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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Please watch this - So beautiful!

I viewed this today and was just stunned at the wonderful message of what marriage is all about.  Thank you, Larissa and Ian, for letting have a glimpse at your glorious beginnings!

Let's explore our own marriages together.  You are invited to attend:

The Art of Marriage
Every Sunday
November 4 - Dec. 9
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Faith Baptist Church
Freeburg, IL
Conact: for more information

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fond Farewell - Romans 16 - Let's start our journey!

We have come to the end of Paul's letter to the Romans!  Good job hanging in there! 

The end of this letter is full of wonderful personal greetings.  I love the little notes Paul is sending to so many individuals, complete with their names! 

Can you imagine the wonderful response people had when they heard their names being read in this letter?  The end of Paul's letter is heartwarming.

This, again, puts a personal face on this man.  It also shows me how REAL God's Word is. 

The Bible contains a real message to real people.  The personal notes help me understand the writers God used to deliver His message.

In this last chapter, Paul makes a few statements which are very relevent today. Take a look: 

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. -- Romans 16: 17 -19

Do you ever feel like people are deceiving you with "smooth talk and flattery"?

Do you think there are some people "not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites"?

You don't have to look far into movies and media to find examples of that!

Please be aware that "our own appetites" and "smooth talk and flattery" are some  of the devil's favorite tools!  Make sure you are not being distracted by them!

Finally, Paul closes his letter with a proclamation we can all use:

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from  faith to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
                                                                                          - Romans 16

Jesus revealed a way all of mankind can be reconciled to God.  Paul was making a bold statement in mentioning Gentiles (all of those who did not practice the Jewish faith!) in his closing. That was a huge statement for his time.  He included people who were usually not considered God's "chosen ones". 

Bottom line, God created everyone.  He loves us and wants us all to come to Him.  God is a just God who cannot be in the presence of sin.

Enter:  Jesus, God's Son.  He made a way to take care of our universal sin problem.

BUT - God has not created a nation of robots.  He has given us free will.  We must CHOOSE to invite Jesus into our lives.

Where are YOU at the end of The Book of Romans?  I pray you have fallen into the arms of your loving Savior.  Consider making the thoughtful commitment.

It took me 36 years to commit to Jesus because no one truly explained salvation to me. I want to share Christ's message of hope with everyone because it changed my life forever! 

Bottom line:  Choosing Christ MAKES SENSE.  We make decisions for every facet of our lives: -- Where to go to school -- What career to choose -- Who to marry -- Where to live -- How to spend our time....

We SHOULD make a CHOICE for Jesus...otherwise our commitment is half-hearted, at best.  That carries no Heavenly guarantee.

If you are like me, you may not have considered the DECISION for Christ until later in life. 

Today is always a good day  to make a decision.

What will you do with Jesus?

Here is a possible prayer: 

Dear Lord,

I admit that I am a sinner. I've done things that don’t please you. In a lot of ways, I've lived my life for myself. I am sorry. I ask you to forgive me. I believe you died on the cross for me to save me. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life. I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I'll spend all eternity with you.   Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please let me know!  You have started a wonderful journey.  Please contact me via and we'll walk together.

Stay tuned for our next Bible Study -- Coming next week! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fascinating Viewpoints - See What You Think!

Romans Chapter 15

I am fascinated by Romans Chapter 15!  Paul gets very personal here.  I love getting to know this great man of God better.

First of all, Paul is concerned about how we treat others - those weaker than us - those different than us.  His first verse tells us to bear with the weak, to build up others and to care for others as Christ did. 

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
                                                                                                                                 - Romans 15:1

Paul's Book of Romans is perfect to read in this election year!  It is a great time to consider the Truth and take a stand, as Paul did!

Like Paul said in the beginning:  "I am not ashamed of the Gospel!"    May we have such boldness as we vote our values and hold on to the TRUTH of God's Word! 

The Scripture should be our guide and encouragement.  -- Gotta stay in the WORD!  Here's what Paul says in Romans 15:4:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
                                                                                                                     - Romans 15:4

HOPE -- that is what I have for our country.  I pray and pray for God's people to take a stand and not compromise.  We can all stand together as Paul says:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15: 5,6

Paul wrote his letter as a warning to the people, however.  He spoke of his admiration for the people, yet, he felt a strong need to remind them of the TRUTH. May we be so bold to remind our peers of the TRUTH in God's Word:

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.  Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. -- Romans 15:14,15

Paul had to cover some tough issues in his letter to the Romans, like the downward spiral sin can take us on, the cost of compromise and many things listed in Romans 1:

 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;  they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

When I read Romans 1, I find it a chilling reflection of our culture today.  I ask for God's forgiveness that we have let our world come to this place.  I ask for God to heal our land and I pray he will lead us in HIS way of righteousness.

