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Category: Conviction

None of Us Want to Grow Old?

None of Us Want to Grow Old?

“Dr. Bernard Nash is a social worker who’s considered a pioneer in the study of aging. He points out the paradox that we all want to live longer . . . but none of us wants to grow old! And that’s true today.” This quote was from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ blog post about her upcoming 60th birthday. We may have been born on the same day!

Unlike the quote, I am thankful to be growing old. I could have easily died when I was 45 years old and my sodium level was 110 instead of 137-147. This has happened several more times since then. They consider 110 sodium level “death level.” I have also survived two brain surgeries. Last May, I had a bad reaction to my thyroid drug and my blood pressure was up to 222/110 at one point which is stroke level. Yes, I am thankful to be alive at 60 years old. Perspective is everything!

I turn 60 years old today. Each day is a gift. Overall, I have felt better the past few years than I have in the 30 years prior. I never thought I would feel good again but I have some very good days. It’s fun to be able to enjoy life and be able to work hard and serve others.

I followed Jeremiah’s Thomas’ struggle for life on Facebook. He was only 16 years old and died of cancer a few days ago. He loved God, preached the Gospel, and fought hard against abortion. He had a bright future ahead of him but God used his illness for good. Many thousands have heard the Gospel and learned the value of the unborn while watching his fight for life. His life was short but it was used for the glory of God. Jeremiah would have loved to grow old.

My mom passed away a few weeks ago. She lived a long and good life. She never had to see a spouse, child, grandchild, or great grandchild die. Yes, she saw me through my sufferings and it pained her but she never had to experience an untimely death of one she loved. She was blessed, yet she definitely had her struggles and sufferings but she never complained about growing older since she knew this was a part of life and all of life was a gift.

If you are growing old, be thankful. If you are getting wrinkles and gray hair, be thankful. Our culture worships youth but I sure don’t. Wisdom and experience are priceless things we can learn from growing old. I don’t mind my gray hair and wrinkles. I am happy to have them! I am happy to be growing old with the husband of my youth who still finds me attractive! I am happy to have children in their 30s and being called a grandma. All of these are huge blessings to me.

God is good and His ways are good. I don’t know what His future plans are for me but I do know that they are good even if they include suffering and sorrow. Sufferings and sorrows remind us that this isn’t our home and a new heaven and a new earth are awaiting us. This life is a blip on the scene of eternity. Enjoy each day and understand that it is a gift not to be wasted with frivolous things like seeking pleasures but living it to glorify God. I am thankful to be growing old!

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
Job 12:12

She Loves Jesus and Cusses a Little

She Loves Jesus and Cusses a Little

There is a post going around Facebook that was written by a popular “Christian” woman named Rachel Hollis. I am going to share it with you and my comments are in parenthesis. Her type of thinking is lukewarm at best and doesn’t present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all. This is why it’s so popular among the masses. She wrote from her emotions and feelings (as many women are doing today) instead of from the truth of God’s Word. Please, dear women, be very careful whom you learn from.

I love Jesus, and I cuss a little. ( I love Jesus and I don’t cuss because God doesn’t want any unwholesome words to come out of our mouths.) I love Jesus, and I drink alcohol. (I love Jesus and I don’t drink alcohol. No, it’s not a sin to drink alcohol as long as it “just a little” or “not much” as clearly outlined in Scripture; for we are commanded to be sober.) I love Jesus, and some of my best friends are gay. (I love Jesus but my gay friends are struggling against their sins.) I love Jesus, and I adore hip hop music. (I love Jesus, and I adore worship and praise music! Most hip hop music promotes worldliness which we are to have no part with.) I love Jesus, and I totally read romance novels where vampires fall in love with librarians or school teachers or female detectives with a tortured backstory. (I love Jesus and I try to only read those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and of good report as stated in Philippians 4:8.)
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If you’re looking for someone who’s perfect, you’ve come to the wrong gal. (If you’re looking for someone who’s perfect, I can point you to the person of Jesus who is perfect and He lives within me mightily! He gives us the will and the way to live righteous lives in this sinful world.) If you’re looking for a community of people who are just like you, you’ve come to the wrong tribe. (We are commanded to walk with the wise and warned that bad company corrupts good morals, so I love to find a community who are like-minded that love the Lord and His perfect ways.)
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Diversity is our jam. (Christlikeness is our jam.)
Judgment is our enemy. (We are to make righteous judgments and clearly judge between right and wrong. “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” – Romans 12:9)
Encouragement is our aim. (Encouragement to become more like Christ?)
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I love everyone AS THEY ARE and if you’re in this community that means you commit to loving everyone as well. You know, just like Jesus would do. (The same Jesus that said that if your right eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out and if your arm causes you to sin, then cut it off? And the same Jesus that told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more? Are you talking about this Jesus? Yes, He loved people but he hated the sin that so easily entangled them and kept them in bondage. He came that He might bring the truth and the life and He died to set us from from sin! Please, read and study Romans 6 and 8. I love you enough to tell you that Christ has set you free, if you will believe in Him.)

