Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where'd the study go?

Hey, everyone! My apologies for falling behind on the Biblical Motherhood Study. My brand new hard drive crashed again and turns out that the NEW hard drive I bought was a bad one. Seriously?! What are the odds of that happening?

But, I can totally tell the difference this time between the new (bad) hard drive and the new (good) hard drive. Not all the files would load on the bad hard drive, even with the disk – in fact, quite a few of the important drives/files wouldn't load, only I didn't know that. I just knew that the back ground, start/programs area, everything looked different.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your information backed up! (CARBONITE!) I almost lost all of my pictures of Emily from birth. I DID lose a whole lot of documents, well they're not lost but it will cost several hundred to get those and the current pics of Em and most of the pics of Nate off of the original hard drive – that went KAPUT after only 2 years. Thankfully I did have several pics of Nate and Em on either Facebook or MySpace (really happy now I never cancelled my MySpace account last year!) that I was able to copy over and I do have the pics of Em since literally birth saved on a flash drive that I'd forgotten I'd had them saved on there. So, got my new hard drive up and running Monday night and trying to re-load everything is a real pain in the patootie – plus Nate and I have been sick. The molds are beyond off the charts here in Austin and both of us have been running fevers and feeling miserable in general and now I have a sinus infection and the start of an upper respiratory infection.

Nate got his two bottom teeth in last weekend and the top two are going to pop through any day! He's a relatively happy baby, but this has him down in the dumps a bit. Still happy, but more quiet and observational instead of participatory and he's actually fussy on occasion instead of never being fussy. My poor baby!

We got Emily back early on Monday night b/c apparently her dad's baby mama had their baby a month early and with complications, etc. she's recovering and the baby had to go back in the hospital and it was just "too much" for Em's dad to handle. This is the 3rd child they have together since he got her pregnant while we were still married. His 5th child altogether out of 3 different mothers. Someone needs to be fixed. Just sayin'.

I'm beyond thrilled to get my baby girl back early! She is the light of my life and the joy in my heart. When she was a baby I felt a bit removed from her b/c her dad was all, "MY baby!" and really didn't leave much of the parenting for me and when I tried he would start to push me out of the way so I never really got that mommy/baby bond with her even though I craved it. I can remember him telling me how he couldn't wait to have another baby with me so that way he could teach Emily and the new baby to gang up on me with him and show me how much they hated me just like he did. He said this within earshot of my mom.

Why did I put up with that unbelievably spectacular brand of BS for sooooo long?

Emily and I are closer than probably most moms and daughters are these days. When I kicked her dad out and finally divorced him I got to know my amazing and wonderful daughter the way I always wanted to. She is kind, compassionate, generous, sweet, honest, Godly on top of having a real heart for God, respectful, a real helper, loyal to a fault, creative, fun, witty and super intelligent. She's so many other things that it would take several paragraphs to put it into words. She is the child I always dreamed of. Even when I felt like she and I were estranged as she was a baby b/c of her father's actions and attitude, I prayed for her and over her. God answered my prayers in spades.

And now I have a new baby to love from the beginning, just like I always wished to have with Emily. They both are my little miracles and my total answers to prayer. How blessed God has made me with both of my babies!

Oh, and Em was gone for almost a month and she grew from just above my chin to the top of my mouth – she's only 8 and I'm 5'7". WOW!

Anyway, back on subject. We have our 4th FPU tonight and this is the biggie about dumping debt so chances are I won't be able to do today's Biblical Motherhood study either AND we're having to get ready to move in July AND we'll be out of town this weekend – hence packing for the trip, I'm going to postpone this week's Biblical Motherhood Study until probably next week. Since we'll be headed back on Monday, which is my birthday (can you believe I'll be 37?!), I probably won't post until Tuesday.

I might post one more time before we go but if I don't, HAPPY 4th of JULY everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Three/Day Five Links of Approval

Links of Approval

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)

Please pray today and thank God that He wants to give you His view of you! Ask Him to help you to receive it!
"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise, " 2 Corinthians 10:12.

As you read this verse, do you wonder how can we not compare ourselves to others? Isn't that how we are urged on to do our best? We know that competition in business helps to keep prices down, and in sports team competes against team to find who are the most skilled players. What about grades in school? What could this verse mean? What could God be after?

First, we must know that the way of the whole world is to compare people to people, and it is a powerful motivator. Dependence on others' thoughts of our character and the opportunities we might gain through them can move us to do great things. The world will always compare people, and because of our old nature we will feel pressure to do the same. In fact, it is the only measurement there is outside of God.

But in Christ, is there an authentic measurement?

In the world of competition where one goes against another, the goal is to see who performs the best. Value is placed on the actions one is able to do. This is essential when, say, a person is applying for work. An employer must be able to determine whom to hire, and he must look at each person's achievements to make a judgment between them. He should choose whomever is most suited to the work.

Often a Christian should look at the gifting he has and others have been given by God to find where the Lord has designed him to be. The above verse is not speaking of this kind of comparison. This is discernment. We need this!

What God is speaking of in 2 Corinthians 10:12 is something harmful to us. It increases our fear of what others think of us and takes our eyes off of the Lord. This kind of comparison pits us against each other in an attempt to put ourselves first, or at least to do as well as others. It is a counterfeit that can only work fear in us, and not love. To gain God's view of this issue, we need His Word! Because we are studying God's design for us as students, we will liken this to the approval we attempt to achieve through our studies, but it also applies to any situation in life where there is comparison, which is used to control us. It is a good illustration of a place in our life where we often have an altar built to worship something other than God but, as is with most altars, it is not easily recognizable.

We all need correction. For example, it is good to find where we have worked math problems incorrectly and must go back to find the right answer. That is how authentic learning takes place. It can be through getting information that is true, and we believe it and act on it. That's the easiest way! But learning often takes place through our failure: when we forget, or when we make a mistake as we are working, or if we refuse to use the formula needed to achieve the right answer. When we are tested, we find where we have not gained an understanding. Through repetition we may remember what we have tended to forget. But a test often reveals what questions we need to ask in order to know what we have been missing. We can be thankful for correction.

You are going with your children through their education. Your child needs to know where he has done something wrong in order to learn to do it correctly. When he receives a certain percentage on his paper, it is a legitimate mark of performance. It shows him and you what he 'got' and that there are things he still needs to know. It is not an assessment of the child's person. It does not tell you who they are and what they will achieve one day. A score can be an opportunity to go further. It is correction that forms us and informs us!

Please copy here the last lines of both Proverbs 15:5 and 10:

But comparison such as in 2 Corinthians 10:12 is not correction. It is fearful of what others think, and that is oppressive. In the center of the word "oppressive" is the word "press." That is what oppression is like. It pressures us and makes us act out of obligation and fear. Creativity and desire are not encouraged under oppression. It does not know joy. It will earn acceptance from others even at great cost. Walking this way, we will find we have a heavy burden, a "chain" we think we need in order to be approved, links that we cannot get free from.

When education becomes about pleasing people, achieving an acceptance from others because of what we can do, and hoping for good placement from them, we are in a vulnerable position. We are trying to please others by 'works', taking man's counsel, and looking to our performance to gain what we want. But we have missed the heart of God, not understanding that He is looking for us to use the gifts and skills He has given to us not to please men, but to please Him!

Israel did this, taking Egypt as their covering instead of God. For us, Egypt is a picture of the world, and this passage is very instructional to our lives in this light. Please read Isaiah 30:1-5. In verse 1, what did God want to give His people?

From verse 2, what did God want to give and be for His people?

Verse 3 tells what Israel would receive from the people in whom they had placed their trust. What did they receive?

We often have hopes of receiving what we need from the world. We live in the world and feel that in order to "make it" we must do whatever it takes. But God doesn't see it that way. In God's eyes, when we trust someone other than Him, it is idolatry.

In the King James Version, verse 3 says that their trust would become their confusion.

How about you? Have you received confusion where you thought you would find wisdom?

God has more for you than this! What does He offer you in Isaiah 33:6?

We need to know God's character in order to stand firm in Him! Please copy 1 Corinthians 14:33:

We can thank God that He doesn't write confusion, but His peace is His trademark. As it is written, this is true in all the churches of the true believers! Those who are united by the Spirit of God in the family of faith can encourage each other and we can learn and grow together out of confusion and into the knowledge of God through His Word. Once we have a family (husband and children), God lets our impact affect one another greatly as well. While it can be used either way, He intends it for good.

Turn to Deuteronomy 30:19,20. In verse 19, who will your choice affect?

From verse 20, what is God for you?

Your life is in Christ, as a believer. He made you and saved you! You belong to Him! He also holds in His hand the "length of your days," how long you will live. You don't need to worry about your life. He, who is your life, also holds your life. You can rest in His provision.

You may want to copy Revelation 4:11 here. It is an excellent verse to memorize with your children.

