Monday, October 26, 2009

Can you Serve God and Celebrate Satan's Holy Day? Has the Church been DUPED?

People need to seriously pray about, read and consider this message. It is a heartfelt cry against the works of darkness...
I am at a loss to understand why people can say they serve God, Who sent His Son Jesus to die to free us and set us free from darkness and the devil, Who is in an ongoing war with Satan and the powers of hell, on the one hand, and yet celebrate "Halloween" on the other hand. "Christian Halloween parties" are not even possible. This is serious stuff...

Whether you "agree" or not, whether you portend ignorance or not, whether you try to make it cute or not, Halloween is adored by practitioners of both Wicca and Satanism alike. The witches, of both white and black magic, hold the day in high esteem. Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, said: "Call it black, call it white, call it what you will, it's all evil, and it all gets its power from the source of hell." One cannot deny that Satanism's influence today is strengthened by the observance of Halloween:

"After one's own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween (or All Hallow's Eve)." - The Satanic Bible by Anton Levey page 96, section on Religious Holidays.
But Gods Holy Word, says: 1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
Do you really think God is going to wink at and overlook the fact that someone who says He is Lord can actually have parties on Satan's highest holiday? Do you really not believe that Jesus and the devil are at war? Do you really think that acting as if the occult and things of darkness that Jesus died to set us free from are trivial and not important, making light of fellowshipping with such things, focusing on love stories with vampires and creatures of darkness, and having ANYTHING to do with the "unfruitful works of darkness" that you are supposed to be reproving is going to be okay with the Lord who is at WAR with these things? I guess everyone has a "line", a "boundary". It is interesting to see where "Christians" want to put their own boundary line in playing around with and trivializing occult and demonic practices verses where GOD puts the boundary for His children in dealing with the same things.
It is SOOOO obvious! The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God but have their part in the Lake that burns with Fire. (See Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation 22:15).
Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult. The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. There were many superstitions and false concepts in ancient Israel about which the Bible is silent. However, occultism, in any form, was punishable by death! Why?
The spiritual power and reality behind idols involves demons. The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited. Nowhere are such practices acceptable.
The thing that scares me is that my children were raised knowing this and having the fear of God before them, and they have felt it is okay to watch TWILIGHT and make like of vampires and creatures of darkness. Now they are going to a Church that is actually HAVING a Halloween Party!!! Now I have noticed that more and more evil and occult laden things are being promoted. The devil is having his way, and the church is BLINDED to the WARFARE going on. I don't get it. The fact is that we cannot be deceived: what we sow we will surely reap. You canNOT sow seeds of partaking in the devil's high holiday, whether through ignorance or not, and not reap any repercussions from it. I have had people say to me, "Do you really think it is a SIN to dress up on Halloween or have a Halloween party?" That ALONE scares me because they are looking for a 'do' and 'don't' list rather than relating to the heart of God and what He would say about something. What if YOU are going to a "Halloween" party dressing up and someone knows that and then says "If THEY are going to one, I know it's okay with the Lord, so I will go to the Halloween party from work." We are to avoid the appearance of evil and not cause our brothers to stumble. Halloween is obviously Satan's territory, and to try to make it cute and overlook it we are choosing to "believe a lie" which is the beginning of deception.

Doreen Irving, who was the ruling witch of Western Europe and the British Isles and was the mistress of the high priest of Satan over that same area, is now a born-again, spirit-filled Christian. She says, “If Christian parents had any idea of what Halloween really is, they wouldn’t even mention the word around their children.”

