Thursday Book Review – LibriVox

In keeping with the grounding theme of this week, today I want to talk a little about why I do a Thursday Book Review. There’s really two reasons, the first is that I think we’re losing some of the best books from hundreds, and sometimes a thousand or so, years ago. Men gave their lives for Gods Word, we have the amazing blessing of reading about them, sometimes in their own words, with the capability we have today with technology. Over the last week I listened to two audio books written in the second century by believers who were personally trained by the Apostles. That’s amazing!

The second reason this is important is that there are major falsehoods being peddled today in mass, through modern book publishers and stores. When you can put a pagan book and a Joyce Meyers book side by side and have them be nearly identical, we’ve got some literary issues. It’s hard to keep up with all the wolves making merchandise off our brothers and sisters. Pointing them to good books with accurate theology can be a great place to start. Often times a non believer won’t hear the Gospel from you, especially if it’s a family member. Theologically sound books are an excellent way to bridge that gap as well.

As I mentioned, I was able to listen to a couple of audio books last week, and while I’m going to have to once again push back the review of David Brainerd’s Journal, I do want to recommend LibriVox. Beloved, this website is chalk full of free audio books that are in the public domain. This means many of our favorites, like Spurgeon, Calvin, Luther, Owens, Edwards, and Bunyan are available. You can download them and listen to them without internet, which certainly comes in handy during long trips to families houses for the holidays!

Obviously the most important thing we can read is the #1 best seller of all times, the Bible. Currently my list of books based on importance would go: Bible, Pilgrims Progress, David Brainerd’s Journal (which is why I’m so excited to review it!) then Foxes Book of Martyrs. I would love to hear what some of your favorites are, dear brethren. Many of your book reviews have been a tremendous blessing to me. I pray that you will all continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As always, beloved friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Wednesday Testimony – John Mark

Beloved, in continuing my week of grounding this blog again, I want to discuss an amazing Biblical testimony that is a prime example of what Wednesday Testimony is supposed to be about. John Mark was a missionary with Paul and Barnabas. You’ve all read, I’m sure, how he chickened out and went back home. This led Paul and Barnabas to split later, when Barnabas wanted to give John Mark another chance and Paul thought it was a bad idea.

There’s so much here, what a rich text we have! Many get discouraged when believers argue or separate. It took several years, and a good deal of time spent with Peter, before Paul and John Mark were reunited in fellowship. There’s going to be times when we disagree, and those disagreements might lead us in different paths. Like Wesley and Whitfield, Paul and Barnabas continued their work, the disunity with one another didn’t mean one had to back down while the other succeeded. I think there’s an important example there, when we find ourselves at a crossroad with a true believer.

We also see in John Mark a clear picture of redemption. He would go on to such boldness as to write one of the four Gospels. We know from early church literature that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark based on Peters first hand witness. We’ve all had that moment when we know we need to stand firm, we know we need to witness, we know we need to do the right thing and we falter. It feels like we’ve let down the triune Godhead. We can sit with or head in our hands and consider all Gods done for us, salvation, sanctification, justification, purification…all of the ‘ications’. There’s no doubt that God is good, merciful, gracious, just, loving, righteous, and perfect in all His ways. There’s also no doubting that we are not. The only good thing in me is Christ, all I can boast of is His grace.

Wednesday Testimony is grounded in this truth, that God saves imperfect people. Imperfect people like John Mark can fail miserably and still be used mightily by the God of Strength. I’ve never, and will never, write a testimony of a perfect man. Only one has ever lived, and He didn’t need salvation, He is salvation, He is the truth, the life, and the way. When we hear about these men who were weak, wretched vessels in the hands of the Almighty God, I pray we all find encouragement. When we put our faith in Christ alone, by the grace of God we are saved, and become the weak, wretched vessels God will use today.

I had a difficult time last week, a believer I respected lied to me. It was heart wrenching. They are an imperfect vessel, and so am I. When I place myself in the correct perspective I can look on God’s holiness, and rather than anger or offense feel sorrow for the person who faltered in temptation. I can give grace, because I have received so much grace. This is not to say that we accept sin, or make excuses for sinful behavior, but that we lovingly pray for the believers who have given into the temptation we all feel from time to time. Many of you have been believers far longer than I have, and I welcome your advice on how you handle situations where another believer has lied to you, or hurt you. As Brother Washer likes to say “many of you have forgotten more about the Bible than I’ll ever learn.”

