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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Setting the Precedent

The recent decision regarding immigration laws and the pending healthcare decision has opened many opportunities for discussion with my teenage son.  The primary content of these conversations has revolved around character building, integrity and posing the question, "What kind of man will you be?"

Decisions regarding the citizens of this country are being based on selfish desires, personal agendas, and no clear vision for future consequences facing our nation.  Integrity is a title earned and it can only be developed by doing the right thing in the face of adversity.  The greatest gift we can offer our children is the knowledge of biblical truth and the freedom enjoyed from adhering to it.  It is unwavering, unchanging and without a doubt the clearest moral guideline to maintain peace among our people.  Without this foundation, citizens have been swayed by the opinions of others who have created a new truth; a truth that constantly changes depending on a person's desires.  Our children are confused.  We have taken the idea of sin and distinguished it.  The boundaries of defining right and wrong have been skewed and because of this, there exists a growing concern of immoral behavior.

The laws of this nation were established generations ago by men who sought the face and will of God.  The 10 commandments are rules to live by that govern behavior of all mankind.  Do we realize "Thou shall not covet" includes those who desire a lifestyle deemed greater than their own?  It is fine to have hopes and dreams, but run the race to achieve them within the legal limits established by this country for the safety of all its citizens.  A covetous nature leads to sin.  It leads to sin because you push aside the consideration of others in order to satisfy your own needs.  The immigrants that have come to this country illegally have coveted the lifestyle of our people, they have disregarded the potential consequences of their behavior, they have taught their children it is acceptable to lie, cheat and steal in order to accomplish their own goals, they have diminished opportunities for God to work miracles in their lives, to strengthen their character,  to demonstrate his glory and we as the American people wonder why our nation's level of morality keeps declining.  How can you expect to allow unlawful behavior to produce anything but more unlawful behavior?

The fact that this presidential administration has refused to uphold the laws of this country has further extended the precedence of lawlessness as acceptable.  Because this message is being delivered from individuals in leadership roles, it makes the content all the more dangerous.  Please take a stand for truth and teach your children through example, the importance of integrity.  Teach them their behaviors, actions, and speech has effects on others.  Discuss potential outcomes so that your children will get in the habit of incorporating possible future consequences into the decisions they make today.  The time we spend teaching our children about today's issues has great value in changing the course of this country back to its roots as a righteous nation.  We don't need generations of mindless followers.  We need problem solvers, critical thinkers, future leaders and innovative ideas grounded in truth rather than the constant pursuit of self gratification.


"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Subtle Attack on the Church: Are We Robbing the Holy Spirit of Opportunities to Work?


The church is under attack and I am not sure many recognize it.  There are some things in this world in which Satan makes himself boldly known.  Evil is present in it's most cruel form in the killings that result from domestic violence, the abuse of animals and children, the torture of Christians throughout the world, and the addiction to drugs, alcohol and pornography.  Just recently a case was tried in which a boy was set on fire by another peer.  What else can we call this, but evil?  These attacks are blatant.  We may not be able to comprehend or answer the question why, but nonetheless, the daily news is littered with people hurting, and in exchange, they hurt others.

I wish this was the type of attack I am about to address in this blog, but Satan has an even greater agenda.  Satan has set out to defame, destroy and minimize the working of the Holy Spirit within ourselves and our churches.  He is robbing us of opportunities for revival, healing, unity and fellowship.  Sadly, we are gravely unaware, maybe even unconcerned, or worst of all silent regarding the problems the church is facing.

God is an Almighty Presence, an Omnipotent Creator, a Heavenly Father; why do we continue to make Him work around our lives instead of granting him access to work through our lives?  It is time to start evaluating the very characteristics and roles of our churches and how they compare to what is pleasing in the eyes of God?  In order to do this we have to ask ourselves to reach beyond the pleasure, comfort, convenience and acceptance of worldly thinking and revert back to biblical thinking, seeking the will of God through the communion with His Holy Spirit.  The things of this world in which we seek to satisfy self instead of God, are preventing this essential relationship from taking place.

So where are the roots of these subtle attacks coming from?  There is one primary component that has a direct correlation on the fundamental decision-making concerning the rest of the church body:  Accommodation.  I fully believe, we are at times more concerned with accommodating people in regard to their time, money, convenience, pleasure and comfort, than we are truly concerned in genuine communion with our Lord through praise, worship and prayer.  We should be expecting to experience God's divine presence, not only on Sunday, but especially on Sunday, when a body of unified believers humbles themselves before the Lord desiring his will for sanctification and revival.  The greatest revelation a believer can experience is the realization of their spiritual gift and how best to use it to bless others in the body.  Take notice, that I am referring to believers not non-believers.  The greatest revelation for a non-believer is of course the gift of salvation.  Mature believers should be helping baby believers to get plugged into areas in which gifts have an opportunity to become naturally evident.  Sometimes, we do not always recognize our God ordained gifts, but someone else might immediately take notice and bring it to our attention.  Once this interaction occurs, the believer can now begin praying, asking God for ways in which the gift can be used.

This dynamic can only take place when we break down the obstacles preventing the Holy Spirit from moving within the church.  I previously mentioned 5 areas (time, money, convenience, pleasure and comfort) in which the church has become more concerned in accommodating people and their schedules, then having a focus on a true opportunity to experience the presence of God within the church service.  Accommodation is not going to bring about an authentic commitment to building a relationship with the Lord.  It is instead the actual experience of a touch from the Lord that reaches your heart, causing you to desire more of Him in your life.  I say again, this will not come from accommodation.

Churches today, have a primary focus of saving the lost and reaching the unbeliever, but in accomplishing this, they have allowed Satan to subtly deter them from the ways in which they achieve it.  How so, you ask?  Limiting time with the Father is the first great attack.  When churches find themselves adding more and more service times in order to accommodate those who like to sleep in or rise early, you will find the service so rushed, that a peaceful atmosphere is not present for the Holy Spirit to dwell.  Joyce Myer's book "Battlefield of the Mind ," speaks of this very problem in which the mind is so noisy and distracted that we limit the ability of the Holy Spirit to work.  A one hour church service lends just enough time for a few announcements, a greeting, 4 or 5 worship songs, a 20 minute gospel, a collection offering and a close.  Church staff are pressed to keep the service moving along so the next service will be able to start on time.  Often times, you hear the pastor say, "We will quickly cover this, or pay close attention, as we don't have time to address everything I would like to say."  Is this the type of service and fellowship that God intended to have with us?  How can we expect God to move on the hearts and minds of people, when we are so pressed to stay on schedule?

