Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29

Day and Night

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
Joshua 1:8

Recommended Reading
2 Timothy 3:16 - 4:2

Imagine a chef who collected cookbooks, took cooking classes, studied recipes, and developed menus—but never cooked. Are you like that when it comes to spiritual food? It's one thing to enjoy Bible study, attend Bible classes, and follow daily reading plans. But are you daily applying the Bible's lessons to your attitudes and behavior?

Joshua 1:8 gives three steps to Bible study. First, keep listening to God's Word. Keep reading it aloud. Don't let it depart from your mouth or your mind.

Second, meditate on it. Mull it over in your imagination. Think about it when you drive to work and when you sit at home. Ponder it when you lie down and when you rise up.

Third, obey it—observe to do according to all that is written in it. Then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. When we're consistently in our daily devotions, it's easier to be consistent in our daily duties.

I on Thy statutes meditate,
Though evil men deride;
Thy faithful Word is my delight,
My counselor and guide.
—The 1912 Psalter

1 Samuel 28:1 - 31:13


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

an article from

Abuse of Authority

There is a fine line between the healthy and unhealthy use of power. At any time, even the best of leaders can begin making decisions that increasingly put their own interests before the needs of others.

The misuse of authority, however, is not always subtle. History tells the stories of countless leaders who boldly acted as if their position placed them above real accountability.

Biblical examples of misused power
In Bible times, the sons of Samuel used their appointments as judges of Israel to take bribes, pervert justice, and accumulate personal wealth. Later, God’s choice for the first king of Israel, Saul, abused his power in an effort to kill the man chosen to be his successor. When David became king, he misused the authority of the throne of Israel to commit adultery with the wife of one of his officers. Then David conspired to have Bathsheba’s husband killed.

Centuries later, a little-known church leader named Diotrephes misused his position by denouncing others to elevate himself. He was so protective of his own position that he would not even welcome the apostle John into his congregation (3 John 1:9-10). We don’t know how Diotrephes publicly explained his lack of hospitality. But privately he might have assumed that all he had done for the church entitled him to unchallenged prominence in the group.

The principle and the red flags
In biblical times and now, abuse of authority involves a harmful and destructive pattern of leadership that diverts organizational power for personal use at the expense of others.

A culture of fear. Such abuse of authority thrives in a culture whose people fear one another. Leaders are afraid of losing power. Subordinates know the danger of confronting those in authority. Loyalty is emphasized to distract from what is really happening. Mutual intimidation lies just under the surface of what seems safe to talk about or question.

A culture of confusion. In church or parachurch groups, leaders sometimes use spiritual language that implies they have a private line to God. The result is that the group learns to hear the teaching or prayerful decisions of leadership as if they were listening to God. Such confusion leads to trouble.

A culture of control and exclusion. When spiritual overseers are not held accountable to fair process and well-defined checks and balances, they can impose their will in ways that go beyond their rightful sphere of control. Such leaders may remove a noncompliant person from the group, not for the sake of the organization but as a means to protect their own leadership. By threatening exclusion for noncompliance, leaders can require submission in matters that are more personal than public, more cultural than biblical, and more arbitrary than fairly reasoned. Ironically, abusive leaders often suggest that their own accountability to God places them above criticism and question, without granting the same freedom to others.

In the noise and commotion of such abuse, phrases like “touch not the Lord’s anointed” or “obey them that have the rule over you” are used, not to promote a healthy fear of the Lord but rather an unhealthy fear of men.

A better example
Jesus’ example of leadership is a corrective to such abuse of authority. In His kingdom, leaders think and act like servants. They hear the questions and cries of those who are hurting. They give others the consideration they want for themselves.

In Jesus’ kingdom, elders and deacons do not correct someone else without first working on their own faults (Luke 6:39,41-42). They remember the Lord’s words: “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

One leader’s inspired counsel
Listen to what one of Jesus’ understudies tells us. Watch for the value the apostle Peter puts on heartfelt service. Note that he wants both elders and church members to serve God not by coercion but because they desire to. Peter writes to fellow elders, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

Spiritual shepherds are not to “lord it over” the flock of God. Just as overseers, elders, and deacons are not to be pressed into service, neither are they to intimidate, shame, or compel others to serve, to give, or to follow. Even when confronting false teachers, representatives of Christ are not to be authoritarian in style, but “gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

Sooner or later, therefore, we need to realize that we don’t honor even the most trusted spiritual leaders by believing everything they say. We give them their rightful place when we weigh their words, ask important questions, and dig into the text of their message for ourselves.

The New Testament record of Acts honors the citizens of Berea precisely because they did not passively accept what they were taught by Paul and Silas. Instead, our record of the New Testament church says of the Bereans, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

The implication is clear. God does not give His leaders power and authority to control anyone, but to speak a truth that sets people free.