I am a Christian but I fully love and accept you and want to hang out with  you if you’re a Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or Jedi or love the opposite sex or love the same sex or love Rick Springfield circa 1983. (I am a Christian and we can hang out if you are a Muslin, Jewish, Buddhist, Jedi, or love the same sex but expect me to do all I can to lead you to the Savior of your soul since only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father except through Him.) Not only that, but I think the ability to seek out community with people who are different from me makes me a stronger, better version of myself. (This is only true if you are hanging out and following the examples of those who are strong in their faith and in their walk with the Lord. I don’t want a “better version of myself.” I want to become more like Christ.)
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There are so many different versions of each and every style on this planet. There is beauty in that dichotomy. (Yes, there is beauty in dichotomy but not in sin or in those who will receive the wrath of God if they don’t repent and believe.) The kingdom of God is in that dichotomy. (No, you fail to present the Gospel which clearly states that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The kingdom of God lives in the hearts and minds of those who have received King Jesus as Lord and Savior by believing on Him. Period. There is no dichotomy with this and there is but one narrow path to God by way of His Son who came and died to set men and women free from sin, not free to sin.)

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20

Are You a Christian, Christian?

Are You a Christian, Christian?

Written By Ken

Lori and I are big believers in grace. Ask anyone of our children and you will find that we tried to be like our heavenly Father towards them. When they failed to live up to God’s admonitions, grace abounded towards them but we never give up on the established standards because of sin. We gave them God’s ideals daily, demanding that while they lived in our home they followed the precepts of God’s Word. For this is what God requires of us as parents to not allow our love for our children to blind us training them in what is best for their lives.

If you are not familiar with the word “antinomianism” look it up. It means that some in the church follow a heresy that God’s grace is so pervasive in the life of a Believer that the Christian can go on practicing sin, or living in sin, and no matter what they do God’s love and grace forgives them. Some have made a mockery of God’s abundant grace, and although God’s grace will cover a multitude of sins for the Believer (past, present, and future), those who continue to walk in sin are missing the point that they may not be saved in the first place. Yes, it is not a loving God that one should fear when we continue in sin, but rather our God who has wrath stored up for sinners who do not walk by faith into righteousness. After all, the same great salvation that saves us for eternity also saves us from our sins in the here and now.

Many in the modern-day church seem bent on wiping away God’s demands on our lives. Our churches are failing to teach God’s standards and ideals with any conviction that they are to be pursued in spite of Christ’s words, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” It seems every post Lori produces that explains God’s best and His ideals for life and godliness is met with another Christian blogger waxing and waning on how horrible it is to not focus almost exclusively on God’s love and grace. Hey Christian, did you ever consider that a large part of God’s love and grace comes by heeding His admonitions so you don’t live your life filled with regrets for your sins? Why not try to stop the person diving into the shallow side of the pool before they dive head first instead of administering love and grace after they hit head first on the bottom?

There is plenty written on love and grace in the church, but the time now for young men and women is to decide to do things God’s ways so they can reap His many blessings. The loss of one’s virginity before marriage, debt, and not putting great energy into one’s family because of a career, are all preventable if one is shown the better way of God’s will by His Word. There is an important place for God’s admonitions to follow His ways and a place for love, grace and acceptance when we fail Him. But let’s not be so quick to jump on the grace bandwagon that we neglect to speak the whole truth of God’s Word that warns us to avoid “the sins that so easily entangle us” and can ultimately ruin so much of the good life God has in store for His children who do things as He instructs.

