Welcome

Welcome! This is where it all began. I no longer post on this website and some of the content reflects former convictions and understandings. Some of these posts are hard core on issues that I am softer on these days. I deleted many posts that I feared would lead people into legalism, so if you find a missing hyperlink that may be why. These days I write at Covered By His Hand.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

They really do listen

I took the four kids to the grocery store last night, before Paul came home from work. And, it was one of those nightmare trips. First, Nelson bent over the side of the cart and tipped it (I was able to keep it from falling completely over.) Then, Joshua got stuck in the seat of the cart somehow and screamed terribly loud. I could only calm him down by carrying him through the rest of the store. By this point, Lydia was exhausted, and could not walk any more. Since I had Joshua, I could not carry her... or set her in the cart seat. Rebecca came to the rescue (as usual). She picked up Lydia to carry her. I said, "Rebecca, you cannot carry Lydia, she is too big for you and you will be worn out." To which Rebecca replies, "But aren't we supposed to think of other people as more important than ourselves?"

I cried. I kissed her on the forehead. And, I let Rebecca carry Lydia. Rebecca never complained, and Lydia was content as well.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Joy of Kittens

Happiness is a lap full of month-old kittens. One of our momma cats had her litter on December 29, and they made their debut this morning! First there was one tiny kitten in the mudroom... later there were 3 kittens in the mud room... now there are 5.


I could only get these two to pose with Rebecca.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recess

videoThere was a small patch of snow left on the lawn this morning. And, since the temperature was so warm, we all went out to play! Today was Joshua's first time to play in the snow - ever. He was too little last year, and this year has been light on snow! I think you will enjoy seeing how we spent our recess this morning. Joshua had a great time! (And, did not want to come inside for lunch!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I am writing a book

I started writing a book today. Well, actually, I started writing it seven years ago - and I picked up the pen to continue the work on it today!

God impressed a book upon my heart in a BIG way in 2001. I wrote a letter to all my friends and family and asked them to pray. I think I even made a bookmark for my friends to put in their Bibles to remind them to pray for me as I wrote. I never finished the work. Simply put, I was not yet ready then to write the book. But, the desire has been rekindled. God has sent a burst of creativity and order for the work.

These past few weeks, Paul and I were talking about how I would like to write a book. We have talked about some of my fiction ideas. I thought that I would write one of the dear plots walking through my mind. All the while, I had completely forgotten the book from years ago that I began! God brought it to memory today. And, when I remembered it - I started writing... immediately! I am very excited, and a format is taking shape.

I do not want to say too much more, except that the book is Christian non-fiction. Pray for me as I write it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interesting News

While some countries are pushing their citizens to have less children, Japan is actively encouraging its people to have more!

Monday, January 26, 2009

School with You Tube

You Tube is an endless supply of teaching tools! This morning we watched the space shuttle Discovery take off. And, we watched the landing of the space shuttle Enterprise. Then we looked at the Evolution of the US Aircraft Carrier (be sure to turn your volume off, the music gave me a headache!). And, of course we watched a jet take off from an aircraft carrier. Lastly, we watched a computer simulation of a Tomcat launching and landing. This was fun, because it shows the gauges inside the cockpit, while landing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The meaning of "Born Again"

I said in a previous post that I am a born again believer. I wanted to explain what that means, for anyone who is new to Christian terms/jargon. To be “born again” means that I have acknowledged that I was dead in my sins and asked God to forgive me. He granted me forgiveness and gave me new life in Christ. (To read more about why we need to be saved from our sins, start here.) The following verses explain being born again better than I can, because they come straight from the mouth of Jesus.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:1-7 (KJV)
These verses from First Peter also mention that a Christian is a person who has been born again.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:18-23 (KJV)
This idea of being born again is such a beautiful word picture! As I mentioned before, all humans are born sinners. We have to ask God to save us from our sins. After we become Christians, we are now alive in Christ, instead of being dead in our sins. Here are a number of verses that show this glorious truth. When you read the word "quickened," understand that it means "made alive."
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:1-11 (KJV - emphasis mine)
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph 2:1-5 (KJV)
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col 2:13 (KJV)
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17 (KJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (KJV)
This is very good news! Not only can a person be forgiven of their sins, but they can start over!
When God saved me, He did not take a broken person and fix me; He took a dead person and brought me to life!