Father in heaven, please help us to love and reflect the leadership of Your Son. Teach us to follow Him by listening to the questions and cries of the weakest among us, while reserving strong words only for those who are using their authority at the expense of those they have been called to protect.

Father, may those of us who are in supportive roles learn to respect those who are leading, while also learning to think for ourselves. Please give us hearts that are ready to hear Your Word, eager to learn, and ready to express, by our actions, the truth and grace of Your Son.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oprah Winfrey on transgender--Article by Dr. Al Mohler-Moral Insanity

My question...does Oprah even have kids?

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004

by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Oprah Winfrey, widely cited as one of the most influential and admired women in America, showed herself to be an agent of moral insanity when she featured a program celebrating young children seeking sex-change procedures and transgender identities. In one episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the true nature of our modern sexual confusion was made clear, and the broadcast should long be remembered as one of the most frightening hours in television history.

The program, broadcast on Tuesday, Aug. 24, began with Oprah introducing the children seeking a sex change. "This is going to be a very fascinating show, OK?" Oprah began. She then introduced her first young guest: "He is an 11-year-old child. He likes skateboarding and PlayStation. He listens to rap, studies hard, gets good grades and wears those trendy baggy pants. He was also born a girl."

Oprah then moved to the broader theme of her program. "And right now according to experts, there are thousands of children who are living what appear to be very normal lives but deep inside they know something is terribly wrong or they feel that something is terribly wrong, and these children are saying that they were born in the wrong bodies. Their parents have to decide whether or not to let their children live as the opposite sex. Eleven-year-old Kayla lived for years with this secret."

According to a video broadcast on the program, Kayla was born a girl in 1992, but her mother reported that "Kayla never played with girls' toys, never played with dolls. About two years of age on, Kayla was more into dirt and bikes.... She would pick out baggy pants, boxer underwear. She didn't like girls' underpants."

At some point, Kayla saw an episode of the Oprah show and was prompted to declare that she was now a boy. She told her mother that she believed she was a boy born into a girl's body. Her mother, Angelina, responded in a way that left Oprah nodding in approval. "My first reaction was basically blowing it off. A few days later, I said, 'OK, let's find out more about it.'" As the show unfolded, the audience was told that Kayla, now "Kaden," was facing struggles at school. Early puberty presented additional challenges, so Angelina put her 11-year-old daughter on Depo-Provera. Kaden told Oprah's audience, "When I'm old enough to, I want to get testosterone and my surgery."

The next child featured on Oprah was Dylan, a boy who at age 4 declared that he wanted to become a girl. Now, a couple of years later, Dylan is even more certain that he wants to be a girl. Dylan's mom shared that this has become something of a stress point in the family. "Dylan's dad has a real hard time accepting this. He'll reprimand him." As Oprah continued the questioning, it turned out that Dylan's mom has been buying him dolls and painting his fingernails. Dylan's dad, Derek, is indeed having "a real hard time accepting this."

After a conversation with a "transgender therapist," Winfrey then confronted Derek with his refusal to go along with his son's desire for a sex change. Coming out of a commercial break, Oprah told her audience: "And as I -- I was saying to Derek during the commercial break, I was saying that this is your holiest hour. This will be your holiest hour as a parent, being able to allow your son to be himself and to love him as he is. Whatever that turns out to be, you know, that's where, where you will be challenged emotionally, spiritually and otherwise, I think."

Oprah's third young guest was Halle, a young girl who at age 6 announced that she wanted to be a boy. As Karen, the child's mother, explained, "When Halle turned 3, she said she wanted to be a boy. My husband, Eric, and I thought Halle was just a tomboy, maybe she'd grow out of this, maybe she'd just be a lesbian. Then Halle began to act out. She became verbally abusive and was extremely depressed. At one point, Halle said to me, 'I'm not meant to be here, Mama. It would be easier if I were in heaven.' Halle was 6 at the time. We started to see a therapist. She told us Halle was transgendered. When we discovered what transgendered meant, we were devastated. We felt like we were losing our little girl. Halle told us to call her Hal. When Halle turned 7, we began to let her live full time as a boy. At school, he told his friends that he had a boy's heart and a girl's body. Even though I miss my daughter, I am so lucky to see my son happy."

"Hal's" parents are very broad-minded about their child's sexual and gender exploration. Looking to the future, "Hal's" mother commented: "He knows his options. He knows about blockers and he knows about the hormones, but those are things that he absolutely has to come to terms with and he has to make those decisions. We support him whichever way he chooses to go. And we've always supported that. We've always said, you know, 'We understand you are a boy inside. You feel like a boy, but if you ever change your mind, you just tell us and we will support you,' because we don't want him to feel like he's got to be one way or the other."

After all this, Winfrey celebrated what she called an "evolution" in social tolerance and cultural acceptance of the idea of a sex change, even among children. "I have seen such a change in the way parents parent, you know," Oprah declared, "even in the years that we've been here, 18 years, seeing such a -- a difference -- this generation, your generation, is so much more open to accepting children as they are instead of trying to -- forcing whatever your own idea was."

