Saturday, November 20, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. EST, Scholastic is offering a free 30-minute online field trip to meet a Pilgrim and a Wampanoag straight from Plimoth Plantation.
There are also a number of free interactive teaching tools, printables and more for Thanksgiving offered on the Scholastic website.
Thanks, A High and Noble Calling!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Progressive Phonics offers free downloadable PDF ebooks and free printable activity sheets.
Sign up for a free sample of U by Kotex from TeenFreeway.
Scripture Memory Verses Printable Activities: Stop by Children’s Chapel to find a wealth of Scripture Memory Verse worksheets and activities. Since the activities vary from simple coloring pages to more complex worksheets, they can be used for a variety of ages and grades.
Download a free copy of Mr. Food Fall Favorites ecookbook.
Download free customizable Preschool Planning Sheets from Homeschool Creations.
Print a coupon for a free Orange ‘n Creme Swirl Frutista Freeze from Taco Bell.
You can download a free Happy Scribe Copybook Sampler. Plus, download over 500 handwriting sheets from HappyScribe for free.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I don't know about you, but here at my house, the dishwasher runs at least once a day...some days twice! It often seems like we are going through dishwashing detergent like water!
Here is a recipe to make your own:
~1 Cup Baking Soda (or washing soda....find in the laundry detergent isle. Some ladies find the Washing soda works better....Baking soda has worked great for us!)
~1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
~1/2 Cup Citric Acid
(I use "Fresh Fruit" produce protector...which is basically citric acid. You can find it in the canning isle...or use 15 packets of unsweetened Lemon flavored Kool Aid...which has lots of citric acid! Guess that is why most detergents are lemon scented, the citric acid keeps the dishes from building up a cloudy residue)
*Put all ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid, and shake up!
*Use about 1 TB per load
*****DON'T SKIP THIS STEP- Pour some white vinegar into the "rinse aid" compartment of your dishwasher. This will help to keep your dishes...especially plastic...from having a "cloudy" look!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I can't wait to use it with the kids as part of their schooling!
And on the website, there are all sorts of activities for your children to do alongside the book.....like pin the beard on John Calvin....and a Martin Luther Maze!
Church History ABCs
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Hooked on Phonics Master Reader Course is originally $199.95, but it’s on clearance for $49.95 right now. Plus, when you use coupon code SLICK55 you’ll get an additional 55% off the clearance price making it less than $23 plus shipping!
You can use the coupon code SLICK55 to get 55% off almost anything else on their site as well.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I've been wanting to do this for awhile....so maybe if I post it here and promise that I WILL do this soon....then I will be motivated to do it :)
How to make a button shirt into a toddler's dress!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Download free Homeschooling Planner Pages here. The site gives you a variety of options and there are enough different pages to put together a very comprehensive complete curriculum planner — for free (minus the printing costs!).
Sunday, September 5, 2010
First, some fear division. When peole are free to express strong differences of opinion, especially on theological issues, it threatens unity, they say. Consequently, the minute a disagreement surfaces, someone jumps in to shut down dissent in order to keep the peace. This is unfortunate.
True enough, Christians sometimes get distracted b useless disputes. Paul warns against wrangling about words, and quarreling about foolish speculations (2 Timothy 2:14, 23). But he also commands us to be diligent workmen, handling the word of truth accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). And, because some disputes are vitally important, Paul solemnly charges us to reprove, rebuke, and exhort when necessary (2 TImothy 4:1-2). This cannot be done without some confrontation, but disagreement need not threaten genuine unity.
To be of one mind biblically doesn't mean that all have to share the same opinion. It means a warm fellowship based on communion with Christ in the midst of differences. It does not mean abandoning all attempts at refining our knowledge by enforcing an artificial unanimity. True maturity means learning how to disagree in an aggressive fashion, yet still maintaining a peaceful harmony in the church.
There's a second reason why Christians resist arguments. Some believers unfortunately take any opposition as hostility, especially if their own view is being challenged. Ins some circles it's virtually impossible to take exception to a cherished view or a respected teacher without being labeled malicious.
This is a dangerous attitude for the church because the minute one is labeled mean-spirited simply for raising an opposing view, debate is silences. If we disqualify legitimate discussion, we compromise our ability to know the truth.
It is important not to deal with dissent in this way. Instead, we ought to learn how to argue in a principled way--fairly, reasonably, and graciously. We need to cultivate the ability to disagree with civility and not take opposition personally. We must also have the grace to allow our own views to be challenged with evidence, reasoning, and Scripture. Those who refuse to dispute have a poor chance of growing in their understanding of truth.
There is no reason to threaten our unity by frivolous debate. However, many debates are worthy of our best efforts. Paul told Timothy, "Retain the standard of sound words." and "Guard...the treasure which has been entrusted to you" (2 Timothy 1:13-14). He told Titus to choose elders who could exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict, false teachers, he said, who must be silenced (Titus 1:9,11). This kind of protection of trugh is not a passive enterprise. It's active and energetic.
Arguments are good, and dispute is healthy. They clarify the truth and protect us from error and religious despotism. When the church discourages principled debates and a free flow of ideas, the result is shallow Christianity and a false sense of unity. No one gets any practice learning how to field contrary views in a gracious and productive way. The oneness they share is contrived, not genuine. Worse, they lose the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. Simply put, when arguments are few, error abounds.
We live in a world full of males who have prolonged their adolescence.
They are neither boys nor men. They live suspended between childhood and adulthood, between growing up and being a grown-up.
Let’s call this kind of male Ban, a hybrid of both man and boy. This kind of male is everywhere, including the church and even vocational ministry.
Neither Boys Nor Men
Ban is a frightening reality in the church, but he is the best thing that ever happened to the video game and porn industries.
