Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Life is busy right now.

These two boys got baptized  two Sundays ago and I still haven't posted anything about it!

Thomas and Tristan

I'm trying to graduate one child and get her off to a mission's trip this summer, not to mention starting college in the fall.

She and two other children will be going on another mission's trip this July to Florida.

Five children will be going to summer camp in June.

The twelve of us will be going camping at the lake next month.

And, not to mention having to drive my two oldest working children to and from work six days a week.

Also, we just finished up celebrating out birthday-palooza last Saturday with a sleepover and Chinese food for this guy who turned SIXTEEN!


and cupcakes and juice boxes for all the Praise Kids at church for this girl who turned TEN!


WHERE does the time go?

And, of course, there's this one who is pulling up and CRAWLING now, and just cut her two top teeth.

So, I won't be getting up the Slave notes til tomorrow.

See you then!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Musings

Bailey (4): "Mom! Brennan drooled on me and it's basgusting."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Eleven-Chapter Eleven

Funny story.

I had finished my Bible study and had turned on my laptop and set it in my lap so it could power up while I was praying. The house was silent and still and with my head bowed and my eyes closed there was this huge crash of thunder and lightening that came out of my laptop.

Scared me to death.

I think my heart stopped beating for at least three full seconds.

It was apparently this weather channel app that is now downloaded onto my computer and I can't get it off.


on with Slave Chapter Eleven!


How do you feel knowing you were rescued from certain eternal judgement and given new life as the child of the King?

     Only by His grace am I saved. I feel humbled and so thankful because without His grace I would be right where so many others are right now, lost and blinded by sin.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18  What does this passage say about your relationship with God?

     I am God's child. I am set apart as His very own. he is my Daddy. He doesn't want me to be full of this world, but clean and holy and perfect.


What inheritance is your because of your status as God's child?

     My inheritance is everything God owns (which is everything), forever being in His presence, forever fellowshipping with Him and Jesus and believers, forever dwelling in the perfect place He has prepared for me.

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 In what ways does the reality of your future inheritance change the way you look at the trials of this life?

     This life goes by so fast and is really only a vapor in light of all eternity. Sure, there are hardships (some harder than others) but enduring them and continuing in faith is producing rewards that we will have forever. It's so worth it to endure now what you will benefit from for eternity. You know I have to give a childbirth analogy here! It's difficult, painful and exhausting and you want to give up. But, you know that you have no choice- you have to persevere and get that baby out. But, it's all worth it in the end when you look at that sweet little face and years later that few hours you were in labor really were only a vapor compared to the rest of your life.

Romans 8:15

     Obey God and live in the Spirit, not because you are slaves and are afraid of your master, but because you are His sons and He is your Father, and you love Him like a Daddy and want to obey Him. It's as important to understand this today as it was then, God never changes, so any means of a relationship with Him is still the same today as it was then.

Ephesians 1:3-6  List some of the spiritual blessings that God has given believers through Jesus.

     Well, first every spiritual blessing of heaven, holiness, blamelessness, love, adoption as sons, kindness to name a few.


Romans 8:15 again,  Why do we no longer need to be afraid, and how does this compare to 1 John 4:17-18?

      This touches on that final point in the doctrine of grace- perserverance of the saints. (I know MacArthur names the points a little differently in the chapters, but the easiest and most common way to remember the points in TULIP). The Calvinist would say that once you are saved you are always saved. The Armenian would say that you have a free will choice to walk away from God after being saved.

       This is one point of the doctrine that I adamently side with Calvin for a few reasons:

-According to Romans 8:15, we have not received a Spirit leading to fear. If we could lose our Salvation, wouldn't we always be fearful that something bad would happen and we would choose to walk away?

-If we could choose to walk away, then we are choosing to walk away in our own strength, which means we were choosing to remain in the faith in our own strength, which makes our faith a "work" which contradicts what the Bible says about Salvation- that it's not a work, but a gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

-John 10:28 says that no one can snatch you out of the Father's hand. If you are choosing to walk away from God, wouldn't you be "snatching yourself" from the Father's hand?

