Monday, September 26, 2011

The True Church

Being a member of the former World Wide Church of God, we would frequently refer to our church as "the true church".  And truly I believed I found the "true church" of God. This was an organization was extremely legalistic by standards. They imposed all sorts of rules and regulations, you'd be hard pressed to find the the Good Book. Nevertheless, I felt then, it was worth it, as it was the "true church" after all.

Back then, all other churches were "false", and the haughtiness we carried amongst ourselves, and neatly folded doctrinal materials, justified our judgmental behavior as we were true members. 

I'd laugh looking back from where I stand now, except it's unfunny. Looking back, I see a sad desperate, situation. A group of folks with severe self esteem issues grasping at any resemblance of self-importance. Severe self-esteem issues, I say because it showed a true lack of understanding of God's grace and Christ's gift. One who is fully assured of HIM, is humbly confident in FAITH. And what a depth of lack of FAITH back then...

I was recently asked..."How do I become a member of the true church?"  Inevitably, I'm taken back to the times I've just described. I will readily admit, it is difficult to think of the word "church" without scoffing, yet I'm aware that like so many important terms, the word church has been hijacked and misused. 

What IS church?? Many Christians refer to church as building, a place where people come to worship. The general definition of church is a group of  worshipers that are typically regulated by a select group of "professionals" be it pastors, priests etc. In this setting, members are taught by a person or persons who typically build sermons or messages from a few passages of scriptures. Typically, these members attend church to hear the word and learn. These members usually participate in social activities provided by the church for their members. 

In summary, "church" is a place to present an "act"...worship.

Instead of asking whether or not a "church" may or may not be "true", should we not consider whether or not our worship may or may not be "true"?

Who better to ask, than God, the Father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth on how HE should be worshiped?

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. - John 4:23

Testified of Christ and ordained of God, we are to worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, as HE wills! The quest to find a perfect place, is a wasteful one, one filled with misunderstanding of what a relationship with God the Father really means.

The one TRUE place, we worship is in SPIRIT. The HOLY SPIRIT, which was ushered in by Christ's death. The HOLY SPIRIT which is saying God's Spirit. We worship in SPIRIT because God is a spirit.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. - John 4:24
What we know as "church" today, has seriously evolved away from this remarkable phenomenon. The message of church membership is, one needs to go to a "place" to worship. And if you do not attend this "place" on a regular basis, then your {insert a noun/adjective here} is in jeopardy...or...as I was once told..."on a path to shipwreck". I will say this, this unspoken/spoken sentiment is legalistic and man-mandated. It is not of God.

If we worship in TRUTH we understand that it is by FAITH we receive acceptance. Only by the GRACE of Christ are we reconciled to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob this way. It is in this stead we find peace... peace with God.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. - Romans 5:1-2
 The bottom line is this...if you desire a religious experience in an organized setting, you won't need to look far to find a church that fits your criteria.

But if you want peace with God, a meaningful, loving relationship...

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. - Romans 10:8-10
...it all starts with your HEART...

May you find peace with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Organic Palm Shortening Giveaway!

I'm having another giveaway on my blog, TheOliveParent. Organic Palm Shortening is another quality product from Tropical Traditions. Trans-fat free, it is the healthy alternative to frying and baking with hydrogenated fats.

Just in time for your healthy holiday cooking, you can feel great about serving your pies and delectable deserts to your family and friends.

If you follow this blog by GFC, you've met one part of the two part requirement. The other requirement is to subscribe to Tropical Traditions by email. The giveaway ends 10/4 11:59 central time. Hope to see you there! Click here to enter :)

I would love your help in spreading the word of this great giveaway, please Tweet and Facebook. (The social plugins are located at the bottom of this post.)

May the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob keep you in health and wellness!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens Giveaway!



I'm having another giveaway on my blog,  TheOliveParent ! This time I'm giving away Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens! It's a green drink that is chock full of nutrition such as flax, chorella and probiotics sponsored by  Tropicial Traditions.

It retails at $44.00 and can be yours! Just enter a comment after reading the post .

