Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Man In The Glory (poem)

I wake in the morning with thoughts of His love
Who is living for me in the glory above,
Ev'ry minute expecting He'll call me away,
And that keeps me bright all the rest of the day.

But the moments speed forward, and on comes the noon
Yet still I am singing: "He'll come very soon;"
And thus I am watching from morning till night
And pluming my wings to be ready for flight.

There's a Man in the glory I know very well
I have known Him for years, and His goodness can tell:
One day in His mercy He knock'd at my door,
And seeking admission, knock'd many times o'er.

But when I went to Him, and stood face to face,
And listen'd awhile to His story of grace,
How He suffer'd for sinners, and put away sin,
I heartily, thankfully welcomed Him in.

We have lived on together a number of years,
And that's why I neither have doubtings nor fears,
For my sins are all hid in the depths of the sea,
They were carried down there by the Man on the tree.

I am often surprised why the lip should be curl'd,
When I speak of my Lord to the man of the world;
And notice with sorrow his look of disdain,
When I tell him that Jesus is coming again.

He seems so content with his houses and gold,
While despising the ark, like the people of old,
And yet at His coming I'm sure he would flee,
Like the man in the garden, who ate of the tree.

I cannot but think it is foolish of souls
To put all their money "in bags which have holes",
To find in the day that is coming apace,
How lightly they valued the "riches of grace".

As fond as I am of His work in the field,
I would let go the plough, I would lay down the shield:
The weapons of service I'd put on the shelf,
And the sword in its scabbard, to be with Himself.

But I'll work on with pleasure, while keeping my eyes
On the end of the field where standeth the prize.
I would work for His glory, that when we shall meet
I may have a large sheaf to lay down at His feet;

That He too, with pleasure His fruit may review:
Is the Man in the glory a stranger to you?
A stranger to Jesus, what, do you know
He is washing poor sinners much whiter than snow?

Have you lived in a land where the Bible's unknown,
That you don't know the Man who is now on the throne?
Ah, did you but know half His beauty and power
You would not be a stranger another half–hour.

I have known Him so long that I'm able to say,
The very worst sinner He'll not turn away.
The question of sin, I adoringly see,
The Man in the glory has settled for me.

And as to my footsteps whatever the scene,
The Man in the glory is keeping me clean;
And therefore I'm singing from morning till night
The Man in the glory is all my delight.

                     —George Cutting

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baklava Recipe

This recipe is amazing! I made this for Thanksgiving, and though it was a little tedious, it was simple and well worth it. For the printable directions, click here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Believer's Heritage- Charles Journeycake

There was a tribe of Indians known as the Delaware. They lived on the land between the Hudson and the Potomac Rivers, and the area going far inland. When the first ship was anchored off New York Island in 1609 they were said to be standing on the river banks claiming "Behold, the gods have come to visit us".
These visitors came in great numbers, and the Delaware had to move from Pennsylvania West to Ohio around 1768. The Delaware who became Christians under the moravians were peaceful Indians. But, abuses from both the white man and other Indian tribes caused them to turn their backs on the religion and forbid missionaries from coming to them.
Just North of Philadelphia, William Penn addressed the Delaware Indians. It was with this tribe that the first was made by the Continental Congress, signed at Fort Pitt in 1778. They were to be part of the United States, and to have representation in Congress. Times were tough for the Delaware tribe, and many of the people fled to Canada for protection from the white man, which where many of their descendants reside today.
It was during these unsettling times that Charles Ne Sha Pa Na Cumin Journeycake was born on December 16, 1817 to Sally Williams and Solomon Journeycake, chief of the Delaware tribe. His maternal grandmother, Mary Sarah Castleman, was a white woman who had been captured and was married off to a partial Wyandotte Indian named Abraham Williams.
In 1828, the Journeycake family left their home in upper Sandusky River of Ohio by order of the government to travel to travel to their new home in Missouri; and then later, to NorthEastern Kansas, which was given to the Delaware tribe by treaty, but would later be reneged after the Civil War. Sally Journeycake was the Delaware Indian's interpreter for the Moravian missionaries of Kansas in 1829. She was instrumental in establishing the first Indian mission.
It was during her time as a translator that she learned many Scripture verses and hymns. She became deathly ill in 1827,  and was even thought to be dead for many hours. She awoke from this state and immediately began praising God. This was the first convert among the Delaware Indians since the ban of missionaries. It's been said that through all their hardships she remained strong in the faith of her Savior, and this had a great impact on Charles life.
Charles was saved and baptized in 1833. At that time, he and his mother were the only Christians in the Delaware tribe. As a young man, he would go around preaching Christ to not only his tribe, but also to other tribes around. He could speak in Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca, and Ottawa dialects. Though, he didn't become an ordained Baptist preacher until September 23, 1872.
He would see his father's salvation only two years after his own conversion.
Charles would marry Jane Sosha in 1837. They would have a happy marriage of 56 years, and raise 10 children together. Their 2 sons would die in infancy, but all 8 of their daughters would go on to accept Christ as their Savior, and work in the Delaware Baptist Association or in his church.
Charles Journeycake enjoyed hunting, and he was good at it. In the fall of 1839, he was approached by his tribesmen and asked to lead a trapping expedition. He agreed on the condition that all would agree to attend prayers at camp every night and morning, and to bring their traps in Saturday evening and spend the Sabbath in rest and religious exercise.
Journeycake was elected Wolf Gang chief in 1855, and principal chief of the tribe in 1871. He would be the last chief of the Delaware Indians. As a tribal leader, Charles watched as his people were killed trying to protect their farms and homes from white settlers. In 1867, the tribe was able to purchase land from the Cherokee nation, and they moved to  the Indian territory of Cooweescoowee in Oklahoma. This was the sixth time the once mighty Delaware nation had been relocated. Charles gave up his title as chief and his people became part of the Cherokee nation.
This was again a hard time for his people. The Cherokee weren't happy that the white man had placed another tribe on their land, and there was blood shed on both sides. The American government claimed they would protect the Indians from attacks from the white settlers, but they had no jurisdiction to help with abuse from another Indian tribe. He lost one of his brothers to an assassination by an Indian renegade, and had at least one attempt on his own life.
Charles was one of the few literate Indians, and he had a large library at his home, which included books, periodicals, and musical instruments. He wanted others to be able to learn so he donated his time and money to the college at Muskogee. Even his daughters were considered cultured and well educated.
He also ministered at Delaware Baptist Church which was located near his home along Lightening Creek. The day of the church's dedication, it was filled with Indians, three white missionaries, and one white man. After three days of preaching, 15 people were saved. The church started out small with 11 members, 7 being his own family. Ten years of faithful preaching and the membership would become 266.
He was said to have had a vision, or dream, of a sheet of paper spread across the sky with names written on it, including his. He heard a voice say, "We must lengthen this life." as a form stretched his name. Charles believed that it was the Lord who had sent him a message not to fear for he would have a long life in service to Christ to his people.
He was always trying. to make life better for his people. He advocated for them around 24 times in Washington D.C. during his lifetime in hopes to gain legal rights and economic opportunities. Though  he was no longer chief, he acted as chief counsellor to his tribe. He established the first trading post and post office in his town of Alluwe.
The mindset of Charles Journeycake is best summed up in his speech to the Indian Defense Association in 1886, which is now carved into the NorthWest corner of Barcone College Chapel.
"We have been broken up and moved six times. We have been despoiled of our property. We thought when we moved across the Missouri River, and had paid for our homes in Kansas we were safe. But in few years the white man wanted our country. We had made good farms, built comfortable houses and big barns. We had schools for our children and churches where we listened to the same gospel the white man listened to. We had a great many cattle and horses. The white man came into our country from Missouri and drove our cattle and horses away across the river. If our people followed them they got killed. We try to forget these things, but we would not forget that the white man brought us the blessed gospel of Christ, the Christian's hope. This more than pays for all we have suffered."
He helped encourage the organization of the Delaware Baptist Association in 1891, and also translated the four gospels into the Delaware language.
He died on January 3, 1894. His body was buried near Alluwe, but was later relocated to Nowata,  now known as Armstrong Cemetery, because of the Oolagah dam and reservoir.
He is buried with his wife who preceded him in death in 1893. His tombstone reads 'A kind and loving father and a friend to the needy; he died as he lived, a pure and upright man, after many years of faithful service in the ministry and as chief adviser of his people, the Delawares'. His wife's inscription was simple 'None knew her but to love her'.
The next man to fill the Pastor's position at Delaware Baptist Church, S. H. Mitchell, would write a memoir entitled The Indian Chief, Journeycake, published in 1895. The full transcript can be read here.
In 1933, his grandchildren placed a marker along Oklahoma Highway 28 which reads '1200 feet East and 300 feet North stands the residence built in 1867, former home of Reverend Charles Journeycake and his wife, Jane Sosha Journeycake. He was the last tribal chief of the Delaware and pastor of the first Delaware Baptist Church in Indian Territory'.

