When did we stop trusing God to save people?

When did we stop trusting God to save people? When did we start to mark Him incompetent and unable to jump over the speed bumps people encounter on their path to Him? You know, the path that He put them on. This is a trend that is dangerous and it is one of the reasons I took nearly 6 months off from writing. I was sick and tired of people calling God incompetent.

Before I explain what I mean let me say this. The Bible is the final authority and it is God alone who saves. Not teachers, not theologians, not professors, not shareable pictures on facebook and surely not bloggers! There are false teachers, false churches and multiple heresies that have deceived many and we as believers should avoid them and caution people against things. But I repeat again…. God alone saves.

Time after time I see movements, movies, teachers, books and much more pop up and there is always a trash session of some kind. Even if I see 99% of people love whatever is being talked about there will always be at least 1% that hates it. Again, I am seeing the mudslinging pop up with 2 new movies, Son of Man which released today and Noah which is being released soon. My feed is inundated with posts about how horrific these movies are. I want to offer a different perspective.

God is being talked about! Can we celebrate that? Yes, I am sure both movies lack something, get facts wrong, etc (since they are NOT the bible we would be fools to expect otherwise!) but you know what, God CAN use them to call people to Himself! I don’t know about you but I have sat through some great teachings only to go back and relisten a few years later and have my stomach turn at the fact that message ever fed me. I sat in a church for 3 years and grew exponentially only to have a major church split. I walked away feeling like I wouldn’t be able to grow anywhere else and now I wonder how I ever heard God’s word from that pastor, a man whose life was woefully in disorder and his theology shady at best. God used him for a time. I heard what God needed me to hear and once God was done I was gone. God uses anything! Sometimes that includes bad teachers.

I had a young man I was witnessing to once tell me how he came to the Lord. He watched a TV pastor who spoke of the need to repent and turn to Jesus. He said he dropped to his knees in his living room, sobbing in repentance and feeling the weight of his sin only to have God reach down and lift that burden. He knew he was saved in that moment and said he had run after Jesus ever since. I asked who the preacher was and he told me… Joel Osteen…. seriously. (I will confess I quizzed him harder just to be sure that he was really saved, I couldn’t believe anyone could hear the Gospel from him!) I have never heard JO say anything about repentance and faith, turning from sin, etc. but God opened this man’s ears to hear the Gospel even through a man that most find a false teacher. God can use anything…

I was saved reading a book many people hate, Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. God called me out of false conversion in chapter 3. I studied in an NIV for years until I found out about the issues with the translation. The first time I ever even thought of following Jesus was after secretly reading a bible for 9 months, not after hearing the Gospel from anyone. I watched a lot of bad teaching on TV…. and you know what happened…. God called me to Himself through His people, even the ones who have theological issues, and saved me!

So I have a challenge. I am not telling you to encourage people to continue to listen to bad teaching. Correct when God prompts you to correct BUT at the same time TRUST HIM! He has this whole salvation thing covered. He knows how to reach around sin and error and bring people to Himself. He knows how to work around fallen humanity and save people. In fact, it’s all He ever does because none of us have it right. So yes, Son of Man may not be the best movie ever but that doesn’t mean God cannot use it. Pray for God to use it in spite of its shortcomings! People have been saved reading the Jehovah Witness version of the bible. People have been saved without a Bible present. People have been saved in more crazy ways than any of us realize. Why? It is simply because it is God who saves, not a method or teaching but God alone. He makes blind men see. It is time we have a little more faith in Him.

Now, again, please don’t stop correcting error when needed but please remember who is on the throne. The Creator of the world, the One who authored salvation, the only One who is able to save and He can use anything, at any time to rescue souls from a destiny in Hell. He alone is faithful.

Family First this Thanksgiving- Just say no to Black Friday on Thanksgiving day!

An ad crossed my Facebook feed today that lit a fire under me…. it was a ToysRUs ad about their black Friday deals… that start at 5PM on THANKSGIVING…. seriously?  That is a holiday!  A day where people should be with their families and stores should be closed.  Due to my outrage in how many companies are starting black Friday on Thanksgiving day this year, I would like to encourage you all NOT to shop on Thanksgiving.   Here are a few good reasons.

1-I know, this is a biggie and a weird, novel, NEW idea but hey, I think it is worth mentioning.  It is THANKSgiving!  A day to spend with family and friends and be thankful for what you HAVE, not what you NEED or worse yet…. WANT. Don’t let covetousness suck the joy out of this day! I know, that was a shocker, feel free to sit down and really wrap your head around that… a holiday with family and friends to be thankful for what God has blessed you with.  Apparently executives do NOT feel the same way.

2- Don’t feed the monster! They will open earlier and earlier each year if people go. You speak volumes with your money. Don’t spend it there.  Consumerism makes decisions based on consumer activity. The power is in your hands!

3-You are a mom and wife.  How would you feel if your husband had to leave before or during Thanksgiving to go and work? Or if you had to go and work? Or your children?  Perhaps you are already in this situation!  Don’t let the executives, who have this day off anyway, make decisions for the lower men on the totem pole who have no choice. Your lack of support is a voice that you can always use.