-Ephesians 1:13 says that after you believe you are "sealed in Him" which to me says that it's a done deal, not to be "undone".

This leads into............

1 John 2:19-20

     "They were not really of us." Someone who has "turned away" from the faith was never really a believer in the first place.

Hebrews 6 is another area that describes someone who has never believed. They tasted (maybe they went to church, fellowshipped with believers, heard sermons, etc, they knew a bit of what it was like to follow Jesus), but were never saved. This passage never describes this person as having been saved (renewed spirit, new life, regeneration, etc.) only that the person tasted and walked away. This person never became a true believer, but they knew exactly what they were walking away from.

The bottom line is this: Scripture seems to clearly indicate that if you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are now an adopted son of God the Father, a fellow heir with Jesus forever and nothing can change that position once you have it.


As God's children, we should no longer fear death, because it will usher us into the presence of our heavenly Father. How has your attitude toward death changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

     Death for the believer really is a time of great joy. Only then will we get to see our Heavenly Daddy and Lord Jesus face to face and be in their presence forever, and fully partake of our inheritance as children of God. Sure, it would be sad to leave behind your earthly family, but if they are believers, it will really be only briefly until they can join you again.

     I would think death for an unbeliever would be terrifying-fear of the unknown. The atheist would hope to just cease to exist, the agnostic would hope those other religions like reincarnation aren't true and others would hope that they've "done enough good" that God will let them into heaven. Certainly God would have mercy, right?  Folks, God has mercy. That's why He's already sent his Son to die for us. Please don't wait til it's too late to receive Jesus!

What are your thoughts?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Musings: Sky Diving Edition

Thomas (6): "Did you and Dad used to go skydiving when you were little?"

Me: "No, we've never been skydiving and I don't think I ever want to."

Thomas: "You don't? I want to. I'm not even afraid of heights."

Me: "How do you know? I don't think you've ever been on a height."

Thomas: "Yes I have. I've been up on the counter and the table."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Ten-Chapter Ten

Well, my youngest child has been sick again, and last night she and Travis kept me up until 1 am. I don't know what they thought they were missing, but I definately missed sleep! I'm getting this started late, so we'll just get right to it.


How have you experienced each of these things and do you exhibit more of the old life or new?

      Like I said last week, I usually jump into something with both feet. So, when I decided to become a believer, I made a distinct 180 degree change. I was newly married with a newborn baby so I was already done with many of the old ways (although Satan did try to creep the old ways back in). I stopped listening to secular music and reading secular books. I poured myself into the Bible and read anything I could get my hands on explaining what this new life was all about. I really became a new creature in Christ. Now, all of my problems and difficulties weren't over, but now I had a new way to deal with them-through strength in Christ. Over all these years God has continued to pour new life into me.
       I've known since then that I was a child of God, but it just hit me very recently that I am his child. You know how you can know something, but then it hits you and then you really know it? It just hit me in a new and real way that whenever I look at my children, that's exactly how God looks at me. He loves me regardless. I don't have to try to earn His love. He is my Daddy. He adores me and does because He wants to. So many people pray to God as "Father" and I admit, I was one of those. "Father" to me shows relationship, but at the same time feels distant, you know?  I have never called another earthly man "daddy". I've never met my earthly father. God revealed to me that I'm special to him because He's the only "Daddy" I will have ever known. I have some other important father figures in my life, but God let me know that He is my "Daddy". I just love, love when God reveals things about Himself in a new and intimate way like that.



      I think of unconditional love. God loves us enough to pick us up out of brokenness and restore us as His own. sons and daughters. Because He loves us. Eartly adoptive parents do the same thing. They pick up a child out of a broken situation-that they themselves could otherwise not get out of- and make them their own children. Adoption is so expensive that for many parents it is a sacrifice to pay the expenses for that child. But they love that child equally as if they were naturaly born to them. An exact, perfect picture of what God does for us.

Romans 8:14-17

      If we are walking in the Spirit of God (if we've received His Son as our Savior) then we are His sons and daughters. He is our Daddy. And, we are His heirs. We ARE His heirs. Our Daddy is the King of everything and we already have, right now, everything that is His. Wow.

