Through the Narrow: Perfection vs. Purity – By Gina Cook

I’ve grown to expect a handful of commonly leaned on and knee-jerk responses when talking to a churched unbeliever or sometimes just an immature believer.  There is one in particular I will hear from people of all backgrounds and denominations when they are made aware of the sins being unaddressed in their church.  I hear it when I answer their questions on why ecumenicalism is unbiblical or why I will no longer attend the friendly Baptist Church that fully embraces New Age and NAR teachings and practices.  It’s the response I get when I don’t approve of a woman “pastor” or if I have questions regarding the widely applauded church that paints houses of single mothers and serves hotdogs downtown for the homeless but keeps neglecting to preach the whole and the true Gospel message to anyone.  It’s the the response I get when I express concern over a church’s encouragement of fluffy false doctrine in the women’s ministry or their seal of approval on unbiblical doctrine in Sunday school classes.  It’s the response I hear when I don’t attend a legalistic church that neglects the the commandment of God, to hold to the tradition of men.  

It’s the usually hasty and reproving response, “But no church is perfect”.

First of all, that is true.  No church is perfect.  Hopefully, there is not a person on earth that believes a church full of imperfect people on this earth can have a perfect church congregation.  It amazes me how many people actually believe it necessary to remind me and others that there are no perfect churches to attend.  So I’d like to clarify right now- I agree, there is no perfect church congregation today.  

As most would agree, perfection is found in only One, and He is God.  Christ Jesus the Lord, fully God and fully man, is our perfect Lord.  What would the Perfect One say about “no church is perfect” therefore ease up?  Would He simply agree?  Would He encourage the ignoring of sin and say the focus is to be on just His forgiveness?  Would He say, “If they are proclaiming My name and doing good deeds, that’s good enough?”  Thankfully we have the letters from Him to seven literal churches back in the beginning of the Church Age, and it’s not only sobering but it’s very helpful to understand the standards God has for all churches today.  

When reading Revelation chapters 2 and 3 I notice modern churches today sound a lot like the churches in these verses.  I also see how very serious the Lord is about what the churches did, taught, and believed.  We read in these chapters that the Lord definitely didn’t speak to these seven churches in the same tone or manner, nor did He allow them to have any excuse for whatever sin they may have been fostering.

The first letter we read is to the church of Ephesus (2:1-7), a strong, laboring, and discerning church.  It sounds like they could site wolves a mile away and would obediently shut the gate doors before those false teachers could enter and corrupt their church.  This church loved the Gospel and protected it.  They resisted the lures of false doctrine.  At the beginning of the letter, Christ gave an encouraging introduction and said, “The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.” (Verses 1-3). 

But the encouragement then quickly turned to rebuke and warning. “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” (Verses 4 and 5).

This particular church had spent so much time in battle for the Lord they forgot about their love for the Lord.  Things become mechanical, albeit zealous, but nonetheless without the love and adoration for the Lord that they had at the beginning of their salvation.  Did Jesus tell them, “Well, no church is perfect?  No worries as long as you are preaching the Gospel because I forgave you of your sins already and even though I don’t like your lack of love towards Me these days, you are my children and truly doing great on everything else?”

No.  He actually said, “I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”  Churches that love the Gospel, share it, and protect their church from wolves, are not necessarily right where they should be. Christ was willing to shut the whole church down.  And He eventually did because seemingly they did not repent.  Wow.  That should cause us to sit up straight and pay close attention!  Do not forsake your first Love, the One that is our reason and our hope.  Do the deeds that are born out of fervent love for the Savior.  Stale, cool churches that just go through the motions are not pleasing to the Lord.  

The church of Pergamum is on the flipside.  Christ’s words to them started out with a severe tone.  It is not a comforting introduction at all.  “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:” (Verse 12) Quickly turning to Revelation 19:15 we read, “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”  This church’s letter started out with a tone of judgment.

Going on in the letter, Christ gives some good news, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”  So this church had believers holding fast to their faith and His Name, His Gospel.  Why would He warn about judging this church?  Verses 14-16, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.”