Friday, December 2, 2016

How the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving (video sermon)

It seems like now-a-days you go from October Halloween straight to December Christmas. The stores no sooner put the Halloween candy on sale when they start putting out the Christmas decorations. Black Friday has become a crazy frenzy of greed which people focus on, and they over look the day before which is suppose to remind us to be thankful for what we have!
Thanksgiving is the time in America where we are suppose to give thanks to God for the things that we have, the people we love, and the blessings that God has given us. Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." The verses around it tell you to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.
Why is there rioting? Because people aren't thankful. Humankind isn't naturally thankful for the blessings they have. We have one day which we are suppose to remember to give thanks, but there are 364 days a year where all we think about is what we want that we don't have!
Until we go through real trials, we don't truly understand how to be thankful. The Apostle Paul went through some things that gave him the ability to be content despite the circumstances that were going on around him.
We live in country where no one is thankful. They sit around with their hands out yelling "Give me...". This election really brought it out! They want free college, free housing, free groceries, free citizenry, etc. They aren't happy with what they have, no matter how good.
Being thankful can be very hard when things are going wrong, when we aren't getting our way, when the prognosis comes back bad. But, God's will is for us to be thankful in everything because what we go through is His will in Christ Jesus concerning us. Why? Because He has promised that it will work together for good! If you love God, if you are called according to His purpose, you can bank on that!
Every trial, blessing, hardship, struggle, joy, etc. mold you into what God wants you to be. These things change us to enable us to help others who are going through troubles. They help us to have compassion on those who are struggling. It's during those times that others see Christ in us!
So, how do we keep from being the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving- the person that isn't thankful?
First, you've got to get doubt out of your life. Don't doubt God. He is what He is. IF you doubt His Word, His truth, His power, His love, etc. then you won't be thankful.
Secondly, you've got to get selfishness out of your life. Selfishness is a form of pride- I deserve better.
Third, you need to get worldliness out of your life. Worldly people dwell on things, possessions. God says with food and raiment to be content- that's really all you need according to God!
Fourth, you need to do away with the critical spirit. Most people today criticize everything! They can find something wrong with everybody and everything. Start looking for the blessing that only God can point out. You can't be thankful when you're being bitter about everything.
Fifth, you need to be patient. Impatience keeps us from recognizing God's hand in His time. God waits until the last minute. Satan offers things instantly, immediately. God has a time table, and you need to learn to wait on Him.
Sixth, you need to get rid of coldness. A cold, indifferent heart will keep us from being thankful.
Lastly, you must get rid of rebellion. A stubborn spirit that tells God, "I don't care what you say or what you want. I'm doing it my way!"
God didn't make you an unthankful spirit! You weren't born a grinch. But, you can become that way by not getting rid of these things in your heart and in your life. Don't be the Thanksgiving grinch. Remember to be thankful for what God has blessed you with!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

More Excellent Things

There are some pretty great things in life! Some times I get annoyed when I see a label that claims something is new and improved when I thought the old one was perfect! But, there are times when things can seem perfect, and yet they can get even better.
When I was young, I thought life was pretty good. Then I learned I was a sinner on my way to hell. I accepted Christ's offer of salvation and found that life became great! But, the more I study the Scriptures the more I realize that great can become excellent if I allow it.
Romans 2:18- And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Paul told the Romans that there were more excellent things out there. He knew that once they realized what these things were that they would approve of them. These more excellent things are part of God's will for our lives, and they are found in the Bible.
So, what are these more excellent things?
The first is salvation. All the others hinge on this one! Salvation is the lynchpin to the more excellent things available to a Christian.
Religion tells us that we have to work for our salvation. We are to sacrifice our desires and try to be as good as we can and maybe we can earn our salvation. But, I just couldn't be good enough.
The Old Testament gives us a whole list of commandments, and sacrifices that had to be brought when one of these many commandments were violated. But, the blood of those animals couldn't do away with my sins- it only covered them.
Hebrews 11:4- By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
But, I found a more excellent sacrifice! Christ died for my sins, and his payment not only covered my sins, it washed them away! I don't have to look for another sacrifice each time I mess up! I've found a more excellent thing!
The next one that I found was a more excellent name.
Hebrews 1:4- Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Christ was around when the world was created. He was known as the Word in John 1. But, it wasn't until He became flesh, dwelt among us, died for our sins, and rose again that He obtained a more excellent name- the Lord Jesus Christ!
We, too, have the chance to inherit a more excellent name. I was born as a son of Adam, but when I asked Christ to save my soul I became a son of God!
Son of Adam was condemned to die. He was born with only path- the wages of sin which is death; eternal damnation in hell.
But, the Son of God was born to live! His path is infinite- to stand unspotted before God; to rule with Christ; to live forever in New Jerusalem as a child of the King of Kings.
My name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life- that is truly a more excellent thing than I was originally born with!
After my Christian rebirth, I found a more excellent ministry.
Hebrews 8:6- But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
The Old Testament priests were the only ones who could go before God. And, even then, they couldn't really approach Him. They could minister to the people by offering sacrifices, and other things, but no one could stand before God and request or plead a cause.
Until Christ opened that door!
Now, I have a more excellent ministry than the priests of the Old Testament. I can tell others about Christ, I can approach His throne boldly with my requests, I can intercede in prayer on behalf of those around me. I have the chance to change the destiny of every man, woman, or child that I come in contact with!
My ministry far exceeds what the priests and prophets of past times could do. My ministry is a more excellent thing that isn't limited by my sinful nature or God's unapproachable Holiness.
While working the ministry I've been called to, I found was a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:31- But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The Corinthians were all about spiritual gifts. They wanted to have the special abilities that made them appear more spiritual to those around them. Paul wanted them to understand that there was a more excellent way.
The body is made up of many parts. When one part is lacking, or there are extra parts, the body is considered marred. The Corinthians couldn't understand that each person had a specific purpose in the body. Not everyone was meant to be an apostle who could heal. Not everyone was meant to be a prophet working miracles.
There are some people who are meant to be just the hands or the feet. It's truly selfish of us to want to be something other than what God created us to be. There are some people who won't be reached by the apostle or the prophet. There are some people who won't be converted by the miracles.
It doesn't seem very flattering until you realize that being what God designed you for is the more excellent way of living! Paul says in the next chapter that the best gift is Charity (not miracles, not speaking in tongues, not even being a missionary).
A helping hand. A kind word. A generous spirit. A loving heart. A gentle soul. Charity is what makes us different from the world. It's what catches the unsaved man's attention and makes him want to be different. His desire to understand what you have will open the door for you to witness to him.
Charity in a christian is the more excellent thing!
Throughout the ages, mankind has found some pretty great things. But, there are spiritual riches out there for us to strive for. Until we get into the Bible and learn all that Christ has for us, we won't see the opportunity to acquire the more excellent things.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Olive Garden Salad recipe

