Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Now he who received seed among the thorns is he, who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22
If you have ever planted flowers and cared for them, you have probably noticed that weeds come up over a period of time.
You don't see the soil start moving and then a weed suddenly shoot up and grab a flower. Weeds don't appear overnight.
They show up gradually. That is what Jesus was referring to in the Parable of the Sower when He talked about the seed that fell among thorns: "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he, who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful".
Notice that Jesus did not say that sinful things choked out the seed of God's Word.
Rather, it was "the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches." This is not someone who deliberately refuses to pray or read the Bible or go to church.
In fact, this person will think these are good things. They will go out and buy a Bible.
They have every intention of going to church—unless something more interesting comes along. It is not that they hate the Bible or are against its teachings.
They believe the Bible is the Word of God. They will talk about it. But they never will open it up. They are just too busy.
Gradually, the physical becomes more important than the spiritual. Things on earth become more important than treasures in heaven.
The fact is that good things can occupy a person's time as well as the bad.
They may not be bad things to begin with, but they become bad things because they get in the way of spiritual growth. It has been said that more have been killed by food than by poison.
The second best is often the worst enemy of the best.
Prayer: Ask the Lord for the grace to seek His best and give Him your best.
Scriptural Reading: Matthew:13:18-23

I will not teach my kids about safe s*x because there is no such thing

I sometimes make the mistake of accusing our culture of being ‘oversexed’ or ‘sex crazed,’ especially when I see stories about school districts trying to give condoms to 6th graders. In truth, though, most of the people in this country are petrified of sex. The very thought of it terrifies them. Modern society plays host to the most pathetic collection of bored, sexless cowards ever to walk the Earth. We have taken the honesty, love, passion, beauty, and creative power out of the act, and replaced it with something sterile, guarded, frivolous, and disinterested.
It’s kind of ironic, really.
In this nation, we are concerned about the integrity of our produce and our peanut butter, so we only buy them if they have words like ‘organic’ and ‘raw’ on the packaging. But, when it comes to human sexuality, we’ll sip whatever chemicals we need in order to stave off the natural emotional and physical consequences of our behavior. Imagine the college students who have to chug 6 rum cocktails and 8 Natty Lights between them before they can anonymously copulate in someone’s dorm room. But they require more than booze; they also need pills and condoms and explanations the morning after about how this was all just for fun and it didn’t mean anything.
Why do we say that these people enjoy sex? The man who makes love to his wife of 20 years enjoys sex; these people only enjoy certain physical sensations. They enjoy masturbating with assistance — but sex is precisely what they’re trying desperately to avoid.
Perhaps most absurd of all is that we call these alcohol-fused humping sessions ‘safe,’ so long as they involve a layer of latex and a dose of steroids. We tell young people to wear condoms to protect against ailments like hepatitis and AIDS. The obvious insinuation here is that there is a ‘safe’ way to fornicate with a diseased stranger.
Nameless, random, uncommitted sex is never safe. Not emotionally, not spiritually, not physically. In fact, no sex is safe. Sex is not supposed to be safe. Sex isn’t supposed to be physically perilous like it often is these days — thanks, mostly, to years of ‘safe sex’ education — but it is supposed to be an act of great depth and consequence. Sex is meant to be open and exposed. It’s meant to bring out scary and mysterious feelings of desire and devotion.
Call that whatever you like, but you can’t call it safe.
Sex itself isn’t safe. On the other hand, committed relationships, fortified by the vows of marriage and reaffirmed daily by both spouses, are safe — and it is only in this context that the inherent vulnerability of sex can be made secure and comfortable.
It’s funny that in the world of petty one night stands, when someone commits the crime of being a human being who develops natural pangs of emotional closeness and affection, the other person is allowed to accuse them of being ‘weird’ or ‘moving too fast.’ And when the manmade barricades fail and a human life is tragically formed, both parties can, with a straight face, say that it was an ‘accident.’
This is like planting a seed in the ground and calling it a mistake when a tree begins to sprout because you thought the soil was infertile. You may have believed this, but still the seed is doing exactly what seeds are supposed to do, and you did exactly what a person is supposed to do if they want to make a tree grow. You may be a fool, but this was no accident.
Next, you cut down the sapling and toss it in the fire, and then you continue to plant seeds. Each time, you cry that all of these damned trees keep shooting out of the ground. When someone comes and tells you to stop planting until you’re ready to deal with a forest, you weep and accuse the person of being cruel and judgmental simply because they’re articulating the basic rules of botany.