* Half of American males between the ages of 18 to 34 play video games every day—for almost 3 hours.
* The average video game buyer is 35 years old.
* Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, 28,258 Internet users view pornography, and 372 Internet users type adult search terms into search engines.
* To no one’s surprise, men make up nearly 75% of Internet pornography traffic.
Our society is overrun with males who aren’t men. Assuming the responsibilities of husband and father makes a boy into a man, but Ban doesn’t like responsibility so he extends his adolescence and sets his focus squarely and supremely on himself.
Raising Up Real Men
These “man-wannabes” must learn how to progress toward manhood and become what David Gilmore calls “real men.” Real men “give more than they take... are generous, even to the point of sacrifice.” Being a man is about being tough and tender.
I have a son, Drew, and because of my keen awareness of and pastoral interaction with Bans, I know that my work is cut out for me when it comes to raising a godly man. I recently wrote a little prayer that reflects the kind of men we need. Drew and I pray this prayer together almost every night, for him and for me.
“God, make me a man with thick skin and a soft heart. Make me a man who is tough and tender. Make me tough so I can handle life. Make me tender so I can love people. God, make me a man.”
The Man, the Message, the Mission
The lack of godly men in our world is now a cultural crisis. We are not going to solve the problem by ignoring Ban and hoping that he eventually grows up. We are not going to solve the problem by encouraging women to take up the slack.
We might solve the problem by modeling biblical manhood and calling adult boys to forsake their youthful lusts and become the men that God is calling them to be.
We have Bans in our city, our neighborhoods, our churches, and our families. Ban needs godly men and women to show him that there is more to life than what he is currently experiencing. Ban needs to be more than just a male. He needs to be becoming God’s man who is being transformed by God’s gospel message and is wholeheartedly pursuing God’s mission.
Al Mohler recently spoke at the Connecting Church and Home Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. In his message, “Christian Parenting is Combat,” he gives 4 things Christian leaders must do to connect the church and home.#1 The church must present faithful vision of the family, marriage, and parenting – and equip believers to transfer that vision to the next generation.
#2 The church must overcome the zone of privacy and autonomy that keeps individuals from being accountable to the church community. We need to get into each others face. Our parenting and marriage are not properly ours – but belong to Christ and are the affairs of the whole church. Someone needs to get involved when people struggle in these areas.
#3 The church has got to be a place where brokenness is overcome by the Gospel. We slander the good news when we act like the only people who can glorify God are those who have never experienced brokenness.
#4 The church has to got to be the place where families are rescued and armed for the combat to which we are called. Discipleship is a battle. We come to church because we can’t afford not to come. We need to get together because we need to be equipped by the preaching of the Word of God and the fellowship of the Saints.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.
The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.
If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.
Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, of course, is that Mormon at the center of all this. Beck isn’t the problem. He’s an entrepreneur, he’s brilliant, and, hats off to him, he knows his market. Latter-day Saints have every right to speak, with full religious liberty, in the public square. I’m quite willing to work with Mormons on various issues, as citizens working for the common good. What concerns me here is not what this says about Beck or the “Tea Party” or any other entertainment or political figure. What concerns me is about what this says about the Christian churches in the United States.
to finish the article click here
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Oh how I love my Paysie-girl!
You are sooo much fun and love to imitate your mommy. The very moment I sit down, you are on my lap, giving me hugs and kisses. You always try to be so helpful, and you love to take wipe upon wipe to clean the floor, cupboards and walls.
Your brothers continue to dote on you...and even when you take something away from them, you are still referred to as a 'sweet girl'.
When I fold laundry, you are right there, naming who belongs to each piece of clothing that I continue to fold.
You like to call your baby brother YOUR baby...and love to hold and kiss him.
You have a love for trying on shoes...whether they are yours or not!
And when it comes to holding your own with your big brothers, you definitely can!! The squeals of escape, as you run away, tightly grasping something that doesn't belong to you, is endearing in its own special way!
Your cheeks and your curls bounce when you walk.
My girl, you are a joy to be the mommy of....even when you make a smelly mess at naptime...I don't think I need to be any more specific, we both know what I'm talking about!!
Your are mommy's little girl...and I am so happy to have a little girl to pass on the art of homemaking to. I can already see your interest in many girlie things and can't wait to teach you what it means to be a Biblical woman!
You are two years old and a joy to have as a daughter. I remember when you were born and can hardly believe how grown up you are.
I love you so much my sweetheart!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I write this with tears welling up in my eyes.
You see, I don't think you have understood the impact of all that has happened to you in the past year.
I know you have heard the story over and over again...that you had a brain tumor that was removed and now you are well. But, it is so much more than that.
When I think back to Halloween night and remember the devastation I felt upon hearing that my little boy was not well.....well, I don't even have the words to describe it.
Upon hearing the news...I couldn't wait to get to you...to hold you and hug you and tell you that it was all going to be okay.
That week before surgery....speaking to your doctor as he showed us pictures of what had to be removed....and as I sat there crying, knowing that I had no choice but to completely trust God with your life...that He would lead the hands of the doctors who would work on you...knowing that if you didn't have the surgery, you wouldn't be here today...and that there was a chance that even with the surgery, you may not have made it.
I remember laying by your bed, holding your hand, singing to you while you slept. I would sing Great is The Faithfulness and The Deep Deep Love of Jesus...and oh how my heart would cry out to God!
The hardest thing I have ever had to do was let you go.
That morning of your surgery, I didn't know if I would ever get MY Gideon back. Daddy and I didn't want to go to sleep that night...so we stayed up with you, playing and hugging and laughing...hoping and praying that this wouldn't be the last time we heard your beautiful laugh or saw your lovely smile.
And here we are...nine months later...and you are celebrating your birthday!