As I continue to get grounded again this week, I look to the elders of the body of Christ. You are blessings to me, and to know you are there and I have the ability to ask, to learn from, to sit at the feet of your wisdom and glen from what you write, is something I ceaselessly thank God for. I pray God uses Wednesday Testimonies to encourage and edify you, dear friends. And as always, my most beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Getting Grounded Again

Hello beloved brethren! My how I missed you all during this past week. Ordinarily when we travel I can find pockets of internet here and there, along with a little down time, to read your posts and write a little myself. This time was a little different and I found myself in some challenging situations. I’ll tell you a little more about those difficulties in later posts. Right now, my desire is to reintroduce the point and purpose behind our twisted Tuesday’s.

I had a conversation with a very sweet little girl a while back, while she was making bracelets with Kayliegh. She started explaining to us how when you die you get wings and become an angel. I know this young lady, and her family, to be church goers. How did such an unbiblical teaching make its way into her thought process?

What does is this have to do with Twisted Tuesdays? In my own little homeschooling world communicating with others is limited. I witness when I can, I discuss issues of the Word when they come up, but mostly my days consist of math, history, science, reading and writing, Bible study, repeat. Vacations have a way of throwing us off kilter. They give us an opportunity to spend more time with the lost. There are so many errant views of Christ, it’s enough to make your head spin. My nightly readings with Kayliegh are currently in 1 John. All throughout the epistles we see that there were many false doctrines already rearing their ugly heads.

I was reminded why I had such zeal to write on the scriptures that were twisted so often, when I saw the lost holding confidently to a false christ that can not save. They have false hope. They have created a god in their own image. They are following doctrines of demons. I had a chill as I listened to someone explain the terror they felt over reading ‘Lord, Lord’ And He answers ‘Turn from me workers of iniquity, I never knew you.’

That’s it! That’s why I started writing to begin with. To give God the glory, to encourage and edify the body of Christ, and to speak truth into darkness. There’s enough misconceptions, and false doctrines, to fill a thousand blogs for all eternity, and new ones pop up daily. I’m clearly not the best person to be writing against these falsehoods, many others can and do present a case far better than I’m capable. I’m not being self loathing, just honest. I needed to have my mind renewed, my zeal fired up, to recall that we all have a purpose in the body of Christ. John Owen was one of the most intelligent men to ever preach. John Bunyan, Owens good friend, was a tinker…one of the least educated men to preach. Owens loved to come and listen to Bunyan preach. God used both those men at the exact same time.

Several weeks ago I read a blog by someone thinking about throwing in the towel, calling it quits to their blog. The things they said stuck with me, it can be very discouraging to write about God. It can be discouraging to get into endless debates with the lost who see the light but love the darkness. It can be discouraging when believers disagree with one another. After all, it was over disagreements on doctrine that got Bunyan thrown into jail for 12 years. How many anabaptists were drowned simply because they were using believers baptism?

So long as we live in a fallen world there will be plenty of reasons to be discouraged. But cheer up! Christ has overcome the world! I was having a particularly difficult morning when one of you sent me that very encouraging comment! What a difference it made to my day, when a dear sister decided to put aside whatever she was doing, and encourage me. Let us not grow weary of doing good, dear friends. Be like that kind sister, displaying the love of Christ in her attitude toward me.

This is the reason for twisted Tuesday, to tear down every high and lofty thought that sets itself up against the truth. All for the glory of God, Who is worthy…truly worthy…of all praise and honor and glory! Sing praises to this thrice holy God we serve! I hope you can have patience with me this week, beloved, as I get grounded again in the reasons why I write what I write. And as always, dear brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Intelligent Design – The Miracle of Life Part VIII

We are now in the home stretch of our series through the miracle of life. The 3rd trimester, the seventh month, is a big one for baby. The little one can now hear and see, and thanks to continuing brain development, retain the knowledge of what they are hearing or seeing. In this trimester the babies body is busy laying down layers of fat for the big day ahead. I want to focus on the ears today.

