Archive for category What I’ve Learned

Praise God in the Tough Times…for good reason!

Another day, another night. Time to catch some zzzz’s. Life is always pretty interesting to me, but the last two months, and more specifically, the last two weeks…have been very challenging.

Though I was tempted at times to give in to worry…The Lord wouldn’t let me. He reminded me that He created everything out of nothing, so He certainly can take care of me and my family! The way He chooses to take care of us may not look like I think it should look, but He definitely is taking care of us!

In fact, as I stepped back and observed the “big picture” with new eyes, I could see that He was drawing my family closer than we’ve ever been before. I also was able to see my son with new eyes, and I can’t explain how much pride I have in his newly evidenced maturity!

And once again I am reminded why The Lord wants the sacrifice of praise when we’re in tough times… He knows that when we do that, we foil the plans of the devil! Face it…he wants to destroy those who aren’t born again simply because he hates God so much that he wants to keep as many of His beloved humans from following Him! And, since he can’t destroy those of us who belong to Him through our born-again nature, then the enemy wants to make us ineffective Christians.

So when you are in tough times, friends…Praise The Lord! Sing praises to Him! Thank Him for allowing the tough times so that you can grow closer to Him, and so that The Lord will have a more effective army on this earth! And so you can destroy the enemy of God, and make his efforts powerless against you and yours!

AMEN! Hallelujah!

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As the deer panteth for the water…

I finished Revelations a week ago. Since then I’ve been “reading” Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon.

First of all, I started at Ecclesiastes because I thought I’d go back through the Prophets, but decided to start w/Ecclesiastes, and move forward from there. I was surprised to find that this is the first time I didn’t get depressed by going through Ecclesiastics. It’s always been depressing to me because everything is “vanity.” No matter what we do, it’s “vanity.” And yet, in other parts of the Bible, I am promised that all Christians have Hope, through, and because of, Jesus. So, maybe someday I’ll actually understand Ecclesiastes. Jesus will explain it to me, somehow.

And now, The Song of Solomon. I am reminded that I’ve never thought of God the same way I’ve ever thought about any man with whom I thought I was falling in love. This includes my husband, of course. When I would think about these people, I would devote most of my thinking every day to memorizing how they looked, their eyes, their hair, the way they carried themselves, projecting their character into the probable future, etc. I would read and re-read their notes, cards and letters. I would gain more insight into their core being by analyzing every move, every comment, written and verbalized.
I have Never thought of God that way. It seemed too carnal. And yet, now I realize, it’s not carnal when it is pure love for God. No, it is PERFECT LOVE. Nothing else matches it. Nothing else matters. And I have His Love Letter to me (and you), His Bride. I need to concentrate on His Word and His Creation, and all the creatures He has brought into being, because THESE are the things that reveal His nature and His Great Love for me (and all of us as His Bride)!

Holy, Holy Father…. as the deer panteth for the water, so my soul shall pant after Thee….

Amen!

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“Why You Think The Way You Do”…From Rome to Home

I didn’t forget! It’s been a long day, but I can finally put this up…

A week ago I said that I would let you know about Dr. Glenn Sunshine’s book, “Why You Think The Way You Do.” The reasons for this are:

  1. it was one of the books that we had to read for The Centurions Program,
  2. it was one of the easier books we had to read,
  3. it starts with a look at what a worldview is, and why it’s important to understand what one’s worldview is, and
  4. it gives a framework—gives us historical context–on which we can “hang” everything else.

Because understanding what a worldview is, and why it’s so important that Christians develop a Biblical worldview, Dr. Glenn’s book starts with a chapter that deals with “worldview.” What is it, and why should I care about it?

In the rest of his book, Dr. Glenn deals specifically with how the worldviews we see in our culture today were formed, and what “informed” them. He chooses several worldviews and shows how they were expressed in each age.

He chose to start his book with the worldviews/philosophies of the Roman world into which Jesus entered history, and moves forward to today’s worldviews. This is why the subtitle of his book is, “From Rome to Home.”

