Category Archives: faith

What is the Kingdom of Heaven like?

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44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, and he concealed it. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44).

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. ” (Matthew 13:45-46).

52 And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure both what is new and what is old.’” (Matthew 13:52).

33 He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’” (Matthew 13:33).

31 Jesus put another parable before them. He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32It is the smallest of all seeds, but it grows larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree. The birds of the air can come and make nests in its branches.’” (Matthew 13:31-32).

26 And Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man scattering seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows —he knows not how. 28 The earth, by itself, produces first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once the man puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.’” (Mark 4:26-29).

47‘Again’, said Jesus, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a net that fisher-folk threw into the sea. The net gathered all sorts of fish. 48 When the net was full, the fisher-folk drew it ashore. They sat down and sorted the good fish into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and cast the evil into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:47-50).

Which one resonates with you?

These Hands

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These hands…

16388574_644645219047766_209425593_o

are fat and fingers stubby

are lined with years of life

have broken nails

are cracked and chapped

have nurtured life and cradled death

have created art

have cleaned endless amounts of poop, throw-up and dirt

have cooked, been burned and baked

have been sprained, strained and bent but never broken

have touched faces, wiped bottoms and smeared tears away

have written, typed and highlighted knowledge

have sowed and reaped their own food

have passed on wisdom and joy and love

have rested on the heads and hands of loved ones

have sinned

have reached to heaven in worship and agony

have been washed clean

..when clenched, hands can be destructive

..when open, they are the means of grace.

What have your hands done …for the glory of God?

 

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Matthew 5:30
“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Love Might Win the Wayward in Your Life [REPOST]

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This hit home for me:

If you are paired with a prodigal, you know pain. Few trials slice as deeply as the spouse who goes rogue, the child who rebels, or the sibling who spins out of control. Rejecting their role and shutting out those that love them, wayward souls thunder with reckless entitlement, myopic selfishness, and chaotic, grief-instigating choices.

It’s a world of indescribable, emotional turmoil. Here’s some reasons why.

You flog yourself with the “why-stick” — why is this happening to them? Why is this happening to us? To me? Why? Whack. Whack. Whack. “Why?” is a cross that lovers of the wayward carry.

Often, they carry an ironic shame, too. With the wayward, a subtle paradox appears: the prodigal acts shamefully and feels justified — you love them sacrificially and feel ashamed. It’s a hellish twist on the idea of justification — their shame imputed to you.

Additionally, prodigals possess a dangerous, life-sucking power. They siphon the fuel out of those who love them in a “weariness-war.” The effects of this power take you beyond mere fatigue to a mind-enfeebling, soul-sapping, confidence-wrecking, depression-inciting, bone-tiring exhaustion.

What the Wayward Want

1. Choices Without Consequences

For someone fleeing from God, freedom is typically the ability to pursue desires without the burden of responsibility for their decision. John, infatuated with another woman, left Sally and their marriage of ten years in pursuit of freedom. When this appeared unstable to a judge, and Sally was awarded custody of the kids, John was outraged. Why?

A prodigal doesn’t typically engage in moral reasoning, so consequences strike them as offensive, unjust, or excessive. They fail to see that true freedom recognizes and honors the God-installed fences that define the borders between good and bad, wisdom and folly, sowing and reaping.

2. Autonomy Without Accountability

Wayward people want autonomy without the rule of love. They want a world where their wants are met without question or accountability. For the prodigal, life is about indulging desire, not accepting responsibility. The results are often disastrous.

Charlene is rarely cooperative, often stoned, and has little tolerance for discussion about how she spends her time or money. Charlene seeks a world where she can freely indulge and never explain. When accountability comes knocking, she withdraws behind an impenetrable emotional wall of unfettered autonomy, away from meddlesome scrutiny.

Few things plant a family in the manure of dysfunction quicker than feeding the delusion that one can live autonomously, yet dependent; unaccountable, yet family-funded.

What the Wayward Need

Ask the average Joe or Jaclyn about “love,” and their answers will skim the shallow pond of sentimental feelings, magnetic attraction, or the thrill of someone who makes them feel alive. Christians reject the merely sentimental and embrace a more robust vision of love. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3: 16).

At the eternal core of biblical love, we find a rugged cross. Blood-drenched yet triumphantly empty, this cross testifies to a promise-keeping love that goes beyond trifling sentiment. Think of it as “rugged love” — a love with teeth!

Love is rugged when it is

  • strong enough to face evil;
  • tenacious enough to do good;
  • courageous enough to enforce consequences;
  • sturdy enough to be patient;
  • resilient enough to forgive;
  • trusting enough to pray boldly.

Consider just two examples.

Strong Enough to Face Evil

Pete knows Becky is a serial adulterer, but he says nothing. Claire believes her brother is on drugs, but she won’t probe. Tammy overlooks the cruel comments her husband makes about her in public. Though each situation is distinct, they are all connected by a common compromise: Pete, Claire, and Tammy are all tolerating evil. If you ask them why, they say they do it all for love.

