Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Christian Domestic Discipline

I know you probably are wondering what this is. A woman once asked what I thought about it, and I myself had to look it up to see what it was. Christian domestic discipline is where the husband punishes the wife for wrong doing. The woman who asked me about it was all for it, saying how wonderful it was, and quoting Scriptures to prove her point. Below is my response to this practice:

Have you looked up Chastening in a concordance? If you run the references it's always about a father and son relationship- never about a husband and wife relationship. In fact, when God chooses to chastise the world during the tribulation, he takes his bride out- RAPTURE. The bride of Christ is viewed by God as having no spot and no wrinkle (Ephesians 5:26-27) because of the blood of Christ, so there is no need for chastisement. Children need chistisement because the parent has to teach them right from wrong (Proverbs 22:6), yet when they are grown up they don't need it anymore. Hebrews 12:8-But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. He's referring to children, not marriage.I will tell you that I do know some people who practice this. The wives fear their husbands. They don't dare say anything wrong. And many of them were beaten by their husbands before they were saved, so this just justified their abusive tendencies.In Jeremiah 3 God is talking about his backsliding wife- Jeremiah 3:8- And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.  She was unfaithful and he didn't chasten her, he divorced her. Jeremiah 3:12- Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. God is a God of self control. He doesn't chasten his bride. The entire chapter is God pleading with her to put away her whoredoms and come back to him. Never does he even threaten to chastise her.There are no scriptures in the Bible supporting that men should spank their wives. There are many verses on wives submitting to their husbands, honoring their husbands, loving their husbands, obeying their husbands, etc. But the verses in the Bible about chastening are the Lord chastening us- never a husband chastening his wife.The Gentile King banished his Gentile wife in Esther- there was no mention of chastening.The Whore in Judges was sweet talked by her husband to come home- no chastening.When Michal scorned King David for dancing in front of the Lord when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, he only verbally responded to her- no chastening.There are no instances in the Bible where it tells of or even insinuates that a husband chastened his wife.Colossians 3- wives submit to your husands, husbands love your wives and be not bitterTitus 2- wives love your husbands, keep the house, love your children; husbands have one wifeI Peter 3- wives be in subjection to your own husbands, husbands honor the wife as a weaker vesselHowever, they ignore the previous verses which speaks of God as our Father. It also speaks of the Father/ Son relationship. NO WHERE IN THAT CHAPTER DOES IT MENTION HUSBANDS AND WIVES OR THEIR RELATIONSHIP. The whole idea is scripture taken out of context to build a doctrine upon.Colossians 3:19-Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. He is to love her, not get bitter because she does irrational or emotional things. Boy! I can do some stupid stuff!Ephesians 5:25-Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; He is to lay down his life for her, if needed. In fact, he is to treat her like he would treat himself- Ephesians 5:28-29- So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: So, unless he is spanking, or chastising, himself when he does his wife- he isn't being biblical.Ephesians 5- wives submit to your own husbands, husbands love your wife like Christ loved the church (be willing to die for her)- it doesn't mention chastening.We are not told to honor our children, we are to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are not to spare the rod, but also we are to get their hearts and not provoke them to wrath.Their key verse is Hebrews 12:11- Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Scripture with scripture.I Peter 3:7- Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Peter says that if your relationship with your spouse is wrong, God won't hear your prayers. He is to protect her (not beat her) as the weaker vessel.If you think I'm wrong, please, provide me scripture that says for a husband to chastise his wife. Make sure it says Husband, wife, chastise, or something similar in the verse, not father, son, child.

This conversation was over three years ago and still I have not received a response from the woman. Either she is still trying to find the verses in the Bible, or she has decided that what she wants to believe is more important that what the Bible actually says.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Believer's Heritage- Francis E. Higgins

