Thursday, August 23, 2007

Unconformity

New schedules and routines have wrecked havoc upon my time. While spiritual I remain well and healthy, physically I'm exhausted. I'm currently trying to come up with a schedule that works for all that I've committed to. In approximately a week and half, my oldest son, will be starting pre-school, so I dare not get used to a certain routine. Instead I'm attempting to plan a schedule that will accommodate a new routine in the near future.

Doing all this, reminds me of one of my favorite passages:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans" 12:3

How easy is it to be conformed to the routine of life? The easy, lazy routine of summer is now past. Now, I'm conditioning my mind to transform to the new "knowledge" I've aquired.

The easy part is to renew, the hard part is to transform. The transformation is the application of the renewing process.

But, renewing becomes easy if you are first, not conformed. That is my focus for the rest of this week and the next, not to conform to a certain schedule, but to be transformed by the renewing (understanding) of my mind.

God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Spirit of Fear

SPIRIT OF FEAR
There was a time in my youth when I was undoubtedly plagued with bouts of insecurities. The church I was a member of then, was divided into groups of the "haves" and the "have nots". As an orphan, I was most definitely a member of the "have nots". Being around my two-parented/one-parented friends I quietly developed a case inadequacy. As I matured in age (not necessarily in spirit), I carried that inadequacy with me, and it developed into an insecurity. My insecurity played with my vain imaginations, thus, assumptions and defensiveness was born. I became a person who would assume a particular behavior/conversation was geared towards me in a negative light, and when truth was presented to me, I became defensive of my assumptions and resulted behavior. It was a deadly mind game I played so long ago. Deadly in the fact that, spiritually I was inhibited by the insecurities that plagued me. My insecurities prevented me from seeing and then receiving what was true. My insecurities were secret fears that immobilized me, preventing truth and the manifestation of the glory of God.

My maturity in spirit, brought forth a release from the grips of this death. It was a long, hard road. Every step of every day was a fight to rebuke, and then overcome the lies of the devil. And that is exactly what insecurities are... lies that we unfortunately believe and then, live/act out.

The Word of the Living God is clear in terms of what is of God and what isn't. If we know that He is not the author of confusion (1Corinthians 14:33), then we know it comes from Satan. If we know that God is love, then we know Satan is hate. If we know that God is light, then we know that Satan is darkness. If the Word tells us this:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" -- 2 Timothy 1:7

Then we know the spirit of fear comes from the one who would have us believe his lies. Yet, how many of us (Believers) accept as normal the insecurities that plagues our psyche? Does he have us so deceived that we cannot recognize his "work"? Are we so embedded in this non believing society that we have adopted their "thoughts"?

OF POWER
What power, but the holy spirit, does God give us? The comforter who enables us and teaches us all things. 1 John 2:27; John 16:7,13 ; John 14:26

I have said this before, but it necessitates repeating, our salvation, the lifestyle of Christianity was not intended to be applied and understood in the physical sense, but instead the spiritual sense. The Resurrection of our Lord was an expose of Satan and his lies. Though we walk in bonds of our physical bodies and wayward tendencies, we have been freed from sin and death. (Romans 8:2) Upon acceptance of Christ as our Savior (of sin and death) we recognize the spiritual warfare and we are equipped with the Holy Spirit, our source of POWER!

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" Ephesians 6:12

OF LOVE
What greater source of confidence do we have? What greater means of rebuking the insecurities the devil places upon our hearts, than the love God has for his children? What greater motivation do we need to recognize the truth, receive the truth, than Christ's death for our sins?

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" -- John 3:16

OF A SOUND MIND
When we believe, receive, the power, and the love bestowed upon us. It is our faith in HIM, his power, his love in which we have clarity of thought and soundness of mind. Our faith in Him, implies a knowledge of Him. We know Him. We believe Him. We receive Him, therefore we are not afraid. With a sound mind, we are not confused, or overcome by the irrationality of fear and insecurities. A sound mind is a peaceful one.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." -- John 14:27

A STUMBLING BLOCK REMOVED!
So many times throughout my walk I have heard the confessions of insecurities of my fellow believers. Because I was once, plagued by these lies, I am compelled to write this post. Many times they have laid their insecurities at my feet for me to trip over it, as I have laid my own stumbling blocks in the path of others. How do we rid ourselves of these ailments? Recognize it for what it is...untruths from an evil source.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded" --James 4:7-8

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" - 1 John 5:5



Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Zeke!