Of course, this metaphor fails for one reason: everyone agrees that you shouldn’t kill baby trees. No such consensus exists when it comes to baby people.
I’m not going to teach my kids about ‘safe sex’ because I don’t want to lie to them. I’d also hate to foster in them what I so often see in many other people: a pessimistic, reductionist view of human sexuality.
What else could you expect to find when you spend the first 18 years of a kid’s life hammering such a paltry, pathetic message? Today, kids never hear anything positive about sex because the positive aspects have been recast as negatives.
Positive: sex creates human beings. This is a great good, but it isn’t a good one should pursue until they are married and prepared to care for the life they’ve formed.
Positive: sex is an expression of love. This is the primary thing that separates human sex from sex between beasts. It is a profound good, but, like any good, it can be perverted and turned into a very dark evil.
These are the two most beautiful things about sex, but we have decided to teach our children that they can and should remove both, and begin ‘exploring their sexuality’ one or two decades before they’ll be able to truly embrace every magnificent dimension of it. So for the next 10 or 15 years, they will learn to see the two greatest things about sex as among the worst things. Unsurprisingly, this attitude will often stay with them, permanently.
The abstinence-before-marriage plan paints an affirmative and uplifting picture. It says, “this is something so good and so important and so joyful that you should leave it be until you grow up and find one special person to share it with.”
The ‘safe sex’ model, however, tells a sterilized and paranoid story. It says, “this is something so frivolous and so joyless that you can do it with whoever, for whatever reason, even if just to alleviate boredom. By the way, though it is just a recreational activity, like Parcheesi or air hockey, it can also lead to broken hearts, chlamydia, pregnancy, and AIDS. So, in that sense, it’s a little different from a board game. Hey, let’s look at some super-magnified images of genital warts!”
And, somehow, that version gets to pretend it’s the ‘positive’ and ‘encouraging’ one.
The only comfort it offers is that sex can be fun, but, in lieu of introducing morality, responsibility, and delayed gratification into the conversation, it has to guide the child’s behavior by obsessing over pubic lice and teenage pregnancy.
The abstinence before marriage lesson gives greater comfort — it tells you about the fun of sex, but also the love and creative power of it. And abstinence before marriage has a better way to deal with the bad things — it tells you about gonorrhea and herpes and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but it assures you that you don’t need to live in fear of these things if you simply wait for the right time.
‘Safe sex’ gives you shallow joys and deep fears, abstinence gives you deep joys and avoidable fears.
It’s the better way. It’s the better message. It’s just better.
Now, I know you’ll tell me that we have to be realistic. Kids will have sex, so shouldn’t we at least make sure they’re prepared for it?
To answer that question I have a few of my own:
You don’t want your kid to drink and drive, but if he did, you’d prefer he wear a seatbelt, right? Well, would you ever say to him: “junior, I know you’re going to drink and drive. You shouldn’t, but everyone does. So just wear your seatbelt”?
Why not?
Because that statement seriously dilutes your anti-drunk driving message, lends a tacit endorsement to the behavior, and assumes the worst in your son before he even has a chance to make his own choices?
Also, what is your job as a parent? Is it to give your child low bars, easy goals, and mild challenges to meet? Or is it to point her towards what is right and good, and then give her the tools to attain it?
Also, for how long have the majority of parents been using the “well, my kids are going to have sex anyway” logic? Decades, maybe? And has sex among unmarried people become generally more or less prevalent during that time? More, right? So do we, perhaps, have here a case of a self-fulfilling prophesy?
Also, do you, in any other situation, elect to forgo teaching your kid to do what is right and instead prepare him to do the next best thing? Do you ever tell your child to shoot for a ‘C’ in math class? Do you ever tell her to make sure she only engages in reasonable levels of bullying and gossip? Do you ever tell your son to only vandalize abandoned properties? Do you ever tell your daughter to only lie to you once a week? Do you ever tell your son to only forge your signature on his report card if he’s really sure it looks super accurate?
Why? After all, your kids will likely underachieve in school, tell lies, bully others, and commit all sorts of other acts of juvenile foolishness. By your logic, you shouldn’t tell them not to do things they will probably do, and instead help them do the things they shouldn’t do in a way that minimizes risk and consequence, right?
So why do you employ this tactic with sex?
Something to think about, at least.
In the meantime, I will try to teach mine how to choose right and avoid wrong, even in areas where many have failed, and even in areas where I have failed. Actually, especially in areas where I failed, considering I’ve been such a prolific failure in such a vast assortment of categories.
I will not teach my kids about safe sex.
I prefer to be honest with them.