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 TBS corn syrup or honey
4 TBS grated parmesan
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh parsley
1 TBS lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a container.

Pick your favorite lettuce or lettuce blend
Red onion slices
Black olives
Banana peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Croutons, if wanted

Take your favorite blend of lettuce (I live one with baby spinach and radicchio) and put it into a large bowl.
Add a half of a red onion, sliced into long pieces.
Drain the black olives and the banana peppers (I like to use whole olives and banana pepper rings). Leave them sitting in a colander while you mix up the dressing to ensure that the liquid drains completely out of them.
Throw in the cherry tomatoes and the Parmesan cheese.
Toss all ingredients together with the dressing.
If you want croutons, add them to your salad on your plate. If you put them into the salad they will get soggy! If you're going for gluten free then leave them out completely.
This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Golden Sceptre book review

After reading Pastor Bob Leib's first book, At His Feet, I was very excited to read his second book.
In his first book, Pastor Leib goes through the story of Ruth, a Gentile woman living in a Jewish world, and uses her life as an example of how the believer should be submissive to the Lord, and the blessings that come along with submission to His will. 
His second book, The Golden Sceptre, goes through the only other book in the Holy Bible named after a lady- Esther, a Jewish woman living in a Gentile world. This book deals mainly with the Christian's life in Christ, and his journey through the world having a "different nature". There's a lot of history and prophecy expounded upon in it's pages.
But, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
This book has so many other devotional topics in it that you get an amazing study on some of the deeper things found in the Scriptures- such as Adoption, Eternal Security, The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, Salvation, the Rapture, and so much more!
Be prepared to be challenged, edified, and some times even amazed by the content contained in this book. Who would have ever though that such a short book of the Bible that doesn't even mention the name of God could have so much hidden within it's story! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

There's a Murderer in the Church (video sermon)

A church in the Bible is a group of people who have asked the Lord to save them. It is not a building. It is not a place. When the Lord says that He will build His church He is talking about saving the souls of people, not erecting a building.

There are some ways we should act, or behave ourselves, in the congregation of the Lord. Today, church etiquette has been forgotten. We aren't to be stumbling blocks to other Christians. Christ is the rock of offense, but Christians aren't suppose to be purposefully offensive to others.

Christians should be able to find friends in the church. Christians should be able to find encouragement in the church. Christians should get  rebuked in the church. Christians should find fellowship in the church.

But, some times there's a murderer in the church. There's something in our church that's killing off the Christian. And, it's not what you're thinking.

The first murderer is starvation. I Peter 2 says that newborn babes desire milk, and as new Christians we should desire the sincere "milk" of the Word of God. But, there's some churches that don't feed their members the Word. There's some pastors that have nothing but Spiritual babies that haven't been growing because they're being starved Spiritually.

The next murderer is strangulation. I John 2 says that there are some that aren't of us. They're the thorns that spring up in the church and strangle the Christians that are trying to grow in the Word. They cause strife, backbiting, bitterness, and destroy the work of the Lord in the hearts of God's people.

Another murderer is scandal. Pastors and church workers who get caught up in sin, and then go about trying to justify their sin. Now, church leaders aren't perfect. When they sin, they are suppose to go to the Lord and ask forgiveness. If they sin against another member in the church, they are to ask that members forgiveness! Scandals knock out some of the strongest Christians among us.

Simulation is another murderer in the church. People want to live in the fantasy world of Hollywood and video games and fictional characters in books. We live in a world where stores try to make you visualize what isn't there. Christians get sucked into desiring a counterfeit instead of working and living in the real world. We are to bring every imagination into captivity- keep them in check!

The world needs to see something real. Real love. Real forgiveness. A real reason to go on! Not a plastic Christianity.

There are many murderers in the church. More than have been named here. Are you keeping company with a murderer? Are you watching a murderer creep through your congregation? Have you been the victim of an attempted Spiritual murder?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What's Happened To The Next Generation?

Throughout the history of the kings of Judah you see the rise and fall of many good kings and many wicked kings. One king will be very evil, and yet, have a son that loves the Lord and tries to do right; and another will be a very good king, and his child will be known as one of the most wicked rulers of his time!
What is it that is happening to the next generation?
Judah had a king whose name was Uzziah. He was a good king that loved the Lord. But, because of the blessings of the Lord, he became prideful and thought of himself as more than he should have.
He went into the temple of the Lord and tried to burn incense to the Lord, which was something that only the priests, the Levites, were allowed to do. For his sin, God made him a leper while he stood there in the temple with the censer in his hand.
But, I want to follow the time line through the next two generations. His son, Jotham, ruled in his place while he lived in a several house, and then was crowned king when his father died.
2 Chronicles 27:1-2- Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.
Jotham was a good king. He tried to do right in the sight of the Lord. But, we see two things that occurred during his reign- he never went into the temple, and the people of his kingdom were corrupt.
Perhaps, Jotham was too afraid to enter the temple because of what happened to his father. Leprosy was a walking death sentence. There was no cure. A person who contracted this disease was sent away to live in isolation until they died.
Hebrews 10:25- Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Paul warns us not to forgo church attendance. Why? I believe we will see later on in our story.
Whatever the reason, Jotham wasn't an example to his kingdom in this respect. Yes, he obeyed the Lord. Yes, he tried to do right by his people and his God. But, he didn't show them how to go before the Lord and ask His guidance.
Next, I see that Jotham allowed corruption in his kingdom.
The people did yet corruptly. Maybe Jotham kept the corrupt people out of leadership postitions, but that would only work while he was in charge. If the corruption wasn't taken care of, it would soon pass down to the next generation of leaders.
Moving on through history...
2 Kings 16:1-2- In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
Jotham's son, Ahaz, was the next to take the throne. But, unlike his father, Ahaz was a wicked king.
How could a man who tried so hard to do right have such an evil child? The Bible says that Ahaz offered his children as human sacrifices to false idols, and he worshiped many false gods all over Jerusalem and Judea.
What happened? I believe it may have been due to the two things that Jotham allowed himself to slide on- not going to the temple, and allowing corrupt people to prosper.
You see, Ahaz wasn't taken to see the glory of God. He didn't get to view the holiness that was expected from the priests of the Lord. He didn't see the care that went into copying the law of the Lord for future generations. He missed out on the precious promises that God made to His people.
And, there were evil people throughout the kingdom who had wicked children that could become friends with the future ruler. These friends would influence the character and thought pattern of this young prince.
Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Iron sharpens iron. A good friend, a wise friend, a godly friend will encourage those characteristics in those they hang out with. But, a devious person, a conniving person, a wicked person will influence others in this path.
Ahaz not only turned to idols, but he ensured that his kingdom would follow him.
2 Chronicles 28:22-25- And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.
Ahaz not only sacrificed to false gods, and made places of worship throughout his kingdom for these false gods, but he also closed the doors of the temple. He made it difficult for those who wanted to serve the Lord to be able to.
You see, Jotham didn't go to the temple; Ahaz closed the temple.
Jotham didn't get rid of the corruption; Ahaz embraced the corruption.
The things we allow in our lives are the very things that will dominate and rule our children's lives.
Song of Solomon 2:15- Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have  tender grapes.
Our children are still young and tender. That next generation will be spoiled by the little foxes that we let slip through and influence the vines. Are we at fault for destroying the next generation because we like our "foxes"?
What's happening to the next generation in your home?