The Bible says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil” (Romans 12:9). True and genuine love abhors evil. It means that we have eyes to see evil and the courage to respond to it. Sin and folly inhabit the soul of the wayward like unwelcome squatters. If these vices are ever to be expelled, they can’t be ignored or hidden, but must be honestly named and exposed.

Love goes beyond prodigal management to the deeper power of gospel application.

The gospel of God’s justification of evil people does not deny evil. In fact, the gospel shows us God’s deepest feelings about evil — he abhors it. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). God’s wrath is his settled and determined response to injustice, sin, rebellion, and evil. The gospel showcases how God met radical depravity with genuine, rugged love.

Let’s face it, loving like this is not simple or easy for us. To get here, you need to experience this love yourself, a love so sturdy that it enables you to face your biggest fears — rejection, anxiety over the unknown, failure. Giving rugged love begins by receiving the rugged love of God and holding fast to the promises of the gospel, knowing that he will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5) and that he is truly with us until the end (Matthew 28:20).

Tenacious Enough to Do Good

Naming evil is an important step, but it is only a first step. Love is made rugged by a tenacious commitment to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

By doing positive good — responding with godly, rugged love — we overcome the evil that has been done. But if things deteriorate, we need to be ready for the painful reality that love may require letting a prodigal go. In the heart-breaking act of letting go, our intent is not to punish the person or to retaliate for what they have done to us. We must not meet evil with evil. When we do, everyone loses, and no one gets loved.

Rather, we let go as a way to do good.

Doing good requires tenacity, because the moments when it’s most necessary are the same moments when it’s most difficult. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Desperate Times Need Deeper Love

Anyone embracing rugged love faces huge emotional hurdles. It feels like we are piling on, almost as if we saw a drunk stumble in the street and decided to kick him to teach him a lesson. But if we’re serious about helping people enslaved in selfishness, we will find faith to think honestly and deeply about the gracious grit of genuine love.

Don’t be afraid. Speak the truth in love, and trust Jesus. He may surprise you.

Musings on…..Dinosaurs in the Bible

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behemoth3So I get Acts and Facts magazine and I had a conversation with a friend about dinosaurs in the bible. I took the 7 points the executive editor posted in the magazine and researched them.

Tell me what you think….

  1. dinosaurs were created on the day 6 along with the other land animals and humans. 

20And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,a and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

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2. dinosaurs walked the earth same time as humans, just perhaps not often in the same places. 

dinosaurs in Asia , Israel were Mosasaurus…. and from here …Animals like Mosasaurus were marine lizards, not dinosaurs.

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3. The bible mentions Leviathan and behemoth.

 

Let’s start with Leviathan:

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/leviathan/

http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Leviathan

Leviathan is possibly a crocodile, whale, serpent, devil. It is used illustratively.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+27&version=ESV

This has to do with the redemption of Israel.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+41%3A1-34&version=ESV

A large sea animal.

Psalm 74:12Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
    you broke the heads of the sea monsters[d] on the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
    you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.[b]

With Leviathan being Capitalized, I would venture to say its the devil.

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Next: Behemoth

http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Behemoth.html

http://www.bible-history.com/books/Matthew/Job/Chapter+40/

Job 40:15 “Look at Behemoth,
    which I made along with you
    and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins,
    what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
    the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
    its limbs like rods of iron.
19 It ranks first among the works of God, [this makes me think of angels]
    yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
20 The hills bring it their produce,
    and all the wild animals play nearby.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
    hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
    the poplars by the stream surround it.
23 A raging river does not alarm it;
    it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
    or trap it and pierce its nose?

It may not be entirely coincidental that the oldest book in Scripture, Job, lists several mythical animals. Dated around the 1660s B.C., it was written more than two hundred years BEFORE Moses penned the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Job references five of our seven exotic beasts – dragons (Job 30:29), the behemoth (40:15), the leviathan (41:1), unicorns (39:9 – 10), and possibly the phoenix bird (29:18).

from here

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=h8577, this lexicon definition helps the dinosaur option.

Even with all this info… it still doesn’t convince me these beasts were dinosaurs.

4. Legends and historical accounts from around the world include dinosaur-like creatures as dragons, indications that humans actually witnessed real dinosaurs alive after the flood. 

https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/tannin-sea-serpent-dinosaur-snake-dragon-or-jackal/

this explains ‘dragons’ in other passages besides Revelation, where a dragon is clearly the Devil.

5. the 60 or so basic kinds of dinosaurs could easily fit on the ark. 

So many arguments for that there….People assume there are just 2 of every kind of animal and but as you can read

19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

He brought food for the humans and the animals to eat.

Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind,everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

Another argument can be made for God putting a ‘spell’ on the animals so that they didn’t eat, fight or procreate for the time they were on the ark.

If you wanted to get real crazy, you could say that is this happened

[23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.] 

There would be no fossil evidence from before the flood.