My husband will be the first to tell you that I love a set schedule, but when it comes to time with the Lord and listening to his gospel, I would rather allow the time for God to work, than to limit his potential to be present.  We should be more concerned with experiencing God's presence, than getting to breakfast afterward, or taking the kids to the pool for the afternoon, or rushing home to get started with yard work before it's time to return to work on Monday.  God wants all of us and this includes our total presence and attention on him.  We are to worship on God's schedule, exhibiting patience for him to reveal himself to hearts that are eagerly awaiting him.  We should not show up saying, "Okay God, I'm here and I have an hour, can you speak with me now."  God communes with us on his schedule, not ours.  It is my personal opinion that altar calls, prayer for others, and communion are the three most important functions within the body, and yet I have to wonder if these events are excluded from some church services due to a lack of time.  The more the church tries to accommodate the whims and ideas of man, the greater the focus turns toward pleasing the people, rather than the Savior.

The second point of accommodation to be discussed are the reasons why we provide a monetary blessing to the Lord.  I am not talking to everyone on this issue, for only God knows the hearts and minds of men, but you have to admit that for some, giving money to the church has it's advantages just as much for the giver as for the receiver.  Is it not true that the money we give has the potential to be a hefty tax write off?  Isn't it also true that large amounts of money given for the goal of certain projects sometimes come with a great deal of recognition and acknowledgement?  Are there not those who truly believe and rely on the idea that their works are the only things that reserve them a spot in heaven?  Therefore, giving becomes more of an obligation than of a joyful act pleasing to the Lord.

Imagine a fellow believer told you their roof was leaking and they didn't have the financial means to repair it.  The more time elapsed, the greater the damage was being done to the home.  Would you open your wallet and give what you could to help this brother or sister in need or would you simply placate them with, "I'll pray for you."  The bible specifically tells us that words without actions are worthless.  There are just as many people hurting within the church walls as there are outside the church walls and yet sometimes we turn a deaf ear to the needs of our own brothers and sisters.  Does God not also work through believers to meet the needs of other fellow believers or does he just reserve his miracles for non-believers to bring them to salvation?  This is a silly question isn't it?  Yet, time and time again we place our needs and level of comfort above and beyond those believers that are suffering right before our very eyes.  This is not at all the spirit of the Lord that was present in the book of Acts.  If you recall, all of the believers began contributing all of their possessions in order to be a blessing to one another. We have got to start examining our hearts and true intentions for the reasons behind our giving and certainly take notice and prioritize our giving so that we are not ignoring the needs of our brothers and sisters within the church.  Anything outside the motivation to give God glory through our offering is certainly a sly attack from Satan to preserve his agenda.

The three final areas of accommodation regarding convenience, pleasure and comfort all work hand-n-hand. Think of the primary factors that figure into the reasons why you attend a certain church.  Is it the people, the pastor, the worship music, the message, the church size, the location, the daycare, youth group or community outreach?  Imagine if the church you attended did not have air conditioning?  Would this deter you from regular attendance?  Imagine if the church did not have enough seating and week after week, you had to stand for 1 to 2 hours?  Would this deter you from attending?  Imagine if the church you were attending had all of the creature comforts and convenience, but lacked a gospel message of truth, would this deter you from attending?  It should.  Truth should be one of the most important primary components that persuade our continued attendance.

Churches have changed so much over the years in an attempt to draw people in to hear the word of God.  Why hasn't the unadulterated truth and the presence of the Holy Spirit been enough to satisfy the hearts and minds of people to encourage them in their relationship with God?  Is it possible that many of these churches have yet to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit because the focus has been on self rather than God?  Is it possible that the church has gravitated away from preaching true truth and here again the Father has remained distant?  There is something so amazing about the power of the Holy Spirit that once you have sensed it, seen it, heard it, or felt it, you cannot help but get excited about wanting more.  No lack of air conditioning, seating, or good sound effects are going to keep you from the desire of wanting more of God.

Paul preached the gospel in conditions that were certainly uncomfortable and yet great conversions took place regardless of the perfect atmospheric conditions.  Jesus traveled from place to place enduring harsh criticism, disbelief, and down right violent conditions and yet the will of his Father far surpassed His own agenda or desires.  God wants hearts and minds focused on Him.  He longs for a people filled with joy to do his works.  This is how his perfect economy works!  As long as churches continue to focus on the principles of accommodation over communion with a Savior, people in and outside the church will continue to be lost.

Church leaders, Pastors and church members ask God to show you what obstacles are hindering the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Gather together as one with courage and boldness to break them down.  Agree upon a time to commune, step outside of the typical Sunday service box and pray and worship until you sense the spirit of God move among you.  Then let revival lead and guide you in a direction most pleasing to the Lord.  There is not one single church that is perfect, but as a body of believers with the primary goals of joyfully worshiping a Savior and giving thanks, you can bet the Holy Spirit will dwell among you and God your father will pour out His blessings.

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-  

Friday, June 22, 2012

No Laughing Matter

In Mathew chapter 9:24 we learn that Jesus had been called to the death bed of a synagogue ruler's (Jairus) daughter.  Jairus appealed to Jesus, "Come and put your hand on her (my daughter), and she will live."  Jesus accepted his plea and willfully followed the ruler to his home, where they were met by a large crowd weeping and wailing, for the young girl had died.  Jesus tells them, "Go away.  The girl is not dead, but asleep." The crowd proceeded to laugh at him.