Source: matt walsh

Monday, 29 September 2014

Prayer for new week

May your week be filled with peace, prosperity and love. May God's blessings shower upon you and bestow upon each of you a bright, healthy and peaceful new week. You are blessed in when in your going out and coming in. 

God is breaking asunder every gates of wickedness, sickness, hardship, oppression and afflictions holding your life back. The Lord shall transform and restore your destiny! Where others have dug empty wells you will find water In Jesus Name! J

Happy New Week from us ASB-World. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The World is Full of Wounded People Wearing Masks

Have you heard the phrase, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? It’s true. Most of the time, people are not who they seem to be. You may be one of those people walking around right now.
Unless you have been outwardly wounded in some way, others can’t see your wounds. All wounds are not gaping holes or bleeding cuts. The worst looking ones are usually on the inside of us where no one can see and be disgusted.
That’s what people expect, you know. They think that others will be offended or disgusted when they see who you really are. Can she see that I used to do drugs? Does he know that my family is poor? They won’t talk to me anymore if they knew I had been sexually abused.
So, everyday you hide behind the mask. What is the mask?
It’s smiles, laughter, a short temper, an indifferent attitude or acting clueless. You show whatever type of face or attitude that will keep the demons away.
The longer you do that, the less anything in your life will seem real. The mask is a lie and it will eat you alive. Satan likes masks. It lets him hide his true intentions from you. You may think that hiding your pain is helping you live but instead, it is holding you prisoner.
Here’s a scenario that everyone can relate to: Someone in your life hurts you. It could be physical, verbal or emotional. When it’s over, they walk away without apology or regret.
Because they don’t care, you refuse to forgive them. That unforgiving attitude turns you into someone else. You lash out at people with your tongue or even your fists. All the while, the person who hurt you is walking around without any thought of you whatsoever.
Does this sound familiar? God wants to heal your wounds. Jesus died on the cross so that you could be free from bearing that pain alone (Isaiah 53:5).
If you’ve never read the Bible or it has been a long time, here are a few people you need to become acquainted with:
The woman at the Well, the Samaritan woman, the woman with the issue of blood, the man by the pool of Bethesda.
Most of these people are women but their gender doesn’t matter. What matters is how Jesus responded to them.
Their wound wasn’t always evident to others. But, their belief in Jesus healed the source of their pain. Living with your pain is not God’s will. He wants to heal your mind, body and soul through His love and your faith that He can do it.
This doesn’t mean that the pain goes away all at once. Sometimes physical infirmities stay with you as a lesson through your life to others who are suffering.
God’s love turns an evil deed into something that can benefit your life and His message.
Many bitter people are holding on to pain. The wound has infected their entire life. Jesus came to save the ones who are lost and living with hidden pain is definitely living as a lost soul.
You might even be scared. Giving up the pain you have hidden for so long means you are opening yourself up to the possibility of more pain.
But, God won’t hurt you. Let His healing wash out the fear and bring you back to life once again.
Additional Scriptures:
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. - 1 Timothy 1: 7
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
Remember, God won’t hurt you. Let His healing wash out the fear and bring you back to life once again.

Recipe: Make A Stunning Soap Cake

To make this stunning cake of soaps first you have to take clear soap base and melt it. Then add any oil to it that you like such as olive or almond oil. You can also give it a fragrance with fruit or any other extracts that you use for food too. Then add food coloring to it depending upon the fragrance you have used.

For the next step let’s say if you have used orange extract and orange food coloring then pour the mixture in a silicone orange slices mold. Melt more soap base, add oil and color that you like. Pour this into a cake mold. When the first layer is cold.

Then prepare one or two more layers and pour them too over the previous chilled layer. In the end top with the orange slices or any other pieces you have created and your soap cake is ready.