As adopted children of God, we can rest assured in knowing that we have been given a permanent place in the family of God.

     I think Ephesians 1:13-14 really solidifies that we do have a permanent place in Him-that we can't "lose" our salvation and inheritance.

Ephesians 1: 13-14 "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of His glory."

Epheisans 5:8 and Hebrews 12:7, how should we conduct ourselves in this world?

     We are sons and daughters of the King of Glory. We should act like it!


Romans 8: 28 and James 1:2-4

     God, just like an earthly daddy, wants the best for his children. God is not some genie in a bottle waiting for us to "claim His power" for whatever whim we decide. We may want something, genuninely want something, but God may not think that's the best for us. He is a perfect God. PERFECT. So, whatever He wants for us is perfect, too. And, He chooses what is perfect for us to mature and complete us so that we can be whole and glorifying to Him.

Galations 4:4-7

       God, sought us and bought us as slaves, and because of His perfect love for us, adopted us into His family as His own children. Following Christ means that you are part of that redemption. You have been paid for by Jesus's blood on the cross, that now, because of that purchase, you are God's child.

Points from Romans 8

There is no condemnation for those in Jesus, because we are set free from the law of sin and death.

In Jesus, we receive adoption as sons of God, and are fellow heirs to His kingdom.

God causes all things to work together for our good and His purposes.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God.


"we are now and forever the slaves of Christ, the citizens of heaven, the children of God- such is the joy and wonder of Salvation."

Wow. How deep is the love of God. I just want to sit and repeat those words over and over. I think that just sums up everthing the gospel says right there. And, to think that I have those things. Humbling. And exciting!

I think so many times we get caught up in other aspects of God- His judgement, anger and wrath. How could God allow things to happen, or why didn't he do this or that for me. But, when you really focus on the amount of love He has for us, what He went through to adopt us as His children, and how He unconditionally loves us, it's overwhelming. I think even as a parent it's still hard to compare, becasue as much as I love my children and would do anything for them, I still love with a finite love. God loves us with an infinite love. Only His love has no boundaries, no conditions. And, that's what He pours out on us. It's not complicated. But, we want to make it complicated, because we want to hold on kicking and screaming to our own sinful flesh and desires. We want to do what we want to do, when all God wants to do is pour out His love for us and give us everything.

How to better reflect unconditional love...

     Honestly, I think overall Christians do a terrible job at reflecting God's love. But Christians certainly do a great job of reflecting hate and judgement. For example, why does everyone think that Christians "hate gay people"?  I've heard that about a billion times in the last year over the "marriage equality" issue. Maybe Christians are perceived that way because they are acting hateful and judgemental. And, unfortunately many, many who are acting this way in the name of God are really not Christians at all. The true, real followers of Christ are reflecting God's love. And, I also don't mean that simply taking a stand for God is being hateful and judgemental. As followers of Christ, we need to stand firm in God's truth.

     But, regardless of the type of sin, Christians are called to love people. Jesus said the greatest commandment is love. God is love. People won't be won over to Jesus through hate and judgement, but through love. You don't have to accept someone's sin to love them. You love them and introduce them to Jesus and let Him convict them of their sin. Beating someone over the head with a Bible won't change someone's heart, but introducing them to God's love will.


    I think needs are the basics in order to live and when it comes right down to it, there is very little we really need. Not to say God sometimes can't or doesn't want to give us what we want because I know for a fact He does. But, I think many times God allows us to get down to a place where we really see that all we truly need is Him. I've been there many times. Eventually I think we change what we think we want into whatever God wants for us instead.  The goal is to transform our wants and desires to be the desires that God has for us. "Even if I don't get _______, I still want what God has for me."

So, what are your thoughts?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Musings: Mouse Edition

Thomas: " Mom. The mouse must've eaten my dragon."

Me: "What do you mean, 'It ate your dragon.'"

Thomas: "Well, the mouse must've eaten the whole thing, because it's all gone. Not even a crumb of him is left, because I can't find him anywhere."