This isn't "evolution," this is insanity. Oprah and her guests were involved in an absurd and horrific exercise in moral insanity. What culture can survive such a rebellion against the moral order? What devastation and destruction will be brought into the lives of young children before some level of sanity is re-established?

The ideology of the homosexual movement has been subverting the reality of gender for decades. The very fact that human beings are created as male and female flies in the face of the utter rebellion against and rejection of the moral order that stands at the very center of the homosexual agenda.

Instead of helping these young children to grow into maturity as the boys and girls they were meant to be, growing into womanhood and manhood with the assistance and moral direction of parents and other authorities in society, these children are encouraged to "explore" their gender and sexuality in order to determine who they really are. The very idea that we "discover" our gender as a matter of interiority is itself an act of aggression against the moral order and a demonstration of human arrogance against the divine design of creation.

The postmodern enablers of the homosexual movement and its transgender wing have convinced the cultural elite that gender is merely a matter of social construction and biological accident. Sexual and gender "identity," we are now told, is simply a matter of coming to terms with the self and its own orientation. Gender is now a plastic reality, moldable and changeable throughout one's lifetime.

Oprah, joining the insanity as an agent of moral revolution, brought on a guest introduced as a gender therapist to clarify the issues. Explaining Dylan's situation to his father, therapist Jana Ekdahl told Derek, "Dylan feels that he's in the wrong body. Dylan wants to be a little girl. And there's really nothing that you can do to change that nor is there anything that you've done to cause that. Frequently parents, especially mothers, feel that they've done something to cause it, but that's just not true."

Oprah Winfrey, ever the scientific expert, asked, "It occurs in the womb, does it not?" Ekdahl responded with assurance that gender orientation "does occur in the womb." She went on to suggest, "The research so -- so far shows that it occurs in the first trimester." As she explained, "Something happens, whereas the brain develops in one direction and the body develops in another. For instance, for Dylan, it might be that his body was developing as a boy, whereas his brain was developing as a girl. Then he comes out, and he looks like a boy. So it's much easier to change the body. We can't change the brain."

But this isn't medicine at all -- it's more like therapeutic voodoo. Jana L. Ekdahl, the therapist featured on the Oprah program is, according to her own website, a psychotherapist who "welcomes the transgender population." As she explains, "The youth of today are indeed our future. I have had the rare privilege of meeting and working with gender-variant youth. They are changing the face of gender for us all. I sometimes view them as archetypal warriors on the cutting edge of that space between the two polarities that we hold onto so tightly. Perhaps it would serve us all to go to that place ... that special space between genders ... and see what we find there."

What we find there is an absolute moral meltdown. The very notion that we should see young children suffering this level of sexual confusion as "archetypal warriors on the cutting edge" of gender development is insidious, tragic, and should be scandalous. Ms. Ekdahl's agenda is made clear when she suggests that it would "serve us all to go to that place."

Oprah interviewed Ms. Ekdahl as if she represented the medical establishment, but her own website identifies her education as including baccalaureate and master's degrees in psychology, and certification from the State of Washington as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Sexual Minority Specialist -- whatever that is. As she shares with her perspective clients, "I embrace the philosophy of Carl Jung and Depth Psychology. The union of East and West is essential to my work, as I have studied to learn about the modalities of each. Buddhist thought and Native American spirituality are interwoven into the fabric of my psyche. I have access to this wisdom to share with my clients, either directly or otherwise."

Is this where we are headed? Oprah Winfrey did not merely feature the subject of children struggling with their identities, she chided the parents who would not go along with this "evolution" in moral consciousness and, as she warned one parent, "And what do you think will happen if you remain as closed as you are? What damage will be done by you not opening up to who he really is?"

In reality, that father was the only adult to appear on that program with the slightest degree of common sense and moral wisdom. Yet, he was the one blamed for wanting to limit his child's self-exploration and gender transformation.

America learned a lot from Oprah’s sex-change program. We learned that we are in much deeper trouble than most Americans could ever have conceived. We learned that the moral revolution pushing a complete transformation of the sexual order has now progressed to the point that our children are being told they should explore their gender identity and, if inclined to do so, change genders. We also learned that Oprah Winfrey has taken sides in this revolution. After this show, there can remain little doubt that she is an agent of moral insanity.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Oprah says there are many ways to God...WRONG OPRAH

To read more click HERE.

