Friday, October 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Spiritual Fitness

Many times my healthy minute posts are about your physical well being. But, today I'm going to focus on the spiritual well being. Our spiritual self needs just as much care as our physical self. We need to feed (read the Bible) and exercise (pray and study) and grow in grace (faith through troubles).
One of the more difficult things to manage as a Christian is doctrine. There are so many people out there that tell you what God wants from you, or what He demands of you, that Christians many times just take their word for it. God wants you to study- II Timothy 2:15- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. That means that God wants you to search it out for yourself, not just take somebody's word for it.
The words "rightly dividing the word of truth" tell you that there are some divisions in the Word of God. You can read any passage of Scripture and get some practical knowledge or guidance from them, but you cannot apply them to your life doctrinally.
I'll give you an example: God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Now, if you try to apply that doctinally to you, you may find yourself avoiding anything that grows on trees. You may laugh, but there are Christians out there who do this with all sorts of verses! They say, "Well, God told Adam not to eat from the tree, so I'll avoid eating everything that grows on trees and that'll cover my bases. I'm obeying the Scriptures!" Wrong! You are applying something doctrinally to yourself that was never written for you.
Another example: Paul says that women shouldn't adorn themselves with gold or the plaiting of hair (I Timothy 2:9). Now, many Christians out there say that women shouldn't wear jewelry or braid their hair. They kind of leave off the part where Peter repeats that, but says "the putting on of apparel" (I Peter 3:3). If Peter doesn't want you wearing jewelry or braiding your hair literally, then he's against you wearing clothes. Wrong! You have to rightly divide. When what your wear, or what you look like, becomes more important that who you are in God's eyes then you are going against God. That's what Paul and Peter were trying to communicate.
So, how do we rightly divide? How do we study? How do we become spiritually fit?
First, we pray. We pray for God's wisdom and guidance before we ever approach the Word of God. We ask Him to show us what He wants us to see. Every Christian has a personal walk with God. He tells each of us what He expects from us personally. That may not be what He expects from your neighbor, or your pastor, or even your spouse. Ask for wisdom!
Next, we study. Get a concordance and search a word. Find every scripture that has that word in it. See what they all say. That's how you study. You will begin to see the big picture- how God has put everything together. How the pieces fit. A greater, defined understanding of each subject you search out.
Third, we see who God is speaking to and when He is speaking. The book of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews chapter 1 that it is written to the Jews in the last days. A Christian in the church age cannot apply anything in that book doctrinally to themselves! God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son- don't try that! God isn't speaking to a Christian in the church age! Rightly dividing means seeing if something is written to you, or if it's written to someone else- read the address before personally following the letter.
You can't pick up a letter at your neighbor's house addressed to him from his wife that says "I love you" and think that it was written from her to you! It's the same with God's Word.
And lastly, obey. God will show you what He wants from you. Some things may be easy; some things may be difficult. But, each time you accept the light that God gives you, He'll give you more. He'll draw you closer. And, you'll grow in spiritual fitness!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Funny Happenings- Cajun Honesty

One time, Ti Claude was went fer da job. Dey was give him da job application ta fills out which he don did.
When he was come ta da question, "Have you ever been arrested?" He was wrote NO.
Da next question, intended fer dose what answer da previous question yes, was, WHY?
Not realizing dis, Ti Claude was answer da question, "Ain't never been caught."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

These Are The Garments book review

There's a local store here that sells used books. When they don't sell after so long, they put them in a free bin outside the store. I found this treasure of a book in there!
These Are The Garments by C. W. Slemming is a study of the garments worn by the High Priest in the Old Testament. He goes over every color, texture, and piece worn by the Hight Priest as Moses stated in the Pentateuch.
When God says something, it is for a reason. And He was very specific in the description of what the High Priest was to wear. C. W. Slemming brings the meanings of each color, stone, and article in such a way that we see how Christ was pictured in the very outfit that God specified way back then.
IF you're looking for a wonderful study that will open your eyes to the beauty of God's ways then I suggest this book. You will definitely get a blessing and walk away with a new appreciation for who God is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lace Cookies recipe

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
11 TBS butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together.
Melt the butter.
Beat the eggs, cream, and vanilla together.
Combine all ingredients.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350* for 5 to 6 minutes.
Allow to cool before you remove.

Note: The cookies will spread out and form small holes between the sections of oats giving it the appearance of lace. If you don't grease the pan, they will stick and you'll have to throw the pan away!

Monday, October 5, 2015

What About Your Sin (video sermon)

What happens to our sins when we get saved? Do Christians still sin? What does God do with our sins after we confess them? According to Joyce Meyer, a saved person becomes sinless. But, if you are saved and honest you know that isn't true. Because Christians don't become perfect the second they ask Christ to save their souls. According to I John, we make God a liar when we say that we don't sin.

The truth is that we are sinners by nature. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we are all sinners, and in Romans 5:12 that death has passed upon all men because of it. That's the whole reason that Christ came to die for us. He paid the price for this sin nature. You accept Christ as your Savior and your debt for sin has been paid, but that doesn't mean that you don't stop sinning- because you're a living human being with a sin nature. There's nothing righteous about us; we claim Christ's righteousness!