I can't think of very many people that enjoy being laughed at or made fun of.  In fact, growing up I had to develop some tough skin.  I had to learn to laugh at myself just so others would not know their jokes were getting to me.  This method seemed to soften the situation.  Keep in mind, these were my friends making these hurtful comments.  Of course, they were just joking and playing around, but they didn't realize what an impact their joking would later have on my life.

Not every child or adult learns to adapt to criticism in an effective way.  Some hold on to deeply held hurt feelings that penetrate the foundation of their very identity.  They spend much of their lives carrying the comments in their head that eat away at their self-esteem, leading to self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.  Much of the way we feel, has a lot to do with the decisions we make.  Fitting in and being accepted is a powerful factor in any person's life, particularly young people.  Being laughed at or made fun of, can be a very quick way to get one to alter their behavior and potentially sacrifice their beliefs.

Several years ago, I attended a local public meeting of professionals to address the growing needs of teens in our community.  The guest speaker happened to be a well known Christian singer with a ministry for children and families.  As this speaker provided information regarding the 4 most important components (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) in a teens life, a Planned Parenthood representative happened to inquire from what spiritual perspective the speaker was referring to that we should support our teens.  In fact the question was directly asked if she was promoting Christianity.  Speaker responded that for each child, the spiritual component developed would look different.  Meaning not every teen would necessarily have a denominational component or acceptance of Jesus attached to their spiritual belief system.  Nonetheless, speaker spoke of the essential urgency to tap into the spiritual side of our children.  With this being said, another person spoke up with laughter and skepticism in her voice stating, "You mean, we need to have a come to Jesus talk with our kids?"  Inside of me was burning the shout of "YES!" but I kept silent to hear how speaker would respond in the midst of a diverse population of community representatives.  In lieu of political acceptance, she reverted back to "not every child will tap the same type of spiritual resources, but it is crucial to develop this component in our children."  At this moment, I knew there was a lost opportunity for speaker to stand for faith in Jesus, and I myself even denied the prompting of the Holy Spirit to speak up on behalf of lost children.  At the time, I was what most consider a "baby Christian," but nonetheless, I was being tested and I blew it.

As Christians, we should accept the fact that people are going to laugh and mock at our belief in miracles, great transformations, and healing in all capacities.  We are viewed as egocentric, intolerant and closed to the views of others.  It is because we hold on to hard core unwavering truth, spoken straight from the mouth of Jesus, that we are convicted to constantly strive to be pleasing in the sight of our Lord.  Jesus tells us He is the same today, yesterday and always.  It is man that has been swayed by the opinions of others, the longing to fit in, and the new found belief that tolerance is the only way to get along with those who hold views different from your own. 

Jesus was not deterred in his motivation to teach the world of His foundation in which to live by.  He continued His ministry with unyielding boldness and courage, regardless of laughter, mocking, ridicule and the ultimate physical punishment. Those who do not know or have not accepted the power of a Savior remain skeptical of the possibility of complete restoration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states.  They laugh and make fun of those things in which they do not understand because they cannot wrap their minds around the hope and happiness demonstrated by those who truly know Him.     

I cannot think of very many people that don't have a desire to be accepted by their peers.  The desire to be accepted is so strong in fact, that we sometimes find ourselves making decisions that we wouldn't normally make accept in the realm of intense peer pressure.  Why can't people understand that Jesus is for everyone, not just a select few.  Why is He often our last resort or default setting instead of our go to Guy?  When we as Christians remain silent in defending our faith and the power that accompanies our beliefs, we simply validate the views of those who oppose Him.  Laughter, ridicule, being made fun of, embarrassment, afraid of standing out or being different; none of this should matter when you consider all of these things were endured by Him who loves you.  

Are you willing to stand and endure in the face of adversity?  If not, perhaps you should examine the reasons why?  Maybe your beliefs are not based in true truth, but in a changing ideology constantly being fine-tuned by the sinful nature of man.  Placing a greater importance on acceptance by peers rather than acceptance of your Savior is no laughing matter. 

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Deliver Us From Evil

This Father's Day, many churches most likely turned their focus to the Lord's prayer to honor their Heavenly Father.  My attention was also on this prayer, but this time however, I could not shake the phrase, "Deliver us from evil." Some other versions state, "Deliver us from the evil one."

In Mathew chapter 4, we learn Jesus was led to the desert by the spirit to be tempted by the devil.  This lasted 40 days and 40 nights.  From this passage, can't we conclude that Satan is also at work in our own lives, constantly trying to widdle away at an inherent moral foundation?  If our Lord and Savior was not exempt from the trials and temptations of Satan, what makes us believe that we are?  News flash, we're not!

The first most important component in being able to resist the attacks of the enemy is to first realize and admit that an enemy exists.  How can we fight what we believe is not present?  It is amazing how many Christians do not believe in hell or that Satan has the power to influence our lives.  Why would Jesus make mention of casting Satan away in the desert, if He was not under attack?  Again in Mathew 8:16 we are told "When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick."  Pay close attention to this passage, Jesus drove out the spirits with a WORD."  If you are living contrary to the word of God, believing the lies of this world instead of the beautiful promises granted by our loving Savior, the enemy is at work.  The good news is however, you can stop Satan in his tracks simply by using your words backed by faith and belief in the power of Jesus Christ. 

When Jesus departed from this earth, following His resurrection, He told his disciples (Mark 17,18) "And these signs will accompany those who believe:  In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on the sick people, and they will get well."  I will bet right now that someone reading this passage is in a state of disbelief, thinking this sounds like voodoo or cult-like behavior.  Jesus himself spoke these words.  He guaranteed protection over those believers delving into strange circumstances that would bring salvation to those bound by evil spirits.  If you believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus; if you believe the bible is the true inspired word of God; then you cannot pick and choose which passages to believe and not believe simply because they make you feel uncomfortable. 

Satan is as real as our Holy Father and currently he is holding many people in bondage due to their pride, discouragement, self-pity, divorce, sexuality, idolatry, wrong thinking and addictions.  1 John 3:8,9:  "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God."  This is the revelation to the born-again believer.  The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you and begins to speak to your heart about those hidden areas of sin in your life.  Your conscious becomes fine tuned and you are convicted to make changes that draw you closer to the will of God.