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Little Baptist (book review)

The Little Baptist by J. M. Martin is a great book for those who wonder about what makes Baptists different from other Protestant religions. This book mainly deals with the subject of Baptism, but also includes other topics such as kindness to your enemies and salvation.
The Little Baptist, A Young Girl's Look at Plain Truth (full title) is written in story form. This story follows Mellie Brown, a young girl who was given a Bible by her brother as  a present. While reading her Bible, she comes across the story of John baptizing in the Jordan River, and thinks that she must have been given a Baptist Bible, instead of a Methodist one. The reader follows Mellie as she grows into a young lady,  and questions the doctrines that she has been taught with the Scriptures that she is reading daily.
If you have a child, or teenager, that is often questioning why we believe what we believe, or if you are looking for a simple reasoning for one of the corner stones of Baptist doctrine, then this book is for you!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Jesus Is Coming (poem)

Jesus is coming! sing the glad word!
Coming for those He redeemed by His blood;
Coming to reign as the glorified Lord!
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! the dead shall arise,
Loved ones shall meet in a joyful surprise,
Caught up together to Him in the skies.
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! His saints to release;
Coming to give to the warring earth peace:
Sinning and sighing, and sorrow, shall cease.
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! the promise is true;
Who are the chosen, the faithful, the few,
Waiting and watching, prepared for review?
Jesus is coming again!

-D H Whittle

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Before the Tribulation (video sermon)

One of the mysteries of the Bible is the church. Paul had this mystery revealed to him by Christ, and he tells us about it in Ephesians 3. And what is the mystery of the church? It's the fact that Gentiles and Jews together are able to be saved by grace through faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Up until Paul, the Bible from Abraham on mainly deals with the Jews. But, God shows Paul that during the "church age", the gospel of Christ is for every nation, kindred, and tongue- not just Jews.

Now, the church is mentioned in the book of Revelation from chapter 1 to chapter 3, and then it isn't mentioned again until the end of the book of Revelation in chapter 19. Why is it missing between Revelation 4 and Revelation 18? It's because the church isn't here. God is dealing primarily with the Jews again. The book of Revelation is prophecy, not history; it's future, not past.

Right now, we are in the church age. We aren't suppose to be looking for the anti-christ; we're suppose to be looking for the rapture of the church by Jesus Christ.

Before the tribulation, the church becomes riddled with apostasy. People start looking for feel good messages instead of hell-fire preaching. People become obsessed with self: self-love, self-entitlement, self-gratification, etc. Christians are more concerned with receiving blessings than being a blessing.

Right now, the world's agenda is acceptance. Everyone is going to get together and try not to offend anyone, except God. The world wants a population that will willingly accept one world religion, one world money, one world law, one world rulers, and one Satanic "messiah".

During the tribulation, God removes His church and gives the rest of the inhabitants of the world over for Satan to rule. The world will find out exactly how evil the devil is, because he will have control of all nature and all humanity. What he has wanted to do since the Garden of Eden will be granted to him.

Salvation during the tribulation will be by asking Christ to save their soul by the blood of Jesus Christ, and also works- obeying the 10 commandments, not taking the Mark of the Beast, willing to die a horrible death instead of conforming, enduring the judgments of the Lord that will be poured out on the Satanic world.

Where are we right now? This is September, 2016, and we are right before the tribulation. We can still be saved by grace through faith, without any works of our own. But, time is slipping away. The end of the church age is coming. And, hell is preparing to control the world.

Have you ever read of all the horrors that have happened through the ages? The mass genocide? The tortures from various regimes? Starvation and Famine? Diseases and Plagues?

Now, understand that all of those things are fairy tales compared to what's coming: world war, wide spread famine, natural disasters on a global scale, forced micro-chip implantation, mass public executions, cannibalism, government sanctioned human sacrifice, monsters wreaking havoc on the human populace, and a demonic ruler who demands to worshiped as god.

The sign of the book being shut on the church age is the rapture. The Lord Jesus Christ doesn't set one foot on this earth. He stops in the atmosphere and calls His people by their names and takes them directly to heaven. I Corinthians 15 says it's another mystery- the church age it's self, as well as how it end, was kept a mystery until Paul.

What will the rapture sound like? Christians will hear a trumpet sound and their name shouted, followed by "Come up hither". Unsaved people will hear a curiously loud thundering sound.

And then, billions will disappear- both living people and dead bodies.

And, the Tribulation Period will begin.

Accept God's mercy by his offer of salvation through Jesus Christ before this simple offer is gone forever!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Homemade Skillet Enchiladas recipe

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
1 TBS garlic, minced
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1/4 cup chili powder
2 TBS cumin
1/2 TBS paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheese

Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugars, salt and baking powder together until it's well blended with no lumps.
Add the egg, warm milk, and coconut oil. You don't the milk too warm; it should be warm enough to keep the coconut oil from solidifying, yet cool enough not to cook the egg.
Mix together and pour into a large, greased cast iron skillet.
Bake at 400* for 20 to 25 minutes. You want the cornbread to be just turning brown on the top.
In a separate pot, cook the ground beef with the onion and garlic in the stock. This will keep the ground beef from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and also provide the liquid needed for the Mexican sauce.
Once the meat is fully cooked, add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and salt. Mix it in really well. It should look like enchilada sauce has been poured into the meat.
After you remove your cornbread from the oven, take a fork and poke little holes all through it.
Pour your meat and sauce on top, spreading it out evenly over the cornbread (this is why you want to use a large skillet!
Top with the shredded cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Funny Happenings- Fixing BooBoo's