4-On Thanksgiving, some people HAVE to work.  Military, public service, etc. are required to work because of their positions.  Usually on skeleton crews, these people work hard and make sacrifices for us and our safety.  Retail is NOT in this category.  In fact… wait for it… retail is OPTIONAL everyday!   Of course, we need to go to the grocery store but most retail isn’t needed! Don’t believe me?  Go wander the mall.  America has blurred the lines of NEED and WANT. I can guarantee you have bought into this lie.  Don’t believe me?  Last time you said you have “no food” did you actually mean you just had no food you were in the mood for?  I am guilty as charged.  I go grocery shopping when I still have food in the cabinet.  We are spoiled by wants that look like needs… including Christmas presents.

5- Trust that God will provide greater deals through the holiday season. Black Friday may have good deals but no deal is worth compromising basic values of things that matter to God, like family. Good deals will come and go throughout Christmas season.  I can tell you that Legos almost always have better deals a couple of weeks before Christmas.  Keep watch on places like Amazon.  I always end up with a few last minute packages from them.

6-Here’s a big one…. hold on tight…. how about NOT buying into the commercialism of Christmas at all? How about instead of getting the *best new gadget of the year* you focus on a few little needs for gifts and a whole lot of Jesus?! I know… crazy idea but Christmas should be about CHRIST. Let’s talk about awesome organizations like Compassion International where you can spend money and help people around the world.

Please remember as we get closer to Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas what this season is all about.  It is not about toys, craziness or stress but it is about your family, your Creator and the birth of the greatest gift our world has ever received, Jesus.

Please contact the companies below to be a voice in the craziness.  Do not allow this to continue.  Just a simple letter of “I refuse to shop at a store that doesn’t value family no matter how good your sales are! sincerely, your name” is enough to be a voice.  And of course, keep your money in your pocket this Thanksgiving and instead love your family!

http://www.toysrusinc.com/contact-us/

https://corporate.walmart.com/_submit/feedback

(I will add more as the ads with their hours become available)

If you want to support stores NOT open on Thanksgiving here is a list.  I will add more as they become available.  Watch them for great sales.

Deborah & Co. Beautiful, modest women’s clothing!

*This post contains affiliate links*

Why we should avoid stores open on Thanksgiving day

Why we should avoid stores open on Thanksgiving day

Inspired Holiday Bundle! 25 ebooks only $25!

One of the amazing networks I am part of had pulled together the best eBooks for the Holiday season.  These ladies are amazing and FAR more creative than I am!

Here is all of the info you need about the bundle-

The holidays are quickly approaching and with many ways to celebrate between October and December, you might start feeling a little stressed and uninterested.

Inspired Holiday Bundle - 25 products for holiday inspiration at only $25 #InspiredBN

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Put more ho-ho-ho in your holdiay without more dough. Includes a 17-page printable holiday planner system. [Read More]

A perfect stocking stuffer! Your children can have hours of creative fun acting out farm stories with this downloadable pdf paper farm set! Simply print the pictures out on cardstock then cut them out to create your own paper farm! You can print as many copies as you’d like to make your farm as big as you want! [Read More]

  • Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness by Amanda Pelser from Kids in the Word

The Bible is full of references to thankfulness that we can use to teach our kids the whys and hows of developing an attitude of gratitude. Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness is a Bible study written for all ages to help you in your pursuit of instilling thankfulness in your kids. [Read More]

  • Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Celebration for Families by Amy Blevins from Bow of Bronze

Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World is an Advent Celebration for Families. Included in the Advent Celebration are daily readings from God’s Word, a daily Christmas carol selection, crafts, recipes, and suggested activities for each day, and a more in depth devotional study guide for teens and parents. We also include links to coloring pages, books, and complimentary products. All the information you need to make Jesus the heart of your Christmas celebration is found in the pages of this book. [Read More]

Help your children remember that right before Christmas many Americans faced a tragedy at Pearl Harbor that should not be forgotten. [Read More]

You will find this a delightful set of 25 pages to help your children record their Family Christmas Celebration Memories through writing, art, coloring and more. [Read More]

You will appreciate these thoughts on end of year holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas from a Christian homeschooling mom. Unconventional gifts, keeping Christ in Christmas, giving thanks in all seasons of life, and more. [Read More]

Join our wonderful expo panel and listen to moms who have survived the holidays with flying colors and share their scheduling, baking, praising and joyful tips and techniques with you! STRESS BUSTERS! What fun your children will have celebrating the different seasons of the year as they continue to learn. [Read More]

Help develop a spirit of Thanksgiving in your kids with this fun, 29-page printable keepsake book where they can express their gratitude through journaling. [Read More]

This cute set can help keep your kids busy and learning on holiday breaks, rainy days, or even car trips. Start with the included e-book for the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Doc and follow with the story mat for acting out the story. [Read More]

A simple, but effective Christmas Planner that will help you stay sane, budget, and fully enjoy the true reason for the season. [Read More]