Moreover, should not the love of Christ and His great work on Christ compel us to obedience if we see no reward in this life? Is that not what putting on Christ and His Lordship is all about for the true Believer? “For the love of God controls us, having concluded this… that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Are you a Christian?
Far too often after a post on simple admonitions of serving, submission, and keepers-at home, we hear, “You are not a Christian!” or “You are doing damage to Christianity!” It is amazing how challenging the status quo of a modern society that is bent on doing what it wants, and shoving women out of the home and into the workplace, can conjure up such consternation. Some cannot seem to separate respect for a person from a disdain for the ideas they espouse on their blog. The personal attacks are unwarranted and hurtful coming from Christians whose desire is not to dialogue but to shut Lori down. After all, Lori is just teaching what the church has taught for almost 2,000 years, but now they perceive that very same teaching as detrimental to the church, to society, and particularly to women. Take a look at any of the well-respected older biblical commentaries, which Lori regularly does, and they all agree whole heartily with what she teaches. But those old scholarly and godly men are no longer to be believed in a Christian world filled with prominent female leaders who preach grace and positivity instead of Biblical Womanhood.

So What Does it Mean to Be Christian?
The answer is that the word Christian simply means “to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.” A theologically Christian can be defined as “one who has made a real decision to follow Jesus by repenting of their sins and accepting the saving grace that only God can give based on the blood of Jesus shed on behalf of all sinners. It is a free gift from God to all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and as their personal Savior of the World.”

Lori and I are willing to accept all who claim the name of Jesus as Savior as our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not expect everyone to believe just as we believe about God’s Word and how God wants Christians to live their lives. The church is made up of many members and many gifts and each of us are at different stages of our Christian walk and influenced by the experiences God and life have brought to us. Whether a wife works and leaves her children at home hours a day, and expects her husband to help more around the home, even fully tattooed, has nothing to do with saving grace that makes one a Christian. For we are not saved by any works we may do, but only by the grace of God.

Becoming a Christian is open to all sorts of sinners, but once saved, God turns us into saints. Yes, within the instant that we accept Jesus as Savior, we are told that God’s power of regeneration makes us into the “righteousness of God”; for we are “in Christ Jesus.” Read Romans 6 where we are told that we “died with Christ,” “are buried with Christ,” “have risen with Christ,” “alive in Christ” and now “dead to sin” and we are to now to “walk in newness of life.”

Unfortunately, most Christians seem to get stuck in Romans 6, or worse yet in the sink hole of sin of Romans 7 where Paul exposes the cycle of sin that traps the person into a vicious struggle of try and fail, try and fail, trying in our own power (the flesh) to conquer sin. Thank God He has a solution for sin and that is to stop focusing on the flesh and instead learn to “walk in the Spirit.” For if you live after the flesh you will die” (Romans 8:13).

Remember those “antinomians” who believe God’s grace covers them if they keep on sinning? Well, this verse makes it clear that if they keep on practicing sin they need to question if they truly are Believers. Are they really saved? “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).

But what if I keep sinning?
No one, including God’s Word, has said that the Christian will never sin again. The privilege of sinlessness that we long for will not arrive until the moment we are transformed out of this body into a life of God’s grand eternity where we will meet Him face to face and put on the white robe of righteousness reserved for us in our eternity with Him. But as for now, we are to walk in newness of life putting off the old man and putting on the new man as our new identity. We are to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh seeking those things which are above, no longer with a mind set on things of this earth.

Too many Christians want to rest in God’s salvation without a godly desire to obey God’s admonitions. The motto “Begin with the end in mind” is where our minds should stay, thinking of those last hours before we go home to be with Jesus, and asking ourselves what regrets and joys will we have when that day comes when eternity is drawing near. You Christian, you Saint and Holy One, your salvation should feel secure, but you also should have a strong desire to please your Lord Jesus by obeying Him at His Word. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has preordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). After you accept Jesus as Lord of your life, it is no longer about your will, your flesh, and your ways, but God’s will, God’s Spirit living mightily in you, and God’s ways. Our modern day society says, “Just do your own thing for you are in control of your life,” and God’s Word says, “You are a child of the living God and his love controls you to be His faithful servant.”

Lori’s ministry was born out of regret with both of us wishing we had been willing to faithfully follow God at His Word earlier in our marriage, not having wasted so many precious moments of our early married years. Lori beckons wives who are filled with disappointment, dissatisfied, and self-focused to take another look at God’s perfect ways that do not fit well with a modern feministic society. A multitude of women have sent Lori notes telling her how much they appreciate not only her encouraging words but the results in their own lives, marriage, and family by deciding to do things according to the plain admonitions God gives us in His Word.

