Monday, December 31, 2012

Precious Memories

The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

Psalm 16:5-6

Don't be one of the casualties

Absolute Truth

“…Christianity rests on a foundation of absolute truth, and that foundation is as sturdy as a rock.

1 Kings 17:24; Psalm 25:5; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 4:15; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 3:19

Biblical Christians believe that moral absolutes---such as “You shall have no other gods before me” and “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:3,13)---are grounded in the absolutely moral God of Scripture (Matthew 5:48).  God stands against the moral relativist, whose behavior is based on whatever is right in his own eyes. 

Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6; 21:25  

The absolutely moral Creator-God (Isaiah 44:24) has communicated precisely what moral behavior He expects of us (Exodus 20:1-17), so we, His creatures, are responsible to render obedience (Deuteronomy 11:13, 27-28).

This is an important issue because moral relativism leaves no way to distinguish between truth and error, right and wrong.  The road of moral relativity has no center stripe of absolute truth.  

Consequently, this highway is littered with casualties. 

He will die for lack of discipline,  
led astray by his own great folly.
Proverbs 5:23

Pearl of Wisdom:  

You can be absolutely sure that absolute truth is real and that each of us will one day face the absolutely moral God of the universe to give an account for the way we responded to His absolute truth.

from Day 1 of 5-Minute Apologetics for Today, by Ron Rhodes

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hey! I'm at peace!

by Sydney Hauser, 2011

In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

My tongue will never cease praising You!

To thee with joy I sing,
Sweet child that heaven did bring.
Now Judah’s Land shall ring
With thy praises.

Gentle Stranger, in the manger.
In Judah’s Land we find thee, infant Savior.

I greet thee, Prince of Peace;
From sin give thy release.
Nor shall my tongue e’er cease
From thy praises.

Gentle Stranger, in the manger.
In Judah’s Land we find thee, infant Savior.

Thy crib can scarce contain
Thy love, our precious gain.
May hymns new heights attain
With thy praises.

Gentle Stranger, in the manger.
In Judah’s Land we find thee, infant Savior.

Now twilight quietly comes,
The baby lies asleep.
Play softly, flute and drums,
To His praises.

Gentle Stranger, in the manger.
In Judah’s Land we find thee, infant Savior.

Judah’s Land, collected by Gladys Jameson, Berea College, Kentucky

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mindsets which mar our view of God’s Truth

Umbrellas. :o)

I love umbrellas~~~such happy memories of using umbrellas as a child, walking with my beloved under umbrellas, my children under umbrellas... Using an umbrella still gives me that thrill of childhood.

Life, though, has certainly brought reality up front and personal and one of the ways is the term: 

“The Umbrella of Protection,” which is used in the philosophy of Gothardism.  In the least, it is a legalistic, unbiblical aberration. 

The blog post Peering Underneath the Umbrella: Musings on Gothardism, by Dulce Chale, is worth your read to open your eyes to the level of falsehood which is out there in Christian circles, and to not only be aware of it but, 

PLEASE beware of it!

Of all the ways and situations in which I have come alongside women and families over these years, I was still broken by a 'new-to-me' falsehood which is propagated in Gothardism as I read this blog post.

The false belief is that if you are "perfectly obedient" under the Umbrella of Protection, then you are a "diamond".  But even if you stray (sin) from this "perfect obedience" and return (repentance?) then you are considered a "cracked diamond" and will never be as good as those who are perfect. 

Before I continue, we must have a reality check.

No one --- not one of us is perfect even if we were to follow Gothard's lists, or any other manipulator's or cult's list of rules, to perfection --- so no one is perfectly obedient. 

Romans 3:21-26
 Apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as apropitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

So what is this "Umbrella of Protection"?  

You see---absolute obedience to Gothard legalisms is expected under a father of the Gothard family.  When you are under him, you are under “the umbrella of protection”.

Dulce shares, 

“Those who rebel and eventually return are gravely compared to cracked diamonds--only worth a fraction of the value they could have had if they had been submissive all along.”

...“The fatal flaw of Gothard’s teachings is that he denies the power of Christ.  It is all about Man.”...

“Grace becomes redefined as MAN’s desire and MAN’s ability to do God’s will. [This] “Grace” rests squarely on our efforts.”...

“The work of the Cross becomes an afterthought, and all that matters is our ability to conform to the checklist.”...

“The concept of mercy is ignored.  The power of Christ’s sacrifice is a mere footnote to our own efforts and accomplishments.  

This is incredibly dangerous, especially because it is the kind of mindset that corrupts every thing it touches.”