When my kids were little I learned 2 things- kisses fix everything and get their mind off it.
If they ever got a booboo, as long as I could do those 2 things, they were happy.
Recently, my nephew went running through the church and bonked his head on one of the pews. He had been told numerous times by everyone not to run in church! So, he came up to me with tears in his eyes, but trying not to look like he was hurt.
"Knocked your head?" I asked.
"Yes." he replied sheepishly.
Thinking that getting his mind off of it would be the best route, I told him, "Well, go let your daddy lick it and it will be all better."
He pulled back and looked at me with disgust, and said, "No!"
And then he shocked me by adding, "I want you to lick it."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Stranger Than Fiction

There are a lot of new movies and tv shows out there that deal with "sci-fi" topics. From super heroes and mutants with powers, vampires, giants, mermaids, aliens, and more, we are being constantly bombarded with "fictitious" creatures.
But, this isn't anything new. Almost every culture, on every continent has stories of giants, fairies, vampire like creatures that drink blood,  dragons or dinosaurs, mermaids, mutant monsters, and more. It's highly unlikely that somewhere these people got together and created these stories and then went to many different cultures and countries to spread these fantastic tales!
How can there be all this history if it is all fiction? If it's true, why hide it? And, why make movies and tv shows picturing all these things- many of them good, just misunderstood?
Well, as usual, the Bible has much to say on this subject if people would only search it out.
Let me say that we don't exactly know what all God created in the beginning. We are still discovering strange creatures all around the world. And, there are some that are thought to be extinct- unicorns, dinosaurs, and mammoths, for example.
But, somewhere along the lines, something got messed up.
Genesis 6:1-2- And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Satan wasn't the only heavenly creature to fall. He was just the first.
When God created Eve, he created something that was unknown. She was the first humanoid woman. She was created for man. Her ability to help, encourage, pleasure, etc. him made her a unique creation in earth and heaven.
All angels referenced in the Bible are men. If you read the stories of man's encounter with an angel, it is always a male. And, as women began to populate the earth, her uniqueness attracted the attention of the heavenly crowd.
Angels began to leave heaven in order to have a physical relationship with women. Their offspring would be a mixture of human and heavenly DNA. This would create some abnormalities.
Genesis 6:4- There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
These mighty men were talked of in legend as being fast, strong, and cannibalistic. Stories of these monsters span cultures and time. There were stories of giants being fought on islands in World War II, and even more recently. Notice the part of the verse that says "and also after that". That means they came down after those days.
But that was just the start.
Genesis 6:11-12- The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
All flesh had corrupted itself- not just humans. This is where the really crazy stuff, like mermaids, vampires, werewolves, harpies, fairies, satyrs, and other legends come from.
But the Bible says that some of these are more than legend.
Isaiah 34:14- The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.
Zechariah 5:9- Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
Revelation 9:7-10- And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
The Bible in the above verses mentions satyrs, harpies, and mutants- if I may be bold as to give them "legendary" names. Strange creatures of supposed myth talked about as real.
So, if angels having sexual relations with women produced offspring such as giants... what would the offspring of angels having sexual relations with animals of "all flesh"? Would it be harpies, mermaids, satyrs, and other legendary creatures of supposed myth?
Would these have the ability to get saved? Would they possess a soul? Or, would they be like animals with instincts and drives, but not able to understand right and wrong?
I think that God gives us a little light on this subject.
1 John 3:12- Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
The words a person uses are very telling. Eve says the serpent beguiled her. Was there more than just simple deception going on? Was Cain the first offspring produced from a sexual relationship with an heavenly being?
Jude 1:6-7, 11, 13- And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. ...  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. ... Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
If Cain was an offspring of part human, part heavenly DNA, God told him that he could be accepted. God still gave him a chance to repent and have his sin covered, all he had to do was offer an acceptable offering to the Lord.
Genesis 4:6-7- And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Now, when all of this got out of control in Genesis 6, God spared Noah and his sons. First, to continue the human race. Second, because Noah was willing to obey God and build the ark. And third, because Noah still had a pure human DNA code.
Genesis 6:8-9- But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Noah was not a perfect man. He was a descendant of Adam and Eve through the line of their son, Seth. Genesis shows you the blood line from Adam to Noah. This is very important.
Back to the beginning question- why are all these tv shows and movies coming out with all these creatures? Because it's happening again.
Luke 17:26-29- And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
In the days of Noah there were heavenly beings having sexual relationships with all forms of creatures creating mutant offspring. In the days of Lot there were humans going after strange flesh.
Both of these days have something in common- a mutant DNA code. Notice that Christ just says "they". Many people read that and think it is speaking of mankind. But, what if "they" is something more? Mutated creatures mingling with humans and animals- marrying, living, having businesses, and creating civilizations?
Daniel 2:43- And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Yes, I agree that it sounds stranger than fiction. But, as you go through this Halloween season watching the world transform into some scary holiday festival, remember that you aren't always fully aware of what is actually going on in the world around you.
Hebrews 13:2- Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Parent's Over-sight

You have ever been a good child, yet you are by nature a sinful, and a child of wrath, even as others.
Romans 3:23- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:10- As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 
As much as you have been praised for being good, you are yet bad- sinful, and a sinner in the sight of God, and in need of being cleansed by the blood of Christ.
James 2:10- For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 
1 John 1:10- If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Colossians 1:14- In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Pray, my dear child, that God, for Christ's sake, may pardon your sins and renew your heart, so that you may realize His love in all its fullness.
Romans 10:9- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 
1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Don't conclude for a moment; that you are better than others, but remember that you are just the character that Christ calls on to repent.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Think not that because you were reared up in church as a baptized member , that this will avail you anything in the great day of accounts.
Titus 3:5- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 
Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
No doubt I have wronged you by not impressing these truths on your mind before this, but the best amend I can now make, is to warn you faithfully and entreat you earnestly, to seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near.
Romans 10:13- For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 
Matthew 7:7-8- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
You have long ago decided for yourself that your baptism has secured you nothing at all; and, let me assure you that your morality and good deeds, while most worthy and commendable, and well pleasing in the sight of God, are not sufficient to secure the salvation of your soul.
Romans 10:3- For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 
Isaiah 64:6- But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
You are too young to have much actual transgression laid to your charge, but you are old enough- enlightened enough, to know good from  evil, therefore you are old enough for God to judge you and hold you accountable.
Romans 14:12- So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 
Hebrews 9:27- And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 
You will be judged not according to age, but according to your knowledge of your duty.
Revelation 20:12- And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 
Luke 16:15- And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 
James 4:17- Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
I hope, my dear, to soon hear that God has led you out from the dark shadows of unbelief into the bright morning of His love; that you have found your way to the cross of Christ, and realized a happy peace to your soul.
John 1:12- But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 
John 20:31- But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. 
Act 16:31- And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 
If you feel you are a sinner, and are honestly seeking deliverance, all the promises of the Bible are yours.
Galatians 3:22- But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
1 John 5:13- These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 
1 John  2:25- And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
Venture to the Saviour, and trust Him for His grace, for He has never sent one away who sought Him with the whole heart.
John 6:37- All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 
1 Timothy 2:4- Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Whosoever will, may partake of the Water of Life freely.
John 3:15- That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 
John 4:14- But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 
Revelation 20:15- And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

-The Little Baptist by J. M. Martin

Friday, September 9, 2016

Healthy Minute- Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is brushing your skin with a natural bristle brush while it is dry to promote circulation and help eliminate toxins in the lymph system by stimulating it's flow. It's really easy, you start at your feet, or hands, and gently brush along the path of lymph drainage. Most people like to do this right before a shower.
The lymphatic system carries our white blood cells through the body. It is our "navy" that rids the body of waste and toxins and gets our infection fighting "soldiers" to where they need to go.
The lymphatic system is made up of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. Lymph is a clear fluid that runs through these vessels in only direction- into the nodes. The nodes drain the toxins and waste from our body. About 75% of the waste drains out our left armpit. Other locations are the neck and groin area.