How Do You Know You Are a Christian?
Some believe that you can never know for sure if you are a Christian until you get to heaven. We see this as an awful way to live the Christian life as God’s Word and His Spirit gives us all we need for the full assurance that we are indeed saved. Here are five simple tests of your salvation:

First, we are told that the one who believes in Jesus as Savior will also accept Him as Lord of their lives. This means that we have a hunger for knowing how God wants us to live and we model our lives after the God-Man Christ Jesus. Lordship is not required for salvation, but it is a sure sign of who is indeed saved as Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of all.

This leads us to a natural second test of our faith as we follow in the footsteps of the Suffering Servant. Let me say this very plainly, that if both husband and wife are not set on serving each other, and especially investing their lives in their children so that they will grow up into the nurture and admonition of the Lord, then we have to wonder if such a person is saved. We are shocked by the Christian comments of those offended at the thought of joyfully serving a husband by doing an extra share of housekeeping. As one married to a wife who has been often ill, I have at times been called upon to do much more than my share of family duties. If you are a Christian, you cannot miss the fact that Jesus calls you to become “the servant of all,” and that this must start with your spouse and family then extend to all others.

The third test is a simple understanding of what the fruit of the Spirit brings. We are told that those who believe on Christ are made new creatures as God takes our hearts of stone and replaces them with His very own Spirit. And what are the fruit of the Spirit if not “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). How does your life display these things, Christian? Are you shining the fruit of the Spirit when you write your angry filled messages on Social Media, or you go after a fellow brother or sister with personal attacks because you disagree with them theologically?

The fourth test of whether one is a true Believer or not may be if they walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. We are told that the flesh and the Spirit are at war with each other and that the Believer chooses to walk in the Spirit by regularly saying “No” to their flesh. Lori focuses quite a bit of her writings on this very matter, challenging Christian woman to think about how they dress, how they eat and take care of themselves, how they put off anger and disdain, and put on love for their husbands and children. Each moment of the day, we have a choice to walk in our dead flesh or walk in the Spirit who lives inside of us. Walking in the Spirit moment by moment each day is a sure sign of salvation and spiritual maturity.

The final test of Salvation comes in the end as the true Believer believes all the way to the end of their life (Hebrews 10:28-29). It is not enough to believe in Jesus and sprout up a life that looks like a Christian only to eventually die out, like the seed of the parable Jesus gave that was thrown onto rocky ground. The true seed is planted on the healthy soil of Christ Jesus Himself and grows deep roots into Christ as it grows up to bear fruit. Tell me, Christian, are your roots growing deeper into the Word and obedience to what God is asking of you, while also growing up and outward into bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God?

Life is but a vapor that is best summed up as a series of choices and decisions. We each get to choose how to live our life and how to best walk with God. We are not asking you to follow us, or to follow Lori’s ideals that are counter-culture, but rather that you be challenged by her words to think and study on your own to come to the best conclusions for our own life before God.

Please do not fault Lori for her faithfulness to what God has called her to do in teaching the younger Christian women. If you cannot join her, why not choose to pass on by and allow some disagreement over what the Word teaches and how our society is best served by cohesive families? After all, we are one in the body of Christ, or at least part of America where ideals should be allowed to be expressed freely without harm and persecution over our disagreements.

And if you, like Lori and me, have failed in some of God’s best for your life, it is then that we run headlong into the arms of Jesus begging for his grace and mercy on our lives. His grace and love do indeed abound even to the greatest of sinners. It is often out of regrets for past sins that ministry is born trying to stop as many others as possible from committing the same stupid mistakes that God has warned us about over and over again.

If you are in need of God’s grace, grasp ahold tightly to His promises that you are indeed a new creature in Christ and all your past sins have been placed on Christ on the cross. But never fail to realize that as new creatures, Christians, we are to walk in newness of life, leaving a life of sin behind. For we are no longer Sinners but Saints. Now may we grow up into this new life of righteousness that God has graciously given to us. And may we teach our children and others in the church that God’s grace begins when we heed His many admonitions and walk in obedience to His calling.

Love is Not Easily Offended

Love is Not Easily Offended

Written By Israel Wayne

There is probably no way to say this without someone getting offended…

But why do people always have to get offended about every living thing?

