Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hand Down the Witness of the Gospel to Your Children

Written by Charles Spurgeon
Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, 
and their children another generation.
Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God's grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land; the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. 

The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord's arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers, or other friendly aids; these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. 

Parental teaching is a natural duty; who so fit to look to the child's well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. 

It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents' prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive his smile.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

How Media Sells Discontent

Guest Post by Donna Martin
Myrna Blyth is the New York Times bestselling author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness -- and Liberalism -- to the Women of America. It was a book that really made people think about how much media bias was aimed at women and what was the effect of such bias. For more than twenty years, Myrna Blyth was Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of Ladies’ Home Journal. She sold women "a career in exactly the same drum banging way that the Happy Homemaker had been sold to their mothers."

As you well know, the media is run by the world system, and the world follows Satan's agenda. When you watch or read the media from the world system, it can be easy to get sucked into the its vortex. The following messages were conveyed by Blythe during her career. See if you recognize these media-sent messages.

1. Men can no longer be trusted. Using the Lifetime Network as an example, Blyth concluded "all men are 1) unfaithful rats, 2) abusive monsters, 3) dishonest, or 4) all of the above. Women on the other hand were...flinty achievers who triumph, despite the cavemen who want to keep them in their place."  

2. Women are victims by virtue of their sex. Blyth said the media sends "one message loud and clear. Because we are women, we remain victims in our private lives, at work, in society as a whole." Thus women must have a sense of grievance, entitlement and rebellion.

3. Women should be selfish. "Liberation and narcissism have merged," Blyth said. Leisure now means, "time for yourself, spent alone, or perhaps with one's girlfriends but definitely without spouse and kids...Endless articles preached the new feminist gospel, that indulging yourself is an important part of being a healthy, well adjusted woman."

4. Sex is not reserved for love and marriage. Magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan  urge young women to "put out on their first date,"ogle men openly" and be an athlete in bed. There is no discussion of marriage or family. Such women can't trust a man enough to surrender themselves in love.

5. Self-fulfillment lies in career success and not husband and family. "The social rewards of holding down a job are critical to one's sense of dignity and self worth," Betty Friedan pontificated. In fact, "most work is deeply ordinary," Blyth observes.

Thus many women are pulled in two directions, as they attempt to reconcile their natural instincts with constant exhortations to do the opposite. As time passes, the wreckage -- broken families and dysfunctional children -- is scattered everywhere.

At the same time, Playboy Magazine created a revolution aimed at men with a very similar message. Men's magazines and programs focused on the ill-informed message that you don’t need to get married to have sex, or live together. Marriage and children are a bore.

Our children are being told that rebellion and disrespect for adults is normal, dressing immodestly is in style, and sex amongst teenagers and unmarried are acceptable. The message that "it's okay to be gay" is also widespread.

Do you ever have the sense that we're living in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah? Rebellion to everything that the Bible says is natural and conducive to happiness, is the order of the day. Like the one they are loyal to, Satan, they wish to play God.

Just as the Lord Jesus loves us and assures that we are protected and cared for daily, His love can be seen in a woman's dedication to her husband and children. It can be seen by the faithful care she takes in preparing meals, doing the laundry, and keeping her home clean and organized. Just as our Lord has given us a firm foundation, we can provide the security of a firm foundation for our children by being there for them when they need us. Satan has created a fangled web in which to live, but our homes and lives can be a demonstration of what is good and right in this world - even if that means shutting out the world.

Wherefore come out from among them, 
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing
and I will receive you.
2 Corinthians 6:17

Friday, July 29, 2016

Recipe for a Happy Childhood

Written By Mary Rice Somerville
In my spare time, I'm the management of foods (health), clothing (modesty), house (cleaning and upkeep), the happiness of the neighborhood, the environment, mental stimulation and civilization of all. When mothers mentioned their jobs, my line was: "But I thought that rearing the children WAS the job!" Since God gave me children to love, I feel that these children should get my total care and consideration and training until they all leave the home. Moms at home work plenty! Her biggest job? Being the evangelist, winning little souls to Christ and then "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Moms have the most ideal situation for working for the Master and bringing in the harvest. 

Since I was home, I had time to infuse the Bible into their lives. I used to serve up family devotions while slinging the oatmeal. "And boys, I read this awful story in the Bible this morning. This fellow took his sword and jabbed it into that fat old king and the guts ran out!" That was my style. Our prayers together were like the ones in the backyard when they had lost their baseball again. I wanted them to know that the God we were praying to was real and that He cared. The results were truly convincing!