Francis Higgins was born in Ontario, Canada on  August 19,1865 to an hotel-keeper. His father passed away when he was seven, and his mother remarried when he was nine. They then moved to the wilderness with his pioneer step-father.
He made it through the fifth grade, but had to drop out to help on his step-father's farm.
As a child, Frank wanted to grow up to be a minister. He would gather some of his school friends together and practice preaching to them. When he couldn't get a group together, he would simply stand on a stump and preach to the surrounding trees.
He knew that to be a preacher he needed to have some more education. So, at the age of 20, he enrolled in the sixth grade in Toronto, and went to school for five years to complete his Sophomore year.
He moved to Minnesota in 1890 hoping to complete his high school education. He moved in with a Methodist woman who encouraged him in his desire to become a preacher. However, after enrolling in Hamline University in 1893, the Methodist church decided that his grades were too poor to be a suitable minister.
While in Minnesota, Frank would go door to door selling soap to raise money. He also would use an axe and saw to chop firewood for the locals. Frank didn't know that this last venture would be how he would serve his Lord in the ministry.
Frank met and married Eva Lucas in October of 1895. Together, they moved to a small town called Barnum which had invited Frank to preach to their Presbyterian congregation while he studied for his ordination. This would be the door through which Frank would find God's calling on his life. Barnum was filled with farmer families and lumberjacks.
One of the lumbermen took Frank down to a logging community and introduced him to the men. He was called to preach on the spot by some of the jacks. He said that he didn't have any  notes on him. The jack replied, "It's a sorry preacher that doesn't have at least one sermon in his heart!" Frank tried to remember the sermon that he had preached the day before. He retold his sermon, "The Friend of Sinners", to the men to the best of his ability. Frank ended with a prayer for each of the men. The lumberjacks, with tears in their eyes, asked him to come preach to them again.
Miss Eva was the best woman for this man's work. Once when Frank told the boys to stop by when they were in town, Miss Eva found herself with a house-full of 30 lumberjacks. They were hospitably received by the lady of the house!
For years, Frank worked in the church in Barnum and visited the logging camps. But, in 1899 he realized God's calling on his life was to the lumberjacks.
He was contacted a dying lumberjack in a log cabin deep in the woods. The attending doctor told Frank the man might make it if he were in a hospital in Duluth. Frank, himself, took the man to the hospital, but he was told there was no hope. While praying for the dying man, the man begged him to do more for the lumberjacks. He told Frank that he had heard him preach one night while out on the river, and that he had gotten saved. The jack said that it was the first sermon he had heard in 20 years.
"Go back to the camps and tell the boys about Jesus" were the words spoken by the dying jack. These words continued to ring in Frank's ears.
A few weeks later, Frank resigned from the Barnum church. He gave up his hopes to minister in a city church and gave himself fully to the ministry of converting the lumberjacks.
Frank moved to Bemidji, one of the roughest logging communities in Minnesota, and took up the minister's position in their church. He was invited to speak to the lumberjacks by the logging camp operators, who realized that saved loggers who didn't drink or gamble worked better than unsaved ones who did. There was also opposition by the Labor activists who thought the workers needed better working conditions instead of preachers.
One of the jacks once asked him what his greatest ambition in life was, and he responded, "To pilot men to the skies." Frank preached and worked with the lumberjacks, to them he was "The sky pilot".  Frank not only came to preach, but he would stay a few days and get up, eat, and work with the jacks. He was a friend and fellow worker with whom they could relate. The lumberjacks viewed Frank as one of their own, and listened to him when he preached.
Frank would sometimes bring an organ with them and spend time singing hymns with the lumberjacks. Sometimes, Miss Eva would come and play the organ while her husband ministered. He often brought books, tracts, and Bibles for the jacks to read, and upon occasion also taught some of the men how to read. He also provided emergency transportation for the lumberjacks.
Frank would walk between logging camps in the summer, carrying everything he needed in a heavy pack on his shoulders. When Frank moved between logging camps in the winter, he started using a sled and dogs to get from place to place, and found that this helped when he needed to move an injured jack or pregnant woman to a hospital.
Lumberjacks would often go to local saloons and waste their money. The saloon owners were known for spiking the free drinks and then robbing the jacks while they were passed out. Frank would offer to hold their money for them when they went to the saloon, and when they came back the next morning he would return their money along with a stern mini-sermon.
