Sunday, May 22, 2011

Misguided Faith is no Laughing Matter

It's so easy for us to poke fun at people we think are crazy.  Maybe it's the way we deal with strange ideas that don't resonate with us.  I tend to joke and tease about many things-that's "just me."  But I have to tell you that I was quite convicted these past few weeks of how people (including myself) made light of a very serious situation.  I watched satan steal my testimony to those caught up in rapture mania.

No one likes to be mocked.  I know I don't.  I have had my faith in Jesus Christ mocked many times.  If you have never been in that position, I guarantee you--it's not a fun place to be.  So what would make me think that poking fun at Camping followers thinking the rapture would happen on a certain date would be a good idea?  Just caught up in the teasing maybe.  Not realizing the potential damage it could do.  Forgetting that Jesus Christ is love.  Could you imagine your young child coming to you and asking you to discern whether or not a faerie tale is real--and you laughing at him and poking fun at him until he disappears in shame--no longer to seek your guidance for the fear of ridicule?   I didn't think so.
The last thing I would want would be to push someone away from real faith in Christ for fear or ridicule or shame!

It's easier to make light of something when we don't personally know anyone with that particular belief system.  When we actually know people eternal souls who have fallen for lies, it becomes more personal.  When we stop and realize the weight that such a false teacher has on the church and the lost--and how satan is convincing believers to mock and ridicule and destroying our testimony of faith--then we might be able to see it in a different light.

I have repented of this sin.  I was right there along with them in the beginning, and now I grieve my actions.  Will you join me in turning from this sin and loving them for Christ?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I can't tell you how much I love this video.  It makes me want to stand and cheer, sing and shout.   This is TRUTH  please watch!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Natural Soap Giveaway

If you like natural soaps (and these smell goooood) head on over to my friend Angela's blog and check out her giveaway.  I have used her soaps and love them!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cultivating a Culture of Failure?

Last week Indiana governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill that would require teachers to be paid by merit rather than seniority.  To union members, this was a slap in the face.  To those of us who work at jobs where our raises are based upon evaluation of performance, it probably made a bit more sense.  I loved reading the comments on the Northwest Indiana Times Facebook page.  The reactions were mixed and quite insightful.

One of the comments stood out to me.  A woman defending the teachers said that you can't always blame the teachers for poor performance of their students.  Her assertion was that there is too little parental involvement, and if the kids don't get the help they need at home, then they are more likely to fail despite the talents of the teacher.  I want you to know that I am in whole-hearted agreement with her.  But I do see an irony in the situation that maybe she doesn't see.

When I first decided to home educate my kids, I was met with many questions and criticisms.  One of the frequent criticisms was that I was not "qualified" to teach my kids at home.  Despite the fact that over 20 years of high scores on standardized test in the home school community, we are still met with this argument.  I believe that it is a prevailing attitude that parents are to feed and clothe their kids, and it is up to the schools to do the rest.  I can even see this line of thinking spilling over into the church community.

Last year I read the book Already Gone: Why Your Child Will Quit Church and what You can do to Stop it.  It was an eye-opener to think that 85% of churched children will leave their faith behind at some point in their lives.  The book made a lot of good points, but In my opinion, it missed to mark with the solutions that it offered.  Churches these days look much like schools.  Sunday school classes are age-segregated.  The emphasis is on programs for the kids.  We have really fallen short of encouraging parents to take on their God-given call to teach God's Word to their own children.  Some have even gone so far as to tell parents that they are not qualified to teach the Bible to their own children.  We are even rearranging the rules of our Bible clubs to accommodate the children who lack parental involvement at home.  We see it as necessary to the spiritual development of the child, and just assume that no amount of encouragement will inspire the busy parents to get involved.   So we continue to tweak Sunday School and Bible club curriculum and avoid the real problem for fear of insulting parents who are too busy to help.

It is really hard to place the blame squarely on these parents.  This is just the way we think these days.  Government and schools have pressed hard to make parents understand that their children's education is not their responsibility, but rather the government's responsibility.  It isn't so hard to imagine this line of thought trickling over into Church culture.  Young couples are focused on careers and being able to afford the things they want.  Most moms can't wait until their kids are old enough for school so they can have their lives back.  It's just the way we are.  I remember thinking this way at one point too.

I don't have all of the answers for the school systems.  I have perceived it as a broken system for quite some time, hence the decision to home educate.  For parents, however, I can confidently say that we can turn the tide of mediocrity.  All it will take is a dedication to being the number one educator and influence in your child's life.  For some, it might mean cutting back on work to spend more time with the family.  Or maybe just getting up an hour earlier to read the Bible together before school.  Whatever it may be, the core of it is taking the responsibility for raising your kids upon yourself and not allowing the church and the schools to claim the primary responsibility. 

If the schools really want kids to succeed, they need to send a message to the parents that they ARE qualified.  I believe that it is the same with churches.  The key is educating parents about their Godly call to be the primary educator, then equip them to succeed in doing so.  A little bit of encouragement can go a long way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Being a Good Person is NOT Enough

My Dear Friends~

There have always been difference of beliefs and styles of worship or dedication in the Christian Church.  Many of these differences are unimportant.  Some of them, however, are critical.

Jesus made clear in His teachings that there would be self-proclaimed Christians who didn't really know Him.  Matthew 7: 21-23 says:

"Not everyone who says to Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

It is critical to realize the Jesus is not speaking of the atheist here.  Nor is He speaking to those of other faiths who follow false gods.  He is speaking to those who profess to know Him.

How can we be sure that He is not speaking to us?  How can I know that my faith is genuine?

Saving faith in Christ does not hinge on what church you attend.  You do not have to be a Baptist, Pentecostal, or Catholic to be saved.  The Bible does not teach it.  As a matter of fact, you can attend any one of these denominations and still be lost in sin.

Saving faith is Jesus comes only when we come to a place of humility before God.  The Bible says that our righteousness is like "filthy rags" compared to the righteousness of Christ.  We can spend our lives serving others and giving to charities and still be lost.  That is all works.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Titus 3:5

When we recognize that we are sinners and there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves, we then begin to see our need for a Redeemer.  It is at that point, when we realize that we have nothing to give to God, that his work of grace can begin in us.  

This past Sunday, our preacher preached a sermon on Hebrews chapter 4.  It was all about "Entering into God's rest."  For many years, I believed in Christ, but I did not have that rest.  I found out later in life that belief was not enough.  Today, I am trusting only in Christ's atoning work on the cross to save me.  I don't trust in the fact the I go to a Baptist church.  I don't trust in the fact that I read my Bible and take my kids to church.  I do not trust in the fact that we listen to Christian music only.  I do not trust in the fact that I was baptized or confirmed into a certain denomination.  This is not what the Bible teaches.

If you are trusting in your own goodness or works to bring you to God, then you are on the wrong path.  I would be delighted to talk with you more and explain how you can know Jesus rather than just knowing about Him.  You too, can enter into God's rest.  Rest from trying to be good enough.  Rest from trying to save yourself.  Rest in Jesus.

"Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 
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