You have worked so hard. It wasn't easy and yet you rarely, if ever, complained. God gave you such perseverance to work through the pain and fatigue...
and you learned how to feed yourself...how to stand and walk again...and you are even golfing! You are running and jumping...laughing and tackling...and we are so proud of you!! When I remember where you were and see where you are now, I can't help but praise God for the way He has healed you.
God has used you to touch so many lives. We don't know what the future holds for you, my dear boy, but our prayer is that God continues to be glorified through you.
Our family will never be the same...and I pray that God continues to draw you to Himself.
Gideon, we love you more than you will ever know!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
I struggled with this decision, since I labor without pain medication and want my births to be as natural as possible. I told my doctor that if my body was showing signs of labor readiness, then I would do it.
During my exam, I was told that I was a favorable 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. Considering what happens when I am in labor and reach 5cm...as well as the nervousness of John not wanting to deliver a baby at home...I opted to have my membranes stripped and then to come in Wednesday morning for an induction.
We arrived at the hospital at 6am. I signed all the necessary paperwork and waited for my doctor to come and in write the order for the pitocin. I met with the anesthesiologist who gave me the run down on pain medications...to which I firmly declined. I had already birthed 4 times with no pain medication, and knew that this birth wouldn't be any different.
They began my iv around 8am, which started some regular, though mild, contractions. I was able to continue updating Facebook on my progress, as well as laugh, smile and talk....which for me, doesn't happen too much once I am in deep labor.
Dr Selman stuck his head in the room around 9am and asked if he was making me uncomfortable yet. They told me they were a little concerned because Judson's heart rate was dropping after each contraction. It was quickly recovering and was only going down about 20-30 beats per minute, but since it was consistently happening, we decided to stop the pitocin and break my water.
Dr Selman checked me and told me I had progressed to 4cm, and then he proceeded to break my water. The fluid was clear, and having my water broken was enough to kick my body into labor without the need of pitocin. They had me switch from my back to my side, which seemed to help his heart rate.
I continued contracting every few minutes, but the contractions were still mild...at least by my standards. I was still able to converse and smile through the contractions without much effort.
By 10:30am, the contractions started picking up in intensity, yet I was continuing to have a couple minutes inbetween them, which for me, is not typical. I think it was because Judson's head was still a bit high, so I didn't have the added pressure of that on my cervix for dilation.
I began to feel the baby move lower and called for my nurse. She ran in to check me and said that I was at 6cm and the baby had moved a little lower. At this point, I had to breath and concentrate during each contraction, but there was still enough time inbetween them for me to have a bit of a breather...which was nice for a change!
I continued to progress about a centimeter every 15 minutes...and it got to the point that I was calling for the nurse enough that she decided to just stay by my side.
Dr Selman continued to check in on me and see how I was doing. He stayed close, knowing it wouldn't be long before he was needed.
At 11:15, my contractions began peaking with no breaks. Looking at the monitor was like watching waves, they never let up....and continued to piggy back on top of one another. I remember hearing the nurse speak to John, amazed at my pain tolerance. I calmly continued to moan through each contraction...knowing that when I reach this point, the end is near.
By noon, I began to feel immense pressure. My nurse checked me and said I had a slight lip to my cervix left. She called the dr in and he suited up for delivery. After a couple more intense contractions, I was complete and told everyone that I was pushing.
The bed was in the process of being lowered, and Judon began to crown. Within one push, his head was out...and another half push later, he was born!! The time was 12:11pm.
He came out screaming and received an apgar score of 9. He measured in at 20.5 inches and weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces.
The moment he was out, I felt great. Again, I needed no stitches and had virtually zero recovery. They placed him immediately on my chest so I could hold my guy as soon as possible!
Once he was born, my dr was struggling at getting the placenta delivered. He began to look worried, and I knew something wasn't right. His exact words were: 'you aren't going to like me very much in a minute'.
He was going to manually extract my placenta.
I called John to my side...and there are no words to describe the pain of what happened next. Thankfully, what seemed to go for several minutes, was over quickly.
Judson was then given to me, and I was able to nurse him for the first time. He had some extra fluid in his stomach those first few days that made him spit up and not want to nurse very much cause it upset his stomach, but that worked its way out of his system, and we aren't having any issues now.
About four days after he was born, I ended up with a fever and chills due to a uterine infection. I was admitted to the hospital to be placed on antibiotics for 24 hours. Since then, I feel good, but am forcing myself to take it easy!
When Judson met his brothers and sister, it was love at first sight! They want to hold him all the time and are convinced that they have the cutest little baby brother in the whole world!
He is a sweet little guy who loves to just look around at everything. He's had great head control from birth and looks like he is always deep in thought.
I am amazed at how God has continued to bless my family over the past year!!
Friday, June 25, 2010
I am pleased to announce the birth of our sixth child...Judson Fuller!
We are both doing extremely well and were able to come home 24 hours after he was born :)
He weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long. He has brown hair and blue eyes and fits perfectly into our family....not that there was any doubt!
I'll be sure to post his birth story soon!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Here I sit, in Maine, enjoying the company of my family...and contemplate the last couple of months.
You see, we lost our home. Amidst a husband losing his job....amidst a child with a brain tumor...amidst a pregnancy that has gone smoothly in spite of the stress that has been looming the entire time...amidst a health scare with Paysie and little unborn Judson...God decided that this just wasn't enough.
My goal has been that, instead of asking why and getting angry at God...that I ask Him what will YOU have me learn? What is YOUR purpose in allowing this heartache in my life? With YOUR help...what can I do to further YOUR kingdom through my situation?
My faith has never wavered, and for that, I am eternally grateful. It had nothing to do with me and ALL to do with HIM!
There has been many tears...many unanswered questions...but never any doubts that God would and is providing for my family.