I didn’t notice Christ slip in a “but I know no church is perfect, it’s ok, you are at least preaching the Gospel.  You’re trying.  You’re passionate and loving and teach my Word, that’s honorable enough.”

This church didn’t prevent immorality and false doctrine from entering their gates, nor did they protect their church from their influences.  They were too focused on one primary issue- expressing the love for the Lord and His Gospel, but failed to give much attention to another crucial primary issue-being faithful about keeping out pagan and false teachings.  That is true for so many churches today.  

I remember hearing a pastor say “as long as they just focus on Gospel issues, the false teaching concerns will take care of themselves.”  Unsurprisingly he also often stated, “No church is perfect” when being confronted by the false teachings running rampant in his church.  With that attitude, it would be easy for the church to slowly succumb to more and more sin, even sexual immorality among its members.  Today we hear pastors and church leaders yielding to sexual sins, supporting homosexual marriages and premarital sex, etc. It’s shocking until you realize this has been an issue since the beginning.  Churches are filled with false converts who were bottle-fed on hyper-grace and no real spiritual accountability.  Churches are also filled with weak brothers and sisters who don’t understand the dangers they are tolerating. 

The church of Thyatira-Revelation 2:18-29 was a small but growing and serving church that had faith and love.  It was a persevering church in charity and service but did not persevere in discernment. 

“I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (Verses 19-20)

It was corrupted by being too tolerant of false teachings and immorality.  Their love and faith were undisciplined and lacked wisdom.  It was assaulted within its own walls, in a severe way.  It allowed a woman, who prophesied and preached, to enter in and cleverly bring sexual immorality and false doctrine/religion.  A little leaven leavened the whole lump. An increasingly common type of church today – one that tolerates at least one sin because of a trusted and influential insider.  Sins like idolatry, homosexuality, sexual immorality, unity with false religions, false prophets/prophetesses, women preachers, etc.  We hear of pastors being tolerant of different gospels, a different “jesus”, and different religions, basically allowing idolatry in the grossest forms to take root within their walls.  Praying to anyone but the Lord, venerating the dead, false prophesies, summoning spirits…not uncommon to find within congregations that profess Christ.  

What did Christ tell the Church in Thyatira?  It’s ok as long as you know my Gospel and serve? Not exactly.  In verses 21-23 we read, “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”  “Her children” were those who followed after the unrepentant immoral woman they allowed in their church.  This is a serious and unwavering warning.  This was a corrupted church that needed to repent very quickly. 

Another, the church at Sardis, the dead church.  Christ said in 3:1, “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”

Dead.  Blind, worldly, never persecuted, and deeply fraudulent.  Mere men looked at this church and its history perhaps and believed they were of Christ- “that you have a name that you are alive”.  It was not alive- only boasted that it was- only appeared to be to some.  Whatever deeds they had done were insufficient, empty and not from a true heart for the Lord.  Their lack of repentance and faith was going to soon usher in Christ’s destruction of their church.  “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you (Verses 2-3).  

Finally, the church of Laodicea, the lukewarm church.  It was a church of apostates that believed they served Jesus.  This church happened to make Him sick, “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (Verses 15-16).  They would have been better off rejecting the Lord altogether or truly being saved and zealous in serving Him.  They were the dreadful in-between.  They were self-righteous hypocrites who thought they had God and were in no real spiritual need.  There was nothing in their church to commend.  The Lord told them, “You do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Verse 17).  They were in desperate need to repent, all of them.  How many churches today look very holy, polished, and confident in themselves and their “jesus” today, all the while being self-deceived and receiving no real salvation?  Many sadly.  