From Romans 11:29, God gives two things to you that He will not take back. What are they?

Do you realize that you have certain gifts from God for which only He can reveal His purpose? He made you and has a plan for your life, your husband's and your children's lives. Know that your children's strengths and weaknesses are a tool for you to see which direction the Lord would have them go. We aren't made to excel at everything. The gifts God gives are His, and what we receive from Him can be invested and made useful for His kingdom! He will meet every effort we give for His glory with His power to perform it, that people may see that He is God, and that He is good. We mothers will see God's glory as we make attempts to teach our children, and find the Lord's loving kindness there at every turn. Our children will see God's glory as we learn to love them with the acceptance that God gives to us, no matter our exact performance! His love is for them in the same way!

Our children do need to have skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. They can't be compared to others for how quickly they should "catch on." Sometimes the greater lesson is not the mastery of a skill, but of patience and kindness, and the upholding of one's value not because of their performance, but because they are loved deeply by God.

Who should our studies give glory (reality) to? (exalt, boast about) See 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Now how can we glorify God or do something as to the Lord? Romans 14:6 says, "He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks." Through this verse, how can a person do something "to the Lord?"

A people who are not controlled by fear from outward pressure can be a people filled with joy and ready to do what is in their hand to do for God's glory! It isn't that we don't need any authority. We are under God's authority and those humans He puts in authority over us. Our children are under our authority. But as the people of God, we should grow past the need to be made to be productive, to have someone checking over our shoulder on us, because of our desire to please and obey the Lord. We will practice this to a greater degree the longer we walk with Jesus. It is a process of the heart, and God gives us a picture to help us see how it can look.

Please find Proverbs 6:6-8. As we "consider her ways and be wise," what will we not require in order to work diligently (verse 7)?

What kinds of things might we be about (verse 8)?

In the Word of God we learn that God has given us His creation through which to observe His character (Romans 1:20). But we are quite unable to learn His goodness and perform it. This is what the cross is all about! Now that we are saved, how can we do that which we know is His goodness (Romans 8:9a)?

As mothers, we are learning how to be a student under God, to live by His Spirit (to hear from God and obey Him through His strength), and to lead our children to Him as well.

"Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him," Psalm 25:12.

When our heart is open toward the Lord, He will teach us in a way that will suit our gifting from Him, and He will show us the way to use it! We will gain confidence in Him that He will also do this for our children.

As we instruct our children we will need to listen to them, and to be prompt with discipline for lying. This is essential, since there is an honesty about not needing someone to make you do your work. We can function in freedom, gladly thanking God for what we can do, and we can teach our children this way of keeping at our work until it is finished. Teach, encourage and correct! Live in front of them; live with them! But avoid fear instilled by human comparison that will keep you from teaching your children by the Spirit's leading.

How can we avoid such fear? We see the problem, but how do we move from here to freedom?

The key is found in understanding where we are focusing, and where we need to focus. Please find Hebrews 12:2 and write, very simply, our Focus:

From Matthew 5:8, what work is the Lord doing in us so that we can have this view?

So before our heart is pure, it is clouded with things that keep us from seeing Him. Consider what a person's focus will be on if she is very concerned about a letter grade which shows her where she is in comparison to other people. Won't her attention be on others? How about a concentration on one's own percentage? There one is absorbed in how well her own progress is going, and so is thinking about herself. One who cares very much for accumulating ideas, knowledge and the benefits it promises to bring will soon find education itself the focus.

But a purified heart will be seeking God in each area of study; He is the Subject. In all that is taken up to learn, it is done to please Him and to know Him a little better. The skills of mathematics and reading and writing a language are intensely about God. To invest them to know Him gives Him honor and glory! And so education now is no longer about a measurement of our achievement, but about the Lord God, and our study becomes a pleasure rather than an endless pursuit. This is not to say that it will never be difficult, but study becomes so full of purpose that the links of heaviness and expectation are unhooked and no longer hold our attention captive.

Now, we not only are enjoying God in our study, but we have something to share with others. The knowledge of God becomes our fragrance! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

So how should we consider the measurements of mankind now that we are learning to be controlled from the inside by the Spirit of the Living God? God can still use them for us.

Please find 2 Corinthians 8:8. What does God use to test the sincerity of our love for Him?

Sometimes the diligent, earnest efforts of a person are for another, sometimes a person can be earnestly against the other. God can use either for His child. As we grow in trust in Him, He can help us to see the positive and negative reactions of others toward us as His test for us, and so we can gain courage because we know that He is using it for us.

And when we gain courage, we can be for others, too! As it is written in Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." When we are encouraged by someone else running the race, we will find ourselves no longer trying to outdo them, but instead we will pray for their continued courage, speak words that hold them up, draw boldness and determination to do well in our own life, "as unto the Lord," and live thanking God, thanking God!

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth," 2 Timothy 2:15.

Will you please pray with me?

Father, You are different than my old nature which tries to manipulate to be pleased or comforted. I confess that I have these things in me that are so against Your nature. I remember the cross You died on for me and I ask You to forgive me for the sake of Your own Son. Please so change me that I will treasure Your approval of me! Take out of me this fear of man so that I can fear and respect You! You give Life; You are Life. So I wait for You now to do this work in me. Help me see Your acceptance of me and let go of trying to please the world. Replace that fear of the world with a fresh focus and authentic love for you! Fill me with hope so that I will love my family the way You love me. Give me courage to be a workman who encourages others. Help me to obey what You tell me so that You can set me free. In Jesus' name, A-men!

I'd like your input and the Friday Field Trip

In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple—then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a “successful” suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…

But who do you know who lives like that? Do you?

Join the challenge.

Have you ever wondered if we're missing it?

It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe-the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor-loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Whether you've verbalized it yet or not.we all know something's wrong.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts-it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.


I'm sure many of my blogfriends have read the books shown above. "Radical" by David Platt and "Crazy Love" by Pastor Francis Chan. I've heard some things about Crazy Love, all good, but I haven't really heard much about "Radical". I am leaning toward getting them both because I am intrigued by what the jacket covers say, but before I do, I'd love to hear from any of you out there who have read one or both and let me know how the books have inspired you or changed your life, etc. I'm a very careful shopper these days and would love to have some personal insight from friends to help me in my decision making process.

And now, it's time for the FFT. The Friday Field Trip. When I remember (eep!) I post a fun, interesting and/or informative FFT for y'all to enjoy on a Friday.

This one is...a bit different. Welcome to the "Politically Incorrect Ads of Yesteryear!" and "Vintage Ads: What Were They Thinking?"

Yes, two different sites with those ads that make you glad you don't have to live with attitudes like that these days. Now, I do not vouch for the content of first site other than for the ads (as that's the only part I've seen) but the second site is FoxNews and is perfectly safe.

I tell you what, if some of these ads ran today the lawsuits would fall so fast and furious they would be like a blizzard. I had to laugh at the audacity of some of these ads. Things were a lot more humorous before PC came into play – even if they were just completely wrong!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Three/Day Four Open Heart, Open Eyes

Open Heart, Open Eyes

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)


As you pray today, ask the Lord to make a solid foundation in your heart of the knowledge of Him. Ask Him for cool water where your soul is thirsty, and to redeem what is your inheritance!


Yesterday we let God define false wisdom and true wisdom for us, and He also identified their sources. Today we will seek His Word to carefully lay the groundwork for gaining true wisdom. The Lord will show you by His Spirit where He will work in you. Your part is to stay pliable to Him and put your trust in Him and in His Word. When the foundation is secure, the storm will blow but the house will stand firm. That is God's aim for us!

"My purpose is that they...may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments," Colossians 2:2-4.

In Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! This is Bible truth! So can those wonderful treasures of wisdom and knowledge be found without Him? The Bible says no. True education is built on the nature of God; it is about knowing God. How can we know Him? There are three ways that the Lord reveals Himself, and they all work together to make Him clearly seen.

How does God reveal Himself from the following verses?

Matthew 4:4

John 15:26

John 15:27

Romans 1:20

The Bible is the Word of God, and we will have a special lesson more specifically on it in week 6.

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, and we will look further at Him in week 4.

In this lesson we will go through the creation more thoroughly to gain a better understanding of how God uses it to make Himself evident.

Let's go to Genesis chapter one. From verses 8, 9, 10, please list the three places that God made to support the life He was going to create.

Please see Psalm 135:6. (Do you see a pattern here?)

There are many verses in the Word of God where these three places are spoken of. God made them, and then filled them with creatures. All of them tell of His character. They reveal Him to us. However, they must be interpreted by the Spirit of God using the Word of God. When sin entered the world, it brought with it decay and death, and these have confused the message that God conveys through His creation. Without the Spirit and the Word of God we will begin to think that God is against us, and that we will surely always be under His scrutiny because we are untrustworthy. Even in reading the Word of God you may have noticed this tendency in your understanding. The Spirit speaks to us if we will take the whole counsel of God's Word and believe Him, and He applies it in creation to make truth tangible so that we have insight; we understand.