my favorite web sites

Monday, March 26, 2007

Video from this past weekends Living Proof Live Event

Psalm 71:9
9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

This weekend Morgan and I went to visit Rod's mom in the hospital. My daughter already has her mothers sanguine personality and she loves to socialize. She decided (at 21 months old) that she was going to be a candy striper at the hospital and go visit patients. Not really...but she walked down the halls and tried to go in the patients rooms. If you have a 2 yr old (or close to it) you understand how active they are and trying to contain them is near to impossible without you going crazy. She walked by this older lady's room and the woman began to scream out to me. In my head I was like "Morgan what did you just get us in to?" She was begging me to come into her room. So of course I went. Her face was disfigured and she was smelly and unkempt. I could barely make out what she was saying. She was crying for me to hold her. So I took her hand in mine and held her. Morgans hand was in my other hand and she just stood and stared. I wondered where her family was, what was wrong with her, what had her life been like? She was so desperate just to be touched. It broke my heart to think she was crying out just to be held. She was also suffering from a nasty infection so I called the nurse in to try to get her some help since she couldn't communicate very well.
I thought about how much I take for granted...the simple things like a hug. I also thought about all of the times when my heavenly Father has wrapped His loving arms around me to hold me and comfort quiet me with His love. The nurses soon came in and due to all of the HIPPA laws I am sure they wondered what in the world I was doing in this womans room. I didn't get to talk to her about Jesus but I got to go in and hold this womans hand and give her the touch of Jesus. Sometimes it isn't our words but our actions. Then as I left I prayed Psalm 71:9 that the Lord would not cast me off when I am old; that He would not forsake me when my strength is gone. That is just like me to worry about how old I am and in what condition I will be in before He calls me home.
This made me think of all of the people that are in our daily paths that need even a touch. Let's open our eyes and pray for opportunities and not get too focused on "earthly things" that we can't see the simple needs around us. Also, I am about to speak to myself loudly here...Let's quit worrying about the germs that might be involved in getting our hands dirty to serve.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Walk what you talk!

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I was studying tonight and I began to get extremely frustrated at some of the tasks before me. I began to hit the forward button on my online courses to view what was up ahead. I then began to freak out to put it nicely. I could feel my body tensing up as I stressed out about how much I had to do with such little time. Then my computer went off line and I decided to go cook dinner. It is so like me to get ahead of myself and get completely overwhelmed before I ever get to the point that I need to be. Instead of taking each thing as it comes I want to jump ahead to add a little worry to my life :). I think that is part of why the Lord gives us new days where His mercies are new every morning. If we knew everything that was to come in advance it would kill us. Rod tells me all of the time that I am impatient. It is true and I will confess that. It is part of me wanting to have control...the control that I so often have to relinquish to the Lord and acknowledge His control. He is ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING, AND ALMIGHTY...HE IS IN CONTROL! Anyway, if I am reading a Christian fiction novel I will go so far as to read the last few pages of the book to make sure it is going to end the way that I want it to or I will not read it. What if we could do that in life? We would miss out on opportunities to love if we knew we would get hurt. Can you imagine the cold, calloused people we would become if we knew it all in advance and did not walk by faith with the Lord. I think we would stop living and most of all loving. I was just thinking about a family that lost 2 young children...can you imagine if they had known that in advance? Would they have guarded their hearts to make sure they did not love and then get hurt with that devastating loss? What a shame for us to not live or love based on the worry of the pain it will cause us. I was just reminded of all of this as I frustrated myself with focusing on what was ahead...when I needed to be taking it one lesson at a time. Will I ever learn?
I went up stairs and it was if I could sense the Lord in my Spirit urging me to walk what I talk. One sure way for me to relieve stress is to praise. I went in my room, turned on a praise cd, sang, and lifted my hands in worship. It changed me in the time spent with the Lord and renewed me to remind me to keep taking it one minute at a time. He will prove to be my strong support.

Matthew 6:25-34
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Don't put your trust in man!

Jeremiah 17:5-10

5 This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

10 "I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Presidential Choices

I have to be honest I get a little nervous when election years begin to roll around and the candidates are announced. As a Christian I am going to vote for the person most in line with my views of faith and etc. I turned on the television (while I have been studying to the point of getting tendonitis) to "Larry King Live" to catch up on what is going on in the world. I soon found myself talking to the television while he was interviewing one of the presidential candidates...
I began to get worked up when the Holy Spirit reminded me of these verses:

Daniel 2:19-23
19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven
20 and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. (emphasis mine)
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king."

I am going to now calm down and trust in the Lord's providence. He is not limited by time...He is already there in 2008 and nothing slips through His hands that He doesn't allow. Just had to take a break from studying...

Friday, March 16, 2007

fearfully and wonderfully made

I was studying the eye in my MT courses and I read this little bit of info (we are fearfully and wonderfully made for sure! Psalm 139):
The innermost layer of the eye is called the retina. This is a sheet of light-sensitive nerve cells which contains cones and rods. Each eye has approximately 100 million rods which respond to dim light for black-and-white vision and 7 million cones which act as perceptors and respond to colors in daylight. There are no cones or rods located at the point of attachment of the optic nerve. This area is technically a "blind spot" and is called the optic disc.

I just think it is so incredible that there can be 100 million rods in such a small part of the body!