Today is my second son's birthday! He's number 4 of 5 and he is three years old! In honor of his birthday I would like to share the story of his birth. My pregnancy with Ezekiel was a pregnancy where God's glory was manifested and my faith in Him validated!

My husband and I had naturally elected to have a home birth with Ezekiel as we had our first son, Ezra. However, our insurance had changed this time around and my midwife who was swamped with other clients, couldn't accept our new insurance policy. She took us on tentatively since the month our due date was determined was in August when she had 6(or so) other mothers expecting that same month.

I saw her periodically throughout my pregnancy for prenatal care. She had referred me to a doctor to have an ultrasound. My husband and I met with the doctor and he proceeded with the examination.

At that point I was seven months pregnant. After asking our permission, he announces that we're having another son! He tells us that the baby is six pounds, and according to his measurements, the baby was at term and was due next month! He gives us a due date of July 20th. Now, I know my body pretty well. I chart my "highs" and "lows" of month.(I'm sparing you the details!) I have a 3 ring binder in where I keep my charts. I know when I conceived Zeke, but the doctor insisted that his measurements were exact and that the baby was due July 20th and not August 15th. With this new information in mind, my husband and I were confused and even started to doubt ourselves. Since the baby at this point was so big, the doctor just may be right.

In light of the situation with our midwife and insurance combined with our desire to have a home birth, we were led to the understanding that we just may have this baby ourselves. At that point, we did intensive research on unassisted childbirth. Armed with Spirit of God, faith, knowledge and birth supplies, we waited with joy the birth of our second son. We had announced to everyone the new due date, but had not shared the knowledge of our potential unassisted birth.

July 20th approached and I appeared to have contractions. Looking back now, I wonder if they occurred because I "expected" to have Zeke around that time. The came and went and time passed...one week went by, then two more. It was clear to us by then that the doctor's due date was wrong! Thinking about it now I praise the Lord we were dependant upon Him and not the "knowledge" of man! If I we were, this post would have been written a month ago! There is no doubt in my mind if he was my primary doctor, labor would have been induced! Ezekiel was born a month to the day!

We were prepared and ready for him. When real labor happened it was intense, but not unnecessarily long. I elected to have a water birth, for the comfort and warmth of the water. He (Ezekiel) was delivered by my husband's hand with no problem and no tearing occurred at my expense! He took his first breath with a hiccup, a moment we will never forget. It was an intimate setting in our bedroom, my husband, myself, our brand new, minute old baby in the presence of our Father! Our midwife arrived afterward and checked out the baby and myself, and pronounced that God is Good!(She is a Believer as well!) He weighed in at 10lb and 12 oz.! A big baby! Today at the age of 3 he weighs a whopping 48lbs. He's our little linebacker. Happy Birthday baby!

Author's note:
This is MY personal testimony of unassisted childbirth. I'm in no way endorsing Unassisted Childbirth as a method for everyone, so please do not assume as such! Unassisted Childbirth is a legal choice of home birth. Unassisted Childbirth is a method some couples/mothers choose to have her child outside of a hospital setting. However, if you DO have questions and and interest, I would be more than happy to answer them!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Interview with Beverly

I've been selected by my sister in Christ, Beverly, of Perpetual Grace, to be interviewed!

Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. I know that you worship God outside of a traditional church setting, but I also know that you DO worship God. Can you share with us what the phrase "worshiping God" looks like in your life?

Great question Beverly. I can best describe the way I worship with 1 Thess.5:15-22"

"Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil"

Outside of Bible studies and prayers with my husband and children, the above scripture is what I (not of my own power, but by the Holy Spirit) do. Especially "Pray without ceasing". If I find myself "despising prophesyings" or being uncaring about the "appearance of evil", constant dialogue with the Father is something I DO make every effort to do! To be in constant contact with Him is no doubt how I survive this crazy, upside down world!