This study of created things is generally called science. True science can be tested, and the same results are observed again and again. Creation-science includes the physical makeup of air molecules, gravity, the speed of light, planets and rotation, stars, time, seasons, the layers of rock, sand, precious metals, gas and water in the earth, the lay of the ocean floor, currents, salt vs. fresh water, feathers, flight patterns, types of birds, styles of nests, habits of creatures, weather, feeding patterns of land animals, skeletal structures, cold-blooded vs. warm-blooded animals, types of fish, sea creatures, underwater plants and depth and density of water, for example. And all of it is here to testify of God's presence, His power, and His character.

Not only are there the sky, the earth, and the sea, which God made, but if you will look at Genesis 2:7, you will see God's tenderness with His last creation: man. From this passage, what intimacy do you see in the way God created the first man?

God's desire was for fellowship with mankind from the very first. He so intensely desired us! In fact, before we were ever born, before the first people could even sin, He knew what was coming, and so He had provided far in advance. From Revelation 13:8 we understand that as far as God was concerned, Jesus was, in His heart, crucified "from the foundation of the world," so set was his plan to buy us back. He is God for all people for all time! From the first man who stood upon the earth and breathed in air to those who today are being born, Jesus is The Answer. He was there to watch the birth of the firstborn child upon the earth. He was there, and He grieved over the people, which led to the flood. He was there when the people loaded up their earthly possessions to travel to unknown places on the earth. It was God who sent His Son as a tiny baby among the Roman soldiers, busy streets, and crude walls of an obscure stable. He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross in order to take the punishment of justice that sin required. He was there to rise from the dead and make His victory in the unseen realm known to all men in this physical act. He sees all the children He is forming within their mothers all across the world. He sees every person in every country, and has throughout all time. He watches the streets and farmland, He is in the tents, huts, and houses, with every man, woman, and child, and His great desire is for them to receive His sacrifice for them, to live within them, and to have fellowship with them.

The study of mankind we most often call history. History is not meant so much as a study of people in the past, present, and future, but of God and His presence and provision for the past, present, and future of people. Included in history are mechanical and medicinal inventions, languages, cultures and family groups, clothing, foods, transportation, uses of creation (creatures and resources), effects of climate and topography, governments and laws, uses of time, education, wars, value of money or trade, architecture, and dentistry, for starters. All of these things speak not so much of people and their coming and going, but of God who has provided the knowledge of Himself in creation and the opportunity for those who have His Word to testify of Him to others. It is His-story.

These areas of sky, earth, and sea and all that is in them, and the study of mankind become fresh and exciting when we see them in this light. No longer a list of subjects to fulfill on a report card, for us these become a way to know our God, and they are our pleasure to search out!

"But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?" Job 12:7,8.

You may find that you want to study in a new way, different than you have before. God's Word is the most important book you will ever read. Don't neglect it for the study of the creation. But it is an opportunity of a lifetime to pick up a book on nature and compare it to the Word of God. Take a walk and gather flowers to press, and find "flowers" in your concordance to see what God is saying to you. Sometimes He has more than one likeness for a picture.

Run a glass of water and find it a type of the Word – think on it. Ponder these things. Dig in your garden and look at the soil. Find a path and look closely at the ground, and then meditate on Mark 4:3-20.

As you bake a batch of cookies, check the sky at night, look out across the horizon as you drive, as you hear the sound of the wind, look into the eyes of your children, God is speaking to you. God is speaking to you! To hear Him requires not merely the desire for an educational experience, but the will to know God, to have fellowship with Him, to hear His voice!

In 2 Corinthians 2:15,16 we read, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?" Every time we smell the blossoms of an apple tree, or catch the scent of a lovely perfume, the Lord wants us to hear from Him! That is the sweetness of His smell! With the odor of spoiled potatoes or a garbage can left too long comes a reminder from God to help us to understand how offensive the Righteous One is to the lost around us. They cannot come without the Lord's power.

From these verses, please identify the picture used and the lesson given. Remember that they are to be used in dividing the Word of God, not to become our focus in themselves. The creation must serve the Word of God and the Spirit of God!

Matthew 15:13

Matthew 15:14

Matthew 16:6,11,12

John 2:19-21

John 4:14

John 4:35

John 6:48,51

John 15:16

Oh, my friend, do you see? He has given us the creation to explain things that we cannot see yet, things that pertain to the life to come, life in His kingdom!

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer," 2 Corinthians 5:16.

When we see people, we can have God's vision of them, God's vision for them. Could it be time to ask Him for sight for the blind, that we might see from heaven's point of view? We might see a little clearer our Savior, our King Jesus and we might grow in longing for His kingdom and the citizens of that kingdom. Because of Him, we can see with new eyes! We will experience life like we never have! May what we learn be ours for eternity!

Please pray with me!

Oh, Father! Thank You for making it possible for me to hear You! It cost You everything to have fellowship with me. Oh, help me to see, open my eyes and my ears so that I will  understand how much You love me. Till up the soil of my heart so that I will not listen out of mere obligation, but with thankfulness, and a desire for Your heart. Thank You, Father, for this beautiful earth, and for using even the mean things of life to speak to me. You will not waste any of it. Open my heart that I might study to know You! In Jesus' name, A-men!

Ensuring The Worst Case Scenario?

From time to time I will post an article from my dear friend Jack Kinsella of The Omega Letter, especially when I thing they have great importance. Today's article is a real doozy and It makes me almost sick to read, but it is important enough information to share. Several of us have been wondering why BO has been acting like the elections in November don't matter...maybe b/c they don't, according to the reasoning in this article.

Pray for America.

Ensuring The Worst Case Scenario?

One of the most enduring features surrounding the Gulf Oil Spill now entering its third month of belching oil from the seafloor is the fact that no matter how bad the most recent worst-case scenario speculation, the next one will be even more terrifying.

The base-line measures of the crisis have steadily worsened. The estimated flow rate keeps rising. The spill is already worse than anybody could have anticipated and there remains no end in sight.

According to point man Admiral Thad Allen of the US Coast Guard, the reason that BP stopped pumping mud into the well in last month’s “top kill” effort was fear the effort would damage the casing and open new channels for oil to leak into the rock formations.

"I think that one thing that nobody knows is the condition of the well bore from below the blowout preventer down to the actual oil field itself," Allen said last week. "We don't know if the well bore has been compromised or not."

Making things worse, the admiral said, was the fact that the blowout preventer is ‘leaning’.

"The entire arrangement has kind of listed a little bit," he said.

Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, says one of the characteristics of the Deepwater Horizon blowout is its unpredictability.

He said the deep-sea ‘plumes’ of oil detected by research vessels are probably not from the blowout but possibly from additional leaks caused by either the drilling or the blowout.

Nobody knows how much oil is actually seeping into the Gulf.

"I actually have a document that shows that BP actually believes it could go upwards of 100,000 barrels per day," Rep Ed Markey [D-Mass] said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"So, again, right from the beginning, BP was either lying or grossly incompetent. First they said it was only 1,000. Then they said it was 5,000 barrels. Now we're up to 100,000 barrels."

Senator Charles Grassley [R-Ia) released a BP document entitled “Maximum Discharge Calculation.” The document was published internally was based on theoretical calculations made before drilling began.

That document says given the most "optimistic assumptions" about the size of the reservoir and the intensity of the pressure at depth and assuming a total loss of well control and no inhibitions on the flow, "a maximum case discharge of 162,000 barrels per day was estimated."

BP recalculated after the Deepwater Horizon blew up and came up with what it called a “more reasonable” worst-case scenario of between 40,000 and 60,000 barrels per day. A ‘barrel’ of oil is roughly 42 gallons.

About the only thing that we ARE sure of (we being the public) is that everybody is lying about it. BP is looking to mitigate the damage to its corporate image and its bottom line.

Members of the Congress are looking for ways to use the oil spill to mitigate the damage to their own re-election prospects.

Admiral Thad Allen is looking for ways to make it appear that the government’s intervention is helping, rather than hindering efforts at both plugging the hole and cleaning up the damage.

The truth is that every one of them is lying. Nobody knows how bad the spill really is or how many other leaks it may have caused. At the same time, nobody wants to admit that they don’t know.

Except Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons and Co. Simmons and Co. is an oil investment firm. He claims that he does know and that the news is much worse than anybody else believes.

Simmons says the leak that BP is focusing on at the “riser” is not the problem. The real problem is a gaping hole at the “well head,” 8 miles away.

“The riser leak is a deception,” says Simmons. “The hole is in the well head — it’s the well bore.”

“When they [the research vessel Thomas Jefferson] finally got the permission to circle the three-mile radius,” of the well, “once they got up wind [of the blast], within 20 minutes all the crew [of the boat] were nauseous, and several people are still in the hospital. There is benzene coming out of that stuff. If a hurricane finally blows up the Gulf, we could have millions of people die.”