When it comes to intelligent design, I can see few better that glorify the creative intelligence of our great God than the human ear. Our ability to hear, and the design of our ears, is truly a work of art. See for yourself in this short clip…

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me that our body is doing so much work, we don’t even realize it. So much effort goes into hearing, and as we’ve already learned, thinking!

Beloved brethren, the purpose of this series is not to give you new points to argue with atheists on. It’s not even my goal to convince evolutionist that their theory is wrong. My goal here in this series is to encourage you, uplift and edify you, and to bring glory to God for His great name is worthy of all glory! How does learning about the human ear, or when the baby in the womb develops hearing, encourage you? Everything I’ve written about throughout the past several Monday’s flies in the face of evolution. We’re often accused of believing in the Pie in the Sky, it can become discouraging to constantly be mocked and ridiculed.

There was a point where even Timothy was discouraged, and Paul set out to encourage his son in the faith. Jesus encouraged His disciples, even on the night when He was to have the full wrath of God poured out on Him! The Psalms are filled with encouragement as well. We should encourage one another, embolden one another, and use whatever gifts we have been given to edify the brethren. I pray, first and foremost, that this series will bring God glory, and from that encouragement to my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ!

We really are fearfully and wonderfully made. Next Monday we’re going to delve into the miracle of the eyes, and some of the myths surrounding them. I know you will all be having a very busy week, filled with baking, fellowship, and for some travels. We will be traveling ourselves tomorrow straight across the United States. I pray that you will all have safe travels, and I look forward to the day, beloved, that we pull up chairs to a heavenly feast and are together for fellowship! As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Saturday Worksheets – Thankfulness

Hello dear ones, and happy Saturday! It’s been a while since I was able to make some worksheets, so today I have some copy work for you. These are scriptures revolving around thankfulness, as this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving here in America.

If there’s ever a specific type of worksheet or verse that would be helpful to you, brethren, as homeschoolers, parents, or Sunday school teachers, please don’t hesitate to ask. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Psalm95 1-2

Colossians3 15-16

Ephesians5 19-20

That’s Not the Answer

Happy Friday beloved! Today I want to talk about the kind of nonsense the world throws around as answers to problems. Right now, as many of you know, we’re still in North Dakota. We usually try to head south for the winter, and north for the summer. I’m ordinarily not fond of the cold, and with my husbands back and leg in its current state (multiple fractures, herniated disk, and a pinched sciatica) the cold is not his friend either.

However, I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the reactions many here have to the sun going down so early. It starts setting around 5, and is totally dark by 5:30. It rises late as well, so there’s less time to enjoy the sun. They call it ‘seasonal depression’ and there’s all sorts of answers for it. None of them are The Answer.

Next week, here in America, it will be Black Friday. A day when people trample one another, push, shove, or pepper spray their way to what they want. It’s become a spectacle of adults behaving worse than most school yard hooligans. There’s all sort of answers for it, but none of them are The Answer.

What is the answer to societies ills? Jesus Christ is the answer, He is the way and the truth and the life. Dear friends, this world will never be fixed until Christ reigns! This is why the social gospel fails, no amount of social justice will answer the problems of this world, it’s fallen. The only way we can help the lost is to share the Gospel with them. Be salt, and light, brethren.

We can not continue to repeat the lies of this fallen world, none of its answers can save. We have a wonderful opportunity this season to share The Answer. I know that evangelizing can be very intimidating, I’m going to add a link to some teaching that has been very helpful to me this past week. As always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved!

Thursday Book Review – Preview

Beloved, I did not finish the book I wanted to review today. It’s too good of a book not to do it justice so, instead, I’m going to get you all amped up with a preview. Next Thursday I’ll give you my opinion on this book, but for this week here is a little treat for you all! The preface for The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, written by Jonathan Edwards himself.

Wednesday Testimony- David Brainerd

The following excerpt is from the Life and Diary of David Brainerd, which I hope to review for you tomorrow, beloved. This is the testimony of how one lost wretch, working day and night to earn his salvation, was found by the grace of the sovereign God.