(Well, actually I had put up a bunch of toys and apparently the dragon was in there. But, we can blame it on the mouse......)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Nine-Chapter Nine

Well, it's time for chapter nine and some good doctrinal debate! I've found this chapter has really caused me to go back and wrestle again with the doctrine of grace. I think this doctrine is where many Christians either have no idea there's a difference, know there's a difference and lean distinctively toward Calvinism or Armenianism, or are a mixture of the two. Last week we touched a bit on the differences in the doctrine of grace. Here are the five differing points on the view of this doctrine.

Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perserverence of the Saints

This week talks more about point two, Unconditional Election.

Let's just go ahead and jump in and discuss more as we go along.


How does it make you feel knowing that God chose you even though you did not deserve it?

      Now, I'm not a Bible scholar so this is just from the teaching I've received and the research I've done.

      Clearly the Bible teaches about the "elect" (chosen), but the question is "How did God determine who the elect would be?" The Calvinist believes that there was no condition upon which God chose His elect, He just chose them. But, the Armenian would say that God chose them based on the fact that he 'foreknew' those who would choose to place their faith in Him. We've actually been discussing this with our kids the last few weeks.

      On the Calvinist side, it doesn't seem "fair" that God chose some people and not others to be saved. But, really, our view of "fair" isn't God's view. Our small minds can't wrap around how God chose whom he chose. But, we do know that regardless, God is good and perfect all the time. So, when God chose them, he made a good and perfect choice, not a choice that in our small view would be "fair".

      Now, on the Armenian side, whose to say that the "elect" are not the ones that God foreknew would receive His gift of faith? Sure, we may be totally depraved that we cannot receive salvation on our own, but that doesn't mean that after God beckons us to Himself (and it seems that according to Scripture, we are "dead in our sin" beforehand, Ephesians 2, so He must initiate that salvation, John 6:44, and Romans 3:10-12 that there is none righteous) that we can't choose to receive or reject the salvation at that point. Otherwise what do you do with 2 Peter 3:9 '.....but is patient toward you not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.'  Does that mean that God is waiting for all the elect to believe? Does that mean that some of the elect could perish if He didn't choose to wait meaning they could choose to not accept salvation? Does that mean that He has beckoned any/all ("none") of us to Himself and He is waiting for us to make the choice to receive Him? What about Romans 28: 29-30? Are the ones He foreknew the ones He knew would receive Him or are they just the ones He "chose"?

       MacArthur explains it that God chooses those whom he chooses, but then the chosen have the responsiblity to turn from their sin and trust Christ.

      All five points of this doctrine really overlap. And, as I'm working through Slave, I'm really examining this doctrine all over again. And, I know that it really goes deeper than the points I've brought up here. I  do lean toward Calvanism, I just don't have it all entirely solidified in my mind, if that makes sense.

      Anyway, to just answer the question.....I feel that if it weren't for God's amazing grace, I would still be out there. lost in sin like so many other people. And, I'm so, so grateful to God for saving me. Well, I guess "grateful" really isn't a strong enough word, but I'm not sure I can come up with a word strong enough to expess it. It's also very humbling, because, really, why me? Why would He choose to save me, of all people?

Why do so many professing Christians remain entangled in sinful lifestyles (1 John 2:4-5)?

According to this verse, if you aren't obedient to Christ, if you don't keep His commands, then you are not a Christian. Well, why do so many profess it then, but are not? Many will say "Lord, Lord" and He will say, "I never knew you". I think many may want to identify with the Christian lifestyle, but they are not truly willing to give up their sin and obey Christ.


John 8 : Only Jesus will make you truly, really free.

2 Corinthians 4:6: Jesus is the only light that could shine in the darkness of our hearts, and reveal the knowledge of God.  If not for Christ our hearts would remain in darkness since darkness by itself cannot create light.

Ephesians 2:4-5: We were dead in sin, and God through His grace saved us and made us alive.

2 Thessalonians 2: 13-14  What does this passage say about you and God's purpose for your life?

That we may gain Christ's glory.