Trouble can occur when these lymph nodes become blocked, locking the toxins in our body. By dry brushing, we help the lymph circulate and rid the body of toxins. It's best to do this right before you sweat. And, always drink a lot of water- dehydrated people don't sweat and this can cause problems of it's own!
The best brush is an all natural bristle brush, preferably with a handle so you can easily reach your legs and back. It can be done all over the body daily, or gently on the face once or twice a week. You should always start on the left side of the body (except in the stomach region, where you follow the flow of the colon from right to left).
It sounds a little weird, and maybe painful, but it's not. And it comes with a host of benefits!
It helps to remove the dead skin cells on the surface of your body, which makes your skin feel softer and look healthier. It's said to increase energy and circulation, and even lessen the appearance of cellulite.
The act of dry brushing is calming and can help reduce stress levels. It also helps with your kidney and spleen function and digestion, because when the lymph nodes are flowing normally your body can get rid of excess water and toxins helping your organs do their jobs.
For tips on how to, please watch the video below:

You can also watch this video, but I warn you that the lady wears a bikini and shows a picture of the lymphatic drainage flow that isn't modest! But, I wanted to include it because she shows exactly how to do it as you would during your home routine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Believer's Heritage- Lorna Criss

This is the testimony of a friend of mine who is a missionary's wife in the Philippines. She is a Philipino national that I got to meet when I attended Bible School.
Psalms 107:2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
I am prompted to write my personal testimony of my conversion from Roman Catholicism to Bible Christianity, because this coming Sunday, August 7, 2016, will be my 30 years since my conversion. I feel led to write out some details, so it's going to be a little bit long. I decided to write portions of it at a time. I hope you all will be patient enough to read this. It's my prayer to all who has never been converted that the Holy Spirit of God will speak to your heart and start searching for the truth. This is how it all started.
I was born in December 6, 1968, raised here in my hometown, Borongan E. Samar. My Mom was an Elementary school teacher and my Dad was a Supervisor for a government Telecommunication. I have two older brothers and one older sister. I am the youngest of four. At an early age I was taught that the Roman Catholic is the only right religion. My parents were very religious, we attended the Mass every Sunday, did confession and communion. My parents would sponsor (hermana/hermano) a certain Catholic Saint (statue) for a month/year at a time. Oftentimes this big statues would be in our living room. I remember looking in their eyes and being very scared. Also, I remember my Mom would wake us up at 4:00am to get ready to attend a procession in town followed by a Mass.
At the age of seven, my Dad decided to work abroad on a Commercial Ship to earn more money, because my oldest brother at that time was to start College. I remember my Mom crying many days and nights thinking of my Dad being so far away. But soon after that my Mom started having some friends over (barkadas) and drinking buddies, I guess, to ease her pain of loneliness. That's when my Mom started to be very close friend with Mano Dinoy. He is a faggot (Bible word for gay or bakla) and a trusted helper at the Priest Convent. My Mom became inseparable with him. Never a day that Mano Dinoy would not come to our house or my Mom would be in the Convent just hanging out or drinking tuba (firmented coconut juice made into liquor). Then the time came that my family became very good friends with the Priests and the Bishop at that time.
The Priest Convent became my second home and the same with a lot of the Priests. On my way home from school it was nothing for me to stop by at the Convent, go to their kitchen, and if I see food on the table, I'd help myself and eat. Many a time the Priest will come to our house to take showers whenever the Convent runs out of their running water. Many a night when the Priests were locked out (certain hours in the evening the gate of the Convent was locked) they would come knocking at our door to spend the night at our house. I'll never forget this one night, a certain man came knocking at my sister's and I bedroom window upstairs, I was scared to death. I ran to my Mom's bedroom when she realized it was one of the Priest who were locked out and wanting to spend the night at our house.
I was about in sixth grade when I had this memory. My Mom, some of her co-teacher friends and Priests would have parties in our house during the evening. It would get so late at night that my sister and I will help ourselves and sleep on the couch in our living room. Note, during those times (1979-1981) there was no electricity in our whole town. We were using oil lamps. My Mom would have parties in our house and late in the evening while sleeping in the couch I'd be awakened with a sweet music in the background (battery operated machine), I'd open my eyes and would see the Priests dancing with my Mom and her friends. Then, I'd just close my eyes again and go back to sleep. During this whole time, my Dad was working abroad and would only come home once a year for a month or so, or the longest I can remember was two years of work contract before I ever saw him again. (Matthew 23:14)
Then the time came I entered High School at St. Joseph's ( later on became St. Mary's College). I was a typical teenager who enjoyed family, friends and life. Everyday in school before the class started we were to recite the Rosary (oftentimes during my first year I lead the prayer). Each student went to confession during the first week of every month, so we can take our communion every first Friday of the month Mass. During my first year in High School for some reason I became the class president. One of my responsibilities were to make sure all my classmates attended the Mass every Sunday. After attending the Sunday Mass I'd be standing outside the Church and my classmates were to approach me so I can sign their card as a proof that they attended the Mass. Back then there were no Middle School. After a person graduated from Elementary, he/she can start four years in High School, then you can start College as early as sixteen years old.
I was about third year (9th grade) in High School when I started asking myself these two important questions in life. My first question was, "I wonder what will happen to me when I die and Where will I go?" Many times I'd close my eyes and be thinking of eternity and all I can see was total darkness. My second question, I always asked myself was, "l wonder when will I can experience a real happiness in my life that will last for a long time?" Every time my Dad comes home from a year or so of working abroad, I thought, I was the happiest girl on earth! Excitement of seeing him again and anxious to see what he has brought me. Two most unforgettable things he had bought me was, a pearl ring and an electric Casio piano keyboard, as his gifts for my High School graduation. I thought to myself, this is it, I am the happiest person on earth! But in a week or so, the excitement wears off and I am back to my old self longing for something that will make me happy again.
I started thinking that the emptiness I've been feeling would be filled with my religion. So, I started getting serious attending the Mass everyday. I started having a devotion with the Lady of Perpetual Help (Mary). I bought me a scapular and I'd wear it around my neck 24 hours a day. As part of my devotion to Mary I was to attend the Mass every Wednesday and after that I'd light a candle to the statue of Mary and recite my special prayer to her (Novena-prayer booklet). But the emptiness was still there, so I joined the devotion to St. Jude. The same thing, I have to attend the Mass every Thursday, light a candle and recite my Novena prayers to him. But the emptiness was still there. Our school was being run by the Catholic Nuns. So, I joined the Mother Ignacia Del Esperito Santo club (MIDES). One obligation to that was to attend the early morning Saturday Mass and afterwards, we would have some kind of a meeting at the Nun Convent. Oftentimes, I'd get in trouble from my Mom whenever I get home, because I have chores to do (laundry, clean the yard/backyard, wax and scrub the floor etc.) that Saturday, and I am no where to be found. But because I was seriously searching for something that would fill up that void in my heart, I did not care if my Mom got mad at me.
