Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Financial Peace Revisited book review

I have read Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover before and I really enjoyed it. I liked the way he broke getting out of debt down into small easy to achieve steps- his baby steps. And, I was won over by the idea of an emergency fund! If I had known about that when first starting out things would have gone so much differently for us.
Thankfully, we have been trying to follow these principles and we are slowly getting out of debt. However, we have been in a financial strain before- repo on a vehicle, debt collectors calling, etc. And, I never knew how to handle them!
In his book Financial Peace Revisited, Dave goes into detail on how you deal with debt collectors. He even has some sample letters for you to copy and mail.
He's added in sections on your credit report and why it's important to check it regularly, as well as how you handle disputing an error.
There's also other really nice additions like how to opt out of those mailed prescreened offers.
If you have to choose between his two books, this is the one I recommend you choosing!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Gluten Free Sweet Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rice flour
3 TBS tapioca flour
2 TBS corn starch
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
8 TBS melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375*
Lightly grease the baking dish you are using. I prefer to bake in a deep cast iron skillet.
Combine dry ingredients.
Whisk eggs and then add to the dry ingredients along with milk, butter, and vanilla.
Pour into your baking dish.
Bake muffins 20 - 25 minutes; Bake loan or skillet 28 - 33 minutes.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

More Love To Thee, O Christ

 More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea,
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek; give what is best:
This all my prayer shall be,
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, send grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me,
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise,
This still its prayer shall be,
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

-Elizabeth Prentiss

Friday, March 1, 2019

Is The Priest Necessary?

Each religion has a priest, someone who holds the office of the holy man. It doesn't matter if you call it by another name, say monk or bishop, or elder, they're all the same.
Where did this idea of a holy man come from? Well, like all things in the Bible it was a progression of revelation from God.
When Adam and Eve were in the garden there was no need for a priest. They communicated directly with God. After they sinned, they themselves brought an offering for their sins. So, the priest in this instance was each individual.
Genesis 4:6- And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
In Genesis chapter four we see that each man who wanted to contact God would do so for himself. But, the world grew increasingly sinful, and the individuals who were turning to God and crying out to Him became a rare few.
God decided to destroy this wicked generation and begin anew. And with that it seems a new direction for the priest. Now, the head of the household would offer sacrifices and come before God, beginning with Noah.
Genesis 8:20- And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar
This continued through time for quite a while. Job and even Abraham and the patriarchs performed the duties of priest for their families.
Job 1:5- And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Genesis 22:13- And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
This didn't do away with individuals seeking after God. There were many that would go and pray to the Lord for guidance, like Rebekah did when she was pregnant and seeking answers. But, it was the head of the household that would offer the sacrifices for the family.
But, all of this changed once God revealed Himself to the Israelites in the wilderness. Now, a specific class of people, and even a lineage was chosen.
Exodus 28:1- And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.
God had a specific place where the offering should be made. A specific time that the offering should be made. And, a specific person that should make the offering.
Leviticus 16:30-34- For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Once a year, the priest would go into the Holiest of  Holies and offer a sacrifice for the sins of the nation, and their sins would be forgiven for that year. Not forgotten, or taken away, but forgiven. They would still need to come back and offer their own sin offering each time they messed up.
But, again, apostacy crept in and muddled what the Lord had intended.
Judges 17:8-10- And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.  And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.
If you read Judges 17, you'll find out that the man had a house of idols, and he wanted a priest for his worship center. So he took a young, unmarried man and made him his priest and called him "Father". I bet you thought that wasn't until after the Crucifixion.
Jeremiah 7:18- The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
I bet you thought that Mary was the Queen of Heaven. No, the Israelites were worshiping an idol that they called the Queen of Heaven about 600 years before Mary was even born.
This wasn't an isolated incidence. It happened time after time until the Lord was so sick of their idolatrous ways that he sent them into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.
II Chronicles 36:15-21- And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
These 70 years in Babylon didn't help them at all. It was suppose to turn their hearts to the Lord and cause them to search His Word for what to do. But, instead, they picked up a lot of Babylonian rituals and incorporated them into their worship.
When Christ showed up, the Levitical priesthood that existed was nothing like God intended way back in the wilderness. It looked nothing like Moses showed the Hebrew children. It was a hodge-podge of Israeli and Babylonian mashup sprinkled with traditions that they made up along the way. That's why Christ was always asking them if they had read the Scriptures!
Matthew 12:5- Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
Mark 12:10- And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
If they had read the Scriptures and believed them and tried to obey them, they would have recognized their Messiah. But, these wicked people sent Christ to the cross knowing at least that He was a prophet of God.
John 3:1-2- There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Nicodemus admitted that they knew he was a teacher come from God. But, even after they killed Him and saw the temple veil torn in two, and even after the soldiers came back and told them of the events at the tomb, they still found a way to cover it up and carry on with their ways. Why? Because they didn't want to lose their position. This had become a good paying job for them. Nothing more.
Christ's death threw a huge wrench in their job profile! Because He was the perfect sacrifice that not only afforded forgiveness of sins, but that completed and totally erased them!
Hebrews 7:26-27- For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Hebrews 9:28- So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
A perfect sacrifice offered by a perfect priest- Christ Himself! And, it was so perfect that it could forgive the sins of millenia of people! All they had to do was accept this payment.
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.
And, here's the most amazing part! We become our own individual priest. We don't need to go through someone to talk to God. We don't need to sacrifice. We simply pray.
Revelation 1:5-6- And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 4:16- Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Don't be fooled by a religion that tells you God expects you to use a mediator. The only mediator God will accept is Christ.
I Timothy 2:5- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Don't be fooled by a religion that tells you God wants you to go through someone and have a sacrifice repeated for your forgiveness. There is only one Sacrifice that God will accept.
Hebrews 9:14-15- How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
There is a price for sin. Everyone has sinned in this body, and therefore the price for that is death. Your body will one day die.
But, the soul has a choice. It can choose to pay for it's own sin by an eternity in outer darkness which is a Lake of fire. Or, it can choose to accept the payment that has already been made by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
All you have to do is acknowledge that you're a sinner. Tell God that you know that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures. And that you understand that His sacrifice is the only acceptable payment for sins. Then ask God to wash your sins in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and save your soul.
That's how simple it is.