The possibilities to design this soap cake are endless. For more details hop over to stylishboard.com &  handmade blog. Give these as lovely gifts to your friends.

spouse"fresh" way

I love the consistency of a good routine!, but it is real easy to allow your marriage to get into a
routine rut as well.
Routine in marriage can be dangerous, and today we are going to talk about why that is, and how to keep yourself out of the routine rut.
I know that for many of us, routine is a good thing. As I said, for me it is. I thrive on having a schedule and I have tons! I have a weekly schedule for my kids, cleaning schedule, cooking schedule, organization schedule, school schedule, and even a blogging schedule. I love being organized and having things flow nicely and in order.
However, I have learned that too much routine in my marriage puts us into a rut. When my husband and I just connect at the same points of time, in the same ways, doing the same things every day, week in and week out, we loose the flavor in our marriage.
Don't get me wrong there are parts of our marriage that ARE routine. My hubby takes our kids to school in the morning. As a working mom (I work part time outside of the home) we find value in my being home, without the kids, for an hour in the morning to get dinner going, laundry started and a room or two organized. This is also when I have my personal time with the Lord. So, yes, some of your day-to-day task might be routine.
However, the way you show affection and quality time together should not be routine.
Think about when you were dating. You did things, just because, for your significant other often. He sent flowers, you sent a card. You did surprise dates and impromptu gifts. Things were done just because you wanted to show the other you were thinking about them.
But what about now?
Do you do things for your spouse just because or is it only out of duty and routine?

Here are some simple things you can do for your spouse that will help keep you moving in a "fresh" way:

  • Send a text, just to let him know you are thinking about him.
  • Cook his favorite meal without being asked.
  • Buy a favorite snack and leave it in his vehicle or with his lunch.  
  • Leave a card under his pillow or on the mirror in the bathroom
  • Leave a lipstick note on the bathroom mirror. 
  • Pick a night to watch a movie he would like (yes, no chick flick!) 
These are just a few ways that you can do some things out of the ordinary for your husband. One other area that I think a lot of wives get stuck in is their sex life.
Yes, I said the dreaded three letter word.
As women, we are quick to just allow ourselves to do "our duty" of keeping our men satisfied. Satisfied and happy are not the same thing. We go through the same motions every time we have an intimate moment with our husbands. It really is sex and not making love. However, it is important that we take the routine out of this very intimate and personal area of our lives.
I once knew a couple who scheduled sex. Not just for having a baby but all the time. There were certain days when they would have sex. Now, there might be some good to this. I know it is hard to find time to be together especially if there are kids involved. However, we need to have unscheduled times of affection too. We need to pursue our husbands sexually. Make it a priority of OUR day and surprise our husbands with a little out of the routine love-making time.
I find that the more I do the out-of-routine things I mentioned above, the more I am keeping my husband at the front of my mind the more apt I am to make love-making a non-routine-based activity as well. It isn't as enjoyable for your spouse when he feels like making love is just a "part of the routine." I know there are seasons of life when we are in routine mode.
New babies, moves and life changes often make us go into auto pilot and we find marriages in the routine rut. It happens to us all.
The key is, when we find oursleves in the rut, or even if our husband points it out to us, that we respond with grace and make a change.
Keep your marriage as a constant priority in your life.
sourec: charismamag.com

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Determination and Persistence

This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.
In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island.
However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.
Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done.
He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome.
With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.
The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling.
Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.
“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”
Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.
In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.
He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.
As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.
It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.
He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again.
Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.
For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed.
Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances.
It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.
Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:1-12
Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:
3. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
If you live with a strong sense of expectancy, then God will bless you and use you in a powerful way. It's difficult for some people to imagine this, but you must come to the realization that God is so much bigger than anything you will ever face.
So why would you not live your life expecting Him to give you victory? God wants you to be a champion, not a failure.
If you claim victory and expect victory, God will give you victory and peace! God wants you to live an abundant life, so expect His abundance.
You are designed for a life of excellence; do not settle for mediocrity in any area of your life! No matter what has happened to you in the past, God wants you to pick yourself up and keep going on the path that leads to victory.
The Lord promises that if you will look up to Him, He will renew your strength and help you soar like an eagle. That's an amazing promise from an amazing God!
Keep pushing ahead even through the tough times, you will surely succeed.
God wants you to pursue and fulfill your dreams, and not to let the challenges of life stand in the way.
Of course, there will be many obstacles in your path, but don't let them stop you from striving towards the goals God has put in your heart.
He doesn't want you to stop until you have discovered all that He has in store for you. Your future is far bigger than your past failures. Lift up your head and walk tall!
Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I declare that it shall be well with me in this land.
Scriptural Reading: Psalm 71:12-24


