Friday, August 29, 2008

Homosexuality (and other sins) in scripture

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Boy that passage covers a multitude of sins! I mean, the Corinthians were one heathenous (is that a word?) bunch. Chapter number five spoke about men sleeping with their father's wives, which I would take from that their step mothers. I'm not sure who has studied this pasage before but this also covers the homosexual lifestyle under the term 'effeminate':

The Greek word
* for effiminate is "malakos", which means:

1) soft, soft to the touch
2) metaph. in a bad sense
a) effeminate
1) of a catamite
2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man
3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness
4) of a male prostitute

and now I learn something new, this is moreso towards homosexual men. It speaks further in "abusers of themselves with mankind", that phrase is rooted in the Greek word
* "arsenokoites", which is defined as:

"one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual", and the Greek word also used in 1 Timothy 1:10 as " ... for them that defile themselves with mankind ...".

People tend to think of sins in "levels of badness", like some sins are less than others. ALL sin is bad, equally. However, some do not realize that the sin of homosexuality has a harsher consequence than other sins, because it is literally such an abomination in His eyes because He is holy.

Isaiah 40:25
"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One."

So to see His grace and mercy so abundant in scriptures as in the pasage above, Praise Him! As such were the Corinthians, but they were washed, sanctified, and justified by the blood of Christ and His finished work on the cross!

But here's the challenge: say you are not a homosexual ... or an adulterer ... or an extortioner ... or a thief ... or covetous (that you think!) ... or a drunk ("alcoholic") ... or a "hell raiser" that uses profanity ... perhaps you're just a good ol boy (or gal) that works hard, keeps to yourself, maybe does some community service ... maybe even goes to church on Sunday. Do you know if YOU will inherit the Kingdom of God? For sure? The only way to do so is to be born again, that is what the bible teaches with no exceptions. There's never a "better time" to get saved, to be born again, the time is now, if you have not made that decision. If you would like to talk about this more, please feel free to email me at calvarygirl08, okay?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keeping "at it"

Keeping "at it"
originally written 7-31-08

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

13Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14Let all your things be done with charity.

Have you ever made a decision you knew would be unpopular? If you have been saved for a long, then I am sure the answer is yes. But what about a decision that would be unpopular among your Christian friends?

In high school (before I was saved), I belonged to no group in particular. I dressed preppy a lot of the time, but when it was colder over those prep clothes was a long leather jacket. I didn't wear very heavy makeup, but boy was my hair HIGH there for a while. I was a sophmore cheerleader, but I questioned authority and had a college aged boyfriend (which was *gasp* unheard of in the cheerleader world! *then*) I skipped classes, but was Vice President of DECA (marketing / business competition club) in my Junior year and President in my Senior. I was a prissy "white girl", but spoke "e-bonics" well. I was a hodgepodge of every group in my school, it seemed.

I guess some things don't change much when you become an adult. There are so many philosophies out there within the Christian realm. There are your crunchy moms, and conventional moms- all under the blood. There are moms who homeschool, those who send their kids to private school, and alas, there are the ones who send their kids to public school, all under the blood. There are SAHMs and WAHMs and WOHMs, all, under the blood. There are moms with doctorates, masters degress, and then there are ones with only GEDs- yet Christ's blood covers the sins of all.

I believe it's natural to want to be around those who share things in common with you. That way it's easy, and you are edified concerning the choices you have made for your life and family. Seems easy enough, right? Or is it? The bible speaks about separation, but does it speak about isolation? I've never seen it speak about isolation, have you? We are all one body, so why would we isolate ourselves from each other? In high school terms, would that not be considered "cliquish"?

I've made a big decision this week, and I know it is going to be a shock for a LOT of those close to me in my church. This is going to be interesting- I know modern day churches don't "shun" people, but I wonder how less I am going to get to fellowship with certain friends because I'm not doing the same as them. I know, this is a drmaatic way of thinking about things, and I admit, it probably won't change for the majorioty of my church friends because we don't socialize a lot outside of church functions unfortunately. (That is something that I would like to change, maybe this change in our lives will be that opportunity?) I will admit, when making the decision this week it did run through my head the reactions of my friends. I'm thankful that my friends are secondary to my desire to do what's right before the Lord.

What is right before the Lord? Is the bible cut and dry? Yes, on most things, it is, but there are a lot of things there's only an end result to be desired, and no instructions on how to accomplish that. Some ways of going about things seem obvious, some choices, not so obvious, and might not be choices you would neccessarily make for yourself unless ... you had no other choice.

That was me, this week.

I have always been in support of private Christian schools. Well, I've always been in support of my church's private Christian schools. From being on the internet for years and being in Christian forums I've learned that sometimes it is better for a child to be in a public school to be taught the things of aGOd at home, rather than have the ungodly examples day in and day out before them in a private "Christian" school. I also understand that in some areas of our country, there are no Christian schools for kids to be sent to.