Crazy about Chickens

Last week, I read a terrific book, Chickens: Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit, by Sue Weaver. This book is part of the series entitled "Hobby Farms." It was very informative! I really enjoyed learning all the essentials of keeping chickens. The book covers:
-How to pick chickens
-Where to keep them
-What to feed them
-Sicknesses
-How to let/encourage hens to brood
-How to identify what animal has been in your chicken house (I'll give you a clue, you can tell by what parts of the chicken are left behind)

The book had many helpful graphs and charts to indicate which chickens: lay, (and how often), which are great fryers, which can fly, which need outdoor ranging (or hate outdoor ranging), and much more.

I was fascinated, and am more interested in raising chickens than ever! (This is what I would call a long-term goal.) I also plan to read the other books from the Hobby Farms series!

Laughing at Rebecca

My six year old, Rebecca, is learning to read. She has been a little over-confident, thinking that she can spell anything. This morning I found names written on the kids' cups (which she kindly filled).
The phonics are in place, just not the right letters to make the sounds.

Nelson = Nelsin
Lydia = Liteu
Joshua = Joshuwu

I thought you might get a laugh from that this morning.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Justification - Part Two

As I have said before, a person needs to look at the Old Testament and the New Testament together to get a complete picture of sin and salvation. My earlier post, Justification - Part One, focused on the laws and prophecies of the Old Testament, this post will try to show that Jesus did indeed fulfill the prophecies regarding salvation from the Old Testament.

We will start with this verse which speaks of Jesus, from the book of Isaiah.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:10-11 (KJV - emphasis added)

In the New Testament we read much about how God's righteous servant, Jesus, justifies us (that is, he reconciles us with God). In the verse below, the Apostle Paul is saying what the purpose of the law is:

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (KJV)

We see, then, that the law cannot justify, but rather shows us that we are indeed sinners. Here is another verse to that effect.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. Romans 7:7-8 (KJV)

The law cannot justify, but Jesus can.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Gal 2:16 (KJV - emphasis added)

The following verses are from the Romans 3 discourse on justification. These verses tie together the law, the prophets, Jesus, and justification much better than I can!

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26 (KJV - emphasis added)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28 (KJV)

These verses have plainly showed that justification comes through Jesus, but how?

Jesus’ death on the cross was the last bloody sacrifice that God requires for the penalty of our sins.

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:11-14 (KJV)

Later the author of Hebrews says of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross:

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb 10:11-14 (KJV - emphasis added)

That passage continues to speak of the covenant God has made with them who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus.

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Heb 10:15-17 (KJV)

Also, consider these words from Peter:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25 (KJV)

These last two verses also come from Peter:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23 (KJV)

God has sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross – as the punishment for our sins. Jesus is the key to salvation, friends. You must believe that Jesus was perfect, that He died on the cross, and rose from the dead. You must believe that you cannot earn salvation on your own.

Jesus took all your sins upon Himself, so that you can appear before God as spotless. You see – He took our sins, and we took His righteousness before God.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Cat Troubles

I did not get a post written yesterday, because I was terribly distracted...

You see, my daughter (who knows better) let a wild cat into the house. You may think, "If it is wild, why did it go in the house?" Well, have you ever heard the expression, "Curiosity killed the cat?" The cat was holding us hostage from noon to eight. It chose my room to hide out... in particular, under my bed. I tried to lure it out... scare it out... pray it out... nothing worked.

Paul came home at 8, and went straight into the room to "handle" the cat. I heard screaming, and then Paul walked through the house yelling, "I can't get it off me."