Christianity played a huge role in the formation of Western thought, and the people and the events that The Lord has used to spread His Word and Thoughts. Sadly, we don’t hear as much as we could/should about this in our culture today, but that doesn’t mean the facts and histories aren’t out there. People like Dr. Glenn are devoted to bringing these things to light today!

In Dr. Glenn’s book, you will read about how the rich Romans aborted or killed their unwanted babies by “flushing” them down their toilets. You will also read that those practices were not limited to the upper class, and the evidence for this.

You will see how Rome was propped up by foreigners, who did the majority of the work in their hey-day. And you will get a good idea as to why the Roman Empire collapsed. You will see Constantine go from the greatest persecutor of Christians, to making Christianity the law of the land. The Medieval times were incredible, and each region had it’s own characteristics…i.e., the Italian Medieval times in comparison the English. You will see some of the problems Christianity faced when the “New World” was discovered, and it put to the test a lot of the core beliefs of Christianity.

There’s a whole lot more, but I suggest you read it yourself. This is one of my all-time favorite books!

Enjoy!

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It was a slow day at the shop….

Frederick Douglass

Image via Wikipedia

…so I read the whole book!

I own a used book store.

This has been a particularly hard winter with a LOT of snow! Consequently, foot traffic has been lighter than “normal.” Although business is down a bit, I have the luxury of of indulging my need to read, what with having 53K+ books to choose from.

This particular day, I picked up a little book by Frederick Douglass, “Written by Himself.” The following is a nutshell of what I learned.

1. “Written by Himself” was an important point for him to make, because blacks were not considered capable of intelligent thought, much less able to write a book. He made sure people KNEW the book was his own.

2.  I was bothered by the fact that so many slaves were really rightful heirs of the Masters they served, because those masters had abused a slave woman. Frederick, himself, was a bi-racial result of such a master’s behavior. However, it was often the wife of the Master who insisted that the illegitimate children be treated as slaves. Often those children had an even harder life than the “regular” slaves as a result of their genes.

3.  One of Frederick’s “Masters” was a lady who taught him how to read a little (when he was about seven) until her husband forced her to stop it. He continued to learn from the little white boys that were his friends in the city.

4.  The argument that that husband gave to his wife for why she shouldn’t teach Frederick to read was that if all the slaves learned to read and write they would rise up against their masters. This became the motivation that drove Frederick to educate himself.

5.  His little white friends also eventually taught him to write. Apparently he used trickery to get them to show him how it was done.

6.  Later, when he had to go back to his original plantation, he spent his Sundays teaching other slaves to read and write. (It was still illegal.)

7.  He apparently read the Bible at some point, because he understood that all men had been created in the image of God. He also knew the difference between the Christianity that the Bible presents, as opposed to the Christianity that the” Christian” white people inflicted on their slaves. These people, according to him, only used Scripture to support their heinous behaviors. He pointed out that so many of the “Masters” around him were pastors, deacons, evangelizers, and holders of high church offices, but around the slaves they were the most brutal, harsh, and offensive people around.

8. He eventually managed to escape, but refused to give specifics so that he wouldn’t hurt any of the people who helped, or any of the people who might need their future help.

9. He wrote and published his book at the suggestion of a friend. This took a lot of courage, in light of the fact that he was still a fugitive.

10.  He apparently left the country and spent a couple of years in Britain after the publicatiion of his book. He came back richer, and bought his own freedom.

11.  He was a Republican.

12.  He was also a counselor to Abraham Lincoln.

13.  He was one of the biggest recruiters of black soldiers that we had.

14.  He was appointed to be the US Representative to Haiti.

I heartily recommend this book to any reader of any age. However, it can be an emotional thing to read when Mr. Douglass talks about some of the abuse he and others experienced. So keep that in mind for younger readers.

If we must have heroes, certainly Frederick Douglass should be one of them.

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