully growing broccoli, tomatoes (yes, they survived the May snow!), sugar snaps, pole beans, eggplants, green peppers, red onions, and more to yet get in.  God sure has provided opportunity for a nice crop!

Now if we can get that ark built.....
 









Upcoming Series!!

Next week is the beginning of a series I'm calling "Moving the Landmarks".  I'm excited!

This isn't just my opinions put on a screen here.  I've been pouring through my KJV, Strong's, Bible encyclopedias, and bible dictionaries.  Can you tell I like researching? 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.  Ya'll are welcome to comment and leave a message.  If you do like what you read, by all means you're welcome to share with whomever however you prefer. 

This is a stretching exercise for me, in faith and learning.  I hope this does the same for you!!

If you'd like to follow our series, join This Housewife's Diary by email over on the right side of the page.  You can join us by Facebook as well, and we're also on Google +.  We'd love to have you join our growing group of friends and family!









Friday, May 3, 2013

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder


For your listening pleasure:





This is in Bluegrass style, for entertainment purposes. :)

This is probably my favorite kind of music, for entertainment away from the church.  I think this is probably the most beautiful in acapella, simple and sweet, with a whole congregation singing.  Must be that old fashioned thread that still runs in me. :)  I love old hymns, the doctrinal value in them, how they put the focus on the Lord and not "I" and "me". 

What hymn do you like the most?