During this whole time, the Priests where still in and out of our home. Sometimes I'd come home with my Mom late in the evening from a party at the Priest Convent. Oftentimes, I'd wait outside at the Bishop's office/bedroom door waiting for my Mom to come out, because my Mom was having some kind of counseling. Whenever I'd do a confession, I'd look first who was at the confessional booth, thinking that the Priest might recognize me and tell my Mom the sins I have been doing, so I'd lessen my sins to confess.
As I was growing up I remember those times, three times a year in particular, my parents would have a feast of food on our table. First time was during the town fiesta (Sept. 8-Birthday of Mary). The second time was Christmas Day and the third time were during New Year's Day. No Holidays, Birthdays, Anniversaries celebrated. Except when my Mom was having a party for the Priests and the Bishop in our house. Lots of food on the table and lots of expensive wine and liquor that comes with it, all paid by my Mom.
During my last year in High school, my two older brothers and my older sister were already in the big City of Manila, going to College. During this time, it was just my Mom and I at home, together with a helper. I became very close to my Mom during this time. I'd go with her all the time or we would just hang out a lot.
Then came March 1984 for my High School graduation. I remember that day, I wore my white dress, walked down the isle of the Catholic Church towards the altar where the Bishop was sitting down, knelt down in front of him, bowed our heads and kissed his hand (bless), then he will give us our so called diploma, then walk back down to my assigned seat. Each graduating student were to do the same.
Summer of 1984 (April-May), my Mom brought me to the big City (Manila) to join with my older brother and older sister in College. At this time my older brother was taking Criminology and my older sister was taking College of Dentistry. My oldest brother graduated College already and was in Commercial Ship working abroad, just like my Dad. I had in mind of taking Nursing or be like my Mom, a teacher. When my Dad saw my High School report card that my higher grades were Math, he encouraged me to take some kind of Engineering. I was accepted at National University taking up Industrial Engineering and later on I shifted to Civil Engineering. I was so busy with my school that I did not realize that I had set aside the two most important questions I had in High School. Until I was 18 years old, for the first time, my parents bought us a black and white television. In one of the TV shows, I saw a man being interviewed how he was "saved and born again." This was the very first time I heard these words. The man was saying that he was so bad in sin that he was put in jail and while he was there, someone cared enough for him and showed him from the Bible how he can be "saved and born again." Since then, the Lord had completely change his life and he was now going to a Bible School to become a preacher. After listening to that testimony, I told myself, "I am a good person, I attend Mass, I go to Confession, I have my devotion to Mary and St. Jude, I study hard, I obey my parents, so, I don't need to change to be saved and born again, that man on TV, he really needs to do that, because he was really a bad man, full of sins." I was a very self righteous, religious person at that time.
But the two questions (What will happen to me when I die? And , when will I ever experience a lasting happiness in my life?) kept ringing in my heart and mind. So, to ease my misery I looked for some kind of a Chapel at the Campus and I found one. So, every morning before I started my first class for that day, I made sure I stop by at the School Chapel to say my morning prayers for that day and I'd feel better.
I remember one afternoon, I was by the window in the third floor of our school building and when I looked down, I saw from the next block building, a group of young people were clapping their hands, singing songs, waving their hands up in the air and all the words I could hear from their singing were "Halleluiah, Praise the Lord." Then I thought to myself, maybe they have what I have been looking and longing for, because they seem very happy.
I was in third year college, studying very hard to please my parents for their sacrifices in sending me to school. One morning, an older student, Kuya Dodong, approached me and my friend Erlynda. I recognized him, because he was one of the assistants of our professor in one of our major subjects, Strength of Materials. I was told that if you don't pass this subject, you might as well change your College degree, because most likely you cannot finish Civil Engineering. So when Kuya Dodong approached us, I had the intention to befriend him, so maybe he could help me with my score test in Strength of Materials :) But his purpose in approaching us was totally different. He wanted to invite us to a Bible Study that afternoon at 2:30 held at the old Elementary school building. I found out later on that the school administration were all Catholics and would not allow any Bible study inside the Campus or else you would be expelled. So the Bible study was held in kind of a secret place. Erlynda and I attended the Bible study that afternoon with me having this attitude, ok, what can you teach me? Because I was a very good and religious person. The preacher, Kuya Bernard, started preaching the Bible, when all of a sudden all I can remember thinking, "God is Holy, God is perfect, God is pure, Heaven is Holy, Heaven is perfect, Heaven is pure!!! And here I am sitting in this chair, just the very opposite, I am not holy, I am full of sin, so imperfect, so unpure, that there is no way I can enter that Holy place, whenever I die, therefore because of all my sins the only place I'll go after I die was Hell." I remember Kuya Bernard explaining Hell, how hot it is over there and in my heart (I was in tears during this time) I told the Lord, "Lord, I don't want to go to hell, but I know I am going there, because my sins won't let me enter Heaven, because Heaven will become unholy and unpure, please, Lord do something with my life, I don't know what to do!!!" I didn't know then that it was the Holy Ghost convicting me of all my sins. All I can remember after that was, I went home and told my older sister, "Ate, I attended a Bible study this afternoon and I don't know what happened, but I feel so very happy, I feel like a big load got off my back, I don't feel the emptiness anymore, you have got to come with me and attend this Bible study!!!" At this time I didn't know that my sins were washed away, I was saved and born again, by the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!!! Praise the Lord!!! — with Bob Criss.
Another one snatched from the claws of Satan!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Got The Runs

My friend's little girl was having tummy troubles. She went to the doctor and found out that she was severely constipated. They told her to put her on laxatives to help her move thing along.
The laxatives worked a little too well and she ended up with the runs.
She didn't understand what they were and this conversation ensued:
"When you go to the bathroom and you poop you need to tell me." her mom said.
"I didn't go poop. I only went pee." she replied.
"No, you did go poop. It's just liquidy and sounds like pee. It's called having diarrhea." her mom informed her.
Later, as she and her brother were playing she got up and ran as fast as she could to the bathroom. Barely making it onto the toilet in time she yelled to her mom, "Yep! It's bacteria again!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Calvary Publishing

I would normally do a book review here, but I wanted to let everyone know about this publishing company- Calvary Publishing.
Calvary Publishing is a Baptist owned and run business that gets great old books that are no longer in print and re-publishes them. They have a wide range of topics and subject matters to chose from- biography, historical, fiction, and others. Their prices are very good.
They also will publish your books, tracts, prayer cards, postcards, banners, bulletins, bookmarks, and  more for close to cost.
Their sister companies also help those in the ministry:

  • Bearing Precious Seed prints Bibles for Missionaries to give out for free. They print in  many different languages, and will even print a Bibles in a language of your choosing if you can get them an original in the language to copy.
  • Local Church Bible Publishers will print good quality King James Bibles at cost for local churches who want to have Bibles on hand for their members and visitors.
  • And lastly, LBS Pacers (Lansing Baptist School Pacers) is a school that you can send your children to, or use as an umbrella school if you're homeschooling. They'll keep your children's records and provide them with a diploma and transcripts upon graduation. They use the ACE program.