According to Simmons, the ultimate worst-case scenario has not yet even been contemplated.

“We're going to have to evacuate the Gulf States. Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought."

Only eighty times worse?

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asking the Defense Department for six thousand active duty military personnel to be dispatched to the Gulf to aid the Louisiana National Guard.

Jindal says that the reason he needs federal troops is because the National Guard is busy preparing for just such a possible evacuation.

“Currently, our Soldiers and Airmen are staging for and are engaged in the planning of the effort to evacuate and provide security and clean up for the coastal communities expected to be impacted by the oil spill.”

If the well isn't capped soon, the toxic gases from the well, together with the highly toxic Corexit 9500 chemical dispersant being used will eventually force the evacuation of the Gulf States.

It may already be too late.


Those living in Florida are presently at the highest risk, but the danger also appears likely to spread to all Gulf Coast states east of Louisiana -- and possibly even to the entire Eastern half of the United States once hurricane season begins.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already declared the airspace over the oil spill site to be a no-fly zone until further notice. As we’re already seen, various sources have indicated that local police, highway patrol, National Guard, US military and foreign troops may be involved in an operation to evacuate the Gulf Coast.

Since the Deepwater Horizon first exploded, the role of the federal government has largely been confined to blaming BP for the spill, demanding reparations for the spill, but nothing to stop the spill.

Had the White House mobilized every oil skimming rig in the country and accepted foreign assistance offers, much of the oil now threatening the American coastline could have been skimmed off.

Seemingly inexplicably, the White House has largely taken a “hands off” approach -- apart from talking about it, that is. In short, it seems as if the White House is simply allowing the spill to proceed.

The federal government shut down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done.

The department says one area where sand is being dredged is an ecologically sensitive section of the Chandeleur Islands!

So efforts to protect the entire coast from ecological destruction was ordered halted to protect one endangered section of beach. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who was one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue.

"Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil," he wrote. "Furthermore, with the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, we are being put at an increased risk for devastation to our area from the intrusion of oil."

Despite his plea, work on the sand berms halted at midnight Wednesday. Why?

Since September 11, 2001 the United States has been in a state of national emergency, which means that martial law can be declared by the President at any time and for any reason.

A declaration of martial law authorizes temporary rule by military authorities. Under martial law, civil rights are suspended and civilian courts are restricted or supplanted by military tribunals.

Although a declaration of martial law is theoretically temporary, there are no time limits. A state of martial law, once declared, can be extended indefinitely.

The forced evacuation of as many as 80 million Americans from the Gulf Coast region would indeed necessitate such a declaration. In an evacuation, the federal government would determine when and where evacuees would be moved to and for how long.

Martial law would not be confined to the Gulf States -- since the evacuees would have to be relocated inland across the United States, so too would military rule.

Under the provisions of martial law, the president could also order the suspension of national elections until the national emergency is over.

Here's the real kicker. The only one that can declare the national emergency "over" and rescind a declaration of martial law is President Barack Hussein Obama.

And suddenly, it all starts to make sense.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Three/Day Three Authentic or Counterfeit?

Authentic or Counterfeit?

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)

Please ask the Lord to speak to you today from His Word, and to teach you to discern the difference between the knowledge of the world and the knowledge of Him.

"For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent," 1 Corinthians 1:19.

We had a kitten that had a strange habit of jumping up into my husband's shirts, which were in the closet on hangers. The first time, I heard muffled meowing and knew he was somewhere in that closet, but only by going through, shirt by shirt, could I find where he was stuck. It only took once for me to learn where he would be. It took him longer to figure out that those shirts did not contain Jim! He was looking for someone, and got something instead!

In 1 Timothy 6:20,21, we find Paul warning Timothy against the same danger:

 "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge - by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen,"

Knowledge is important, and the desire to learn is built into every one of us. Our desire to know is given by God, and genuine, real truth is the only way to an authentic education. For every authentic reality God has for us, Satan devises a counterfeit to make us feel sure of ourselves, yet confused. Only the genuine reality will hold up during a storm when the wild winds, the circumstances of life, blow hard against us! We will take a look at authentic wisdom, and its counterfeit, "what is falsely called knowledge," today.

From Hosea 4:1, what is the charge God brings against those who "inhabit the land"?

See Hosea 4:6. What destroys God's own people?

Please record what is the result of God's people having no knowledge (Isaiah 5:13).

Slavery in the physical realm is another person having control of your body. In the realm of the soul (mind, emotions, will), bondage is someone's control of your thoughts, your feelings, your decisions.

What controls your thoughts will affect your feelings and your decisions. The spiritual battle is waged over your mind.

In Hosea chapter 5 God speaks through Hosea to explain to the people the reason for their poverty of mind. In verse 11 He addresses a specific family line (Ephraim), but this also applies to any of God's people. Please copy Hosea 5:11 here and mark the phrases which tell their condition, and how they got there.

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines precept as follows: "In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action, especially applied to moral conduct. "

We see that in focusing on the rules of human acceptance, God's people were controlled and oppressed by other people. They lacked discernment in life's situations and had lost sight of God's viewpoint. Oppression like this causes a heaviness and dullness of spirit. It overburdens, is unreasonable, and gives you no freedom for creativity.

Can you think of any area(s) of your life in which you have been walking by human precept?

In these areas you may notice a tendency to feel inferior at times, or to be very self-confident. It is a knowledge that "puffs up" (makes prideful), and is actually a counterfeit of the knowledge of God.

1 Corinthians 8:1 says, "...We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies."

1 Timothy 6:20,21, "...avoiding...what is falsely called knowledge."

See James 3:14,15. What is God's definition of false knowledge (verse 14)?

What is its source (verse 15)?

The knowledge of God (wisdom) doesn't focus on humans as its point of interest. It is completely taken with God! How does God define wisdom? Is true wisdom a thing or a Person (1 Corinthians 1:30)?

The knowledge of the glory, the reality, of God is the knowledge that God is for us. We must know and understand that He is God, He is real, and we are not Him and will never hold His position as God. False knowledge (selfish ambition) is what puffs us up to think that we have control of our lives, that we are, in effect, God. But we aren't, and He calls us to humble ourselves to acknowledge the truth of His reality while we are still on the earth, before we enter the realm of eternity in heaven or hell.

When we trust in the ways of selfish ambition, what does God say will happen to our false security? Isaiah 30:12-14.

His remedy is Jesus! Please write God's counsel in verse 15!

Also copy God's instruction from Jeremiah 6:16.

When we study, we will either study to know God through His creation and the skills He gives us, or we will study to know and exalt ourselves. It has to do with the motive of our heart: why we are studying, and what, or Who, we are studying.

The religious leaders of the day took away the "key to knowledge" (Luke 11:52) by a counterfeit; by putting the people in fear of the leaders rather than focusing the people on God. If we don't understand the Way God has provided to Himself, we will never know that we can come to Him in full confidence in Him, never mind what any man says! God must become greater in our vision than any man. We must fix our eyes on Him to see how things really are.

What are some benefits the knowledge of God will bring to our lives?

Psalm 119:29 (something God will do in you!)

Psalm 119:134

Psalm 143:8

Proverbs 22:17-21

Isaiah 33:6

Isaiah 33:17-19 (What will be your focus, your vision in life? V.17)

Hebrews 9:14

The Lord has such good things for us as we learn of Him in all that we study! He longs to fill us with good things and satisfy and refresh us! If you will come to Him, He will never disappoint you. You will be His student; He will be your Teacher.

"Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart," Psalm 119:2.

Please pray with me:

Dear Father, I know that You are God, and yet I have such a tendency to think that education belongs to men instead of to You. I've sought after the approval of teachers on this earth and have found my attention on them instead of on You. I have been hurt by oppression, and I have joined in on that oppression toward others. This is not Your heart. Please take this out of me, and replace it with Your heart for learning. I receive Your forgiveness, and thank You that Your ways are not like mine. Please teach me Your ways. I love You, Lord, because You are good! In Jesus' name, A-men.

Word Filled Wednesday for June 23

Psalm 121. What an amazing chapter in the Bible. It has been rolling around in my head this week for some reason. I think it has to do with all the stresses in my life. We're going through FPU – for those of you in who aren't "down" with the lingo, it's Financial Peace University. This will be our third week . . . the week of the dreaded "B" word. BUDGET! Going through the quickie budget of the first week made me realize that we are breaking about even regarding income and outflow. Some months we may be a little under, some months we may be a little over in regard to the numbers.

One of the things that Dave Ramsey frequently says is that for women, money represents security, and it's true. If I have money in the bank, I feel I have more room to breathe than if I don't.

But my view is wrong. My security shouldn't come from whether or not I have money in the bank for emergencies (like the brakes in my truck which I think are about to go out, but I'm not 100% about yet). It should come from God, our Provider. When Oscar was out of a job for almost 8 months, I trusted in God and leaned on His provisions like never before, and you know what? We always had money to make it through the month. God always provided.