No rules, no hoops to jump through. Hope to see you there!

 Created4Health is promoted by Tropical Traditions and possibly affliated with them. It has pretty solid articles and supporting scriptures, I'd encourage you to check it as well.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you with a peaceful mind and wellness of health.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Organic Virgin Palm Oil Giveaway!

I’m thrilled to be able to review another product from Tropical Traditions! I was given an opportunity to try out Virgin Palm Oil. If you are familiar with Tropical Traditions then you know they have wonderful coconut oil products  that are specially hand-made. Their coconut oil has made me a immediate fan of theirs. I’ve been purchasing all of my coconut oil from them.  What’s fantastic about Tropical Traditions is the way that their products are processed, Virgin Palm Oil is no different.

What is Virgin Palm Oil?

It is a palm oil “traditionally made” and hails from the tropical palm tree native to the tropical areas in Africa.  Tropical Traditions sources this oil from West Africa, from small scale family farmers, that are certified organic. It’s red hue comes from it’s unrefined state, which contains carotenoids. It is fascinating to learn from Tropical Traditions website that virgin palm oil contains 15 times more carotenoids than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes!

Tropical Traditions has an abundance of eye-opening information and research on fats and oils. Check it out when you can!

I admit I was skeptical when I opened the jar of virgin palm oil and even more skeptical when I tasted it, but  when I began to implement it in many ways in my cooking, it was clear to me that this oil is one to be reckoned with!

My first try with the oil was on a staple in our home…Paninis. We have Paninis  several times a week. The first time I used the oil, I coated the griddle with it. I didn’t taste a huge difference. I made a Panini the next day and this time I decided to drizzle the oil on both sides of the bread and sprinkle a bit of garlic powder like I usually do and what happened still stuns me! My delicious Panini went from great to gourmet in one sitting. My daughter raved about it!

Next was potatoes! I sautéed the potatoes in the oil. The  flavor was so delicious and completely another level. The only term I can really use to describe it is gourmet! I cooked my Salmon with it, using all of my traditional seasoning and yet still produced a completely different dish. My husband literally licked his plate clean.  I love the fact that I can serve him foods fried in this oil without concern. The quality of this oil is simply amazing! This oil may be red, but it certainly has a golden touch!

You too, can have this oil in the palm of your hand!

Here’s how…

Leave ONE comment, along with an email address, per entry.

  1. Subscribe to Tropical Traditions by email (mandatory)
  2. Follow TheOliveParent on Twitter @hannaxor (bonus)
  3. Follow Tropical Tradition on Twitter @TropTraditions (bonus)
  4. Pick a recipe you’d like to try on Free Coconut Recipes (bonus)
  5. Tweet about the giveaway (one tweet per day) using hashtag #TOPPalmGive (bonus)
  6. Facebook it and leave the link in a comment. (bonus)
  7. Blog about it and leave the link in a comment. (bonus)
  8. Follow TheOliveParent on GFC (bonus)

 

To enter this giveaway Go to TheOliveParent

Giveaway is open to US and Canada. Canadian bloggers, please note that Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway. I reserve the right to remove entries that are not compliant with the rules of the giveaway. A winner will be chosen by Random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway ends on June 8th, 2011 11:59 Central

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A toast To May Day Babies!

Alrighty, so I'm going to share something with you that I’ve never shared before. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and have never made the announcement I’m about to make, but this time, it feels just weird not sharing it so here goes…

Today I am *cough* *cough* years old! That’s right, I am a May Day baby! I thought I’d take a bit time to reflect on the last *cough* *cough*…darn this cold, years. :)

I embrace where I am in life. This has not always been the case. I was very much career-oriented and was all set to fast-track my way up the career ladder.  I was independent and sassy, a personality punctuated with the occasional (okay, more like habitual) eye-roll. I knew everything! Yes-siree.

I laugh now.  Really. To say that motherhood created who I am today would be a slightly unfair assertion.  I have to credit my marriage. Being married to someone, I think, is right next to motherhood as a humbling experience, because life is no longer just about you. So I  do credit, my God (of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob) for blessing me with a husband with an insane amount of patience! Together we have navigated this life and it’s crazy ideals when it comes to birthing, parenting and pregnancy. Truly, I have no idea who I would be today without it!

