My Family

My Family
Sometimes the devil doesn't tempt us with evil; sometimes he allures us with good, distracts us with obligations, confuses us with compromise, or hinders us with business to keep us from that which is best- service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Remember, the devil always offers his best, before Christ will offer His will for your life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Healthy Minute- Magnesium

Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal that our bodies need. To be able to absorb calcium, our bodies need double the magnesium intake to calcium intake. If the magnesium is lower, our bodies can't utilize the calcium even if we're eating an adequate supply.
Magnesium helps our muscles to relax, while calcium helps our muscles to contract. They are opposite sides of the coin that are both needed in our life. Most of the magnesium in our bodies is found in our bones and teeth. So, if you're starting to experience a lot of cavities or osteoporosis, you may want to look into your magnesium intake.
Phosphates, found in sodas, will bind to magnesium in the intestines and sweep it away before our body even has chance to absorb it. So, if we're actually ingesting enough, drinking a lot of soda will negate that.
Not only do sodas destroy our chances of getting enough magnesium, but sweets and caffeine, along with alcoholic beverages, also harm our magnesium supply. They can cause the kidneys to secrete what they have in store.
Stress is another thing that can drain the magnesium from our system. And some studies are showing that depression can be linked to a magnesium deficiency.
How do you know if you're magnesium deficient? It's not going to be found in a blood test, because only around 1% of the bodies magnesium levels show up in the blood. The symptoms can range from anxiety, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, or muscle cramps and spasms to bad memory, body odor, digestive problems, and thyroid issues- to name a few.
Where can you get magnesium? Leafy greens and sea veggies, especially chlorophyll, (because the ocean is abundant in magnesium) are great supplies. Also pumpkin and sunflower seeds, a variety of nuts, black beans, brown rice, and my favorite- dark chocolate! Also, epsom salt baths, magnesium oil, and a drink supplement called Calm are other sources for adding to your magnesium supply.
Note: if you are experiencing loose stools, you should take a cell salt form of magnesium- mag phos- instead of the oral supplements. Loose stools mean that the magnesium is going through you instead of being absorbed by your body. A cell salt would be easily absorbed and transported to the cell.
For more information, watch the video below:


Monday, December 8, 2014

Training Children In Godliness book review

There is a saying- More is caught than taught. This is absolutely true. Most children end up just like the person that they were around the most. Many times, children seem to reflect some of our worst traits.
The reason for this is because a child becomes like he's been trained to be. 'Tis training for the common mind: just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. And it's very true.
Most of us don't realize that every day we are bending our child into what they will become, whether we like it or not. The way we respond to situations, the things we say and do when we think they aren't watching or listening, our attitude through difficult or trying circumstances all shape the way our children react to the same situations.
In the book Training Children In Godliness, Jacob Abbot addresses the ways we mold our children. He points out that every day we are leading our children into their future lives with certain character traits that will be either a blessing or a hindrance for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (poem)

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe-
His craft and pow'r are great, And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He-
Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same-
And He must win the battle.

And tho this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.
The prince of darkness grim- we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! His doom is sure-
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow'rs- No thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours thru Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred to, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still-
His kingdom is forever.

-Martin Luther

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Story Of Rachel Cummings

Rachel Cummings was a loving mother to 3 sons- Bez JR, Seth, and Noah. She was wife to Pastor Bez Cummings  and secretary of Huisache Avenue Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. She went to be with the Lord on November 15, 2014.

Rachel had a great love for the Lord, but she struggled with depression. I believe there are many Christians out there who are also struggling with this and perhaps they don't say anything because they fear what others will think of them. Whatever the reason, please know that you are not alone!
Rachel's story is told by her husband at the Huisache Avenue Baptist website. I would encourage everyone to listen to her story. I believe that this message is something we can all learn from and hopefully, it can be a blessing to us or the lives that we come in contact with.
To help the Cummings family during this loss, please, click here. And keep them in your prayers!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Believer's Heritage- Phil Kidd

Phil Kidd was born in 1959 in Mississippi. He was the youngest of 5 children.
When he was 2 years old, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. They eventually bought a house next door to a bar. This is where he would grow up. His father was a drinking man, and being around booze was nothing new to him.
His first job was setting up bowling pins in a bar. When the bar closed at 2 am, Phil would go back to the alley and drink the beer that was left in the bottles. By the age of 10, he was drunk every weekend.
At 12, he got another job at another bar making pizzas. Because of his job and his money, he was given a "free" sample of marajuana. This began his drug addiction and put on him on the path of total destruction.
To afford his drug addiction, Phil started to sell drugs.
The only good influences in his life were his Uncle and Aunt, Buford and Florene. They were Christians, but every time they came around Phil ducked out. His father warned him to stay away from religion because it would make him crazy.
At 14, he had broken into a meat packing plant. As he was crawling out the window, he caught the gleam of something and pushed back inside. A flash appeared and a gun shot rang out. He had just missed being shot in the head by a police man. He was arrested and put on probation.
In 1973, he had a $3,000 debt that he couldn't pay. There were multiple attempts on his life around his town and even in his own backyard. One day, at a party, he was drugged, beaten, and left for dead on the railroad tracks. Some neighborhood kids, one was his nephew, found him and moved him before the train came along. They took him home. His Uncle Buford and Aunt Florene were visiting. He didn't know they were there, because he woke up later in the hospital.
Uncle Buford and Aunt Florene made a promise that they would pray for Phil morning and night. Phil didn't find out about this until years later.
Another attempt was made on his life that ended up killing a little girl in their neighborhood. In retaliation, Phil and his friends set the man's house on fire that had pulled the trigger. It left this man and his wife in the hospital with serious burns, and Phil facing two attempted murder charges.
The case was dropped when the police found out that this was the man who murdered the little girl. Instead, the man was arrested, and Phil's case was thrown out.
Phil was selling drugs at his school. He gave a guy some drugs for a party. Later, he found out that the boy had overdosed on those drugs. The boy left a letter that was read at his funeral, "life is a dead end street, and no one has the answers".
When he was 16, he was ready to give up. He got the gun that his father had given him for protection and put it to his head. Before he could pull the trigger, the phone rang. It was his Aunt Florene inviting him to church.
He had never been to church before. He went in and found some of the oddest things he had ever seen! People singing and shouting. Then, an old man named Fred Garland got up and told people they were going to hell. Phil was dumbfounded when people put money in a plate to pay the man for this! He told his aunt that they were crazy, but he went back the next day.
The little, old man got up again and preached on hell. Phil knew he was a sinner. He had no hope. But this old man said there was hope even for him. Phil found himself on his knees accepting Christ as his Savior. On November 22, 1975, Phil found forgiveness and a new life that only Christ could give.
His uncle gave him his first Bible. He practically flew home, burst open his dad's bedroom door, and jumped on the bed holding the Bible. He told his father that he had gotten saved. Then he told his dad that he loved him.
On Sunday, Phil went to church and asked the pastor to mark down some verses about salvation for him. The pastor gave him a small, green Bible that would be easy for him to carry with him.
The next Monday, he brought his Bible to school instead of drugs. He got all the guys together that usually bought drugs from him. "I've got something new for you guys!", began Phil, and he told them the gospel.
In 1978, Phil was called to preached. He went to Bible college. He led a woman named Leslie to the Lord. His first convert turned out to be the woman he would marry.
They have 4 children together and travel all over the United States preached the hope that he found so long ago.
For 36 years, this man has told anyone willing to listen about the Savior that could save a sinner and change his life. Phil stands for the truth and looks to give hope to those whom the world has chosen to ignore. He is currently the pastor at Emmaus Baptist Chruch in Tennessee. Click here to visit his website.
Many of his sermons can be heard on youtube.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Indian Chicken Masala recipe