God is my security. He has promised in this chapter that He is my help. He does not sleep so He always knows what is going on. He will not let any harm come to me. He MADE the heaven and earth and He is watching over me!

For other Word Filled Wednesdays please visit our hostess Lori or drop by “The 160 Acre Woods” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesdays.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Three/Day Two “Who Are You, Lord?”

“Who Are You, Lord?”  

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)

Ask the Lord for His identity to be revealed to you in greater clarity today! He knit you together, and wants you to know Him. He is so pleased that you are studying and He will bless your every effort!


“That, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 1:31.

There is a children’s book entitled Blueberries For Sal (by McClosky) in which Little Sal and a bear cub get mixed around while each of them are picking blueberries with their mother. Little Sal hears a noise and follows what she thinks is her mother, eating blueberries all the way. Little Bear has the same experience as he is busy munching the sweet berries. Only in time do any of them check to see how the other is doing only to find, “You’re not my baby!” and, “You’re not my Mother!” Both Mother and Mama Bear do find their own offspring and all of the berry-eaters leave Blueberry Hill satisfied. (Mother even has blueberries enough to can for winter!)

It is a sweet illustration of a much greater search for truth: Who is Jesus? To be following someone we think is our Savior, only to find out that we have not had Him at all would be devastating now, and also have eternal consequences.

“Who are You, Lord?” Acts 9:5

If we will go to God’s Word for the answer, we will find what we need to know, and we, too, will leave in security, having been satisfied!

“But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me,” Jeremiah 9:24.  

If we know God, we can boast about Him! Did you think all boasting was wrong? Here is one that, in God’s economy, is good boasting, in fact, it pleases Him. As we know God, we will understand!

“Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” Proverbs 9:10.

Way back in the beginning, God was revealing Himself through His creation, even before sin entered the world. We read in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Before He even began His creating process, God knew what would all take place, and He knew the Remedy He would provide.

As He considered His crowning work, mankind, He ‘conferred together.’ “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...,” Genesis 1:26.

In fact, in the first verse of the Bible, the word used to describe God is, in Hebrew, plural. “In the beginning, God...”

The word used is elohiym, “plural of elowahh; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used of the supreme God.”

Yet Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”

When Jesus, in John 10:30, said, “I am My Father are one,” what was He saying? We are going to look at the Bible and compare, Old Testament and New, to see the whole teaching from God’s Word on Jesus’ identity. We will choose some key verses, but there are many more that you may read in your quiet times with the Lord. If you stay consistent in spending time each day with the Lord and His Word, you will learn more than if you study a large amount in a sitting or two, and then nothing for days. It’s like eating. You will be stronger if you take regular, healthy meals than if you gorge on whatever you happen to find in the kitchen, and then fast for days.

Following are eight questions. You will be able to find the answers in the Bible verses provided. 

Question #1:

In Isaiah 44:6, we find the first part of this course of the meal! From this verse, by what names does God reveal Himself?

The word ‘revelation’ means ‘the act of revealing’. From the first line in Revelation 1:1, Who does the book of Revelation reveal?

Just a few verses down, see Revelation 1:8 and 11. By what names does Jesus reveal Himself?

Outside of any other teaching, what does the Bible itself claim about the identity of the First and the Last?

Question #2:

The glory of God is His ‘weight’, His splendor, His reality.

What does God say about His glory in Isaiah 42:8?

With this in mind, please turn to John 17:5. What does Jesus say about His glory?

If God doesn’t give or share His glory with anyone, yet Jesus has had God’s glory from before the world was created, who is Jesus?

Question #3:

From Isaiah 6:1, who did Isaiah see?

From John 12:41, who did Isaiah see? (For clarity on who is the subject of verse 41, please read verses 36-41.)

From these two portions of Scripture, what is the identity of the One who appeared to Isaiah?

Question #4:

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. From Revelation 22:13, Who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last? (Verse 16 identifies the speaker.)

Who is the First and the Last? Please see Isaiah 48:12 and 13.

Revelation 1:17,18 – Again, Who is the First and the Last?

From verse 18, what are His credentials?

Question #5:
Who raised Jesus from the dead? Acts 2:24

Romans 8:11

John 2:19

Using information from the Bible only, in your own words, who raised Jesus from the dead?

Question #6:

The word ‘manifest’ is defined as “Clearly apparent to the understanding or the senses; palpable; obvious. To make plain to sight or understanding; reveal; display.”

Please read 1 Timothy 3:16 (in the King James Version if you have it). Who was manifested in flesh?

What does that say about Jesus?

Question #7:

What does Jesus’ name ‘Immanuel’ mean? (Matthew 1:23)

Question #8:

In Isaiah 45, the Lord emphasizes one truth over and again. To find it, read verses 5-6, 14,18 and 21. What is it?

Please copy Isaiah 45:22.

God says there is no other god besides Him, and He ought to know. He is God!

Is God’s motive to try to disguise Himself and be mysteriously hidden? Read Isaiah 45:19. (1 Corinthians 14:33 may also give insight.)

When we think that God is trying to deceive us and manipulate us, who is actually doing the deceiving and manipulating? (Romans 2:1, “…For in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”)

Oh, soften your heart to receive the truth! Jesus is God in the flesh, and He is desperately in love with you! He has done everything to make a way for you to be with Him!

From 2 Corinthians 11:4, does every church preach the same Jesus?

Are there those who would urge you to receive a different spirit than the Spirit of God?

Is there a gospel that some preach that is not the gospel of the Jesus who is God in the flesh?

In 2 Corinthians 11:3 it is written: “But I fear, lest somehow...your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Dear friend, there is simplicity in the Living God! It is found in believing Him, putting your trust in what He has done for you, and what He says.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:23 to those who will not be in His kingdom, “I never knew you.” He is desiring an intimate relationship with you. His desire is to know and be known by you.

The cross of Jesus, this Jesus, is offensive because it says that you are not good enough to win God’s favor, that your good works are filthy in God’s sight because they promote you. Any other Jesus will accept your efforts and demand more of you. But God the Son will accept nothing that you bring; He demands only that you place your trust in Him. That requires that you leave off working for your salvation. In your mind, your trust must be placed in Him instead of in yourself, or in any one else. His sacrifice is sufficient for you!

If you have placed your trust in another Jesus, it is time for you to believe God’s Word and agree with God. The Bible is where we learn of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible is where we learn who He is, and who we are. Why should we take another companion book to the Bible so that we must believe the Bible sometimes and the other teaching other times? God says His Word is pure (Psalm 12:6). If you place your trust in Him and His Word, the Bible, you will know the God who made you and loves you, who redeems your life from the pit, who calls you His own, and will never leave nor forsake you.

If you have called others Christians who have confessed another Jesus than the Jesus the Bible reveals, you have given them false hope and have disagreed with God to their hurt. It is time for you to believe God’s Word and agree with Him.

“For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance,” Matthew 9:13.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me", Revelation 3:20.

If this issue has not been a crucial matter to you, you have not seen it the way God does. The name of Jesus is about His identity. This Jesus, the Son of God and God, the Son, is the only One who has the authority and power to redeem a soul from an eternity apart from God. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.

There is no one like our God! He is the One who saves!

Will you pray with me?

Lord, You have spoken clearly in Your Word about Your identity. You don’t require that we understand the Trinity, but only that we trust what You say above our own thoughts. In this matter, I relinquish my ideas and ask You to replace them with faith in You and what Your Word teaches. Help me to see that Your Word gives life, and that You are the Hope of the whole world. There is no one who doesn’t need You. I worship You as You tell me who You are in Your Word. I place my trust in You, the God who came in flesh to save me. Cause me to be unashamed of the truth of Your identity in the presence of others, because You alone are God. In Jesus’ name I pray, A-men.

In Other Words for June 22

It's been a few weeks since I've done one of these, but I'm back! Good early morning everyone!

“One of Eve’s biggest mistakes was she stopped and started to think about what Satan was saying and it made sense to her. Not everything God tells us makes sense but that’s where faith comes in. We need to learn to be lead by our hearts and not our heads.”
by Joyce Meyers

How many times have you felt God's leading to do something and you hesitate because it just doesn't make sense and you can't understand for the life of you why God would tell you to do that? How many times have you listened to the "other" voice in your head whispering with craft and cunning something that sounds sooooo right, even though it seems a little off? I for sure have. And I'll tell you that story as it is part of my testimony.

Back when I was in my mid-20's I was, let's face it, a party girl. I had accepted Christ at an early age and was very strong in my faith, but once I hit public school in 10th grade, I started drifting away. Seeking the approval of my peers rather than walking the path that God had set before me. I enjoyed the attention, enjoyed the acceptance, reveled in the popularity. Oh, I still had a fairly naïve and innocent, unaffected personality, but I craved the approval of others.