God has given us the power to defeat the enemy in our lives and to break down the strongholds that hinder the working of His spirit within us.  Believing in the love of our Father, the sacrifice of his Son, the power of His Holy Spirit, and having the freedom and privilege to call on the name of Jesus are the tools provided to escape darkness.  Sin is not always obvious, so we must therefore rely on the most important tool, the Holy Bible, to lead us to victory.

Aren't you glad to know that there is an abundance of hope in conquering evil so that we never have to experience separation from our Savior?  God granted all of the necessary tools to fully prepare us for battle and deliver us from evil.

1 John 1-4:  Dear Friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:  Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.


"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"  

-Rebecca-   

Friday, June 15, 2012

Solving Our Nation's Problems is as Simple as Accepting Him Who Heals All

Ever since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, we have been individuals broken by sin and separated from God.  The key word in this statement is "broken."  If you really put your mind to this word and apply it to everyone you know, quite simply you will realize there is not one human being that does not suffer from brokenness, outside of those that have accepted Christ.  You may fool yourself into believing that "so and so" has everything life has to offer; they always seem happy and content, but you are incapable of truly knowing the inner secrets of any one's heart because this action is reserved only for God.

Brokenness comes in many different forms.  I have frequently mentioned some life circumstances (divorce, abuse, addiction and death) that seem to leave gaping wholes in our lives.  But these circumstances were not in and of themselves the reason for brokenness.  These situations simply exacerbated what already existed in each and every one of us.  Plainly put, the brokenness as previously stated was inherently planted in our spirit since the sin of Adam and Eve.  God in his infinite wisdom provided the most perfect plan to heal our broken spirits and once again draw us to Him in fellowship.  He provided His one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice so that any brokenness we experienced could be brought humbly before Him.  This is where the true healing begins.

In Mathew 4:23 we learn Jesus began his journey teaching and preaching in Galilee.  The good word tells us Jesus healed every disease and sickness among the people and then He delivered what was known as the Beatitudes.  Jesus was explaining his awareness and understanding of the brokenness all the world would experience.  He was giving them hope and encouragement that those things in life that tend to snuff out our joyful spirit would be restored and redeemed by the power of his holy name and his work completed on the cross. 

So now you are wondering why this message is significant to the state of our nation and how perhaps "brokenness" has anything to do with the problems we are facing?  Think about every social issue that is dividing the people of this country, and for that matter, the people of our world.  Brokenness is a universal problem that requires a universal God.  It is not simply isolated to one area.  Have you ever thought of the ways in which you attempt to satisfy yourself to be able to experience the feelings of, peace, prosperity, happiness, security, joy and love?  The decisions you make to foster these feelings comes as a result of wanting to feel "OK" with oneself.  We innately don't like to feel broken and we look for ways to heal or at least suppress these negative feelings. Everyone of us has a past in which maybe we didn't feel loved enough, or respected, or validated.  Maybe we felt to fat, to skinny, to ugly, to poor, to dumb, to short, to tall, to inadequate as we compared ourselves to others.  Maybe we just didn't feel like we fit in.  Maybe you had parents that didn't live up to your expectations of keeping you safe and healthy.  Maybe your parents did not model a healthy loving relationship and because of this, you are now fearful to commit to a long-term relationship.  Maybe you felt you could never be good enough to receive praise and accolades from your parents and instead received harsh criticism or no attention at all.  These past life experiences all play a part in the things you seek to heal or replace your brokenness.        

Every one of these insecure feelings sprung forth from a lack of a deep committed relationship grounded by unconditional love and acceptance.  People are simply not wired to give love unconditionally.  In fact, more often than not, we put all kinds of conditions on love and this is why the divorce rate is so high and the parent child relationship has become so dysfunctional.  God is the only one capable of sustaining everlasting unconditional love and He proved this through His Son's death and resurrection.  What else can I say, He is God!  When we have not experienced this type of love in our familial relationships, we seek to fill this void through other avenues to give our lives meaning. 

The breakdown of intimate loving relationships with one another, has suppressed the spirit of God within us.  This has directly resulted in our efforts to supplement other unhealthy means in order to fill the brokenness within our hearts.  We have become a people focused on stomping out the very existence of the One and Only able to heal our hurts and mend our spirits.  Let me ask you, "What is the primary focus of the state of our nation and our up and coming 2012 election?"  The economy, right?  Why do you think the American people are so focused on money, jobs, stocks, 401k's and entitlement programs rather than the fact that our government has continuously allowed special interest groups to sway the culture and ideology of this country away from the spirit of Christianity in which our nation was founded?  Money, greed, selfishness, and secure futures have taken priority over pleasing and following God.  We seek these idolatrous instruments as opposed to our Creator for fulfillment and answers. 

The first commandment is of course to love God with your whole heart, soul and mind.  The fact that our focus is on the economy, rather than the immorality that has developed as a result of our brokenness and separation from God is no surprise.  We have allowed corrupt politicians with no sense of truth, right or wrong, to guide our nation into the gutter.  It is time to stop placing blame and start raising up God fearing, God following leaders that will seek the wisdom of our Creator to bring healing to our brokenness as individuals, as a nation, and as a world.  Anything outside the boundaries of God's divine providence will only push our nation farther beyond God's will to draw us back.

Psalm 19 clearly expresses the goodness of our God's laws and how they were meant to protect us and bring us order and clarity in our governing standards.  "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in KEEPING THEM THERE IS GREAT REWARD!"  I could not have stated this more eloquently than the psalmist.

Born again believers repeatedly give witness through the power of their testimony of great transformations having taken place simply by offering their hearts and lives to the Lord.  Jesus, just as He did from the beginning when he first walked the earth, healed brokenness, whether, physical, mental or emotional.  I can offer my own testimony to a happier more complete and fulfilled life by my acceptance of Jesus as my Savior and my commitment to live by His words and not by those of the world. 