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS grated ginger
2 TBS butter
1 onion, diced
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBS Patak's concentrated curry paste
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine the sour cream, garlic, and ginger into a gallon sized ziploc bag. Add the cubed chicken and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
Cook the chicken in a large skillet until no longer pink. Set aside.
In a large pot, cook the onion in the butter, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, and Patak's sauce.
Once the onion is translucent, add the can of crushed tomatoes and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cream and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer.
Add in the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Serve over rice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Funny Happenings- Talking Animals

As a Christian mother, I have learned that you need to constantly point your child to the Bible. I've also learned that children come up with the oddest things!
My son was talking about random things when one of the sentences that came out of his mouth caught my attention. "If you hear a talking squirrel you should run, cause it's probably demon possessed!"
I looked at him and replied, "That may not be true. God used a donkey in the Bible to talk to a prophet that wouldn't listen to anyone else."
He smiled and said, "I know. But a talking squirrel... that's just unnatural!"

Monday, December 1, 2014

Finding Boaz


As my girls are getting older, I think more about them finding a Christian husband. Not one in name, but one in deed. 
The story that I look to is Ruth. How did Ruth find Boaz? Was it chance? Was it Providence? Was it a cunning trap?
I think we first have to look at the character of Ruth. It is said that "A woman must be so lost in God that a man has to get close to Him to find her." I truly believe that is how a young lady will find a godly man, and vice versa.
The story begins with Elimelech taking his family into a heathen country because of a famine.
Ruth 1:1- Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Ruth was a Moabite. She wasn't a Jew. She was raised in a heathen country by ungodly parents. And she caught the attention of one of these Jewish boys.
Ruth 1:3-5- And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. 
All the men died. And the mother, Naomi, decided it was time to go back to her home. And here is where we see the first glimpse of how Ruth found Boaz. Ruth wasn't Jewish. She had no children. She had family in the country they were living in. And her husband was dead. There was no obligation for her to stay with her mother-in-law. But, Ruth had spent 10 years with this woman and she recognized there was something about her. Ruth chose to leave everything she knew behind for this woman.
Ruth 1:16-17- And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 
Ruth and Naomi made the long trek back to Bethlehem in Judah. There, we see another attribute of Ruth. Not only was she willing to leave everything she knew with no promise of a better future, but she was also a hard worker. She took care of Naomi.
Ruth 2:3, 17-18 -And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
Ruth caught the eye of the owner of the field. In fact, she caught the eye of many different people in the town. When Boaz asked who she was, he got an answer right away. And he knew she was a good woman by the report the people gave him of her. She wasn't trying to catch a man's eye. She was just trying to do right!
And here, we see the next thing that makes Ruth special. She could've been looking for a suitor- handsome, rich, young, intelligent. But instead, she obeyed Naomi in following the customs of the Jews.
Can you imagine how awkward it was for Ruth to hear about laying down by Boaz feet after she uncovered them? The humility it must have taken for her to hear "There is someone else who can marry you and I have to ask them if they want you first"? And the patience she had to exhibit when she went home and had to wait to see whose wife she would become? 
Ruth 3:11- And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Wow! The entire city thought of her as a virtuous woman. The stranger who left all to go with her mother-in-law was thought of in a respectable manner by the entire town!
If Ruth hadn't been a hard worker she never would've gotten Boaz attention. If she hadn't submitted and humbled herself she never would've gained his favor. And if she hadn't waited she never would've gotten the blessing of his hand. 
Too many Christian young people are sidelined by the devil because they think they need to be searching for their spouse. God never told you to search for your spouse. He said to work for Him and He would bring you what you need.
Psalm 37:3-5- Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
How did Ruth find Boaz? She trusted God. She delighted in doing what was right, even when it was difficult. And she was committed to having a virtuous testimony. And God gave her the desires of her heart. He brought it to pass!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Healthy Minute- Raising Healthy Children

I've already done a blog post on Having Healthy Babies. It's very important that we have a healthy diet while pregnant so that our babies form correctly in the womb. Pesticides, alone, can cross the placenta and enter into a developing baby. Not to mention all the other chemicals and artificial things that not only effect how they grow, but also how our bodies use the nutrition that we eat.
As a child is growing, the brain grows the most from birth to age five. Bad health and poor nutrition effect the neurological functions in growing children. Did you know that egg yolks supply the cholesterol needed for mental development? Or, that 75% of the top 20 chemicals used in the United States are toxic to the human brain?
Not only is it important to feed our children good, nutritious foods based on a traditional diet, but it is just as important to eliminate the artificial stuff that can cause problems. Refined sugars, allergens, chemicals, genetically modified foods, and even some yeasts can wreak havoc on a child's growing body.
There has been a lot of study done on the effects of artificial food coloring and how ADHD children respond to it. I have a friend who's son will literally bounce off the walls if just a little food coloring is in his food. He can't focus; he can't concentrate. And forget trying to have a conversation with him!
Grains are often fed to children- cheerios are a simple, hand-eye coordination food! But, babies have a hard time digesting grains. And, research is now showing that feeding grains to your child too early can actually lead to grain allergies later in life.
For our children to grow physically and mentally they need certain nutrients. Good meat- both organ and muscle (grass fed, pastured, and hormone and chemical free), organic vegetables and fruits, an all natural multivitamin, and a control of the sugary, colorful, artificial treats. And watch out for pesticides and other things that aren't easily digested or utilized.
At 10 months old, a child should be eating some fruits, vegetables, and meats. Yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk could also be given to them to acquaint them with sour foods and give them probiotics at the some time. Fruit juices should be kept to a minimum since they are simple carbohydrates and will spoil a child's appetite. And remember, Cod liver oil does wonders for growing children!
When introducing any new children to food, go slowly. Introduce only one new thing a week and watch for reactions to it. This will help you to identify any allergies your baby may have. Look for redness around the mouth, gas or bloating, irritability or awaking throughout the night, constipation or diarrhea, spitting up, chest congestion, or rash.
On a side note: children are suppose to be chubby. As a child is growing, they will put on fat. Usually, they will have very large appetites when they are putting on this weight. Then, they will sleep a lot and seem like they aren't eating much. This is a normal cycle that children go through as they grow. Just make sure that they are getting nutrient dense foods, and not just empty calorie fillers like junk foods which are processed and refined (meaning all the real nutrition has been stripped away). And don't fear fats. Never feed your child a low fat diet. Children actually need high levels of fat throughout their growing years.
And, children need to feel useful and wanted. Chores may seem like something mean to give to a child, but they need to understand that they are a necessary part of the family and that there are things they can do. Teenagers tend to seek out acceptance from the wrong people because they aren't receiving the knowledge that their lives are important and meaningful. That is something that we, as parents, can show them.