A little encouragement for the busiest time of year. Slow down, remember, why you’re celebrating. Find God’s true joy. Let this be a Christmas worth remembering. Let this be a Christmas where you celebrate God’s love, grace, joy, and greatest gift of all. [Read More]

  • Loving You Long Distance: Tips for Strengthening Long Distance Family Relationships by Katie Hornor from Paradise Praises

Loving You Long Distance is an easy to read, 25 page ebook that gives you practical tips and fun activities that we use, and that anyone can use, to keep your family close in spite of the great distances that may separate you. [Read More]

  • WriteShop Christmas StoryBuilders Writing Prompts by Kim Kautzer | WriteShop from In Our Write Minds

WriteShop® StoryBuilders card decks help to jump start a creative writing project by providing students with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot—laying a foundation for a joyful writing experience with some clever surprises thrown in along the way. [Read More]

This CHRISTmas season have fun with this activity book and remember that God loved you before you were even born! That’s why he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a baby. So He could be your best friend and Savior and live in your heart. Here’s some fun activities for you to do that remind us of the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas. Print off the pages and have FUN! [Read More]

  • Everyday Christmas: Helping your kids find Jesus in the everyday moments of the season by Lori Fairchild from Everyday Truth

Take a moment and enjoy this Christmas devotional packed full of great ideas for helping your kids find Jesus in the everyday things of Christmas. You can make an object lesson of Christmas lights, cookies and even decorating the tree. Refresh your own soul with the devotion and share the ideas and conversation tips with your kids. [Read More]

Thank You Notes kids can use for Teachers, Pastors, Military, and many others. There are two different note options, and each note includes fun graphics specific for the note to be given and penmanship lines. [Read More]

A precious bundle of ideas to keep your preschooler delighted during the Christmas season. [Read More]

You don’t have to spend all kinds of time scouring the internet for the perfect crafts to do. They’re all right here in my handy little Christmas Crafts e-book, including 25 crafts! [Read More]

A separate Halloween pack that shows Grinn N’ Giggles counting 10 different spooky items together. From one haunted house to 10 pieces of candy, this cute pack reinforces the theme of the book. [Read More]

S short, but cute story of these two best buds and some of their favorite things they like to do while hanging out together and having fun. This is a book of counting from 1-10. [Read More]

Sensory bins are a simple and inexpensive learning tool that can benefit all children. Whether you are interested in incorporating sensory bins into your home, classroom, preschool, Day Care, or homeschool, this guide will provide you the necessary knowledge and ideas to get started. [Read More]

The December Planning Pack for Children is full of fun and engaging planning pages for your children. This pack is perfect for K and up. It includes a calendar, daily agenda, writing prompts, and much more. [Read More]

The November Planning Pack for Children is full of fun and engaging planning pages for your children. This pack is perfect for K and up. It includes a calendar, daily agenda, writing prompts, and much more. [Read More]

A collaborative effort of all six Weekend Potluck hostesses, the Weekend Potluck Fall Favorites eCookbook contains over 60 recipes found on our blogs (as well as a few unpublished dishes) that will make your tummy smile. From breakfast through dessert, these recipes are simple but full of Fall flavor. [Read More]

Inspired Holiday Bundle - buy it now

Terms: Sale ends November 3rd at 11:59 PM Eastern. All sales are final. You will receive the encrypted download links by email after purchase. You will have 24 hours to download the links before they will expire. We will not offer refunds for items not downloaded before the links expiration. Downloads are contained in SIX zipped folders. Please verify that you are able to save the files before downloading as you can only download the links twice before they expire.
Each product is copyrighted to the author as mentioned above and may not be copied unless otherwise noted in the individual product. Additional terms and conditions may apply to individual products. Please read the copyright information contained in each file.

Inspired Holiday Bundle - 25 products for holiday inspiration at only $25 #InspiredBN

This post contains affiliate links.

Evangelism is hard… watching people you love go to Hell is harder.

“Evangelism is too hard.” Yes, I have heard this many times… and I may have even said it a time or two.  Recently I was thinking about a funeral I had attended several years ago.  There he lay, dead.  He was gone and unsaved.  Lived a life and then, in the flash of an eye, he was in Hell.  Someone I loved and respected was gone and so was my opportunity to share the Gospel with him.

His funeral was in a church, one that he never graced the doors of other than a few occasions.  People spoke of him in living memory and talked about heaven.  Yet I sat there and knew this was not true… he was in Hell.  The people who spoke about Heaven are not saved either.  They just like the idea of heaven.  I tried to speak to a few of them about it.  Many nodded and glazed over, some argued their points in phone calls over the next few months and slowly all of those people dissipated from my life.   Yes, evangelism is hard.

John 9:61-62 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

If we think of what we may lose when we share our faith we are often silenced.  We remain quiet.  No mockery comes when you are quiet.  No rebuttals.  No arguments.  No loss… in that moment at least.  We are quiet.  We look and see what is at stake for us.  This is selfish, unloving and human.  Very, very human.  We are putting our hand to the plow and looking back as we watch the loss of the things we think we cannot lose.  When we look forward we see a line plowed that is jagged, inefficient, and just plain old sloppy.  Our work is not fit for His Kingdom unless we are Kingdom minded.