A lighthearted atmosphere, fairness, (don't punish them both - find out the offender and punish him), doing almost everything together (no shut doors with private TVs and stuff like that), apple tress for tire swings and the privacy of swinging away the child's energy and frustrations, free time for play before chore time and supper, (try not to interrupt with petty commands), reading aloud all together in one place at bedtime; maybe Bible stories, but maybe not (keep them guessing- don't lay any heavy piety on them), besides prayers at the table, pray with them over their emergencies and concerns. Watch God work! If you can get up the nerve to skip Christmas entirely it will save a lot of junk food and too-high excitement and expectations and disappointment and selfishness.

We lived for most of our life without TV. The boys had lots of stuff to read, and board games. We didn't allow cards. I still feel the main ingredient is that the child knows that Mom is on duty nearby, to find the scissors, to kiss the ouch, to watch out the window at what that mean neighbor kid is doing, to give gently reminders until its time for the have enough sleep and healthy food without making a religion out of it. 

...bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

*From The Mother's Companion

Thursday, July 28, 2016

For Those Dreaming of Going Home

Guest Post Written by Kelley
I was recently asked to lead a ladies meeting for a local church here on Guam. We enjoyed a potluck dinner in one of the ladies' homes. Half of us were forty and younger and at fifty five, I was probably the oldest of the forty and older. I asked the younger set to each share a hope/dream they had. A hope, I explained, is something that, if it can be had, it will be, and a dream is a vision, a goal, an idea. One unwed mother hopes, she said, to get married to a godly man. An Air Force military bride and mother of two teen boys said she dreams of saying, "I have my GED." What one expectant wife said, who has a master's degree and is a teacher, struck a cord with me and every other wife and mother in the room. Tearfully she told us she dreams to go back home full-time and be a better wife and a good mother to their soon-to-be three children. Another young wife who recently went back home full time said she dreams of being a counselor for marriage relationships. When this young wife's marriage was on shifting sand due to her own attitude toward her husband, she submitted herself to no one else and nothing else but the Word of God. With her own two hands she has rebuilt her house, and her marriage to her unsaved husband has never been better. 

Next we discussed concerns and fears. I explained that a concern is something that worries us, and may even cause sleeplessness or a change in appetite, and a fear is a distressing emotion that makes us afraid of impending danger, evil or pain. Many young women feared their families would not be ready to meet the Lord's return for His Bride. The young wife who wants to help other troubled marriages said she is afraid she is not sheltering her children enough from the worldly influences they get at school. Another young woman said she was afraid she will never get married and have children. 

After we aged women over forty listened to the younger women, I asked each of us to share some gold nuggets. Your post today, Lori, is similar to one of the ladies' testimonies. I know so many women are struggling in marriages with unsaved husbands and even Christian husbands who have, like their wives, believed society's lies to them about how they should "do" marriage and family. After all the wonderful testimonies were shared (LOTS of tears), I read Connie Hultquist's testimony about bringing her husband back home. The sweetest presence of the Lord came into the room. Oh, the power of the testimony of a woman who has been to the other side of answered prayers! In conclusion, we realized that the vein that was the scarlet cord through every victory is the power of prayer. 

Prayer, prayer, prayer. Young women, aged women, if we will pray, and submit to God's way, His timing, His Word, we will win every time. Do on earth what you can do in obedience and He is bound by His promise to do in Heaven what only He can do. I've seen it happen too often for anyone to convince me otherwise. Oftentimes prayers must even be coupled by fasting like Widow Connie Hultquist did. Some battles won't be won any other way. There's a lovely song I'm requested to sing and often (I think Dawn Thomas wrote it?), "I've Been Through Enough to Know He'll Be Enough for Me." 

My heart is full today, Lori. I've been married for 35 years. (The first two decades of that were pretty rotten because of my own attitude.). Our firstborn is 32 years old and I've been at home for 31 years. My choices, my prayers, my thrift, my own two hands, my preferring my husband, my practicing in the mirror, "Okay," (that was my gold-- Practice "Okay" in a sweet tone of voice and with a smile), my cooking, cleaning and puttering, my investments in the Word every day, my building up my man, my giving my man my body that is not my own but his, my relationship with God and with my husband and our children today makes it worth it all. 

*hugs* to all the wives who dream of going back home.

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:16
picture source

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Were the Women of Old Submissive?

The picture in our minds that we get about life during the Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best days is that all women must have been gentle, kind, modest, submissive to their husbands and love being keepers at home but was this really the case? No, women have always struggled with being cheerfully submissive and content being at home or else the Bible wouldn't have older women teaching younger women these things. Yes, there are some personalities that are more the pleasing types who don't fight and argue to get their way, but they are far and few between. All of this disobedience happened once sin entered the world and it is what we are fighting against. We may think it is only feminism but it is not.

Satan entered the world and became the prince of the power of the air when Eve wrested control from Adam and dashed all of civilization into chaos. Even most of the "great" women of old that we read about in the Old Testament weren't examples of godly womanhood at times. Sarah wanted her husband to sleep with another woman in order to get a baby, thus going against God's promise to her and Abraham's will. 