And it has been hard. Very hard...to pack up a home, when you don't know where God is leading you. When you aren't sure where you will end up. Instead, we had to rely completely on God that because HE KNEW exactly where we would live...that had to be enough for us...and it was.
I've learned so much from my children over the past couple of months. They ask no questions...but instead, portray complete dependence that mommy and daddy are doing what they have to do and never once have they questioned their well-being, safety or future.
My prayer has been to have that same unquestioning attitude when it comes to God. I don't know why things happen the way they do. Even now, I have friends that are hurting and scared of the unknown...and this is my prayer for them as well.
Will we ever know the future the way God does? No. But knowing that our Mighty Creator knows the outcome of even our smallest problem is enough...and not only does He know the outcome...He has complete and sovereign control over it! And this is MORE than enough!
Again I sing....GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS!! I sang it at my little boy's bedside at his impending surgery...I sang it as I sat by him in recovery....I sang it when I waited to hear the results of my little girl's echocardiogram...I sang it when I found out about possible genetic issues with Judson...I sang it when I discovered that our house was no longer our own...and I sing it now....Knowing that through it all HE has been FAITHFUL and will continue to hold me and my family in His hands.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The kids are extremely excited and are much more involved (well, as much as a group of young boys can be!) than before. They love putting their hands on my belly, feeling their newest brother roll and kick around.
I was just reading Paysie's birth story, and I teared up....which seems to happen much easier this time around than ever before. There have been many more ups and downs this pregnancy as well....I wonder if that has anything to do with it...ya think?
To give a brief update...Gideon is doing extremely well! God has been so gracious to us in the healing of my boy. He is running and jumping and improving so much on a daily basis.
This pregnancy has been a journey...a journey of faith on so many levels. We have dealt with the hospitalization of our 6 year old. We have dealt with a possible heart abnormality of our little girl (which came out normal, praise God!). We have had some non-invasive tests come out abnormal for Judson that turned out to be nothing to worry about. We have dealt with many financial issues that include a move away from a house that we have called home for the past 3 years.
And through it all...we have not been alone. God has been with us every step of the way...renewing His mercies each and every morning. He has given us the strength to go on and the faith to sustain us.
When this pregnancy began, I had no idea what the next nine months would hold. And here I am, with all that has happened....I could not be closer to my Creator. I have seen lives affected by what my family has gone through...in a good way! I have seen God draw His people closer to Himself amidst many struggles. I have seen my comfort and normalcy ripped away and replaced with the love and comfort that only God can provide....and that I have been given the gift of contentment in all that has happened...good and bad.
And I sit here amazed and forever grateful at the goodness of God!
May God receive the glory!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I am poor, help me to glorify you by contentment;
I am sick, help me to give you honor by patience;
I have talents, help me to extol you by spending them for you;
I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve you;
I have a heart to feel, Lord,
let that heart feel no love but yours,
and glow with no flame but affection for you;
I have a head to think,
Lord, help me to think of you and for you;
You have put me in this world for something, Lord,
show me what that is,
and help me to work out my life-purpose:
I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites,
which were all her living,
so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into your treasury;
I am all yours;
take me, and enable me to glorify you now,
in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon
As he sat down, it was evident, even to the most unobservant eye, that most of the listeners were disappointed. After the exercises were over, several persons inquired of me, frankly, why Dr Judson had not talked of something else, why he had not told a story...On the way home, I mentioned the subject to him.
"Why, what did they want?" he inquired; "I presented the most interesting subject in the world, to the best of my ability."
"But they wanted something different-- A story."... See More
"Well, I am sure I gave them a story--the most thrilling one that can be conceived of."
"But they had heard it before. They wanted something new of a man that had just come from the antipodes."
"Then I am glad they have it to say, that a man coming from the antipodes had nothing better to tell than the wondrous story of Jesus' Dying love."
(From the biography of Adoniram Judson: To the Golden Shore)
Let us never yearn to hear the stories of mere men...instead, let us never tire of hearing the Gospel!!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
In discussing problems with Christian counselees, we often find ourselves deeply involved in matters concerning the providence of God. People want to know “Why?” But it isn’t always possible to respond to that question in any specific way. If it is, fine; but that is the exception, not the rule.
So what do we say? Well, of course many different things—responses that fit each individual situation—but there are some principles (abstract as they may be) that people usually find helpful.
In referring to Paul’s imprisonment at Rome (Philippians 1) we show how God used it to convert soldiers as well as encourage others to go preach. As we open up the passage at some length, the following encouraging principles emerge:
- God is in your problem
- God is up to something in your problem
- God is up to something good
Whether or you are able to see all or even only part of what it is that He’s up to, you can rely on the fact because of Romans 8:28,29.
What is providence? It is the working out of God’s plan by God Himself. Unlike Deism, Christianity teaches that God plans His work,then works His plan. Deists believe that having created the world, He no longer is concerned with it. He wound up the clock, now it can run on its own. Rather, we believe He made and maintains the world. And that He personally does things in it—in particular, in people’s lives.
If you’re in some trouble today, reread those three facts, believer, and you should be encouraged by them—even if ‘right now you can’t see how God is at work in your problem. Some day—now or in eternity—you may understand fully. But it’s your task at the moment—to believe, and look forward to whatever outcome God may bring from it. In the long run, you may even be privileged to discover (as Paul did) what God was up to—and that you will see that it truly is good!
Monday, March 15, 2010
“Be careful how you treat God, my friends. You may say to yourself, ‘I can sin against God and then, of course, I can repent and go back and find God whenever I want him.’ You try it. And you will sometimes find that not only can you not find God but that you do not even want to. You will be aware of a terrible hardness in your heart. And you can do nothing about it. And then you suddenly realize that it is God punishing you in order to reveal your sinfulness and your vileness to you. And there is only one thing to do. You turn back to him and you say, ‘O God, do not go on dealing with me judicially, though I deserve it. Soften my heart. Melt me. I cannot do it myself.’ You cast yourself utterly upon his mercy and upon his compassion.”- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Westchester, 1987), page 300.