I remember that awful feeling knowing I never shared the Gospel and it was too late.  The field I plowed was jagged, broken and barren.  A plot of land wasted and a life ended without a Savior.  I wasn’t kingdom minded.  I was selfish and didn’t want to be uncomfortable.  Now I stood in a funeral uncomfortable to the umpteenth degree!  Yes, evangelism is hard but that moment was harder.

Now, years later, I have shared the Gospel with those who were there that day.  Many I no longer speak too due to the uncomfort that these conversations brought.  It’s hard being the Jesus freak at times.  Though now I can say that I did not look back.  I plowed the field and planted the seeds.  I didn’t look back.  I did the job that Jesus gave me, to sow the Gospel into the lives of the unsaved.   Was it hard?   Yes.  Is my conscience clear?  Yes.  Have I served my Savior instead of myself?  Yes.  So when you say evangelism is too hard please remember that standing before a dead person you didn’t share the Gospel with is even harder.

So who have you been using this excuse with?  Who is “too hard”?  No more excuses.  Go share your faith with them today.

 

Evangelism is hard... watching people you love go to Hell is harder.

Evangelism is hard… watching people you love go to Hell is harder.

 

Duck Dynasty and baptism… the new great debate.

There has been some debate lately about Duck Dynasty.  If you haven’t heard of Duck Dynasty, I will fill you in since you must have been under a rock for a while!  Duck Dynasty is a reality show about the Robertson family and their multimillion dollar duck call business started by their patriarch, Phil Robertson.  They are a bunch of Jesus loving, good ol’ boys from the bayou of Louisiana.  The show is a lot of silliness, stories, family bonding and let’s not forget about laughs.  My family and I really enjoy it.  We do not have cable and we buy any shows we watch from Amazon instant video.  There are 2 shows I am willing to spend money on and Duck Dynasty is one.

So why on earth is there a debate about a Jesus loving family that ends each show sitting around the dinner table and praying?  Well, it’s because they are part of the Church of Christ.  No biggie…. except for one theological stand point.  Some see it as a minor (like me), others see it as a major but of course, there is grumblings in the Christian community as the armchair theological referees throw a flag.  Church of Christ theology states that in order to be saved one must confess that Jesus is their Lord and be baptized.  No biggie, right?  Well, it kind of is.  Adding in that AND makes all of the difference.

It is my understanding that baptism is an outward act of obedience reflecting a converted heart after hearing the Gospel.  (Mark 16:16, acts 2:38, acts 8:35-38)  I do not believe it is conditional to salvation.  (John 6:47, John 5:24, John 3:36, Ephesians 2:8-9) So Why the big ho-ha?  Well mainly because adding in the part of baptism being conditional to salvation is not accurate scripturally.  If you really stop and listen you will hear about baptism a lot, especially if you read their book Happy, Happy, Happy (a great book by the way!).

My take on this… Jesus has worked around religion since He first graced the planet 2,000 years ago.  He works around our methodology, theology, theories, mistakes, mess ups and just our plain old humanness and gets the Gospel out into the world!  The Robinson family unashamedly speak of Jesus.  They make no secret who their savior is and who leads their family.  Phil’s testimony of a life changed by the power of Jesus is not only humbling but will bring you to tears.  The biblical marriage between Miss Kay and Phil is beautiful.  The fact that a family is on tv, not because they are so messed up but because they are devoted to each other through the craziness of a family run business is a testimony of grace.  They may not always have the kindest words but they always come together, like a real family should.  Trust me, that is uncommon and my family is NOT like that… at all.  I would love to have a Robertson style family.

All of that said for this, though I disagree with their view on what baptism we do agree on this.  Jesus is the only way to heaven.  Without Him, you are going to Hell.  You should be baptized in obedience to Christ as soon as you are saved.  He is faithful.  So let’s come to a point of unity on this.  We aren’t talking about a grand heresy like false prophesy, gnosticism or needing to be circumcised to be saved, we are talking about baptism, something we all should do anyway!

Let’s quiet this little rumble and see what God is doing.  He has blessed a family with a show that gets Him talked about weekly on national TV in front of millions of viewers.  Prayer is being watched by millions each week as a family recounts His goodness in their lives that day.  A family that is the real version of functional which is kind of dysfunctional, not the white picket fence lie that stirs up discontentment, is in front of a society that has NO idea what a real family should look like.  There are great blessings here!    If you haven’t watched Duck Dynasty yet you can see it every Wednesday on A&E at 10 pm est/9ct.  If you are like me with no TV you can buy the episodes for $1.99 each on Amazon.

Duck Dynsaty and Baptism debate

Duck Dynasty and Baptism debate

Disclaimer-  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  A small portion of the sales from these links help support our ministry.  Thank you!

Ladies, there is an attack on the horizon…

Today I write to you with prayerful consideration, much study and careful words.

Since you read my blog, I know a few things about you.

~Evangelism is at least something on your mind.  Whether you share your faith daily, weekly or are just trying to get up the courage to share your faith at all you know this is part of being a Christian.