Once I hit my mid-20's I was in a relationship with the guy who would become my first husband and my daughter's father. It was not the most stable relationship but it was one that I was determined to have. Did you notice that? "That I was determined to have" . . . not the relationship that God had in mind for me. We had moved in together and as things started to go sour, my life also started to sour and I just couldn't find the meaning in my life I was SURE I was supposed to have.

Slowly, subtly the voice in my mind started whispering that surely there was something "more" out there. Surely there was something I could find that would fill the emptiness I had inside. The more I listened to that "other" voice, the further away from God I found myself, until it was almost like I was running full steam in reverse. I still loved God, but I was disillusioned and felt lonely and like I had no control over my life.

I started searching for things that would make me feel fulfilled as my relationship started deteriorating to the point where we were pretty much broken up but still sharing a bed. My search started leading me to "women's empowerment" and how I was a "goddess", etc. and so forth and so on until I finally landed on the spot in the feminism game called Wicca. For those of you who may not be aware of the term, it is a whitewashed word for witchcraft.

Do you know how much of a struggle it is to have two parts of yourself that are completely at odds fighting for dominance over your mind and body? Notice I didn't say soul because I knew that Jesus had my soul and had for years, but I felt that certainly there must be some sort of way for both parts to co-exist. Of course, there wasn't.

As I got further into the occult I realized that I was progressing at a speed that was vastly different (greatly increased) than other people I knew who were into the same stuff until it scared me so much that I could do these things with ease after just a few weeks or even days of practice that I stopped cold turkey. I threw away the "book of shadows" that I had created for myself and I met with my pastor and divulged to him what I had been involved in. Thankfully, he is a true man of God and faithful to His leadings. After a lengthy discussion and prayer session I came out of there with a different outlook on life and started my own fledgling journey back to the path that God had for me.

Of course, as is usual, that "other" voice crept in again, one more time in a different manner – I guess it had decided that since I could no longer be drawn by witchcraft again that it would try partying once more. After all, that's how it got me back in high school and my mid-20's, and, for a while I followed it again, ignoring the faint voice in the back of my mind that said this is wrong.

Thank God that His love is stronger than any glamour of the devil! When God decides He wants someone He will not give up until He has them. I am stronger in my faith today than I have ever been – with the exception of the absolute faith that I had as a child, and what I would give to have that depth of faith again!

If I had only listened to my heart from the start instead of my head. I've learned that God will always speak through the heart, and only sometimes in our minds. And the voice in our minds is a quiet, still, soft, gentle voice, full of love and perfect peace. Have you heard it?

The wily one, the enemy, the trickster, the devil, Satan will always speak through your head and your negative emotions, because if your heart and soul belong to God, there's no way that Satan can actually touch them. That "other" voice is vastly different. It beguiles, it seduces, it lures and carries with it a sense of "because I owe it to myself". Have you heard that voice?

I've, hopefully, learned the distinction between the two now, believe me, I've had enough practice, and I certainly know which one to listen to. So even when God doesn't seem to make sense in what He is telling us, that doesn't matter because we can and will never go wrong by obeying Him. We may not see now the understanding behind the reason why God wants us to do something, and maybe we will never understand this side of heaven, but rest assured it is all for the glory of God and when God is in our corner and on our side and we are obedient to Him, there is no greater feeling than to know that we are doing what is right and that we are pleasing God.

The One who created us.

The One who watches over us and holds us in His hand.

The One who has prepared a place for us with Him for all eternity.

The One who gives us perfect peace and rest when we abide in Him.

I'd rather have that any day than the faux "feel good" feelings that listening to the "other" voice and doing the wrong thing can produce in the moment but leave behind a lifetime of regret and sorrow once that moment is gone.

For more perspectives on this In Other Words quote, please visit our wonderful hostess this week, Karen @ In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Three/Day One Mother, the Student

Mother, the Student

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)

Ask the Lord for His light burden and easy yoke today. To be His student is to be taught of things that have value for this life and the life to come. Ask Him to help you choose His way!


“Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,and you will find rest for your souls,” Matthew 11:29.

Learn of Me.” We are first and continually a student of Jesus before we can teach with understanding.

To teach is nothing new. There are teachers in every imagination and religion of man under the sun. That is because God has given His gifts, in this case, teaching, to people and the test is in how we will use it. Teachers of other gods have many sound observations and give practical counsel, some that mirror the Word of God. So who copied whom?

The foundation of all that we know must be in the identity of our God. Is He different than any other god and what is that difference?

Jesus is God manifest in flesh. The Bible makes that claim, He spoke openly of His identity while He walked the earth, and His followers stand on this fact as basic doctrine. If God came in the flesh, and human beings crucified Him, and then He rose from the dead, we are in real trouble. There is no greater fear for mankind than the fear of standing before the Judgment Seat of God, the Judge. Some ignore this thought or drown it out with anything one can reach, but in the end, this is what it comes down to: you and God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.

This is God’s remedy for our prideful rejection of His identity: His own death upon the cross. He tells us if we will look on Him with faith, He will credit His death to us, and His resurrected life to us as well. Our old nature must be willfully rejected by us, and faith in Christ embraced.

That Jesus died on a Roman cross is an historical fact. People who were there wrote about it, and not all were followers of His. People who were there also claim that three days later He rose from the dead, and that they saw Him, and touched Him, ate with Him, and heard the things He said. They said He later rose up into the clouds, and angels announced that He would return the same way one day. The followers of Jesus had had everything to lose when He died, and it seemed reasonable to the Jews and Romans that they would try some sort of deception to hold on to their hope. But the thing that should shout to us is what their claim about Jesus led to.

Many people have died for what they believed in if they really held it as the truth. But if these followers of His had taken His body, as the story was told, they would have known that He didn’t actually rise from the dead, that it was a hoax and a great deception that they had carried out themselves. They would’ve known it wasn’t the truth. But they were treated with the greatest hatred, beaten, and killed (except for one, who was tortured, but survived) all saying the same thing to the end: “We didn’t take Him. He rose from the dead!” This rings with authenticity! Rest your faith on what Jesus did on your behalf! He rose from the dead, and He is like no other god! He alone has broken the powers we cannot see, and HE testifies of Himself every day.

And so we read God’s Word understanding that it is the “Word made flesh” who speaks to us, calling us to see the truth about ourselves, and the truth about Himself.

There is the beginning and ending of all Truth: God Himself. He is One God, of three Persons. Believe the One who died and rose again from death. He alone has the right to tell you just how it is.

“Learn of Me.” I need to know what He means specifically. How can I do this? If I am to know God, He must reveal Himself to me.

And if God will reveal Himself, it must be a practical revelation, something I am able to “get.” If I become a student of the Word of God, I will find that He tells me details. If I will take the whole counsel of God, not trying to make the Bible say something, but reading it to hear what God is saying, I will learn how to learn of Him. So how does He reveal Himself so that I may learn of Him?

“And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood;and these three agree as one,” 1 John 5:8.

First, the Spirit: the Spirit of God bears witness of Himself. John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The first witness on earth is the Spirit of God.

The second witness is the water. Scripture must interpret Scripture, and with that thought, we wonder, how does water witness of God? In Ephesians 5:26 we find that God uses water as a picture of His Word: “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.” So the second witness is the Word of God, pictured by water. In John 1:14 we find that “the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us...” The Word of God is not a book of rules and regulations, but it breathes life by faith in the One it speaks of: Jesus. Jesus Himself spoke of this in John 5:39,40, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” We can miss Him in the Word if we take it as a good way to live, a good book to follow. But if we come needy, we will find Him on every page.

The third witness: blood. Hebrews 9:22, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Jesus came to shed His blood upon the cross so that God could pour out His judgment on Him instead of us. When we believe in Him, He sees that it was your and my sin condemned on the tree. He stood in for us before His own righteous judgment on sin. He took the full measure of the wrath of God toward sin. God is wholeheartedly against sin. He hates sin. Because He is pure, how can He agree to dwell with sin? He cannot. And likewise, we, in our sinful state have nothing but distaste, envy, anger, even hatred and malice toward God. Sin separates us from God! And it breaks God’s heart like we have never known.

That is the love of God.

And that is our condition without His blood.

But He! He is righteous: wholly right; the rightness of God in all His wonderful character, purity embodied, beauty manifested, Life, true Life. We would be wise to see things the same way He does, and when we find rebellion in ourselves, confess it openly to Him, not trying to cover it up, and trust that what He suffered in our place was enough. That is trust. Do you trust that the blood Jesus shed on your behalf is enough to cleanse you from sin so you can be close to God? If you do not, you are trusting that you have something that God Himself does not. You are placing your faith in yourself, and what you can do. But He knows what it took to defeat sin and death and Satan and, my friend, you don’t have it. His sacrifice reveals human lack. Place your trust in the only trustworthy One: Jesus, and He will become yours!