Three hundred years before Jesus was born, a civilization of people called the Celtics lived throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. They were a common group, much like many segments of society today, but they were controlled by a secret society of priests and pagans called the Druids. The Druids were satanists who worshipped and served the demonic god of death - Samhain (pronounced Sa-man). These satanic priests literally controlled people’s lives through the mechanism of fear, and much death, disease, and destruction came upon the Celtics as a result of the Druids and their practices. Each year on October 31, the Druids celebrated the eve of the Celtic new year in honor of their pagan god, Samhain. The “Festival of Samhain,” more assuredly called “The Festival of Death,” was officially known, and is still recognized today by all satanists, occultists, and devil worshippers as the eve of the new year for witchcrafts. Anton Lavey, author of “The Satanic Bible” and high priest of The Church of Satan, says there are three important days to satanists: 1) their birthday, 2) April 30, and 3) THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY - HALLOWEEN. Lavey says it is on this night that satanic, occult, and witchcraft powers are at their highest potency level, and any witch or occultist who has been having difficulty with a spell or curse can usually achieve success on October 31st because Satan and his powers are at their best that night. October 31st, Halloween, is the eve of the new year for witchcraft. The World Book Encyclopedia says it is the beginning of all that is “cold, dark, and dead!” When you send your little children out to go “trick-or-treating”, you’re actually telling them to celebrate all that is cold, dark, and dead! Trick-or-Treat The Druid priests would go from house to house demanding all sorts of strange foods for their own consumption and to offer later to “Lord Samhain” at The Festival of Death. If the village people would not give them the foods demanded, they would speak a demonic curse over the home, and history claims that someone in that family would die within the year. Thus you have “trick-or-treat”! The Druids would carry with them a large turnip, which they had hollowed out on the inside and carved a face on the front, to represent the demonic spirit they depended upon for their power and knowledge. This spirit is called “a familiar spirit”. (See Acts 16:16-18) The turnip, lighted by a candle from within, was used as a lantern for the Druids as they went from house to house at night. Now, it was believed by the Druids that their familiar spirit would inhabit these turnips and assist them in carrying out the spells spoken over the homes and lives of those refusing the Druids’ demands. When this practice came to America in the 8th and 19th centuries, turnips weren’t that prominent, but we did have a vegetable native to this country that was soon substituted for the turnips. That’s right - the pumpkin. The name given to the spirit which inhabited the turnip was “Jock,” and upon arriving in America it became “Jack, who lives in the lantern” or “Jack-O Lantern”. As you can clearly see, there is NOTHING Christian about Halloween. It is today what it has always been - a day dedicated to the devil. What Should Our Position as A Christian Be? The most common complaints about anyone taking a stand against Halloween is (#1) - “You’re trying to take all the fun out of little children’s lives,” and (#2) - “You’re trying to make something out of nothing, because we don’t believe in that stuff.” Now listen! Just because you don’t believe in something does not mean that it’s not real. What you choose to believe or not believe does NOT change the FACTS. Facts are facts regardless of what some people choose to believe.
Just because you don’t visualize Halloween as “really” demonic and as something dangerous to your life, does not keep you or your children from Satan’s intended desire which is to instill FEAR!, DEATH!, and DESTRUCTION! into people’s minds. Think about it. What is Halloween besides fear, horror, ghosts, witches, goblins, and devils? Just because you don’t “worship Satan,” does that give you the right to train your children to serve him one night out of the year in the name of fun? That’s what we do if we allow our families to participate in common Halloween practices. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) How can we righteously instruct our children in the ways of Halloween when everything about Halloween is of the devil? The Bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) It further states, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” (I John 4:18) Does Halloween cause our children to be at peace, or does it cause them to become terribly afraid? Remember going through the “house of horror” at the Halloween carnival at our school or church when we were growing up and the fear that gripped us as we felt and heard all kinds of mysterious things? As adults today, maybe it’s funny, but to a little child it’s terror that causes nightmares and very unpleasant memories when alone or in the darkness of night.
The Bible says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a Believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are temples of the Living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘touch no unclean thing and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Why should Christians not honor Halloween? Because it is paying homage to the devil. It’s the spirit behind Halloween which makes it wrong. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them”. (Ephesians 5:11) “Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. (Psalm 139:21-24) “Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:17) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) If we really desire to honor the Lord in our lives and family, then we must teach our children concerning the truth about Halloween, and provide them with an alternative to “trick-or treating”. Don’t just take away the bad, give them something to take it’s place that will honor the Lord instead of honoring the devil.
I like to dress up cute too! Have a masquerade party or something -- you don't have to dress yourself or your children up on the day that the Satanic Bible DECLARES to be Satan's BIG DAY!!!! What are we THINKING??