So today, I wish a happy and well birthday to all the May Day babies! May your life be as much as blessing as mine was!

Are  you a May Day baby? Leave comment so I can wish you a happy one!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to THRIFTYMOMSPOT.COM for this Stylish Blogger Award!

 

Here are the Rules:

 

1. Thank and link back to the person that has given you this award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve this award as well.

4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

 

Since I have a some new followers this is perfect time to share a few things about myself.

  1. I’m the youngest of six children
  2. I was a career woman at a college before I had children
  3. Butter Chicken is my favorite dish (Indian)
  4. If you do not read my other blog, I have had 5 home/water births
  5. I like to create my own natural body care products
  6. I’m VERY silly!
  7. I like make up and fashion :)

Water Prints

Okay, now this is funny. Looking at my stats for this blog a month ago, I noticed I was getting some traffic from a porn site. Yes, that's right...porn. Well, I thought, my outreach is heading in the right direction and paid it no nevermind.

A month later, I was contacted by a webmaster requesting a link exchange. The webmaster believed that my blog would fit perfectly into their "collection of quality links" on their site. In hindsight, his insistence that the email was not spam should have been my first clue that this request was not a your typical link exchange request. Nevertheless, I clicked on the link and was bombarded with pictures of a woman displaying her ta-tas.

My blog is a perfect fit for a  porn site?! I was offended! The more I thought of it the more I realized that quite possibly, the webmaster may have taken my "no judgment/no hypocrisy" message a bit too far. So, I had to laugh. Let me state, while free will exists, I will not contribute to the degradation of women,ever by posting such links to this blog. Porn webmasters, you’ve been warned. :)

While I speak out against hypocritical, judgmental and condemning evangelism, it does not mean that I endorse behaviors/actions that can be hurtful to the self or to others. It simply means that it is not my place to judge or condemn, and neither is it the biblical position of Christians to do so. Unfortunately, Christianity has has earned such a reputation and it has reflected on my Beloved Savior poorly. Such "evangelism" is the anti-thesis of Christ's true evangelism and is indeed no evangelism at all.

The truth of the matter is we ALL have freedom of will. The principle of life is we ALL choose to live life as we see fit. Anyone and everyone CAN have sex whenever, with whomever they choose. That is fact. It is also fact that there are consequences to choices such as these that may not necessarily yield the best result for your life....consequences are a fact of life...a principle of nature.You reap what you sow. You can be a sexual being and display yourself in a sexual manner...you may contract illness because of it. Your spouse may become offended. You may feel self-loathing. You may be viewed as worthless...the list goes on.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. - 1 Corinthians 10:23

I am content to believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a competent Judge. He doesn't need my help.

Christ's true evangelism can be found in many places in the New Testament, but one story is a popular one...the woman at the well...

Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat thus on the well: [and] it was about the sixth hour.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her,
Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. – John 4:6-24

Christ sets a clear example of sharing His own Gospel. Notice, while He mentions the woman is currently living with a man of whom she was not married to, it was NOT His focus. He doesn’t tell her to cease her lifestyle, or condemn her, as He has every authority to as a Son of God, but rather He preaches spiritual reconciliation by INVITING her to partake in “living water” He so freely offers to all who would receive.  A “water” when it is received, revives (quickens) that soul that was dead due to separation from our One and only Creator God. He invites and explains a spiritual life of reconciliation. While there is MORE edification that comes with this dialogue between Christ and the woman, the difference between His Gospel, and the poor imitation society has been subjected to, is clear.

What is interesting to note, while the disciples said nothing of Christ’s interaction with the woman at the well, they “marvelled that He talked with the woman”, a reflection of the same attitude that is prevalent in Christianity today. (John 4:27)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until Christ returns; His message is not one of condemnation, but of salvation. Salvation that comes by reconciliation. Many are quick to quote John 3:16, the message of John 3:16 is not fully realized when taken out of context of its surrounding content (another serious issue that plagues Christianity)

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.