At the end of Chapter 15, Paul talks about coming to Rome.  In sweetly personal words, he tells of his plans to travel to Rome and tells of his dreams:

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see,and those who have not heard will understand.”
                                                                                                - Romans 15:20,21

Is that our ambition?  Do we want to help people understand the love and plan of Jesus?  Perhaps we, like Paul should ask for prayer in our journey.

Perhaps we, like Paul, need to take the risk to let others know what we believe and what we stand for.
There is no better time than now to follow Paul's lead. 

See you in Chapter 16!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Six Myths of American History

A great article from American Vision!

There are six prevalent myths taught about American history over pivotal matters of importance. Call them humanist tall tales, if you wish. They’re as fictional and sensational as the wild stories of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan with his big, blue ox, but unlike those American myths, these have long been presented as historical fact by the academic institutions of our fair land.

These myths have duped far too many Christians in our day, leading them to devote their efforts to combat the wrong things, or to give up the fight altogether.

 The purpose of this article is not to document, detail, and defend the historicity of these six myths, but rather to introduce and summarize them, and to point you to other resources that flesh out these myths more thoroughly and biblically answer them.

Myth 1: The Founding Fathers were deists

A deist is a person who believes in an absentee God. A deists believes that God created the world and then abandoned it for man to shape into whatever he liked (provided he didn’t violate certain “natural laws). While many schools and universities have taught for decades now that many or most of the founding fathers were deists, we are hard-pressed to find any clear example of a founding father who was a genuine deist. For quite a while Franklin and Jefferson were given this designation especially, but each of these men have been quoted in ways that clearly contradict the tenets of deism.

For example, Benjamin Franklin gave this famous quote at the constitutional convention which expressly contradictions the notion of an absentee God:

“In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

“To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel.”

Likewise, Jefferson made this statement concerning the continuance of slavery in America:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever…”

These are not the professions of men who believed God is absent from the scene, does not have a revealed standard of morality, and that He will not take action to judge men by that standard. Thus, the two most popular candidates for deists among the founding fathers cannot accurately be considered deists.

Want to read more?  Take a look:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Romans Chapter 14

Congratulations to all of you who have joined me in "bloggin through the Book" ! We've tackled the Book of Romans since June and we're now on the last three chapters!

This has been a great study for me.  I've studied Romans through washed out hurricane trips, ICU waiting for my dad to wake up experiences, agony over children moments  and just plain, "wish I was back in the Word for summer" guilt trips.

Every time I made time to get  back to the Bible, God always had something to say to me. 

Of course! That's the way He works !  - Now...On to Chapter 14!

In Romans chapters 12 - 16, it seems God has Paul getting us ready to interact with the world .  He introduces concepts we need to cope with a world that throws a lot of challenges our way:  Human dynamics, disgruntled friends, home, church and work challenges, difficult relationships with authority and anger issues all play a part in these chapters of Romans.

Humility, love, forgiveness, determination, respect -- These are all traits found in our Romans 12 and 13 chapters. Those are good coping tools. 

Enter:  Chapter 14: 

'As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,

‘every knee will bow before me;

every tongue will acknowledge God.’

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
- Romans 14: 11,12

GULP!  What is God asking me to give an account of ? 

He's asking me to stop being so wrapped up in judging others that I neglect my own opportunities to serve.  

In other words (Laurie's paraphrase):

"Tend to your own knitting, Laurie, and be sure not to cause others to fall."

God is referring to two very non-salvation issues in this chapter:  1. What we eat and  2.How we worship. 

Apparently, our Bible time counterparts had big issues regarding what could be eaten and how to worship. God had given them some guidelines in the Old Testament, but the people were taking them to the extreme hundreds of years later.   Briefly, God said, "Lighten up on that."

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads
to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy
the work of God for the sake of food.
-Romans 14: 19,20

Within the church, we sometimes feud about the silliest things.  God is all over that.  He wants us to work together for the GREATER good! 

The next time you feel yourself getting upset about a church skirmish, please remember Paul's words in Chapter 14:

Be careful not to make others fall with your actions AND don't sweat the small stuff.  Get along and get going. 

The world needs Jesus.  Let's focus on HIM and bring others to Him. 

This will change lives and glorify God.