Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Day in the life of....

Life Site News. They search the internet for pro-life and pro-family stories, then compile them into one succinct email. Click here to find out how they do it, and who's responsible! Too bad there's no such thing as a "story gnome"...but there are hard-working reporters who are dedicated to spreading the word that life is valuable and worth preserving.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Too Tired to Blog


I inadvertently ate a little crumb of wheat yesterday. I was making a sandwich for my dear husband, and must have dropped a crumb on the leftover tomatoes as I was carrying his sandwich to him. I went back to the kitchen to grab a snack of tomatoes with salt (bad idea, because I am suffering from a HUMONGOUS canker sore, and tomatoes don't help that situation at all) and without thinking, popped a chunk of tomato into my mouth.

What was that yummy taste? Tomato, in its vine-ripened deliciousness, hit my palate. Salt, yes. A bit of pepper, check. But there was something else, something good, something I hadn't tasted in a while.

Oh, NO.


It was a teensy, tiny bit of wheat.

I have to tell you that it tasted GOOD. Really, really good. Made me realize how much I miss good old-fashioned wheat bread, toasted in the toaster, slathered with butter and mayonnaise and tomatoes and salt and pepper. I could almost kill for a tomato sandwich ( a REAL tomato sandwich aka wheat bread) right now.

But it wasn't at all worth it.

As I sit here, I have a bloated stomach. My eyes are blackened with huge, dark circles that indicate that I was wheated. Oh, yes, "wheated" is a verb in a family burdened with celiac disease. When we ingest wheat accidentally, we tell each other, "I was wheated, and this is what happened...yada, yada, yada."

I miss the taste of wheat. I miss the texture. No matter how hard I try to believe it, rice and tapioca and amaranth and sorghum, and all of the other flours combined NEVER make bread or buns that taste the same as good old-fashioned wheat does.

But, you know, the sore joints and the canker sores and the rashes and the headaches and the gut pain and the gas and the diarrhea and all of the other miscellaneous symptoms of being wheated are just not worth it.

Next time I make my husband a sandwich, I will be ever-so-vigilant. I won't let a crumb touch my plate. I'll scrub my hands thoroughly. I'll be careful.

And I will look forward to the day when I will feast on the manna of heaven. One day, I will eat wheat in my glorified body, and I'll enjoy it.

Revelation 20:6b “Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

I am invited. I am blessed. I will be healed of celiac disease. I will feast at the Marriage supper of the Lamb!

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

My gut will be healed. I will know no more pain. Nothing I reach for will hurt me.

One of God's chosen people will soon be leaving this world. He is a true servant of God, and has suffered for many years with a different, debilitating disease. He will know the joy of being pain free. Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Along the Road of Sanctification

"The more we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Yet the Christian life is not one of gloom, but of ever increasing joy in the Lord.

God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than hearken to his commandment, carry on and rely on his grace, walk in his commandments, and- sin.

All the time our new righteousness, our sanctification, the light which is meant to shine, are veiled from our eyes. The left hand knows not what the right hand does. But we believe, and are well assured, "that he which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1.6).

In that day Christ will show us the good works of which we were unaware. While we knew it not, we gave him food, drink and clothing and visited him, and while we knew it not we rejected him. Great will be our astonishment in that day, and we shall then realize that it is not our works which remain, but the work which God has wrought through us in his good time without any effort of will and intention on our part (Matt. 25.31ff).

Once again we simply are to look away from ourselves to him who has himself accomplished all things for us and to follow him."

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The Cost of Discipleship", pg.335

(Thanks, Linda!)

I get discouraged with myself on a fairly regular basis. I certainly don't measure up to the standards I have set for myself; much less do I measure up to God's standard. My house isn't clean enough, my yard is full of weeds, my children aren't taught well enough, my laundry isn't done... the list goes on.

I am happy that I have been reading my Bible (feasting!!) and have been utterly blessed by this. However, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, as soon as I feel satisfied with my progress, it is all the more necessary to repent.

The ONLY thing I can do is to read the Word and obey it, carry on (picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again, each day), relying on His grace - knowing I will sin. I know I am not good enough. I know I'll never get it right.

