Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'd like to wish everyone who visits here a wonderful Christmas. May you enjoy the company of friends and family at this Christmas season, and above all cherish the true meaning of Christmas with your families. As the world grows weary of all the strife and war, may the peace of Christ rest in your heart, and shine through your lives in the coming 2013 year. May God bless you from our house to yours.  Carrie

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Giveaway

For those who follow my blog I have a surprise this month! We are having a book giveaway--
from Emily Ann Benedict, the author of , The Father Christmas Confessions, an ebook which is available on Amazon .com comes the opportunity to win her first novel Only Angels Are Bulletproof.

Homeschooled by her parents her first inclinations were toward art, but after an illness left her with lots of time on her hands she turned to writing as an outlet. Emily Ann Benedict lives and writes in the Central Valley area of California. God works in ways known only to him to put our feet on the paths that he wants us to travel--when you read her books you will see what I mean. For a chance to win leave me a comment  on why you would like to read this book.

FBI agent, Scott Malkin, did not believe in God, heaven, and certainly not angels…until a simple bank robbery went horribly wrong.
In her first novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, Emily Ann Benedict takes her reader on a page turning ride of suspense and mystery when a seemingly random young woman is fatally shot in front of Scott and dozens of witnesses, yet survives and disappears before anyone can question her.
Scott’s quest to stop a plague of bank robberies in the Los Angeles area quickly becomes a quest to prove that things such as angels and miracles do not exist. But when the hunt turns deadly and threatens to consume his friends and family, Scott is faced with one very strange question: Is believing Only Angles Are Bulletproof the only way to stop a crimina

I have read both of these books and can only say that you are in for a treat. She has the God-given ability to pen a story that is not only a page turner but at the same time weaving the witness of the gospel into each chapter--and have you smiling at the same time. Don't miss the chance for a great read--enter by leaving me a comment below along with your contact information so that I can notify the winner. The winner will recieve a signed copy of Only Angels Are Bulletproof  from Emily Ann. Contest ends December 25th.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Listen Intently

You ask almost any Christian and they will be able to name off a verse of scripture that is special to them. Some have one, others may have several, but almost everyone has at least one. I was thinking of this the other night, comparing my husband’s favorite verse with mine. When the Lord showed me that the two seemed to be linked together, so I began to study the two side by side.

 Phillip’s favorite verse is Psalm 51: 10:

Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (spirit = mind--according to Strongs)

It is the heart’s cry of David during some of his most trying times. David wanted to know God in the most desperate of ways.

Yet he knew that because of his sinful nature(the same nature that is in all people) he was separated from God. God is Holy, too holy to look on sin, so David cried out for God to cleanse his heart of his sin and give him a clean heart so that he could have that right spirit/mind that he needed for him to be able to continue close to God.


One of my most favorite verses is a promise God gives not just to me, but to every one of his children.

      If there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” 2 Cor. 8:12

(if you remember, mind=spirit)

When I was shown this verse it was like a light came on in my head! All God wants from me is a willingness to obey him. Then lately as I have been studying what scripture says about the mind of Christ I realized Phillipians 2:58:explains why the promise in  2 Corinthians 8  is given:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but, made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion(or form) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (the part in italics took place in heaven as he voluntarily laid down his deity for a time , the rest of the verse(underlined) speaks of Jesus as a man here on earth)It is the willing mind/spirit of Christ that God looks for in us, his children.

When you think of these verses side by side, you see the answer to David’s cry for cleansing. 

David was willing for God to change him, not just willing be pleading with him to. God accepted David just as he was and indeed created a clean heart and a right spirit/mind in him-- Just as he does with us when we cry out to him.


In the same way that David understood he could not do this for himself no matter how much he tried, we must realize that we cannot make our hearts clean enough for God, but if our minds are willing to allow him to make us clean- first through the washing of the blood of Christ, then daily if we come to him with that willing mind, then He can work in and through our lives.