As a speaker, I find it incredibly distracting to have to put in a billion qualifiers to everything I say so people won’t be put off by what I say.

For example, if I say that marriage is important, and a God-honored institution, the singles in the audience get offended, and tell me that Paul said it’s better not to marry.

If I say that fathers are important, single-parent mothers get offended, and say that I’m being discouraging to them. Or just mothers in general feel like I’m saying they don’t matter.

If I say that God intends marriage to be for life, people who are divorced get offended, and tell me that it’s not always your fault if your spouse leaves you.

And on, and on.

Look, I get all of that. Honest I do. I’m just wondering why people assume that if you affirm one thing, you are somehow speaking disparagingly about another? Couldn’t we just accept statements that are generally true, without assuming that there is a sweeping denunciation of every other category in the universe?

I can certainly add a host of disclaimers and exception clauses all the time to try to keep everyone happy (and usually do), but it gets old.

I didn’t have this problem 15 years ago. For the most part, people just heard you out, and used a filter of common sense to understand what you were saying. What has happened in recent years that has made so many people emotionally fragile and defensive?

Charity…Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
1 Corinthians 13:5

Younger Women Bloggers Divorcing

Younger Women Bloggers Divorcing

Written By Redeemed, an alias for a woman who commented on one of my posts, Teaching Others Without Time-Tested Experience and Wisdom about the fact that God has specifically called older women in age to teach the younger women.

I have often wondered about the wives and moms who have blogged over the years since newly married and with young(er) children, offering their (seemingly mature) thoughts and advice to all the readers, but now are divorced! Those once husband-and-family-encouraging blogs, have been turned into how-to-recognize-when-your-marriage-is-over musings and encouragements! As well as how divorce IS an (easy) option, a very freeing one, to be able to carry on with one’s (much happier, now) life!

I also wonder if just possibly(?) these wives had lived their lives as was expressed by Lori and Mr. Challies above, based on God’s perfect design and biblical principles for us, as women, might they not be experiencing the joys of reaping a fulfilled marriage.

I often laugh out loud thinking of some supposedly helpful, “mature, spiritual advice” I passed on when I was 30 with several young children, pregnant, (more children were added since then) and now being one of those “aged” women, with some married children, a grandparent, and having experienced some trials and heartaches along the way with hearts crying out to the Lord and time spent on my knees!

“Humility comes through these trials, not apart from them, as you face your utter inability and lack of answers. Humility comes as you realize how little you really know and as you cry out to God for [H]is help.” Mr. Challies nailed it! What wisdom and perspective the 30+ years I have been given since then! Plenty to help me realize my thoughts and advice back then were “foolishness.”

Yes, just going about the business of being a wife, mom, and homemaker while depending on the Lord’s wisdom, learning to trust Him, and be faithful in ALL areas of our life (from the loads of laundry to intimacy with our husband) is what younger women are to be focusing on (and we older ones are to continue on maturing in these, too). THIS is what builds toward earning the reputation and wisdom of being the “aged” women and brings glory to God and not blasphemy to His word.

I think one of the truths I’ve gleaned over the years that develops wisdom and maturity (especially spiritually) is that of just being “in the Word.” As much as I can, I put scripture in my mind and life. Memorizing, listening to messages whenever feasible, and catching those quiet moments to simply read and meditate on God’s Word all add up over the years to renew our minds and give us answers when someone asks for our insights. It’s really HIS wisdom anyway that provides a basis for the practical advice I may give out.

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1 Timothy 3:6

Does God’s Grace Allow Us to Sin?

Does God’s Grace Allow Us to Sin?

Some women have told me that I don’t show enough grace in my posts. I focus too much on teaching women how they are to live their lives: be sober, love and obey (and submit to) their husbands, love their children, be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, and good so that “the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4, 5). I teach women to not teach men nor be in authority over them and to be silent in the churches (1 Timothy 2:11, 12). If they have a question, ask their husbands at home since it is shameful for them to speak in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35). I teach them to be modest, shamefaced, have meek and quiet spirits, and if they are married to husbands who don’t obey the word, then win them “without the word” (1 Peter 3:1) by their godly behavior.

Many women don’t like being taught these things and being told what to do, even Christian women. They cry, “Where is the grace?” and “You are judgmental!” Grace doesn’t give us the license to sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1,2).