There weren't as many divorces before feminism took hold but I bet the majority of homes were still run by the women. It's just the way we're built. Most women want to be in control, have their own way, and make their husbands do what they want them to do through manipulation, refusal of sex, and many other creative ways. Yes, feminism has made it much worse for marriages and the children since mothers have left their homes and women don't rely on their husbands for provision anymore. This is absolutely a tragedy but most women throughout the centuries have struggled with control and lack of submission.

It is said that the Church is ten years behind culture and I believe it. The Church used to teach women about submission, having a meek and quiet spirit, and being keepers at home. Few churches teach this anymore so Christian women often look no better than their feminist neighbor in how they treat their husbands, what they wear, act, and what entertains them.

We need to stop going by our culture and our own selfish desire to control, and begin obeying the Word of God. No Christian woman should be following in the steps of feminism or rebellion. Begin studying the Word of God and become the submissive and obedient wife that the Lord calls you to become. Live within your husband's income even if this means living in a small home, not having Internet, and not eating out or going on vacations. Pursue what the Lord wants you to pursue, not this depraved culture.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, 
where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding Intimacy and Fulfillment Apart from God's Word

Many are looking for an emotional experience with the Lord. They keep searching for that magic something that will help them feel closer to the Lord whether it's some new type of praying or a book whose author received a revelation from the Lord. Maybe it's even simply learning to be thankful or having a better sex life. Everyone is looking for a better and more fulfilling life.

A while ago, I shared with the chat room that often times when I am having quiet time with the Lord and reading His Word, I shed tears. Many times, it is an emotional experience for me just sitting in His presence and learning from Him. For instance, I read these words recently one morning and became emotional over them.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield {Psalm 5:12}.

Understanding how much the Lord loves me, how much He has done for me, and that He even defends me is enough to bring me to tears. I don't need to learn a new and improved way to pray or read someone's new and improved message from God. All we need for life and godliness are in His Word. We are complete in Him. As you spend time in His Word getting to know Him, you will become more emotional knowing that the Creator of the universe has a relationship with you and loves you!

Learning to be joyful and thankful is great but if you aren't walking in obedience to the Lord by submitting and obeying your husband, raising your children to know Jesus, being modest and discreet and being a keeper at home, you will not find joy and peace. There is no joy and peace outside of God's will for us. Will we ever obey Him perfectly? No, but we should be studying His Word to know what He requires of us; For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous {1 John 5:3}. His instructions to us are clearly spelled out in the New Covenant. There is no guessing game.

You can also learn all the ways to have the best sex of your life but if you aren't learning to please, honor, respect, submit to and obey your husband, big deal! Sex is not the be all and end all; loving and obeying the Lord is all that matters. The amazing thing is that the closer you walk to the Lord and His ways, the better your sex life will likely be and the more joyful, thankful and peaceful you will become. Nothing lasting can be found apart from God's ways. 

Therefore, seek the Lord while He may be found. Spend time reading His Word and praying to Him. He is the Savior of your soul, your Creator, your Savior and your Rock. Walk in His ways and learn what pleases Him and in the process, you will find blessings abundant!

Monday, July 25, 2016

His Wife Had a Major Temper Tantrum

Have you ever seen a woman throw a temper tantrum? It is a pitiful sight, yet many women throw temper tantrums as if they are children not getting what they want. Then when they get married, their spouse has to deal with their temper tantrums when things don't go their way. It's a heavy burden a husband has to deal with and I'm afraid many men have to deal with it these days. {Yes, some men have temper tantrums, but I am only teaching women.}

There's a post about a woman with three children who is tired and exhausted. When her husband walks in the door at 8:00 pm after a long day at work, he heads right for the couch and turns on the football game. I am sure he has been waiting all day just to be able to come home, relax, and watch football. However, at the same time, his children are fighting and the baby needs to be put to bed. 

She yells at him, "It wouldn't kill you to help out a bit and get more involved in your children's upbringing."

He responds angrily, "I have spent the whole day working so you can stay at home playing with the doll's house."

They have a heated argument and she finally storms out of the house leaving the children with him for several days.

Then he wrote a letter after a few days of taking care of the children by himself telling her how brave she was for what she was doing at home. He understands her now since he has walked in her shoes. The feminists cheer! The problem with this scenario is that the wife has never walked in her husband's shoes. However for the wife, the children will grow up quickly and life will become easier for her {IF they are well-trained}, then she will have a lot of free time, but he will have to work hard to support his family for many, many years. 

What should have happened in this scenario? Temper tantrums should NEVER happen in an adult's life! These should have been stopped by their parents the first time they had one as a child. The sooner a child learns that temper tantrums are unacceptable and that life doesn't go the way they want it to go, the better life will be for them. 

