Friday, December 23, 2011

Old Paths

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the {old paths}, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

I love this verse! I've heard so many wonderful sermons about seeking the old paths, and it has been my desire to do that. Go back, go back, because we have gone astray from the paths God would have us to walk!

Have you ever thought about what exactly the old paths are? We tend to think about the great revivals of the 1800's and early 1900's. But the old paths are older than that. Older than our grandparents and great-grandparents. Older than anything invented since the time of Jesus, yea, they are even older than that, because they were well-established before the time when He walked on the earth. Keep going back, to the time of Jeremiah, who wrote these lines. But these paths were ancient to him, too! What are the "old paths", then?

You'll get it from the context..

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Candy, sports, and eternity.

I like the Rangers. I like the Cowboys. I like them the way that I like popping a piece of candy into my mouth. It gives me brief pleasure, but it's not something I seek out every day, or make a priority, or something I rearrange my schedule for. It doesn't make me jump up and down screaming. It's not a habit that compels me to spend a lot of money or invest a lot of my time into what's here today, gone tomorrow. Wait, am I talking about candy, or sports? Hee hee, well I am talking about both.

Seems to me that many believers get so caught up in sports that they forget who they are in Christ. When they get into a game, their character seems to change, and the things that are usually important to them are suddenly forgotten. That bugs me.

I wouldn't say that there is anything wrong with enjoying sports (or any other earthly pleasure that is legal and wouldn't ruin the testimony), just that as Christians we should examine all things by the light of Scripture.

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. {1 Corinthians 6:12}

What it comes down to is this: Does this thing control me? Does it change me? Does it draw my heart away from what is eternally important, and make me dwell on things which do not really matter?

Can we imagine the man who said he pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, glued to the TV every Monday night to watch football, hollering at the referee for the bad call he made? I just can't see it.

I don't mean to imply that as believers we can't enjoy watching a game. I just wish believers would remember Whom we represent, and what our mission is during our brief lifetime. Just thinking.

Friday, October 14, 2011

To truly remember the birth of Messiah...

Some are thinking I'm getting ahead of things, blogging about the birth of the promised Messiah in mid-October. But did you know He was born right around this time? Yep, it can be calculated that His birth fell right around the Fall Feasts, likely the Feast of Trumpets or the Feast of Tabernacles. Either way, the babe was certainly not laid in the manger in the dead of winter in Bethlehem. If it were so, then the shepherds would have been notified by angels at home, which is where they would have had their sheep cozied against the cold, and not out in the fields at night.

God never commanded us to celebrate the birth of Messiah in the winter, and the Scriptures do not bear out that He was born at that time. So why DO so many celebrate the birth of the Saviour on December 25th? I will leave you to do your own research about the history of that date.

In the meantime, if you want to truly remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, NOW is the time. Don't wait for December! :o)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

In my continued efforts to replace commercial health and beauty products laden with harmful chemicals with healthy alternatives, I was thrilled when my friend Kelly gave me her recipe for homemade deodorant! Most of my life I had used a commercial deodorant until some years ago I learned how the aluminum in it can accumulate in my body and possibly put cancer and other health issues into my future!

Okay, the recipe. I did not have all of the ingredients listed in the original, but I altered it a bit and came up with this:

2 or 3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 or 4 drops GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)*
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup talcum powder** (I use baby powder, because I like the scent.)
a few drops essential oil like lavender (Optional. I omit this since I use baby powder.)

Soften the coconut oil in a small saucepan, and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix very well with a spatula, then scrape it out into a small container. I put mine into a 4" x 4" square plastic container, and once it hardens, I cut it into four squares for easy application. The soft mixture can also be put into an empty commercial deodorant container, which sounds like a really good idea! (Haven't tried it myself, yet.) Allow to harden at room-temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on the climate where you live. Now it's ready to use!

I was really surprised how effective this deodorant is. I was relieved, too, because my deodorant crystal was not working as well for me as it used to. (Probably due to hormone changes.) If you try it out, let me know how it works for you!

~.~ Good health to you and yours! ~.~

* Original recipe calls for Tea Tree Oil, which I do not have, but intend to try out some day!

** The original recipe called for corn starch instead of the talcum powder I use, but I'm trying to get away from using (modified) corn starch, too.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weddings, having babies, and eternal rewards..

I looked at some pictures of a Mormon wedding today online, and something that really struck me about it was that there were SO many children in the pictures of the extended family. Their family is large and beautiful, and children are clearly welcome. It made me think sober thoughts about how the Enemy has lied to true believers about the importance, the value, the *necessity* of children. Those who have the true Gospel have, unfortunately, bought into his lies. In fact, some of our most respected teachers and preachers actually counsel young couples to hold off having children, and then be careful to "space them out". And those are the couples who are actually planning to have any children at all.

We have forfeited God's long-term blessings in favor of short-term convenience, or so that we can have more luxuries, or the designer "one of each" kind of family. We've lost sight of the eternal, and fixed our eyes (and affections) on the temporal. How far removed we are from the godly men and women of Bible times who begged God to bless them with children, who rejoiced to see them born, who blessed young brides of the next generation with a blessing of fruitfulness!

"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways... Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table." {Psalm 128:1,3}

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." {Genesis 1:28}

"And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people." {Genesis 28:3}

"And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase." {Jeremiah 23:3}

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." {Psalm 127:3-5}

Do we believe that the fruit of the womb is His reward? Really? If we believed that, then would we be counseling young couples to prevent pregnancies? The fact is that Christians today have an unbiblical view on childbirth and family planning. We've accepted the world's philosophy on it, while other groups.. cults.. (not just Mormons) are multiplying and teaching their young their false doctrines, raising up a healthy generation of hell-bound zealots. And we look around us, bewildered at their sheer numbers, wondering how we'll ever be able to win them all to the Lord.

