Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Halloween and Reformation Sunday October 31, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 11:11 am
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We had so much fun with halloween when our girls were growing up.  I wasn’t much on sewing or spending much money on costumes, but we tried to be creative with sheets, of course, and masks and hats.  It was a day for everyone to pretend. In elementary school, we moved on to the school carnival–running auctions, games, etc., but all involving the whole family. Oh, how I hated making those pumpkin cookies for kindergarten class!! I’m so thankful for the memories now.

I’m also thankful for the day Martin Luther nailed his 23 ideas on the Catholic Church door in Germany in 1513.  Now, you know, I’m really a historian at heart.  History is what my education and school teaching was all about.  But, this is even more about spiritual things and Christian history.  I’ve been so blessed by what came out of the Reformation he started that day.  Even more blessed than by our fun on halloween.

  Luther started a “discussion” of ideas that resulted in the good newsl being made more clear to everyone–that salvation was by faith alone. Faith is our steadfast belief that Jesus’s perfect life–His righteousness–was the only thing that could ever erase the condemnation due us because of our sin.  The key words are alone and only.  Luther had read the first five chapters of Romans!  Sadly, the Catholic Church would not accept this, and has not changed any of their views about it since, so we have a great split in the Christian traditions.  Reformation Sunday celebrates his courage and this good news that Jesus is the One promised from the beginning.

I’m blessed because God has given me this faith, and I don’t need to add anything else to it–no ceremony I can attend, no good deeds for my community, no amount of church work, no amount of sacrifice….just faith in the work of Christ Jesus–his perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection— to be enough to cover all my sins. 

Blessings and fun memories to think about……

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“We’re a team; we work together” July 8, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 3:55 pm
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Benjamin, age 4, has caught on.  It warmed my heart tonight when he blurted out, “We’re a team; we work together in this family.” Working together as a family binds everyone together— if balanced with having fun together.  It’s the together part that makes everyone feel so good.  Family is God’s first institution, of course.  Children listen to you a lot more when they feel this togetherness.  Then, you can know they are hearing the gospel. Oh, one more thing.  The family that prays together is more likely to hold on to this “together” feeling.  How else can they forgive and put up with each other’s weaknesses and differences?   Here are some pictures of our summer fun so far:

best of friends

looking at fish with Poppy

 

Halloween and Reformation Day November 2, 2009

Filed under: Church History,Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 3:27 am

We should all teach our children and remind ourselves of our Christian heritage.  October 31, 1513 is when Martin Luther tried to call the church back to the Bible.  His simple act of protest plus the invention of the printing press led to revivals across Europe as people began to read the Bible in their own language.  A cry to reform the worship and practice within the church rose as hearts were stirred when they began to understand the Bible’s teaching of  justification by faith ALONE.  This struggle continued all through the 1500’s until by the middle of the 1600’s the Protestants were able to declare their understanding of the Bible’s clear teaching on faith, worship, and the Christian life.  Several similar statements of  faith were published: The Baptist Statement of Faith, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Savoy Confession.  This was the REFORMATION which was so important to Western Civilization as to be a major division in every secular history book.

What difference does it make now?  Martin Luther should be honored for his courage and sacrifice in standing on the plain teaching of scripture:  “for by grace are you saved through faith…”  and “The just shall live by faith…”  John Calvin, a pastor in Switzerland, should be remembered for his faithful verse-by-verse explanation and application of the scripture.  His ability to apply the teaching of the Bible to the heart and everyday life led to many revivals of true religion and to many publications in English, German, and French.  He was very influencial on the British Puritans and their Scottish and American “friends.”

To be “REFORMED” today, means to be reforming all the time in this same tradition of revering the scriptures as God’s word to us — seeking to worship and live in ways that please God, using  the Confessions of Faith as a guide to what the Bible says, and holding on to salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. Hearts have been stirred and lives changed, families strengthened and nations built on these reformed traditions.  It could happen again!

