Encouragement, Edification, and Rebuke

Today, beloved friends, I want to discuss something that I actually wrote about months ago and never got to finish and post. I’m thankful I waited, there were so many different scandals and online battles within Christianity at the time, that much could have been read into what I was trying to say. It’s always frustrating when your words are taken out of context. Naturally, that’s why I write Twisted Tuesday’s, to ensure we never do that to God Himself. It’s easy to take what others say online in particular and twist it, which is an important point to why I’m writing this today.

If you’ve followed me long enough you know my goal is to bring glory to God, and to encourage and edify His elect. Our heart towards one another ought to always be love, and that love for you drives me to write. Even that love I have for the brethren is an outpouring of Gods love, mercy, and kindness, not by any great strength of ability I have. Many of you take to the blogosphere likewise, to love Gods people. Many of you have been a tremendous help to me, teaching me, correcting me, and from time to time rebuking me unintentionally through your instructive posts. I want to take a moment to thank you all for your encouragement, diligence, and edification. What a blessing it is to have met you all, and been instructed by you daily!

That’s two of the three things I wanted to speak on, the last is rebuke. The internet has, in many ways, become a bastion of infighting and snide remarks. Don’t get me wrong, many places are, like I’ve already pointed out, beautifully full of encouragement. If this was balanced out by loving rebuke, and care filled correction, it would be so much more helpful. Unfortunately we don’t see that very often, as a matter of fact it’s become the exception and not the rule. If not for many of you displaying the correct behavior for online discussion, I might have been carried away by it all. I can’t thank you all enough! There is a time and a place for everything, what do you know our parents were right.

Most often open rebuke finds its time and place within an individual church, led by leaders, elders, and the pastor. Too often, online, we misunderstand one another, and seek to rebuke for something the other doesn’t mean or believe. That can be hurtful and damaging to others, the very last thing we want to do to our brothers and sisters in Christ! This is why we need to hope all things, and if something is confusing clarify it with that person. There’s nothing wrong with correction, when done in love, which means we need to be weary of our own hearts. Why do we want to correct someone? That should be the first question, before we even ask whether or not they need to be corrected.

Several months ago I saw a Christian blogger close up shop, they couldn’t stand the arguments they were encountering any longer. That’s what got me thinking, at the time, about the importance of balancing correction with encouragement, but most importantly, edification. If your rebuke doesn’t edify it was most likely not delivered in love. Lovingly correcting our brothers and sisters, or rebuking them when they are in sin, stems from humility. When we remember what God has saved us from, and how His sanctification has worked within us, we can see others in a much more patient light. Before we address others actions, we need to stop and pray, and examine our own motives. Let caution be ever present, and love be the guiding force.

Have you, dear ones, encountered this online? How did you handle it? What advice do you have for younger bloggers or believers who are active in social media? You’re wisdom and advice is a wonderful blessing! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Wednesday Testimony – Peter from Germany

As we spend the next couple months highlighting the amazing work HeartCry is doing, I want to remind you all beloved, that this is all for the glory of God. You can read Peters testimony in the link below, I pray it blesses you. As always, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/heartcry-magazine-archive/post/a-missionarys-testimony:-peter-schild

Twisted Tuesday – Redemption

Hello again, my friends, I pray this post has found you all doing well. Today’s Twisted Tuesday came to me in an odd way. As I clean during the day I like to keep my little one ear’d bluetooth thingy, which I like to call my earbob, tuned to preaching, teaching, or Wretched Radio. This is especially necessary as I have Cleaning ADD, where I move from room to room picking up here and there and nothing gets clean. For whatever reason, listening to something helps me focus. Anyway, yesterday I heard the strangest twisting of Scripture that I’ve heard yet! And that’s saying something, if you remember this one from Creflo Dollar. A woman twisted the whole earth groaning under the curse with verses on redemption to prove that we, as believers, must redeem Gods creation by, you guessed it, going green.

I genuinely believe some of these false teachers simply missed their calling as used car salesmen. The truth is the ‘going green’ movement is a multi billion dollar used car lot, not to mention a real crowd pleaser. People love to feel like they’re making a difference, like they’re helping change the world, in every way but the way we’re actually commanded to. So it comes as no surprise to see a leader in the ‘church’ calling for believers to redeem the creation. What was odd was her insistence that God had commanded it in His Word. Don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t litter, and there’s nothing wrong with caring about clean air and the likes. However, we should never twist Gods Word, or claim the ability to redeem well…anything. We weren’t able to redeem ourselves, why would we be able to redeem this fallen world?