God desires for children of all ages to have fun, but fun at the expense of serving the devil is not fun at all. How Did It Get Into The Church? When Constantine became Emperor of Rome, he made a law declaring Christianity (which was Catholicism at this particular time in history) to be the official state religion. Having been recently converted by a tremendous martyr of that time, Constantine was zealous in his new- found faith and demanded as emperor that everyone become a Christian or face the penalty of death. This was the old “throw them to the lions” that the Christians had been facing for years. Well, you can imagine what happened. The church was flooded with pagans. Not converts, but rather pagan people forced to join the Catholic Church or lose their lives for defying the Emperor. As this happened, the priests and especially the Pope faced some serious problems. These people were bringing all their pagan practices and ideas into the church including “The Festival of Samhain”. They wanted - no, demanded - that this festival remain a part of their lives. Since the church was unsuccessful in getting the pagan practices out of the people, it was decided to sanctify some of them. Especially this October 31st ritual called “The Festival of Samhain”. In the 9th century, the Pope declared a new day to be celebrated by the church on November 1st, called All Saint’s Day. This day is in honor of all the martyred saints of the church, and October 31st became the eve of All Saint’s Day. Now, the church contended, the people could still have festival on October 31st because November 1st was a holy day. The Mass said on All Saint’s Day is the “All hallowmas” and over the years the evening before became known as “All Hallow’s Eve - All Hallowed Eve - All Hallow E’en - and finally Halloween. But, the problem was that nothing changed. The people didn’t lay down their pagan rites and worship of devils for this “new eve” established by the church. They didn’t have prayer meetings or worship services to thank Almighty God for the saints already gone. What it was in the beginning, it now still is. Halloween is a day that honors and promotes all that is cold, dark, and dead. When you start making preparations for a “Halloween Party,” you don’t go to the store and purchase pictures of Joan of Arc, the disciples of Jesus, or any other Christian saint. You look for ghosts, witches, black cats, ghouls, etc. Halloween is a day for devils - not saints. What the Pope attempted to do in the AD 800’s backfired, because in making “All hallowmas” holy, Halloween became recognized by the church as a religious holiday, and nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, all Halloween is and ever will be is “The Festival of Samhain,” the Lord of Death. Halloween has no roots in the Church, but is firmly rooted in the occult, witchcraft, and satanism.
The Scriptures inform us that Satan is a real spirit being who is bent on preventing our ever becoming spirit beings (by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior) by using any and every deception he can. Satan's plan includes the widespread dabbling of people into the supernatural powers, including the occult, accompanied by a great revival of spirit-ism.
Recently, especially in the last 30 years, the occult has moved into the mainstream of America - in books (such as Harry Potter which has become the greatest seller in England even outselling the Bible), television (such as the TV series Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, etc. as well as Psychic programs), movies (such as Practical Magic, Bewitched, I married a Witch, Season of the Witch, The Craft, etc, etc), magazines (such as Circle, Sage Woman, New Witch, Pan-Gaia, as well as articles and ads in more general popular magazines), and video games (countless). Universities offer courses on witchcraft and magic - usually the so-called "white" variety or Wicca and grade schools teach spells and occult practices ·yet our children can? pray to the Christian God in schools.
One might complain and say “My kids are just having fun and getting free candy! We are not worshipping evil forces or making God angry.”
A Catholic may even assume they do honor God and saints that day with prayers for the dead. What does God think? Does God say that it is alright to observe the pagan festivals such as Halloween even if we say we are honoring
Him? Notice carefully what he said to the Israelites before they entered the promised land:
Deuteronomy 12:29-32 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.· [ Deuteronomy 18:10-14 ]
Doreen Irving, the former ruling witch of Western Europe and the British Isles, and also the mistress of the area's high priest of Satan, who later became a Christian, said: "If Christian parents had any idea of what Halloween really is, they wouldn't even mention the word around their children." [source: Halloween: A Celebration of Devils (David N. Taylor) p5]You might still say “Does it really matter?” “Does God really care about such things?” “They seem so trivial.” Remember that God is a Father who requires our willing obedience. Sin entered the world because of one man’s disobedience to God over something to eat (a treat). [See Genesis 3]
Christians are to be a light to the world and not partake of things that smack of evil. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11] We should consider Gods words and lean not to our own understanding.
A Believer and worshipper of the one true Creator God should not practice holidays with pagan roots and trappings. If we love God we show it by obeying Him. Reject Halloween and all pagan-originated holidays and practices. The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God but have their part in the Lake that burns with Fire. (See Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation 22:15).
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Encyclopedia Britannica says: Halloween, also called All Hallows' Eve or All Hallows' Evening, a holy or hallowed evening observed on October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. In modern times, it is the occasion for pranks and for children requesting treats or threatening tricks. In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain eve was observed on October 31, at the end of summer. This date was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.·