Romans 8:1-2 Which law is controlling your life? How do you know?

      I've never had any doubt about my faith since I gave my life to Christ 18 years ago. I'm really not a half way person. If I choose to do something, if I commit to something, I do it 100 percent. I jump in with both feet. So, I've never had any doubt that I might not be saved. I have always absolutely known since receiving Jesus that I was completely free from sin and death. Now, at the beginning of my faith, I might not have been able to put that into such words, but I have always known it.


   I think at this point in my faith, pretty much everything I do, I do to wholly serve God. Now, I'm not saying that everything I do is selfless, serving, and worshipping God, because, I do have that sinful nature that wants to be selfish and self serving. But. as an overall theme to my life, I do make daily choices through the lens of Scripture as to what would be glorifying to God and what wouldn't be. I think the freedom comes in knowing what that choice is. You don't have to debate and fight with yourself on what that choice should be. Will this be glorifying to God? Is this in line with His Word? You know what God's Word says and all you have to do is obey Him.

Please chime in with any thoughts you have on this doctrine of grace. It seems to be a little more prevalent an issue for me since we currently attend a Free Will Baptist church that leans more toward Armenian! I know. I know. More discussion of that later.

What are your thoughts?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Musings

We took the kids to see a movie at the dollar theater last week. We stayed until the ending credits and then got up to leave. While we were walking out, and the credits were still playing, Bailey (4) says,

"Mama, why didn't we turn that movie off?"

She's such a responsible child.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Chapter Eight-Week Eight

I'm sorry I'm posting this a day late. I've had a sick baby and well, life just happens that way sometimes!

Anyway, let's go ahead and get started on Chapter Eight!


Read 1 Peter 2:18-19. How were the physical slaves in the early church instructed to respond to their earthly masters?

     I thought it was interesting how slavery in the first century, even though it was definately possible to have a master that was cruel, didn't resemble the slavery we think of in the 18th and 19th centuries. They could be educated, trained and function in the same employements as free persons. And, it was almost indistinguishable, as far as physical appearance and dress, to determine who was slave and free. Also, it was possible to earn freedom and possibly someday even own slaves as well. Certainly slavery wasn't the ideal scenario, and God definately didn't promote slavery. But, when He spoke in the New Testament He knew that analogy would be understood. 1 Peter teaches that slaves should submit to their masters even if their master was not kind.

How would a harsh master have served as an illustration of the oppression that characterizes sin?

     I could just imagine the suffering taking place. It would likely be physical, mental and emotional anguish and just an all around hopeless and depressed feeling. The same is absolutely true of sin.

How is slavery to God different from slavery to sin?

     God, in this analogy, would be the best, most caring, most perfect master. He would be compassionate, loving, kind and all of those characteristics that God is. His slave would be completely cared for, the most prestigious and eventually adopted into His family. Sin, in this analogy, would be the cruelest, most wicked, and hateful task master ever. You would not be cared for at all and you would never be free, but always suffer anguish and hopelessness.



God calls the wages of sin death (Romans 3:23). Not much can get more serious than death. Sin also brought about the downfall of man (Genesis) and the ultimate separation of man from God.

How does Jesus define true freedom?

Jesus said that everyone is a slave to sin. Only through Him, can you become free from sin. Only Jesus can take away the "cruel task master" sin.

In light of Ephesians 2:1-10 do you agree that sinners are unable to change their fallen nature or rescue themselves from sin?

     Here is where John MacArthur tends to lean toward a Calvanist view of the doctrine of Grace, that the sinner is completely unable to save himself, or also called "total depravity". There is another view that many take regarding this doctrine which would be that sinners are depraved, but there is enough free will that man can choose to accept the free gift of freedom from sin on their own. This is called the Armenian view. I'll write more abou these differences in the coming chapters. I personally, like MacArthur, lean more toward the Calvinist view on this point. Ephesians clearly states that sinners are dead in their sin, but only alive through Christ. I would think that if one is dead, he wouldn't have anything left to be able to do anything. He's dead- completely void of anything living. A dead person wouldn't be capable of coming back alive on his own.