Friday, March 12, 2010
JC Ryle, in writing about what we may learn from Paul at Antioch, pointed out this lesson: "To keep Gospel truth in the Church is of even greater importance than to keep peace". Scripture reveals how Paul hated false doctrine enough to even confront Peter over it. And yet, no man may have known better the value of peace and unity than the Apostle Paul. JC Ryle continues . . .
Paul was the Apostle who wrote to the Corinthians about love. He was the Apostle who said, "Live in harmony with one another; live in peace with each other; the Lord's servant must not quarrel; There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism." He was the Apostle who said, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (Romans 12:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; Philemon 3:16; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 9:22). Yet see how he acts [ in Galations 2 ]! He withstands Peter to the face. He publicly rebukes him. He runs the risk of all the consequences that might follow. He takes the chance of everything that might be said by the enemies of the Church at Antioch. Above all, he writes it down for a perpetual memorial, that it never might be forgotten, that, wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world, this public rebuke of an erring Apostle might be known and read of all men.
Now, why did he do this? Because he dreaded false doctrine;
because he knew that a little leaven leavens the whole lump, because he would teach us that we ought to contend for the truth jealously, and to fear the loss of truth more than the loss of peace. Paul's example is one we shall do well to remember in the present day. Many people will put up with anything in religion, if they may only have a quiet life.
They have a morbid dread of what they call "controversy".
They are filled with a morbid fear of what they style, in a vague way,
"party spirit," though they never define clearly what party spirit is. They are possessed with a morbid desire to keep the peace, and make all things smooth and pleasant, even though it be at the expense of truth. So long as they have outward calm, smoothness, stillness, and order, they seem content to give up everything else. I believe they would have thought with Ahab that Elijah was a troubler of Israel, and would have helped the princes of Judah when they put Jeremiah in prison, to stop his mouth. I have no doubt that many of these men of whom I speak, would have thought that Paul at Antioch was a very imprudent man, and that he went too far!
I believe this is all wrong. We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated; the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles; to do good to the souls of men.
I believe that to maintain this pure truth in the Church men should be ready to make any sacrifice, to hazard peace, to risk dissension, and run the chance of division. They should no more tolerate false doctrine than they would tolerate sin. They should withstand any adding to or taking away from the simple message of the Gospel of Christ.
For the truth's sake, our Lord Jesus Christ denounced the Pharisees, though they sat in Moses' seat, and were the appointed and authorized teachers of men. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites," He says, eight times over, in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew. And who shall dare to breathe a suspicion that our Lord was wrong?
For the truth's sake, Paul withstood and blamed Peter, though a brother. Where was the use of unity when pure doctrine was gone? And who shall dare to say he was wrong?
For the truth's sake, Athanasius stood out against the world to maintain the pure doctrine about the divinity of Christ, and waged a controversy with the great majority of the professing Church. And who shall dare to say he was wrong?
For the truth's sake, Luther broke the unity of the Church in which he was born, denounced the Pope and all his ways, and laid the foundation of a new teaching. And who shall dare to say that Luther was wrong?
For the truth's sake, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, the English Reformers, counseled Henry VIII and Edward VI to separate from Rome, and to risk the consequences of division. And who shall dare to say that they were wrong?
For the truth's sake, Whitefield and Wesley,  years ago, denounced the mere barren moral preaching of the clergy of their day, and went out into the highways and byways to save souls, knowing well that they would be cast out from the Church's communion. And who shall dare to say that they were wrong?
Yes! peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell.
Let us never be ensnared by those who speak kindly of it. Let us remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34) Let us remember the praise He gives to one of the Churches in Revelation, "I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false" (Revelation 2:2). Let us remember the blame He casts on another, "You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess" (Revelation 2:20). Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace. Let us rather be like the Jews, who, if they found any manuscript copy of the Old Testament Scriptures incorrect in a single letter, burned the whole copy, rather than run the risk of losing one jot or tittle of the Word of God. Let us be content with nothing short of the whole Gospel of Christ.
In what way are we to make practical use of the general principles which I have just laid down? I will give my readers one simple piece of advice. I believe it is advice which deserves serious consideration.
I warn then every one who loves his soul, to be very selective as to the preaching he regularly hears, and the place of worship he regularly attends. He who deliberately settles down under any ministry which is positively unsound is a very unwise man.
I will never hesitate to speak my mind on this point. I know well that many think it a shocking thing for a man to forsake his local church. I cannot see with the eyes of such people. I draw a wide distinction between teaching which is defective and teaching which is thoroughly false; between teaching which errs on the negative side and teaching which is positively unscriptural.
But I do believe, if false doctrine is unmistakably preached in a local church, a Christian who loves his soul is quite right in not going to that local church. To hear unscriptural teaching fifty-two Sundays in every year is a serious thing. It is a continual dropping of slow poison into the mind. I think it almost impossible for a man willfully to submit himself to it, and not be harmed.
I see in the New Testament we are plainly told to "Test everything" and "Hold on to the good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). I see in the Book of Proverbs that we are commanded to "Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge" (Proverbs 19:27). If these words do not justify a man in ceasing to worship at a church, if positively false doctrine is preached in it, I do not know what words can.
--Does any one mean to tell us that to attend your local denominational church is absolutely needful to a person's salvation? If there is such a one, let him speak out, and give us his name.
--Does any one mean to tell us that going to the denominational church will save any man's soul, if he dies unconverted and ignorant of Christ? If there is such a one, let him speak out, and give us his name.
