Friday, October 26, 2012

Being Where You Should Be

As I think about the recent horrific shooting in Colorado, a particular thought keeps coming to mind.  Many died that night because they chose to patronize a dark film in a dark theater at dark midnight rather than being at home sleeping peacefully in their beds.  In other words, where they should have been.  


I feel a strong urge to keep myself and my children where we are supposed to be at any given time.  I choose our activities carefully and always seek my husband's thoughts on the matter, too. There have been many times that I've been absolutely certain that God has protected me through my husband.  So when he expresses a preference about where we go or who we go with, even if it seems trivial, I'm careful not to just toss it aside even if it seems insignificant.


Wrong Place Wrong Time

The victims of a shooting are not to blame so please don't misconstrue what I'm saying.  It's just that, in this instance, had those people not wanted to go to a midnight showing to see an ungodly movie, and had instead chosen to be home that night, they'd still be alive.  (Theoretically, anyway.) 

It is similar with the Columbine shooting victims, only that one rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents sending their children off to their "good school" to be "educated" where they were subjected to the rampage of madmen.  Not one homeschooler was killed on that dark day because their parents saw to it that they were where they should be: at home. 

Q: What about 911? Were those people "wrong" for taking a flight? 

A: It's one thing to have no choice when a freak accident occurs.  It's another to be somewhere when a tragedy occurs and you didn't really need to be there.  Or actually, you really shouldn't have been there.  

Q: What about acts of God, like a tornados, cyclones, volcano eruptions and hurricanes? 

A: In my humble opinion, it's better to meet death or tragedy while being where you are supposed to be, than being in a tragedy where you really ought not to be.  People at home in a tornado/hurricane/fire, etc - these can't be helped.  I believe that in those instances, God's hand is clear.  But people in a movie theater, to see a dark movie, at midnight - that was a choice.  With deadly consequences.  No one can say, "It couldn't be helped".  I believe it could have been helped.  


For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Peter 3:14



Biblical Example 

King David in 2 Samuel 11, was supposed to be in battle with his men.  But instead he sent out Joab and his servants while he himself stayed at home.  

King David was not where he should have been.  

Because of his being where he really shouldn't have been, he was hanging around the house when he should have been out fighting battles with his men.  
So instead, his cavalier choice brought him an opportunity to view a woman whom he should not have been viewing.  This first improper choice - to stay at home instead of fight like a man - led him to terrible sorrow,  trouble, sadness, murder and the death of two people: Uriah the Hittite and the child born of David and Bathsheba's adultery.  

David ended up repenting and was forgiven by God, but he also paid the penalty of being in continual unrest and war for the rest of his life.   

All because he wasn't where he should have been.

The Bible seems to teach that God would rather we suffer wrong when we are somewhere that we should be, than suffer wrong when we are somewhere that we shouldn't be. 


In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6



Friday, October 12, 2012

Sin Nature

Many doctrines have invented terms that are nonexistent in the Bible. Like the term total depravity. You won’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Nor does the word “sinful” ever appear with the word “nature”, as in "sinful nature". In fact, every use of the word “nature” in scripture, the opposite is implied. 

For instance, the Bible says in Romans 1:26-27  "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."

This verse makes it utterly clear that h*mose*uality (that God calls abominable) is contrary to nature. It's a choice, like every other sin. 
Charles Finney said, “If in fact we had a sinful nature that would be the best of all excuses for sinning." - Charles Finney 

The prevalent doctrine of "sin nature" would make sin God's fault, not mine. If we were born predisposed to sin and incapable to doing anything else, how can we possibly be responsible for something we "can't help"?  And how can we be sorry and repent for for something we are not even responsible for?  You see? Such a ridiculous, heretical, unbiblical and impossible doctrine.

Adam's sin separated him from God and all his descendants have been born likewise. Separated from God. And that makes us predisposed to independence which leads to sin. But we are not born with some kind of a fixed inclination to sin. But our flesh (our cells, skin, tissues and bones) is happy to indulge. The Bible tells us the flesh and the mind are at war. We may want one thing, but the flesh another. What you do determines who your master is. 

Adam had a desire to see things pleasant, to eat food, to be wise, gifts God gave him. And it is those very attributes that Adam exercised that led to his sin.

So if the presence of universal sin can only be explained by sinful nature, how would you explain Adam having sinned or Lucifer having sinned before that? 

Certainly there was no possibility of any kind of an evil nature being present prior to the fall.  

How would you explain the fact that Christ was tempted in all points like as we are.  Certainly he didn’t have Adam’s nature. Yet he was tempted. What was the nature of the temptation? What was in him that could be aroused to lust, to disobey God, except the body of flesh? (Look up the phrase "body of flesh" in the KJV).