For more information on nutrition: Dr. Weston Price has a wonderful book that shows the relationship of nutritious foods to healthy bodies- Nutrition And Physical Degeneration. Dr. Shanahan takes it one step further to break these foods down into 4 groups which she calls the "pillars of nutrition"- Deep Nutrition. And Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride shows how we can heal the body through nutrition in her book Gut And Psychology Syndrome. If you don't like all the long scientific stuff in Dr. McBride's book, you can read Gaps Guide by Baden Lashkov which just tells the simple how and why of the GAPS diet.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Letters To A Daughter book review

Letters On Practical Subjects To A Daughter is a classic book written by William B. Sprague. The writings were originally going to be given to a motherless girl, though the story behind this is not known. The works were compiled into a book that was to be given to a young lady to help her with some counselling.
There are 23 letters total that deal with such things as friendships, education, manners, marriage, religion, humility, and even preparing for death, and more. They are considered practical advice from a loving father to his darling daughter.
This book was written by William Buell Sprague (1795-1876). Because of the time period in which it was written, it is a little hard to understand. If you can keep your thoughts and heart in check and really read this book with prayer, you will get a great blessing and some wonderfully wise counsel.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Believer's Heritage- Ira D Sankey

Ira David Sankey was born in Pennsylvania on August 28, 1840. His father was a Senator and a banker. Even though his family was busy with business, they always made time for spiritual things. Out of the 9 children his Scotch Irish parents had, only 4 made it to adulthood.
He recalls a local Scottish farmer named Mr. Frazer who would take him, along with his own boys to "Sabbath School". He remembers how the man would stand and pray for the for the children. He loved the children very much and they all loved him. These memories would be with him until the day he died.
Ira grew up with a love for music. At 15, he attended special services that were held in a church a few miles from his home. Reverend H. H. Moore was the pastor. It was at these services that he felt a need to know the Lord as his personal Savior. After a week of deep conviction, he accepted Christ's offer of salvation.
Later that year, he joined the Methodist Episcopal church that his parents were members of. Even at this young age, he became very active in his church- leading the choir, teaching Sunday School, and working with the local YMCA.
When the civil war broke out in 1861, Ira was among the first to Fort Sumter sign up to fight. During his enlistment, he would gather the soldiers together to have a prayer meeting and song service. After the war he worked for the IRS for nearly 10 years.
He met his wife in 1863. Miss Fanny Edwards was a member of his choir and a teacher in the school. Together they raised 3 boys who all went on to serve the Lord.
In 1870, he was sent as a delegate to the YMCA International Convention in Indianapolis. It was at this convention that he met Dwight L Moody, a delegate from Chicago. When Mr. Moody heard Ira sing, he asked him to come help him with his evangelical work in Chicago. Mr. Moody said that he had been looking for someone for 8 years, and he thought that he had found him in Ira.
Ira said that he would talk it over with his wife, pray about it, and let him know.
Six months later, he resigned his position and moved to Chicago. He worked here for 2 to 3 years. His friendship with Dwight Moody grew until they had the same Spiritual desire- Moody did the preaching, and Sankey did the singing. Though they seemed to have opposite personalities, they worked together so well that it seemed they rounded out each other's deficiencies.
The great Chicago Fire of 1871 changed things for the duo. They lost all of their possessions, and had to separate company for a while. Ira and his family were only in Pennsylvania for 3 months before they received a telegram from Dwight Moody.  He returned to Chicago to find the hearts of the people more ready to hear and accept the preaching of the Word.
Another memory that never left him happened the winter after the fire. A woman sent for Ira to come see her little girl who was sick. He enter the make shift home to see the girl lying there, knowing that she was past the hope of recovery. She had the sweetest smile on her face. She told him that she accepted Christ as her Savior when he was singing "Jesus Loves Even Me", and now she wanted him to give her parents the plan of salvation. He never forgot that experience, and often encouraged others to sing at the bedside of those who were sick or dying.
After the fire, they visited Great Britain. Their line of work moved from only the Chicago area to all over. They even held a small meeting in New York,
They began work in England in 1873. His singing in this new location opened up a new door for his music ministry, which became an international ministry. In Scotland, the distrustful followers of John Knox were moved by the singing. They listened as his words sang the gospel message and years of prejudice washed away during the moving of the Holy Spirit. Through his songs, he and Mr. Moody became known throughout all Europe.
His most popular hymn, "The Ninety And Nine" was written during his time of travel when he was visiting Scotland.  He came across the words for the song by Miss Elizabeth Clephane published in a copy of The Christian Age where it was printed as a poem. He was so moved by the words, that he wrote a melody for it and sang it 3 days later. The sister of the deceased Elizabeth sent him a letter telling him the background of the poem. It also contained another one which became known as the gospel song Beneath The Cross Of Jesus.
Ira Sankey composed a hymn book that is still used today. A copy of his songs have been translated into many different languages. In 1906, he published My Life And Sacred Songs which contained his biography, solo songs, and a detail of how he had seen the Lord work through his ministry.
Ira Sankey died in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York.  Just before he fells asleep to wake no more, he was heard quietly singing the words to his favorite song Face To Face by Fanny Crosby.
Some day the silver cord will break
And I no more, as now, will sing;
But oh! The joy when I awake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story Saved By Grace.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Funny Happenings- Bathroom Rules


Attention Children: The Bathroom Door is Closed.
Please do not stand here and talk, whine, or ask questions. Wait until I get out.
Yes, it is locked. I want it that way. It is not broken, I am not trapped.
I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times, since you were born, because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was in there, but it's been 10 years and I want some PRIVACY.
Do not ask me how long I will be. I will come out when I am done.
Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.
Do not go running back to the phone yelling She's in the BATHROOM!
Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.
Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them. This was funny when you were two.
Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door. Even when you were two this got a little tiresome.
Do not let the dog/cat in because you think he/she "misses me".
If you have followed me down the hall talking, and are still talking as you face this closed door, please turn around, walk away, and wait for me in another room.
I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.
And yes, I still love you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Red Beans & Rice recipe

2 lbs red beans
5 stalks finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped green bell pepper
1 small bunch finely chopped green onions
6 cloves minced garlic
3 TBS cajun seasoning
3 TBS worchestershire sauce
2 TBS Dale's seasoning sauce
1 dash Angostura Bitters
5 Bay leaves
1 lb chopped beef sausage
1 lb chopped andouillie sausage
2 quarts beef bone stock or beef broth
2 to 3 quarts water
1 stick butter
1 tsp baking soda

If you're using dry beans, you will need to soak them in water overnight. Strain them before preparing the meal.
Mix everything (except butter and baking soda) in a large pot and cook until beans are done.
When fully cooked, remove from heat and add butter and baking soda. The butter makes it taste great, and the baking soda cuts down on the side effects of the beans.
Eat this meal over rice. Follow the directions on the rice bag.