Our children had one temper tantrum when they were very young but we quickly put a stop to it. They haven't had one since. Unfortunately, many today weren't stopped as children so they continue to have them as adults when things don't go their way. Oh, how I wish they would look in the mirror at themselves while having one to see how ugly they look.

 This woman shouldn't have taken her exhaustion out on her husband, even if she had a rough day and was in a bad mood. The way she posed the question to him was disrespectful and was a way to manipulate him. If there is one thing men hate, it is to be disrespected. No, his answer wasn't good either but she provoked him with the question. Most men will react to a wife's tirade towards them by fighting or fleeing. 

If you want your husband to help you with something, always ask in a respectful way. However, do everything in your power to get your children in bed and/or calmed down before your husband gets home. He needs time to unwind and relax when he first gets home. Most men would say this is an important part of the day for them. If you need help, respectfully ask your husband if he would help with the children during the commercials but if he doesn't want to help, keep your emotions under control, don't have a temper tantrum, and certainly don't walk out on him!

Kimberly Wagner wrote, "One thing I can't stress to wives enough—hug your man when he comes in from work! Greet him with a kiss and some love. Give him an encouraging word, and hold off on letting him know what a tough time you've had. He has had a long day. (You might have faced a challenging day yourself, but you show genuine love and care for your man when you take interest in him and his day above your own.) He's been hit with challenges that you haven't faced, and perhaps he fought battles you'll never know about. Be what makes it all worth coming home to."

This woman who gave her husband a "piece of her mind" shouldn't be cheered. Cheering for a woman behaving badly is becoming normal for our culture. In fact, cheering for anything ugly is normal today; for what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. I doubt few readers of this post saw the error of her ways and most only saw the error of his, since it is politically correct to mock men.

 Treat your husband with respect. If you mess up, ask for his forgiveness quickly. For men, respect is more important than anything else even when you have had a bad day. Control your emotions and reactions instead of allowing them to control you. 

The wife see that she reverence her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Continually Asking God for Forgiveness?

Written by Ken

We love our new lives in Christ. We love being alive to God and freed from sin, knowing that each and every moment of the day we can choose to walk in the Spirit instead our dead flesh. Our new identity as new creatures in Christ, saints, and children of the Most High, has given us a joy and peace that was missing when we wrongly believed that somehow God's relationship towards us was affected by our need for regular cleansing. This cleansing was by way of daily confessing of our sins and asking for forgiveness, a theological concept wrongly taught in some churches.  

Please don't misunderstand. Asking forgiveness in any relationship can be a very healthy thing. After all, you did the sin, and you should feel guilty because you are guilty! We unfortunately still sin even after we have been forgiven all of our sins, past, present, and future, but the penalty for that sin is already paid once and forever on the cross.

This is the great news of the gospel that Christ "died once for all sin, for the just and unjust that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18), and He has "offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins" (Heb, 10:12). In light of this great news, should we as believers keep asking God for daily forgiveness of our sins? 

Some will ask forgiveness many times, over perhaps many years, for particularly bad sins they have committed, because of the guilt and remorse they feel. Others want to start fresh each day with the Lord by cleaning the slate of the previous day's sins. There is probably nothing terribly wrong with either of these things, but they are unnecessary spiritual exercises. A simple "Thank you Lord for forgiving my sins on the cross in 30 A.D." would suffice, and may actually give the believer far more assurance of the saving grace of Jesus.

The more problematic theology is one that teaches that somehow we as believers can actually affect the grace of God by our prayers of confession. That apart from our confession of sins the sins cannot be forgiven. After all for some, prayer becomes a work they do to merit the grace and forgiveness of God, instead of viewing the exercise as simply agreeing with God that sin in any form does not belong in the life of the believer. "I am so sorry" is much more theologically correct than asking for forgiveness because forgiveness is already granted.

The story is told of the little boy who was visiting his grandparents and was given his first slingshot which he played with in the woods. Not having any success hitting anything he headed home and in the distance, he saw grandma's pet duck. He wound up, and bullseye! The duck fell over dead. He panicked and quickly covered up his sin by putting the dead duck under the woodpile. Just as he emerged he saw his sister smirking as she had witnessed the act. For several days the sister used her power over her brother to make him her slave. He couldn't go fishing with grandpa, had to do all the dishes, whatever the sister wanted she got with the whisper of the words, "Remember the duck!"

Finally, the young brother could take it no more and went to Grandma and confessed the sin of killing her duck. To his surprise, Grandma's remark was, "I know, Johnny. I was standing in the window and saw the whole thing. And because I love you, I forgave you. And knowing that I loved you and would always forgive you, I wondered just how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."  (Carl Hoefler -Will Daylight Come? C.C.S. Publishing, 1979). 