2. We recently learned of your talent for singing and making up silly songs to amuse your children? What silly songs do you usually sing and can you make one up for us on the spur of the moment? LOL (We just want to share in the laughter)

Somehow, I knew that one was coming! Well, when I make up silly songs and dances, it's usually inspired by a specific situation I'm trying to relay to the children. For example: Ezra (my oldest son, 4 1/2) asked if he could have some sausages I was cooking for breakfast. I explained to him that he couldn't have any until it was done cooking. I started singing: "I love patience, God loves patience, when you wait, you'll be blessed!" *repeats with claps and shaking of hips* :)

I do have a "good morning" song that I sing to the children. They all love it including my 13 year old. :)

Today is a new day!
Today is a new day!
Today is a new day that the Lord has made!
So let's fill our hearts with faith in Jesus.
Let's fold our hands and worship Him.
Let us rejoice with songs and praises!
Today is a new day that the Lord has made! (This is done with rhythmic clapping!)


3. Hannah, I know that you are truly devoted to studying the Word of God. I also know that you have a hearing impairment. Do you feel those two points of your life are related? What do you wish we would learn from your experiences?

Oh they are most certainly related! There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has blessed me with my hearing impairment if only for His glory! Being African-American, female, and hard of hearing, I've been endowed with a triple whammy! Naturally, many have treated me as such throughout my life. But, there is a scripture I identify with in regards to who He has made me to be:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are" -- 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

I do realize I'm not the typical picture of God-fearing woman, by society's standards. I guess if there is one thing I would like to see people glean from my life experience, it would be to stay open-minded to just what the Lord can do for you.

4. I know many times my children (especially the boy-child) would opt to stay home instead of attending church if given the choice. Have you ever faced the reverse problem with one of your children wishing to attend traditional church services? If so, were you open to it or, if it did occur, would you be open to it?
(For clarification, I am just curious. I would allow my children to skip church service if I believe they were spending the time at home glorifying God instead of simply avoiding the alarm clock) :)


Another great question! My in-laws used to take my children to church with them once a month. (They, my in-laws, have since stopped attending) My children were only interested in church for the simple fact that "Grandma and Grandpa" were there. Now that my in-laws are no longer church attendees, they haven't expressed an interest in traditional church service. We are a very close-knit family, and pretty much are "church" for the children. My thirteen year-old has accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. She loves the Lord and reads the Bible every now and then. I'm pretty protective of what my children learn, so I would be concerned about the content of what is being taught at a particular church service. I would "research" a church before letting my children attend. However, I must add that my children's spiritual health is quite robust :). The biblical principles that I (not of my own power, but by the Holy Spirit) live by is the "rule of thumb" at my house. :)

5. What is the least favorite thing you are expected to do or you expect yourself to do and why?

The easiest question of this interview! Clean the bathroom! :):):)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Parable of the Sower Addendum

Here's the link to the original post "The Parable of the Sower"

"Does it mean that those who are not yet deeply rooted in Christ, who are still babes in Christ, are not going to heaven until they become more firmly grounded in Him?"

"But what about those who die when they are still babe's and have not yet become firmly rooted? What is your definition of firmly rooted? "


PROFESSION
Profession: The act of professing; avowal; a declaration, whether true or false. http://www.dictionary.com/

The Parable of the Sower defines four types of people who have heard the Word of God (seed). Three of them are "hearers", producing no "fruit" as a result. One is a "doer", producing "fruit" as a result. The fact that those who profess belief in Christ is categorized along with the unbeliever says a LOT in that fact alone. (The category of being unfruitful.) While their profession may be genuine in and of itself, it does not necessarily mean their faith is genuine as well. The book of James is a wonderful book that defines genuine faith. In this book, the 2nd chapter and the 19th verse tells us this:

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble"

If the devils also believe and tremble, what, then, is the difference between the devils and true Believers?


"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?--verse 20

How can faith, being dead, exist? What is dead faith, but no faith?

The preceding passage lists an example of faith by works. (Works in this light should NOT be confused with legalistic "do's" and "don'ts", prayer rituals or any type of "salvation by works" method. This is clarified by the use Abraham's faith as an example.)