Hate evil-don’t delight in it. God views witchcraft and all other occult activities as evil:

“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” Ex. 22:18

“Give no regards to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God .” Lev 19:31

“And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set my face against that person, and cut him off from His people.” Lev 20:6

“....he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” 2 Chron 33:6

“Now the works of the flesh of evident, which are ......idolatry, sorcery, hatred.... and the like.......that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:20

See also 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Personal Best or Personal Beast?!

I realized quickly when my children were younger that sports and activities have the power to do much DAMAGE or much GOOD depending on your ATTITUDE. When my children began organized sports and even non-competitive hobbies, it was not uncommon for parents to accuse coaches, refs, and umps, and get very upset if their children had calls against them or didn't get asked to start or play certain positions, etc. They openly compared their children with the other children (right in front of them I might add!).

I LOVE sports because of the GOOD it can do for us and our children; however, if you are not careful, it can do JUST AS MUCH DAMAGE AS GOOD.

Here are just a FEW things we teach our children by our attitude concerning sports WE are involved in AND they are involved in:

*Respect for authorities' perceptions, whether we agree or NOT.

*How to accept themselves if they give their best, regardless of whether they are "all stars" or not.

*How to have fun doing a variety of things even if you AREN'T "all star" material in all things!

*How to encourage others to do their best and NOT COMPARE our performance against them to make them feel inferior OR superior (there will ALWAYS be someone BETTER than you and someone WORSE than you – the fun in your performance should NOT be to push it in someone's face that they finished behind you or lift them up because they finished in front of you!)

*How to work as a team.

*How to support people in "healthy competition".

*Play the best you can without making your self image based on performance.

*Have fun working out!

Be careful you don't use sports and activities to COMPARE yourself with another person. It is detrimental to good character and healthy self image to feel that your performance is based on how you exceed your friends' OR to feel that others are measuring their performance on how they compare to you.

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2Cor 10:12 KJVS)

“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. (Prov 27:2 KJVS)

“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” (Rom 12:9-10 MESSAGE)

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Rom 14:13 KJVS)

“Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.” (Gal 5:26 AMP)

“That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” (Gal 5:26 MESSAGE)

Challenge: BE CAREFUL of your attitude while participating in sports and activities YOURSELF or when your children do! Be sure you are feeding attitudes for a healthy self image and having FUN and NOT to "measure yourself" or your children against others!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Better With You

Each day we make "deposits" into the lives of others, and often we make "withdrawals" as well...  

During one of our "projects" when we each had "bank account books" and we had to note when someone made a "deposit" and someone made a "withdrawal", I started to tangibly reinforce the importance of putting more INTO someone's life than "taking FROM" someone's life (or energy).

We all know that there are "energy givers" and "energy takers" in this life, both people-wise and situational.   I wanted each of my children to realize the importance of being an energy GIVER.  To GIVE more than TAKE from someone.  To make others' lives better because they were there.

I could never understand how some people make it easier to live WITHOUT them than to live WITH them, and I wanted to embed that into my children's minds so that they would WANT to ALWAYS be a PLUS and not a MINUS.

With the bank deposit books, they could see that when someone required patience, to put up with some shortcoming, to even attend different events or make accommodations for them, if there was nothing to "draw from" because that person had made no "deposits" it wasn't going to work --

Even at school, I asked them how they made the day better for their teachers.  I constantly reinforced that I did NOT want their teachers to think "so and so is absent today:  THANK GOD!!!" but it would be better if everyone said "so and so is absent today and it just was HORRIBLE without them here!"

Challenge:  Constantly reinforce your children being a "PLUS SIGN" instead of a "MINUS SIGN" -- get creative with it!  Help them to make sure life is BETTER when they are around and not HARDER.   And GROW with it yourself -- many adults need to learn this lesson too!  Make sure that WHEREVER YOU GO you make your world and the situations are are involved with and the people you live with BETTER because YOU ARE THERE!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Privileges and Responsibilities - Budzinski Sacrifices/Benefits

We always made sure that as each birthday came, that we would give the person NEW responsibilities together with NEW privileges for each age.