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. – John 3:16-19

How can any flawed being judge a darkness in a man’s heart? No one can. Believers were not given that responsibility upon Christ’s ascension. How arrogant is one to think he/she is more than the Son of God to condemn others, where Christ does not? I dare say, they have become laws unto themselves and obey no God.

My point is simple, render unto God what is His (judgment) and focus on the task at hand, which starts with your own spiritual salvation. How can anyone edify another if they, themselves, are not edified?

Read wholesome, scriptures within their context, outside of anyone’s thoughts, opinions and theologies. After all, your relationship with Christ and the Father should be based on what YOU believe, not what you were told to believe.

With love, In Christ…

Hannah

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Medicine & Idolatry

I received a tweet from @CoconutHealth yesterday and was riveted by their post: Medicine: Idolatry in the Twenty First Century http://bit.ly/e8cUZO

Very rarely do I refer or endorse other scriptural material, but I am in agreement with the content in this article. I encourage you to read the article in full as it compares America’s love affair for prescription drugs to idolatry. It makes fascinating and thought-provoking points and comparisons.

Here is an excerpt:

“Are things any different today in terms of idolatry? It has taken on a different form, but it is in essence the same thing it has always been – trust in idols rather than God to supply our needs and desires. Modern-day culture has changed dramatically since the theory of Darwinian evolution came on the scene and dominated academics in western culture, so that today the physical world is exalted above all other realities. The spiritual world is either denied or ignored. Hence, creation of physical idols is very uncommon, because current culture ignores the unseen world that could be represented by such physical manifestations.

What has replaced those idols, however, are beliefs in new ones. The most common idol in western culture today, by far, is medicine – the new “magic.”” READ MORE!

The article ends powerfully on this quote from James 5:14-16 “The prayers of a righteous man is powerful and effective”

I would encourage everyone to lean upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding when considering a person’s “righteousness” in this day and age of apostate Christianity.

On another note: Check out www.tropicaltraditons.com for their wonderful coconut oils. See my review of their coconut oil on my other blog.

Coconut Oil Old School Style

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Can You See Him?

The beauty of raising seven children is the variety of characteristics that grace our home. There is no shortage of creativity. I absolutely love the fact that these seven babes display a rainforest of personalities, exotic and unique, come from the same people. What an Artist we have in the Lord!

And like a rainforest, people populate the earth, all with talents, skills and thoughts, some unique, others not so unique, but all glorify the Creative Artist in Him.

Being a member of the WWCG long ago, there was a limit on uniqueness. There was no vision of creativity. Blacks and whites were not allowed to mix. Marriages that didn’t fit certain criteria were to be separated. Women were only allowed to wear specific items of clothing, devoid of makeup and allowed to work only at certain jobs. Having come from this background, there’s no wonder why I’m sensitive to any hint of mainstream conform. Many religious organizations are full of, if not mandatory, then pressured, conformity of group thought and action.

Church attendance is one, but then, there are the small things that seem to emanate from individuals that buy into the limited perception of unique individuality. For example, my hair style, or my choice of televisions shows all the way down to my taste in food. I’ve had tense (yes, tense) conversations with people who claim to love the Lord in all of His essence, about these mundane choices of mine.

Really? My hair style? My preference in food? How can matters as minuscule as these bother and disturb another Christian? Do these things detract from the value of my faith, the one thing that is required of Him?

How can they SEE God if these things are so bothersome to them? How can they glorify Him as a Creator of all things, if they cannot perceive my preference of food as something…unique, different…than themselves? I wonder.

An exotic flower in its majestic surroundings can provoke the imaginations of a Glorious God of wisdom and might, how much more should the most mundane differences between two people reveal His power?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Mouth Speaks

I cannot count the number of times a Christian has used the "Body is a temple" example to justify legalistic measures or judgmental condemnation against behaviors such as smoking, drinking and sex. Yet these same people who proclaim to be holy in body are the first to blurt out "OH My God!" at the most inane and simplistic things. A proclamation that clearly uses the Lord's name quite vainly. How can such a temple speak faithless things?