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" --verse 21 (Obediently, faithfully following the command/will of the Lord)

"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect" --verse 22

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God " --verse 23

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. "

Further Studying: James 1 and 2
Food for Thought: With the parable of the sower in mind, verses 22 and 23 in particular, read 1 John 2:15-17

CONFESSION
Confession: Admission, especially if guilt or sin; also, a statement of religious belief. "To confess" can mean to agree, to promise, or admit to something. (Tyndale Bible Dictionary - 2001)

The Word tells us "...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 12:3).

The bottom line is this: either you have genuine faith in the Word of God, or you don't. There is no middle ground. The parable of the sower reveals the "hearers" and the "doers" of the Word, both have the same result within those classifications. Our professions and confessions will be tested for validity, and it will be made apparent in accordance to His Word. 1Peter 1:7

Profession can become confession! Peter is evident of that! This is why we are exhorted by scripture to "hold fast the profession of our faith" (Hebrews 10:23)

Additional verses: Hebrews 12:1-3

"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." -- Hebrews 4:2

"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world".--Hebrews 4:3

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." -- verse 11

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."--verse 12

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." --verse 13


Additional Studying: Hebrews 3; 4

In answer to the last question posed to me "What is your definition of firmly rooted?", my definition lies in John 15:5. In having said that, it is not "my" definition, but His. :)


"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing"

Amen! God Bless!

Author's note: All italics, bold and caps in scripture are mine.

It seems as though I missed one question: "What happens to those who never hear of Christ?"

That won't happen. The Word says this:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." --Matthew 24:14


"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" --Romans 1:19-21




Light of the World American Sign Language Part 10



Here is the final clip! Very powerful clip! It talks about various religions and mentions specific religion by name. One of the religions mentioned here is the Catholic religion. I must say I do agree with most, if not all of the content in this clip for this reason, and this alone...the Word of God. Now, those of you offended by this clip or my agreement with it. I have this to say, I do my very darnest to live by the truth of God's Word, and the truth is (you don't even have to look in the Good Book to know this) that we live in a society divided and deceived by Satan. So please, no angry comments, unless you have a point or opinion to share respectfully. (preferably supported with scripture) Here are the scriptural references:

John 14:1-3; Matt. 28:18; John 14:6; Romans 10:8-9; Deuteronomy 27:15; 1Peter 5:7; Matt. 25:23

God Bless!



After posting this clip I found a wonderful post called "There's Something About Mary" in reference to the Roman Catholic Church. I believe you may find the content of this post eye-opening!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Interview with Shalene

I've elected to be interviewed by Shalene, the owner of Proverbs31WomanWannabe!
Here are the instructions for the interviewing process:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, I will ask them five questions.

On to the interview! Please read more!


1. I already know so much about you, so tell me, if there is one thing about you that your reader's don't already know, that you'd like them to know, what would that be?

Despite the serious nature of my blog, I'm can be quite goofy! I love singing silly songs with my children and am known for making up silly songs quite frequently. I also like to entertain my children by dancing as well! I usually have my babies in fits of laughter simply by dancing and making faces and funny noises.


2. What would you say has been your biggest challenge in blogging since you started? Why?

My biggest challenge has been not to get overwhelmed by scripture, and not to get overwhelmed by debate and oppositions of other bloggers.

3. You are a mother of 5 children and a stay at home mom. What would be the single most valuable piece of advice that you could give to other stay at home moms?

This may sound strange, the best thing a mother of any size family could do is hold her children accountable for their behavior and words. This is a character/relationship building process. Not only does it benefit them by giving them a sense of "honor ability", but it is truly beneficial for the bond between a mother and child, AND it takes off unnecessary burdens on a mother and teaches the child responsibility, a valuable life lesson. For example: bed-making, picking up after yourself, etc, etc. Too many times I see valuable opportunities at life lessons being lost, when a child is not held accountable for his/her actions and words.

Respect would be my second piece of advice. Expect respect and give it in return.

Start 'em off young! The younger the better. Children are so much more smarter than we give them credit for! Our 16 month old child is already responding "yes ma'am" and "no sir"! (He's been doing this for a few months now) By the time they reach the age of five, it is a die-hard habit! If children can learn foreign languages at a very tender age, then we should never underestimate the comprehension of a babe in terms of behavioral/attitude issues!