So what's the alternative? Of course it would be home schooling, but there is so much for the general public, and especially within the body of Christ to be learned about home schooling. It is possible, for example, if you do not have the funds in your budget to send your child to our private school, you can purchase the materials they use and the exact curriculum, with DVDs no less, and give your child the same opportunity for a Christian based education. IT's a LOT less expensive, yet, it takes some dedication to home school regardless of what curriculum you choose.

But what about the two parent family that has no choice but to send their child to public school? Sure, there might have been things to keep them from being in the position they are in currently, but we are looking at the "NOW plan", not the "five years ago plan". Some times, it just has to be done, for the Lord to reveal His will in those parent's lives. Should these parents be made to feel like lesser Christians because their children do not have a "24/7 Christian Education"? You know, before I was even faced with such decisions that phrase rolled all over me, because that was my very thought. I've always thought we needed to be careful in how we chose our words because we do not know when our words might cause another brother or sister to stumble, and when it comes to our kids- come on- there's not another subject in one's life that will make the defensive claws flick out faster.

Fact is, there are certain situations that warrant Christian families having to put their children in public schools. It's a challenge, but, sometimes, yes, the Lord calls parents to do that very thing. It's all a part of His larger plan for their lives. Will that family serve the Lord less? How can you even compare that? One has nothing to do with the other when you are talking about Christians who are wanting to sincerely do what's right by the Lord. I believe that a Christian parent with a child in public school has a bigger challenge than home schooling or private school families. They have to be just as involved in their children's education to balance out the evils that are potentially taught in the curriculums, and also, they are responsible for making sure their child's minds are on the Lord daily.

There might not be some public school Christian parents who do this, and there might not be some private school Christian parents who have family alter and pray together, either, as well as home school parents. So we cannot assume the spriritual motivation of a person "just because" of the choice they are currently making for their children in regards to their education. But EACH parent, regardless of the choices, needs a support system. But WHY does that support system seem to be, in the church in general, segregated by the choice of education the parents have chosen to give their kids? That's a hard enough of a decision without wondering how that decision is going to affect your friendships.

I challenge everyone who reads this- step out of your comfort zone and be friends with someone out of your regular "group".

I made the decision this week to put my kids in public school and my heart is in my throat- because I do not want them there ... but that is clearly where the Lord has guided me to put them at this time in our lives. That, I have no doubts. What I have doubted is whether I would receive supportful reactions from our [Christian] friends and loved ones, then the Lord led me to these verses-

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
3Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [be brave] like men, be strong.
14Let all your things be done with charity.

Then I remembered, His words are all that really matter.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cultivating the fruit of the spirit

Notes from Sun pm sermon by Pastor Broyhill, April 20, 2008

Galatians 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Fruit is visible; it reflects it is produced through us, not by us. Fruits of the spirit are not separate, but one fruit, with nine different flavors. Fruit reflects the one that produces it.

Fruit is valuable; it exists for the enjoyment and benefit of other people, as it will edify others who are around you.

Fruit is viable; it is capable of growing. Love produces more love. What is love? It is not just a feeling, like we tend to think it as. Love as a fruit is agape love, like God's love for us- it is unconditional. It is divine love, it is sacrificial love.

1 John 4:11
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Matthew 22:37-40
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If we love God like we should, then we will be able to love others, as he wants us to, as we should, according to him. We are under the "law of grace", and should be living in love. Not the fuzzy feelings we feel in a new relationship or like when we met our spouses, but living in agape love.

John 13:35
35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Love as a fruit of the spirit shows a proof of sonship. The Greek gods were hateful, but our God is of love, is loving, and loves unconditional, though he is just, as well.

John 13:34
34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Colossians 3:14
14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

1 Peter 4:8
8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Love keeps no records, and is the permanent virtue of a Christian.

1 Corinthians 13:13
13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The demonstration of love, love is an action word! Love is a choice, you choose to love, sometimes it comes easily, but sometimes it's hard to show love towards some people. Love is giving, not taking. In a marriage, if both people are giving, then you need not worry about being taken from, because you are continually receiving as you are giving. Selfishness in marriage can be likened to two ticks on a dog, both keep taking, and sucking from the relationship until there is nothing left. Agape love, however. is unconditional and free flowing. The closer we are to God, the easier it is give love, because we are receiving it from Him.

1 John 4:9, 11

9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Saints must love sinners with the love that God loves them with, We as saints are the only link between the unsaved world and God, would it not be pompous of us to act anything other than lovingly as possible towards the unsaved? Shouldn't the world be able to see in us the love that God has given us, coming through us towards others?