Try getting your 8-12 year old to read biographies of these men or their wives.  Having the four year old dress like Calvin instead of a pirate might not be the best idea!  Luther was known for his love of children and his ability to engage them in conversation; he could probably think of a way to teach this history lesson.

 

Are You Contentious? October 24, 2009

Filed under: devotional,Family Life,Teen Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 2:45 am

Thinking about Proverb 21 today?  What about 21:9?

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

or 21:19..

“Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.”

Ask yourself:  What does this mean?

To be contentious is to strive or quarrel…to be in conflict; in discord…to be belligerent.  Notice in verse 19, anger is added.  It is all about verbal strife with an undertone of anger.

This kind of “communicating” ruins a home.  You’re better off getting out of the house!  It would be true of anyone, but in this case, an angry, argumentive woman is singled out.

In verse 23, everyone is urged to guard his mouth–whether male or female.  And in v. 24, a man who is haughty and proud is singled out for his arrogant pride.

Of course, the point is the arrogant pride, not the male vs. female.

The root of this home’s problem is pride.  That has to be faced and turned from–rooted out, so to speak, and then the arguing and strife can be stopped.  And if there are two of you ruled by this SELF- LOVE, then the home is ready to explode.

Being contentious just reveals your own arrogance.  Stop it; then go further and love others more than yourself.

My, we need a Savior’s righteousness don’t we?

 

Habits That Build Homes October 16, 2009

Filed under: applications,Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 1:50 am

Here is an easy way to keep reading the Bible in a way that applies it to your everyday life:

Take the day of the month and find the chapter in Proverbs for that day.  Read the chapter for wise living principles.  Then pick out one that really hits you and think about it all day.  Chew on it as time and activity allow. Ask yourself, how can I improve my life by implementing this into my personal and family life?

Proverbs are practical, helpful, and short.  Teens respond well to them for those reasons.  I used to keep a book of Proverbs on top of the refrigerator where it was handy.  As the girls passed thru the kitchen, I’d read one quickly in the passing.  Then I’d pray God would bring it to their minds again as they rode horses or played tennis or golf.

“In all labor there is profit.

But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”  Proverbs 14:23

 

Fun With Grandmother August 26, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 5:52 pm
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I tried to post a picture of John-John enjoying ice cream with me this summer.
Read HABAKKUK by Walter Chantry (cvbbs.org); also delight in and discipline your children and grandchildren.

 

A Wise Principle for Teens July 1, 2009

Filed under: Family Life,Teen Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 9:46 pm

“Hatred stirs up strife,
But, love covers all sins.”(Proverbs 10:12)

“Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18)

The principle in both of these proverbs is that when we lie, it shows what we are really like inside. We should tell the truth. “Do not bear false witness” is one of the Ten Commandments. That applies to everyday life, not just during a trial. Lies originate in our heart where hatred lurks. They show us the condition of our own heart. The reason for this is the biblical teaching on original sin. Adam and Eve, remember?

Slander is a lie about someone. It changes how they are seen by others. It can ruin someone’s reputation. Passing slander along is gossip. How easy to do when we’re chatting or texting or on Facebook.

Slander and lies can ruin family relationships. You twist the truth just a tad to make yourself look better in the eyes of your parents. Or you slant things just a little to put down your sister. Face it. Hate is at the bottom of it all. It is certainly not love!

How wonderful it is that Jesus’s love for us cover these kind of sins! He loved us enough to suffer and die as our Savior. He never told one little lie. He never pitted his brother, Jude, against James. Or made himself look good at their expense. Now that sinless life covers over all of your lies. When you get a glimpse at your real heart, then run to Jesus. He will forgive you. He will dress you up like you were going to a fancy wedding–covered by His perfect life.

Your faith in these promises will be counted as if you were living a perfect life. Love will cover you up and make you presentable for a King. Then stop telling lies because of your thankfulness that you are forgiven and so dressed up in His righteousness.

“…Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:20-22