The cat bit him, and would not let go. And, it bit him again... and scratched him. We did not take him to ER last night, because it is so expensive. He went to urgent care this morning. He got a Tetanus shot and antibiotic. The doctor is certain that without antibiotic Paul will develop cat scratch disease...

So, sorry I have been too distracted to write. Please, pray for Paul.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Justification - Part One


What does it mean to be justified? Part One
I have already explained the bad news that because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, all humans are born pre-programmed to be sinners. (Click here to read that post about our sin nature.) That post left off on a sad note, proclaiming that we are all sinners, but not explaining a hope for forgiveness of our sins. This post (and more to come) will try to take on the task of explaining how a sinner is forgiven and saved! I strongly believe that every believer ought to have some understanding of the concept of justification, even if they cannot use all the big words!

This is not intended to be a thorough theological treatise, to be read by accomplished theologians. This post is written for the purpose of explaining salvation in a way that can be understood by everyone, including someone who is completely new to the idea of salvation. I have no fancy letters after my name that some may consider credentials for delving into this task. But, I myself am a sinner – saved by God’s grace. And, I will rely upon the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit to direct my words to lead others to salvation.

I want to begin with two key Scriptures to understand this topic.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12 (KJV)

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (KJV)
The man that brought sin into the world was Adam. Who is the one man who will be obedient and cause many to be righteous? Jesus! Read this verse that is speaking of Jesus:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor 5:21 (KJV)
Jesus was a man who never sinned! But, how can that be, when “by one man sin entered into the world?” (Romans 5:12) This can only be accomplished through a miraculous kind of conception! Joseph raised Jesus, but he was not the one who placed the seed in Mary’s womb to grow!
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:26-35 (KJV - emphasis mine)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Matt 1:18-20 (KJV – emphasis mine)
It is incredibly important that we understand that Jesus was the seed of the Holy Ghost – this is the only way that He could be formed without the sin nature passed down from Adam!

Simply put, Jesus was a man, but not just any man! Jesus is the Son of God, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

We know from Romans 5:19 that one man – Jesus – has made many people righteous, but How? What is the connection between this perfect, sinless man, to my own forgiveness? The answer to that is a little harder to put into one post. God gave us the entire Bible to show us mankind’s problem – sin, and God’s solution – salvation. I cannot thoroughly explain how a person is saved, without quoting the entire Bible to you! But, I will try to summarize as best as possible – hoping that you will read the Bible on your own for the complete story.

We have to begin by starting in the beginning of the Bible, in particular, the first five books. These first books of the Bible contain the Law/Instruction of God.

While Adam and Eve were dwelling in the Garden of Eden we only know of one law they were given:
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:15-17 (KJV)
Unfortunately, Adam broke this agreement (or covenant) with God, and was sent out of the garden. Much later, God gave His people new laws to keep – many of them. In fact, He gave them so many laws that it was impossible to keep all these rules. With their natural propensity to sin (the sin nature) they could never be completely obedient. We cannot; however, say “That’s not fair.” Because God is Perfect and Holy. God is more fair and Just than we will ever understand (in this mortal life).

In God’s kindness and mercy, he set up a system whereby men could find forgiveness for sins. He told them how and when to sacrifice an animal to be forgiven of their many sins. (The word the Bible uses for this is “atonement” – which means reconciliation with God) For many years, the Israelites sacrificed animals, to be reconciled with God, after they had sinned. The sacrifices themselves were not a means of salvation, rather the faith that these people had in God (that believed in God's provision of a Saviour) was the saving agent!

Along with the Law, God gave His people prophets to explain to them that One was to come who would be the perfect sacrifice.The very first mention in Scripture that alludes to this future solution to the problem of sin is in Genesis, when God is setting curses upon Adam, Eve and the Serpent for their sins. He says to the Serpent (who is Satan):
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen 3:14-15 (KJV)
Later prophecies are more clear and specific:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. Isaiah 7:14-15 (KJV)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53:3-7 (KJV)

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10 (KJV)
The Old Testament speaks of One man who will come and be a sacrifice for others. The New Testament explains how Jesus has fulfilled and completed the system of sacrifice that God set in place (for mankind to be forgiven of sins). We will start there in Justification - Part Two.