These same people, zealous for what they believe to be true evangelism preach this example of guilt, will in a second, wring their hands quite worrisome when their next meal is in question. How can such a temple speak faithless things?

Expressions of doubt of one's salvation. Worries about food, clothing and shelter are common sentiments I have heard from Christians who chastise others who do "physical" wrongs, yet they doubt the security that comes with Christ's blood, going against the very fabric of why they call themselves "Christians". How can such a temple speak faithless things?

"There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." - Mark 7:15

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and it is the declarations of the heart that determines the temple that surrounds it... A true temple is revealed by the contents of its heart within...not without...

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." - Luke 6:45

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Armstrongism Still Going Strong

Here's an interesting website called BatteredSheep.com that talks about Armstrongism. Here's a portion of what is talked about on the site:


It is astonishing that many still bow at the feet of the deceased Herbert W. Armstrong as if he were God himself. There are websites by ex-members of the Worldwide Church of God, that have a great deal to say about their experiences within this modern day church organization. Some such websites are: The Painful TruthExit & Support Network, and there are many websites about the Worldwide Church of God on the Internet. There are innumerable personal stories by ex-members of this authoritarian hierarchy and tragically some ex-members are now "atheists", while some over the years have committed suicide. Others have fanned out into many different church organizations, while others no longer attend church, and others are members of various splinter groups.
Herbert W. Armstrong still has many followers, including splinter or offshoot groups who believe they are the "true church of God" on earth. From what I have read there are literally hundreds of splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God, and since it was a church organization that spread out over the world into many countries, there have been many splinter groups formed. Some of the splinter groups have the following names:
  • Philadelphia Church of God
  • Living Church of God
  • Restored Church of God
  • Intercontinental Church of God
  • United Church of God
  • Church of God's Faithful
  • Independent Church of God
  • Church of God, An International Community
  • Christian Biblical Church of God
  • Many other groups
How many of these church organizations still exist, I have no idea, nor do I know what they teach aside from glancing at a few websites to learn that at least some of these groups are still Saturday Sabbath keepers, Old Testament "Holyday" keepers, and keepers of such doctrines as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tithes. Some still have an authoritarian format they adhere to, and all in the name of Jesus Christ as the "true church". 

Click here to read the entire article. It's a sad, true and unfortunate fact.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Creatures of Nature


Redwood Trees
Volcanoes are amazing creatures of nature. They are formed from the dust of the earth to expel the hottest substances known to man. Creatures of geology, they fascinate scientists and laymen alike. The most famous, extinct, volcanic crater is the Diamond Head, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. An unquestionable, landmark it takes a breathtaking landscape and makes it extreme in it's beauty...marry it to the ocean of Honolulu and you have the perfect marriage of land and water.



Undoubtedly, the Redwood Trees are creatures of nature in divinity for infinity. They speak of a majestic God. Confident in His ability to create, unafraid to demonstrate the in the simplest fashion the power of his thoughts.

Old Faithful
Perfectly named, Old Faithful is a nature creature. A cone geyser in Yellowstone National Park of Wyoming that spews thermal water filled with complexity of minerals and dissolved gases. It has fascinated the minds of mathematicians and scientists. A gift to these groups of people from a God who tantalizes the mind with a glimpse of His profound wisdom.

We stand in awe of these creatures, alive with the glory of the Lord. If I should be blessed to witness these creatures in their presence, I should stand in quiet humility in respect of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and remember the limitless strength of his character. If these creatures of nature in perfection, might and glory exist in sight, then His love for all in the gift of His Son, Jesus of Nazareth must exist in faith.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Golden Calf

I'm afraid a dangerous practice that has long been in place has taken a hold and has had a dramatic effect on those who profess/confess Christ Jesus and Him, crucified.