--Does any one mean to tell us that going to the denominational church will teach a man anything about Christ, or conversion, or faith, or repentance, if these subjects are hardly ever named in the denomination church, and never properly explained? If there is such a one, let him speak out, and give us his name.
--Does any one mean to say that a man who repents, believes in Christ, is converted and holy, will lose his soul, because he has forsaken his denomination and learned his religion elsewhere? If there is such a one, let him speak out, and give us his name.
For my part I abhor such monstrous and extravagant ideas. I do not see a speck of foundation for them in the Word of God. I trust that the number of those who deliberately hold them is exceedingly small.
There are many churches where the religious teaching is little better than Roman Catholicism. Ought the congregation of such churches to sit still, be content, and take it quietly? They ought not. And why? Because, like Paul, they ought to prefer truth to peace.
There are many churches where the religious teaching is little better than morality. The distinctive doctrines of Christianity are never clearly proclaimed. Plato, or Seneca, or Confucius, could have taught almost as much. Ought the congregation in such churches to sit still, be content, and take it quietly? They ought not. And why? Because, like Paul, they ought to prefer truth to peace.
--I am using strong language in dealing with this part of my subject, I know.
--I am trenching on delicate ground: I know it.
--I am handling matters which are generally let alone,
and passed over in silence: I know it.
I say what I say from a sense of duty to the Church of which I am a minister. I believe the state of the times, and the position of the congregation require plain speaking. Souls are perishing, in many churches, in ignorance. Honest members of the church are disgusted and perplexed. This is no time for smooth words. I am not ignorant of those magic expressions, "order, division, schism, unity, controversy," and the like. I know the cramping, silencing influence which they seem to exercise on some minds. I too have considered those expressions calmly and deliberately, and on each of them I am prepared to speak my mind.
(a) The denominational church is an admirable thing in theory. Let it only be well administered, and worked by truly spiritual ministers, and it is calculated to confer the greatest blessings on the nation. But it is useless to expect attachment to the denomination, when the minister of the denominational church is ignorant of the Gospel or a lover of the world. In such a case we must never be surprised if men forsake their denomination, and seek truth wherever truth is to be found. If the denominational minister does not preach the Gospel and live the Gospel, the conditions on which he claims the attention of his congregation are virtually violated, and his claim to be heard is at an end. It is absurd to expect the head of a family to endanger the souls of his children, as well as his own, for the sake of "the denomination." There is no mention of denominations in the Bible, and we have no right to require men to live and die in ignorance, in order that they may be able to say at last, "I always attended my local denominational church."
(b) Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity. They give occasion to the enemies of all godliness to blaspheme. But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching which is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin. It is easy to make sneering remarks about "itching ears," and "love of excitement;" but it is not so easy to convince a plain reader of the Bible that it is his duty to hear false doctrine every Sunday, when by a little exertion he can hear truth.
(c) Unity, quiet, and order among professing Christians are mighty blessings. They give strength, beauty, and efficiency to the cause of Christ. But even gold may be bought too dear. Unity which is obtained by the sacrifice of truth is worth nothing. It is not the unity which pleases God. The Church of Rome boasts loudly of a unity which does not deserve the name. It is unity which is obtained by taking away the Bible from the people, by gagging private judgment, by encouraging ignorance, by forbidding men to think for themselves. Like the exterminating warriors of old, the Catholic Church of Rome makes a solitude and calls it peace. There is quiet and stillness enough in the grave, but it is not the quiet of health, but of death. It was the false prophets who cried "Peace," when there was no peace.
(d) Controversy in religion is a hateful thing, It is hard enough to fight the devil, the world and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation. It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation. If the views that some men hold were correct, it is plain we never ought to have had any Reformation at all! For the sake of peace, we ought to have gone on worshipping the Virgin, and bowing down to images and relics to this very day! Away with such trifling! There are times when controversy is not only a duty but a benefit. Give me the mighty thunderstorm rather than the deadly malaria. The one walks in darkness and poisons us in silence, and we are never safe. The other frightens and alarms for a little while. But it is soon over, and it clears the air. It is a plain Scriptural duty to:
"contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
I am quite aware that the things I have said are exceedingly distasteful to many minds. I believe many are content with teaching which is not the whole truth, and fancy it will be "all the same" in the end. I feel sorry for them.
I am convinced that nothing but the whole truth is likely, as a general rule, to do good to souls. I am satisfied that those who willfully put up with anything short of the whole truth, will find at last that their souls have received much damage. There are three things which men never ought to trifle with: a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.
I am quite aware that when a man expresses such opinions as those I have just brought forward, there are many ready to say, "He is not faithful to the Church." I hear such accusations unmoved. The day of judgment will show who were the true friends of the Church and who were not. I have learned in the last thirty-two years that if a minister leads a quiet life, leaves alone the unconverted part of the world, and preaches so as to offend none and edify none, he will be called by many "a good pastor".
And I have also learned that if a man studies Scriptures, labors continually for the conversion of souls, adheres closely to the great principals of the Reformation, bears a faithful testimony against Romanism, and preaches powerful, convicting sermons, he will probably be thought a firebrand and "troubler of Israel." Let men say what they will. They are the truest friends of the Church who labor most for the preservation of truth.
I lay these things before the readers of this paper, and invite their serious attention to them. I charge them never to forget that truth is of more importance to a Church than peace. I ask them to be ready to carry out the principles I have laid down, and to contend zealously, if needs be, for the truth. If we do this, we shall have learned something from Antioch.
-- JC Ryle, Warnings To The Churches
Monday, March 8, 2010
If the worldling must have these things, let him; but if you have a soul that is above rubbish, and has been accustomed to live on great, solid verities and substantial truths, you scarcely need that I should say, "Search the Scriptures diligently, and your joy shall spread and deepen."