March 14, 2007

1 Corinthians 10:12

It is a curious fact that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith--I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent love," says another. "I can stand; there is no danger of my going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountainhead or else the stream will soon be dry. If a continuous supply of oil does not come to the lamp, even though it may burn brightly today, it will smoke tomorrow, and noxious will be its scent. Pay attention that you do not glory in your graces, but let all your glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only in this way can you be kept from falling. Be much more diligent in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be full of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls. Live in such a way that men may recognize that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, "Come up higher," may it be your happiness to hear Him say, "You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and henceforth there is laid up for you the crown of righteousness that doesn't fade." Keep on, Christian, with care and caution! Go on, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, "Uphold me according to Your promise."1 He alone is able "to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy."2
1Psalm 119:116 2Jude 1:24

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Just What The Doctor Ordered!

I read this this morning and it cut like a knife to my heart...dividing soul and spirit bone and marrow:

I hope I can type it out before Morgan starts freaking...

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:10

Ever wonder if you can press on? Life is difficult, and we often feel like saying, in the words of the old musical "Stop the world--I want to get off!" It's hard to bear up under chronic pain, to keep going against constant opposition, and to remain joyful in cheerless surrounding. Within ourselves, we haven't sufficient courage or morale.
But we can be strong in the Lord. When our strength is gone, His is ready to be tapped. We can give Him our burdens, trust Him with our hurts, tell Him our cares, and claim the promises of His Word. As J.B. Phillips put it in his paraphrase of Ephesians 6:10: "Be strong-not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource."
Commentator Matthew Henry says about this verse: "We have no sufficient strength of our own. Our natural courage is as perfect cowardice, and our natural strength as perfect weakness; but all our sufficiency is of God. In His strength we must go forth and go on."
Focus your mind today on the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. Tell Him you feel weak, but don't dwell on that. Don't dwell on your problems either. Dwell on Christ. Let Him be your strength and solution today.

by: David Jeremiah

Monday, March 12, 2007

putting aside the fake

Proverbs 12:9
9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

Morgan is at my side wearing me out wanting me to pour water into her tea set cups. Last night we popped her up her favorite...kettle corn. Her daddy gave her the bowl and she carefully carried it in the living room (yes we let her eat in the living room). She then got her tea set plates and put some popcorn on them (I think Jesus was dining with her and we just couldn't see Him). What I like about her serving her up some popcorn and water is that most of the time when you have a "tea party" you pretend to eat and drink but you don't really do it. What I love about Morgan is that she is like "hey these are plates and cups so why pretend when I can have the real thing. That speaks volumes to me and I thank God for the little things that I can learn from her.
Anyway, if you know will know that I have never been one for pretending or pretense. I don't believe in "fake it until you make it Christianity". As Christians we will never be perfect but we can experience victory. It will have to be intentional though. This morning I drew out a figure of myself (itwas awful since I can't draw, but I am a VERY visual learner). I drew my mind, eyes, ears, heart, and etc. I then labeled each area of weakness or struggle since those are the areas that I am prone to fall in or areas that the enemy is going to attack me with. I sensed this morning that the Lord wanted me to make some "resolves" and when I say that I mean that He wants me to cooperate diligently with Him in some areas of starving the flesh by resolving that even though something is permissible for me doesn't mean that it is beneficial for me. (1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"-- but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"-- but I will not be mastered by anything.) I felt Him nudging me to sit down and make a battle plan so I can walk and not continually be hindered by my own sin.
If I am going to be victorious in this present age it will require full cooperation with the Lord and His word. It will require "dailiness" and a deliberation to live in the "Spirit" and not go with the currant. I have been experiencing some defeat in my life by trying to live off of yesterday's victory instead of going on with the Lord each new day. I have experienced defeat by ceasing to cooperate thinking that my victory won't demand my all since I have worked so hard with Jesus in the past. WRONG! His mercies are new every morning and I have to accept His forgiveness for things that have past and go on with Him each day.
Remember these words to Cain: Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Integrity is being part hidden or covered so it will take us daily coming to Him for Him to fill our cup! Lets not be like the Pharisee's in Luke 11 who were concerned about people pleasing and how they looked on the outside. Jesus told them them that on the outside they looked like white washed tombs but on the inside they were dead they were full of dry desolate bones. Jesus knew their hearts. I want Jesus to be able to entrust Himself to me (like in John 2) because I am fully His.

John 2:24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.
25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

Alright she is wearing me out to fill her cup!

love jenny

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Minding your business

1 Peter 4:14-15

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.