~Evangelism matters.  This is a key part of every Christians life and we all, men and women, have a fantastic role within the Great Commission.

~You are willing to learn and be encouraged.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading any blog, let alone mine.

Ladies, with all of this I am sad to tell you  there is an attack on the horizon.  Sadly, it is coming from within our camp.  An evangelist names Tony Miano has written a book called “Should She Preach? Biblical Evangelism for Women.”  Unfortunately, it is not a how to manual for biblical evangelism for women but instead Tony has pulled scripture out of context and are boldly declaring women are not able to open air preach, read the bible publicly, limit how we share the Gospel with the opposite sex (it was described to me that we need to use caution, I am not sure what that means though…) and I had one person, who agrees with Tony’s book and wrote this comment on his Facebook page in response to my question, tell me women are not lead worship in church.  (I do not know if Tony shares that thought though he didn’t correct it and ‘liked’ the comment so I am drawing my own conclusions.)

I am upset.  I am grieved.  I feel attacked.  I have read and reread the scriptures used.  I have listened to a 2 hour long teaching by the author on the subject.  The book has not yet been released so I am doing my best to gather actual information about the book and its teachings without chasing speculation or theories.  Unfortunately,  the scriptures of 1 Timothy have been grossly manipulated and have led the author to try to silence women from sharing the Gospel in certain ways.  The context of 1 Timothy 2-3 is for women within the boundaries of the church they are being used to say women cannot speak outside of the church about the Gospel.  Here are my issues.

~Do I believe women should be pastors?  No.  Under the qualifications of elder/teacher, pastors are to be the husband of one wife… an issue for a woman who cannot be the husband to anyone.  We make terrible husbands but great wives.  ;) BUT this is for a PASTOR/TEACHER, not one who is going to declare the Gospel, a call to all believers.  God saved us and we are to go and tell.  I like how Ray Comfort says it.  We are to be the town crier and tell people the Good News!  Yesterday, someone said the term Open Air Evangelist is more accurate.  Eliminates the issue of ‘preacher’ being used.

~Even if you do not open air preach, how will this affect your role in evangelism?  I am not sure since I have yet to read the full book but the word I keep hearing is women should have “caution”.  A very vague term with no context or true limits when you are talking about sharing the most important message of ALL time that makes a difference in a persons eternity! Should we be so cautious that we no longer share the Gospel?  Phew… off the hook, have at it men…. NO! See, we are ALL called to share our faith and the Bible never says we as women are to only share it with women and children.

~The biggest issue I see is for us as mothers.  I have a 12 year old son.  Soon, by biblical definitions, he will be a man.  Can I no longer teach him scripture?  Discuss the Gospel?  Even give him assignments about it?  Should I just hand him a tract every morning, cautiously of course, and hope for the best?  How far reaching does this false teaching affect women, mothers and evangelists?

~There has been one quote in circulation that if you differentiate between preaching and teaching you have a low view of scripture.  I disagree.  Again, it is mainly because of the word ‘preaching’.   This is kind of like the word bear.  There is a burden we bear and a fuzzy animal bear.  Same word, different meaning.  Preaching can be from a pulpit or it can be evangelism in action, declaring what Jesus has done for us.  I am not talking about women getting up on a box and teaching through the book of Galatians.  I am talking about women telling of their Savior.  What He has done and how the unsaved can apply His blood to their life!  This is eternity!

There is so much I could write about this but I can’t because, honestly, this whole thing just grieves me.  I hate division.  I hate misused scripture.  I also hate that the women I care about, you, are being told by someone they should not share their faith in certain ways and if they do they are not meek and quiet… oh… it hurts to think about.  Meek- power under control.  Quiet- not talking about volume but spirit.  A woman boldly declaring the Gospel and how Jesus has regenerated her and desires to do the same for them is amazingly feminine!  We are givers of life.  We bring forth people physically and we can also call people to new life in Christ.  I am saddened some will be silenced by this.

My last point is that within false teaching there is always hypocrisy.  Again, only going off the info I have and all of it is from Tony’s writings or online teachings/videos and not the book itself, it seems women are allowed to declare the Gospel at abortion clinics but not open air. How is this different?  Where is the line and who is drawing the line?  Are they not allowed a box to stand on?  Are they not allowed to quote scripture?  What if a man is present?  Can they only plead for the life of a baby and not mention the Gospel until a person is close enough that they are not yelling so they are quiet? I cannot find a way this could be taught that would not be fully hypocritical.

I know this is a lot to think about.  I have known about the book for several months and over the past month really been studying since I knew this would affect us.  I have tried to find everything available and ask as many questions as possible before writing to you.  Sisters, please be warned.  Please read 1 Timothy and know what it says.  Please pray deeply about this.  If you choose to read the book, though I am not thrilled with the idea of supporting this idea financially, please do read it and read it with a Bible in hand.  Gods word will always speak louder than false teachings.  Do not be scared of it.  Truth always exposes a lie.

“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:30

Love you sisters!  Now let’s get ready for battle.