Not us working, but him working through our willing mind/spirit—which  he has promised us he will accept.


Satan works on us with doubts and feelings of unworthiness, trying to make us feel that we do not have what it takes to raise our children as God wants-- to teach a Sunday School class-- to witness to our co-workers-- to come alongside a brother in need and walk with him through his trials. Why does he do this? Because he knows our prideful nature, that we will look to ourselves for the ability to do these things and in most all cases will admit we can’t and give up.

But God doesn’t look at any of those things that we think of as necessary. He is not concerned with what we don’t have. Why?—because “ my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Php. 4:19

God has the resources he needs stored up, just waiting for you to willingly listen to him. Why do I say that? Go back to Phillipians 2:58 and read it again, the last part of the verse is our key. We as men and women must humble ourselves, admit that we don’t have what it takes to carry out his work-- and become obedient, which in the Greek carries the meaning of ‘listening intently’.


After Jesus found himself in the flesh and blood of man-- with all the weaknesses and tendencies to sin that all mankind has: look back at the verse-- from that point on he humbled himself,(he conceded that he did not have what it would take as a man to live the life God intended for him). Thank God he did not give up or stop as we are so prone to do. What did he do? Then he “became obedient’ or he began ‘listening intently for his heavenly father’s instructions’  How long did he listen? until his death.


This is what we need to do, follow Jesus’ example: admit you don’t have what it takes. Not to others, not to the world for they are not the ones who matter in this situation, but admit it  to God! Humble yourself before a God who loves and knows you before you ever tell him, then start listening intently to what he has to say to you. The ability you(and I) need is in his outstretched hand Christian!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Continuing Faith

I thought of this title just "off the top of my head". My first reaction was that it needed to be more interesting, something to 'catch the eye of the mind'. (you may think the same:),but when I began to think of what I could rename it, the thought came that it was exactly what I wanted to talk about. So yes, I am continuing this discussion on faith that I began the first of the month....AND in addition I will be talking about 'continuing faith'-- the type of faith that God looks for in us and that each of us must also draw on everyday. To do that I am looking at the continuing faith of Job.

 Most of us today have experience with trials such as Job faced only through reading or possibly watching a movie that portrays a character beaten down by circumstances, rising up and fighting back in revenge for the wrongs that he has faced. It makes for exciting reading because the human part of us wants to take charge of our own destiny-be the hero that rights all wrongs-or feel that we have the power to care for ourselves and others. It is the natural response from the natural man.

His family gone, his wife turned bitter, his position in the community and the prestige and respect that came with it lost when his assets were confiscated by warring tribes--Job knew he could do nothing to get back what he had lost--but he knew someone who could. The entire book of Job contemplates the dilemma of Job.
1. Why did it happen?
 It happened because by right of His position as Creator and Sovereign God, God himself can and  does do what he wants and does not answer to anyone-- least of all the creation.
2.What good came of it?
Job came away with not only a new family,restored possessions and a deeper respect by the community, but with a far deeper knowledge himself of the God that he never stopped trusting through it all.(Job  13:15) Here is our continuing faith! Job determined to believe in his heart.
He learned that yes, he had been a righteous man who had served God and stayed away from all evil-- and the outward appearance of evil,(Ch. 2:10) but he also learned that his righteousness was as filthy rags beside the holiness of a Sovereign, Holy God. (Ch. 40:7-8)
In the end Job confessed his sinful nature, his lack of knowledge and repented before God.             (ch. 42:6)

What about the friends who had only made things worse, by offering advice on something which they  had no knowledge? (ch. 38:2)While they judged Job on circumstantial evidence-- God told them Job was more righteous than they were. Why? Because they had not repented when God showed them his majesty. Because of that it would be only through bringing sacrifices and asking Job to pray for them would they be able to receive His forgiveness.(ch. 42:7)
In  this way God placed respect for Job  back into these men's eyes and hearts-- but also into the hearts of the community as others saw them asking Job to intercede on their behalf.
  The Lesson they learned that day?
The day the Lord met with them, all four men learned that no matter who you are, how much you think you know, or how good you think you are doing--you are nothing compared to God!