The more we allow our country to move away from the teachings of our Lord, the more complex our problems become.  God has granted us the power of free will to choose him as the solution to all of our problems.  It is a shame that something as simple as the will to choose is holding our nation, as well as our families, back from the greatness and healing that awaits all men who seek Him. 

"Every Day is A Good Day When You Live It God's Way!"

-Rebecca-

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God Values All Life: A Story About A Duck and Her Babies

In my last post, I spoke of my time in fellowship with the Lord as I walked delivering vacation bible school fliers.  This morning I had no fliers to deliver, but I had so much enjoyed my early morning walks that I decided to pick a new neighborhood to once again find and seek wisdom from the Lord.  I had really been facing some life challenges and I had hoped God would provide me with his wisdom today.

As I drove down a busy city street headed toward my destination, I noticed this man with his dog near this mama duck.  The duck looked as though it had been hurt.  My first assumption was perhaps the dog had tried to eat it and the owner pulled it off in the nick of time.  Not thinking much more about this incident, I turned into a nearby parking lot and began my walk through the neighborhood.

About an hour had passed and I decided to head back to my truck.  On my return, I noticed this duck on the opposite side of the road squawking and pacing as if frantic.  It did not register with me that this was the same duck I had passed just an hour earlier.  The duck seemed to be trying to cross the road.  With every attempt it made, it was pushed back to the curb by the continuous flow of traffic.  I decided to cross to the same side of the street as the duck and shortly after I heard the cries of babies.  Mama duck's babies had fallen into the sewer.  Nearby there was a baseball field filled with players.  I quickly searched a woman out and told her the situation.  Without hesitation, we returned to the mama duck and this woman boldly stepped out into traffic to stop and direct cars away from the sewer.  Pretty soon other players came over to the sewer grate discussing how to get these babies back with their mama.

I contacted the city and explained the situation requesting that they send someone from the street department to help.  By the time I had finished my phone call, a man had stopped and parked his truck sideways in front of the sewer grate.  In no time at all, he reached for a bar from the back of his truck and had the sewer lid lifted.  I noticed the shirt he wore said USA.  Every part of me realized this was a moment ordained by God to save life.  Before I knew it, a group of 4,5 or 6 had gathered and one of them had already climbed down into the sewer.  As fast as baby ducks were being lifted out, myself and others were racing to reunite them with their mama.  Mama was on the move, and she seemed happy to have saved a few, but we were determined to rescue them all.

After we thought we had accomplished victory, the sewer lid was put back and we were all going to go on our merry way.  As we were talking, I heard the shouts of another baby from within the sewer.  The man in the USA shirt quickly removed the grate and jumped back in to save the baby.  The West Lafayette City worker, continued to discourage our efforts and did nothing to help.  We asked him to contact the fire department and he refused stating they would not be bothered with such a cause.  At that moment I became so stirred, I shouted, "All life is valuable in the eyes of God!  This baby needs her mama.  We were not called to sit back and do nothing as life suffers."  Still we received no additional help from this worker.

The squeaks from the baby became silent.  It appeared that perhaps the baby had traveled too far into the sewer line out of fear.  The City Worker told us that most likely there was a drop where the nearby man- hole lid existed and that the baby had probably fallen to it's death.  He basically stated this baby was a lost cause.  Clearly this attitude aggravated everyone in the group.  We were not ready to give up.  All of us realized the importance of the value of life placed on all God's creation.  The ball players stated they would again return to the sewer and listen for any more cries.  The man wearing the USA shirt was asked to move his vehicle from blocking traffic.  Clearly upset by the City Worker's lack of effort, care and concern, the man threw his medal rod in the back of his pick up truck and mentioned a visit to the Mayor.

On my way back to my vehicle, I called my husband and sobbed.  He could relate to my experience because he works for the sewer department in a nearby neighboring city.  Many a time, his crew had found themselves in similar circumstances.  My husband stated, "If that had been us, we would have worked until all of them were rescued and safe."  I know this about my husband and he is most definitely speaking the truth.  As I wiped my tears and recalled a tweet on twitter, I had just posted a day prior discussing the significance of the statement by our educational system of "No Child Left Behind,"  I had tweeted "What about our children's souls?"  We are so worried about keeping God out of our school system, that our children are in danger of perishing from not knowing their very Creator and the plans He has for their lives.

I thought about this little baby duck being just as significant in the eyes of God as our own children, and how it's mama must feel at the loss of her child.  I was not ready to give up my rescue efforts until all measures had been exhausted.  As I headed home, I changed directions convicted to travel to the city offices.  I found a woman and explained my story.  My primary concern was regarding the man who was dispatched from the city who was supposed to help.  I was told he was from Animal Control.  I told the city employee that if this was the job effort put forth to save the animals in our city, then I wanted nothing to do with it.  How pathetic that someone should have such a dismal view about life.  I could just imagine how many animals had perished or remained in a state of suffering because of this man's callous attitude toward preserving life.  He was obviously more concerned about what others would think in regard to him doing his job, than working slightly outside his job to perhaps do God's work instead.   

Below is the footage of the last baby duck being rescued

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DqFpplJH3Jo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


God is sovereign in all things.  He values all life and it is a shame that we have let cruelties such as abortion enter into the laws of our culture.  God had something to say today.  Each one of those people who stopped to help will never forget the cries of those babies, the panic of that mama, and the feelings of elation upon accomplishing something of worth in the eyes of God.  We may not have saved all of the babies, but God showed us that people in America still value life.  God showed us that He continues to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.  I thank each and every one of those people who walked away from their ball game and came over to help in this situation.  I know today's lesson will continue to convict my heart to help in all situations that God places before me to defend life.  It is no accident that my husband and I own a dog business with a tag line created to give God glory to "Speak for Those who Can't Speak for Themselves!"

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live It God's Way!"

-Rebecca-

Monday, June 11, 2012

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

It's funny how God finds you in the quiet of the day when you most need to hear his voice or receive inspiration to complete a task.  Today, I again had the privilege of delivering door hangers promoting the up and coming vacation bible school for my local church.  As you may well know, last week I was eager to get home and write my thoughts about my experience and this week the same eagerness was burning in my heart.  God had much to say today during my time completing his work for the kingdom.  Nothing we do that has the potential to bring someone to the understanding of Jesus and his message of salvation is insignificant.  In fact it is the most important task we have as Christians per the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus delivered his instructions for the Great Commission.