Have you ever tried making an owl cake? If not then try this one that is so adorable and super easy to recreate. To make it first you have to bake two round sponges and one semi sphere. Stack them together and frost with chocolate butter cream. Then take fondant in four shades of brown color and cut their discs. Stick the discs in an ombre manner as shown. Then at the back side of the owls make feathers with the technique that is used to make a petal cake as shown.

Then cut and make eyes with white and black fondant and beak with yellow fondant. Make ears with two triangles of light and dark brown fondant. Make a bow with red fondant and voila!

You can try more colors too if you want like these cakes

source: stylishboard.com

The 10 Ways to Help Children Who Have Lying Issues

According to authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, "Honesty is the basis for any relationship because it develops trust, and upon that foundation simple things like communication and responsibility rest. When a child lies, that trust is broken and relationships suffer.
"Parents often don't know how to handle dishonesty, and common discipline techniques don't quite address the problem. A more comprehensive plan is usually necessary since dishonesty often has several components."
Here are 10 ways to help children who have a problem with lying:
1. Talk about reality and truth and how they are different from fantasy, wishes, possibility, pretend and make believe. Require that children use cues to identify anything other than reality. Here are some ideas: "I think it happened this way," "I think this is the answer," "I'm not sure ..." "Maybe..." (possibility); "I wish this were true," "I'd like it if..." (wish); I'd like to tell you a story..." "I can imagine what it would be like to..." (fantasy).
2. When you sense a child is beginning to stray from the truth, stop them. "I want you to stop talking for a minute." Sometimes children just get started and can't stop. Parents can help teach them. "Think for a minute and then start again. I'd like to hear the things you know separated from the things you think." "Start again and tell me how it really happened. Just the parts you are sure of."
3. If a child has ADHD or is impulsive, use a plan for self-discipline. Sometimes children who are impulsive blurt out things without thinking. Other times they start talking and don't know how to stop. This impulsivity component can lead to dishonesty because of a lack of self-control. It's not always malicious lying, but it's still not good and shouldn't be excused because the problem often gets worse. Even though children may have poor impulse control, they must learn to tell the truth. The route, though, may contain more self-discipline training than some of the other suggestions.
4. A courtesy generally given in relationships is called "the benefit of the doubt." When a child has developed a pattern of lying, we don't automatically give that courtesy. Believing someone requires trust, and it's a privilege that is earned. Privilege and responsibility go together, and when a child is irresponsible privileges are taken away. For a time, the things your child says are suspect. You may even question something that is found to be true later. A child may be hurt by this, but that hurt is the natural consequence of mistrust, which in turn comes from lying. Being believed is a privilege earned when children are responsible in telling the truth on a regular basis. Not believing your child may seem mean, but your child must learn that people who don't tell the truth can't be trusted. Tell your child that you would like to believe him or her but you cannot until he or she earns that privilege.
5. Some situations won't be clear, and some children will deliberately lie to avoid punishment. You find yourself in a predicament because proof seems impossible, yet you have a sense that this child is not telling the truth. When possible, don't choose that battleground. It's too sticky and you will usually have other clearer opportunities later. Children who have a problem with lying demonstrate it often. Choose the clearer battles, and use those situations to discipline firmly.
6. Confrontation should result in repentance. This may seem unrealistic at first, but keep it in mind as your goal. Children who are confronted with the fact that they are telling a lie should immediately agree and apologize. A child who is defensive is relying on arguing and justifying as manipulative techniques in order to avoid taking responsibility. This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.
7. You may, for an introductory period of time, in order to motivate repentance when confronted, withhold further discipline if a child responds properly to correction. "If you can admit it was a lie and that you were wrong when I confront you, I will not further discipline you for that lie." This is a temporary approach to teach a proper response to correction.
8. Be proactive in teaching about honesty. There are several good books at your local library on this subject that are written for children and are well illustrated to capture their interest. Tell stories from your life, or read stories like:
  •        The Emperor's New Clothes
  •        The Boy who Cried Wolf
  •        Pinocchio
  •        Ananias and Sapphira from the Bible (Acts 5:1-11)
9. Give an outlet for creative writing or storytelling to further emphasize the difference between fantasy and reality and a proper use of fantasy.
10. Memorizing proverbs dealing with honesty is a way to appeal to a child's conscience.