Lastly, but by far the most important. As parents, WE are their role models, no matter who they watch on TV, their primary behaviors and attitudes will come from us!If we expect them to behave a certain way, we must make sure we are not sending mixed signals!


4. I know you are hearing impaired, while most would probably call that a handicap, would you agree? Why or why not?

Absolutely never! :) I've come to embrace my hearing loss as a valuable, integral part of who I am and the impact it's had on my perception of life! Sure, I may not be able to hear everything, but my goodness, with all the stuff going on in the world I'm not missing out on anything, am I? However, I do like to think that I am "hearing" in the spiritual sense. In that light, I'll keep my hearing loss and embrace my spiritual hearing of the Word!

5. Who are the five most spiritually influential people in your life?

Lover of my Soul, Jehovah. King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ the Holy Lamb! (He's a wonder! He's a wonder! He's a mighty God!) (Yes, I am singing!!)

Absolutely without a doubt the next wonder of my life, and God-given caretaker of my soul, on this earth is my husband! By the power of God, the Holy Spirit, He is responsible for the woman I am today! This man, is a man of caliber, integrity and truth! He is a rare breed this day and age, a man after God's own heart! I've no idea what I've done to deserve him!

My mother, who is no longer with us. A gentle woman who started me on my path to my love affair with the Lord of Hosts by planting a seed in me as a child. She left this life too early for me (at the tender age of 9), but right on the Lord's time. Her death shaped my life and colored my motherhood. She's a saint by and by, and I look so forward to seeing her loving smile once again!

My beautiful babies, specifically my firstborn child! Never had I been more motivated and concerned about the world's condition until the birth of my first child!

Last, but certainly not least! A recent development in the last two months of my life... Shalene. For a long while, I've been walking this walk without a "like-minded" friend to my name! What a revival of spiritual hope, upon the understanding that there ARE people who love the Truth, embrace the Liberty found in Christ Jesus, and love accordingly! God Bless you PPF!


That concludes a long boring diatribe of me! Who's next?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Translation vs. Paraphrase

Up until about four years ago, I studied primarily out of the New Living Translation. It was simple to read and I was comfortable with it. However, I did notice through out my studying in that specific translation, that passages just weren't making any sense. My husband preferred the King James Version and studied out of that, our studying together almost always ended out of the KJV version for the simple fact that the NLT was not adequate in conveying some of the principles of the Word. My husband, at that time worked for Tyndale House Publishing (which publishes the NLT version) gave me a Bible published by them called "The People's Parallel Edition". This edition had the KJV and NLT side by side. It was only then I began to see a true difference between translations.

Romans 8:1 in both of these versions comes out different.

Romans 8:1 KJV says "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"

Romans 8:1 NLT says "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong in Christ Jesus."

The NLT does not have the rest of that passage! The chapter of Romans 8 speaks specifically about walking in the flesh vs walking in the spirit. It was upon realization that I may have been missing out on vital concepts and truths that I switched completely to the KJV. However, up until a few months ago, my decision to switch to KJV was validated by an eye-opening discovery.

As, I mentioned earlier, my husband worked at Tyndale House Publishers for quite a while, during that time we have amassed Bibles, and various christian books. One of those books we received was a bible study resource called "Eight Translation New Testament" It wasn't until a few months ago I decided to read the prefaces and forewords on each translation. "The Living Bible" now known as "The New Living Translation" is a paraphrased Bible.

PARAPHRASED

To paraphrase: a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording. 2. the act or process of restating or rewording http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/paraphrase

I don't know about you, but I found this deeply disturbing. Maybe some of you know this and I'm just the last to catch on, but for those of you who don't let this be of warning to you! It is not my intention to single out the NLT or Tyndale House Publishers or criticize them. My husband was acquainted with Kenneth Taylor, the founder of Tyndale, and knew him to be a God-fearing man. My only reason of focus on this version of Bible study simply stems from the fact that it was my sole source of studying for the longest time! To his credit he does state that the NLT is a paraphrase of the Bible in the "Note to Readers" in the "People's Parallel Edition" and in the Preface of "The Living Bible". In the Preface of The Living Bible it says:

"There are dangers in paraphrases, as well as values. For whenever the author's exact words are not translated from the original languages, there is a possibility that the translator, however honest, may be giving the English reader something that the original writer did not mean to say."