Theologians teach that Christians have a two natures and that the Christian life is a struggle to conquer that alter ego, the sinful self that dwells inside. 

The Bible teaches that there is a struggle for a Christian, but the struggle is not between two inner personalities - an old Adam sinful personality and a new Christ personality. 

That’s not the struggle. The struggle in the scripture is clearly between the flesh and the spirit. 

It’s interesting that in the NIV in Romans chapter 7 and 8, they take that word, flesh (or “sarx” the greek word used 144 times and translated as the word "flesh" 143 times in the King James Bible) that one, single, short, word for flesh and translate it “sinful nature”.  Flesh is what gets burnt, gets bruised, gets cut, gets freckled, it dies, it rots, it’s buried  flesh is flesh. 

Many modern bible versions say that, “I know that in me, that is in my “sinful nature” dwelleth no good thing”.  

And that is exactly the way that fundamental Christians all down through the years have interpreted Romans 7. They think that the word flesh does not mean flesh, it means sinful nature. The fact that the King James Bible never uses the term “sinful nature" anywhere, ever, has not deterred the development of the (false) doctrine of sinful nature.  

The truth is that the doctrine doesn’t come out of the scriptures. It comes out of experience. I know in my own experience I am weak and ineffectual when it comes to dealing with sin. I know that in my own experience that sin is so easy to do. And that there’s a readiness in me to do things that are sinful.  

Before men get saved, it’s impossible in practice for him to give up his sin. Paul describes the situation in Romans 7.  Theologians say that sin dwells in my nature, but scripture says that it dwells in my flesh

Scripture is God's word. So who do you think we should believe - God or man? Men developed the idea that there are two selves: one that can only do sin and one that can only do righteousness. A truly ludicrous notion that masses of people have fallen victim to believing. They believe it because they want to. The alternative is their own responsibility and accompanying guilt.

What about justification?  Justification is the work that God did for us in Jesus Christ. There’s nothing we can ever do that contributes to our justification. But what we fail to understand is that sanctification is equally objective, equally outside of us, and equally the work of Christ —  not for us, but TO us. 

The full gospel is this: Jesus died FOR me to forgive me of my sins and I died with him to free me from it’s power.  I am free from the power of sin. I don't have to yield to it. I can say no and call on the power of God to walk away. 

So justification is the work God did IN CHRIST. 
Sancitification is the work God did IN CHRIST TO ME.  

Resting in Jesus is my joy. Trusting in all he has done, is doing and will do. It's good to be free. :) It's good to know that if I stumble (sin unintentionally) I have an advocate with the Father. Jesus, my mediator, friend and Saviour, is interceding for me and covers me. I am His forever. 

If you are reading this and you are unsure of your salvation, it is simply a matter of getting right with God.  


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soft Femininity

Soft femininity is something every woman must constantly pursue because we are living in a world where it is being aggressively attacked.  Yet it's worth fighting for.  Especially if you are married.  

The Instincts of Men

God gave men natural instincts to protect and care for the vulnerable, and weak. They are attracted to those who need them, admire them, and appreciate them.  These male instincts are not conscious choices by men (real men), they are God given and they are good!  For a godly man, this means he will be naturally drawn to having a wife and children - both weaker than he and in need of his protection and provision.
  
Men who are effeminate are not born that way.  Men and women are all born with their respective God-given instincts.  Depravity somewhere in the upbringing subdues those who behave contrary to what God has designed. 


Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. 1 Corinthians 6:9
And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.  Romans 1:28

But back to our topic: soft femininity.  What does the bible say about it?  A lot actually.  There are many outstanding women in the Bible who give us examples of soft femininity.  A soft and feminine woman is altogether lovely in her man's eyes.  She concedes to his direction and leading.  She needs his wisdom and strength.  Did you know that the more you rely on your husband, the stronger he becomes?

A man has the instinct to protect, but it erodes when there is no one to protect.  It's like a muscle.  The more it is used the stronger it gets.  A good man is precious - like gold.  If you have one, as I do, don't take him for granted!  There is nothing like being cherished by a man.  What is at the core of most every movie and song?  Romantic love.  What we women want is devotion to us alone.  But too often, women forget what their man wants or don't bother finding out. It's imperative to not only find out but to give it. 

A wise woman seeks to find out what her man cherishes in his heart and spends time finding out what he likes, dislikes, his passions, his dreams, his causes and his talents.  

