I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to be Counter-Cultural

Yesterday, the kids and I had the opportunity to attend a Pastors and Missionary Conference here in Texarkana. We really enjoyed it. I sat in on a Women's Workshop conducted by Alison Crane. In one of her points, she quoted Nancy Leigh DeMoss as saying, "Christians should be counter-cultural." Then Alison described what culture looks like today by reading 2 Timothy 3:1-7

2 Timothy 3 (NKJV)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, if this is what culture is, and we should be counter-cultural, what should we as Christians be? Here is a list based on the passage from 2 Timothy 3

The way culture lives:
lovers for self
lovers of money
boasters, proud
without self-control
despisers of good
lovers of pleasure

The Way Christians should live:
lovers of others
doers of good
lovers of God

As I look through this list, I have to stop and ask myself, Am I living counter-cultural? Yesterday's lesson has made me think... hope it does the same for you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Luke 6:44-45 (NKJV)
For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart[a] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Proverbs 20:11 (NKJV)
11 Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.

Our home has always discussed politics and politicians openly... the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. So, by the age of 6, Ethan not only knew the names of many politicians, he had a pretty good idea of the things they stood for.

Ethan is now nearly 12. Jason and I are rarely surprised when he asks questions or makes statements concerning what is going on with our country. Jason is very good about explaining it to him, and why we agree or disagree with it.

There was one statement he made that did surprise me. When Ethan was 6, we were outside enjoying a beautiful day. Ethan was riding his bike, Erin (then 18 months) was playing, and I was reading a book. No discussion of politics. Ethan made an announcement that a prominent politician (he called the name out) was going to hell. Caught completely off guard, I asked him why he would say that. He said, well we are known by our actions, and the actions of (politician) do not line up with God. I told him that that is true, and that we should pray for this person. He quickly said, "oh, but (politician) is OLD!" But he did agree to pray... and still does pray for our leaders.

At that age, Ethan didn't realize that we are never too old to come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We all need to be praying for our leaders... whether in Washington, our home states, or our home towns. We need to pray first that they know the One True God, and that they have accepted or will accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior. Then we need to pray that they are seeking God for guidance and following His will as they serve us.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

War on Women

If you have listened to the news lately, you have probably heard that there is a war on women. In case you haven't, let me give you a brief run down of what that means. Because Christians do not believe that abortion should be a part of health care, there is a war on women. Because Christians do not believe that contraceptives should be provided by employers, there is a war on women.

Every time I hear that phrase, I just get sick to my stomach. War on Women... Really? The REAL war on women did not begin recently. In truth, it began with the Feminist Movement and the Sexual Revolution of the 60's.

This morning, as I was perusing Facebook, I ran across this quote from Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
One of the things the feminist movement has done so successfully is to stir up discontent in women with being homemakers and to convince them that other pursuits can increase their sense of self-worth… Fueling discontent and pushing women out of their homes in search of greater meaning and satisfaction has resulted in off-the-chart stress levels for many women who can no longer survive without pills and therapists… The greatest spiritual, moral, and emotional protection a woman will ever experience is found when she is content to stay within her God-appointed sphere. This does not mean that she never leaves her house, but rather that her heart is rooted in her home and that she puts her family’s needs above all other interests and pursuits.

I thought that is so perfect. As women, we have been told that in order to be happy, we have to find "SELF fulfillment." Therein lies the problem.... SELF! God did not create women to be self centered. He created us to be a help meet. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18 We were created to help our husbands. God designed us to nurture our children. He planned for us to be keepers of our home.

Here is the blueprint for the life of a woman:
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:4-5

As was stated in the quote earlier, this does not mean that women can never leave the house. Look at the Proverbs 31 Woman. She bought and sold a field, and she made fine linen and sold sashes to merchants. She earned and invested money, but that was never her priority. Her priority was always her home. She watches over the ways of her household.

The way to win the War against women, is to dig deep into the Word of God. Seek His plans, and follow those plans. His way is not the easy way, but it is the right way. It will go against what the world tells you. However, if you follow the Word of God, you will have peace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Do You Follow?

Pinterest is a big thing online right now. I have many friends who have joined and love it.... They all say nearly the same thing, "It is so addictive..." I already have to guard my time on the computer, and didn't want to add something else to steal my time... so I decided to stay away. However, a few days ago, someone (I don't know who) sent me an invitation to join. I decided to go ahead and jump in.

I set up a page, and left it at that. I didn't set up any boards, follow any one, or pin anything... (at this moment, I am not sure those terms are correct, but hopefully you can figure out what I mean.) I didn't think much else about it, that is until I received an email that someone was following me. I had to laugh out loud! Remember, I had nothing on my page. Why would anyone follow me????

As I went on Pinterest to pin a few things (because I was embarrassed to have followers and no pins), and to follow a few people, a verse popped into my mind.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)

Do we give much thought into who we follow? Or do we just blindly go behind whoever? In case you didn't catch it, I am no longer discussing social networks... although the things we say and do on those sites reflect who we follow.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27, 28 NKJV)

If we belong to Jesus, we should be following Him. Our words, our actions, and our thoughts should reflect that we are followers of Christ. The people we listen to and those we trust for guidance, they should be followers of Jesus. We can tell if someone is following Jesus, if their actions line up with the Word of God. The Bible is our standard.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45 NKJV)

We are all following someone. The question is are you following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Or are you following the world?

So, Who Do You Follow?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Proverbs 31 Woman - Her Sense of Self Worth

Proverbs 31:22 (NKJV)
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Verse 22 of Proverbs 31 discusses the sense of self worth of a virtuous wife. She thinks enough of herself to enjoy the luxuries her hard work makes possible for her.

Self worth is an area I have struggled with for years.... since childhood. In the past, I have needed the approval of others. This is a dangerous road to be on. If you are dependent upon others for approval, you are likely to do things that are not lovely in the sight of God. A lesson I have finally learned, although have to remind myself of daily, is this...

Our worth is NOT measured by what others think or say of us. Our worth comes from God. We need to know what He says about us.

So what does God say about us? If you are a child of God, here is a partial list of what God has to say:

* I am loved. 1 John 3:1
* I am accepted. Ephesians 1:6
* I am a child of God. John 1:12
* I am Jesus' friend. John 15:14
* I am a joint heir with Jesus, sharing His inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17
* I am a temple of God. His spirit and His life live in me. 1 Corinthians 6:19
* I am a member of Christ's body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
* I am redeemed and forgiven. Colossians 2:10
* I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1
* I am a new creation because I am in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17
* I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. Colossians 3:12
* I do not have a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
* I am God's co-worker. 2 Corinthians 6:1
* I have direct access to God. Ephesians 2:18
* I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God. 2 Peter 1:4
* I can ask God for wisdom and He will give me what I need. James 1:5

When you are struggling with self-worth, choose to believe what God says about you. Get out your Bible, and let God's word minister to you.

The Proverbs 31 woman is secure in her relationship with God. She thinks enough of herself to want the best for herself, but always without causing harm to her family. Remember verses 11 and 12 "The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life."

When we value ourselves, and want what is best for ourselves, it is reflected in the way we honor our husbands, the way we raise our children, the way we run our households. Being a wife of worth is hard work, but our hard work makes the luxuries possible.

As you mediate on verse 22 this week, think about this question: What is my worth? Dig deep into what God has to say about you, and enjoy the fruit of your labors.