Read more about Dr. Kenneth Taylor.

TRANSLATED
Translate: A translation is a word for word and idea for idea rendering of a document from one language to another. I retrieved this explanation from a site called Bible Study Methods. I'm not necessarily endorsing this site, I haven't spent enough time to do just that, however I do agree to a certain extent to what it is saying and I DO agree we should all do our homework when it comes to Bible translations, whether they are paraphrased or not! Our studying and understanding of the Word is at stake! My whole objective in this post is not to promote one translation, or should I say version, over the other, but to exhort the serious bible student, diligently seeking God's wisdom and heart to be cautious of the translation he/she chooses to study from. I will express this, a paraphrased bible should NOT be your sole source of studying! A properly translated Bible should be your primary study Bible supplemented by a paraphrased Bible.

TIPS
Here are some suggestions on my part(non expert suggestions :))

1. PRAY for guidance of the Holy Spirit

2. Read the Preface, Introduction and or Foreword of the Bible.

3. Research the Translator of the Bible.

4. The belief of the translator.

5. The history of the translator.

6. The motive of the translator.

7. The affiliation of the translator.

8. The belief, history, affiliation of the publishing company.

May God bless you and your endeavors in HIM!

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:5

Monday, August 13, 2007

Light of the World American Sign Language Part 9



Isaiah 52:14; John 3:16; Matthew 27:46; John 1:29; Matthew 27:54; Luke 23:46; Luke 23:47; Matthew 28:5-6; Matthew 28:19-20; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 1:18-19

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Parable of the Sower

Can a Christian/Believer lose their promise of eternal salvation if they have abandoned their faith in Him? I have heard this question enough times to get me digging in my Word for an answer. This is a tough question, one where many a Christian have various opinions and answers. So I will turn to the only trustworthy source I know. The spirit of truth which guides me into all truth. John 16:13 And the Word of the Living God.



THE HEARERS
I am convinced that those who have called themselves Christian and have turned away from Christ, were never truly Christian at heart! Please read Matthew 13:1-9 prior to reading the rest of this post. The parable of the sower can give insight into the differences between "hearers" and "doers" of the Word! The hearers are described in this parable in verses 19-22



  1. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. -- verse 19 (nonbelievers who have heard the word, but didn't receive it)

  2. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
    Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. - verse 20-21
    (Believers who have received the word, but were superficial in their faith and were not able to endure the trials and tribulations because of the Word. This "offense" is indicative of the true condition of their belief)

  3. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. -- verse 22 (Believers who received the word, but were deceived/led astray by worldly/physical concerns. Another indication of the true condition of their belief)



THE DOER


There is only one passage in this parable that describes a true at heart Believer.

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty - verse 23

Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us that it is impossible for those who "were once enlightened" to "renew them again unto repentance". Please read Hebrews 6:4-6 before reading on. With the parable of the sower in mind please read the subsequent verses, 7 and 8 of Hebrews 6.


  1. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God. -- Compare this verse to Matthew 13:23

  2. but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.-- Compare this verse to Matthew 13:22

How do we know a seed to be conducive, unless it first takes root and grows? If a seed is planted into the ground and does not produce anything, then we can conclude that the ground was infertile. If the seed symbolizes the Word and the ground symbolizes our heart, then this interpretation is validated by Romans 10:8-10.

"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."



THE DOER vs. HEARERS

A true at heart Believer in Christ Jesus, has stepped away from the basic functions of "hearing" and has become a lover of Christ. "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." -- Hebrews 5:11-14


Peter professed his undying love to Christ. Swearing his life unto the death for the Savior, but Jesus knew his heart. Jesus knew that Peter, at that time, may have made a genuine profession, but the seed, at that point, had not taken root. I can imagine the realization that he (Peter) had betrayed his Savior was a factor of growth for him! Luke 22:33-34; Luke 22:60-62