It’s important to note that Christ didn’t always come with some sort of rebuke or condemnation to a church.  The churches Philadelphia and Smyrna received only encouragement and commendation.  They were faithful and persecuted; tested and true; loving and persevering.  They of course were not perfect, Christ didn’t say they had to be, but there is a certain level of faithfulness, discernment, love, and toil that Christ commands churches to exercise, as well as, individual believers.  Just because believers are saved, doesn’t mean they are given license to sit back, twiddle thumbs and let the rest go, “under grace”.  Nor does it give permission to only focus on being loving and Gospel-sharing.  It definitely doesn’t give us Christians any license to forget where we’ve come from and our beloved Lord and Savior for what He’s done for us.

It’s easy to overlook the seriousness of the Lord.  Especially in this lax modern church age.  We need to remember that He is not just strongly warning the unbelievers.

It seems we easily dismiss that the Lord will kill believers who refuse to obey and repent – Acts 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 and James 5:19-20.  It’s never good if we refuse to take the ways of the Lord serious enough.  He has already made it clear.  There are no excuses we can cling to.  We are not to sin so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1).

“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?” 1 Peter 4:16-18.  The Lord is always ready and willing to chasten and purify His Church.

Why do so many, when confronted with a pattern of sin in their church or any unbiblical teachings/practices in the ministry, quickly proclaim “there is no perfect church” as if they are saying stop being picky?  Perhaps pastors and church leaders say this to make less of their negligent and disorderly shepherding.  Perhaps people in the congregation say this believing they are not allowed to question.  Perhaps they are just not good with any confrontation, even healthy and righteous confrontation.  If a leader or pastor in a church readily throws up their fists and snaps back with “no church is perfect” after kindly being confronted with sinful patterns in the church, beware of them.  Question them.  Be diligent not only in your own walk but to look closely at where your church is really at in their obedience, discernment, love, and toil.  It matters greatly to the Lord.  

Christ does not expect a perfect church but He expects a pure one, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

And don’t forget, the world is watching.  Do we practice what we preach?  Do we live out obediently what we proclaim to believe in the Bible?  Are we ok with being half-hearted, lukewarm, ignorant, loveless, weak, deed-doing immature little hearers only?  I’ve heard unbelievers question some wayward churches saying, “I thought your Bible said this is a sin, so why is your church ok with it?”  How awful to hear the world rightly question the integrity of churches and their faithfulness to the Lord they claim to serve.

Fellow believer, I hope we all remember that we are to personally be gracious to one another and be diligent about holding to the truth in our own walk as well as not being afraid to kindly hold others accountable to the truth, even leaders of the church.  We are to remember where we’ve come from and have joy and love for our Savior.  We are called to be watchful, diligent, and unwavering regarding keeping out wolves and their teachings, whether inside or outside the church walls. We are to pray for our church leaders, for the repentance of sin within the church as we pray for our own repentance and humility.  Even though believers have the hope of salvation that can never be undone or taken from us, even though we are “partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” and we have a glorious eternity ahead of us, we do not want to grieve the Lord today in our sin and attitude towards sin, whether it’s ours or someone else’s.  

Let us be like the Bereans, learning the Word and testing even faithful pastors and preachers to see if they are sound in what they say and encourage.  Before stubbornly defending what may only be a sandy foundation that our family, feelings and traditions have laid down, make sure it’s the Rock we are to stand firmly on.  

I’ll end with the encouragement the Lord ended His letter to the church of Philadelphia with; an encouragement to all believers: 

“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Revelation 3:10-13

Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford

ChristMarked: The Church, Blood Bought Sinners – By Troy Paylor

The Church, Blood Bought Sinners

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians‬ ‭1:3-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬


As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.

How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬.


The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Friday MEGA List & Live Panel Discussion

Today, dear ones, we’re very excited to have the privilege of holding our first ever live panel discussion on Tulips & Honey! Joining us this afternoon to discuss church and evangelism during social distancing is Justin Peters, Susan Heck, Dawain Atkinson, Doreen Virtue, and Phil Johnson! We’re so honored to have each of these dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ joining us. If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll be able to watch live and ask questions there. If you prefer Youtube, you can head straight to the event by following the link below. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future events. Next Monday we’ll be dropping an episode interviewing our brothers-in-Christ from the RazaReforma Podcast, it was such a blessing to hear their testimony and see how God led them to where they are today. If you missed it, this past Tuesday The Aquila and Priscilla Hour released an episode about Pragmatism in the church and today The Chuck and Lo Show dropped an interview with Be A Berean’s Michael Coughlin. Don’t miss Emma’s newest episode tomorrow continuing in her series on glorifying God over on Always, Only.

