Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reaching Out to the Lost

Matthew 9:10-13 “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I read this passage in my Bible devotions this morning, and even though I have read it many times before, it really stuck out to me. How often do I choose to spend time and fellowship with other believers and do not spend any time with those that could use some friendly prodding and encouragement? While being with other believers is very important, my missions should not be to just hang out with my friends that believe the same as I do. My mission is supposed to be reaching out to the lost world. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous; He came for the ones sick in their sinful hearts. These verses got me thinking about the many times that I chose to spend time with my friends rather than reaching out to those who are struggling or younger than I am. God has laid out a mission field before us. We must take heed that we do not squander that mission. Good Christian friends are wonderful! Jesus spent a great deal of time with His disciples, but His mission was for the lost, as our mission should be. Let’s take the extra time this week to reach out to those that we might at other times overlook. They need our love and care.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

His or Her?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership. Between studying the presidents, taking government class, Generation Joshua, and some different talks and sermons I’ve heard, the Lord has been giving me a clearer view of Biblical leadership. We live in a culture that had basically turned away from God’s plan and created its own formula. This has affected practically every aspect of the way we live. This year, I am the president of our 4-H club. I didn’t run for election, in fact, I had told people that I didn’t want to be the president. Our club leader personally asked me to please be the president because no one else would. 4-H is not a Christian organization. When I serve our club, I look at it as a ministry out in the world, but the very sad reality is that this is happening even in the Christian circle. Today, we have a great lack of true leaders. Why is this? We find the answer in Genesis.
            When God created the world He created women to be the helpers of men. Adam was created to care for God’s creation and Eve was created to help Him. When they disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit in Genesis chapter 3, God told Eve that she would desire to be over her husband.  (Genesis 3:16) Since that day, women have had a desire to be over men. And just as Adam was persuaded of his wife to eat the forbidden fruit, many men today have been persuaded to just let the girls handle it. As history has progressed, the gender war has only worsened. Our current culture has done a 180 degree turn from away from the Biblical pattern of leadership. Even the church has let Biblical guidelines go. We have women preachers, divorced pastors and elders, perverted leadership, and the church often stands back and lets it go. (1 Timothy 3:1-7) Why? Because it isn’t politically correct and today’s society is all about being politically correct. We can’t say women shouldn’t be pastors, because that would somehow be putting men above women. We can’t say a woman can’t be President because that would not be giving equality to all people. This is a very sad reality that we live in.

            This political correctness has led to a decline in more areas of life than we may even realize. Even our language has been destroyed because of sexism. How?  Study the rules of pronouns for instance. Personal pronouns are supposed to agree with the gender of the person. No problem that is, until you have to use a pronoun for a type of person – meaning their gender is unknown. In the proper rules of English we would just use the masculine. But we can’t do that anymore because that would be putting the man above the woman.
For example: When the worker comes to our door, they will give us some paperwork.
In the old proper form: When the worker comes to our door, he will give us some paperwork.
We now use plural pronouns to replace singular nouns just to be politically correct. When we turn from a Biblical format for leadership suddenly everything has to change because we are going against God’s plan.

            Now, I know this next paragraph is going to be rather controversial, especially as election time nears, but for the sake of not being politically correct I am going to share. I personally do not believe that it is right for a woman to hold a position of governmental leadership. Leading the nation was not and is not the woman’s role. I know what some may be thinking, “What about Deborah?”  I think a key issue to understand about the story of Deborah in Judges Chapters 4 & 5 is that it wasn’t a good thing. Chapter 4 starts by saying, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.” The children of Israel were not following after the Lord during that time. I get tired of people using the story of Deborah as the reason why women should be in public office. In truth, when people begin talking about Deborah, we should be waking up and saying, “This is not good. We need to find some Godly men.” We should not be saying, “Just like in Deborah’s day there are not enough good men to lead so therefore the women need to take charge.” At the very mention of Deborah, we should be falling on our knees and begin begging God to raise up men that will be good and Godly leaders.
            All of this is not to lay blame on men or on women, we are both at fault. And this is not to say that men are better than women. Scripture tells us that in Christ, men and women are equals. The difference is we were given different roles. The person that cleans the dishes at a restaurant is of no less value than the person who cooks the food. If either one of them were gone the whole restaurant experience would be very unpleasant. So it is with men and women. We were created to complement each other with our God given roles. Yes, I am the president of a 4-H club, and the reality is, it saddens me. I would much rather have the young men in our club step up and take charge. We ladies need to be helping and encouraging the men in our lives to be leaders, and men, we need you to step up. This means standing alone. Now being that I am not a man, I can’t speak for you as well as I can for a woman, but let me share something with you. I have a leader, first-born personally. I always have, probably always will, which is why I notice so acutely the lack of manly leadership. Because I am a woman with a leader mentality I see how easy it can be for a woman to just pick up the slack where men leave off. It is a struggle, I know, for a young woman who has the “desire over him” sinful nature to submit to manly leadership, but ladies, we need to learn to submit and guys, we need you to lead.
            So what are ladies to do? Take the role that God has given and be help meets, whether that is to your Dad, brothers, or spouse – if you’re to that stage in life – and serve to the glory of God. They say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Think about it. Behind ever great man there is at least one woman. I would rather be a mother like Mary Ball Washington, or Susannah Wesley that raises and trains her children to be the great leaders of history, than a Susan B. Anthony or others that I could name. These women were great, not because they were the first woman president or women’s rights activists, but because they were the mothers of great men. I wonder how many great men we have lost simply because women have left behind their God given roles. We, as the body of Christ, need to start taking a stand for what is right according to the Word of God, not what our culture says is right, but what Scripture says is right.