It's important to make ourselves lovely.  Never lose sight of this.  My husband deserves to come home to a pretty woman every night and have a hot meal ready and a warm bed waiting. No matter if you are not the most beautiful woman in the world, you are to your husband. Or at least you were when he chose you to marry.  

Making yourself beautiful for him starts from the inside.  Men are highly attracted to smiling, cheerful, funny women.  There is no way to completely encompass all there is to shoot for when becoming a full woman.  But there seek out some good resources to learn more.  

 I feel like a real woman when I am meeting my husband's needs.  What happens is miraculous.  The more that I meet his needs, the more he meets mine.  Talk about bliss!

I work on my appearance and spend time taking care of myself so that my husband is glad I'm his.  This is fun to do, but it is also a 'labor of love'.  It's tempting to let ourselves go after getting married.  But it's worth every second we can put into it to cultivate femininity.  The more opposite we are to masculinity, the more attractive we become to our man.

Feminine Traits to Cultivate

A softer voice. If your voice is deep, husky or in any way masculine,  practice a more feminine, higher pitch. Don't overdue or it will feel unnatural.  But a soft voice is a very becoming aspect of femininity.

Graceful Movements.  The graceful step of a feminine lady is lovely to behold.  Her footfalls are gentle and sweeping. Her graceful mannerisms are fluid and quite the opposite of a man's blunt, edgy stance.  Women actually used to take classes to learn this valuable trait.  One of the exercises to learn graceful walking is to put a book on your head and try to walk without the book falling off.  

A Softer Touch.  The touch of a woman should be lighter than a man's.  Our hands are often worn out from dishes, laundry and housework.  Take time to moisturize them before bed each night. When you touch your husband and children, be gentle.  Your kids should notice a stark difference between the touch of their mother and father.  

A Softer Face. We don't want our face to look stern most of the time.  Our faces reflect what is going on in our hearts and minds.  Make thankfulness a part of your thought patterns every day.  Make smiling your default setting.  Think on lovely things and your face will soften.  Meditating on God's goodness is a good place to start. 

Get or Stay Physically Fit.  Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtuous woman and how she strengthens her arms.  I think it's important to stay strong and healthy because our arms have a lot of hugging to do! :)  So find a way to get a walk in every day and lift weights a few times a week.  The benefits are innumerable and your firmer curves will be an aphrodisiac to your husband. 

Dress pretty.  Leggings are not pants. Tight pants are not attractive.  Low cut blouses are tawdry.  There are ways to dress attractively, but still maintain a decent level of modesty. Men are attracted to women.  Dress attractively for your own husband, not mine. :)  Men are very, very visual.  Don't make him fight his need to look at an attractive woman.  Be attractive to your husband. Most men appreciate long hair, subtle frills, glowing skin and  pretty scents.  


There are so many more I could list but I am out of time.  For more on this subject, there is a book called "Fascinating Womanhood" that I've not read all the way through, but I intend to once I have my own copy.  Today, let thankfulness pervade your thoughts for all that God has so graciously given you. 


Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Eggshell Water for Joints

I am making some eggshell water today.  Sounds weird, but eggshell water, taken in small amounts daily, helps to increase bone mineral density.


Eggshells are quite rich in calcium.  They even look like thin, round bones, don't they? My joints have always been loud, snap, crackle and pop joints. My mother and youngest son are the same way so I guess there are some genetics involved.  But I've always wanted to find a way to strengthen them.


So I found a recipe for eggshell water that I want to try and I will report the results in a few weeks to let you know how it works. 

To make the eggshell water, you pour 2 cups of hot water over 4-5 crumbled egg shells. (Make sure the eggshells are clean and membrane free.)  Add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the shells out and put liquid in a clean glass jar with a lid. Take a sip of the liquid one or two times a day. You're not supposed to take more than that amount as it could build up too much in the body.  More is not better here, so if you do this, stick to the one or two sips a day.



It seems to me that the assimilation rate would be much higher with this supplementation than it would be when taking hard calcium tablets.  Those things just end up in the commode unabsorbed most of the time. 

I'll propably drip a little in my kids milk each day, too, that way they won't really taste it.

Isn't it wonderful God's provided so many wonderfully natural ways for us to have all we need to live and grow and enjoy his creation. But I'm especially grateful that he gives us people who figure out how to use what he gave us and share their knowledge with the rest of us!

UPDATE:

I made the eggshell water, put it in a drinking glass in the fridge and began taking little sips of it throughout the day. What didn't fit in the glass I put in my ice tray and froze to be added to smoothies later on. 