Live Panel Discussion

For our MEGA List today we had some help from our wonderful Humblebee’s that sent us great recommendations. Starting with Jan who recommended this homemakers Facebook group here. Luke Schmeltzer, host of Steady Anchor Podcast, recommended the free Ligonier series which will be available all summer, as well as these resources here. He’s also just released a new episode titled “Christ and Corona” which I highly recommend. As I mentioned above, Michael Coughlin is joining Chuck and Lo today, but you can also find him on his blog, or hear him refuting atheists on his podcast here. Our honorary BrotherBee, Patrick Studabaker, from Cave To The Cross Apologetics has a great video editing and website design business, a talent he uses to not only bring us great content on his own podcast, but also to bless churches. If that is something you have a need of, or you just want to support our brother-in-Christ, check it out Manos Media LLC. If you’ve tuned in to the latest Aquila and Pricila Hour you heard Emily and Zack discussing a helpful article by Tim Challies, which she recommended and you can find here. I also want to slip in a shout out to her and Zack for creating a brand new website which you can find here! Doesn’t it look great? Well done y’all! Last recommendation was added by Becca herself! She found a devotional on the Youversion app created by one of our BrotherBee’s, Joel, who has been so very encouraging to us from the start! Fear in the Time of Coronavirus is available here. Thank you to all our listeners who sent us these helpful links, you’re all such a blessing to us! I hope you’re all able to tune in today at 1:30 CST for the live panel, please pray that all goes well with technology! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

And Did the Holy and the Just – Anne Steele

As I mentioned last Sunday, dear friends, I wanted to spend some time highlighting Anne Steele’s hymns. Today is another one from her, and while it was never as popular as the last, it’s just as beautiful and God glorifying. I hope these words bless you, as they blessed me, and that you all have a sweet day of fellowship. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

1 And did the holy and the just,
The sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty man might rise?

2 Yes, the Redeemer left his throne–
His radiant throne on high–
Surprising mercy! love unknown!
To suffer, bleed, and die.

3 To dwell with misery here below,
The Saviour left the skies,
And sank to wretchedness and woe,
That worthless man might rise.

4 He took the dying traitor’s place,
And suffered in his stead:
For sinful man–oh, wondrous grace!
For sinful man he bled.

5 O Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In thine atoning blood!
By this are sinners saved from hell,
And rebels brought to God.

How Great Thou Art – By Carl Boberg

Hello wonderful HumbleBees,

Today, we have an awesome hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” We sang this recently at my church and have really been enjoying finding different versions of this song by different artist Below I am adding one of them that I think you all might like. I am also adding a Psalm I kept seeing while looking up about this particular hymn.  Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Praying this small reminder will bless you all today. 

Happy Sunday Y’all,

Becca Barner

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXQpDDcrN-w

 


 Hello again, dear ones, I hope this finds you all doing well! I’m so thankful Becca found this hymn for us today, and created such beautiful graphics to go alongside it. I wanted to write a quick bit of history for this hymn, as I found it quite interesting. Carl Boberg wrote “How Great Thou Art” in 1885 and when Stuart Hine translated it to English he added a couple lines himself. Popularized during the Billy Graham “crusades” it ranks second here in America, following Amazing Grace as the most beloved hymn. This particular hymn is based on Deuteronomy 33:26, “There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty.” Does your church sing hymns, modern songs, a mixture of both? Which one do you prefer? I hope you have a blessed day of fellowship, as always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.


How Great Thou Art

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

MY FAVORITE PART OF 2019

By: Becca Barner

Lauren and I get asked this question quite a bit and thought it would be great to write an article about it. I was going to write about how our year has been, but we are going to do an episode next week all about the wonderful blessings of 2019. So, I’ll tell you about my favorite part this year. 