NOTE: Andouillie sausage is a highly seasoned sausage. If you cannot find this, then find another good, well seasoned sausage to use in it's place.

Monday, November 3, 2014

True Family Love (video sermon)

The family is something that God created. Way back in the beginning of creation, on day 6 God made a man and a woman. That would be the foundation for the first family- a father and a mother.

Today, around 70% of children aren't raised in a family. These children don't know what a home should be. They don't understand love, or care, or how to obey because someone is looking out for your best. Too many kids are being plopped in front of the tv or dropped off at a daycare to be allowed to grow up without knowing the comfort and guidance and care of a true family.

When Christ was dying on the cross, one of his last thoughts was that of his mother's care. He made sure she would be taken care of after his death. A loving family will take care of the needs of others. They won't give them all of their wants, but they will supply all of their needs.

A true family will make sure that there are four things that children learn which will give them a happy life, a good name, and a character that will be highly esteemed among their peers. These family values will make the children a benefit to the community and the world, and will teach them to love in spite of shortcomings.

1) You'll learn to obey those in authority.

2) You'll understand that your parents aren't perfect.

3) You'll get more concerned for your parents as they get older.

4) You'll make sure you have your affairs in order before you die.



Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Christian Home (poem)

A Christian Home

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior
Where Christ is head and counsellor and guide;
Where every child is taught His love and favor
And give his heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that tho his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where prayer comes first in peace of in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to every tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.

O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be thou the center of our least endeavor-
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.

-Barbara B. Hart

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where's The Love?


A while back we were having Bible study in our church. We were going over Revelation 18, and my pastor was talking about false religion leading you away from Salvation. All of a sudden, this visiting woman stands up and yells at my pastor, "Where's the love?"
She was very upset that we weren't preaching love. She was under the false impression that all churches should be preaching nothing but God's love. She said that God created all things, even all the different religions. She argued that all religions lead to God.
The love of God is something that is very misconstrued amongst people today. They think of God as some wonderful grandparent who will laugh at all the devious things their grandchildren do and bring them gifts whether they deserve them or not.
God's love is not blind. People like to take John 3:16 out of context. Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. But, once you throw that offering aside and try find some other way, God doesn't still love you. 
I John 4:9- In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God showed His love through Christ's death. When you accept Christ as your Savior, you gain the love of God forever. People like to quote I John 4:16 without looking at the context. Look below:
I John 4:15-16- Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The love that God has to us comes after we confess that Jesus is the only way to get the love of God. This person has God dwelling in them- they're saved! This is not some unsaved man who is trying to work his way to heaven. Best intentions aren't enough. Blind religious zeal isn't enough.
But, God loves everyone. Really? Read your Bible.
Romans 9:13-14- As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
God said that He hated Esau. And Paul says that God is righteous in His hatred of Esau. Esau had the birthright. The special promise that God made to Abraham, that was passed to Isaac, and was to go to the first born. The promise of God that Esau sold to Jacob for bean soup. That's why God hated him- He despised the promise of God.
Hebrews 10:26-27- For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 
The verse above is for Tribulation people. This person has turned their back on God, and there is no love of God waiting for them. Fiery indignation and judgment are waiting.
But, I was always taught that God is love!
That's true. But He's also righteousness, judgment, justice, mercy, peace, truth, etc. God has many attributes. He provided a way for people to escape His judgment- Christ's death at Calvary. 
John 14:6- Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
He is the only way. God didn't provide multiple ways to heaven. The price of redemption was pretty steep! It cannot be done through penance. It cannot be attained through sacrifice. It cannot be bought with money. It cannot be earned with good works.
I Peter 1:18-19-  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
One payment. One way. One Person. That's how you acquire the never ending love of God. Everything else is a pretty fairy tale told by the devil to lull you into a false sense of hope and security.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Raising Kids That Stay In Chruch


I am the oldest of 6 children. I, and the sister just under me, are still in church. We are both actively trying to raise our children to stay in church. 
The four siblings under us all have decided that they don't want anything to do with church. They've been in and out of prison, multiple arrests, bad friends and influences, and even have decided that there is no God. I've been told many times "I don't believe like you".
Why the difference? What made the 2 older ones of us thrive in the Christian walk, and the 4  younger ones run the opposite direction?
Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I recently read an article that says there are 3 common traits of youth who don't leave church. They are as follows:
1) They are converted.
2) They have been equipped, not entertained.
3) Their parents preached the gospel to them.
Looking back on my own teenage years, I can see these 3 things in my life. I trusted the Lord at the age of 10. I knew what a sinner was. I knew what salvation meant. And I made a conscious decision to accept Christ as my personal Savior, knowing that was the only way to heaven.
II Corinthians 5:17- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
My sister, just under me, and I revelled in Bible trivia. We wanted to know the in's and out's of the Bible. We would read our Bible together. Play trivia games together. Memorize Scripture together. Sing together. We encouraged each other to love the Lord and to  desire to serve Him.
We also went to a Bible believing, Bible teaching church. My youth group was the greatest! My youth pastor put a love of God and service in our hearts by example and practice. 
Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10- Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
And, lastly, my mom preached to us. She gave us Scripture for everything we did wrong! We knew not only what was wicked, but why it was wicked.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19- Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
My 4 younger siblings didn't get that. My mom and step dad divorced, and they left that church. Life became a battle between the parents instead of a fight to raise the children right. My step dad thought that turning my siblings against my mom was the best way to get revenge. The only thing it did was doom them to a life of questioning all authority, and accepting only what made them feel good no matter the cost.
As parents we are called to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are to lead them to Him. It's our job to guide our children in the principles stated above so that they grow into strong Christian leaders who choose to stay in church and serve God.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Healthy Minute- Castor Oil