“I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty; it was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost; but it appeared to be divine glory. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious Divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied that he should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought (as I remember) at first about my own salvation, and scarce reflected there was such a creature as myself.

Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace, and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before.If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ.

David Brainerd’s testimony is one that is very similar to many of ours, dear friends. Once we knew there was certainly a God, and that we would be held accountable to Him on judgment day, we set forth in attempting to earn His forgiveness. I confess I did a very bad job of this, before getting saved. It was laughable to have assumed the little effort I put into it would have saved me. Then again, it’s laughable to think any effort can save. Brethren, we all now know and see, owing to the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that salvation can come only by grace alone. We are not saved by merit, good works, obedience to the law, speaking in tongues, or sacraments. We are saved by faith in Christ Jesus, because of the grace of a just and loving God.

Friend, if your reading this and have never experienced what Brainerd described, I implore you to work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Today is the day of salvation! We have sinned against an infinite God, thus our due judgment is infinite. The Good News of the Gospel is that God became man, lived a sinless life, died in our place, had the wrath of God poured out on Himself, rose from the dead for our justification, and is now making intercession for us in heaven. Repent of your sins, place your trust in Christ alone, flee from the wrath to come.

As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Intelligent Design – The Miracle of Life Part VII

We are in month six, dear friends, in our series through the miracle of life! This is going to be a good one, beloved, as this is the month when the brain begins to develop quickly. Hair is beginning to grow, eyelids form, and the beautiful life made in the image of God will open its eyes for the first time.

I want to focus on the brain development today, brethren, as it’s tied into part VI in an interesting way. Last week we discussed the heart and lungs developing in the fifth month. How does that tie into the development of the brain? Electricity! You see the same pattern in the way our ears pick up a sound, with electrical signals. The heart pumps blood with electrical signals, which push the blood cells to the lungs to be oxygenated. The brain uses electrical signals, as you’ll see in this video clip…

Isn’t that amazing? Did you see my favorite character rock the show in that clip? Yup, that’s right friends, motor proteins are busy at work in all 8 billion brains cells right now moving the needed protein to allow the synapses to function. Our bodies are wonderfully made, connected by the Creator in a symphony of design.

Why is the brain development so important to our series? The brain is a complex organ that we’re just beginning to understand. Everything we learn about the brain flies in the face of evolutionism. In fact, Darwin himself said that if things were complex evolution could not be true. Irreducible complexity does not begin to describe the brain, but as you see in the clip above if one tiny portion of the brain cell ceases to function according to its purpose the end result is detrimental. That means for the brain to ‘evolve’ it needs to do so with all working elements at the same time.

The brain, while increasingly developing during pregnancy, continues to develop into our mid to late twenties. What tells the cells in a miniature baby’s body to form brain cells? Everything needed for life can be found in a tiny book, in the center of a microscopic cell, our DNA. It’s irrational to think that a book can be written without a writer. It’s even more irrational to think our DNA, the most intricate system of information on our planet, was written by chance.

There is one last miracle I want to discuss in regards to this particular month of pregnancy. Many of you know my husband is a Respiratory Therapist, and often works in the NICU. Due to his work, he has personally been in the delivery of, and apart of the team that cares for, premature babies born at 24 weeks. He has done these dozens of times and has never lost a baby yet. We are blessed to live in a time of such medical advancements, especially as our genetic codes continue to devolve as quickly as they are.

Beloved friends, we have so much to thank God for! He is truly deserving of all the praise, and honor, and glory! Let us be good Berean’s and study to show ourselves approved.

Hymns from the Past – Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands

I think this might be the first hymn I’ve written about that Charles Spurgeon wrote. I hope you enjoy this, beloved, and have a wonderful day of fellowship, growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord, Christ Jesus.

Amidst us our Beloved stands,
and bids us view His pierced hands;
points to the wounded feet and side,
blest emblems of the Crucified.

What food luxurious loads the board,
when, at His table, sits the Lord!
The cup how rich, the bread how sweet,
when Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
we see the signs, but see not Him;
O may His love the scales displace,
and bid us see Him face to face!

Our former transports we recount,
when with Him in the holy mount:
these cause our souls to thirst anew
His marred but lovely face to view.