          "Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey EVERYTHING I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Today, as I walked I became weary.  My heart was heavy with my joblessness and I was seeking comfort from the Lord.  I was glad I had accepted this assignment because in the peace of the morning I knew I would find God waiting to commune with me.  As usual, I had awoke tired from staying up too late, drank a cup of instant cappuccino and headed out to take my son to summer PE.  The forecast called for showers, but the sky told me my job would be complete before I experienced any rain.  I was thankful to be walking in dry conditions.

I saw many people busy at work constructing new houses.  Once again, I found myself in a pretty nice neighborhood.  My previous thoughts from a prior blog post came rushing back as I again wondered about the people and children who occupied these homes and whether they had welcomed Jesus into their lives as their door mats had visibly displayed the message "Welcome."  The sun began to shine and the humidity was increasing.  Silly me left the house without any water and or course anyone who drinks caffeine knows what comes shortly after-time for a potty break.  Not only this, but my head began to hurt from skipping breakfast.  All these woes and worries and in the midst of it all I began to realize how blessed I was to have the word of God stamped on my heart and in my mind.  Without the divine words from God, where would my strength have come from to finish my task?  Would I have given up believing no one would have known the difference if I had finished passing out all the door hangers or not?

In the following scripture passages (Philippians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7, Galatians 5:7, Acts 20:24, Hebrews 12:1, and Psalm 19:5) we are repeatedly introduced to the concept of running and completing our race for Christ.  Paul tells us to run in such a way as to get the prize.  The message is loud and clear to persevere, endure, and never give up.  I held onto these passages today when I felt like throwing in the towel; when the conditions were tiring me; and certainly when I hoped I wouldn't have to take a break to find a rest room and then return to my task.  I wanted to finish.  I wanted to be efficient and I wanted to deliver every last one of those door hangers.  Near the end, I found myself having just one door hanger left.  In order to finish, I would have to pass my vehicle and walk another three houses before finding one that was not unoccupied or up for sale.  There was a spirit inside me that kept saying "Finish the race and finish strong!"  Where would my strength have come from if I had never read these very important words directly inspired from God my Father.  When the going gets tough and you want to give up, what or who keeps you going.  I hope one day you will realize that your greatest most perfect strength always comes from your Lord and Savior.  He stands ready and waiting to deliver at the moment you can do no more.  Jesus tells us to simply call on Him!

"Every Day is A Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

James 1:4 "Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

-Rebecca-

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Is God Good?

This is a re-post from You Tube.  Definitely worth the few minutes to watch if you have ever asked this question:  Is God Good?

Is God Good?




Accountability in the Church: Does it Still Exist?

Have we moved away from accountability in the church, merely condoning any behavior as acceptable?  As I study the new testament, I am puzzled, but not surprised, as to why our churches have become littered with corruption.  Immoral behavior existed within the church walls back then and it still exists today.

Paul spent much of his time eagerly planting churches, writing letters to follow up with those churches and revisiting those churches to constantly and consistently hold them accountable to Christ's teachings.  He was encouraged by their efforts and enthusiasm, but concerned about the direction of such.  Paul noted very early on that man's ways were becoming greater than God's ways.  The books of 1st and 2nd Corinthians address many topics in this area that are still debated today.

The church has definitely experienced their fair share of criticism from nonbelievers, believers and the media.  I can only presume by the regular publishing of news articles, the ways of the world continue to challenge our congregations. Churches are an easy target for the liberal media as reporters and investigators stand ready, waiting and lurking for evidence of immoral behavior coming from our "so called" holy temples.  As soon as sin within the church is made public, people begin screaming "hypocrites!"  How could it be that a people who presume to be so holy and flawless end up in the news as child molesters, embezzlers, fornicators and adulterers?

We must remember that all men are flawed and prone to sinful behavior.  Part of Christianity is acknowledging the power and authority of God's Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and keep us on track.  What if however, the believer refuses to accept the promptings to change sinful behavior?  What if the believer simply says, "My life is fine just the way it is."  Whose job is it to hold the believer accountable and make a decision for the best interests of the rest of the congregation to further prevent the influence or acceptance of sin?

My husband and I had this debate the other day and I am not sure we ended with a definitive conclusion.  In chapter 5 of 1st Corinthians, Paul is very clear in addressing a sexual sin that has crept into the church.  This individual begins boasting and flaunting his inappropriate behavior.  Paul is visibly disturbed by the churches lack of initiative to oust this so called believer.  He says "And you are proud!"  Notice his shock made evident by the use of the exclamation point following his statement.  He tells the church to hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.  Paul is not only showing concern for the rest of the congregation with his intention to protect his flock, but he is also quite possibly demonstrating his love for the individual by saying "let the spirit be saved on the day of the Lord."  One of two things could be indicated here:  Either Paul is saying that this man will face appropriate and fair judgement on the day of the Lord's coming or he truly desires this man to come to his senses, turn away from his sin, and be able to return to the church with a repentant heart in order to be ready for the day of Jesus second coming.  Paul's heart is such, that like Jesus, he wants no one to perish, but he definitely understood a time and place for correction, discipline and accountability.  Have our churches deviated from Christ's true teachings because of a fear of correction?  Are pastor's worried about creating division by implementing accountability?

Every believer within the walls of the church is a sinner.  Paul is making a clear distinction between those who are constantly seeking the will of God to make necessary changes in their life, versus those who are perfectly content continuing to live in sin with no effort to change; and even seeming proud of the path they have chosen.  A perfect example of this would include the couple who chooses to continue living together even after learning of God's word which speaks against it.  They may attend small groups within the church, discussing how great their experience has been, yet inadvertently encouraging other believers to try this same life style.   Paul would most likely address this couple to determine the nature of their hearts regarding their willingness to change.  If resistance to God's word was a primary obstacle, then requesting the couple leave would be the most feasible answer to protect the rest of the flock.  The pastor's job is not always an easy job, but leading people to salvation is the most important component.  Without correction, discipline and accountability, the likeliness of the progression toward obedience to God's will becomes diminished and the believer is in jeopardy on judgement day.