The guilt of sin and Satan's whispers keeps many fine Christians in slavery. Even as God says, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

So where does this fear come from that somehow we must confess our sins for regular cleansing of sin? That somehow God's view of His relationship with us is affected by the works of confession, prayer, and penance? These things may have some value in making the Christian feel better, and help clear the heart and mind of the Christian who sins, but our standing as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ is not conditioned in any way on any of these things, or any works whatsoever. The basics of Theology 101 teaches us, "For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and not of ourselves, it is a is a gift of God, not of works lest any man boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Let me point out that one of two things, or both, must happen if somehow our standing with God is changed each time we sin after being saved and becoming united with Christ Jesus in His death. Either God's initial work of salvation is not complete, and each sin, at least the bad ones, puts us back out of His family. I was talking to one long time believer who had no assurance of salvation as his church teaches that unless you ask regular forgiveness of sins, God does not grant it. Grandma can give unconditional love when her grandson sins against her, but God's love is not so inclined?  Hmm... This is not what my Bible teaches.

The second view is of a God who changes His countenance towards his child each time we sin. The disappointment or anger arises, the finger wagging starts, and God is sitting by waiting for us to come to Him and admit, "I killed the duck." Neither view can be further from the immediate and complete grace of salvation granted by the New Covenant. The New Covenant is completely one sided, and only God must be true to His Word, that once we are in Christ, we are His forever. There is no going in and out of salvation, but there may have been no real transformation into the God's family in the first place if the person is now wallowing regularly in sin. 

So where does this view originate that we must continually confess our sins and ask for forgiveness in order to gain God's grace and smiling face? It probably comes from multiple sources, but the two main sources are first, the Old Testament model that the church adopted with priests hearing confession, and the second is the fleshly tug upon us to somehow merit God's grace. The OT prescription for sin was clear. You sin, get to the temple and make a sacrifice for your sin, for "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22).

In Israel's day, each year a sacrifice was offered on the Day of Atonement for the forgiveness of the sins of the people. Two goats were selected for the offering and lots were cast. The goat where the lot fell got slaughtered and sacrificed with its blood sprinkled on the God's Mercy Seat in the temple. The second goat became the scapegoat that the High Priest placed his hands on its head and prayed, then sent it scurrying into the wilderness. This is an illustration of God's grace and forgiveness for the people.

For too many Christians, and some churches, confession of sin has simply taken the place of the OT sacrifice. No matter how clear the writer of Hebrews has made it that Jesus is the one and only sacrifice that all other sacrifices pointed to. That Jesus was God's final sacrifice prepared before the world began, to make atonement for all sins, once and forever. And that mankind is not forgiven on the basis of the confession of sin, but rather by grace through faith in the atoning work of Christ Jesus. He is our propitiation for our sins, and not only ours but the sins of the whole world. But to attain God's grace, and His great salvation, one must confess with their mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9).

Please Christian, if you are one who sees your sins as unforgiven, rest assured that if you are in Christ Jesus, every sin you have ever committed, or will commit, has been forgiven you on the cross in 30 A.D. and there is no reason for Christ to revisit the cross for you. If you are unsure of your salvation, rest in God's promise that if you believe in Him, nothing else is necessary for your salvation. Yes, the natural acts of one who has accepted God's pardon will be first true and lasting repentance, then we grow up into Christ Jesus, becoming like Him more and more each day. We allow Him to live in and through us, causing us to bear good fruit that comes from a walk in His Spirit. If you have no fruit of salvation, tap into the source of life by not quenching the Spirit with your disobedience, but instead walk in newness of life for which we have been called; saints, beloved children of God, and heirs of salvation. Start becoming who you are already in Christ Jesus our Lord, without fear, but instead, a true and loving relationship with your Maker.

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:24-28

It is interesting to note that the great Apostle Paul never commands that we confess our sins or continually ask for forgiveness of our sins. But some will say that the New Testament teaches us to confess our sins when the apostle John writes: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We see this confession at the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our lives. Part of repentance is to confess (agree) with God over my sins and the need for a Savior. So 1 John 1:9 is referring to our salvation moment, not the need for regular confession to God. 

A second instance is found in James 5:16: "Confess your sins to one another ... that you may be healed."  We do believe that confession has a place in the life of the sinning Christian who may have gone months or years without exposing his sin to the light and allowing God and fellow believers to pray on his or her behalf. Sin after a believer is saved will have natural physical, emotional and mental consequences from the sin and its guilt, but also will incur the discipline of the Lord. Confession to receive healing in such cases is prescribed, but such confession does not change the believers standing for God as "in Christ." When Christ sees you and me He sees perfect Jesus in our place. His record is now my record, and He has paid the penalty for my sins. And without this precious promise, we would all be hopeless. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Terrible Advice for Girls

Many awful things are being taught to children and teenagers today. Here is an example of one of them.

Let me tell you what girls should be taught instead.