The practice of reading, studying and interpreting the Word of the Holy God out of it's original context has implemented the start of many denominations, false doctrines, teachings, followings and teachers. But those who do subscribe to sound doctrine and who proclaim the Word of God inerrant and consistent, also fall prey to this practice. Add to the fact that we live in a time where there are translations galore. Translations of every sort that promise "easy" Bible readings, catering to the understanding of the student as opposed to the student catering to the understanding of the Word. Proverbs 2:1-5

This practice has been devastating. It has devastated the integrity, the wholesomeness of the Word as we use stand alone scriptures to "rebuke" ,"reprove" and support a theology or position we strongly believe in. As a result, the Word of God has become "relative" to its reader. It has become contradictory to itself. It has become place where all can be wrong and right simultaneously. Is there any wonder why so many Christians today believe that all roads lead to Heaven? (Read for the full report - 3,000 Miles Wide...) Lastly and by far the worst result, when we separate pieces from the whole, we get a belief out of context of the Gospel, which is the ENTIRE point of the Holy Word and its manifestation, the Messiah, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth...His power and ability to save so those who DO believe (with Faith) will live together, forever with Him in a perfect world. So when we, as Believers/Christians get together to dialogue about the Word, we a choose horse of our preference and ride the not so merry-go-round of confusion where edification cannot be accomplished. I speak from very personal experience. As a former WWCG (World Wide Church of God)member, I picked and chose over the Word to my detriment...that is... until I was saved by the renewing of my mind by the POWER of the Cross.

Having said that, we need to ponder the thing that started it all, sin. It is one thing we wrestle with still, even after a confession of Belief in the Son of God, I fear to the detriment of many. We must understand WHAT sin truly is. When we speak of sins, we must recognize how we are talking about sin, be it in the plural or singular sense. If, grammatically speaking, sin is the ROOT word of sins, then there must be a single definition of sin. To understand exactly WHAT implemented the need for the salvation of mankind, that is to say salvation from hell, an eternal separation from God, we need to revisit the Garden of Eden.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin..."

"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. " -- Genesis 2:15-17
In the Garden, God gave one decree to Adam, obey or die. It is just that simple. As a matter of fact the Gospel is VERY simple. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented and was a departure or a leaving from God, in thought and knowledge. God stated a truth, don't eat from that tree or you will die. Doing it, that is living, on our own, by our own terms IS a death sentence in and of itself. When man became "knowledgeable" of good and evil, we were deceived by this knowledge into thinking that we CAN live apart from God and on our own. This deception continues to blind us as we grow more "intelligent" by the decade.
So then what is the singular form of sin? Quite simply, it is unbelief, a departure from God.
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. " -- Hebrews 3:12-13
A departure, which is unbelief, displays (manifests) itself in many ways, thereby becoming manifestations of sin. When one lives apart from God, they automatically are sinful, because they are lone souls, submitting to no one, they are a law unto themselves. Romans 2:14 God, not willing any should perish, 2 Peter 3:9 , established a plan to satisfy the desire of His heart, to be reconciled unto man. It is vital to understand that the consequences of sin (death) are two-fold. The penalty was/is a physical and spiritual death.

"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound..."

Well what about the ten commandments? You may ask, as I have been asked. "The ten commandments tells us what sins are." Yes, the ten commandments tells us what sins are and what we should and should not do. However, the whole point of the implementation of the law was this:
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds (practicing) of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." -- Romans 3:19-20
The law makes us knowledgeable of sin, singular, and EVERY one of the ten commandments reveals and convicts us of the sin behind that specific sin...a HEART of departure from the Holy God. The law exposes one part of the two-fold consequence of sin. It exposes the physical... no matter what we DO, no matter how hard we TRY to keep all the laws we cannot make ourselves "good" outside of God, therefore NO FLESH is justified in His sight.
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh..." -- Romans 8:3

"...But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"