Frank was always doing right by the lumberjacks. He would often pick up a drunk out of the gutter and take him to warm room, or go into the saloon and encourage a drunk jack to leave. He also helped the younger lumberjacks get onto trains and home for a visit with most of their earnings.
The lumberjacks were often taken advantage of. There were many who came through to rob them of their income- from the logging communities to "evangelists". Frank wanted to make sure that he wasn't associated with these. He came to the camps often and never accepted donations until the last days of the logging season. He was a sincere friend to the jacks, and they knew it!
Once, when Frank was walking with a friend of his through Duluth, his friend met an acquaintance on the street. When the man was introduced to Frank he exclaimed, "Are you Frank Higgins, the sky pilot?"
Frank told the man that he was the same, and the man said, "I have always wanted to hear you preach. I'd go any distance to hear a sermon from you."
Frank smiled, stepped off the curb, turned around and said, "Then take off your hat. You're in church." And proceeded to preach a message.
Passers-by stopped to hear the sermon from the large lumberjack. But, it was the acquaintance that never forgot it, for that was the day he accepted Christ as his Savior.
One of his better known converts was John Sornberger. John was once a prize fighter, who became a murdering drunk. Frank helped this man find Christ and clean up his life. He even advocated his pardon with the Governor.
A lumberjack asked Frank why the preachers waited for people to come to them. "There are thirty thousand men in these woods, and only about 30 of them hear a sermon a year!" There was no ministry to the lumberjacks; no one was trained for that type of work.
Frank had gotten caught out in the woods with the jacks one Sunday. He decided to have his services with them since there were plenty of elders in his church in Bemidji that could handle the services there. When he got back to the city, he found out that they waited for a few and then closed services when he didn't show. He was given an ultimatum by the elders, the church or the jacks.
"I have made a decision! This pulpit is vacant right now! A thousand men could take this church. The boys in the woods have only me."
That's how the Sky Pilot ministry started. "They're going to hear the gospel if I have to tell it to every one of them myself." Frank said.
His wife moved to a farm she owned in Delano and that became Frank's base of operations.
It was about that time that a lumberjack dying from pneumonia asked for Frank Higgins to come pray for him. Frank led the man to Christ on his death bed, and the man exclaimed, "You and Jesus are the only friends I have."
Frank knew he had to do something to reach more jacks. He started to recruit new sky-pilots from among his own converts. When the Presbyterian Home Mission wanted to start a ministry for loggers in 1902, Frank already had men ready to send on circuits to preach to the 30,000 men in different camps across Minnesota. This ministry was known as the "Parish of the Pines".
By 1909, Frank Higgins was a well known preacher. An interview with him in Harper's Magazine opened the door for Frank's ministry to move beyond Minnesota. He received invitations to preached all over the United States. He spoke to lumberjacks in the Northwest, running into men in Washington that he had known from his logging camps in Minnesota.
In 1914, Frank developed cancer in his shoulders from the heavy packs that he carried during the summers. He had multiple surgeries, but the cancer spread.
Once after one surgery, the doctor said that Frank needed a transfusion. In a few hours, eight rough lumberjacks showed up at the hospital. They said, "IF there ain't blood enough in us eight men, say the word and every man in Northern Minnesota will be on his way down here tomorrow!"
Frank realized that his days were numbered and he went on preaching as much as he could. He was constantly in pain, and he barely slept because of it, but he never complained. He had no church or organization; his congregation was built by the men of the wood.  And they picked up his mantle when his days were ended.
He passed away on January 4, 1915 back in his Canadian home at the age of 49. His body was sent to his daughter, who lived in their home near Delano, Minnesota. The funeral was held at Delano city hall on January 9th, and there he was buried.
Even after his death, the sky pilots who were trained by Higgins continued their ministry as long as there were logging communities to preach to. The sky pilots were in operation through the southern United States and the Pacific Coast up through the 1940's.
Oh, for the days when I could go back into the woods, take the boys by the hand, and call them by name. I wish I could turn back the curtain of time and do it all over again. But that I cannot do, and if I have come to the end of the trail you will have to do it for me. -Frank Higgins, Sky Pilot
Frank's life shows us that God will use anyone who is willing. The Methodist church may have deemed Frank an unworthy preacher, but the Lord had other plans for this "uneducated" man. It seems that what the Religious crowd views as unworthy the Lord uses with great power!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Last Of The Giants book review