On the second day, I noticed that my joints felt firmer than before, so this stuff definitely works!  I am getting totally addicted to finding awesome ways to care for the health of my family and myself apart from big pharmas!!  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer Reading Vs. Skill Building


Well the summer of 2012 is past and beautiful Autumn is upon us.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  I had a restful but productive break from blogging (for anyone out there who's still reading this blog! lol).  

So how did you spend your summer?  Did your kids participate in the popular summer reading programs that most public libraries offer? I must say, we have never participated in one of those programs until this summer.  We reluctantly joined about a month into the program. But the prizes were really disappointing, as we'd expected.   

My biggest biggest difficulty has been finding books that are worth investing the time to read.  There is so much drivel now a days (as Charlotte Mason would say) and so few books to choose from that don't have more of a negative influence than a positive one.  And since my children are impressionable and precious to me, I am pretty particular about the materials I give them to read.



So our reading choices lean toward books and materials that build skills. We like good biographies, too, but even there we are careful of the level of detail of sin they share.



So rather than reading the whole summer away, I always encourage my children to do productive things with their time - especially starting at the 12 to 14 age range. I want them learning skills, starting their own businesses, ministering, and really not having time to spend reading books (except for their school work and Bible times).  

This summer, my boys practiced their juggling skills and they got so good that they each bought a set of juggling pins with their own money.  They'll be presenting their skills at a future homeschool Presentation Day.  They also went camping with their dad, exploring caves and waterfalls and they started their own business selling Paracord bracelets. Their summer was filled with activity, learning and experiences rather than a lot of reading for the sake of busy-ness.



As I spend more time in the bible, the worldly influences from the past continue to fade and my reading standards continue to rise.  :) 

So many books I used to think were good choices I find to be no longer worthy of consideration. Children absorb what they read in a way that might not sink in with adults and I don’t want my children soaking up the kinds of materials that many parents these days consider to be good choices.




The educational world says that children must read, read, read and that influence has infected a whole lot of people.  On the surface, an enormous amount of reading certainly sounds good.  I mean, reading leads to learning, right?  Opens the mind, carries away the imagination? Have you noticed the immense push for children to read?  Have you ever wondered why are there no reading incentive programs for adults? Hmm.



What kinds of books do kids typically want to read? Mostly fiction.  Reading fiction is like eating candy or sitting in front of the tv.  It’s mostly a waste of time, generally unproductive and usually addicting.




Our children read a lot in their school work and Bible time. However, we don't want to give our children an appetite to sit and spend hours with a fiction book any more than we want to give them an appetite to sit and spend hours in front of a TV.




This summer, we found productive activities for our kids to do rather than just ways to entertain them.  They grow up so fast and now is the planting season.  When my children read a book I'm aware that it is as though someone I don’t even know is spending hours a day with my children.  And those aren’t passive hours, they are very serious.  Books are people talking to our children.  I always try to consider 2 things: what are they saying and what are they trying to teach my child?




There is nothing like pure ability to boost a child’s confidence and sense of value and usefulness.  Even at young ages, children are aware that usefulness is synonymous with worth.  When a child’s summer is filled with one  toy, play date, video game, and  fiction book after another , the only thing accomplished is that time has been spent rather than invested.  In order to build the character necessary for the quickly approaching adolescent years, a child must be provided and confronted with challenges. 

Boys can  be learning lawn maintenance, garden tool care, small engine repair, household repairs, wall or fence painting, carpentry skills, bird house building, dog training, garden growing, etc. Our sons will never forget the summer they built a tree house with their dad in 2009. They were 10 and 12 at the time. And my oh my, were they proud of that accomplishment!  Not to mention the bonding experience with their father - it was priceless. 

Our daughter is grown and married now, but when she was younger, I taught her as many homemaking skills as I possibly could.  She learned how to crochet and sew a little, paint, garden, bake and all household tasks including laundry, cleaning, organizing, and decorating. When she was 11, she cooked our family an entire meal made from scratch – all by herself.   

One summer,  she classified, catalogued, organized and labeled a huge box of vintage postage stamps.  There were thousands of them!  We got her some special books for stamp collecting, a magnifying glass and a bowl to soak the stamps and she went to work. It was really impressive when she was finished. She was so proud of her accomplishement. And many amazing old stamps even spurred her on to some fascinating history lessons!  

Kids are so much happier and better prepared for life when we fill their days with useful skills and take advantage of as many teaching opportunities as we can.  We all love our children and want them to have fun.  But they grow up sooo fast.  It is worth teaching them to have fun while learning skills.  They will thank us for it when they are grown.  



I turn a deaf ear to the voices who exalt reading as though it were some highly prized goal.  Teaching our children to walk in truth, holiness and love God is the prized goal.  

Thought to consider: Who is 'talking' to your child today?