God’s grace is what redeems us from our sins and gives us the ability to walk in the Spirit. It’s God’s favor and kindness poured down upon us when we were yet sinners. We deserved nothing from Him but eternal wrath and condemnation but once we confess His name and believe that God raised Christ from the dead, we are washed clean from ALL of our sins (past, present, and future) and His command to us is simple: “Go and sin no more.” He’s given us His Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and tells us that His Spirit works mightily within us. He has clothed us with His righteousness and reconciled us to God! (Memorize Romans 6 and 8 to clearly understand your new life in Christ.)

Yes, we still sin and His grace covers our sin but we should never willfully sin or practice sin as believers in Christ Jesus (Read 1 John). We will fall into the mud but we need to jump quickly out, remind ourselves that we are dead and freed from sin (Romans 6), and begin again to walk in newness of life; for He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.

What is our reasonable service for all He’s done for us? Is it to continue to live in sin and keep reminding ourselves that His grace covers us? NO! “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). What is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God for women? It’s clearly outlined in the first paragraph of this post! He wants our obedience to His commands since His commands are for our protection. They are boundaries and they are good.

We are commanded to exhort (to use words or arguments to incite to good deeds) one another daily (Hebrews 3:13), especially as we see the day approaching; for the deceitfulness of sin hardens hearts and sin must be warned against continually because we forget Truth so quickly.

Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy so I am going to continue to teach Christian women to be godly women who walk in newness of life and obey God in what He has asked them to do. It is our reasonable service. It’s the least we can do in return for what He has done for us and it’s for our protection. He is our Creator and He knows what is best for us.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13

Are Tattoos Sinful?

Are Tattoos Sinful?

Tattoos was a hot topic of conversation on my viral post. In all of the years that I have been blogging, I have never written about this topic. I had never even thought about it much until my viral post. I do know that I have never wanted a tattoo and when I was growing up, we knew that tattoos weren’t for godly women. The more I have thought about tattoos, the more solid my convictions have become against them.

I want to make sure that you all know that having one or many tattoos will not keep you from eternal life with Jesus Christ. The only way to be saved from the wrath to come is to “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and … believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). The convictions that I am going to share are my convictions and you will have to study the Word to come to your own.

Most people today, even those who call themselves Christian, follow along too easily with the flow of culture instead of examining their actions to see if they are compatible with the Word of God. Let’s first see what God’s Word has to say about tattoos.

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28). Yes, this verse is from the Law which we, as believers in Jesus Christ are no longer under (“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes” – Romans 10:4). However, we can know the heart of God by what is in the Law and we can see that His heart is for us to not cut our flesh or put any marks upon us (no, not even the mark of the beast!).

Secondly, women are commanded to be “shamefaced” (1 Timothy 2:9) and modest which means to do nothing to draw undue attention to ourselves. Tattoos draw attention. I always notice them on people if they are visible.

We are also commanded to be discreet. Discreet means “wise in avoiding errors or evil; cautious; wary; not rash; reserved; showing good judgment in conduct.” Before we take any action, especially something like getting a tattoo, we must carefully consider if this is being shamefaced, modest, and discreet as the Lord has called us to be. Is it showing good judgment?

I know there are many reasons women have for getting tattoos and I’m not going to judge those who have them or think any less of them. I am simply appealing to those of you who are considering getting one to ponder if they are feminine and the right thing to do. Maybe you already have one though and you wish you could take it back, well don’t worry you can easily get Laser tattoo removal and then it would be like it never happened. It’s not the end of the world, there is a always a solution that can fix something.

Another thing to consider is that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. There are certainly risks in getting tattoos. They can cause an allergic reaction, skin infections, bloodborne diseases including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and MRI complications. This is just too risky in my opinion.

There are also studies that show that men think women are more “sexually available” who have tattoos, so no godly woman would want to give the impression to men that she is sexually available by having tattoos. From Psychology Today, “While men see tattooed women as less attractive, they also see them as more promiscuous.” We want to live our lives above reproach. Many regret having tattoos later in their lives and I am sure they get uglier with age.

Whatever you do, women, make sure you study the Word and ask the Lord for wisdom. Don’t simply follow our culture on the broad path that leads to destruction. We are called to be set apart and holy in all of our ways with the Holy Spirit working mightily within us.

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

If God Loves Me, Why Am I Suffering?

If God Loves Me, Why Am I Suffering?

This post was written by a pastor friend of ours who wants to remain anonymous. I believe it will bless you!