Well, the answer to that dilemma is right in our homes.

The fact is that YOU can't win that many people to the Lord in your lifetime. It's impossible. You will only be able to reach a limited number of people, and that's it. Meanwhile, people continue to be born, grow up without being taught the truth, and will likely, eventually, die lost. Will your influence only extend to the end of your life? Not if you have a whole passel of children, and train them up to walk in the ways of the Lord! I challenge you to do this:

1) Rethink your philosophy about childbearing and family planning. Does it line up with Scripture? Do you see large families as being abundantly blessed, or as unfortunate souls who perhaps haven't figured out "what causes that"?

2) Realize that children really are a blessing from the Lord, and treat them as such. Do not balk at the woman in your church who is "pregnant AGAIN??", and instead bless her with words of affirmation and joy. (Check out Luke 1:42!)

3) Encourage the young mother who is tired, who wonders if it's all worth it, who just had a baby and needs the support of others while she is resting. Give her the support she needs, lest she get discouraged and decide in her heart that this one's the last one, because she can't take anymore.

4) If you are married, of childbearing age, and you are physically able to have children, pray about taking your hands off the controls and allowing God to open and close the womb according to His will.

I have never heard anyone say they regret having a child, but I have heard many regrets from people who wish they would have had more. "Father, give us YOUR heart attitude about children!"

***This post is not intended to hurt those who cannot have children, nor to cause distress to those who could have, did not, and now it is too late. To those brothers and sisters, I say now is your opportunity to encourage the next generation to welcome children, and bless them with your words, your love and support!***

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Eternal, Inerrant, Inspired Word of God

I've always been taught in church to love the Bible, to read it, study it, memorize it, LIVE by it. That Jesus Himself is the WORD made flesh. To obey the Word is to obey Jesus. And to reject the Word is to reject Jesus.

...So which parts of the Word are we systematically rejecting, because of our traditions? This is something that the Holy Spirit has been working on me about for months. Is not the Word as eternal and unchanging as the Author?

Jesus said:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (as recorded in Matthew 5)

So, apparently none of the Word of God is done away with, or made obsolete. Not even the "Old Testament". Can this be read any other way?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

blog? I have a blog?

So I've got a hundred things I want to blog about, but when I sit here in front of a blank New Post screen, I freeze. I want to post something relevant, but I worry about offending someone. I want to post something funny, but wonder if it's too silly and frivolous to merit taking up cyberspace. I want to describe something about my wonderful life as a wife and mother in Guatemala, but lament that I can't post a beautiful picture to go with it because our camera is so old and does not give me quality photos. I know, they're all excuses! I need to just quit waiting for the perfect circumstances, and just blog what God lays on my heart. Grainy pictures and all. :o)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The News!

So I've been trying to work out a really creative way to make this announcement. I thought about making it cute. I thought about making it inspirational. I thought about making it funny and joyful. Because it's all those things! But since I couldn't make up my mind, I will just come out and say it.

We're expecting a baby!!!!!!! Number Eight is due in late November. Praising Father for the gift of life! :oD

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Remembering Him...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Millstones and Modesty

I remember the days when one of my little boys would streak through the livingroom after bathtime, naked and without a thought about it. As a toddler, he had no sense of modesty whatsoever, as should be expected from a little one.

Over time, he became aware of what nakedness is and started to keep himself covered up. He realized (with little help from us) the inherent shame of being naked, and actually preferred to cover his body. I thank God for it, because we learn from the Garden of Eden that it is right and proper to cover ourselves in this fallen world.

Ah, the slow awakening of a child's conscience! It is the parent's help in raising them to be God-fearing and holy (set-apart). We should never, ever violate that sense of modesty by dressing them in skimpy clothes because it's "cute" or because the weather's hot.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

That word "offend" doesn't mean what people think it means. It does not mean to cause vexation or annoyance. Here it means to entrap, scandalize, entice to sin. To offend a little one means to train him/her to sin!

Let us consider Biblical guidelines for modesty when dressing our littlest ones, too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Walking by the way..

My twelve-year-old daughter and I were driving to La Esperanza to clean the church building today, when we passed a woman standing by the car of a man who was leering at her. She was not dressed like a lady, and her laughter as we went by was garish and loud. It reminded me of a proverb about the "strange" woman, which I quoted to Jessica.

"She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house."

To which Jessica responded, agast, "Yeah, her feet are abiding about six or eight inches above the ground!"

This made me laugh. She was talking about the woman's really high-heeled shoes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Manners of Women

"From all that I had read of history and government of human life and manners, I had drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women were the most infallible barometer to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue of a nation.

"The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit and their republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtues of their women."

~John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S.

Interesting, that the moral state of a nation's women should be such an accurate measure of the state of the nation itself. Why is that?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can't afford a new baby right now?

I hear that a lot from people who use finances as a reason to use contraceptives, and it baffles me. I'm not going to get into whether it's right or wrong to delay childbearing, but honestly, are finances a real reason for it?

I guess for us, having a baby is not a huge expense. We are not ones to purchase a lot of expensive equipment for a baby. If there is something "big" that we need, we try to find it used. We shop for clothing and bedding at thrift stores, or we make it. For the first year, the child is fed mainly breastmilk, which is free. How is having a baby expensive?

And besides that, where is God in all this? Does He cease to be the Provider when a baby comes along? Is He not the Giver of life, and can He not afford the children He sends? For those who are His own, I just don't see how finances can be a feasible reason to use contraceptives. Not only does He provide necessities, but He adds many blessings to the family because of the child!

"Sorry, Lord! I can't afford to receive the blessing You would send, so I'll just turn You down this time. Thanks, anyway."

Doesn't make any sense!