We have all heard that children learn best by repetition. Well, that is the way God always works with me. He gives me a verse once and then I get it through sermons, a friend, or Bible study about three times. I always know when He gives it to me a couple of times that He is really wanting to drive a point home to my heart. Well, this week I have been “getting” 1 Peter 4. I was reading a sermon a couple of nights ago about having a memory that “shuns evil” and breaks sins grip. The sermon was very lengthy so I will give you a brief synopsis. It was explaining 1 Peter 4 and how through our sufferings and learning from our past sins that we are able to “arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” Don’t we all want to be done with sin and live for the will of God? I do…but like Paul speaks of in Romans 7 we will constantly have the struggle with our sin nature verses our Spirit man. They are in constant opposition to one another. Buddy preached on persecution last night and suffering for Christ’s sake. As I heard the word last night there is one thing really stood out to me…what about the times when we think we are suffering because of being a Christian but truthfully we are suffering because of our own disobedience to God’s word?? In some way we have hardened our heart and it (heart) has become calloused and rebellious to God’s words over a specific area and we put our hands over our ears and by our actions we deny the truth…and we suffer the consequences. It is so easy at times to blame everything on the enemy or spiritual warfare and maybe even persecution but in reality we are suffering due to our own willful disobedience (Can I get a witness). Then I came to verses 14 and 15: vs. 15 says this: “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler (emphasis mine).” I really want to focus in on the word meddler. I think particularly as women this is one we are prone to: meddling. The Greek word for meddler here is Allotriepiskopos. I really want to spend a few minutes expounding upon this word here so I am going to give you the definition for it out of the lexical aids.

“superintendent, overseer, inspector. Meddler, intermeddler, snoop, busybody. The word designates someone who interferes in other people’s business or concerns, one who arrogates the authority to correct others without invitation. It denotes more than just a nosy neighbor, but someone who attempts to dictate behavior, usurp control, one who sets about with much fuss to tell others how they ought to conduct matters, a moral crusader. Such a person is officious, a pesky, picky, carping, and complaining individual who acts as another’s “boss.” Unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of others, be it personal, communal, or political, makes one an allotriepiskopos (1 Peter 4:15). Some scholars have attributed more sinister and nefarious meanings to this word: thief, embezzler, pilferer (one who illicitly acquires control of another’s goods); revolutionist, insurrectionist (one who attempts to gain political power through revolution), spy, tattler, snitch, (one who secretly watches over other matters and reports what he sees), voyeur, Peeping Tom, eavesdropper (one who watches others in secret for perverse reasons). However, the phrase in 1 Peter 4:15, “or even as,” indicates something less than criminal activity, and therefore probably denotes one who is a social nuisance.”

Okay, guilty as charged! I can find where I have missed the mark in this definition of “meddler.” Recently, I got involved in a situation with my extended family where I thought I was trying to help and the end result was me causing a lot of drama. The Lord really called me to the carpet to stay out of certain things even in my family. I am not saying to not carefully watch over what goes on in your home Proverbs 31:27 says “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” We are to rear our children, see what they are watching, looking at on the internet and etc…so I am not talking about turning a blind eye.

I think in ministry, family (especially family), friendships, and work that there should be a very fine line when it comes to meddling. I think you would agree with me that there is a place for biblical accountability and what Galatians 6:1 speaks of when a brother or sister is caught in sin that you who are spiritual should restore he/she gently. Which will obviously involve getting in the middle of something…but I am just saying that we need to stay in check with scripture with our motives and see to it that what we think is helping is not controlling or meddling (I am speaking to myself here to). If we see another caught in sin and we examine ourselves and out of concern for our brother and duty for Christ we should gently go and try to help our brother or sister, but always for the purpose of restoration. I just think that as women (or mean) it is easy for us to feed off of gossip and tabloids (who do you think buys all of the magazines that are filled with nothing but gossip…what about soap operas and etc?). God created us to be relational beings. Case in point look at the rise of reality television…we love good drama and getting into peoples business. Let’s take scripture from what we know to our hearts and mind our own business. Let’s keep our relationships centered on Jesus and ask Him to cut down anything that does not bare fruit for His name and His renown. Especially as leaders, when people confide in us, let’s take all of what is confided in us to the throne where we can intercede on behalf of others to the One who can move mountains at His very word. People desperately need to trust others and see leadership that goes before them. I know personally I have reaped what I have sown from getting involved in things that are none of my business, think about how much time we consume with all of that. So, today let God be God and let’s get on with His word and not suffer for just being plain disobedient.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

Father God, it is my prayer that we would work hard for your name and your glory at living according to your word. Help us to be about your business and purposes. I pray that you would give each leader passion and hunger for your word. God that like Jer 15:16 says your words were found and I ate them…that we would come to you and feast on your word. That we would desire Your word and time with you more than the trash that is put on our table from the world. Let us resolve like Daniel not to defile ourselves. God help us to live godly lives, lives that matter, with purpose, humility, love and passion. Let us serve you and love each other deeply. God please pour out your spirit on each one of us without measure and I beg you to touch the lives of those who will come to Bible study. Help us to lead them to the well that won’t run dry. In Your Most Holy Name…Jesus…Amen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Eat your food Tina!

Feed Your Soul
By James MacDonald

People often ask me if I have a life verse.