These suggestions will go a long way toward helping a child tell the truth. Don't let this problem go. It only gets worse.

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Spiritual Adultery and Fornication in the 21st-Century Church

Just a few decades ago it was easier to tell the difference between a real Christian and a non-Christian, a saint and a sinner. There was not the kind of wiggle room we have today when we say of some professing Christian, "He's a Christian, but he's really messed up." Or "He's got a good heart, but he lives with his girlfriend." Or nowadays, "She believes in Jesus, but she's gay."
Certainly when a person is truly converted, he does not become perfect or completely sanctified overnight, but at some early point in his Christian walk any genuine believer should be showing evidence and fruit of a true conversion. A grace that does not change us is not the grace of God.
Not only is the church vastly different than it was a few decades ago, but it is such a phantom of the original that it would be difficult for the early apostles to recognize it. Except in a few nations in the world where there is great persecution and other obscure places, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recognize the spirit and the message of today's Christianity.
Back in the days of the early church, being in ministry leadership was the greatest sacrifice anyone could make and it reflected the message of the greatest sacrifice that was made the cross. To be in ministry leadership today could be as easy as ordering an ordination certificate through the mail, taking a few Bible courses, polishing your sermon presentations, learning some leadership and church-growth principles, including how to win friends and influence people, and you're in. I know this sounds a little sarcastic, but the point is made nonetheless.
In the early church's purest form, the cross was the power of God and the center of Christianity, ruling the lives of the early believers. They had as their examples apostolic men who apprenticed under Jesus and who hazarded their lives for the sake of the gospel. There was no mistaking the pattern and the purpose of the lives of those first-day apostles. It is the reason they had power to make radical disciples who were distinct from the world. What they preached and what they practiced enabled them to transform the minds and hearts of so many. We have so little power to transform people's lives today because we do not preach and live the cross.
The cross is not just about Jesus Christ dying for the sins of all mankind; it was a death to purchase mankind. We were bought by His precious Blood, remember (1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Pet. 1:18-19)? The cross is symbolic of our own death and separation from the world. Christians are people who are in the world but not of it. They do not partake of the carnal amusements and follies of the world that compromise their separation. They are not addicted to entertainment, obsessed with sports, caught up in worldly fashion, and indulging their lives in the flesh.
The Word of God likens the church to a chaste virgin who is presented to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). Defilement of this separation is called spiritual adultery and fornication.
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).
Who is your friend? And who is your enemy?
In the church of Thyatira, a false prophetess named Jezebel apparently was causing many in the church to defile themselves by spiritual fornication. The Lord severely rebuked the church for allowing this condition to continue.
"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev. 2:20-22).
History also offers us the possibility that this could have been physical fornication. Ancient types of labor unions called guilds controlled all commerce in Thyatira. The city was famous for the common practice of sealing business contracts by making an offering to a god in a temple, and then having sex with a temple prostitute to seal the deal. Either way, whether spiritual or carnal fornication, it was causing Christians to compromise their separation from the world.
Another factor that contributed to the defilement of early Christians occurred sometime toward the end of Paul's life and years before John died. This was the time a philosophy called Gnosticism arose. It taught Christians that the body is inherently sinful and evil, but the spirit is born again and pure and holy. Therefore one could live how they pleased in this life, because in your spirit you were righteous and heaven-bound.
This gave professing Christians justification to live like the world while remaining a "Christian." It also kept them from being martyred for their faith if they wanted out. This heresy greatly threatened to dilute the message and ministry of the cross.
Over time this belief system meant people could be "believers" in Jesus or fans of Jesus without actually being "disciples" of Jesus and answering the call to be separate from the world. We are seeing this today in various forms and philosophies and teachings.
John also addressed this demonic doctrine of Gnosticism that could lead to spiritual adultery and fornication and admonished Christians not to love the world.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:15-17).
Lest any professing Christian take this lightly or throw this off as some legalistic form of doctrine, or a turning back to the law, let me remind you that Jesus called it the depths of Satan.
"Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come" (Rev. 2:24-25).
One translation says that the false teachers of John's day called this doctrine of Gnosticism, which permitted spiritual adultery and fornication—thus defiling the Christian's separation from the world—as the deeper truths of Christianity. What some were calling "deeper truths" Jesus said were the depths of Satan. Things haven't changed too much in this regard from what we are seeing in our modern day.
We must recover the spirit and the message of true Christianity. God is working to restore to the church its true character, power and authority. Without the preaching and practice of the life of the cross, we won't get there.
Beware of a cross-less Christianity that breeds spiritual adultery and fornication.