Just to give a little back story… My husband and I had been off social media for quite some time before I met Lauren. We had been radio silent for about three years but earlier this year we wanted to start sharing what God has done in our lives and being transparent with our closest friends and family. In May of this year, we got back on Facebook. But boy was it shaky and hard to be back on. We had a lot of opposition with…. You guessed it. Family. 

I shared information about my current health and how I am learning to trust God. I would always try to mention God’s sovereignty because that’s a word I never heard back in my old days of the “Word of Faith” movement. Then I also branched into making memes on Instagram under the pseudo name of Becca.Berean. Lauren messaged me back in July with the best massage I had ever gotten on Instagram. She told me how much she loved my memes and that I was a great graphic artist. Just thinking about this again makes my heart so happy. Totally smiling in the midst of writing this y’all. 

I quickly went over to her page and right away loved all the things she posted. Then I noticed she had a blog and podcast. I could tell that the podcast only had a few episodes and offered to be on if she had an opening for another testimony, I was totally available. She was so super kind and we scheduled right away. I was so super pumped to be sharing my testimony, a lot of the ladies at my church were praying for me about it. 

I was totally nervous the days leading into our first episode together. The episode was recorded just like an audio file, so we couldn’t see each other. But Lauren made me feel so comfortable and she has the most soothing voice ever. I had so much fun recording with her, so either later that day or the next day I texted her to let me know if she needed a full-time Co-host, I was available. That’s how it all started folks 😊 I’m so grateful to Lauren, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have brushed up on my skills with photoshop, logos, blog writing, and I would never have started a podcast. It is such an honor and a blessing to be working with her, that’s why she is the best boss babe. A fun name I love to refer her to by.

Did you guys know that we have a couple of other podcasters under the Tulips and Honey Hub? Yep, I remember her telling me about her idea to have a network of other podcasters to provide more content with more biblical sound truth to more people. We have awesome podcasters, check them out HERE. Not only that but when I mentioned how I would love to write a book on suffering and children’s book, she right away investigated publishing information to help me or even creating a publishing company for us to be able to sell books. Seriously, I am overjoyed and grateful to God for bringing us together. She has sparked dreams that I thought were over in my life, all for His Glory. 

We have pretty much texted each other every day since our first episode and it’s odd to me if we don’t lol. (please don’t send hate mail for using this word lol) She became my best friend instantly. I haven’t even met her, yet God has brought us together in this awesome friendship. Little did Lauren know, that I have had the worst luck of having and keeping a best friend. 

She just texted me while writing this about how she’s excited to read this article and that I’m such a good writer. I don’t deserve any of this, I definitely do not deserve Lauren. Reminds me of that quote from RC Sproul where he says, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” That’s a perfect quote to express that thought. I am so inspired and encouraged by her, and although I’m a year older… I still look up to Lauren as a sister. It was totally worth waiting for 32 years to have finally found mine, my Sweet Tea Lauren.

Stay tuned HumbleBees because next week, we’ll get into more about some of the good from this year, as well as some of the trials that we faced together. We’ll also share what things we’ve got lined up for 2020. Lauren and I totally have to meet up…that’s going to be EPIC!!

Merry Christmas to all 

and to all a Goodnight,

 

– Becca

P.S. I am adding this scripture because it made me crack up. She and I are both clumsy and we need each other lol. It has been such a blessing to work, learn, pray, laugh, cry with you, bestie!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV

‘Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” 

 

AfterThought – Episode 19: The Big Announcement

I think I passed the fashionably late mark with this one, dear friends. However, the wait is over and you can finally hear what that big announcement is. I don’t want to give it away, and if I keep typing I know I will. So, without further ado, here is the latest episode. You can also listen on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and other platforms which are all linked in my profile.