If I do, it is Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” It’s kind of my testimony. I was going nowhere in a hurry and I found this book God wrote and began to feast on it like a soldier devouring his last meal. When the Word of God is absent from my life my heart is hungry. When I feast on the Bread of Life, my heart overflows with joy.

I experience that reality of Scripture’s power on a weekly basis. Every weekend at our church, I see the truth penetrate people’s hearts, grip their minds, move their emotions, and, best of all, engage their wills toward permanent change. Not only is God’s Word the tool of our conversion, it is also the tool of our transformation. It confronts us and convicts us about our true need.

I can personally testify to the power of God’s truth when I’ve invited it to penetrate my heart, driving indifference and complacency from my soul. Long before I proclaim God’s Word in our church service, I sit alone in my study with His Word and invite God to change me, to grip me with the reality that He is speaking. I ask Him to fill my heart with faith as I focus on His words and to accomplish His purpose in me as Isaiah 55:10 promises. A long time ago I heard someone say, “you can’t teach what you don’t know and you can’t lead where you don’t go.” God is faithful to His Word and we who place ourselves in the flow of that unceasing work are the continual benefactors.

You want that kind of joy for yourself, don’t you? Here’s three ways you can feed your soul on God’s Word:

READ IT: So that you don’t miss the power of what you are reading, savor God’s Word like you would your favorite dessert—take a bite or two, then put your spoon down. Don’t rush. If you read it for twelve minutes each day, or one and a half hours per week, you could finish reading the Bible in a year, and you will be so incredibly blessed you will want to start all over again the next year.

As for where to start, begin in the gospel of John. Read it slowly and every time you see the word believe, underline it and ask yourself: Believe what? Be interactive like this with every book of the Bible. Pray before you begin reading each time. Ask the Lord to open your mind and heart to His truth and then believe that He will.

QUESTION IT: Here are some prompts I use; over time, you can develop your own. What portion of my reading stands out to me? Why? • Is there an example for me to follow? • Is there an error for me to avoid? • Is there a duty for me to perform? • Is there any promise for me to claim? • Is there a sin for me to confess?

PLAN IT: Keep your commitment to God’s Word going by making a plan how you can apply what you’re learning. Take notes; when the Spirit convicts you of a sin, have a strategy to deal with it. The results will amaze you.

I have never in my life picked up the Word of God with the phone unplugged and the door shut and given it my focus and my faith in a diligent way when it hasn’t fed me with a new spiritual vitality.

So if you’re feeling a little spiritually famished today, I know what’s going on. You need to get back into the Word of God. In its pages, God has provided all that is sufficient for godly living:

  • When you read God’s Word it will bring you joy. (Jeremiah 15:16)
  • When you study God’s Word, it will keep you from shame. (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • When you memorize God’s Word, it will purify your heart. (Psalm 119:11)
  • When you quote God’s Word, it will defeat your enemies. (Ephesians 6:10, 17)
  • When you meditate on God’s Word, it will bring you success. (Joshua 1:8)
  • When you abide in God’s Word, it will give you confidence. (John 15:7)

Ask God to renew your appetite for the book He wrote. It will take discipline to get into a daily pattern, but pure delight will keep you there. Ask yourself, “Is God’s Word a priority in my life?” Even though I’m extremely committed to the Bible, I always have to come back to that question and never let anything crowd the priority of Scripture out in my life. I need to read it, I need to study it, I need to memorize it, I need to meditate upon it. It’s not enough to just talk about it at church. If you’re struggling or worried or don’t know how to get victory over some temptation, get back into God’s Word. It’s food for your soul and the tool by which God will accomplish His work in you.

Isa 61:10-11
10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Isaiah 26:3-4; 8-9

3 You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

4 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, [a]
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.

9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Lately I have noticed that I have not been as diligent as I once was in certain areas. I guess you could call it lazy. Maybe you could say I have made allowances for certain things that I dont need to make allowances for: a loose tongue, listening to long, not working as diligently as I should, and a whole host of other things. I have been studying 1 Peter 4 and just struggling with the sin nature and wanting to be free from sin. I have been extremely discontent with where I am in my walk with the LORD. I have not been as focused as I need to be and I am begging Him to come afresh to me today and renew me. This week He has been giving me these verses and I have been reminded that when we let our guard down and aren't taking heed to His word and prayer we give the flesh and the enemy an open invitation into our walls of fortification. It is so easy to let your guard down...let it down a little more...and then a little compromise leads to sin overtaking you. So the Lord is calling each of us today to wake up from our sleep. When I think of waking up, I think of being sober minded...pushing back the clouds of confusion that have blocked our view of Christ. Remove whatever it is in your life that is causing spiritual blindness or callousness of heart. Get on your face, cry out to Jesus for clean hands and a pure heart. He is so faithful when we confess to forgive us and cleanse us and renew our passion for Him. Put the phone down, turn the tv off, get off of the computer, get out of the mall, whatever is distracting you....get your eyes back on Him.