Be this your happy confession,-
“Lord, I have made thy Word my choice,
My lasting heritage;
There shall my noblest powers rejoice
My warmest thoughts engage.”
We say further, prefer the Scriptures even to all religious books. We say this of the best book, and sermons. We do our best to teach you God’s truth: but we are, like gold-beaters, we get a little bit of truth, and we hammer it out so thin. Some of us are mighty hands at this, and can make a tiny fragment of truth-gold cover an acre of talk. But the best, of us, those who really do seek to bring out the doctrines of grace and love, are but poor workers at it. Read the Bible more, and do not care so much about us. If my sermons kept people from reading the Bible for themselves, I would like to see the whole stock in a blaze and burned to ashes’. But if they serve as finger-posts, pointing to the Scriptures and saying, “Read this, and this, and this;” then I am thankful to have printed them. But if they keep you from your Bibles, burn them, burn them, burn them. Do not let them overlay the Scriptures, but lie beneath them, for that is their proper place. Keep you first, to God’s revealed Word.
Let me here say, that when you read the Bible, remember there are several ways of doing it. There is the superficial reading: being satisfied with the mere letter of it. There is, however, a diving into it, a going deep down into the soul of it. Read it in natural sections. What would Milton’s “Paradise, Lost “ be if you only read one line a day, and began at the middle and went back to the first line? You would never understand his meaning thus. Read the Bible through. Read Johns gospel: not a bit of John and then a snippet of Mark, but read John through, and find out what John is at. Remember that Matthew-, though he speaks of the same Savior as Mark, yet he does it not in the same style, nor for the same purpose; as he. There is a very distinct purpose in each gospel. Matthew tells of Jesus, the King; the parables he records all hold references to the King. “Then shall the kingdom, of heaven be likened,” Mark show us Christ as the Servant devoted and tireless in his activity of loving toil; Luke as the Man Christ Jesus, full of human tenderness and sympathy, and his parables begin “A certain man.” John reveals to us Christ in his true Deity and God-head; and gloriously does he preface it, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Get a hold of what the books mean, and may the Holy Spirit to show you the aim of each writer’-the one book, and that studied, not scampered through, and you shall stand firm where others fall.'
Spurgeon, C. H., 'How To Become Full of Joy'. 1865.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
How does a mom of young children — say, three still in diapers — find any time for Bible intake? “Do What You Can” is the answer Don Whitney gives in Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed (pp. 157-158). In this short/excellent chapter, Whitney describes one woman’s example and advice:
She was converted in her late teens. Discipled well from the start, Jean thrived on a spiritual diet strong on disciplines like the reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word, prayer, fellowship, service, evangelism, worship, silence and solitude, journal-keeping, and Scripture memory. She felt herself making spiritual progress almost daily. All this continued after she married her equally-dedicated husband, Roger.
Then she had three children in diapers. Caring for their most basic needs eliminated almost every moment of the time she used to devote to caring for her soul. Her longings for the things of God reached as high as ever, but her time and energy had new and severe limits.
On at least three occasions I’ve eavesdropped as Jean addressed young moms in similar situations. In effect she’s told them, “At this time in your life, you can’t do what you’re used to doing. You don’t have time for all your heart desires to experience in your spiritual life. Nevertheless, do what you can do, even though it’s precious little. Just don’t deceive yourself by thinking that you can put off a devotional life until you have more time. Because when the years roll around and you finally do have more time, your spiritual habits will be so ingrained that you won’t give more attention to your devotional life at all.”
Then I heard Jean tell her own story. She would keep Bibles open in several rooms–in the kitchen, nursery, bathroom–and look at them when she could. While warming a bottle or changing a diaper, she’d glance over and perhaps read only one verse. But this discipline helped her keep the Word in her heart and the presence of God in her awareness. And as the children’s needs grew less demanding, her disciplines were already in place to receive any additional time she could give them. Even though Jean felt almost spiritually dormant during those years in comparison to her early growth as a Christian, she kept alive the spiritual disciplines through which her soul would blossom in years to come.
Like Jean with three in diapers, you may be in a situation that curtails many of your spiritual activities. You may be looking at many months or even years of such limitations. Do what you can. God does not love us more when we do more, nor less when we do less. He accepts us, not because of what we do for Him, but because of what He’s done for us in Christ.
The Bible says, “He made us accepted in the Beloved [that is, Jesus]” (Ephesians 1:6). And nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Love God, and within the limitations He has sovereignly placed in your life at this time, do what you can.
Actual blog post found here
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Here is a long-awaited update on life and how things are going!
First off, this seems to be the question that I get asked most often...How is Gideon?
Gideon is doing extraordinarily well! He continues to go to therapy 3 times a week and is progressing every day! When I think back to where he was 3 months ago...I am amazed at God's healing in Gideon. He has been walking on his own for about 6 weeks now and hasn't used his wheelchair or his walker for a long time. He has even started running!! He is completely self-sufficient and takes care of himself like a normal 6 year old.
Our main area of struggle is starting him back up with his schoolwork. I am easing back into it with him, but this is an area that he is lacking in right now. We are beginning with basic letter formation and basic reading skills. He is doing really well with that....so I hope to incorporate more into our routine over the next few months. I think I will continue a small amount of tutoring for him once summer hits...so I can concentrate solely on him and his needs, while the rest enjoy summer vacation!
He will need surgery on his left eye to correct the muscle. Hopefully, this will take place in April/May. I really want this to be taken care of before the baby arrives in June. It's a very minor procedure, and we ask for peace of mind for Gideon, since being put to sleep is not a comforting thought for him.
He has his 3 month follow-up MRI on March 6th. I'll be sure to update with the results of his tests when we know anything.
Other than that, we are so thankful for our boy and how God has used him to draw others closer to Himself. When I think over the past few months, I am often drawn to tears of gratitude at the sufficiency of His grace throughout this ordeal.