A lover of Christ has deep roots in Christ. Christ is his/her source for all things. The relationship between a Believer and Christ, has now become reciprocal in nature.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."-- John 15:5
Additional verses: Hebrews 5: 11-14; Hebrews 6:1-3


PHYSICAL vs. SPIRITUAL

The source of confusion (and division in the Body) in living the Christian faith lies in the fact that so many define Christianity in physical terms, and attempt to apply it accordingly. So many of us place "dos" and "don'ts" as indicatives of salvation; church attendance, baptisms, tithes, sinner's prayers, other kinds of prayers, speaking of tongues, any and all that takes away from the simple truth of the scripture which is this;

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16

When we worship, and walk in spirit and in truth, as the Father desires us to, our life in Him will take on a whole other dimension. John 4:23-24 It brings that "sixth" sense, which is the Holy Spirit. It frees us from the immaturity of "close-mindedness" and "physical rituals". It is not what we do, or pray that makes us saved. It is our heart, our belief in him. That has ALWAYS been the condition of salvation. Take note of Deuteronomy 30:10-15 (listed in the Old Testament) and Romans 10:8-10 (listed in the New Testament).

In summation (with understanding of scripture):

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his". --Romans 8:9

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" --Romans 8:14

"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost". --1Corinthians 12:3

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand"
--John 10:28-29


AMEN!
God bless you and your endeavors in His Word!

Please read:
"The Parable of the Sower Addendum"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Light of the World American Sign Language Part 8



The details explained in this clip regarding Christ's beatings, I would imagine to be true in spite of the fact there are no specific scriptures to support the details listed. We can only imagine the horrors that Christ has suffered prior to his death!

This is a sobering clip for me! In the midst of this life how easy is it to forget what exactly has been done for us! When we are stomping our feet and shaking our fists at God for not giving us whatever we think we deserve, we lose sight, we forget the humiliation, the horrid suffering of His, that overwhelms and swallows our insignificant, selfish ambitions! My heart aches for the pain He endured for my sins! He did it for us for the joy of our fellowship.

Do we dare withhold it? Something so simple for hefty price! I'm going to do something that I don't normally do...I'm not going to list any scripture for this clip. We all know that this is a true event, this event is the very reason why we call ourselves CHRISTians!

For those of you who do not know who Jesus is. My question to you is...would you like to? There are many who call themselves Christians, but have erred in their portrayal of Him. If you have been offended by such a person, I would love the opportunity to show you who HE really is, and how much HE loves you!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shackled Liberty

I have a bone to pick! I must admit I am irked! Now, I pray that my spirit is led in a way that I can communicate clearly without letting my sentiments dictate my writing in truth and of scripture. Why is my liberty in Christ Jesus is always attacked by those who profess themselves Christian or Believers? They pick on inconsequential issues, and declare my deliberate choices of faithful living/dependency upon the Lord, unwise; at worse, unbiblical. I am compelled to defend the truth against dangerous ignorance, and the liberty of the gospel commanded by Christ, our Savior.


CHRIST, OUR CONDEMNER?
What is amazing to me is that Christ himself, has never condemned a sinner for being a sinner!

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." John 8:7-11


What does it mean to condemn?
to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure
to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment -- http://www.dictionary.com/

I have heard John 3:16 quoted so many times that is the easiest passages to remember. However, rarely, I have heard the subsequent passages quoted.

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." verses 17-19


Additional Scriptures to read: John 8:15-16; John 8:26

If these passages are true, I ask again WHY, are so many Christians and institutional churches, subtly/obviously placing condemnations (shackles) upon other Believers/Christians?

THE CONDEMNED
Before we go on further, there must be clarity. Condemnation is only limited to those who have heard the message of salvation (Christ and the Gospel) and rejected it. The act and dispensation of condemnation belongs solely, rightfully in the Father's grasp.
"...but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:18-19


Additional scripture: John 8:24

This makes so much sense to me as a Believer. Why would we, as true at heart, Believers be condemned for sins He has already paid for? Romans 3:25

I absolutely cannot complete this post without making this noteworthy comment: In the gospels, the only type of people Christ spoke condemning of, were the Pharisees. The Pharisees were "pious", "righteous by works", "glory-loving" people, professing to be godly men. He called them the worst names!