Matthew 26:41
41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

The word for watch in the greek is: gregoreuo {gray-gor-yoo'-o}
Meaning: 1) to watch 2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active 2a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

Take heed to his words that apply just as much to us today (especially us in the time of constant distraction and temptation to compromise) as they did to is disciples then.

Ephesians 5:13-17
13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
15 Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Here is another reminder I got from the Lord regarding this today:

March 5, 2007

1 Thessalonians 5:6

There are many ways of encouraging the Christian to stay awake. First, let me strongly advise Christians to talk to each other about the ways of the Lord. In Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Christian and Hopeful, on their journey to the Celestial City, said to themselves, "To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse." Christian inquired, "Brother, where shall we begin?" And Hopeful answered, "Where God began with us." Then Christian sang this song:
When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise, Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
Saints' fellowship, if it be managed well, Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell. Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone are very liable to grow drowsy. Keep Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress on the road to heaven. But as you enjoy fellowship with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your conversation is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking to Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and you will not sleep. Work hard to impress yourself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which you are going. If you remember that you are going to heaven, you will not sleep on the road. If you think that hell is behind you, and the devil pursuing you, you will not loiter. Would the innocent sleep with the enemy in pursuit and the city of refuge before him? Christian, will you sleep while the pearly gates are open--the songs of angels waiting for you to join them--a crown of gold ready for your brow? Ah, no! In holy fellowship continue to watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

From John MacArthurs Website

The Furnace of Affliction

March 3, 2007

Isaiah 48:10

Comfort yourself, tried believer, with this thought: God says, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" [KJV]. Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not a protective shield, against which the heat has no power? Let affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty, you may stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude, but I have balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that He has "chosen" me. If, believer, you require still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sits by your side One whom you have not seen, but whom you love; and often when you do not know it, He comforts you in your affliction and softens the place of rest. You are in poverty; but in your lovely house the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit you. Your friend sticks closely to you. You cannot see Him, but you may feel the pressure of His hands. Do you not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God."1 Remember that noble speech of Caesar: "Fear not, you carry Caesar and all his fortune." Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with you. In all your difficult trials, His presence is both your comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. "Fear not, for I am with you" is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in the "furnace of affliction." Will you not, then, take hold of Christ and say-- Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead, I'll follow where He goes.
1Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, March 1, 2007

From James MacDonalds Blog

February 28, 2007

Jesus/Mary's Tomb Found? Yeah Right!

Posted by James MacDonald at 06:55 AM | | Comments (3)

Will we never tire of the sordid and sensational? People are sadly so susceptible to the sizzle and the 'sell.' That's why I'm mildly irritated by all this talk in the media about Discovery Channel's featured documentary THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS where they try to make the case that the 2000-year-old Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth.

Here are five quick reasons this is: ummmmmm, the word I'm looking for is . . . ummmmmmm, ahhhh, I know it's not S?????, it's ummmm, not very smart!

1) Jesus is alive, haven't you heard? The tomb is empty, the disciples died as martyr's for the gospel, even suffering painful deaths without recanting their claims of having been eyewitnesses to the resurrection. I kinda doubt they did that with an awareness of Jesus' cemetery location in the back of their mind.

2) Are we to believe that all stories of changed lives, all sermons, all answered prayers, all reported comfort in affliction, all miracles of all kinds--ALL of it is made up for 2000 years? Now that's hard for me to believe, but that is what you're asserting if you say we found Jesus' bones in a box.

3) I called this guy Josh (Joshua is the OT equivalent of Jesus) at my church to ask him what he thought. He's a lawyer and pretty smart so I thought he could help me. Anyway he wasn't there but his wife Mary answered the phone. She's a doctor, too sweet to debate this issue, but we did have a discussion of the statistical probability of another couple having the two most common names of that day. I love Josh and Mary. :)

4) These bone boxes were discovered 20 years ago. Why didn't we hear about the proof that Jesus was 'just a man,' back then? Ahhhhh, I've wasted 20 years, I didn't know . . . Or more likely our steady slide into secularism and shameless marketing technique has reached an all time low. It's not that they found more evidence, it's that after 20 years of boredom with this supposed 'discovery' someone discovered a level of integrity that allows them to feel good making money this way.

5) I'm gonna save my best argument for Easter Sunday, only a few weeks away now. But rest assured, this has not rocked me. Not even a little bit. Not even as much as my rocking chair, where I hope to be sitting reading my Bible when this happens:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:11-16)

I think Jesus will have a lot to say to those guys who fabricated stuff about Him being dead and all. I think I'll let Him do the talking. If you are still struggling with this, there are a lot of links you can follow on Matthew's blog on this site.

Then if this is still bothering you, contact Matt Westerholm at our church maybe he can have you over for dinner to discuss evidence for the resurrection with he and his wife Lisa, and his brother Joshua, and his sister-in-law, Mary (all very uncommon names). Yeah right!