Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Great Kansas Word War

I know this is a wee bit off topic, but Im so excited! My husband just posted his first expanded short story 'book' on Kindle today and I wanted to share with you:). The Great Kansas Word War is an expanded version of a short story that he won his first award with a couple of years ago and is a heartwarming glimpse into a day in the life of a particularly difficult and charming grandfather.

I had a lot of fun watching this story grow. Ian has a fascinating way of bringing a lot of little elements in our lives together to tell a completely new story. This isnt based on actual events, but there elements of the familiar sprinkled throughout. The grandma is named Bethel just like my own grandma (who was one of Ian's biggest fans), and Grandpa is similar in many ways to Ian's own Scottish grandpa- just transplanted into a Kansas farmer.

He originally thought to find just a generic photo of a barn to use as the front cover, but he does like to paint (pure Bob Ross style, but bless his heart he loves it;)and decided to do just that for a cover. I love the way it turned out, very old fashioned looking, reminds me of book covers from the 40's and 50's and really sets the tone for the story.

Its a very quick and easy read, designed to be read in an hour or so and only $1.97 to download on You dont have to have a Kindle to read it either- Amazon offers lots of different FREE Kindle Reading Apps here ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Rapture: Rockabilly Condensed Version a la Marty Stuart

Most everyone probably heard all the secular news stories about that silly fellow who decided he knew when The Rapture was going to take place this year. It was amazing and rather distressing how many misinformed folks decided to chime in and give their two cents worth.

As a general rule, I believe we need to be very careful how we handle interpretations of last things-there is a reason why the book of Revelation is in the BACK of the Bible! I also know that the phrase "the rapture" is nowhere in the Bible, but the idea behind it is there. With that in mind, when I came across this delightful video of Marty Stuart's original song Its Time to Go Home this evening I thought-

THERE IT IS, in a nutshell! The Rockabilly condensed version of the Rapture, complete with scripture reference and AMAZING Fender guitar playing! Give a listen:

Lyrics to this song can be found on Marty's Fan Website

The DVD this is from can be found here~ Bill Gaither Presents: Country Bluegrass Homecoming Vol. 1

Or this and other original Gospel songs by Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives can be found on their CD~ Souls' Chapel

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are You Hurting? Answers From The Word Of God

The word of God has answers for hurting people!! Here is a very useful collection of free teachings on specific topics that people who are going through difficult times might be facing:

1. I feel alone
2. It seems nothing is working.
3. I have symptoms of a physical problem.
4. I feel like giving up.
5. I've experienced financial difficulties.
6. I need help in my marriage.
7. Someone close to me has died.
8. I need deliverance from addictions.
9. What does it mean to be born again?

The teaching What Does it Mean to be Born Again? is a great message for anyone who has questions about going to heaven, and/or how to become a Christian.

These are from Keith Moore, Pastor at Faith Life Church in Branson,Mo. He is an excellent teacher of the Word and all of the teaching series' he does are always available at no charge (now thats faith in action;) on the Faith Life Church website free downloads page

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Judge Not- of Planks and Specks

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" ~Matthew 7:1-3

Recently, I have observed more than one person bring up this verse in an attempt to defend a "to each his own", "tolerance" sort of position regarding sin and faith. While I knew in my heart that was not the point Jesus was trying to make here, I decided to study it out some rather than just ignore the discussion. I figure that is part of considering the plank in my own eye;)

My first thought was, if they are accusing me of judging when I am quoting scripture, then by their definition of judgment, they are judging me when they quote this scripture, so it becomes a great paradox. I dont believe this is what Jesus taught, for He is not the author of confusion.

As I studied, I used one of my favorite bible study resources, Andrew Wommack's Living Commentary . (available for purchase by clicking the link, or you can also access many of the notes at no charge through Andrew's Website). When I looked at all the individual scriptures in this note, it helped me to see the bigger picture of biblical judgment:

Life For Today Study Bible Notes
Note 46 at Mt 7:1:

On other occasions, Jesus told people to judge (Lu 12:57 and Joh 7:24). The disciples told people to judge (Ac 4:19; Ro 14:13; 1Co 5:12, 6:2, 10:15, 11:13, and 14:29). Paul judged (1Co 5:3 and 2Co 5:14). There are many examples of people judging. Paul prayed that our love would abound more and more in all judgment (Php 1:9). In the light of these scriptures, it is evident that there must be a right and wrong type of judging.

In Lu 12:56-57, Jesus used the words "discern" and "judge" interchangeably. As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, "judge" can mean many things from "condemn" to "to form an opinion or evaluation." There certainly is nothing wrong with discerning or appraising a situation or person. Quite the contrary, we need to try the spirits (1Jo 4:1). Judging, when done as discernment, is good.