6. Scientific research on soft tissue…. of dinosaurs confirms they lived thousands, not millions of years ago. 

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinofossils/Fossiltypes.html

http://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/soft-tissue-in-dinosaur-bones-what-does-the-evidence-really-say

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/more-dinosaur-bones-yield-traces-blood-soft-tissue

http://www.livescience.com/41537-t-rex-soft-tissue.html

7.  Noah’s worldwide flood formed dinosaur fossils found on every continent, including Antarctica.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinofossils/locations/Antarctica.shtml

 

 

Words and Meanings: ‘Committed’ Suicide

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Couple of things I have been contemplating and can’t post on my FB business page:

One of them is: Proponents of suicide prevention are wanting to change the wording of ‘committing’ suicide to ….died by suicide…..

So I looked up committed or commit

com·mit·ted
kəˈmidəd/
adjective
adjective: committed
feeling dedication and loyalty to a cause, activity, or job; wholeheartedly dedicated.
“a committed reformer”
com·mit
kəˈmit/Submit
verb
past tense: committed; past participle: committed
1.
carry out or perpetrate (a mistake, crime, or immoral act).
“he committed an uncharacteristic error”
synonyms: carry out, do, perpetrate, engage in, enact, execute, effect, accomplish; More
2.
pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy.
“they were reluctant to commit themselves to an opinion”
synonyms: pledge, devote, apply, give, dedicate
“they committed themselves to the project”
pledge or set aside (resources) for future use.
“manufacturers will have to commit substantial funds to developing new engines”
be in a long-term emotional relationship with (someone).
be dedicated to (something).
“we must be committed to peace”
synonyms: devout, devoted, dedicated, loyal, faithful, staunch, firm, steadfast, unwavering, wholehearted, keen, passionate, ardent, fervent, sworn, pledged; More
antonyms: apathetic
3.
send, entrust, or consign, in particular.
synonyms: entrust, consign, assign, deliver, give, hand over, relinquish; formal commend
“she was committed to their care”
consign (someone) officially to prison, especially on remand.
“he was committed to prison for contempt of court”
synonyms: consign, send, deliver, confine
“the judge committed him to prison”
send (a person or case) for trial.
send (someone) to be confined in a psychiatric hospital.
“he had been committed for treatment”
synonyms: hospitalize, confine, institutionalize, put away; certify
“her husband had her committed”
transfer something to (a state or place).
“he composed a letter but didn’t commit it to paper”
refer (a legislative bill) to a committee.

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http://www.suicide.org/suicide-is-not-a-crime.html

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But, look at the synonyms: carry out, do, perpetrate, engage in, enact, execute, effect, accomplish. Some do pose a picture of crime, but some don’t.  The committed isn’t all negative.

Persons who die by suicide were actually committed, committed to ending their lives, sorrow, pain and frustration. They executed a desperate act upon themselves. They accomplished their means to an end. They carried out an act of self destruction.

I can understand taking it off the legal books as criminal, one can’t prosecute a dead person and if they attempt but do not succeed, they need help, not jail.

But the word committed isn’t just a negative legal word. Both committed and died by suicide are fine. It is an act that has to be committed, accomplished or executed.

…With all this being said, I am by no means arguing about this touchy subject. I was curious as to the meaning of the words we, as a culture, are trying to change to make them more palatable.

I have tried to commit suicide and know others that have too. It is a multi-faceted metal health issue that needs more attention brought to it with readily available resources for those who are suffering from it.

If you found this page and are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please do not worry about the words used to describe it, PLEASE DO find help! now. You are loved and your life is worth living.

Some resources below and they will have more also.

Home

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http://www.crisistextline.org/

https://teenlineonline.org/

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Musings on…. My Dream Ministry

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I am going through the Penn Foster Veterinary Technician program online. 50 years old and going back to college. not so easy.

Perfectionism is killing my vibe.

But lately my dreams are leading me in a different direction. The idea of a clearinghouse for stuff comes to mind.

A place to have tables set up for different ministries that want different things.

Crayon Initiative, Operation Christmas Child, eyeglass ministry, bible and book ministry. Foster care ministries.

I picture a huge front room with tables in a circle with the different ministries advertising on the tables, boxes and brochures, lists of items needed.

I picture a website with the ministries and items wanted, hours open and requirements for the ministry.

This wouldn’t be open to the public unless the ministry did a food or clothes pantry and they were there to organize the pick ups.

Ministries would have to pick up donations weekly or when needed and we would have hours that people could drop their items off.

I’m thinking noon to 9, Tuesday through Saturday.

We would need volunteers for manning the bldg. Money for rent, utilities, and postage for the ministries that are not in state/town.

The ministries would be anything…animal related, religious or not, people, here, in country, out of country.

Bonus!

My son has a desire to have a bldg for nonprofits to rent an office space for little rent.

If we could find a bldg that did both, that would be super.

Even a house type setting would be good, or a warehouse. I’m not sure what would work the best.

I don’t really know where to begin… I’m thinking of contacting some ministries that I am interested in and having them send over some artwork or tri fold or info for the website and table.

Then just use my house or garage, altho hubby doesn’t want me to use garage.

Sigh, why can’t I just have unlimited income to get this started?

Let me know your thoughts!!

Here is a link to the ministry page

Hope Mercantile Collective