God Bless!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Thankful For Them...

These two are my favorite people in the whole world!

They are my best friends...

the most helpful counselors...

the best listening ears...

the most caring teachers...

and last but definitely not least...

they are the most AWESOME parents in the world!!!!! 

They have been happily married for over 20 years and they are the greatest examples that God has placed in my life. Through thick and thin they have stuck together with the greatest of loyalty, and they are more in love now than ever.

I am so thankful to God for giving me such wonderful, sacrificial, caring parents. I know many people who do not enjoy such a close relationship with their parents and I greatly pity them. I have learned so very much from my parents wisdom. I can talk to them about anything.

I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today if it were not for my parents. Ever since I was a baby they have trained me in the ways of the Lord and for that I cannot express enough words of gratitude.

This Thanksgiving weekend, let your parents know how much they mean to you. They are one of the very greatest gifts that God has given you. Don't take them for granted.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm The President

Crowds cheer, banners wave; it doesn’t matter that it is freezing cold outside or that you cannot move due to millions of people all moving as close to the capital building as they can. It does not matter that the noise is deafening and no matter where you stand, all you can really see is people’s heads or the cameras that they are holding up in the air. It does not matter, simply because you don’t have to deal with all of the crowds and noise. You’re the president and all you have to do is get up there and give them a speech that will knock their socks off… Well not exactly. See, it has to be a pretty exciting thing for people to travel hundreds of miles, out in the cold to watch. The question is, “What is so exciting?” What is it about a new president that excites people? Is it the things he says? Or is it the things he does? I want to share a few thoughts on what being a president is really about and why it is such a big deal in our country.

            When our Country was formed, our founders wanted to make sure that we would be free from the tyrannical rule of a king, but they were also wise enough to see that the Romans Republic and the Athenians Democracy had problems in and of themselves. So, our founding fathers formed our government with great, painstaking care so that we might enjoy the freedoms we now have. They knew we would need a leader, but that leader must be held accountable and must not gain too much power. George Washington, who was unanimously chosen as our first president, set an example for all of the following presidents. He sought no power and prestige and he retired after two terms. His goal was to lead and help the American people. He served his country and won the respect of his countrymen and even the respect of the king of England.  What he did not do, was bring a list of ideas and promises for the American people. He served with upmost humility that his country still honors him for.

            John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I can’t help but think of this verse whenever I think of presidents in general. The principle of this verse, laying down your life for others, is so strong and yet so lacking in many of our leaders. When I studied the life of James Polk, I was so struck by how hard he worked and served our nation. He only served one term in office, he knew what he needed to accomplish and he worked endlessly to fulfill all he had set out to do. Three months after retiring he died. This man gave his life for his country. He had goals, but they were not for personal gain, they were for the good of our country and he gave all that he had to make sure he accomplished that.

            Sadly, James Polk was one man, just as George Washington was one man, but the ideals and the principles that men like these left us with can continue on. Perhaps if people would have a “do unto others” mindset, government would not become so messed up. As Jefferson Smith said in the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Great principles don’t get lost once they come to light. They’re right here; you just have to see them again!” And maybe that’s just it. We just need to see those principles again. You see, in that movie Mr. Smith wasn’t a top guy. He was just a newly elected senator who wanted to help others in our country – namely, boys. He wasn’t there for personal gain, and in the end he won simply because of principle. Mr. Smith was a leader. Though small in comparison to the other experienced senators, he stood out because he wanted to serve our country.