Advice for girls: be quiet and discreet and love others more than yourself. Start saying "I'm sorry" and stop saying "because I said so." Say "yes" to those in need and say "can I help you?" Stop taking selfies and laugh at jokes that are decent and silly. Be kind and speak truth and wear your hair to please the LORD. Help out other girls and be vocal about the good and the lovely. Enjoy being soft and feminine and apologize quickly when wrong. Don't give away your purity to anyone until you are married. 

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:21

Friday, July 22, 2016

Her Daughter Sews Thong Bathing Suits

Recently, I was talking with an acquaintance of mine. She is not a believer and knew about my blog so she asked me about it. She mentioned that she was a feminist. I asked her if she wants to be like a man. She exclaimed, "No! I love it when my husband opens doors for me and grabs me by the elbow to help me across the street." Concerning my viral post, she responded, "I don't want my husband to do the housework. He works so hard all day. He certainly does not need to do housework." {So far, she doesn't sound much like a feminist!} Later on, she told me about her daughter who sews bathing suits to sell. I asked her for the web page. She told me, "Oh, you wouldn't like them. They are the thong type bathing suits." I asked her,"Doesn't she know what this does to men?" She didn't know how to answer. 

How would an unbeliever respond to a statement such as this one? I pondered it a while after talking with her. Does she not care that her daughter is making bathing suits for others that are promiscuous and make it difficult for men to not lust? Do women of the world even care about things like this or do they not think about it? Are they so immersed in today's culture that they simply go along with the flow and do as it does? 

As believers, we live by a higher standard, the Lord's standard. Our actions mean something. What we wear says something about us. We should know how men think and what can provoke them to lust knowing that lust is not a thing of the Lord. The lust of the eyes is one of the three main sins: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Should we not live our lives with careful introspection to make sure we are living for the Lord and bringing Him glory instead of living for our own lusts and satisfaction?

Even in the ministry we have in the home, we should daily be pointing our children to the Lord and to goodness and away from the things of the world. Let them see the wonder of living for the Lord. Don't make it burdensome, but show them how being in the center of His will is the safest place to be. Teach your children from the time they are young to dwell on the lovely and the good while being an example to them of living this way. Make sure they are dressed modestly as children and have a sense of shame in being naked and showing too much flesh to others. No their bottoms shouldn't be showing out in public, even as children. As your daughters grow older, explain the male sexual appetite so they are well aware of not doing anything to inflame it. For all believers are the body of Christ and must do nothing that blasphemes His Holy Name.

The fact that this woman knew I wouldn't like to see her daughter's website means that she knows her daughter's bathing suits are below my standards. I am glad that she realizes that I have higher standards than most in our culture. Do you? Do others realize that your standards are higher than cultures by the way you live your life and the clothes you wear? If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, they should since we are called to be separate from the ways of the world. We live by godly standards since this isn't our home. Our home is with Christ and it is far more valuable than anything we have down here.

Wherefore come out from among them,
 and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing
and I will receive you.
2 Corinthians 6:16

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Softness and Femininity in Women

Years ago, Ken told me that what men love and enjoy about women is their softness; their softness in the way they feel and their femininity, the way they acted. Most women have lost the femininity part due to the feminist air they have breathed their entire lives. Being a feminist is the complete opposite of being feminine. Too many women today aren't soft in the way they act. They talk loudly, are bossy, and controlling. 

A soft woman doesn't speak loudly. She isn't argumentative and demanding. She is never harsh with others. She doesn't insist on her own way and have angry outbursts when things don't go her way. She listens carefully to others. She is warm, affectionate and smiles often. She loves and serves others, not wanting the best for herself. She dresses modestly and is discreet in her behavior; not wanting to draw attention to herself. She is sober and takes the Word of God seriously. She is moderate in her eating. She is gentle and patient with others and forgives easily. She is a feminine woman who loves her husband and children deeply.

If she is treated poorly by others or left out, she doesn't have a pity party but uses this time to thank the Lord for all the good in her life. She dwells on the lovely and the good in others instead of having a critical attitude towards others. She believes the best about others. She works hard and takes good care of her family and home. These are the priorities in her life. She doesn't argue her point over and over but allows the other person to have the last word. 

She is content with her life. She doesn't spend time envying others and what they have but finds way to be rejoicing in the Lord always. She reads the Word almost every day and soaks in the wisdom of the Lord. She loves goodness and faithfulness. She wants these words to define her life. She lives for her Master and desires to please Him in all that she does. 

Seek to be soft and feminine, women. Yes, this list might seem overwhelming but never forget that the God of the universe has sent His Spirit to live inside of us. He promises us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and what He commands us to do is not burdensome. However, we must be continually renewing our minds with Truth by studying and reading His Word. This is how we are transformed. God uses His powerful and living Word to change us into Christ's image but we must put on the full armor of the Lord.