Taking that a step further, we require a lot of "over the top" sacrifices to be a "Budzinski" (or whatever YOUR last name is!) Some of the sacrifices we require:

1. Loyalty to each other.
2. Respect for others' property. You should be able to put something of yours down and know no one will use, take or borrow it without your permission. (We are still working on this today for consistency!)
3. Sticking up for each other, and believing the best even though sometimes it comes out wrong.
4. Respecting each other's (sometimes mercurial) moods.
5. Making time to be TOGETHER when sometimes you'd rather be alone. Sacrificing "alone time" for the "bunch". This means that you may NOT be able to "pick the game" or the movie, your conversations may be interrupted, it may be WAY louder than you "feel like", but the end result is EXPERIENCES together and FUN MEMORIES together, and you make the sacrifice.
6. Overlooking faults and choosing to see the best.
7. Making things right even when it seems almost impossible.

These things may seem not-too-demanding at first glance, but they ARE things that require stepping out of "yourself" to consider others more important. BECAUSE of the extreme sacrifices we request, we also make place for "Budzinski benefits" which are benefits that you can count on because you're in the fam. We try to keep the "Budzinski benefits" as much over-the-top as the "Budzinski sacrifices" are.

Jesse many times says that often people will want the same results without putting forth the same sacrifices, whether in the area of physical things (such as wanting the ripped guys' physique without putting in the time at the gym), spiritual (wanting spiritual wisdom without putting in Bible study and prayer time), intellectual (wanting to know more without taking the time to study), social (wanting friends without taking the time to nurture and develop friendships), etc.

Challenge: Make sure you sit down with your family and decide on the sacrifices you want to make to keep YOUR family special and over-the-top. Then, list some of the BENEFITS you want provided to reward such extraordinary efforts. The more extraordinary the sacrifices you think need to be made, try to make some extraordinary benefits as well!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Words Without Deeds: The Vice of RAISING CHILDREN

Although I wrote on this subject for the Bible Study and Marriage blogs, I feel it is pertinent to raising children too...

So many times over the years, I have seen my kids' friends crushed by the fact that their parents say one thing and do another. This totally undermines the validity of their advice.

If you are a parent, know that what you DO speaks MUCH LOUDER than what you say. You can try to instruct your child to handle problems peacefully, but if you are blowing up and over-reacting and treating them harshly, your deeds will undermine your words, and create a HUGE LOSS OF RESPECT from your children.

They are watching your every move. In her book, "Children are like wet cement," Anne Ortlund speaks about the fact that EVERY LITTLE THING makes an impression in our childrens' lives. They are watching how you treat your spouse, how you handle problems, how you act when you are pushed to the limits. They are watching if you are spending time in the Word, how you spend your money, what is important to you and how you spend your TIME, and how you relate to people that think and act differently than you.

Yes, EVERY LITTLE DEED you do becomes observed by those little eyes...

Challenge: MAKE SURE that you follow the advice in the challenge from the Bible Study blog: and that your ACTIONS prove the words you say are words you BELIEVE.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Time for Everything...

I have really been missing my grandparents lately. I LOVED when my children were babies. There was nothing more fun than taking them to cheer up my grandparents. No one made over them like my grandparents.

As the children got older, I took them to run errands with and for my grandparents. Every week I'd meet Ma (my Mom's Ma) for lunch, and take her grocery shopping (YES, with ALL 5 little children in tow!). When my Grandpa moved here, he began to join us. It was so great!

We visited Gary's grandma in Hamtramck, taking her shopping and to the doctor's. Often, she would have the kids "help" with yard work: it was hilarious seeing Jesse at about age 8 trying to cut the lawn with an ELECTRIC lawn mower and his grandmother flipping the electric cord over his head after every row! To see the girls "edging" with SCISSORS was hilarious! All the while we were exchanging "looks" and making the most precious memories ever!

Grandparents are to SPOIL. I believe every grandparent should be "fed with a silver spoon". They should be catered to, spoiled, and appreciated for all the love and support they've given. They should be "interviewed"... often my kids took notes and asked them questions we had rehearsed at home. They should be "made over" and crafts should be given to them. They should be taken out for coffee, a glass of iced tea, or ice cream.

I "adopted" a senior residents' home to visit when my children were younger. Every month, we would go there. They called us "Karen and the kids". Each of my children brought their instruments, and there was a piano there. We would pick an appropriate theme for each month, practice songs appropriate to the month and sing them together as a group, and play ("practice") the childrens' instruments for them. We would often make a little craft to hand out, talk about something patriotic, and hand out sugar-free cookies to them. We always had a "conversation starter" for the children to go around and start up conversations with them. We rehearsed possible answers and how to handle different situations beforehand. We learned their names, their funny stories, and how to deal with some of their attitudes! It was an AMAZING time for my children to learn to GIVE to the elderly.