Ladies, there is an attack on the horizon... Mommy Evangelism

Ladies, there is an attack on the horizon… Mommy Evangelism

Miley- A lesson and warning to Christian parents about false conversion

Yesterday morning, I hopped online and my facebook feed was inundated with posts referencing Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs.  I read a few articles and saw just enough pictures for me to realize I did NOT want to watch the video.  My eyes needed to be dunked in acid just from the pictures!

My children were too young for the Hannah Montana phase but I remember her popping up in a cute, role model way in merchandise at the store.  She was someone to look to.  I even remember a video circulating a few years ago with her talking about how she is a Christian and how its all about Jesus.  Soon after, a steady decline.  Hollywood ate another family, the parents on the brink of divorce and a girl spiraling out of control, not even concealing her drug use.  Now those that made a dollar sculpting her are making money trashing her, following her down a path where many have walked before.  I am grieved but I am not surprised.

So how do we as parents combat this hero mentality that hollywood creates?  How do we handle a hero that falls?  We do not have cable but my children buy episodes of shows like Jessie, Austin and Ally and Good Luck Charlie on Amazon Instant video.  They enjoy watching them.  They even enjoy that Ross Lynch from Austin and Ally comes from a large, homeschooling family.  But so did Miley… protected by her parents, raised in a Christian home, defended her faith, then walked away making it obvious to the world that her parents faith never because her own.  Another false convert exposed.  Before you cry the whole judge not thing since I am throwing the stamp of false convert on her think about the fact the Bible says we are to judge fellow Christians righteously according to their fruit.  (More about false converts in this audio)  A very wise saying I once heard was Christians stumble into sin, not dive in.  Miley dove in, head first, and is plunging deeper and deeper.  No matter what her parents taught her, she did not turn and repent from her life and follow after Jesus alone.

My greatest concern from this.  Us, as parents, may be in the EXACT same circumstance with our children as Miley’s parents.  They may act like Christians up until a certain point and then bam, without us even seeing it coming, they are exposed as a false convert.  We may try to stamp Christian on them but that stamp wont carry them to the throne of God.  Of course, our children don’t fall publicly in the same way.  They don’t have headline coverage or dancing teady bears they are grinding on but our concern should be the same.  Their souls are in danger!  The best message on this topic is by Ray Comfort.  You can find the book here.  One of the greatest dangers we as parents face is not treating our children as once lost!  Your children are not born saved, they must convert.  And I will tell you the most terrifying fear I think about is me doing everything ‘right’ and them not getting it.  Then I step back and remember that it is Jesus who saves, not my training.  I also remember that I was saved without a Christian upbringing.  There is peace there but it also doesn’t let me off the hook!

So what can we do to ensure we are not raising Miley’s?  Here are a few tips.

~Biggest- REPENT, often and in front of them!  Otherwise you seem prideful and perfect.  If you mess up, confess!  Be quick to apologize.  You will mess up.  They see it.  You’re not hiding it.  You can either by a hypocrite or legit.  Don’t put up some perfect facade.  Don’t say things like “I mess up too” but have them left without any reference of you ever messing up and apologizing or repenting.  Transparency is key.

~Watch for signs of false conversion.  Talk about it.  Talk about the differences between a true convert and a false convert.  Biggest of all, teach them to judge righteously, both themselves and others so they not only know how to discern things in themselves but also to know the company they keep.

~Train them to walk in the world without being of the world.  Do this by NOT cutting yourself off and being an armchair quarterback of evangelism but get out there and serve people, love people, give generously, and be the hands and feet of Christ.  Show them how to love the unsaved.  Show them how to bring the Gospel.  Don’t quarantine them so they don’t catch unsaved cooties…. they already have them since they weren’t born Christian, instead show them how to walk as a saved person in an unsaved and dying world.

~Tell them the Gospel.  Daily.  When you pray with them, thank God He died for them.  Remind them how huge the cross is when they stumble.  Show the kindness of Christ.

~Train them to defend their faith.  Though it is faith we have facts, evidence and truth on our side.  Teach it to them!  Teach them apologetics.  What is evolution and why is it false?  What about other faiths?  Why are there not multiple paths to God?  How is Jesus different?  They need answers.

~Love them as much a Jesus does.  Great advice from Todd Friel in his set Drive by Parenting is always act like you are the biggest sinner and react to your children like that.  You are the biggest sinner.  You are a lot more humble when you stop and say “I am a bigger sinner than you.”

~Pray for them!  Pray they seek Him and He calls them.  Pray they serve Him.  Pray for their decisions.  Pray for their spouses.  Pray for your reactions to them.  Pray for your relationships with them.

Of course, we can do all of these things and they may not convert but help the Lord out and train them the best you can, trusting that He will make up the difference.  If you have a “miley” I pray that God allows you to speak ino their life, that others speak to them and that God saves them.  I pray that each of us are blessed with Godly offspring raised to the glory of God and that a new generation of world changers leave our homes ready to take on the challenges life gives them by the grace of God, wearing boldly the helmet of salvation.

Oh Miley... a lesson and warning to Christian parents about false conversion.