  3.What can we learn from it?
 I can only tell you what the Lord showed me through this story: God knows the limits of our faith; and the trials he allows to come to us are placed there to grow that faith to the next level. I have only a partial picture, a partial understanding of the events that are happening around me. As a created being I cannot understand everything - unless the Lord, my Creator, chooses to open my understanding.
 When I practice continuing faith as Job did and sacrifice my natural desire to control my destiny and 'fix' things the way I think they should be 'fixed'-- my obedience allows God to move and work on my behalf just as he did with Job, therefore it is Himself that receives the glory-- and that is just how it should be!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hoping for Faith that will move Mountains?

So many times I hear others say "I'm praying for faith". Or "my faith is just not strong enough". I have heard myself say the same things. As I grow older--in time and in the Word--I am beginning to understand things about faith that I had never thought of before. Listen again to God's definition of faith:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1
This statement is couched in what is called a 'compound' sentence. Which simply means the subject of the sentence is followed by two statements that could be put with that subject(faith) to make a sentence that stands alone.
 For Example:  Faith is the substance of things hoped for.
                         Faith is the evidence of things not seen.
Since faith is made up of two things and not just one, the writer placed them both into one sentence.
It is only by doing this that he could give the complete and correct definition of faith.
Maybe you are wondering why the English lesson? It's very important to our understanding of what faith truly is. It makes the passage on faith and works in the book of James 2:17 a little easier to understand as well.
Look at Peter's famous 'walk on the water' episode in Matthew 14. he was in the middle of a huge storm, they saw someone coming toward them, they weren't sure who it was-fear started to take over,verse 27 says 'straightway' that means 'immediately' when the fear started before they asked, Jesus reassured them that it was him.    vs.28 Peter says, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." In Peter's statement is the first part of the definition of faith. 'Things hoped for' What was he hoping to do? Walk across the water to Jesus. Now here is the second part of faith: vs. 29 "And he said, Come" Jesus let Peter know right then that it was possible for him to walk across that water and come to him in that one word-come. The two parts of faith have been met.
Now back to the book of James.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Jms. 2:17
If Peter had never stepped out of that boat his faith would have been dead faith. It doesn't matter that he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink and Jesus had to come to his rescue. This was a growing faith that had not matured at this point. The point on faith here is that Peter put the works of stepping out to the hope he had that he could do it, and to the evidence Jesus gave him that he had given him the power to do it.
I hope you will study these verses on faith. and on the next post I will continue.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

2 Peter-dealings in the church

Ch. 1 --The apostle Peter makes it clear in this letter that he is reminding this congregation of believers of something they have already been taught. He has gone back through the character traits that set a child of God apart from everyone else in the previous verses, and warns them to diligently make their calling and election sure.
He doesn't tell them that they should judge each other with this list but themselves. Why? Because he knows that without these traits, they cannot stand against the attacks of Satan.

We who call ourselves Christians today would do well to study this list, go to the references given, and study those as well to make sure our election and calling is sure-- today more than any time in the history of mankind the congregation of God's children is under attack. Do we have what it will take to stand under it? In some cases do we have the knowledge of the living Word we need to know when we are even being attacked?

Peter says that if we don't have an intimate knowledge of the ways of God and how he works then we cannot expect to stand.  He reminds them(and us as well) that it is not just his word, but the words of Christ himself and the other apostles who heard it the same as he did-- while they studied and learned from him for those three years. Vs. 20 says there is no private interpretation of the scripture, the reason for that was because the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. They weren't just voicing their opinions as is the case so many times today.

May we be careful that we have a clear knowledge of the Word so that we may recognise false teachings when we hear it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kit Up!