So often our children learn to TAKE TAKE TAKE. Don't miss out on the opportunity to GIVE at very young ages! Talk about how GOOD it feels to make grandparents (or others) happy. VERY OFTEN we would get up and I'd ask, "WHO can we MAKE HAPPY today??" and we would decide who we could "cheer up" with a visit and how to structure the visit so it would actually cheer them up and help them.

If you don't have any grandparents for your children to spoil, FIND some... look in your Church, in your neighborhood or amongst friends. Bring them cookies, little suprises, and brighten their days. It is EASY to brighten grandparents' days -- they often expect so little. Bring your lively children around them to keep them young! Make sure you are there JUST TO BE A BLESSING. If they offer to make lunch or dinner, refuse and insist on bringing a picnic lunch or homemade dinner yourself instead.

Challenge: SPOIL your grandparents. IT IS TIME for them to reap the results of all the seeds they've sown and sacrificed to raise their families. Make them feel important, and ENJOY having them in your life to SPOIL. Watch old movies with them, ask them to show you their pictures, give them a captive audience! And soak up every minute, because grandparents don't stay with us forever!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

By THIS time you should be TEACHERS!!!

It is so funny that I was speaking to my brother about being frustrated that SO MANY people that SHOULD be mature leaders are STILL DEALING with basic issues.  I told him that I felt this Scripture gnawing at my soul:

Hebrews 5:12 By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food. 13 All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies. 14 However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1   With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn’t repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God. 2 We shouldn’t repeat the basic teachings about such things as baptisms, setting people apart for holy tasks, dead people coming back to life, and eternal judgment.

THEN I get David Wilkerson's AMAZING newsletter entitled "By This Time You Ought to be Teachers."  I believe, therefore, that this is a Word that is also on God's heart.  Let me share some of the basics which are AMAZINGLY INSTRUMENTAL in raising your children!

*WHO is God speaking to and rebuking here?  Believers well schooled in Biblical truth; people who sat under powerful preaching by anointed ministers.  Who knew about Jesus' intercession for them at the throne of God, and His invitation to come boldly before the throne to find mercy and grace in their time of need.  

*They knew supernatural rest was available to them if they'd mix faith the the Word.   They'd been taught the Lord is touched with the feelings of their infirmities and they knew Christ was tempted in all points as they were yet remained without sin.  They knew as God sent angels to minister to Jesus in His time of need, the Lord would send angels to minister to them (Heb. 1.14).  

*They knew from Hebrews 3.6 to "Hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."  They'd been warned in Heb. 3.12 "Take heed... lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God."

Then this passage warning, in short, "By now you should be steadfast examples to your children.  Your faith should be unwavering.  You should no longer be murmuring or complaining in your afflictions, but instead be willing partakers of Christ's sufferings.  You ought not to be hot one moment and then suddenly cold with the enemy comes in like a flood."

Does this apply to YOU?  How many sermons have we heard that challenge us to trust the Lord in all things, and heard God's incredible promises preached to us?  How many faith-stirring sermons have we taken in, and how often have we been blessed by a message about God's faithfulness?  And yet HOW OFTEN are we quickly deflated with a trial comes?

This message from David Wilkerson being quoted herein is not to our children, who haven't seen Holy Ghost deliverances, miracles, and signs and wonders.  Our children haven't yet seen the healed marriages, timely salvations, and physical healings that I have.  I love Deut. 11 where Moses speaks to the generation I would liken to mine:

"Know you this day:  for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord your God, His greatness, His mighty hand, and His stretched out arm" (Deut. 11.2)  He is not speaking to the untested, those who haven't experienced God's awesome might in the midst of their trials.  

No, Deut. 11.7 says the message is from the Lord to His people who HAVE been sorely tested, they HAVE experienced God's discipline firsthand.  They HAVE come through many trials and witnessed great deliverances and HAVE seen God's amazing promises fulfilled.  "Your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which He did."  

Why did the Lord need to DRIVE HOME THIS MESSAGE to our generation?!  Because our children HAVE NEVER seen Him do great works in their lifetimes!  They simply don't know God as we do!  And now the Lord is saying to us parents in essence:

"Consider where you are now, on the edge of the Promised Land.  Your scouts have reported there are giant enemies in the land, with high walls surrounding their cities.  Do you GET THE PICTURE??!!  Your children are going to face new battles you have never faced!  They're going to face temptations you never could have imagined.  They are up against OVERWHELMING TRIALS!  AND THEY ARE NOT BATTLE-PREPARED THE WAY YOU ARE!!!"