Dulce finishes with: 

“I find that grace isn’t about me; it is about the amazing love that God lavishes on us.  It isn’t about my efforts or shortcomings.  It is about His mercy and patience in helping me grow...I am enjoying the glorious sunshine of freedom and grace.”

Now to all my dear, precious sisters in Christ~~~

no matter where you have come from, no matter where you have been, no matter how "cracked or broken" you may feel, no matter what anyone says of you or thinks of you~~~

You are dearly loved by God.  

His Son, our Savior, died for you and was raised from the dead conquering sin--all sin. Your sin and my sin. Yesterday's sin and tomorrow's sin.  When you humbly turn from your sin, and repent, you are a new creation.   

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 

When God sees you, He sees you through Jesus's blood---you are spotless in His righteousness.

Yes, we still have a sin nature and we still sin, but we do not live in a consuming life style of sin.

Paul says in Romans 7:14-25:
we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

Wretched man that I am! 

Who will set me free from the body of this death? 

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

So precious sisters in Christ~~~know you are a jewel to the King of Kings! Precious in His sight.

Malachi 3:17 NKJV
“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

 Recovering Grace, thank you for your ministry.

Look what our good God has done for us

Good people all, this Christmastime,

Consider well and bear in mind

What our good God for us has done

In sending His beloved Son.

O let us all both sing and pray

To God with love this Christmas Day;

In Bethlehem that Christmas morn

There was a blessed Messiah born.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep

Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;

To whom God’s angels did appear,

Which put the shepherds in great fear.

“Prepare and go,” the angels said,

“To Bethlehem, be not afraid;

For there you’ll find, this happy morn,

A princely babe, sweet Jesus born.”

With thankful heart and joyful mind

The shepherds went the Babe to find.

And as God’s angel had foretold

They did our Saviour Christ behold.

Within a manger He was laid,

And by His side the Virgin Maid

Attending on the Lord of Life

Who came on earth to end all strife.

Wexford Carol, From County Wexford, England


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waiting continually for the LORD

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning.  Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.  In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
Psalm 5:1-3

Precious Handmaidens----those of you who ache with wayward loved ones always on your mind.   Those of you: Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters, sisters in Christ* …who wait, and wait for any change, for any sign of change.   For you who are war weary from waiting...

The LORD knows your sadness, He understands your painful waiting.   He is glorified by your choices to continue to live for Him in the midst of your chaos.   He is full of mercies and comfort in your anguish.   He has not forgotten your cries ~~~ instead, He knows them intimately, He cares for your wayward ones more than you can fathom.

Dear Ones, continue to run to Him, humble yourself at His feet, seek His face in all these things, and get up and do “next things” for Him even through your pain.

You cannot lose my love
You will lose your baby teeth.
At times, you’ll lose your faith in me.
You will lose a lot of things,
But you cannot lose my love.
You may lose your appetite,
Your guiding sense of wrong and right.
You may lose your will to fight,
But you cannot lose my love.
You will lose your confidence.
In times of trial, your common sense.
You may lose your innocence,
But you cannot lose my love.
Many things can be misplaced;
Your very memories be erased.
No matter what the time or space,
You cannot lose my love.
You cannot lose,
You cannot lose,
You cannot lose my love.
Sara Groves
*Grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons, brothers in Christ...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blessed be my Rock!

As for God, 
His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tried;
The Lord lives, 
and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be the God of my salvation,

The God who executes vengeance for me,
And subdues peoples under me.

He delivers me from my enemies;
Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from the violent man.

Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord,
And I will sing praises to Your name.

Psalm 18:46-49

His gentleness makes me great.

As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God,

The God who girds me with strength
And makes my way blameless?

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me upon my high places.

He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.

You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.

Psalm 18:31-36

Sunday, December 23, 2012

With my God I can leap over a wall!

You light my lamp;
The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

For by You I can run upon a troop;
And by my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalm 18:28-29

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I stand in a broad place because of Him

He sent from on high, 
He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.

He delivered me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hated me, 
for they were too mighty for me.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my stay.

He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, 
because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Deliverer is coming

I love You, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock

and my fortress 

and my deliverer,

My God, my rock, 

in whom I take refuge;

My shield 

and the horn of my salvation, 

my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord, 

who is worthy to be praised,

And I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3

Having Done Everything, Stand Firm

Ephesians 6:10-17

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able 
to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but 
against the rulers, against the powers, 
against the world forces of this darkness, 
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, 
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, 
and having done everything, to stand firm.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, 
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  
in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith 
with which you will be able to extinguish all the 
flaming arrows of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God.