Here's a sample; you don't need to search too deep to find more!

"Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." Matthew 23:24-26
;

Additional scriptures: Matthew 23:14; Matthew 23:27; Matthew 23:13

It's important to keep in mind that Christ continually declares throughout the gospels that He spoke under direction and witness of the Father. John 14:10

I daresay, I'm very hard pressed to find, in general terms, how Christianity today, is any different from the Pharisees of Jesus' time.

(Generally, the truth is Christianity as a society, have gotten away from reflecting the actions of the early church; Acts 2)

LOUD ACTIONS, SILENT WORDS
We as a Christ-Believing society, MUST be full of care of what we speak and how we behave towards the unbelieving society! Presenting ourselves as holier-than-thou, is a surefire way to earn condemnation from the very Christ we serve!

"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" 1 Timothy 4:2

Do we "speak lies" through hypocrisy? What does our history tell us? How are we viewed by the unbelieving society?

"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16

What are legalistic "do's and don'ts", but shackled liberty?? They are requirements/judgements placed upon a person in order to be "right". They are attempts of bondage by the devil through the impression of "holiness" which may appear "right" to most. Make no mistake... we are saved and made righteous by grace, the free gift of the Lord, from whence liberty comes! Ephesians 2:8-10
Additional scripture: 1 Peter 5:5-7

BROKEN SHACKLES
What are we waiting for? We have been set free from the law of sin and death! Romans 8:2 The green light isn't going to get any greener! Here we stand still, amid broken shackles, refusing to budge, dazed and confused. Continue in His Word, BE His disciples and the truth shall set you free! John 8:31-32 Why does the word "Liberty" set teeth on edge? The only being in existence who should be frightened of that word is the devil, for he is the one who wants us in bondage!

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Additional scripture: Ephesians 6:12

SWEET, SWEET LIBERTY
When true, heartfelt Believers receive Christ, and make a conscience effort to know Him, seek out after Him, then we have made a choice to walk in submission to Him, His will, and in the end, His Spirit. The Holy Spirit should rule our lives, be THE "rule of thumb" of our lives. We know that we cannot be righteous in our flesh Romans 8:3, so we, therefore, must be ruled by the Spirit. By this, the fruit of the Spirit manifests itself as this;

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

Additional scripture: Ephesians 5:8-10

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there shall be liberty! 2 Corinthians 3:17 . If we can overcome the glut of biblical illiteracy that plagues Christianity today, we provide the tools for the Holy Spirit to work within us. When this happens, we make ourselves "relate able" to the unbelieving society. We, then bring a "relate able" gospel to those who desperately need His liberty from the shackles of sin.

"...How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:15



Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Light of the World American Sign Language Part 7



What a powerful clip! I have nothing to add, it says it all! This clip is so powerful, I'm compelled to leave it up for two days or more! Anyone who has friends that are deaf or hard of hearing can refer them to this site.
"By His stripes we are healed"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Light of the World American Sign Language Part 5



There may be a "glitch" with this clip. It goes pretty fast. Enjoy! Scriptural referrences can be found in the book of Matthew.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Praising Spirit - Hymns in ASL - American Sign Language



As someone who is a hearing impaired Believer, I'm just fascinated by this promotional DVD! You just don't see promotions like these very often (or at all)! So I've decided to post it here. I apologize to my readers for not posting my own writings. I've been getting a lot of requests for the "Light of the World" series. I DO hope you enjoy the beauty of ASL, as I do! God bless!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Light of the World American Sign Language Part 3



Once again, I must state that I'm not too fond of the graphics in the background. The only beef I have with these clips is that there are no exact references to scripture. I have found those exact references and have listed them here for anyone to study on.

You will see in the clip a reference to God dialogue with an angel to see if your name appears in the "Book of Life". I find it questionable if the Word states that, I will seek that out with prayer and guidance. I can't lend my support to this clip fully, but I do like how it defines the basics for anyone seeking basic understanding.


I've tried my best to list the references in the order that they appear in the clip.


Romans 3:23


Romans 3


Luke 12:15-21


Hebrews 9:26-28


Isaiah 64:6


Revelation 20:10-15


Matthew 12:36


Revelation 21


2 Peter 3:9