It is hardly surprising that so many followers of Christ struggle with the reality of trials in their lives. The question is often stated this way: “If God loves me, why am I suffering as I am?”

There are a few misconceptions when we even ask such a question. The first misconception is that God owes you a pain free life. Hidden in that misconception is the perspective that we are such good persons we don’t deserve trials or difficulties. The Bible is quite clear that none of us are righteous, in fact, without regeneration by the Spirit, we are actually objects of God’s wrath.

So we need to dispel from our thinking that God owes us anything but His anger and His punishment for our sins. But the believer in Jesus should firmly fix into his or her thinking the wonderful truth that God is, by nature, a good God. God’s nature is goodness itself and all that God has created and all His ways and actions toward His children are always good and for our good. At no time does God ever act toward one of His children in a way that is not for His child’s welfare.

Someone will immediately ask how a good God could allow cancer to take away a loved one, or allow the cruelty of war to take away the lives of millions. Perhaps the most devastating loss is the death of an infant or child. How do we respond to such a devastating loss?
What we should not do is abandon our core belief that God is good. His ways are always right. Surely there are not just one or two reasons why God has taken a child from us, but a thousand reasons. We are unable to see into the future to understand God’s purposes. But there are many comforting truths that can help us during the devastating times.

Is the trial you are undergoing causing you to pray more fervently? If so, is that a good thing?

Is the trial helping you to recognize your own weakness and your need of a Savior? If so, is that a good thing?

Is the trial reminding you that this life is short and eternity is long? If so, is that a good thing?

Is the trial making you long for heaven, to be dissatisfied with this world? If so, is that a good thing?

And is this trial making you glad that Christ’s suffering at the cross was in order to ultimately rescue you from sin and suffering, death and hell? If so, is that a good thing?

The Bible makes clear, especially a passage such as James, chapter 1, that trials are for our good, sent by a good and gracious God. Trials are, in fact, what God uses to sanctify and perfect us. Don’t look upon trials as tragedies.

Instead, see them as heaven-sent by a God who always does what is good and right for our good and to make us increasingly like Him. In fact, thank the Lord for trials. They have been sent because He loves you and knows what is best for you you both now and for eternity.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Why Don’t Women’s Bible Studies Study the Bible?

Why Don’t Women’s Bible Studies Study the Bible?

There are so many “Bible Studies” for women but few of them study the Bible. Why is this the case? In Hosea 4:6 God tells us that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and I see this happening in the churches. Too many women don’t know the Word but study false teachings that make them feel good about themselves and in tuned with their “feelings” instead of learning how God commands that they live and love.

Many today don’t believe that Scripture is sufficient. They try to read things into what the Bible clearly states and have “personal revelations” about it. This is a dangerous practice since we are warned not to add nor subtract anything to the Word of God. His Word gives us everything we need for life and godliness!

Some studies of the Bible will have women read a passage in Scripture and then be asked, “What does this mean to you?” This is the wrong question to ask. They should be asked, “What is God teaching us in the passage?” We want to know His will, not what we think it may be based upon our own private interpretation.

I posed this question to the women in the chat room and received many good responses.

Paula: Just my opinion: 1) I think most people these days don’t even read their Bible (way too busy) so it’s hard to find a woman that even feels comfortable enough teaching it to other women; 2) it’s easier just to buy a women’s “Bible study” book to mindlessly read through as a group that appeals to women’s feelings and emotions.

Lindsay: My guess is that there are a few reasons: 1) The teacher is often not familiar enough with the Bible to be confident teaching it directly, so they rely on a book or study that was pre-written for them. This is true for a lot of Bible studies and Sunday school classes, not just those for women.

2) The teacher for a women’s Bible study is usually a woman, and as a woman, she tends to like things that make her feel good and uplift her. Since the Bible has all kinds of things in it which are not purely for feeling good – like doctrine, history, and calling out evil – it is “safer” to pick a study that is on a comfortable topic to ensure that it will feel good.

3) Not only is a female teacher more comfortable with a feel-good lesson, so are her female listeners. She thus wants to please them so they don’t go elsewhere.

4) The books marketed for “Women’s Bible Studies” are usually light on doctrine and heavy on emotion. Women think that is what they are supposed to study because that is what is being marketed to them.