Meanwhile, Nolan is zipping through second grade. I hope to be done with his schooling in late April. He is a sponge to knowledge and it is truly a joy to be able to teach him. It won't be long until Haddon joins in when he turns 5 in April, and begins Kindergarten in the fall.
Haddon and Jamison continue to have a love/hate relationship. One moment, they are playing nicely together, the next moment, they are at each other's throats! I believe that Jamison is slowly working his way into the threesome that is Nolan, Gideon and Haddon.
Paysie...oh, my little girl...she is talking, walking, climbing...you name it, she is doing it! I have to keep a watchful eye out for her. She is a little daredevil who continues to have her brothers wrapped around her finger. Regardless of what she is doing, she faithfully remains to be called "sweet girl" by her brothers. At any given time, she can be standing on any piece of furniture and getting into any number of things around the house. By God's grace, she is slowly being trained into a docile creature...ha!
And now, the baby! Judson is growing well and is quite the poker and prodder. He now weighs nearly a pound and a half and is perfect in every way. At my ultrasound last week, I could see him opening and closing his mouth, all while wiggling his little tongue...so adorable! I am excited for his arrival, yet remaining extremely patient until June....quite possibly July! A lot needs to happen between now and then, and I am being sustained by God's promises through it all.
I want to thank you for your prayers and encouragement throughout the ups and downs associated with Gideon. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support from our local church family and those that volunteer their time each week to watch the kids for me while I bring Gideon to his therapy. God has been so good to us....better than we deserve!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I watch and am amazed and disgusted by what I see.
These people are living in filth. There is expired, rotting food that they have grown emotional attachments to. They have become so accustomed to the sight and smells of their house and property, that they don't even realize the grotesqueness of it. They find dead animals that died in the rubble. There are bugs. There is dirt. There is nowhere to move without tripping over something. There is feces on the floor...both human and animal. There is a need to fill the void of emptiness with stuff and there is nowhere to put any of it. Hoarders do not want people inside their house. They are ashamed and embarrassed....yet don't see a way out, so the pattern continues.
As a spectator, I watch and wonder why it is so hard to throw away garbage. That even as the trash is being bagged up and brought outside to a truck, these hoarders run after the bags, only to have to sift through it and make sure there isn't something of worth left. I have yet to see someone not take something completely worthless back into the house....like it's a treasure...when it is obvious to everyone else that it's not.
It is sad to watch. The hoarders are receiving very secular help. There is no Christ mentioned...no mention of sin...and no mention of the only real way to be redeemed.
My reaction to this show is one of pride. I look at my house and how uncluttered I keep it and smugly think to myself how I would never let my house look like that.
But, the more I thought about it....the more I realized that I hoard my sin. I don't let anyone see the clutter of my heart and the blackness of my sin. I have rotting sin that is so filthy and rancid, yet I don't smell the nastiness of it. I hold it tight to my chest like it's a treasure.
If someone were to be able to see what is really inside of me, they would have the same reaction to me, as I have when watching the show....yet, we all look the same inside.
Without Christ, we don't see our sin for what it really is. We are blinded as these hoarders are. We don't smell the rot. We don't see the blackness. We embrace ugliness...and don't even realize that we are doing it.
This is not how it needs to be.
There was one man that was pure and clean....the man, Christ Jesus. He has made the only way available for full redemption of our hoarding.
The process of sanctification is an ongoing purging of our sin. This is sin that we hoard and pile up with every ounce of our being. We don't want to let it go....but Christ makes it possible to let it go...and makes us want to let it go. The closer we get to Him, the more we realize how sick and deep in our sin we really are.
As I envelope myself in Christ through Scripture, I see my sin for what it is. There really are no words to describe the ugliness.
There are still times that I don't want to let it go....that I am struggling against my sinful nature. I am a work in progress...but I will never be left to do the cleaning by myself.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phil 1:6
I take joy that one day, there will be no more cleaning and purging. There will come a day when all will be pure and clean.
Until that day, I will remain overwhelmed and thankful that Christ took the wrath for my sin...and with Him leading the way, I will strive to be more like Him.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I am so excited to have another little boy. I can't really explain why, but it just feels right....to be a mommy of lots of boys, with one little girl.
So...I would like to introduce you to....Judson Fuller:
If you are interested in the origin of his name....here are a couple links!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
William Tyndale was firmly tied to the stake. The kindling was piled high. The match was about to be struck. Suddenly, as an act of kindness, the executioner approached Tyndale from the rear and graciously strangled him to death with a chain. Or so I thought.
William Tyndale was an English Roman Catholic priest whose passion was to see the Bible translated into the language of the people. The Catholic Church and King Henry VIII disagreed. They believed that only the priests should have access to Scripture. When a Catholic priest warned Tyndale to stop his endeavor to translate the Bible, Tyndale fired, “I will make it possible for a boy behind the plow to know more Scripture than you do.”
Threatened with death, he fled England and lived incognito in Europe until a friend betrayed him and Tyndale found himself in a dank prison in Vilvorde prison in Brussels, Belgium.
I stood in the place where Tyndale was lit on fire for his “heretical” views. I was told it was an act of kindness that he was strangled before the flames melted him. I was told wrong.
It was not uncommon that when a great reformer was to be set ablaze, they would preach, pray and sing so fervently, that many souls were saved before the flames silenced their message. That is why Tyndale was strangled to death. Not to keep him from pain, but to keep people from hearing the Gospel. Tyndale’s last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” God granted that prayer. Henry VIII had a change of heart and ordered that the Bible be translated into the language of the people. Whose translation did they use? You guessed it: Tyndale’s.
The gospel cannot be strangled, only its messengers. But, as the hymn says, “The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still. His Kingdom is forever.”
From Gairny Bridge