What is God's response to prideful, self righteous people?

     Well, pride, in that you are placing yourself above others, is sinful. Self righteousness is a sinful attitutude. The pharisee had commited just as much sin as the tax gatherer, but the tax gatherer admitted his sin and asked forgiveness.


Romans 3:10-12

    None of us can stand blameless before God. We are ALL sinners. Every one of us- you, me, the Pope. Mother Theresa. ALL of us. Everyone who has every lived has sinned, and therefore, apart from Jesus taking away that sin, we cannot stand blameless before God.

Romans 6:1-2

     It's wrong to say that you would continue to sin, just so that God could pour out more of His grace on you. If you had really accepted His gift of freedom from sin, then you would quit living in a pattern of unrepentant sin, and live in the freedom from sin that He has given you.


People who openly flaunt their slavery to sin.

I've heard people make this statement so many times "Well, I'm going to hell anyway, but at least all of my friends will be there!" So much is wrong with that mind set! First of all, you don't have to "go to hell anyway". There is obviously a way out- Jesus. We all have sinned, but Jesus has offered to be our Savior- to save us from hell. No sin is too great that Jesus didn't cover it at the cross. Not one single sin is too great. So, whatever you did, or are currently doing, you can repent and ask Jesus to save you and cover that sin and He will. Secondly, hell is NOT going to be a big party. You won't even see your friends, you will be in isolation. Hot and burning and isolation, completely separated from God, in burning, suffering, anguish. Forever. Definately NOT a party.

But, Satan sure makes sin and hell sound tempting, doesn't he? That's why he's a deciever. He's called 'angel of light' because he (and sin) looks good on the outside, but at the core is vile, putrid, and disgusting filth. It's like that nice piece of fruit on the market stand that looks so shiny and delicious, but when you pick it up and take it home to eat it, one bite reveals it's full of worms and rotten.

So, what are your thoughts?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Resurrection Day 2013

Brennan was sick this weekend, so I had to stay home with her Sunday morning. David took the kids on to church to see the Passion play they were performing and then the egg hunt afterwards. Poor Brennan just missed out. I had her pretty little dress all picked out. I guess she'll have to wear it next week.

That's just the way it goes with kids!

David cooked his "famous" ham. Well, actually he made the glaze and I cooked it since I was home. I just kept it simple and had mashed potatoes, corn, salad and rolls. I was spring cleaning on Friday and Saturday, so I was pretty tired by Sunday. Timothy put together some Resurrection eggs to do after we ate, and we watched the Gospel of John, you know the one with Desmond from Lost. I kept waiting to hear him say, "See you in a notha life, Brotha."


I was flipping channels on Saturday night while I was nursing Brennan and I came across the movie, The Passion of the Christ. Now, when it first came out, I just didn't want to see it. But, I thought, "Well, maybe I'll watch it now."

When it got to the arrest and beating, I just had to turn it off. I couldn't even watch. That was exactly why I never wanted to watch it when it came out in the first place. It was too much.

My eyes welled up with tears. I got a pit in my stomach. I didn't realize I was going to be that upset over it. I know I've heard hundreds of times of Jesus being scourged and mocked and beaten and hung. And everytime I have heard it I've been touched that Jesus would have died for me.

But, this time, actually seeing it. Actually seeing that barbed whip rip though his flesh over and over again.  Then they stopped, turned him over onto his back and whipped him again. And to think that I deserved that punishment. That he took that beating for me.....

I didn't watch the rest. I didn't even see what they did with hanging him on the cross. I can imagine I would've had to turn that off eventually too.

Well, I can tell you that this Resurrection Day has left me with a better understanding of how he suffered. And, oh, how he suffered. ALL sin was on him, not just mine. And, he knew it was going to happen. And, he still went through with it.

Do you know Jesus? He took that beating for you, too. He took that beating so that we wouldn't have to face death, but Hope. Hope of being with Jesus forever if we put all of our trust in Him. Have you decided to trust Jesus? That is the single most important decision you will ever make.

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