In today's modern society of sissy boys who grow up to need "personal space", it's a breath of fresh air to remember that there was a time when real men walked among us.
In the woods of Minnesota, during the end of the 1800's, worked at rough group of men. These men were lumberjacks by trade. They were rough, tough, and pay attention to anyone who couldn't keep up with them.
It was to these men that God raised up a special type of preacher. The Apostles of the Pines who could work, live, and preach to these lumberjacks in a way that earned their respect and attention. They could use both the axe and the Bible, the saw and the Scriptures.
The Last Of The Giants by Harry Rimmer follows the lives of three of these preaching lumberjacks. Real men who stood for truth among the hostile environment that made up their congregation's lives.
If you're looking for encouragement in the Lord's service, or if you just want to remember what real men acted like, this is the book for you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Funny Happenings- How I Look

During a rather stressful time, I was really broken out with acne. I was trying to change our diet to include more veggies, and less gluten- to my husband's horror!
We were eating dinner one night, and it wasn't exactly the best meal. I had grated up some summer squash and added it to the pot to get some veggies in there. The squash hadn't fully cooked and was hard to chew.
Through the children grumbling and complaining, I stated that I ate the squash  before and it was fine. I just hadn't cooked it long enough.
My nephew looked at my very seriously and asked, "Is that why you look like that? Or, did a bunch of bugs bite you?"

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sheep And Lambs (poem)

It was a sheep- not a lamb, that strayed
In the parable Jesus told:
A grown-up sheep that had gone away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

Out in the meadows, out in the cold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought:
Back to the flock, and into the fold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd brought.

And why, for the sheep, should we earnestly long,
And so earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger, if they go wrong;
They will lead the young lambs astray.

For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray. If the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
'Til the lambs are as wrong as they.

So, with the sheep we earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today:
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
Some sheep may have to pay.

-Author Unknown

Monday, July 4, 2016

Two Men Who Argued With God (video sermon)

Did you ever find yourself arguing with God? I have, often. What does God think of this? Well, what does the Bible say?

Moses argued with God. Elijah argued with God. Jonah argued with God. We aren't the first, and we won't be the last.

Job is the best book to look at when you are researching arguments in the Bible. Everyone is arguing with everyone else in Job. Satan vs God. Job vs his friends. Elihu vs Job and his friends. Job vs God. God vs. Job. SO much arguing going on!

Job wanted a face-off with God about the things that were going on in his life. We are just like Job! We have things that go wrong, or not our way, and we want to argue with God. We are full of words when we pray and we can't see Him. But, just like Job, when we get the chance to stand before God at the Judgement Seat, we won't be able to argue at all!

This is how we will fell when we finally stand before God. But, how does God feel about us arguing with Him in prayer? Does He get angry? Does He lose patience? Does He try to understand and help us to understand?

In the New Testament, there are many cases of men arguing with God. In Matthew 3, John the Baptist argues with God. John didn't want to baptize Christ because he felt unworthy. He wasn't arguing with Christ because of some perceived wrong done to him; it came from humility.

Again, in Matthew 11, John the Baptist argues with God. This time, John was in prison and he had to send his argument to Christ through others. This time it was because of a perceived wrong. "Here I am in prison, and I want to know if you are worth it!" This is basically what John in asking.

Whether our arguments are from a sense of unworthiness or from a pit of doubt and despair, the end result always seems to be the same- when God answers we often find ourselves agreeing with Him. We find ourselves siding with God.

Another person in Matthew 16 argues with Christ. Christ is telling His disciples what is going to happen to Him- betrayal, torture, death. And, Peter, starts arguing with God about whether this was going to happen. Peter thinks he knows more than Christ. He thinks he has more knowledge and understanding than Christ.

(Peter actually argues with God a lot! He argues with Christ before following Him, while following Him, while backslidden and not following Him...)

