Archives

Tickled or Pickled Ears?


I’ve noticed that more and more people who call themselves Christians are allowing their ears to be tickled.  Many of these people don’t study God’s Word and only read Christian self-improvement books and/or short devotions.  I’m also seeing more of my friends and family who are either attending church sporadically,  are no longer affiliated with a church body, are only attending Sunday school (and refusing to go to worship services), or are members of a “feel good” church that doesn’t dig into Scripture with sermons that are just positive messages that don’t talk about sin.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4

ear tickeled

 I’ve been making my own fermented foods.  Kimchi and sauerkraut are two of my favorites; they taste good and they’re good for my body because they’re probiotic foods. Pickling food by using a salt brine not only preserves the food, but also adds “good” bacteria during the pickling process that helps with digestion. 

Jesus called us to be salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13 for the very same reasons we use salt — we are to help preserve and flavor the people around us as we serve Him:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Heavenly Father, I praise You as our Creator and our Provider.  You have given us everything we need.  I thank You for Your Word that enriches and preserves our lives.  Father, I lift up my friends, family and others who are being deceived and are only having their ears tickled.  Father, please guide me and help me to be a pickle each day — not sour with my words but salty so that I may be used to flavor the lives You’ve put in my path.  I ask these things in Jesus’ name, so You will be glorified.  Amen. 

Advertisements

After God’s Own Heart

  I’m heartbroken as I read this morning on Facebook that yet another
Christian friend is going to vote for the female candidate.  

If we are reading God’s Word, we have the answers to EVERYTHING in how we should live: from dating, marriage, raising our children, dealing with sin, etc.

 path

King Saul chose to do things his own way.  Through the prophet Samuel, God told Saul that due to his disobedience he would be replaced by a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  When we fast forward to 1 Samuel 28, we find Saul consulting a medium and is told why the LORD had turned away from him and the consequences he would face “because you did not obey the voice of the Lord” (1 Samuel 28:18).

Americans love our country, but do we love it more than God?  If we truly love God, why are so willing to choose leaders who believe it’s okay to kill the unborn?

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 Heavenly Father, I praise You as the One True God!!  You alone appoint kings and leaders.  Father, I lift the United States to You.  Please bring us to our knees to seek Your face and Your wisdom in choosing the leaders You desire for this country and in our local elections.  Please show me how to lovingly respond to Christian friends and family who don’t follow Your Word.  Please correct us and forgive us as You corrected and forgave King David in his sin.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

NO grey areas

I’ve have been shocked by the number of Christian women who have read Fifty Shades of Grey or who will be watching the movie when it comes out next week.

The other day, a Christian fitness blogger posted how most Christian women would be upset if they found out that their husbands read or watched porn. He then asked why is it okay for women to read it?  While most women agreed with his post, I was surprised at how quite a few women tried to justify their reading this book, with several actually calling it a love story.  Some women were even getting upset that other Christians were judging them — one woman shared how her pastor had written on her Facebook page after she posted something about Fifty Shades of Grey, and how he was no longer her pastor.

This morning I read another post that started off on how one of the nation’s leading Christian publishers conducted a survey asking Christian women to name the most influential book they had read in the past year.  They found that a startling number of women said Fifty Shades of Grey was their favorite book of the year.    

I had never heard of this book until a two years ago.  A 10th grade student asked me, “What are you reading? Fifty Shades of Grey?”  I politely told him no, asked him if he really wanted to know what I was reading, and when he said “Yes”, I told him that I was reading the Bible on my Ipad.  Of course, when I got home I immediately Googled what this book was — I was floored that a student would even ask me this question!  We had a few subs who were reading it during our DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time, and many in the student body were reading it, too, so I guess that’s why this student thought it was okay for him to ask me this.

This book is pornography. If we call ourselves Christians, we are to hold each other accountable.  This is where we get it wrong — we are not to judge those outside the church:

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)

There’s many scriptures on sexual immorality, warning us to stay away from it.  I’ve actually stopped reading any fiction at all because when I started reading books the students were reading (Divergent is one), I was disgusted at how writers are adding in underage, premarital sex to their books.  I believe this is exactly why today’s teens are lacking modesty  — if you could hear the conversations I overhear at school, you would be embarrassed.  I feel that this is because of books/movies/music that have themes like Fifty Shades of Grey.  Parents need to be better role models for their kids by not reading it themselves, and by also taking the time to read what their children are reading.

Getting to the Core

 It’s been an absolutely BEAUTIFUL summer here in Northwestern Missouri — it hasn’t been too hot, and this week has been in the low 80’s.  The apples on our State Fair apple tree usually ripen mid-August, but the hubby and I took advantage of the cooler temperatures and decided to pick apples two weeks early.  

wheelbarrow full of apples 

Surprisingly, most of our apples have had very few worms this year (we don’t spray our trees with chemicals).   As I was cutting up apples for freezing and canning, it was easy for me to just cut out the portions of apples that contained any worms.  Every so often I found an apple that appeared flawless on the outside, but once I cut it in half I found that worms had ruined the seemingly perfect apple.

 wormy apple

As this disappointment occurred several times over my 4 day process of preparing apples, I realized this is similar to the sin in my life.  I may appear clean from the outside, but on the inside I am just as wormy as the apple in the above photo — anger, jealousy, or any other unrepented sin sure can “eat” away at me if I am not careful.   

Jesus told the Pharisees that it wasn’t things like dirty hands that make people unclean, but that it is what comes out of a person’s heart — their core — that makes them defiled.  In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus explained this further to his disciples:

“What comes out of a person is what defiles them.  
For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

The prophet Samuel learned this valuable lesson when he first thought Jesse’s son Eliab was the one God wanted him to annoint as the new King of Israel:   

1 Samuel

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this wonderful season of summer.  Thank You for cooler temperatures and the bountiful harvest you’ve given us.   Thank You for continuing to love me even when I look good on the outside, but am a wormy mess on the inside!  Holy Spirit, please continue to convict me of my sin of anger, unforgiveness and jealousy, and please show me if I have any unrepented sin in my life.  Thank You, LORD Jesus, for Your gift of salvation through Your death on the cross.  Thank You for loving me that much!!  In Your Precious Name I pray.  Amen.

Guarding Your Valuables


proverbs 423

 

We only guard things that are valuable to us.
Every believer knows that our hearts and our minds are our most precious assets.

The heart is where all our dreams, all our desires and all our passions live.  It’s who we truly are — and all our actions, our words and our thoughts overflow from our hearts.  

The mind is where ideas are inspired, where our memories are stored,
and our thoughts are processed.  The human mind is so very complex —
a wonderful work of engineering by our Magnificent Creator.

The heart and mind are also where our enemy will attack us first.  

In John 8:44, Jesus said that Satan is “a liar, and the father of all lies”.  He has many weapons in his arsenal to attack us with, but his greatest weapon is deception: 

Rehashing mistakes we have made;
Revisiting sinful events from our past;

Reliving painful memories from our past;
Thinking of ourselves first and not serving others;
Thinking more importantly of ourselves than we ought;
Over-indulging in pleasures because we think we “deserve it”.

  For these reasons, we NEED to stay in God’s Word.  In the book of James,
the author wrote about when  we face trials and temptations:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each person is tempted when they are dragged
away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NIV)

Did you notice how James said “when” we will be tempted and not “if”?
We need to constantly be on guard because our enemy DOES seek to
devour us (1 Peter 5:8).  Be strong against the attacks of your mind by staying
in His Word so you can protect  your valuables from his schemes.