When I think of castor oil my mind sees an old woman with a spoon ready to put it into the mouth of a very unwilling child!
Castor seeds contain a toxin which has no antidote. However, castor oil doesn't contain the toxin once it is extracted from the seed. Never eat castor seeds!
Castor oil has some amazing benefits besides scaring children. It has been used for many ages and for many ailments. It can be used as a massage, a pack, put on topically, or taken internally (with some precautions).
Castor oil has been used for easing health conditions, such as arthritis, as a rub for wounds, to help with the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks, to encourage hair growth, and to relieve constipation, to name a few.
It is said that you can help boost your immune system with castor oil. You don't have to ingest it, just put it on your skin. Your body can absorb what it needs from the oil through the skin. It's rumored to help your thymus gland and increase lymphocyte production- which helps your body clear out waste and promotes healing.
To use as a pack, get a few layers of cotton or flannel. Put castor oil on the pad, and then place the pad on the area of the body that you want it. Next, cover the pad with some sort of plastic wrap- you want the castor oil to touch your skin, but not rub off on the heating pad or heating bottle that you put on top. Keep it warm and pressed on the body for up to an hour.
When taken internally, castor oil is a very effective laxative. Take no more than one teaspoon. It can cause severe cramping, and even bring on labor- but labor with diarrhea and nausea is not fun! Plus, it can mess up your digestion and intestinal flora.
Castor oil can also be rubbed directly onto the skin morning and/or night. It is rather sticky, so if you're using it for massage you may want to mix it with a carrier oil. It can also be rubbed into your hair to help with hair growth or frizz control (easiest to apply and less sticky if mixed with coconut oil).
For more information, please check out the video below:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Believer's Heritage- Hugh Pyle

Hugh Fletcher Pyle was born on December 30, 1918 in Virginia.
He got saved when he was 10 years old. He worked in the news paper business, the Tampa Tribune, before he was called to preach.
At 22, he married the love of his life- Esther Webber, with whom he had 3 children. He was called to preach in 1940 and was ordained a Baptist preacher.
He preached in  many small churches in Florida before becoming a pastor himself. His first pastorate was two small country churches near Tampa. Later, he pastored at First Baptist Church in Groveland, Fl. Then took the spot as pastor at Brent Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL.
It was on March 14, 1949, that Hugh Pyle met a young man in the studios of WEAR radio in Pensacola. This young man, Pete, talked to Mr. Pyle and eventually gave his life to Christ. Peter S. Ruckman went on to graduate from Bob Jones University and start his own Bible college in Pensacola, the Pensacola Bible Institute. Thousands of souls have been won to Christ the world over because of this one conversion.
He took over the pastorate at Central Baptist church in Panama City in 1957. The church met in the back of an airplane hanger at Reaver Airport. They put down a small down payment for the 35 acres in 1958. This is where Central Baptist Chruch is now located. A radio broadcast was started in 1958, and in the 1960, he started the Panama City Christian School. He pastored here for over 15 years.
In 1973, he left the pastorship and became an evangelist. He went around the continental United States, the Bahama's, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. For the next 25 years preaching where ever he could.
He would start with dramatic children's stories, then preach his sermon. At the end, he would give a little sermon for teens.
One of his most memorable sermons was "One More Night With The Frogs" about Moses and Pharaoh. You can google this and listen to this sermon yourself.
He served on the Sword of the Lord publication, and authored over 40 books, most about home, marriage, family, and preaching. He is best known for his book What Every Preacher Should Know, and his Scamper The Squirrel series which has won the hearts of children all over America. His Good Ship Courtship talks to teens and Family Life conferences have changed many lives and encouraged countless people. Many of his sermons were printed in different editions of The Sword Of The Lord magazine.
He left this world in the presence of his friends and family, and stepped into eternity on May 3, 2010 at home in Bay, FL. He met with his Savior and his beloved wife, Esther, who had passed away 2 weeks earlier.
I was blessed to be able to hear him preach personally in the 1980's at Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fl. Only God knows how many souls have found the Lord as a result of this man's life. To think of the lives that have been changed by just one of his converts gives us a staggering idea of the ability to change the world if we just live for Christ alone!
To learn more about Hugh Pyle read his autobiography The Time Of My Life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Funny Happenings-Science Experiments

My husband grew up in a city type setting. He lived a few blocks from Home Depot in one direction and Winn Dixie in another. They could walk or catch the bus to anywhere they needed to go.
I, on the other hand, grew up on 10 acres of land out in the middle of no where. If the power went out we had to drive at least 15 minutes just to get to a gas station. Our neighbors were few and far between, and it wasn't unusual to have farm animals wandering down the street because they escaped their pens.
Living on 10 acres of cleared land was great! We had a fort, a pool, a gazebo, and plenty of room to learn new things- baseball, driving, etc. We were also afforded the ability to try out interesting science experiments that in a city setting would be quite dangerous.
There was one particular time that my husband and my younger brothers were going to try a certain experiment. You needed to take an empty 2 liter plastic bottle, and shred aluminum foil into it. Then you'd pour a certain cleaning product in with it. Placing the cap back on the bottle and screwing it on tight would keep the chemical reaction contained until the bottle swelled and burst.
My brothers happily watched as Seth began putting everything into the bottle. As soon as he had tightened the lid, they looked up to see a large hog walking onto our property. Not knowing what the animal would do they all ran and climbed up into the fort to watch.
The hog wasn't at all interested in them. It had caught sight of the slowly expanding bottle and was jogging towards it.
My brothers started to giggle as the hog got right up to the 2 liter bottle just as it exploded!
The hog squeeled and ran away as fast as it could while my husband and brothers disappeared into the fort with howls of laughter!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Live Interview With Mr. Death (video sermon)

In Revelation 6:8, we see that death is a living being riding a pale horse. He is more than a presence. He is going to visit every person on this planet, unless God intervenes. If we were to interview Mr. Death, this is how it would go.

Entering the kingdom of the dead would be a very frightful experience. His domain would be fearful, twisted, dark, and leave the feeling of frozen terror in the person standing there. His voice would summon you from your place, and you couldn't ignore or disobey him.

If you were to ask him about all the things through the years that have been said about him, he would say, "There's 3 things:

1) I make over 250,000 calls every day.

2) There are no favorites or exceptions.

3) I don't feel sorry for taking any life."

6,000 years ago, death was brought into existence by the sin of one man- Adam. Since then, he has taken many souls. There were only a few exceptions; interventions by God. Death has no feelings about who he takes or when he takes them. He will leave sorrow and pain in the family of anyone without a second thought.

If you were to ask him how people die, he would say, "There are 3 ways that people die:

1) As one who rejects Christ, unprepared and scared- Without hope, without peace, and without God.

2)  As one who has accepted Christ, but lives the life of regret because he threw his life away for the pleasures of this world. He dies wishing He could have done something different, but it's too late.

3) As one who has accepted Christ, and lives his life in God's will for God's glory. The last breath of victory and triumph leaves the lips with a smile of knowing that he's done everything he could."

It doesn't matter how you've lived your life. It isn't determined by how much you obtained or the multitudes that you have helped. What matters is whether or not you've accepted the One who has the keys of death and hell- and whether you've told others about Him.

God will be done with you one day. Death will get the go ahead to come and take you to your eternal home. Where will the bony hand of death take your soul? Will it be a dark place full of the fiery judgement of God, or will it be the bright home of the peaceful blessed?