Do You Wait on God or Go?

Sometimes life comes at ya kinda fast, doesn't it?
I feel like for the last four weeks I've done nothing but rush and run and rush some more.
I made decisions...took leaps of faith...and God opened doors just when I thought I was going to hit another wall.
My journal has been full of questions like, "Am I moving forward when I should be standing still?"
"Should I be stepping out in faith or should I be waiting on the Lord?" "Should I be seeking more counsel or searching more Scripture?" "Am I discontent or being moved by the Spirit?"
And honestly, a lot of the counsel I got was contradictory...like those questions. 

I decided to take steps forward and pray, "What now, Lord?"
And the Lord answered. 
Just when I thought that time was up God flung open a door, and I grabbed my children's hands and jumped through it.
About three weeks ago I saw an ad for an English teacher position in a great school district. On Wednesday I applied for it, on Friday I interviewed for it, on Monday I accepted it, and on Wednesday I started it. It was the craziest seven days!
So now my children and I have moved (sorta) and I have started teaching sixth-grade English. It has been exciting but absolutely and thoroughly exhausting! 
There doesn't seem to be time to do anything but work, drive children around, be with my children, and do the regular everyday stuff of living.
I'm ever so grateful though. God is so good. I once again feel like David who was in awe of God's goodness to him and his family.
"Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you?  For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears" (2 Sam. 7:18-22).
I so often feel overwhelmed by God's goodness. I'm thankful that even when I struggle with trusting Him about things...when I feel afraid, anxious and frustrated...He doesn't fold His arms, shake His head, and say, "Well, if you aren't going to trust Me, then you can just sit there and I'm not gonna do a thing for you." 
Instead He looks on me "according to [his] own heart" and does what He does best...loves me and takes care of me and all my stuff.
It is in these moments when I wonder why I struggle so...why were the last few months so full of difficulties...why can't I just trust Him? 
I think I could say that I'm a lot like the father with the sick child who pleaded with Jesus, "I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 8:24)
I believe God answers prayer, and I believe God has absolutely only our best in His plan, and I believe God loves me more than I can imagine, but I know from experience that sometimes the plan hurts. The plan can be quite difficult....excruciatingly difficult. I know that sometimes the answer is no or not yet. I know that sometimes God lets us wait so we learn patience and trust...so our faith can be strengthened in the process.
And here I am...I want quick solutions, fast answers, easy plans and some peace and rest in the process.
Who doesn't want those things, right?
But God desires us...not necessarily us doing something better or different or faster or quicker or more patiently or more kindly...although all those things can be very good. God wants ME.  He wants all of me. 
Me...the stressed single mom.
Me...the worried woman.
Me...the tense new teacher.
Me...the exhausted one. :)
I kept thinking while I was waiting for direction that I must have been doing something wrong...that I was too much of a mess, too anxious, focused on the wrong thing...that I was missing something. It was something I was or wasn't doing. 
But God has reminded me once again that it is ME He wants. Me...in whatever goofy state I'm in.
There is so much beauty in that.
I don't have to worry or stress or fuss. I don't have to do or not do something. I don't have to think or be or say or not think or not be or not say something. 
My life is not defined by me; it is defined by Him. 
He is my life.
"Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:2-4; emphasis added).
I'm praying that I will remember these days of provision...that I will build a little place of remembrance in my heart and mind so I won't forget that even though I had to wait a bit and things were uncertain, God was faithful...as always.
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