Some people avoid churches altogether.  I know this because I used to be one of them.  I had my list of reasons and excuses and quite honestly these are the very same reasons I hear from friends and acquaintances today.  For many people, they are already living in a way contrary to God's word and they are not ready to take responsibility for necessary life changes.  Others believe the churches are filled with hypocrites.  They may have friends and family that profess to be Christians, yet demonstrate behavior no different than the non-believer.  Here is what I have to say about this.  It is very easy to point fingers at the behavior of every one else, but on the day of judgement it is you that will stand before God and no one else.  It doesn't make sense to critique someone else's behavior, when we have enough of our own sinful ways to correct.  Pointing fingers is just one more excuse to take the focus off your own guilt concerning your own sin.  As long as we are directing everyone else's attention to what is wrong with the world, we escape having to take ownership of our own "junk" so to speak.

Our responsibility as believers is to speak the truth as it is written in the bible.  Once it is spoken, it is up to the individual to make a decision to follow Christ.  This is the free will that our Father granted us.  When a conscious decision is made to follow the teaching's of Jesus, this includes our willingness to submit ourselves to His authority, which in turn is taught by the leaders of the church.  The only way to continually recognize if the leaders are preaching the truth, is to consistently study the word yourself.  Even Pastors can sometimes stray from the word of God and they too need an accountability factor.  When we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, this love is evident sometimes through praise and sometimes through correction.  I can't help if we have become a society who has a distaste for authority, discipline, commitment and the like.  This is between you and God.  Like it or not submission to authority and accountability is necessary to foster a healthy relationship between you and your Savior.

Back to my original question, "Have we moved away from accountability within our churches?"  If the evidence of sin is running rampant in the church in which a blind eye is being turned from the pride that most often accompanies sin, then I would say the answer is yes!"  I think we should take note that in the final book of Revelation, John is still dealing with sin within the church.  He takes time to note their strengths, but then quickly turns his focus to the areas of worldly sin and corruption that have separated them from God's will.  In every instance, John tells the church to repent and turn back toward the teachings of the Lord.

God knew his churches would continuously struggle with these issues because they are mentioned in his word from beginning to end.  This doesn't mean we should throw our hands up in the air and accept it.  Jesus wants a pure spotless bride, not a body immersed in their own pride!

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Welcome Mat

I had the privilege today of helping my local church distribute vacation bible school fliers to a nearby neighborhood.  It was an absolutely perfect morning.  The sun was shining, there was a subtle breeze and the early morning temperature was right around 70.  As I walked from door to door, I began to pray for the people who occupied the homes in the neighborhood.  This was a middle class subdivision with nice homes and cars, neatly sculpted landscaping, and most importantly the evidence of children.  As I approached each door, I happened to notice that almost every home had a "Welcome Mat."  I couldn't help but wonder about the different people being welcomed into these homes.  It's amazing how easily we are willing to welcome perfect strangers, but yet close our doors to Jesus.  My heart began to break for those families possibly struggling with relationship issues, addictions, financial struggles, unemployment, infertility, troubled children and the list goes on and on.  I thought of my own life and how lost and alone I felt when facing life's problems.  No one ever told me that the love of Jesus could help me through absolutely every life challenge. 

Are there areas in your life in which you have just asked Jesus to "keep out" because you feel you are doing just fine on your own?  Do you think Jesus does not understand what you are going through?  Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

I hope and pray that those in the hundred houses that received fliers in regard to the up and coming vacation bible school will open the door to their hearts and welcome Jesus just as they do friends and neighbors.  Families are hurting and looking for answers on how to live day by day with a sense of peace.  Mathew 7:7 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."  Jesus door is always opened.  The Welcome Mat is never absent from the entry way.  He is simply waiting for you to come and knock.

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca- 

Authority: A Divine Blessing or an Everlasting Curse?

By the time a child begins to enter the teenage years, we start to see this natural inclination toward independence which usually accompanies a stage of rebellion.  This rebellion is the result of denying the position of authority in one's life.  Authority figures are important because they have the ability to teach us discipline, self control, submission, wisdom, and respect.  Some people do well to acknowledge the expertise of others that has naturally placed them in a position of authority.  Others simply can't get past the notion of feeling inferior to someone having greater authority.  Hence, they fight against it and typically find themselves getting in trouble due to the consistent breaking of rules.

For me personally, Christ is the primary authority in my life.  I also honor my husband as an authority in our home because I value his opinion, his wisdom, his life experience and his approach to solving problems.  I think it is safe to say that I didn't always think and feel this way.  In fact, old habits die hard and I still have some work to do in this area.  For the most part,  I have at least accomplished a 50% improvement with my walk with Christ, as well as my "walk" with my husband.  Trust me, 50% is nothing to boast about.

For a long time, I did not understand the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ in such a way that would honor his divine position.  Because of this, I certainly did not know how to give honor and respect to my husband either.  Ask yourself right now, "Who are the people in my life that have some type of authority over me?"  Is it a boss, a parent, a teacher, an older brother or sister, pastor, investor or creditor?

How we perceive authority figures in our lives determines how we behave toward such people.  If we value the instruction and effort put forth by the authority figure, we are more likely to submit in a loving and cooperative manner.  This creates an optimal learning environment for a constructive exchange to occur, thus advancing the knowledge and position of the subordinate.  If however, one possesses more of a spirit of pride, there usually exists resistance in the relationship between the authority and the subordinate.  As you can already guess, accomplishing any type of mutual goal becomes more difficult because of the attitude of the subordinate being more about self.