Sunday, October 5, 2014

From the Kitchen of Two Sisters book review

So, this is not a reading book that I am reviewing. It is actually a cookbook!
From The Kitchen Of Two Sisters was written by the Voeller sisters. They are Christians who have put together a book based on the knowledge that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". They cut out processed and artificial foods a while ago, but, they noticed they were still getting sick, having trouble maintaining their weight, and having other issues that pointed to something off with their diets. Thus began their search for better health.
This book is written from the approach that our bodies' blood has a very specific ph level- 7.35-7.45 to be exact. Since a change in this ph could lead to health problems and even death, the Voeller sisters put together a cookbook of recipes that help to keep your body in this alkaline state.
None of the recipes contain meat- not saying that our bodies don't need meat, but most people know how to cook meat. You will find wonderful juice recipes, salad and dressing recipes, soup, sandwhich and bread recipes, and vegetables recipes. There are also a few dessert recipes in here.
I have had this cookbook for a good 4 years now, and I have never been disappointed with any of the dishes that I have made using his book. I absolutely love the muffins!
To check it out for yourself, please visit their website.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Voice From Hell (poem)

Oh, Why am I here in this place of unrest
When others have entered the land of the blest?
God's way of salvation was preached unto men;
I heard it and heard it, again and again.

Why did I not listen and turn from my sin
And open my heart and let Jesus come in?
For vain earthly pleasures my soul did I sell
The way I had chosen has brought me to hell.

I wish I were dreaming, but ah, it is true.
The way to be saved I had heard and I knew;
My time on the earth, oh, so quickly fled by,
How little I thought of the day I would die.

When God's Holy Spirit was pleading with me,
I hardened my heart and I turned from His plea.
The way that was sinful, the path that was wide,
I chose and I walked till the time that I died.

Eternally now, I must dwell in this place.
If I from my memory could but erase
The thoughts of my past which are haunting me so.
Oh, where is a refuge to which I can go?

The torture and suff'ring, how long can I stand?
For Satan and demons this only was planned.
God's refuge is Jesus, the One that I spurned;
He offered salvation, but from Him I turned.

My brothers and sisters I wish I could warn.
For better 'twould be if I had not been born.
The price I must pay is too horrid to tell
My life without God led directly to hell.

Oh, soul without Christ, will these words be your cry?
God's word so declares it that all men must die.
From hell and it's terrors, oh, flee while you may!
Oh, come to the Savior; he'll save you today!

-Oscar C. Eliason

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thai Noodles recipe

1 lb shrimp or chicken
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBS minced ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 carrots, grated
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
olive oil
1 cup chicken stock or fish stock
3 TBS sugar
3 TBS Thai fish sauce
2 TBS oyster sauce
3 TBS lime juice
1 tsp chili sauce
1 pkg glass noodles (rice noodles)

Cook the chicken or shrimp by slowly frying it in olive oil or boiling it.
Mix the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and 3 cloves minced garlic. Marinate the meat in this sauce.

Put the 5 cloves garlic, green onions, parsley, carrots, red bell pepper, and mushrooms in a pot with a little of the marinade. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Combine the stock (chicken stock if you're using chicken; fish stock if you're using shrimp) and sugar in a pot and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, and chili sauce.

Soak noodles in water for 15 minutes.
Boil according to the package directions. You want them tender. Drain and rinse.

Remove meat from marinade and toss the noodles with the meat and other veggies. The marinade can be discarded or added to the meal (your preference).

NOTE: If you want a spicier meal, you can add more chili sauce.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Gardener's Ground


I am using the book A Gardener Looks At The Fruits Of The Spirit by W. Phillip Keller to help me in this study.