             Any man can say he wants to serve our country, but it takes a man of principle to truly step out and serve. An eloquent tongue and a message of promises will fool many, but the wise will look past these outward frivolities and recognize whether or not this man has principle. Our Nation needs men with principle, men who will stand alone and fight for what is right and good. Presidents that go down in history are the ones who fought for a cause bigger and greater than they, and they fought tirelessly. Let us not forget their examples, because it was what these men fought for and how they fought that makes them great. Look to the great men of the past, and become great men for the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Talking to God

Thank you to all who prayed! Daddy was able to come home last night, and the doctors seemed to have fixed the problem. Now he just has to deal with the surgery pain... :-(...and no work for 3 days, meaning I'm in charge of book stuff.
Well, yesterday it just so happened that our business computer decided that freezing every 30 seconds would be a lot of fun. (I'm not exaggerating!) That makes it quite difficult to print orders and packing slips, and to e-mail costumers. The stress began to mount and I am so thankful that my brother Michael was there to help me because I might have had a Caleb Holt/computer moment. (For those of you that haven't seen "Fireproof," we'll just say it has something to do with a computer and a baseball bat.)
At one point, Michael was in the other room when the computer decided to freeze again and out of frustration I said, "Lord, can you please help this computer to work! I just can't get all of this done with a frozen computer." And then "click, click, click," it began to work again - only for about a minute mind you - but long enough for me to get the page opened that I needed opened. Michael laughing from the other room yelled, "So, you figured out my trick!" I replied, "What trick?" He came in smiling and answered, "I always talk to God about my computer problems. That's how I can always get the computer to work."

It's amazing how much easier life would be if we just took all of our cares to the Lord. I know God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want Him to, but He sure fixes problems better than we do. He didn't make our computer start working like new when I asked, He just allowed it to do what I needed when I needed it. Looking back I realize that God was using this frustrating time to teach me two lessons. One: that I needed to talk to Him more, and not just with my problems, but in all of life. And two: that I needed to show my brother more appreciation for all of the ways he helps me from day to day.

Michael was able to change some things on the computer this morning and it's working fine again, but yesterday was a good reminder to me that prayer is a constant, on-going thing. Don't stop praying when you say "Amen." Pray continually. God sees all we do and go through, I just wonder if sometimes He's waiting for us to ask Him for help.

Once again, thank you for all of your prayers. My Mom said that while she was at the doctors she had peace and she knew that many people were lifting Daddy up.

Make it your goal to spend a little extra time in prayer today.
In Christ,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Please Pray!

Hello to all,
I just wanted to ask if you could all keep my Dad in your prayers. The last several days he has had sever abdominal pain and at 4:00pm today he is having a surgery so that they can figure out what is wrong. None of the doctors know for sure what's wrong and there are just a lot of unknowns. There are several different diagnosis' going around and we just don't know. Pray that the surgery will go well and that the doctors will be able to find out what exactly is going on.

Also, please pray for my Mom. I know this is very hard on her and yet she has been so strong and caring for my Dad.
We are trusting in God's sovereignty. He has a perfect plan and I know I can trust in Him.

I will try to post later after the surgery and let you know how everything went.

In Christ,

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Reformation Day Faire Stuff

And here's some very late highlights from the Reformation Day Faire.

Mr. Potter was excellent! I learned a lot about the persecution that the Scottish Covenenters went through.

 Mr. Serven went through some important points in the Westminster Confesseion of Faith. It was so rich.

Jared, my brave Scottish brother! He was the only one man enough to wear a kilt! (Just kidding) I was so blessed to find a lady that knew how to make kilts and she showed me how so that I could make this one.

Andrew and his Scottish baseball binky. ???
He didn't like his costume and it was off about 5 minutes after this picture was taken.

There was a really neat family that all knew how to do various Country Dances and so during Towne Square they got the bag pipe player to play some songs while we danced.

Nathan and his leatherwork.

Kendra and her candle.

Highland Games!
Yep, that's my brother with that GIANT log! (I don't know if I could even lift that thing, none the less throw it. :-)

Why it's..... Jared Wallace!

Go Michael!

Funny story here. See that little boy in the kilt fighting Nathan? Well all day on Saturday he kept popping up and was talking to me. He was really sweet and hung around me quite a bit. Anyways, I was having a conversation with some girls at the conference when he jumped in and started talking. One of the girls asked if we were related. He put his hands on his hips and declared,
"Do I look old enough to be married?"
All I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh. Hey, at least we know there's hope for me someday. During the dance, he asked if he "may have this dance," several times. He was soooooo cute.

Jared Wallace off to battle.

My beautiful sisters and I.
The ball was in a gym so the lighting was difficult for taking pictures and I didn't have time to edit the ones we took. Sorry.

We had a wonderful time.

Morning and Evening

The evening one is just as good!

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Morning and Evening

Today's morning reading is wonderful!
You must take a look.
Morning and Evening: Daily Readings Christian Classics Ethereal Library