Being soft and feminine is not common in today's culture but we live by a different drumbeat than they do. Seek wisdom with the wise and not the foolish. Keep your thoughts on things above. Remember that everything around us is decaying and heading for destruction. However, we are saved from the wrath to come so we have much to be thankful for. Be cheerful. This draws others to you. It may even cause them to want what you have so be ready to tell them. If you are a soft and feminine woman, your husband is blessed to be married to you.

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, 
in that which is not corruptible, 
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, 
which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:4

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Her Elders Teach Women Can Preach

Written by Ken and me

Some women are in such rebellion to the Word of God that they will use any arguments and proof texts they can to disregard the plain teaching of the Word concerning women being silent in the churches, not teaching men, nor being in authority over them. I received another letter from a woman trying to convince me that there should be women preachers, and she claims it is her church elders that teach this to the congregation. I am answering this in a blog post because I see many others trying to manipulate the Word in a failed attempt to prove that women can indeed be teachers, preachers and elders in the church. Her words, {let's call her Carol}, are in quotes and italics.

“I have read quite a few posts on women teaching the gospel and I understand that you don't believe women should do so. I am also aware of the verses in the Bible that back up your stance.”

These are the verses that eliminate any question on this matter: But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet {1 Timothy 2:12}. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church {1 Corinthians 14:34}. A qualification to be an elder or and deacon is to be the husband of one wife.

“However, I am wondering if you would be kind enough to take the time to explain to me why you use these verses to say that women should not be preachers when there are other verses that indicate that they can be? This is a very important question for me, as I have grown up in a Christian home that follows the Bible yet we have women teaching the gospel under the leadership of men. I do not write this email to argue with you, or say that you are wrong or cause any negativity, my question is a genuine one, and challenges the beliefs that I hold. I greatly respect your opinion, and I love that you are courageous enough and faithful enough to do what you believe God has called you to do in teaching women how to live more Godly lives through your blog. The verses that spring to mind regarding women preachers are these ones: Galatians 3:28 'neither male nor female ... for ye are all one in Jesus Christ' Act 10:34 'God is no respecter of persons.'"

Let's be clear here, these verses say nothing about teaching or preaching and to link them together is to wrestle the Word to say what one wants it to say. There is not a whisper of the word preach or teach anywhere around these verses, so how does one make this gigantic leap of logic to link the two? Instead, these verses speak to God's view of all people, no matter what their race or gender, intelligence or lack thereof. Each one of us is respected and valued by God just the same. One could say that God values all persons, just as the verse says, the saved and the unsaved, yet he finds no issue with sending the unsaved to an eternity apart from Him. So why can't He value all believers, but tells that women are not to teach in the church? One's value to God and one's equality in the body of Christ have nothing to do with the role God asks men and women to accept for the advancement of His church and Kingdom.

Carol asks about this verse: "Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them! "{Numbers 11:29}

Matthew Henry’s commentary explains "these verses seem to indicate that everyone who believes in God can be a laborer in the field of spreading the gospel.”

We are all to be witnesses in spreading the gospel and making disciples, but in the Church, God clearly instructs that men are to be the leaders and the teachers.  This same design held 100% true for the Old Testament saints too, as all the priests, leaders and teachers were men in the organization of the temple and synagogues. But in extraordinary times, women did indeed receive the spirit of prophecy, but this is not leadership or teaching in the Church.  Christian women, like men, are to evangelize their children, their friends, and whoever else God places in their path. All our lives and witness should be a testimony to the Good News of Jesus our Savior.

Carol then asks about 1 Cor. 11:5, "For every woman that prayeth or prophesieth...."According to my concordance, a prophetess is a female preacher.
Acts 2:17,18 "Your sons and daughters will prophesy..." indicates that women preachers are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.”

So here we find in the immediate context of Carol's proof text verse, one of the most powerful passages explaining the authority of man over woman, and that woman was made for man:

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” {I Corinthians 11:3, 7-9}.

It is in this context of authority and head coverings that Paul alludes to women prophesying. There is no doubt that such a thing existed in the early church, but was it in a church setting, or rather in private or a smaller home group? Follow the discussion below and it is hard to imagine the Apostle both saying women should be prophesying in a church setting and just a couple pages later telling women to absolutely "keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak" {1 Corinthians 14:34}. Notice the plural "churches" referring to all churches, not just the Corinthian church.