Soil
Anyone who has tried to garden will know that there are certain things that effect your plants. The amount of sunshine and water are a given, but the type of soil you have can also determine the health and fruitfulness of your plants.
When speaking in a spiritual sense, the type of soil you are determines the heartiness of the fruit you spiritually bear. Christ mentions these soils in Mark 4:3-9- Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The Wayside
The first type of soil, or ground, is the way side. The way side is the road. It's hard and tough, and very few plants can even germinate, nevertheless grow roots! It is a wasted seed. There is no hope of it becoming fruitful. The only thing it can be used for is bird food! The end result of this man's life is an unprofitable waste.
Mark 4:15- And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. This man heard the gospel, but never got saved. He is so distracted that the devil easily makes him forget what he heard and he ends up missing his chance for salvation.
If we look at this spiritually (pretending this was a saved man), we see that he allowed the influence of others to determine his values. His friends and associates made him hard. Their impact was one that led into the world, instead of closer to Christ's will. Christ tries to till and plant, but all he finds is hard, unmoving soil. They are used by the devil to make us unprofitable wastes.
Other things that he allows to influence him is worldly music, books, etc. The things we read, or listen to, will be the things that we endeavor to become like. These things can manipulate our emotions, opinions, and even our character. When Christ comes to show us that we need to bear fruit, our hardened answer is that of indifference, or worse yet, full of worldly ambitions.
Jeremiah 45:5a- And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: Matthew 6:33- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  To keep from being unprofitable wastes in our Christian walk, we must seek God's will, not our own.
Stony Ground
The second type of soil is stony ground. Mark 4:16-17- And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.  Scripturally, these are people who get saved. As Christians, though, they never grow. They endure in the Christian life for a time, yet when troubles arise they quit. Unfortunately, many of these types of Christians quit when they are offended by other Christians.
Stony ground is not something new in the world. Long before Christ came to die for us, the Israelites were already showing the fruit of a stony soil- Ezekiel 36:26- A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. This is a sad story, but it is also one of hope- stony ground has hope of being fruitful!
Who is the one that determines if this type of Christian is fruitful? Christ? No, he works just as hard on this type of Christian as He does on all the others! It is our own willingness to be worked on that will determine the outcome. This Christian has the choice to be productive or not.
What makes a stony Christian?
One type would be that which looks like fertile soil on top, but underneath is as hard as cement. A good picture of this is the Pharisee. He knew God's Words, but he didn't practice them. When Christ showed up, His insight into these people was Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 3:27-28).
The one who you thought had so much potential, turned out to be a pathetic disappointment! Why? Unbelief. Perhaps they don't trust that God is able. Maybe they can't let go of their lives long enough for God to work in them. Or, like the Pharisees, they think they're already good enough and they fight God's moving in their lives.
Another type is the shallow soil that's hiding the hardness. Shallow Christians who want the social life of Christianity without the trust, faith, and labor. Matthew 11:6- And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.  The Christian life is not all roses. It's not what we want when we want it. And it's not a liberty to sin without consequence.
This Christian is only in it for the fun and fellowship they could get out of the church. There was never really any desire to grow in Christ. They come to church when they feel like it, but the moment they get offended it's over- they're through!
And place in our life where we prefer to go against God's will and do our own would be considered "stony soil". These areas have hard rocks all through the land which stubbornly refuse to yield to God's will. The Holy Spirit has to work very hard in these situations, and it isn't pleasant for the Gardener or the garden! Hebrews 12:11- Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Digging out the rocks isn't fun, but the end result is fruitfulness.
Thorny Ground
Weeds and thorns make it very difficult for plants to grow. They can suck up vital nutrients, and even entangle and choke out the other plants. They aren't only a problem for the garden, but for the gardener. Many a hand has been scratched and pricked by these nasty problems. Mark 4:18-19- And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
This Christian wants more of the world than he does of Christ. He gets side tracked with the cares of the world- spouse, job, bills, etc. The lusts and desires of everyday life distract him and choke out any hope of spiritual accomplishment.
When talking of false prophet, Christ says in Matthew 7:16- Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? The fruits people bear spiritually tell a lot about the person themselves.  Why were the Pharisees in such a bad way? They cared more about how people viewed them than how the Lord saw them. They wanted their spouse, their boss, the leaders to view them as spiritual giants; to do this, they avoided humbling themselves to John the Baptist's and Jesus Christ's preaching.
The question here isn't "Are they bearing fruit?" Because something is growing! The question is "What type of fruit are they bearing?" Is it the blessed fruit of the spirit? Or is it the thorns of fleshly desire and the thistles of worldly lust?
What takes up the most time in your life? What do your thoughts focus on? The thing that you live to accomplish, the person that you desire to please, these are the things that are growing in your garden. Luke 12:21, 34- So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 16:13- No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. A Christian can't grow spiritual fruit if he's serving a worldly master!
Good Ground
The last type of soil is good ground. This is very different from the previous three mentioned. This ground is productive. Mark 4:20- And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
The best soil will bring forth fruit. But, even the best soil has to be broken first. Even if we are saved at a young age, there are still things that the Lord has to remove from our lives before he can plant. Sometimes, he has to break up the ground or tear out the top layer of grass and weeds. It takes time and effort, and a willing spirit to become ready for planting. Luke 8:15- But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. The heart has to be honest and willing, and most of all, patient.
So, how do we bear fruit? We hear and we do. It's not enough to sit in a good, Bible believing church once in a while and hear truth. You have to put that truth into practice in your life, you have to spread that truth to the lost souls around you, and then you will start to see the fruit.
How much fruit? That depends on the soil. The first three soils didn't produce good fruit because they were conformed to the ideologies of the world. Romans 12:2- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This verse shows us that the fruit is good (thirty fold), acceptable (sixty fold), and perfect (one hundred fold). Eventually, the good soil will be covered by fruitful plants- one no longer sees the soil, but the fruit.
Lets say the thirty fold Christian is the one who attends church regularly, tithes, obeys the Scriptures, and raises his family in church. His fruit, his family and his contribution to the church, is a small circle of thirty fold.
The sixty fold Christian is the one who steps outside of that small circle. He has a ministry to reach others for the Lord. It may be at a nursing home, or a prison, or even passing out tracts on the streets. He not only brings his family to the Lord, but he finds others to bring to Christ. His fruit is sixty fold, his family and church and the souls he picks up along the way.
The hundred fold Christian is very rare. It's one who submits his will and his life to Christ. This Christian would gladly sacrifice everything to see souls saved. Many times, you don't see the full extent of their ministries. But you do see the fruit of Christ's attributes in their lives. You see His mercy, compassion, selflessness. You won't see all of the fruit, but you'll see enough to know!

The Rewards
II Corinthians 5:10- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. The fruits will be judged. Christ wants us to bring forth fruit, but He's also going to look at the type of fruit. I Corinthians 3:11-13- For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 
So, what are these things?
Gold and Silver
Proverbs 22:1- A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. The gold is our testimony. We earn gold by learning and doing what the Scriptures say. Psalms 19:7-10-  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalm 12:6-7- The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. I put these two together because they seem so similar. Both have to do with the Word of God.  But, whereas Gold has to do with how you respond to the Word of God; silver has to do with how you respond to the trials of daily life as you live out the Word of God. Zechariah 13:9- And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
I believe it is possible for a Christian to earn these two together. In fact, you really can't earn one without the other. If you learn and do God's Words, then you will use them to endure the trials and come forth purer.
Precious Stones
Exodus 28:21- And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. Precious stones are people. I Peter 2:5- Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
It is possible that these precious stones are set into crowns. Zechariah 9:16- And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.  There are five crowns mentioned in the Bible that a Christian can obtain, but they can also lose- Revelation 3:11- Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. They are the  crown of rejoicing (I Thessalonians 2:19), the crown of righteousness (II Timothy 4:8), the crown of life (James 1:12), the crown of glory (I Peter 5:4), and an incorruptible crown (I Corinthians 9:25).

In contrast to the first three, which are purified by fire and endure when placed in fire, the next three are burned up when they go in the fire. These are works done in the flesh.
Wood
II Kings 19:18- And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.  The work of our hands, anything done for self and not for Christ, that is wood. Notice, these works are religious. There are many things done in the name of religion that have nothing to do with God's will.
Hay
Hay is everything worldly that you've acquired. Isaiah 15:6-7- For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.  Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows. These are things that you wanted, your own fleshly desires.
Stubble
Stubble is the things that are done blatantly against God's will. Malachi 4:1- For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.  It's the things done out of wicked pride, knowing you were going against God's will and doing it anyway!

You have the choice, not only as to what type of ground you want to be, but also how much fruit and what type of fruit you want to bring forth. Deuteronomy 30:19-20a- I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Growing In Grace


If you've seen any of my last posts about my sister, you know what they're going through. But, this post is from Dave's point of view, and in his words.

Psalm 37:23-24- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord : and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

I was born on October 25, 1974. My parents were God-fearing, born again christians. My dad was an assistant pastor at Galilean Baptist Church, and my mom was the church secretary. I went to church three times a week.

 One Sunday morning when I was four years old, my pastor, Dr. Herbert Noe, preached a sermon on Hell. I was scared to death. That afternoon, I couldn’t sleep through my usual nap. I was so scared, that after church that Sunday night, I asked my dad how I could keep from going to hell. He took me into his office, and showed me how to be saved.