But somehow, God is working. Somehow, God is using me and my life and my feeble efforts for His own glory.

So, I press on. With Joy.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I am sitting at my computer, checking my email, reading things sent to me today. Normally, by this time of the evening, I am in my bedroom, reading, relaxing, getting ready for bed. But tonight I am sitting here, but it's not what is in front of me that is interesting me.

My son is reading Proverbs to his online friends. My daughter is commenting on those Proverbs. They're talking about Proverbs 22... and I am blessed.

There is no greater joy than to know your children walk in the truth. I listen to Daniel and Linda commenting on the passage they are studying, and I hear the truth. I know they understand the Scriptures. I know they are not young in the faith, but maturing beyond most of their peers.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

My children walk in the truth.

I know they do... and I am truly joyful.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Inside Out Living

I am constantly blown away by the gospel. It is hard for me to understand why people aren't jumping for joy every single day, like the man who went walking and leaping and praising God after he was healed.

For this is what Jesus has done for me. He saw me...He sees me now, just as I am. He knows all about me. He knows my thoughts, my words, my actions. He knows why I do what I do, and how I fail to do those things I know I ought to do.

And get this: HE LOVES ME! He approves of me. He is on my side. He helps me, He guides me, He whispers to me, He hedges me in, behind and before. He never, ever leaves me.

This is really, really good news. No matter what I face, no matter if my children are mad at me or my friends don't call or I don't get the laundry done or my neck hurts from picking the chicken off the bones for soup, I am deeply and thoroughly loved by the only ONE who really matters.

We all seek approval. We want to be recognized for our talents. We want to be acknowledged for our abilities. We long to be loved, truly loved, just the way we are. We go through life doing our best, but we always know deep down that we haven't quite measured up.

The good news is we don't have to! We'll never be able to. We can't do it. We're deeply flawed, and we'll never be that person we want to be - a perfect parent, a righteous child, a holy Christian, a loving friend.

The good news is that Jesus did it! He was the perfect Son of Righteousness. He lived that life on our behalf, and He died the death I deserved so that I might live.

Here is a message by Tim Keller that is worth listening to. If ever you've tried to live a godly life, but failed; if ever you've looked down on someone else for not measuring up to your standards, if ever you've tried your best to witness but come away discouraged and perplexed... here is a message for you. Stop trying to live a perfect life! You can't do it. Just be thankful that Jesus did live that perfect life on your behalf. Live from the inside out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enormous Debt - All paid!

“Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ; let us regard it as the source of all our hopes, and the foundation of all our peace. Ignorance and unbelief may see nothing in the sufferings of Calvary but the cruel martyrdom of an innocent person: faith will look far deeper; faith will see in the death of Jesus the payment of man’s enormous debt to God, and the complete salvation of all who believe.”

~ J.C. Ryle

Day by Day with J.C. Ryle, “The Cross”, 48.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I am enjoying Professor Horner's Bible Reading System. Because it is designed to take the reader through a daily reading of the Pentateuch, History, Poetry, the Gospels, and the Epistles, one begins to see how integrated the entire Bible is.

Case in point: I read the following passages yesterday and today (admitting that I sometimes only read 5 passages per day, but strive to read all 10): Matthew 28, Genesis 28, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 1, Job 28, Psalm 28, Proverbs 28, Judges 4, Isaiah 28 and Acts 28. The theme that jumped out at me in perusing these passages was BEHOLD!

Strong's Concordance says that behold means:
1) to see with the eyes
2) to see with the mind, to perceive, know
3) to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience
4) to see, to look to
4a) to take heed, beware
4b) to care for, pay heed to
5) I was seen, showed myself, appeared

Behold, from "to stare at"
In Genesis 28, Jacob is fleeing from his brother Esau's wrath, and begins to see things. He becomes acquainted with the Lord through his dream... the passage includes four "beholds" - behold a ladder; behold the angels; behold the Lord; behold, I am with thee.