Work clothes for Paul



Paul finally got his coveralls for work... yesterday! (He has been on the job since August). I praise God for his perfect timing. This morning, when Paul left, it was -2 degrees (Fahrenheit, that's chilly for mid-MO).

He also got a new coat, hooded sweatshirt, 4 sets of pants/T-shirts, 4 long sleeve Ts, hat, and rain gear.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What am I saved from?

I talk a lot about "salvation" on this blog, and it is crucial that you know what I am being saved from. This post will answer the question, "What am I saved from?" This post will also answer the question of, "Why do I need to be saved?"

First, when a person reads the book of Genesis he will see that when God made humans, He made us without sin.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen 1:27 (KJV)

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Gen 1:31 (KJV)

God is Holy, and He would not have called His creation “very good,” if it had already been tainted by sin.


Adam and Eve continued to live in the Garden of Eden while they were yet without sin. It was imperative that to live in the garden they had to obey certain rules. God commanded Adam that,

Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:16-17 (KJV)

Unfortunately, Eve was deceived by the Serpent and ate of the fruit that had been forbidden. And, Adam shared with her in this sin.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Gen 3:6-8 (KJV)

This sin had immediate consequences and long term consequences.

The immediate consequences to Adam and Eve:

Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Gen 3:23-24 (KJV)

The delayed consequences to mankind:

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Gen 3:16-21 (KJV)

But, beyond these consequences is the promise that if Adam ate of the tree he would “surely die.” Not only will Adam and every other human die a physical death, but now we are born spiritually dead. And, unless a person is forgiven of his sins committed against God, he will be sent to hell when he dies (physically). The result of sin that most effects us today is that we are born with a propensity to sin. We are born with a nature that prefers to sin and disobey God, rather than Honor Him. Here are some verses to establish that through Adam, sin entered all mankind.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12 (KJV)


For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners… Romans 5:19 (KJV)


If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)


For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 (KJV)

Here are some verses to show that humans have a sin nature before we are even born.

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Psalms 58:3 (KJV)


Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalms 51:5 (KJV)


What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14 (KJV)


Surely you did not hear, Surely you did not know; Surely from long ago your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, And were called a transgressor from the womb. Isaiah 48:8 (NKJV)


For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Eccl 7:20 (KJV)


These verses have helped to establish that all mankind receives a sinful nature. Now, let’s look again at the punishment for sin.

For the wages of sin is death; Romans 6:23a (KJV)


But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:14-15 (KJV)


But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Rev 21:8 (KJV)


And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14-15 (KJV)

Sin leads to separation from God – which leads to eternal misery in hell, fire, and brimstone. We are all sinners. We all need to be forgiven for our sins.


This series continues with Justification - Part 1.


You can read more about how God views sins here. You can read more about how to become a Christian here.


Health update

Here is an update on my health:

I am very happy to report that I am eating some solid foods now! I ate a baked potato for lunch today (with cheese, and sour cream... yummy)!

It is great to be able to eat again - but here is something even better...
I AM OFF CAFFEINE!!!!!!

One of my goals for January was to get off caffeine, because I was truly addicted to it! I don't know how I ever could have given up such a vice on my own... it took a serious kind of intervention to pull it off (though I do not recommend ER visits and 3-4 days without solid foods to everyone!) Also, as I said before, God has truly showed me (again and again) how much my god is my belly! I hope that I can carry this valuable lesson with me as my ability to eat is completely returned!

My next post will begin my series on words/titles that are important to understanding salvation.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am hungry

God has been showing me some uncomfortable things through this sickness and recent hospital visit.