  Growing up, I was a good kid, but I wasn’t really interested in the things of God. I went to Bible School at PBI (Pensacola Bible Institute) when I was twenty-two. I met my wife, Mindi, and didn’t like her at first. God works in mysterious ways, because three years later, I ended up marrying her. She’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I am so thankful to God for her. She has been a wonderful wife and mother to our children. She is my rock. I love her so much.
  A year after we got married, along came Rebecca. She is fourteen, and has been a huge blessing. This past month especially, she has really stepped up and been a help with everything. I think she is finally growing up. 
  A year after that, along came Iris. She is thirteen, and is very helpful. She got diabetes when she was five. At the time, I was working for the fire department, so they knew who I was. That made things go a bit smoother. For the most part, aside from quite a few episodes of seizures, and a couple hospital stays, she’s been alright. God has been so good helping with her care and her health.
  Four years after that, along came surprise number three, Alyssa Claire. She is a sweetheart. She’s very helpful and kind most of the time. Sometimes, she tries to be so helpful it’s annoying. I call her a nerd, because she likes schoolwork, just like her mother.
  A year and a half later,another girl, Evelyn Grace. She’s the tomboy of the bunch. She would rather be outside than anything. She’s very difficult to keep clean. As a matter of fact, She gets in trouble almost every day for going outside without permission. She’s also stubborn, like me. A lot of times, she would rather get in trouble than do what she’s supposed to.
  I was thinking, that I would never have a son. But God gave me one. December 6, 2010, He gave us Tobias Colton. He is so full of energy, and fun, and spoiled rotten by his sisters. He sure loves his daddy. Every time he prays, he asks for me to get better. It’s such a blessing, it thrills my heart to have my three year old son pray for me. Sometimes it makes me cry. He’s a mini me. And he’s huge, about 4ft tall, and 54 pounds.  He’s such a blessing.

 All these rascals are the loves of my life, and I love them all so much.

For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been dealing with neck pain. It started out sporadic, and slowly got more intense and constant to the point where I couldn’t stand it. All this time, I was pretending to be a good Christian, going to church and doing the things I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t reading my Bible or praying. My heart wasn’t right with God. I was joyful on the outside, but inside I had no joy in my heart. 

God needed to get my attention, and he did.

In February, I had an MRI which showed bone spurs growing into my spinal cord. I wasn’t able to get into the neurosurgeon until May 12th. Those past few months were the most painful of my life.

On May 20th, I had neck surgery (Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion) to remove the bone spurs and then fuse the vertebrae together to prevent further issues. It was supposed to be a routine surgery that they have done thousands of times.

The surgery went well, but somehow they lost the oxygen to my brain during it. That was bad. Because of this, I was in a coma for 18 days. Through everyone’s prayer and my wife’s stubbornness nagging the doctors, I’m alive today. They thought I was going to be a vegetable for the rest of my life, but God had other plans for me.

I pray every day to thank him for letting me live another day. I thank him for what happened to me, and ask him what he wants to do with my life. I know he kept me alive for a reason. 

When I woke up, the first thing I saw was my wife. I’m very thankful for that. 

I couldn’t move at all. I could only move my eyes. My wife held up an ipad with a word on it and asked if I could understand it. I blinked that I could. That was a blessing to her, telling her that I wasn’t braindead.

After a while, I was able to move my right arm a little bit. She made a “cheat sheet” with words on it. When she would point to a certain word, I would blink when it was the one I wanted. After a few days of this, it got to the point where I could move my arm enough to point to letters and spell out words. It was such a blessing to finally be able to communicate. Me and that cheat sheet were best friends. I panicked if I couldn’t see it or couldn’t reach it.

I began to think and realize that I wasn’t right after hearing Mindi read the Bible to me. I knew that I had a hard heart and started praying about that. I prayed for a soft heart. I couldn’t talk out loud, but I could pray to God. God did a lot of work in my heart during this time. I prayed A LOT since I had a lot of down time.

After a while, I could speak in a whisper. Mindi was pretty thrilled with that. She started making me say sounds like “Ahhh” and making me try to pronounce the alphabet. I was pretty mad and frustrated some times, but she kept making me do it. She’s been my best therapist ever. She worked so hard. After I could whisper just a little bit, she’d make me say words. I was so thirsty that “ice” was one of my favorite words to say. I was so happy when they let me start having a few ice chips.

After saying a few words: it, cow, wow, mom, ice, pop…. I finally said “I love you” to Mindi. It was my first sentence. I did love her. I do love her right now so much. She’s even typing this out for me as I talk. Right now, I’m about to cry just thinking about her (he is crying).

On June 19th, I was moved to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. This helped me out so much. The therapists are so awesome. I never had a bad day of therapy. They think I’m strange, but I loved my therapy. I enjoyed it all the time. I know the joy I had all the time was because of God. Every time they would come in the room, I’d be reading my Bible. 

I did a lot of Bible reading rather than watching TV. All that Bible reading helped me so much. With God’s help, I’ve been a good testimony.

On July 3rd, I stood up for the first time since the surgery. It was such a blessing to be upright again. It was a miracle. I know it was only because God was on my side. He is the Great Physician. Philippians 4:13 was my verse. Every time I had a hard time in therapy, I’d quote it. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” and I have.

Every time I go to therapy, I go farther and get stronger. I know this is because God is helping me.

On July 10th, one week after I stood up, I walked for the first time. I walked about 90 feet. I sure was tired. I was wiped out, but it was a good tiredness. Now I can walk with a walker (not all the time, just while I’m in therapy). I’m slowly getting stronger every day.

On August 5th, I graduated from Shepherd Center and moved to Shepherd Pathways, a more intense rehab place. One of the blessings of graduating was that it allowed me to move back in with my family. It is such a blessing not be back with them every day.

I’m in class Monday - Friday 11-4. I’ve only been there for a week, but already I’m noticing that I’m stronger and more steady on my feet. Between doing balancing drills and walking, along with my other therapies, I’m pretty tired by the end of the day. In Occupational Therapy, I learn things like tying my shoes. Today, I bent over and almost tied my shoes. Well, not quite, I ended up taking off the shoe and holding it in my lap to try. In Music Therapy, I’ve been practicing “It is well with my soul”. On August 24th, I’m supposed to sing with my family in the chapel here. I’m excited about it. I love singing. Pray that my voice will be strong. I know I’ll do fine with God’s help. In Speech Therapy, I haven’t started swallowing yet. I still eat through a tube in my stomach. I tell God it’s ok if he wants me eating like this for the rest of my life. It’s just kind of an inconvenience. They’ve been doing cognitive stuff with me to see if I’m a dummy. I’m not! I did very well with their testing, but I do have things to work on. I’m not brilliant yet…. almost…

This time has been a challenging but fun time for me. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve enjoyed all of it. I am so happy that God did this to me, so that I could be right with him. I’m a better father and better husband. You can ask my wife if you want.

I hope this testimony has been a blessing to you. If you’re not right with God, get right before God has to get drastic to get your attention.

I’m glad God chose this method of getting my attention, rather than anything happening to my family. As I sang It Is Well With My Soul today, I was thinking about the author’s story and how he lost his family. I’m glad I can truly say, it is well with my soul.

I’m His now. Completely sold out to God. I’m looking forward to finishing my therapy, getting home, and seeing how God can work through me. 

If you’re not saved, I’d love to talk with you more and tell you how you can get saved. Giving my life to the Lord Jesus Christ was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Love in Christ,

Dave







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