It is the condemning type of judgment that is wrong. This is denounced in other scriptures (Ro 14:4, 10, 13; and Jas 4:11) because of the reasons stated in Mt 5:22. We can defer to God passing sentence on people and know that He will have perfect judgment (Ro 2:2 and Re 20:12-13).

Also notice that in these scriptures, Jesus was not forbidding judgment; He was warning us to be careful with our judgments because we will be judged accordingly. This same principle is stated in Ro 2:1-3 and Jas 2:12-13. There are certain cases where we have to pass a condemning sentence, as Paul did (1Co 5:3-5 and 1Ti 1:20), or as a judge would today. Pastors and elders are charged with rebuking and even disciplining church members (1Ti 5:20; Re 2:12-16, and 18-20), but it is not something to be done lightly. This warning constrains us to be certain that we have heard from God and are not simply venting our own frustrations.

Andrew Wommack's Living Commentary

So what do I gather from all of this?

There is a pervasive doctrine in the world today that refuses to believe in absolutes, but that doesnt change what the Word of God teaches. There is right and there is wrong. There is Truth and there is lie. If I call myself a follower of Jesus, I cannot ignore what He says when it is uncomfortable HE said "I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father except by Me". Saying that the Bible says something is wrong is not hate, unless it is done in a hateful manner. You can be wrong til the day you die and I will still love you. On the other hand, telling someone they are okay when they are not is not love.

How to remove the plank?

There are some things I need to remember when handling the uncompromising Truth of our beloved Father:

1) Its not MY truth or YOUR truth, its HIS truth. The thing about Truth is that it may not be optional for salvation, but it is a choice- proclaim Truth when and where appropriate, but never try to force it on someone.

2)There is nothing I can do in my own strength to convince someone to believe- God tells us to speak, preach, teach, exhort, but it is the Holy Spirit who will do the convincing. Its also NOT about me being right and someone else being wrong.

3)Just because I know something is right or wrong, doesnt mean I always have to say it. Speak when the Holy Spirit tells me to, keep silent when He tells me not to speak.

To sum it up, here are a few scriptures that support these ideas:

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:23-26

Behave yourselves wisely-living prudently and with discretion-in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing the opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious, pleasant and winsome, seasoned-as it were- with salt, so that you may never be at a loss to know how you ought to answer anyone who puts a question to you.
~Colossians 4:5-7 (Amplified)

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human[a] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
~1 Corinthians 2:4-5

...let our lives lovingly express truth in all things- speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One.
~Ephesians 4:15 (Amplified)

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
~Ephesians 4:15 (Amplified)

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith-make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher- praying in the Holy Spirit; Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which will bring you unto life eternal.

And refute so as to convict some who dispute with you,and on some have mercy who waver and doubt. Strive to save others, snatching them out of the fire; on others take pity but with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

~Jude 20-23 (Amplified)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who Do We Think We Are?

PHOTO: Fairy Bridge on the Isle of Skye ©2005 Thyme2dream

"(I pray) that God may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation-of insight into mysteries and secrets-in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him, By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you..." Ephesians 1:17-18

I have become convinced that most problems we face as Christians are, at the root, just knowledge problems. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwelling in us and once we learn how to submit to God, get out of the way and allow that power to flow through us, victory will come.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the above prayer from Ephesians is one I have prayed for myself and others ever since I first read it in the word nearly 30 years ago. Although I have spent a lot of time listening to good teaching and learning about "who we are in Christ", the Holy Spirit has recently been prompting me to personally delve deeper into this understanding by focusing on specific passages in the word that talk about us being "in Him" or "in Christ".

Since there are many ways that is phrased and the verses can be hard to find in a regular search with such common words, I have been using a great little resource that Kenneth E Hagin published years ago, called In Him (available from Harrison House publishers) In the booklet there are a couple of chapters introducing the concept, and then lists of all the verses on the subject. My project is to go through verses one at a time, copy them down in a journal and spend time meditating on each one as I go. This morning as I was starting to think about my blog, I decided that I would also like to start a series of sorts here along the same theme. So over the next few weeks/months I will aim to do at least one post a week along this line. This should be a great learning process, and I invite you to post comments if you like to contribute to the study so we can go through it together:)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Springtime Rejoicing!

Im OH so ready for Spring!! The Lord of the Dance is a wonderful old folk song with joyful lyrics which always remind me of Easter and Spring!

Here is one of my favorite versions done by Scottish folk singers The Corries. I love the image of Jesus leading us all in a joyful dance after His resurrection:)