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Heroes rarely play it safe

Well we are 6 weeks into homeschooling and have had numerous false starts.  No matter what this year was just NOT working for us.  No rythm, no pattern, no consistency.  It was flat, boring and none of us were plugged in.  We were filling requirements of school and not walking out the purpose of homeschooling.

So today I waved the white flag and said I quit.  Lets throw this out and start again.  What on earth is missing?  Why is this not what I planned?  It is just the same stuff we used last year only a year ahead!  I didn’t change anything.  So I sat and poured over curriculum.  I looked at all of my options.  Then a song played in the other room and I started to cry.

I have been missing it. God is doing something in my heart to pour into my children. Heroes rarely play it safe! They are out, serving, ministering, loving the least of these. They are bold, strong and courageous. They listen to Gods call and GO! So if my children are in my home and I have a limited time to train them should I bog them down with busy work or should I be equipping them?

Are we teaching them to read so they can make good readers OR are we training them to read so they can go and teach children in villages in Africa how to read? Are we teaching them math so they can make change or are we teaching them so they can train women in India how to run a home enterprise, pulling themselves from begging and poverty? Are we training them in science so they can know a lot of cool facts or are we teaching them science so they can go and help farmers grow crops in tough soil or help villages make water purifiers? Are we teaching them history because we should or because we want them to go and reclaim what this country once was? Let us start training heroes with our homeschool! World changers! Life changers! People who DON’T play it safe but run after the challenge that is before them! Let us change our perspectives! Look beyond the books! We are not just learning memory verses, we are tucking the Word in our hearts just in case we do not have access to a Bible but we want to bring the Gospel to a country it is illegal!

This is about action, now.

Ephesians 6:19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,

2 Corinthians 11:25-27 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[a] in cold and exposure.

That is Paul, living boldly. Why do we have this play it safe mentality? (Disclaimer: if you public school, you may get mad BUT I have to say it, read on at your own discretion.) God gives us a limited time with our children to train them. This is the time of year MANY Christian mothers are sending their children off to be discipled 7 hours a day in a secular, anti-God institution, trained in things contrary to the Bible. I don’t care how much they love Jesus when they are 5, 7 or 10, they are being trained in a lie and if you teach a lie long enough eventually it will become truth. Why are you risking your children’s eternity by sending them to a God hating entity 5 days a week? How much more can they learn by YOUR side? How much more can you train them? You are equipped! You are able! You CAN do it! It is not too hard, expensive, etc. YOU can! Don’t play it safe and sublet your children’s education to people you do not know and who, even if they are Christian, are bound by law NOT to say the name of Jesus. Be bold and bring your babies home. There are more resources now than any other time for homeschoolers. You don’t have to miss another moment of your babies lives.

Often our goal in educating our children in America is good grades, college degree, good career, 401k and a good benefit package. We want them to marry, buy a house, have a few kids and enjoy life. But what if Gods plan is different? What if His plan is for them to release children from the sex trade? What if His plan if for them to be a doctor and then go to the remote jungles of Peru treating people? What if He doesn’t want them to marry and to go live the life of Amy Carmichael or Gladys Alyward, rescuing orphans? Are you raising your children for your dreams or to hear God’s voice? Let’s change out perspectives!

So here is what I am using this year.
The International Adventure series from YWAM starting with “A Cry from the Street”

All About Reading- my 11 year old is struggling with dysgraphia and possibly dyslexia so this will help him read more efficiently.

We Choose Virtues- This will be geared towards my litter ones.

We use the YWAM audiobooks, Amy Carmichael has been on all of this week multiple times.  These double as history and geography.

We will continue using Teaching Textbooks (4th grade and up) and Life of Fred (lower levels)  for math.

Let’s end with this-
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

If you are homeschooling already or if you have taken up the challenge to let this be the last day of your children’s outsourced education, let’s remember to be strong and courageous!   We are raising world changers, shepherded diligently by our side, trained for the day of battle when they must leave our sides and bring the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all of the world!  Perhaps it is to and office or perhaps the 10/40 window.  Whatever it is let’s spend this day training them to be heroes, teaching them that playing it safe is rarely good for our faith!

Heroes Rarely Play it Safe

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She gets grace….

Recently my best friend and I were talking about a mutual friend of ours.  She is one of those people who just 100% gets grace.  She never compromises though she tows her own line in this world.  She is kind to all yet Gospel driven.  She ensures that every person she meets knows that she is a Christian and why her hope is in Christ alone.  Yet, she walks beside many who are unconverted.  She told us a story once of mentors of hers who had told her she shouldn’t hang out with certain people because they were not saved.  She was so perplexed at this, as was I.

We are in this world, not of this world.  Are we to run from the world?  Surely not!  If we do how will we tell the whole world about Jesus?

Some are weak conscienced.  They cannot see how to walk in the world pure.  At the same time, others walk in the world and let it tarnish grace.  They apply grace to the unconverted because they have some understanding of the Gospel.  That is not conversion.  That is not salvation.  That is just knowledge.