The last point I want to make, as I feel like this twisted Tuesday is really pretty obvious, is that we have a way as believers to change the world. It’s not recycling, it’s sharing the Gospel with the lost. Yes, we need to live lives that honor God and bring Him glory, but the only way to see change in a community is to see souls saved from the wrath to come. Otherwise we’re treating the symptoms and not the underlining disease. The earth does groan under the curse, and one day this fallen world will be redeemed, but not my man. That’s like the tiniest flea crafting plans to get rain to stop falling. We’re not all powerful, our words have no ability, and we most certainly are not gods on earth. God is all powerful, all knowing, and sovereign. He will redeem. Put your faith on the finished works of Christ on the cross, repent of your many sins for which He died, then go spread the Good News! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschool Resources – Solar System and More

Hello beloved Brethren, I pray this post has found you all doing well this weekend. I have some exciting homeschooling lessons here for you all. First I want to say that our brother in Christ, Pastor Jim, has absolutely outdone himself with his Solar System lessons. Honestly, the way he organizes these are far beyond anything I could put together. I’ve incorporated the pattern of lessons, lecture, reading, and discussing he uses into every lesson Kayleigh does. I’ve seen a tremendous difference in her attention span!

Solar System – The Sun

Solar System – Mercury

Solar System – Venus

Solar System – Earth

Solar System – Mars

Solar System – Jupiter

Solar System – Saturn

Solar System – Uranus

Solar System – Neptune

I also wanted to point out these adorable songs from Songs for Saplings that Kk and I have been grooving to. Unlike modern music, and even modern Christian music, these songs glorify God while teaching scriptures to our little ones.

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCTVpvEnfZgqnQ1uLUlKZ1GA

What else has Kk been up to? Making butter! It was so fun, dear ones, and easy. Heavy whipping cream, a marble, a mason jar, and some muscle is all you need.

Have you and your little ones been up to anything fun this summer? Or do you know a sweet spot for resources? Feel free to let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, as always beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Wednesday Testimony – Huaraz, Peru

Most of you know, by now friends, I was born again after hearing brother Paul Washer preach the Gospel. His missionary society HeartCry Missionary has been posting the most amazing testimonies on instagram lately. I’d love to highlight some of them each Wednesday.

If you follow the link below you’ll see several testimonies from Huaraz, Peru specifically. I pray they bless you as much as they’ve blessed me. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study yourselves approved.

HeartCry Missionary Testimonies from Peru

Twisted Tuesday – Liberty or Sin? Smoking Cigars

It’s liberty, beloved. Shortest post ever. Be good Berean’s and…

Ok, I’m kidding. Not about the liberty part, about being done with the post. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing Scripturally prohibitive against having a cigar from time to time. That’s hard for me to say, I’m married to a Respiratory Therapist who sees first hand how bad these things are for you. I really want to do a quick mom rant here for all my Neo-Reformed friends, but we all know how bad smoking is. I’m not sure how anyone could to it to the glory of God, however that’s why we have liberty. I’m always reminded of the card Leonard Ravenhill sent to Paul Washer with a hand written note that read “Others can, you can not.”

Why are there some believers who smoke cigars and post about it on social media? Most of them point to Spurgeon, whose doctor actually encouraged him to smoke them for his health, as a ‘relaxant’. My what we’ve learned since then! Eventually he realized they weren’t helping his health, and towards the end of his life he gave them up. If I had as many health issues as he did I’d probably give it a try as well. Either way, we have liberty in this area, but should never follow someone else’s behavior. If it’s popular, if it’s not, these things do not matter so much as being able to do all things in faith.

From the beginning of this series I wanted to point to the attitude behind flaunting our liberty on social media. Rather than look at the act, drinking, cursing, and smoking, I wanted to look at the reason behind flaunting those acts. One of our sisters in Christ pointed out that it could just be immaturity rather than boastfulness, and I think she’s right. It reminded me to check my own heart when posting on social media. Am I acting out of love for my brethren? Am I pointing to God, so He gains the glory? Am I being an immature believer? Or am I being boastful? Our hearts are deceitfully wicked, beloved, we must be constantly vigilant, asking God to show us where we need to mature, and to discipline us when we’re boastful or unloving. Love for one another is how the world will know with whom we have to do. If you drink occasionally or smoke a cigar now and then, would you be willing to stop should it cause offense? That’s an important question to ask yourself, my friends, if these posts include behavior you’re prone to posting about online.

What do you think, beloved brethren? Is there a Verse I missed? Am I misunderstanding the reasons behind posting yourself surrounded in cigar smoke? I so value you’re opinions and advice, brothers and sisters, more than I can express in this post. I pray this series has been edifying, as always dear ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Hymns from the Past – Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare by John Newton

The writer of Amazing Grace, beloved, also wrote so many beautiful hymns that it’s difficult to pick one. This caught my eye, what a beautiful prayer! I pray it blesses you all, friends.

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,

Jesus loves to answer pray’r.

He Himself has bid thee pray,

rise and ask without delay.

Thou art coming to a King,

large petitions with thee bring,

for his grace and pow’r are such,

none can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin,

Lord, remove this load of sin!

Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,

set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord! I come to Thee for rest,

take possession of my breast;

there Thy blood-bought right maintain,

and without a rival reign.

While I am a pilgrim here,

let Thy love my spirit cheer;

as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,

lead me to my journey’s end.

Show me what I have to do;

ev’ry hour my strength renew;

let me live a life of faith;

let me die Thy people’s death.