First, at the hospital, I was tired and sick- but I was super nice to everyone. I prayed constantly and begged God to make me a good witness. God caused me to be kind and patient to the nurses, who were usually neither kind nor patient with me. It was really an act of God that I behaved well, because I was very uncomfortable. I was left shivering, and tied to an IV with no call button. I was left alone for at least an hour, when I was needing to urinate most badly. But, all the while, God brought Bible verses to mind.
My point is, that God showed me that I can behave, when I want to. God gave me the strength to be nice. And, He is more than willing to do the same thing at home (to be a good witness to my kids) when I am tired and uncomfortable. It is about me choosing to behave or be lazy!

Also, I am still supposed to be on a clear liquids diet, but I am so hungry. I am not used to being so hungry. I typically drink sodas and snack between meals. But, today no sodas and no snacks. I am so hungry. I think that this has, in part, been a way for God to show me how much I am putting my stomach first. I am not sure I have learned this lesson very well yet... because I am still thinking about how hungry I am... and Paul is eating yummy smelling nachos... oh, I am so hungry.

If only I could hunger after the Word of God in such a manner!
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6 (KJV)

Tired, but better

I was in the hospital yesterday... all day. I was sick all Saturday, I could barely eat all day. And, I had some unusual stomach cramping. I was hungry enough to eat supper on Saturday... but I regretted it. I was up all night sick - and I mean sick! The pains in my stomach felt exactly like labor contractions! It was a pain that was at the top of my abdomen and squeezed downward. And, on a pain scale, it was as bad as labor - a 10! I could not sleep at all. Between the pain and the vomiting, I could not get any rest.
So, Sunday morning, Paul's folks took me to the ER in Columbia. I made the triage to understand that I was not there for the vomiting, I was there because of the pain. I am not the kind of girl who wants to waste hundreds/thousands of dollars on a hospital visit to find out I have a virus. But, I was sure that I had some really serious condition.
I explained my condition to the doctor and I told her I had to lay on only one side all night long, or the pain quadrupled. Apparently, that was the right thing to say. She had CT scans done to look for Appendicitis. It was not appendicitis. The only problem was some kind of inflammation in my bowels.
I refused the pain medicine, because I really don't like drugs. Plus, she wanted to give me an Advil product, and Advil gives me horrid stomach cramps! So, I passed on that...

It looks like I probably had food poisoning.

When all was said and done, I left (in pain) having been re-hydrated (3 bags of IV fluid), with little idea of what was going on. I am supposed to be on a clear liquid diet till the diarrhea stops. I am supposed to take an antibiotic. I am supposed to "take it easy." But, this morning I have already cleaned up the house, started laundry, and daydreamed of every solid food possible! And, the verdict is out on whether or not I will take the antibiotic. Paul and I are talking it out.

I will probably nap today. I may try to write an update later.

Bethany is sick!

This is Beth's husband-

Dear friends,
Bethany has been terribly sick the past 24 hours. My parents had to take her to the ER this past Lord's day. As you know it is easier to spend the day in the ER than to babysit four children! So I had the more difficult task, ha, ha. The children were a joy and a breeze. Please pray for Beth, there are no conclusive answers. A CAT scan revealed that the small intestines were inflamed and obstructed, but who knows why. It could be an infection or food poisoning. Time will tell. Thank you for your love and concern, Paul

Monday, January 5, 2009

Candid

I mentioned a few days ago that I was expecting some pictures from my Dad's camera. I got a CD of pics in the mail today - hooray!

I have decided to do a series of posts with real-life/candid shots of our family. Here is the first set - a true to life family portrait!

Whatever happens... keep smiling!
This baby is as slippery as a greased pig.

Oops - there he goes.
Let's try this again.

That's as good as it gets folks! That's a wrap!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Imitation

Yesterday I posted some of my favorite resolutions from Jonathan Edwards.

Reread this resolution:
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

Now, go read this!!!

That is a lot to try to imitate...

I do not think that I can reasonably change my eye color...

Well, there are plenty of other things that I can work towards!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions

Here are a few of my favourite resolutions from Jonathan Edwards:

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.

Read all 70 of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions here.