Now, John in I John 1:9 we are told to confess our sins to God and He will cleanse us from them. He puts our sins under His Blood and we are no longer held accountable for them. God says in Hebrews 8:12 that He won't remember our sins when we confess them. He won't bring them back and throw them in our face again. Psalm 103:12 says that He throws them as far as the East is from the West! Satan and our flesh will remind us of our sins, but God forgives and forgets!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Herein Lieth Love (poem)

A man child was born in a stable they say-
Herein lieth love.
He came to this earth a ransom to pay-
Herein lieth love.
His blood was the price of redemption for me.
He paid the cost while nailed up on a tree.
He was in bondage to set me free-
Herein lieth love.

This unselfish act has freed me from sin-
Herein lieth love.
To heaven now, freely, I may enter in-
Herein lieth love.
The thirty three years from manger to cross
were all lived to show me just what it cost
Our God to redeem those that are lost-
Herein lieth love.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Believer's Heritage- Anna and Susan Warner

Susan Warner (1819-1885) and Anna Warner (1827-1915) were born in New York. Their father, Henry Warner, was a lawyer, and their mother was a wealthy socialite from Hudson Square. Both of their parents lineage could be traced back to the Puritans. Their mother died while they were still young, and their father's sister, Fanny, came to live with them and raise them.
They were well to do until the "Panic of 1837". This left the family drained of finances due to lawsuits and bad investments, and they moved into an old home on Constitution Island, across from the military academy West Point.
It was after this that the girls came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and became members of the Mercer Street Presbyterian church. This is where they met their good friend and fellow author, Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, who was their pastor's wife in the 1850's.
The girls wanted to help their family's financial situation and so they started writing. They both became well known Christian authors of their time writing around 106 publications. It was in one of these, a novel titled Say And Seal, that the famous children's hymn Jesus Loves Me was born. Susan was writing about a little boy named Johnny Fox who was dying. In the story, his Sunday School teacher sings him a little song. Susan asked Anna to write the song that would be sung by the character.

Jesus loves me- this I know,
For the  Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong-
They are weak, but He is strong.

Jesus loves me- loves me still,
Though I'm very weak and ill;
From His shining throne on high,
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Jesus loves me- He will stay,
Close beside me all the way.
Then His little child He'll take,
Up to heaven for His dear sake.

 The three familiar verses of Jesus Loves Me were then penned, They were changed by William Bradbury when he wrote the melody that they were to be sung to, and they have been sung by children around the world ever since, with the added chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Susan and Anna started teaching Bible classes for those who were going through the military academy. For forty years these ladies taught the cadets that went through. Though both were only civilians who lived near the military academy, they were buried in the West Point cemetery will full military honors. Their home has become a museum to their remembrance which is still maintained by West Point.
Their far reaching effects are best seen in the story of the PT-109, a torpedo boat, commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy in 1943 (who later became president). During World War II, PT-109 was rammed and sunk near the Solomon Islands. Eleven of the survivors swam from island to island until they found Olasana Island where they found coconut trees and drinkable water. Some native's from Australia found the survivors who sang them the song Jesus Loves Me written by the ladies who taught the cadets so long ago.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inside The Man

Along Paul's journey, there were many men who walked with him through the ministry. I have often wondered where I would have fallen if I had been alive back then. Would I be one of the faithful who helped Paul along the way? Or, could I have been a stumbling stone that knocked others off the path?
There was Luke, the Beloved Physician, who stayed by Paul almost until the end. And there was Timothy who was trained by Paul to take over discipling those who turned to Christ. There were Aquilla and Priscilla who ministered to Paul and helped Apollos. And many others.
I want to focus on two whom I think are like many Christians today.
The first is Demas. He's mentioned 3 times in the Bible. The first two are where Paul extends his greetings to others in the church. He is working with Paul, the first man to have a missionary movement. He is learning from the guy who was taught by Gamaliel and then by the Lord Himself!
But, the third time he's mentioned in II Timothy 4:10a- For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; He's turned his back on the ministry.
What happened? He was with one of the greatest evangelists to ever preach and he found something in the world that he wanted more.
I see many Christians today like him. They start out on fire for God, and slowly learn to desire what Satan dangles in front of them.
The next man is John Mark. He shows up in Acts just after Paul and Barnabas' first missionary journey. In Acts 12, as Paul and Barnabas were leaving on their second trek, they take John Mark with them. He didn't last long though, before he was returning home and abandoning the missionary duo.
In Acts 15:37, he wants to go again- And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul didn't want a quitter coming along to drop out again. The argument over this one boy caused the missionary duo to split. Acts 15:39-40- And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
Things didn't look too good for John Mark. Even Paul thought he would be worthless in the ministry. But, there was another man named Barnabas who saw some potential in this young man. And he was willing to look past his mistakes to disciple him in the way.
The last mention of John Mark is in II Timothy 4:11- Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Paul had completely changed his mind about John Mark. He finally saw what Barnabas could see all along and told Timothy, "He's profitable."
It really doesn't matter how you start. What matters is how you finish!
The Corinthians couldn't see that. They argued in I Corinthians 1:12- Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. It's not the man! It's the God behind him. The man will make mistakes, or quit, or find something else to love. The man may fall down and need someone to guide him. But, the God that the man serves is the same one that Paul served.
What is inside of you? Are you loving something more than God? Did you quit somewhere along the way? Do other's look at you and see someone who is worthless to the ministry?
I Samuel 16:7b- for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Ask yourself what God sees! And have to courage to be what God sees, not what man thinks he sees.