Remember, the context is of a Corinthian church that the Apostle Paul is hitting hard for its disorderly conduct and abuses. If one assumes that women are allowed to prophesy, and Paul is not referring to this as an abusive practice, then how does one reconcile it with his strong prohibition just a few verses later against women speaking at all in the church? One must assume that this prophesy is not in any formal church gathering, but perhaps in a smaller home group, or other setting. I will let Albert Barnes speak to this from his commentary as he seems to capture the various facets to the passage:

If it is now pled, from this example, that women should speak and pray in public, yet it should be just so far only as this example goes, and it should be only when they have the qualifications that the early "prophetesses" had in the Christian church. If there are any such; if any are directly inspired by God, there then will be an evident propriety that they should publicly proclaim the will, and not till then. It may be further observed, however, that the fact that Paul here mentions the custom of women praying or speaking publicly in the church, does not prove that it was right or proper. His immediate object now was not to consider whether the practice was itself right, but to condemn the manner of its performance as a violation of all the proper rules of modesty and of subordination. On another occasion, in this very epistle, he fully condemns the practice in any form, and enjoins silence on the female members of the church in public; 
1 Corinthians 14:34. Barnes Notes.

So how do Carol and her elders reconcile this passage with the idea that women may prophesy? Do they ignore the clear teaching for the one which is unclear? Especially when Paul makes it crystal clear that silence in the church for women is not his own personal opinion, but a command from God:

"The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.  Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. But if anyone is ignorant, let him remain ignorant." {I Corinthians 14:34-38}

It is interesting that our debate is over the one issue that Paul claims absolute apostolic authority from God and relegates all those who are unwilling to accept this plain teaching as "ignorant." Such strong authoritative commands and language is rare in the scriptures, but Carol and her elders would have us neglect the command preferring instead a verse that is much less understood. It certainly cannot apply to the church setting, but it may apply to other smaller gatherings, or evangelistic meetings. And who do we you know who is truly prophesying in today's day and age? We are told immediately in the next chapter, “Love never fails; but IF there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away” {I Corinthians 13:8}.

Carol says, "God used women preachers in the Old Testament including Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz's Mother."

Yes, He used them but they were not leaders and preachers teaching the Word of God and being in authority over men, in the Church, Temple, or Synagogue. Not a one of them. And every one of them was the exception to the rule, not, as proposed, an example for other women to regularly follow.

"God also used women preachers in the New Testament: The first message of Christ's Resurrection was spoken by women to men. There was also Anna in Luke; Philip's 4 daughters who were all prophetesses; Priscilla who assisted Paul and taught Apollos and Pheobe in Romans."

Carol uses here a common technique in arguing for a position that has no merit. She and her elders reclassify as "preachers" these examples of how God uses women, significant women,  in the New Testament. Now we are to stretch our minds to see the first few words spoken of the resurrection as teaching or preaching to men? How does one argue with such a fanciful proposition? We have no example of these women preaching a sermon or message longer than a few phrases, but somehow this is now preaching?

The women who spoke of Christ’s resurrection were not preaching, but simply sharing the good news of what they had seen with the disciples. They were not exercising authority over men by teaching them 
in the church. Phoebe was a servant in the church. Priscilla was always mentioned alongside her husband and we know nothing of them except for their church planting work. If she is to be the model on which we base a new found belief in women preachers, then one has only a weak argument from silence, filled in by imagination. 

Think about it. If God had intended to bolster the claim that women may preach, why not have a sermon or two preached by a women in the Bible? Why did Jesus not pick a woman to be a disciple and apostle? Why would God clearly say women are not permitted to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” {1 Timothy 2:12}? There it, at least four times plain as day. God did not leave this important area of debate ambiguous. It's just that it doesn't fit with the modern day churches' agenda.

So why would Carol and many churches like hers want to twist and wrestle the scriptures to meet a need in the church that does not exist? Are there not enough men who can preach and teach? On the contrary, there are thousands upon thousands of godly men who could fill a pulpit or teach, but the Church often does not use them. And now we are to bring in the women as back up because... Why?

The answer has nothing to do with God's Word, or His will for His Church. It is all about the Church trying to keep pace with a broken society. But the remnant does not march in step with society and its new feminism, but instead stays true to God's Word, even to the end. There is ample opportunity for Christian women to make a powerful impact on the church, and the advancement of God's Kingdom here on earth, without having to usurp the role of men in the church. Perhaps women can begin by taking their primary responsibilities of the home and raising the next generation of godly children seriously. But don't let anyone tell women that their role is a lesser role in the church or in marriage. It is simply a different and complementary role assigned to them at the beginning of creation. And this assignment transcends culture and time in the perfect and infinite purposes of God.

We stand with the apostles Peter and Paul on the matter, opposed to those who wish to wrestle the clear teaching of the Word to obtain their objectives. As Barnes eloquently writes of the apostles words:

"Let him be ignorant - At his own peril, let him remain so, and abide the consequences. I shall not take any further trouble to debate with him. Let him abide the consequences of rejecting the law of God. I have given full proof of my divine commission. I have nothing more to say on that head. And now, if he chooses to remain in ignorance or incredulity, the fault is his own, and he must answer for it to God. {Barnes Notes 1 Corinthians 14:38}

And as Peter says of the apostle Paul's writings, “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” {2 Peter 3:16}.