The reason I am looking at the relationship of authority figures is simply because I am confused about the thought process of the American People.  America has become a very self-centered, self absorbed population, thinking primarily of their own gain and their own individual rights.  It only stands to reason that such a population would naturally be very resistant to authority if satisfying self is the primary goal.  The resistance of authority can be seen by the moral decline of our nation as evidence by the amendments being considered to our constitution.  Such amendments regarding abortion, abortive sex selection, prayer and religious rights, same sex marriage, health care, immigration, environmental rights etc. demonstrate a complete rejection of the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ.  All are contrary to the teaching of the Holy Bible.  Thus, it is safe to say that we have a majority population resistant to authority.

How is it that people are okay being managed and regulated by a government, but not by Jesus Christ. Romans 8:7 says, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."  Look at the words co-heirs with Christ.  The bible tells us we are equal to Christ in his eternal kingdom.  We will not be ruled over with an iron fist, made to feel inferior and condemned, but rather we will share in his everlasting glory, experiencing joy and peace.

Throughout history we see the inclination toward more government bringing about a greater sense of oppression, apathy and entitlement.  We are slaves to the constant enforcement of rules and regulations that bind us and ultimately prevent the true peace and freedom Christ intended for his people.  Government is attempting to regulate the food we eat, the health care we seek, the land we farm, the animals we keep, the schools we fund, the air we breath, the places in which we worship and when, where and why it is acceptable to speak about Christ.  God already provided 10 very simple rules in which to live by.  Why does government have to make it more complicated than this?  America fought for it's freedoms in which it boasts being the greatest nation in the world.  Now we are in jeopardy of losing our freedoms due to our acceptance of Government authority, while at the same time rejecting the authority of our Creator.  Man is simply not qualified to run our nation without the divine guidance of the God who created the realm of  government in the first place.  If man was independently capable of such a task, our nation would not be in such a state of turmoil, confusion and disobedience.  Please make a decision today to allow God to show you his ways our better than our ways and his thinking is greater than our thinking.  God has the ending to our story already written.  Why don't we trust him to show us the way?

The very people who are supporting greater control over the way in which we live, are going to be the very people crying out to God when big government oversteps their bounds and begins moving toward a more communist mentality.  This will greatly crush the spirit of the American people and our free way of life.

I urge you to seek God and rethink your views about authority.

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-









Saturday, June 2, 2012

Honor thy Father

Please keep in mind this post is written from a female perspective relying on scripture, but with the addition of my own opinion on the subject considering today's culture.

Father's Day is just around the corner and I was wondering if you have thought about the relationship with your father lately?  Some children are lucky to experience the love of their earthly father, as well as their heavenly Father; while others never seem to make peace with the lack thereof.  In today's world, there is a very sad dynamic in which many children do not know their father, nor have a male role model in their everyday lives.  Why do you think this is?  This is certainly not the way in which God intended his families to experience life.  Nonetheless, we have a serious problem in which children know not the significance and importance of a father in their lives and we as a society seem to be okay with this.  Why?

In Malachi 1:6 we are told, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If I am a father, where is the honor due me?  If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the Lord Almighty.

Could it be that some men have taken their responsibility as father so carelessly because they see their heavenly Father as insignificant or even nonexistent in their own lives?  Without looking to God as an example of how best to demonstrate the qualities of being a good, just and loving father, how does a man learn to be an honorable parent?  The only answer lies in the way in which he learned to parent from the flawed example handed down him from his earthly father.  I use the word flawed because without God's guidance, man continuously strives to parent from his own efforts which are grounded in human experience, rather than God's divine ordained direction meant to encourage and honor the role of the father.

It is true that many children have experienced qualities from their fathers they most certainly wish could be erased from their minds.  Alcoholism, abuse, partiality, and excessive criticism, are but a few reasons that children harbor resentment toward the relationship with their father.  Although these unfortunate events take place, we must remember that our Heavenly Father awaits our coming to him to share these feelings and to offer them up to him.  The areas in which our fathers fall short allows God the opportunity to fill these voids.  God already knows our hurts, disappointments and shortcomings.  He is pleased to demonstrate his love to help heal, restore, counsel and repair any and all scars we may have suffered from our childhood.  In order for fathers to lovingly parent their own children, they must first be ready to accept and lay down their own hurtful memories, seek a relationship with their heavenly Father, receive and accept Christ's love and forgiveness, and be open to using the wisdom God so graciously offers regarding the ways in which to parent.  Brokenness from the past does not have to further hinder present relationships with our children.

John 5:19-23  "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.  Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.  Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him."

Here is this relationship once again concerning the issue of honor to the Father.  We learn that the Son can do nothing by himself, except at an appointed time in which the Father entrusts Him to continue his legacy.  Don't we always want our children to experience greater opportunities in life than we had?  Isn't God our Father speaking of this very same dynamic in the Father-Son relationship when we are told, "Yes, to your amazement he will show him (the Son) even greater things than these.  God our Father has demonstrated his abundant love for his Son in showing him all things so that one day the Son would bring honor to his father in obediently carrying out a life reflective of his father's teachings.  If we desire our children to honor their fathers, shouldn't there first come an example of the fathers demonstrating honor to their heavenly Father?  This seems to be a critical piece missing in the families of today's culture.  

I am certain that the divinely ordained nature of the traditional family would be restored if the hierarchy of Honoring thy Father was restored and passed down to our current culture.  Perhaps we would see a lower percentage of divorce rates, less single parent mothers, healthier children, and much lower rates of substance abuse if men would reclaim their position as spiritual leaders of their households using God as their divine director in parenting their children.

This Father's Day, take the time to honor your father and re-evaluate your relationship with him, as well as your relationship with your own children. Remember first, to pay homage to your Heavenly Father who provided the divine instruction in the following scripture passages for which to live by.  If you don't know God your father, ask Him to reveal Himself to you through His relationship with his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.  You will be so blessed as you begin to experience divine changes in your own life, especially regarding your relationships with those you love.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Mathew 15:4  "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth his father or mother, let him die the death."

Genesis 12:3  "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 27:29  "Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethen, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee:  cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee."

Proverbs 20:20 "Who so curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness."

1 Corinthians 13:11  "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

1 Corinthians 16:13  "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; Be men of courage; Be strong.  Do everything in love."

"Every Day is a Good Day When You Live it God's Way!"

-Rebecca-