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
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.
There are many more children who have divorced parents than when I was growing up in the 60’s. There were only about 9.2 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1960. This number more than doubled in 1980 and it continues to increase.
I believe the main reason for the steady increase in the divorce rate is because we have become a disposable society. Automobiles, appliances, and cellphones are quickly replaced when the newest technology comes out. About 12 years ago I tried to have a microwave repaired; I had used it only for 2 years when it stopped working and the repair shop told me it was going to cost almost double to fix it than buying a new one.
It’s the same with marriages and relationships. I’ve heard many young people complain how someone they’re dating only stays with them until the next best thing comes around (I blame those numerous dating websites, but that’s a topic to explore another day). I also hear children complain about how a parent (or another family member) talks badly about the other parent.
Ephesians 5:22-33 is for wives and husbands, but it’s the first two verses of this chapter that show how we all should treat each other:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)
If we call ourselves Christians, we NEED to love each other. That means NOT speaking badly about your spouse or your ex-spouse, ESPECIALLY in front of the children. If you’re doing this, you’re sinning and setting a bad example to your children.
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Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Author of marriage. Thank You for Your Word that gives us the example of Biblical marriage and how we should treat our spouse. Thank You for faithful husbands and wives who live out these examples each day and who show others how we are to live and treat each other. Thank You for godly parents who desire to be obedient examples to their children. Father, I lift up those who are separated/divorced and ask that You please silence the negativity no matter who it comes from. Holy Spirit, please convict Christian parents and family members who choose to speak badly of ex-spouses. Please guide our homes to be loving and please restore broken relationships. I ask these things in Jesus’ precious name so You will be glorified. Amen.
It was 34 years ago that I first tried a No Bake Cookie.
I was single, overseas, and living in Air Force barracks. When a coworker’s wife made them for him to share at work, I asked for the recipe. It was the first recipe that someone ever wrote out for me. This couple also happened to be some of the first true Christians I met.
From the ages of 15 to 21, I could have been called a “wild child”. Even though I ran and worked out, I also smoked cigarettes and drank heavily. Very heavily. I lived a very wicked lifestyle and everyone I worked with knew it.
One professing Christian told me that women shouldn’t be in the military. He also told me how his wife stayed home, never wore pants, and only listened to the radio. Sure — like that was going to give me a desire to become a Christian.
Thankfully, God continued to put nonjudgmental people in my path who shared His love in kind and thoughtful ways. They did not put down my sinful lifestyle. They didn’t comment on my filthy language. They showed me Christ’s love in caring actions and the way that they lived their lives.
I’ve used that cookie recipe numerous times. I’ve made them for my own family. I’ve made multiple batches for youth group events. I’ve taken plates of them to new neighbors, sick friends, and new moms. I make them for the kids I work with at school.
I rewrote that recipe on a card because the original became wrinkled and stained from use. Every time I take the recipe card out, I think of that loving Christian wife who made cookies for her husband’s coworkers, how the LORD used those cookies to soften my heart, and I thank Him for that loving act so many years ago. As I made a batch of No Bake Cookies tonight, I thanked the LORD for allowing me to serve Him and will do so every time I make them.
When I think of fluff, this is the very first thing that comes to my mind:
Oh so sweet, oh so gooey marshmallow creme.
On a peanut butter sandwich it is wonderfully delicious,
but the creme (and the white bread) are totally worthless for you nutritionally.
When I quit all forms of structured ministry last year, I gained more time to make meals for people and had more time to encourage others. When I stopped reading fiction and discontinued online Christian book studies, I was able to read through the Bible twice. When I gave up white sugar and white flour, I began reading food labels more and started eating a healthier diet. When I took apps off my Ipad and didn’t get on Facebook so much, I found more time to go the gym and refound my love of exercise.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was writing in response to the sinful things that were going on in Corinth. The below Scripture reminds us that even though we have freedom in Christ, not everything is constructive or beneficial:
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I love living life more purposefully. By removing some fluff, I feel like I’m not wasting the precious resource of time and I’m definitely not as stressed. I also feel like the things I’m doing are more intentional, and because I’m not overly busy I am able to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. This week I put in an application for a month long mission trip. Please pray for me if this is God’s will I will be accepted.