Rewind what feels like many years to a conversation with a girl about grace.  We were discussing her agnostic friend.  She said “I love her so much.  She is so sweet and kind.  My god will not send a person like that to hell.” I sat stunned.  This girl grew up in a Christian home with solid doctrine.  This girl was homeschooled.  This girl was at church every time the doors were opened.  Yet she missed something huge.  The authority of the One who gives Grace.  She shouldn’t have thought this!  She was taught better, yet her love for a person was out of her heart and not out of the heart of God.  She created her own god that didn’t send “good people” to Hell.  She worshiped a god that she named “Jesus” yet that “Jesus” didn’t exist.  This is an issue that far too many in the Church have.

So why do we struggle?  How is it that my one friend talks about her sweet Muslim, Buddhist, new age and agnostic friends with such kind words and sadness that they have rejected Christ and yet the other wants to believe that God will save those who reject Him?  The answer is obvious.  Understanding of what it is to be an ambassador of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5: 16-21

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

One of these women is an ambassador of Christ.  An amazing woman, not dodging the Gospel but instead living among those who are unconverted bringing them the Good News of the One who died for all.  The other, not being an ambassador, but instead quietly sitting back, holding back the Gospel which she does not understand and allowing people to believe they are okay apart from Christ.  Both act in love but only one acts with the love of Jesus.  She grieves the unsaved she loves and prays for them as she walks the Gospel out before them.  Loving them where they are and desiring better for them.  The church can learn so much from her.  The other models what many churches do.  Coddle the sinner, handing them a ‘Jesus’ card to apply to their life and let them walk in sin telling them they are on their way to Heaven and Jesus loves them.  They are loving them straight to Hell.

So how are we more like my amazing friend?  We do not walk in fear.  We must realize many have been wounded by the church.  We must realize many have been judged harshly by Christians.  We must see that there is a way to walk among the unsaved as an ambassador to Christ.  Be in the world, not of the world.  Do not put on the world to be accepted.  Do not act like the world so they will want to be near you.  Instead act in love.  They will know us by our love.  I know my friend by her love.  Her unsaved friends know her by her love.  She grieves their fate if they do not convert while loving and praying for them along the way.  The other woman misapplies grace where there is none so she doesn’t have to grieve.  It is too big of a thought to think that people will be in Hell.  Do not fear weeping for the lost.  It will drive you to love them deeper.  It will drive you to love God more.  It will drive you to a deeper understanding of Gods justice.  He is faithful.

As time has passed, the woman who misapplies grace has shown to be a false convert.  Never has she gained understanding of the power of the Gospel to save.  She walks a path apart from Jesus while holding on to a few scriptures.  Her path is rebellion.  It makes me sad to see how far she has gone is such a short time though the reality is just that the outside of her life just reflects what her heart has been all along, lost.  Yet my sweet friend has grown so much deeper that she now reaches all around the world with the Gospel with her children at her side.  They walk a life being the hands and feet of Christ.  She does not merely use words.  Instead she uses her while life to be an ambassador of Christ. 

So the question is this- Which are you?  Are you extending false grace because you are saddened people you love many not go to heaven if they reject Christ or are you an ambassador of Christ reaching out with the Gospel that saves people from Hell?  Choose this day whom you shall serve.

The difference between loving people to Hell and being an ambassador of Christ.

The difference between loving people to Hell and being an ambassador of Christ.

 

The Bible in 90 days- Day 11

Numbers 9-21:1-7

~Ritual is so important to God.  Making our motives of every day to honor Him in what we do seems like the root of many of the rituals of the Old Testament.  It is like He was ensuring we thought of Him always even in the smallest details.  I wonder how little we think of Him when these types of rituals are not part of our daily life?  We do have things like quiet time and prayer to keep Him involved each day. I kind of make fun of the ‘prayer stones’ in a persons pocket but now I am thinking it may be a wise idea.  That reminder is needed, especially for us fallible humans!

~I have often heard about the Israelite’s whining about manna joked about.  If I sit back and get really honest I will say I would totally been on the whiners team.  That’s is a lot of the same manna, over and over.  I have things I plead with God about just to get and forget about!  I move on to something new to whine about.  I wonder how often I whine at God instead of truly pray.  I know I did last night while I was up with sick children.  I am a whiny Israelite.

~Oh, the spies in Canaan.  I love one thing about this story.  The majority can sometimes be way, WAY wrong!  Remember that.  If you are standing on one side and a lot of others are standing on the other side, check scripture before you shift position.  You may be right.  It is okay to be a minority.  Trust me… you can count on at least me sitting there next to you.

~I would love to have the relationship with God that Moses did.  Moses spoke with honor, respect, and reverence and yet also truly carried on conversation.  He didn’t just talk and he didn’t just listen.  He went back and forth with God because they had a relationship.  This is what God desires.  He calls us friends.  We are friends of God.  Moses walked this out well.  How blessed we are that we get that kind of friendship with the Holy Spirit who indwells us, with Jesus our Savior and with God that father!  Simply amazing….

~Moses and Aaron had a weird relationship.  Aaron was really a thorn in Moses side yet God kept him around.  I think in that fact alone there are big lessons.  That thorn in your side… God’s keeping them there for a reason.

So what did you get out of it?

Bible in 90 days- Day 11

Bible in 90 days- Day 11