A kit is a package containing items a person will need to be able to carry out a certain job or activity-
 Students recieve a student packet or kit when they enroll in school. Soldiers are issued a kit when they volunteer for service to their country. Inside these kits are literature about this new life they are beginning, giving them what is required of them by the school or by the particular branch of armed services they are in. The literature consists of:
  • Their personal identification- something that is exclusively theirs which no one else can legally use.
  • The history of the organization, and the current leadership.
  • What is expected of each person who enrolls or signs up with the organization.
  •  Information on how to contact authorities to ask questions or make requests for help when they run into difficulty.
  • If they have problems understanding they have been assigned an advisor, or an officer who can help them. 
  •   Access to places and valuable tools they will need in the future.
Another more valuable kit
The Holy Scriptures tell us that when each believer accepts Jesus as Saviour we are given a Guide in the person of the Holy Spirit to lead and help us through this new life. But did you know that you were also given a "kit" when you became a disciple of God? This kit is what I will explore in my blog today.
Inside this kit every believer is given:
  • A personal ID which no one else can use.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Revelation 2:17

You become a part of a new family and are given the family name so that you can be identified as such.
This isn't just any family that is adopting you, this is the God of Heaven and earth himself.
This bond-- this adoption is an eternal transaction. (Jn. 3:16)
    You are given a timeless and divinely inspired book
    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inspiration in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16,17
    -- the Holy Bible which gives you:
    •   the history of all creation(Genesis)
    •  as well as your new family(The four gospels) 
    • An introduction to Jesus who made it possible for you to be offered freedom from sin
          The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God,         which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1: 29 
    • Information on how to contact the One who can answer all your requests and who is there to give help anytime it is needed through the person of the Holy Spirit
    • Grace that  enables you to live a life that will be pleasing to God your Heavenly Father 
    • Peace that comes from knowing the will of God and submitting to it in your life
Sadly most Christians don't even realize what a valuable resource they been given,or they read through it only to decide it is something they don not want to follow--They have ways they think are more in tune with today. They feel it doesn't "apply to their situation". Do you use the "kit" the Lord has provided for you? Look for it-- dust it off-- and become familiar with it's contents and commit to obey so that you are able to truly stand as a child  the Living God can be proud of!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


As the title of this post so aptly put it I am a procrastinator. Not intentionally mind you, I intend to get  things done in a timely manner- just at another time, as is obvious by my lack of articles lately.
I sit down to my work - and emails need to be read and responded to, then there are the notifications from facebook that let me know I should check out friends there. Everyone and everything seems to be calling me away from my purpose of placing another article on the page.The next thing I know, I have traveled the internet from "stem to stern", have never left my desk and sadly, have still to write my article. Then as just happened about three hours ago family responsibilities call me away and the temptation to "wait and write tomarrow" comes over me.But tonight, for it is night now, I will perservere and complete the task I set out to do today at lunch!

As I sit and think about it,if I am not careful, my spiritual days can follow that same pattern. I am tempted to be the same procrastinator. Setting out to witness to someone and being sidetracked by a phonecall from a friend or family member to meet for lunch or something--resolving today that I will start to read my Bible through this year- yet going to bed after a hard day with the promise to do better "tomarrow". Then day follows day and my good intentions get pushed to the background by the day to day routine of interruptions. And that is what they are-routine interruptions.The ones that Satan is so adept at placing in just the right spot at just the right time to distract and ultimately deter me.These interruptions have just enough variety to them that if I am not careful I won't notice the daily routine.

How about you? When you think of the past few months or weeks, can you think of any "interruptions that have become routine at keeping you from spiritual growth or service? I Peter 5:8 tells us to be sober, be vigilant(always on the lookout) Why? because your adversary (your enemy) the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
I ask you to remember that lions hunt in prides. Just as it isn't always the lion that is roaring that brings the prey down-- Satan does not hunt alone either.The demon that is stalking just out of sight is lethal as well. It is only through the perservering of faith that we--you and I will be able to resist.