Cheri: The church where I had recently attended, the women’s “study” group wasn’t interested much in the Bible, rather what others (mostly women writers) interpreted what they thought the Bible said. And even with that the thought was to sift out and take only what they would like to hear… things that made them “feel good” about themselves. I tried to gently challenge the woman “leader” of this group to seek a deeper/scriptural study but she seemed only interested in the number of women she could get to attend, therefore it had to be only feel good stuff.

Stephanie: I think that most women’s Bible studies are not accurate because it is not based on the Bible, rather emotions or what appeals to them and like you said those things that make them feel good. I have yet to find a study that is based off of Scripture rather than what makes us feel good.

Tammy: Most women get together to share feelings and personal opinions and don’t really want anyone talking about ways we need to improve.

Lindsay: Yes, women are very much tuned to relationships and smoothing things over, so they avoid confrontational topics that might make someone uncomfortable. That’s fine in a lot of situations, but bad when people need to be taught Biblical truth.

Paula: Yes, and the group often turns to complaining about their husband’s. Sigh.

Nicole: It’s because women’s bible studies are lacking a male bible teacher!

Jamie: For me, I used to teach ladies’ study and there was no one wanting to learn about being submissive to our husband, not nagging on them, and instead having a gentle and quiet spirit and pray, plus there was way too much chit chat and gossip. That was regardless of the topic. Scripture says there’s a time and place for everything and God is a God of order not disorder. So I backed down from teaching and now I teach my girls.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Colossians 3:16

Would Free Healthcare Prevent Abortions?

Would Free Healthcare Prevent Abortions?

Amy wrote this comment concerning abortions: “I am from the UK and so only know what we see of Trump from the mainstream media, so my knowledge is limited and I wonder if you would be able to answer a question about him being pro-life? As I see it, the way to reduce abortions is to support women who find themselves in the position of having to make that terrible decision. I can’t speak for people who make the decision but I am sure in some cases the lack of support after a child is born may be one of the reasons, for example, in the US healthcare is not free and government support is less. What am I trying to get at is being pro-life to me is so different than saying abortions are bad, if he truly believes that why not introduce measures that would help support those babies once they are born? For example, free healthcare, subsidies for childcare, etc.?

“I am not sure if you saw recently that Ireland voted to legalize abortion. One of the quotes floating around at that time that made sense to me was that you cannot ban abortion, only make legal abortions, and I feel that is so true. Rather than concentrate on banning abortions and speaking out against abortions would it not be more effective to focus on making it easier for women to keep their children?”

Trey responded to Amy,

“First of all NOTHING THAT COMES FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS FREE! It all comes out of the taxpayers’ pockets from the sweat of their hard work. Every dollar that is taken from me (at the barrel of a gun, but I might add) and given to people who make poor decisions, is a dollar that I do not have to support and provide for MY family.

“Should not my hard work go to support my family and the things that benefit my family and then allow me to freely give from my excess to help whom I choose to help? It should but it doesn’t because as far as taxes that support subsidies go, there is too much of that here already and all it does is cause the people who live off of it to pop out more babies into the system so they can get more money for themselves and their children but still suffer in poverty! This kind of system actually puts MORE children into poverty situations. History has proven that fact over and over again. It is common sense that you don’t get rid of bad behavior by rewarding it! If you feed something, it will grow. You must starve it to minimize it or get rid of it completely.

“Responsible, hard working people should not be punished by government stealing their money and giving it to freeloaders. This system just creates more freeloaders. As far as society goes, once there are more people eating at the public trough than there are to put food into it, it becomes an unsustainable situation and everything collapses. We (and all of western civilization) are on the verge of collapse right now.

“I understand your feelings on this matter. It is part of how God made you (as a woman) to be sensitive to these issues but it is the soft spot for things like this that make women incapable of being effective leaders. I don’t want to see children suffer any more than anyone else but I can see the big picture and have the understanding that there will always be suffering in the world and the best we can do is try to minimize it.

“The most effective way to do that is to outlaw sin (abortion) and not reward irresponsible behavior. It is my observation that most women can’t see the big picture and make the hard decisions. It is a fact that since women can vote and have a say in how things are managed, it is playing a big part in the decline and ultimate coming failure of our civilization. Europe has almost fallen due in much part to the women leading over there and the USA is not far behind. I understand your soft heart in these matters but I hope you can open you eyes to see that more ‘free healthcare, subsidies for childcare, etc.’ are not the answer. They just make the problem worse.”

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10