In John 13, Peter argues with Christ again! This time it's about whether the Lord will wash his feet. First, Peter doesn't want Christ to wash his feet, and then he does a 180 and wants Christ to wash all of him. Christ has a purpose for what He is going to do- your feet will get dirty walking through this life and you need to wash them (confess your sins). Peter says, "Never!", and then when Christ tries to explain, Peter says, "Then wash all of me." Peter doesn't need all of him washed (salvation only needs accepted once!)

We are like Peter. We think we know what we need. We argue with God to make Him understand that we know what we need. But, it's when we stop and listen to Christ that we begin to understand He knows what we need. He's going to give us what we need, not what we think we need.

It's a hard lesson. It's mainly pride and unbelief.

After Peter has submitted to living for the Risen Messiah, he goes back to arguing with Christ! Acts 10- Christ is trying to show Peter something. He sends down a blanket full of things that Jews aren't suppose to eat under the law, and He tells Peter to eat it. Peter starts arguing with God, "Not so!" Peter again needs God to explain to him, "What I call clean is clean."

But, again, what does God think about us arguing with Him? Christ doesn't seem to get angry. He gently tries to get these men to understand.

And, Christ deals with us the same way. I don't see where God gets mad at us for arguing with Him. God will have longsuffering and patience with us and He takes the time to gently explain it to us. He tries to get us to understand.

It's up to us to learn to listen when God tries to explain it to us. And, we may find that like John and Peter we side with God.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Taco Lasagna recipe

2 lbs ground beef
1 chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 pack Mexican seasoning
2 cans tomato paste, plus 2 cans water
2 cans green chilies
2 cans refried beans
Flour tortillas
Shredded Cheese

Cook the ground beef with the onions and garlic.
Add the seasoning and the tomato paste and chilies.
Put a small amount of meat at the bottom of a baking dish. Layer meat like a lasagna with the flour tortillas and cheese.
Bake at 350* until the cheese is crispy on top.

Friday, July 1, 2016

My Friend's Faith

There is a story in the Bible about some really great friends. I noticed something very interesting in this story, and it made me ponder some things.
Mark 2:2-5- And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
This man was so sick that he couldn't walk. The Bible never says that the man wanted to go see Jesus to get healed. We assume that he did and that he asked his friends for help, but what if this was not the case? What if this man had given up on ever being healed?
With that thought in mind, we look at the friends. These men brought their sick friend to be healed by Jesus. As they drew near to the house, they saw that it was so crowded there would be no way to get their friend close enough to Jesus to be healed.
Now, perhaps this friend thanked them and said, "You've done enough. Thanks for trying, but it's hopeless!"
We don't know. All we know is that these were very determined, very innovative friends. They climbed onto the roof of the house that Jesus was in. They removed the materials that composed the roof so that there was a hole large enough for their friend to fit through. Then, they hoisted their sick friend up onto the roof and then down through the hole and into the room.
Do you realize how much time this would have taken? How much effort? How much care they had for their friend? This was more than "I owe you a favor". This was "I love you enough to do whatever it takes"!
Now, here's the part of the story that really got to me. When Jesus saw their faith he healed the man. It wasn't the sick man's faith or desire to be healed. It was the faith that his friends had to go through what they did to get him there to Jesus.
There are times in my Christian walk that I don't have the faith I should. There are times when it hurts too much to find words to pray. There are times when I have cried more tears that I thought I ever could. And it is in those times that I depend on my friend's faith. I depend on my friend's prayers.
1Thessalonians 5:25- Brethren, pray for us.
Paul put it so simply- pray for us. Even the Apostle who was called by the Lord Himself, who was taught by the Apostles, and worked miracles by the power of Jesus' name asked for his friends to pray for him.
There is something about a friend's prayer that helps us through the dark times. We may ask others to pray for us, but it is our friends who really stand in the gap. They are the ones who pray fervently for us. They are the ones who remember us often.
James 5:16- Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James says to confess to each other and pray one for another. Why? Because we can tell our friends what's really deep in our hearts, and we know that our true friends will stop at nothing to put our needs before the throne of God.
This sick man in Mark chapter 2 would not have been healed if it had not been for his friends.
Are you willing to bridge the gap for your friends? When Jesus looks down on their needs will it be your faith that makes Him turn and help them when they haven't the words to pray themselves?
Are you a faithful friend?