All of these ministries are run out of a local church in Lansing, Michigan called Parker Memorial Baptist Church.  They are an old-fashioned, KJV Bible believing, Baptist Church pastored by Dr. Don Green since 1955.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Tells Of Hell (video sermon)

Here is a message from Missionary to Indonesia, George Jaggy.

God promises at the end of the Bible, in the book of Revelation, that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But, something happens before this where the Lord "cleans house".

Christ came to the earth about 2,000 years ago and he came to save sinners. He lived for sinners. He died to pay for their sins. And, He rose again. Anyone who goes to hell ends up there because they chose it.

If you could earn it why did He die? If there is no hell why send missionaries? If there is no hell why do we have preachers and evangelists? Hell is real. Salvation is real. And the choice is yours.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe

I'm always looking for good gluten free recipes. This is the best cake recipe that I have found. If you want to make it a Yellow Cake, then I suggest buying white chocolate powder off of Amazon and substituting it for the  cocoa powder.

2¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour* 
1½ cup cocoa powder, sifted 
¾ teaspoon salt 
2¼ teaspoon baking soda 
1½ teaspoon baking powder 
1½ cup unsalted butter, softened 
1¼ cup granulated sugar 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
3 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1½ cup almond milk or regular milk 
1½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powered, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla and mix again. Finally add the milk and mix one last time. The wet mixture might look a little strange at this point, but that is ok! 
2. Add the flour mixture and the Greek yogurt to the wet mixture, one half at a time alternating between the two, starting with the flour. Give the batter one last mix until everything is combined. 
3. Grease three 8 inch cake pans and equally distribute the batter into the pans. Bake cakes for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool inside the pan for ten minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. 
4. Once the cakes are cooled, transfer to a plate or cake stand and stack the cakes on top of each other, frosting in between each one. Frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing out with a knife if necessary.
 Notes *I have only made this recipe using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking flour, I'm not sure if it would turn out the same using a different gluten free flour. 

1 cup butter, softened (room temp butter works best...its easiest to get fluffy)
1 cup peanut butter
1 TB vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk


In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments.    Add the milk and vanilla and whip until very smooth and spreadable.  Store in the fridge.  Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

*these recipes are a mixture of recipes from the She Likes Food website and the Instructables website.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Two Gates, Two Ways (poem)

Two gates, two ways, two paths for all,
And all therein must go;
Each soul on earth is making choice
Of life, or endless woe.

An open gate, a broadened way,
An easy, flowery path;
And souls unwary throng therein,
But oh! It ends in wrath.

A straightened gate, a narrow way,
A path the saints have trod;
A light to guide by night and day,
And oh! It leads to God.

-D. W. Whittle

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Making Friends And Influencing People

Everyone has times when they come up against an enemy. A person that just wants to make you miserable. It's not something that new. It's been happening since  Cain and Abel. 
The world wants you to think that it's cool to take these types of people out. To humiliate them. Or, to seek revenge on them. But, that's not how God tells us to deal with them.
There's a story in the Bible that tells us how to deal with these type of people.
II Kings 6:8-10- Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
The Kings of Israel have a long list of enemies. Many times their tactics for dealing with these enemies was to go to war. This option leads to the loss of lives, destruction of families, and takes a toll on the people of the land on both sides of the battle.
The king of Syria wanted to defeat the king of Israel. He decided that he would try to send assassins to kill him. But, God didn't want the king of Israel to die yet. So, he told Elisha to warn the king about where the assassins were hiding in wait for him. He saved his life at least three times!
The king of Syria was aggravated that his assassins were found out. He thought that he might have a traitor in his midst.
II Kings 6:11-14- Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 
One of the king of Syria's men told him that it was the prophet Elisha who was the informant. He said that Elisha could hear the words that the king spoke in his bedroom! 
Is this true? Could Elisha hear what the king of Syria was saying behind closed doors? No! But, the Lord God Almighty could. It was the Lord, not Elisha, that was watching the king of Syria's moves.
You think the Lord isn't watching what's happening with you? That He doesn't see what your enemy is planning behind closed doors? He even knows how your enemy is going to react in any given situation!
But, the king of Syria blamed Elisha. He decided to send an army to circle the city that Elisha was staying in. They came with their chariots and horses during the night, and when everyone woke up in the morning the city was surrounded!
II Kings 6:15- And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 
Elisha's servant was scared! I bet the people of the city were pretty scared! But, Elisha wasn't afraid.
II Kings 6:16-17- And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 
Elisha told the servant not to be afraid because their army was bigger! Perhaps the servant looked around and saw only frightened villagers.
Elisha could see something that no one else could see. Elisha could see how God was protecting them! And, he prayed that God would let his servant see, too!
God allowed this servant to see the Spiritual army that was protecting Elisha and the city. When the servant looked out at the mountains that surrounded the city he saw an army of fire filling them.
Some times we are scared when we don't have to be. If we could see what God sees, we would know that he has a Spiritual army all around us keeping us safe. No one can hurt us unless God says they can. 
When an enemy is out to get us we think we are all alone. We can't see God's hand of protection, and so we think we need to take matters into our own hands. But, God hasn't forsaken us just because we can't see His protection.
II Kings 6:18-19- And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 
Elisha asked the Lord to blind the enemy army of Syria. Then he went out and told them that they were in the wrong place, and he led them to the capitol city of Israel.
II Kings 6:20-22- And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 
The king of Israel wanted to know if he should kill the Syrian army. That's always how it is, isn't it? God sends us the victory and we want to know if we should decimate the enemy. Those people out there in the world aren't our enemy- they're lost souls in need of salvation!
But, Elisha said that they were captives and not to kill them, but feed them and send them back to Syria.
Simple, huh? Feed the enemy the bread of life. Give him the water of life. The Lord will bless you for it.
Proverbs 25:21-22- If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
I'm sure the Syrian army was quite alarmed to find themselves inside of Samaria with the Israelite army all around. But, they weren't attacked like they expected. Instead, they were treated kindly by the ones they were to battle. They were fed and then sent home unharmed.
II Kings 6:23- And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. 
What's the best way to end a war? You may think it's killing the enemy army. But, enemies can find armies anywhere. They can get them from other lands that they conquer, or pay for them from another powerful nation. No, killing isn't the best way.
The best way to end a war is to make your enemy your friend. Elisha ended this war by turning the enemy of Israel into a friend.
How should we deal with those who seem to be out to destroy us? 
Luke 6:28- Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 
Matthew 5:44- But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Christ tells us exactly what to do- pray for them; bless them; do good to them. Why? Because sometimes we don't need to destroy the enemy. We need to convert them!