Blood, this third witness, took place here upon the earth. This planet is where God came in flesh to take upon Himself a body with a heart that pumped blood, and this is where He gave Himself a sacrifice, letting His blood pour out as payment for us before His Father. This all happened within the realm of creation. And so we find that the witness of blood includes His creation in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” All things seen and unseen, with and without breath, were created by God and it all reveals Him to us.

But consider the first part of Hebrews 9:22, “In fact the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood...” Nearly everything? Yes. Creation has been tainted by sin, and by looking at it alone to see God you will easily become confused. A mother cat rejecting her weakest and tiniest kitten, a diseased maple tree, bindweed infesting a garden, a broken body in a hospital, a grieving human soul; do these things picture God? No, not by themselves; these things have the effect of the condition of sin upon the creation of God, but the things that do not need to be cleansed with blood are the things that are pure and holy already and have never been touched by sin. These are the Spirit of God, and the Word of God. These two must interpret creation.

In order to study to know God, we must understand that He, by His Spirit, His Word and His creation speaks of Himself, and these three are in agreement. The Spirit of God will teach us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you,” Psalm 32:8.

His Word must be our constant plumb line: “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,’” Matthew 4:4.

Creation is the place of application so that we will understand. “Now all these things happened to them as examples,” 1 Corinthians 10:11. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,” Romans 1:20.

How about you? If you took away all the extras, is your faith resting on the grades your children achieve to get them somewhere in life? Do you consider education to belong to God, or in your mind, would you sacrifice a study of the truth in order to win the favor of men?

All of creation tells us of God. It is not ours to study and make a living with by our own will, for our own purposes. It all belongs to God, and He will take an account of our stewardship. Have you glorified mankind in your hours of study, or have you glorified God? You cannot do both.

When you study to know man (yourself included), the weight is on your shoulders to accomplish, to understand, to achieve. When you study to know God, there is delight and security because He is all you need, and He will teach you as you go. The burden is not heavy with Jesus. To be yoked with Him means that He carries the weight, and we learn to walk with Him! When we lean into the yoke it will be with confidence in Him, and for His glory so that people might see that He is good. It is no longer about how well I am doing, but about His heart. It is not to show myself worthy, but to understand His worth to me, and my worth to Him. “We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19.

That is where our worth comes from: we are loved by God!

Our effort to win the approval of men will keep us from loving God. No longer must we compare ourselves to those around us. God compares us to His Perfection. He also meets us with Perfection because of our total failure. He becomes for us what He demands. Only then can we do anything that He will acknowledge. We miss the eyes of God when we strive to become accomplished in the eyes of anyone human. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him,” 2 Chronicles 16:9.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us,” 1 John 4:16.

Please pray with me!

My Father,

Please free me from the desire to please the world, and to believe Your complete acceptance of me just as I am in Your Son, Jesus. Help me to understand something of the way Your Spirit, Your Word and Your creation tell of You, and cause me to believe that all that I can see exists to worship and testify of Your reality. The sky, the earth and the seas all are Yours, and all the inhabitants of them. They were all made to speak of You. And all of mankind through the ages have their existence in You. All of us were made to worship You, and without You we have no stability for this life or for eternity. Thank You for telling me the truth. I put my faith in You, and I worship You. In Jesus’ name, A-men.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Biblical Motherhood: Week Two/Day Five Yoked Together (Part II)

Yoked Together (Part II)

Hi y'all, my apologies for falling behind on this. My computer's HD crashed last week and I have been working on re-loading everything after replacing the HD.

I must say that I think so far that this is one of my favorite lessons in this study so far and certainly gives much food for thought. (And HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the wonderful dads out there!)

(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)


Invite the Lord to speak to you as you study this morning. His Word brings refreshment to a dry and weary soul!


“Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding,” Proverbs 4:1.

Our own physical marriages are an illustration of our spiritual relationship with Jesus. Though human marriage is imperfect, we still can see a picture of our relationship with our bridegroom, Jesus, through it (Ephesians 5:22-33).

We will always find encouragement and instruction from God’s Word in all of our relationships, and we will always have reason to seek the Lord for counsel, and even for correction. In Christ this is not a shameful, condemning admittance, but because of the cross it is an acceptance of the offer of hope and healing!

Today we will look at raising our children to know of marriage the way God intended for it to take place. Our culture is saturated with worldly ideas. The only way to see this issue from the perspective of eternity is to seek the Lord in His Word.

Our God describes His heart on the matter in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. This passage is not included in order to berate or to condemn, but in order to make evident God’s desire for those who follow Him. Know that the Lord only opens a wound where there is need for healing. While we are hearing from the Lord we learn to trust that He will tell us the whole truth, but always in the light of hope. Here God (through Paul) asks questions designed to clarify the issue for us. Please list the comparisons He makes (verses 14-16):

From verse 16, why are we called to be separate?

Please confirm how God directs us to obey Him in this from verse 17.

Because the process can be painful, He gives us a promise in verse 18. Please tell what God is saying to His people (to you, Sister in the Lord)!

God is the perfect Father to His children, and He knows that in order to separate ourselves unto Him, we need to know Him and be close to Him. This is true for our children as well. If we will follow Him in this, we will be able to avoid yoking together with those who would work against His life in us.

And so today you can ask the Lord, “What do you want me to learn about yoking together, especially in marriage, for these children, Father? Will you show me in Your Word?” Ask in confidence!

Please turn to Ezra chapter 9. Ezra had come to Jerusalem with many Jews out of exile in Babylon (Persia). They had rebuilt the temple, the place of worship, in their midst and had even celebrated the Passover together again! After 70 years of slavery, most of the people had only heard wonderful stories of God and the feast of Passover, and now they were actually able to experience it themselves! To worship God in freedom was their privilege! Maybe you have come to a place like that yourself, a time of seeing God for who He is and worshiping Him as the center in your home, along with special times of feasting and celebration that you are now able to do for God’s glory in your heart!

But we see a problem arise even in the city where worship has been reestablished. Ezra 9 tells us of the hearts of the people being softened against their call to separation, and intermarrying with the people who did not worship God. We are often encouraged in God’s Word to reach out to the people around us to love them and show them our wonderful God! In that process we will be refined, our motives revealed, and there will be much opportunity for fellowship with God to grow and for us to mature in our faith. But if we neglect our relationship with God in our dealings with people (possibly faithfully continuing to read the Bible and pray, but with a dryness that we accept without crying out to God), we will begin a descent in our view of people, and we will become about our own business instead of the Lord’s, promoting ourselves instead of Him.

From Ezra 9:1,2 what did not separating themselves lead the people to do?

Please read verses 10-11. How does the condition of their culture reflect the condition of our own (for Christians and the unsaved alike)?

After we confess to God our heart’s condition, there must be a remedy in our actions. This is how the Lord draws us back to Him and sets us free from our unholiness (lack of separation). The ones Ezra addresses first are not the children, but the parents! From verse 12, please tell what the work of these parents included:

Lest we think of this as only Old Testament doctrine, we will look at a father’s responsibility for his daughter written in 1 Corinthians 7:38. From the Amplified Bible (which uses more words as it gives a fuller original meaning to our English words): “So also then, he (the father) who gives his virgin (his daughter) in marriage does well, and he (the father) who does not give (her) in marriage does better.”

From this verse, in God’s family, who is given guardianship over the acceptance of a marriage partner for his children?

As the Lord draws us to love our family, we will not want to control this situation and expect that our children should “obey our choice” for them and neglect God's desire. But a father who loves his child will be prayerful and watchful, listening for the heart of God in the heart of his child before he seeks to give him or her over to another.

Once again, please read 2 Corinthians 6:16,17 and compare it with Ezra 9:12. To truly seek someone’s (spiritual) peace and prosperity is to win them to Christ and see their faith grow. Does it please God to keep romantic company with someone of the opposite sex in order to tell them about Jesus?

Seeking someone’s (physical) peace and prosperity comes by joining together with them to help them. In marriage, from Genesis 2:18, what is a wife’s work?

In this physical life, it is important to God that our children join together with those who are walking the same walk in this life, by the same Spirit. That walk will mean life work, interests, and goals and, in the Lord, a person’s focus is totally different than the focus of living for this life.

The last part of Ezra 9:12 says: “that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.” The physical interpretation had to do with an actual land and food to eat grown on that land which would make them strong in life. What does this mean as a spiritual reality for us? (See Galatians 5:22-24.)

What importance does God put on our children marrying someone who loves Him?

God’s desire is for His people to ask Him for the person He will bring into our child’s life. What would be some long-term affects from the obedience of this command?

Galatians 4:1,2 tells us that a child is under guard by stewards until he is ready to manage his inheritance. How might this shed some light on why God instructs parents to be involved in the choice of company their children keep?