I simply cannot stress the importance of reading/interpreting scripture within its context. Moreover, in the context of the ENTIRE Word. God is a consistent God and does not contradict Himself. ALL roads in the Word lead to Jesus, the Salvation and reconciliation of man. If departure from the living God is sin and unrighteousness, then returning unto Him is life from the dead! If unbelief is sin, then faith is the clothing of righteousness! What Christ does is expose the TRUTH of sin, and the deceitfulness of sin. Sin ordinates from the heart of mankind, and only by the TRUTH of our heart can we confess an acceptable FAITH of God. Many of us desire the visible salvation, many of us persist and insist that works (keeping of the law and other actionable works) can save us. I cannot tell you how many times people have praised my interpretation of church (spiritual) yet insist I need something tangible to be saved. Christ is our only intangible source of salvation. He is victorious over ALL, but more specifically, the 2nd part of the two-fold consequence of sin, spiritual death, that is...eternal separation. And THIS is how HE does it...
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness UNTO sin: but yield yourselves UNTO GOD, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." -- Romans 6:2-14

HENCE, THE GOLDEN CALF

Having defined sin as a departure and the manifestation of departing, sins, we can understand with more accuracy exactly what Faith means and how vital it is to the soul of a Believer. However, many have built a "golden calf" of the manifestations of sin, whereby we continue to beat our chests in agony and pain. We wrestle with the physical, visual sins in our lives not fully understanding and/or accepting the POWER of blood of Christ Jesus. Under estimating the TRANSFORMING POWER of the Holy Spirit. At the calf we stand in our own power trying, wrestling, practicing the ten commandments in the flesh, and condemning others for not doing the same.


People, don't you understand that when you reconcile unto the Holy, living God, through Jesus Christ, the Son, that His Laws are written on your heart (Holy Spirit) just as He promises Israel?
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." -- Jeremiah 31:33-34
We as adopted sons and daughters of Faith, have the power of the Holy Spirit, by which, daily we are renewed, as we continue to walk in Spirit, by Faith.


While we live in these natural bodies prone to the lusts of departure in knowledge, thought and therefore action, our fight is NOT with sin, it is with protecting our Belief, Faith and Trust in the Messiah for ALL things, in an unbelieving society. Sin has been overcome by Christ, but the Devil, the serpent of old, is clever. Deceiving those who profess themselves Believers into worshiping at the calf of sins. Planting seedlings of belief that Christ didn't do it all, that we must by our own power, cleanse the sins in our lives. We forget, or do not believe, that He will FINISH the work that He started in us. It our job, yes, our race and burden to remain faithful in a society that worships at the alter of the intelligence of man.


On every side I am buffeted by unbelief, especially by those who claim to be Christians. "Go to church" they proclaim to me. "You're on a path to shipwreck" they declare. All the while, they speak in terms of "luck" and "coincidences". They wring their hands and worry all the while, " Am I truly saved?", "How will I eat?", "How will I survive?" The lack of faith I have witnessed among Christians is astounding. Even more so, under the guise of "bible studies" and "church" these types of proclamations are accepted, pacified as O.K., yet these same people, who speak from the abundance of their hearts, verbally slay others and unbelievers for "immoral" sins. They are completely blind to their own utterings of doubt, which is the very essence of sin!
"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." -- Matthew 12:33-34

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good...

The manifestations of sin are a reality, a natural part of our mortal bodies. We are inclined towards departure from God in many ways, therefore being Faithful is at odds with the flesh and is something we need to work at daily, prayerfully. Have Faith! Believe that the Lord Jesus sufficiently overcame sin!
Watch the way you speak. Watch the way you think. Watch the beliefs you adopt from those around you and analyze it in the light of the Gospel. And make your fight to walk in the Spirit a daily thing!
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Ephesians 5:16-23

And Finally...

The Word (of God) isn't saying anything different today than it did to Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and Paul. God always has and always will look upon the heart of a soul for the truth of whether it desires to dwell with Him or apart. The Creator of man knows very well that its not about seeing Him or witnessing miracles on His behalf. Its not even about not seeing Him. Its about whether you LOVE Him with all your heart. The theme of the Word since the beginning was FAITH, and the thread can be found throughout the entire Word. Put together, it creates a Majestic quilt, by which we are covered and can rest peacefully with it around us.

Author's Note: All formatting in scripture and in parentheses are mine :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing blessings & accomplishments your way!