Jacob, a deceiver, was chosen by God before he was even born. He is beginning to pay attention to the God of his fathers, but is weak in faith at this point. He makes a conditional promise:
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lordshall be my God
He is beginning to see, yet it will take years of trial and confusion before he really understands the fear of the Lord.

1 Peter 1:20
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
Strong's explains the phrase "made manifest":

1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way
1a) make actual and visible, realised
1b) to make known by teaching
1c) to become manifest, be made known
1d) of a person
1d1) expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear
1e) to become known, to be plainly recognised, thoroughly understood
1e1) who and what one is
Most of the entire world knows about Jesus. He was a guy who lived in Roman-occupied Palestine; he was a good teacher; a great example.

But He was (and is) so much more than that! The Irish Calvinist explains who Jesus is. (Go there!)

The thing is, unless your eyes have been opened to understand what has been hidden, the truth about Jesus will be invisible to you. Yet, this is the most important truth in the universe. You need to search for it as for hidden treasure, and dig for it as buried gold. Seek Him, while He may be found!

Job 28:28 defines wisdom as the fear of the Lord. This is too important to miss.

‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

This is why I proclaim Jesus on this blog. I do not want my loved ones, my friends, my relatives, my readers to miss the fact that Jesus is Lord, and that one day they will stand before Him to give an account of their lives. One day they will know that they failed miserably to live the holy life they were required to live - and they will do one of two things. They will rejoice, because they have been forgiven, and the blood of Christ has cleansed them from all their sin. Or they will despair, because they remain unforgiven, and will be cast into utter darkness to suffer for eternity.

Acts 28. Paul was imprisoned in Rome, and while in prison he had a fruitful ministry. Many people came and listened to him as he tried to convince them about Jesus,

24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.

They had eyes to see and ears to hear, but their heart was not moved. Paul quoted Isaiah 6:

25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement:t “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26 u “‘Go to this people, and say,
You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
27 For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

So, do you see? Are you willing to pay attention and behold the Lord Jesus? There is nothing more important than understanding this: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

I plead with you, pay attention. Behold the MAN! Don't let your pre-conceived ideas trap you.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. . .
Jesus is the fullness of Deity in bodily form; He is God in the flesh. He came for a reason. Seek Him!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to Raise Good Kids

I found this gem of a book, written by Barbara Cook in 1978, in my library. I dusted it off, and had a look. There is much wisdom therein, and here's a sample:

What Are Your Goals in Parenting?

What God Wants for my Child

(positive goals in character building)

Therefore, I Will Not Allow:

(negative opposites)

1. Obedience

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.


2. Respect for Authority

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”

Rebellious attitude, smart mouth, backtalk, scornful look, rudeness

3. Self-control

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Unrestrained anger,

temper tantrums,

prolonged self-pity spells

4. Patience

1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

Impatience and sharpness

5. Diligence

(enthusiasm, motivation, & the ability to work)

Proverbs 15:19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.

Romans 12:11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Laziness or nonchalant disinterest

6. Kindness

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Rudeness & selfishness

7. Courage & Confidence

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.”

2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Fear & timidity

8. Happiness & Joy

(love for life)

1 Peter 3:10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Depression & Complaining

9. Love for Others

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.

James 4:11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.


10. Ability to Get Along with People

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.

James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions
are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.


11. Honesty

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all.

Ephesians 4: 25, 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.

Lying, cheating & stealing

12. Wisdom & Knowledge

Proverbs 2:4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;

Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Ignorance & Lack of Education

13. Purity

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Perverted thinking or wrong information about physical intimacy

14. Friendliness

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


15. Dependability, Loyalty

(Responsibility & Faithfulness)

Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,

but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 25:19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble

is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.


Balanced Growth: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, & Social Development

Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.

The final touch: Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness

Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.

I printed off this chart to use for memory work this year in our homeschool. Character training is something we continually work on, as we point our children to Christ. We don't want to teach our children not to lie, per se, but to teach them that there is a Truth-teller that is watching, and that they will some day give an account for their honesty (or lack thereof) to Him. Character building has to come from within, from fruit that grows from roots that are sunk deep into the Source of Life. All other character training is "fruit-stapling", and will not last.