How can we show the unsaved world God's love? I challenge you to post a comment and share a way God's people can show love towards the unsaved world on a regular basis. If we do not show them God's love, who will?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Preeminence (pt 1)

"That in ALL things he might have preeminence"
Sunday School Notes from April 27, 2008 (outline was provided)

Proverbs 24:1-4
1Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
2For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
3Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

There are three tools available to help our families. How can we have strong families? Everything we need is found in the Word of God. He has offered to provide us with the wisdom we need:

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Here are three powerful tools that God gives to build and strengthen our families:

1) The guiding presence of the Holy Spirit:

a) Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can have unity. God brings believers together, moving towards their commonality- GOD. If two believers are even opposite natures or personalities, if they are yielded to God, they will still always be going in the same (and right) direction- towards God and living a life that glorifies Him.

b) The purposes of the Holy Spirit:
1) He is our Comforter - John 14:16

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"

2) He is our teacher: John 16:13-14
13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

3) He glorifies Jesus Christ - our lives should life up and exalt Christ; and they will if we will allow the spirit to guide us and we determine to be yielded to the spirit.

2) We must have a biblical perspective of self:
Galatians 5:17
17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Whatever we feed the most will win: be it flesh or spirit. If we continue to fight the spirit to hold onto our worldly things, then the flesh will win. Likewise, if we concentrate on God and His will for us, and what he wants, and what is holy, good, and true, then the spirit will win and we will grow closer to God as a result of that. But if we continue to allow our flesh to win, then we will continue to grow further away from God and lack that fellowship we so desperately need.

a) Pride is a destroyer of relationships:
If God is in the right place with both people in the relationship, the people will be in their right places within the relationship. If their sights are set on God, then they will not be set on each other's faults and worldly desires.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 29:23
A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

b) Pride is defeated by appropriating scripture:

Romans 6:6-7
6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Whenever we give into the power of our flesh, then we resurrect our prideful attitudes. Do we really want that? Or do we want to break our prideful spirits and be contrite before the Lord?

Proverbs 8:13
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

"feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming "

3) A daily practice of serving:
a) Submitting to one another

Ephesians 5:21
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

b) Love one another:

John 15:12
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

c) Serve one another:
Galatians 5:13
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

d) Praying daily in humility, as our examples in scripture:

Acts 10:
1There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

In Conclusion:
Our three tools to help us have stronger families:
1) Recognizing the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit
2) Having a biblical perspective of our selves
3) Forming a daily practice of serving God, and one another.

"An exhaustive study shows that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was doing the dishes" ;o)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Overcoming Addiction

In 1 Corinthians, there is a verse that helped me when trying to quit smoking. You see, July 11, 2003 I put down cigarettes and never picked them up again. I made the decision to give it over to the Lord, but Satan was not going to make that an easy fight!! The Lord kept bringing me to the passage:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

I knew smoking was bad. But here, in North Carolina, my home town's name being a combination of two names of cigarette brands, yes, the
home of RJReynolds, RJR being the employer that clothed me my whole life and kept a roof over my head, smoking was not quite looked at the same as in the rest of the world. So I prayed for the Lord to give me the conviction I needed to move towards making that decision. To let me know when it was "time" (because everything happens in its own season). I prayed for six months before getting to the point of setting my quit date. I even chatted nightly with members of the Kick Butt Community at When I got to the point my heart ached as I was reading what these people were fighting on a daily basis to not smoke, as I was sitting at my computer smoking like I usually did, I knew it was my time to take the plunge. I got my quit counter, set my date, made my plan, and gave it to the Lord. I also done as much research as I possibly could to encourage myself of the good I was doing for my body, mind, and spirit.

I kept thinking those last nights in chat as I as smoking while chatting with the quitters, that I was choking out the holy spirit. I rememebered having the vision of being in a smoke filled room, and even as a smoker, how my lungs would feel tight as I would inhale secondhand smoke, while I was smoking, too. Then I would envision the holy spirit living within me, trying to speak to me, but not able to because it was choking on all the smoke I was sucking in. Then my flesh would rationalize things, I was a strong Christian. I knew my values, I knew my convictions. I served the Lord, I was involved in ministry. I was "good".

My friends, you only THINK you are "strong" until you face something that changes your life forever. I only THOUGHT I was "spiritual" until I quit smoking, and realized just how powerful that ADDICTION was over my body, mind, and spirit. I faced a double whammy. The chemical composition of my body is lacking the hormone serotonin, which, "TaDa", leads to depression. Chemical depression. We had no health insurance then, so I was not taking any medication to help with my chemical imbalance. That was one reason I felt so strong spiritually, because I had been handling my depression well, managing it, should I say. I felt good about things. BUT-
nicotine acts as an anti depressant in the body, when taken in a pack a day (or so). So, I was chemically imbalanced, and taking away the last chemical (nicotine) that apparently was helping me to function.

I literally almost had a nervous breakdown.
I felt like Elijah in my reading today of 1 Kings-
1 Kings 19:4
4But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

But God is faithful. I had my prayer warrior friends committed to praying for me daily (you know who you are), and I held onto His promise:
Hebrews 13:5:
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Then he brought me back to the same chapter he used to convict me in the first place:
1 Corinthians 6:12
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."

Through him, I knew I would overcome the power of my addiction. Through him, five years and one week ago, I did :o) Praise Him and may HE have the glory!