I hope this announcement will be as exciting for you all to hear as it was for Becca and I to record. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

AfterThought Episode 6 – Interview with Tom from ExCatholic4Christ: Part 1

Today, dear ones, I dropped episode 6 of Afterthought! I’m so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Tom from ExCatholic4Christ. In this first part of this two part interview Tom shares his testimony, and explains the difference between Roman Catholicism and Christianity. He also details how ecumenism began, and progressed, in the mid 20th century to today. We’ll get more into the dangers of ecuminesism in the second part of this interview. Lord willing, that will drop on Thursday.

Tom, my brother in Christ, it was a blessing to talk to you about this important issue. Thank you for joining me on the program, and giving me so much of your time. I pray that this discussion will edify and encourage all who listen to it. If you have a Catholic friend, family member, or co-worker please feel free to share this episode and the next with them. The podcast is available on Podbean, iTunes, Google play, and Spotify. If there are other platforms you’d like to see AfterThought on let me know and I’ll take care of it. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Worksheets – Essential Doctrines and Polycarp

Hello again, dear friends! I hope you’re having a blessed weekend thus far, and will be edifies and encouraged through fellowship. Below I’ve attached three lessons, along with a list of the shorter Westminster Catechism. I love this particular pdf because it comes equipped with Scriptural references. This time I’ve created a short lesson on Polycarp for anyone hoping to teach their children about the early church. I’ve included this weeks Twisted Tuesday lesson, and last weeks which was not posted. So, below is a lesson on Monotheism, the Resurrection, and Polycarp of Smyrna which includes a word-search I had way to much fun creating! I want to also create lessons on the heresies and heretics of the time, and would love your opinions on what age range that would be appropriate for. You’re thoughts are always such a tremendous blessing to me! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Polycarp of Smyrna

Montheism

Resurrection of Christ

ws_catechism

Historical Church Series: Early Church Heretics – Docetism and Ebionism

Hello, beloved, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today we’re actually going to deal with two specific heresies, double trouble, Docetism and Ebionism. On Tuesday we talked about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how it’s an essential doctrine of the faith. If you missed that post, you can find it here. Alongside these two heresies I’d like to introduce you to another early church leader, Irenaeus.

Let’s start with Irenaeus, who was born around 130 ad in Smyrna, and directly discipled by Polycarp of Smyrna. He would eventually become the Bishop of Lyon, and would spend his days fighting heresy and evangelical work south of France. He would eventually be martyred by Severus, in Lyons, after nearly 80 years of serving the Lord. This man, trained by one who sat under the teaching of the Apostle John, lived and died for the glory of God. Let’s discuss the heresies he fought against so uncompromisingly.

Ebionism was the fruit of the Judaizers we talked about here. They came along in the second and third century, teaching that salvation came through keeping the Law. They also denied the virgin birth, the eternal divinity of Christ, and the Trinity. While they would eventually split into two groups, one with a gnostic bent, and the other with the original Jewish works righteousness, they were all considered heretics. It’s believed that Irenaeus was the first to address this cult, in his work Against Heresies. They do not deny the resurrection of Christ, but do not believe that it saves. You can see a modern day version of Ebionism in the Seventh Day Adventist’s.

Docitism, a heretical group which would eventually morph into Gnosticism, believed that Christ was not a real, flesh and blood, man. As such, they deny the resurrection of Christ in bodily form. The duality of docitism fit in much more comfortably with the Platonism of the age. It was appears early on by Apostles and Apostolic Fathers, leading to a more clear explanation of the humanity of Christ. That clarification is still needed today, as the modern docitism found in New Agism still declares that Jesus Christ was spirit and you can achieve Christ “consciousness”.

I hope this series continues to edify and encourage you, dear friends, to stand firm in your faith. The truth of God’s Word has always remained, never has He left His church without a defender. The gates of Hell will not prevail. If, and when, we face persecution, we will not stand alone but with the brothers and sisters in Christ that have come before us. From the end of Acts until this present day, Christ is building His church. There are many voices crying for an end to Christianity, this is nothing new. Be bold, and courageous, filled with love and deep concern for the lost. Until tomorrow, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.