"Your children are going to need teachers because their faith has not been in the fire.  YOU must become their teachers.  In short, your lives and faith are to be examples to their generation.  Indeed, I have called you to become teachers to every generation to follow, all who will be insecure or ungrounded in their faith."

"Therefore shall you LAY UP THESE MY WORDS in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up."  (Deut. 11.18-19)

God is telling us:  "Here is your full-time calling as my servants.  You are to be steadfast always, never wavering in your trust in Me.  In this way, your children will see my mighty hand at work in your life.  They will be emboldened by the peace you have in the midst of your afflictions."  

Our generation NEEDS to rise up and be the teachers we OUGHT TO BE BY NOW!!!  Make NO EXCUSES for the FLESH to rule!  Make NO EXCUSES to disregard the promptings of the Holy Spirit to live HOLY lives, without BLAME, without FACTIONS, seeking RESTITUTION and RECONCILIATION, walking in FORGIVENESS.

Our children have not had the experiences we have had in Christ.  This generation hasn't been enamored by the beauty of God's Word because they haven't had many opportunities to hear it preached in purity.  Instead, they have mostly been enticed into church with the lure of flesh-centered activities and entertainment.  Once inside, the only gospel they hear is one that is easy, non-committal.  And that easy message has totally failed them.

There may be a FEW churches reaching young people in significant numbers and raising them to be disciples.  But by and large the upcoming generation has not known, seen or experienced God's miracle-working power.  Tell me, to whom can they turn?  The prophet Isaiah spoke of a day when the world would be "eating the bread of adversity and drinking the water of affliction" (Is. 30.20).  He predicted that out of this adversity and affliction a cry would arise, and when God hears that cry, He "will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee" (Is. 30.19).  

How will He answer?  Is. 30.20-21 says "Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner ANY MORE, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

In the midst of a calamitous time, a cry will mount up to heaven, reach God's ears, and He will send for an army of teachers to guide us!  These teachers are the "living epistles" Paul referred to -- those with a battle-won faith that has endured trials and afflictions.  Right now, many of these teachers may be knee-deep in sufferings of their own, facing adversity 24/7.  But these servants are OVERCOMERS emerging with a powerful faith!  They are overcoming the enemy by their faith mixed with the promises in God's Word!  They are moving forward with an abiding hope, their confidence in the Lord growing stronger.

These teachers have hope despite job loss, peace in spite of physical sickness, courage in the face of endless suffering.  and they have this in common:  THEY PRAY!!!  These are teachers, living epistles, God's love letters to a hopeless world.  They have become so by being in constant communion with the Lord through every trial and struggle.  They wholly trust Jesus to renew their strength to go on.  They depend completely on the Holy Spirit for direction, and they continually go to God's throne for grace in their time of need.

I love when the Bible admonishes us to STOP BEING LIKE (MERE) MEN!  BE STRONG!!!!  (as in Eph. 6 to be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS MIGHT so we can WITHSTAND!!!) (1 Sam 4.9; 1 Cor 16.13)  When are we going to RISE UP and become the WARRIORS and CONQUERORS He empowered us to be?!

When are we going to SHOW God's power to love the unloveable, forgive when we have a right to hold onto something, really seek someone else's good higher than our own, and have faith the God WILL turn all things to our good?!

WHO is going to teach your children how to deal with their frustrations as teens, when the whole time they are growing up all they see is you BREAK DOWN when YOU are frustrated, screaming and yelling pathetically?  WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS???!!!  If YOU can't handle a two-year old, how on earth can you train your child to handle going against their entire high school to hold onto their values?!

If you are still grappling with BASIC right and wrong issues of cheating, lying, stealing, gossiping, how can you train OVERCOMERS?!  Where are the TEACHERS??!!!

Challenge:  GROW UP.  Grow up in how you deal with problems and trials with your mate! Grow up in how you handle situations.  Grow up in situational ethics and boundaries you set for yourself!  Be aware you are in the presence of God at all times!  STOP drinking baby bottles and move on to MEAT (John 4.24 tells us that Jesus said what MEAT is:  to DO the will of God!!!).  And let's be the overcoming epistle that SHOUTS to the next generation and EMPOWERS them to live in the promises of God:  

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Jude 24 Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—