The Jews were God’s set-apart people. They had to be set-apart in order for God to give the Messiah through them to the whole world. Remember that God uses His creation to reveal Himself (Romans 1:20). He would give the Jews the privilege of enjoying His blessings in order that they might know Him and worship Him, so that the Gentiles could know Him through their lives, and that Jesus could be born through a people who could trace their ancestry and find that it matched the predictions perfectly. The Messiah’s identity would be proof positive, and through His sacrifice upon the cross and His resurrection, provide eternal life to all who would believe.

Because there was purpose to the nation, they must be able to raise up their children to know this God who desired to win their hearts. The Word of God shows the character of God, and we know by this that He wrote these things not only for the Jews, but also for all of His people. In the following passage, please mark those phrases which give instruction to you.

“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children,” Deuteronomy 4:9,10.

Mount Horeb is also called Mount Sinai. We read in Exodus 19 and 20 that God gave the Law, the Ten Commandments, to Moses on Mt. Sinai. His Law is perfect love in action. They are how it would look to love God wholeheartedly and see that flow out to love others around us. It is the way we come to Christ for forgiveness, seeing that we have failed the test! We cry out to God for mercy, and receive the sacrifice He made for us.

Have you told your children and grandchildren about the Lord, “especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb”?

You don’t need to go into detail about your sin, but they need to know that you are leading them to where you are yourself; to find mercy at the cross of the God who died for sinners. This is authenticity. To admit your sin in Christ is to be able to extend mercy to others!

Please read Deuteronomy 7:3-6.

What can happen to our children’s heart for God if they marry someone who is not saved from spiritual death? (verse 4)

What should our dedication be like to see that we will not worship what our society (and our old nature) worships? (verse 5)

What is our motivation? (Fear? Anger?) (verse 6)

Because our obedience is what God uses to keep us free, He would desire first that we obey Him out of love, but if we cannot do that yet, He will accept our obedience out of fear of His judgment. True, we will not face eternal judgment, but we do understand that He judges our sin even now to cleanse it from us. If we fear God, we have the beginning of His wisdom (Psalm 111:10)! To have greater wisdom is to begin to obey God out of love! The process is His to accomplish.

It is a godly mother who will be in prayer for the Lord to accomplish this through her life and her husband’s first, and then to reach their family. It is a wise youth who humbles himself in the sight of the Lord, seeks the Lord’s direction for his own life through prayer and His Word, and who listens carefully to the counsel of his parents, especially to parents who are led of the Lord. Seeking the Lord together is so important. God is not looking for parents to usurp authority over a grown child’s life, nor for a child to go his or her own way, but for them to ask the Lord in prayer, waiting on Him so that they will recognize whatever it is He chooses to do.

In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah we read how God moved the heart of a Persian king to set free the captive nation of Israel so they could live in their own land once again! It is a book filled with pictures of faith for us as mothers. As the Jews build the temple (in Ezra), we learn that God is our Beautiful Place of worship! As the Jews build the wall (Nehemiah), we learn that He is also our Surrounding Protector! He wants us to learn how to join Him in the work He is doing.

We find that the people lost vision after years went by. The work took so much time and they wanted to live life for a few of their own interests. There were friendships made with the pagan communities that led into marriages, and because of their lack of dedication to God and for their people, while some felt apprehensive about the direction things were going, no one took any action against it.

But Nehemiah came to check on the Jews who were rebuilding Jerusalem, from his residence in Persia, from where the taste of slavery could not be washed from his mouth. From this perspective, he takes inventory of the situation and holds it to the light of God’s Word!

Read Nehemiah 13:23-27. If you wonder the level of effect you really have as a wife and mother in your home, though it is a negative example, take this to heart!

With what fervency Nehemiah sought to do what was right before the eyes of God! Use his intensity against your own old sin nature. Be that dedicated to God! Humble yourself before the Lord! Seek Him to cleanse you and your family that you may love Him faithfully in all you say and do!

Don’t wait until you sense an urgency. If you are at that desperate place, by all means, cry out to God! But if you see early signs of trouble, begin then to humble yourself before the Lord on behalf of your loved ones.

“With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,” Isaiah 26:9.

How can this be accomplished? Here is basic counsel which, when lavished in prayer, God will use as you seek to obey Him.

1. Be active in the friendships and relationships that your children have. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to relationships that are harmful to your child’s character. To allow a daughter to pursue or to call a boy on the phone is to encourage her to usurp and disrespect the leadership role that God gave to her father, and to the boy who will one day be a husband. To allow our sons to receive those advances is to teach him to accept the take-over of his father's authority and his own future role as leader, provider and protector of his family. Teaching a son to be the head of his household and to love his wife, and a daughter to respect her husband must not be forsaken at the time of real life application!

While friendships with both sisters and brothers in the Lord are valuable, until a person is ready for marriage, it is not wise to have a romantic relationship. To set one's mind on Jesus and to give other thoughts to the Lord for His capture and control is crucial. “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases,” Song of Solomon 3:5. Waiting on God can be painful, but it is the only way to have His best!

2. Singleness should not be tolerated, but embraced! It is a special time to be lavished in the love of God, to draw near to God and spend time with Him, getting to a place of putting Him first in one’s heart.

A list of character traits of a godly personality is a good thing to consider at this time. What is important to Jesus, and so to your son or daughter? It is good for them to know what they value in another person, not just someone of the opposite sex, but in friendships as well; those are the things that will help them to recognize the mate the Lord has prepared for them. The desire for Jesus to lead is nourished as intimacy with Him grows!

Time with Jesus is so crucial, and when do you have more time than when you are single? Learning to watch for Him in life experiences, and to listen to His voice in His Word and by His Spirit, these are the things that single days are to be soaked in! Finding ways to serve Jesus among His people in the church, studying, and gaining interests and learning to use and refine skills that a person is acquiring takes energy and focus, and singleness is the time to give undivided attention to the Lord in this way.

3. If the Lord has designed your child for marriage, at just the right time, He will give direction toward a certain person! You may need to find out if a specific nudge is from Him or not.


Watch for the character of the person of interest: their response to Godgiven authority, the language they use, the way they help others (or don't), whether they are a person of integrity by how they act, whether they love truth. How do they treat their family members? Watch for the fruit of the Spirit, and discuss qualities with your child; how would this person speak to an elderly person, or to a little child? Will their humorous remarks at another's expense be funny if directed at your child for the next forty years? Does the person you see try to get attention for him/herself, or to love others for Jesus' sake? This is the time to stay alert!

And if you see strong evidence of the Lord and it seems good to all involved, pray for an opportunity, and then step out in faith, to discuss with the intended more directly the issues of life and specifics of faith. Do this before action is taken to move ahead with the relationship. If you are uncertain or can see that this relationship is not of the Lord, “go back to sleep” on the desire for marriage, as Adam did while God was forming Eve! (See Genesis 2:21,22.)

Our culture practices dating, a “try it out/break-up-if-it-doesn’t-work” mentality, which has the same thought pattern as “marriage/divorce”. Spending time together is essential, but is best guarded in the company of one or the other’s family, or with godly friends in a group, having time to talk together and to watch and learn how the other responds to situations.

But impress upon your child to stay alert, and pray for him or her to “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts,” Romans 13:14. Time alone together can be a time the flesh, which is weak, is tempted. Your advice should be for them to stay in the company of trustworthy people who love and care for their soul. As Dannah Gresh, author of And the Bride Wore White writes, “Stay public, stay vertical”! Physical contact creates an emotional bond, which is why some wisely keep even handholding for betrothal or marriage. Continue in prayer and don't compromise your walk with the Lord, but draw nearer to Him, and maintain the godly relationships He has graciously placed in your lives!

Suggested reading: I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, both by Joshua Harris.

Pray these things in, ask the Lord to do in you what only He can do!

Reread the lesson if you want to understand this better. Pray for your child to embrace his or her singleness and to live it unto Jesus. This time of life is precious! Pray for discernment and for a godly mate for your child, if it is God's desire. Focus with your child on serving the Lord, finding creativity in this life of service! Be watchful and read and believe the Word of God!

The most important decision a person makes in this lifetime is whether or not to receive Jesus Christ’s payment for their sin. The second most important decision is the choosing of a marriage partner. When your child marries, you don’t want the walk down the aisle to be just a tradition, but a physical sign of a spiritual truth.

Will you join me in prayer?

Lord God, my Father, You are a Father who provides for His children. Please do what needs to be done inside of me so that I can be faithful to you in this area of my life. I ask You to work in my family, too. I know that Your Word brings death to my old nature, and life to my spirit. Cause me to so believe You that I will be fervent to speak of You to my children, and to obey You with joy. Go ahead of us to prepare our children and their spouses for one another. Protect their spouses from the entanglements of the world, and give them someone to teach them of You and to give them a good inheritance. Please help me to be faithful in prayer for our child’s future spouse. Thank You for betrothing me to Your only Son! In Jesus’ name, A-men!