True Morality

June 30, 2014

Friends,
Yesterday my parents and I went to my sister’s church where her husband is the pastor. It was a great sermon. This is some of what I gleaned from it:

Many people strive to become moral and they even do often do so by calling on Jesus to deliver them from their sins. They do often even attend a church, and they may even spend some time in the Word of God. They have swept their house (their spirit) clean. (Mt. 12:44)

However, because such people often become relaxed in their newfound deliverance, they forget to stay alert for the devil’s (and the world’s and their friend’s) persuasions that divert them from actually following after the Lord. For following Jesus is a daily, moment-by-moment walk, not a one-time or lukewarm decision.

Once a person gets delivered from sin, then pride and a judgmental attitude toward others can easily creep into that person’s heart. “I’m walking in freedom,” they think. “Why can’t that other person get free?” And then, instead of realizing that sin is building within them, and that they are in need of a Savior continually, the once-delivered person becomes more and more captive to some other form of bondage, though this time it’s the less obvious kind. And hence this person is more enslaved than ever –worse off at the end than he was at the beginning. (2 Peter 2:20-22)

The world, and especially the churches, are full of people who think they are okay with God because they don’t practice those “bad” sins. But, hardened in the deception they walk in, such people fall further from the God they are required to be one with, the God they are required to know and obey, and the only God through whom they can be eternally saved.

The sermon had many other points, but the above was the central focus. In short, do we rely on the Savior, not our own “goodness”, to walk in deliverance, righteousness, and victory daily?

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Yesterday morning at the McDonalds in West Yellowstone a nice-looking, upper-class family came in to order, but the son, about 17, was wearing a tee-shirt with a picture on it that flaunted immorality and sexism. There the parents were –with him– seemingly thinking nothing of their son’s offensive and distasteful attire.

But why should they take notice or care? Isn’t the whole western world almost completely calloused to suggestions of immorality, and especially because of what they’re viewing on the T.V. and internet? And what about those who claim to be conservative? Are they behaving in purity and true godliness and keeping their eyes, hearts, and minds clean? Hardly.

Israeliteindeed has given a sharp reprimand to those who think they are right with God even while they participate in impurity almost continually. Here is an excerpt:

But what does Scripture say?–

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Eph. 5:3)

There must not be even a hint!! Oh, that Apostle Paul; he was quite the legalist! If only we could throw HIM out of our church and get away with it.

Some say if America doesn’t turn around, America is doomed. They say this quite piously because they go to church and have conservative values like “I disagree with homosexual marriage.” Meanwhile their own kids are becoming prostitutes right before their eyes.

To read the rest, click here: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/2675/

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
God’s creation sure makes me worship Him. What a variety of landscapes, animals, and other things too numerous to name. Hot gases bubbling up from watery crevices… mountain peaks and cliffs towering above rivers… various animal species –some so cute, some so majestic. What a blessing to see it all, hike among it, enjoy it with loved ones, and praise God for His wonders.

Below are some photos of our second day (6/24/14) visiting Yellowstone Park.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

1. My mom and me in front of a steaming spring at the Lower Geyser Basin

2. My mom across this spot that steamed –and hissed!

3. Gorgeous, steaming “Leather Pool” at Lower Geyser Basin

4. Another steaming pool at Lower Geyser Basin

5. Two friendly elk by the road

6. “Old Faithful Geyser” spewing by the Upper Geyser Basin

7. Me in front of “Old Faithful”

8. My parents amid the crowd leaving Old Faithful Geyser

9. Kepler Cascades

10. My mom and me above Kepler Cascades

11. Me, balancing on a log in front of snow near the Continental Divide

12. West Thumb Geyser Basin

13. A small, but steaming, fountain mud pot in West Thumb

14. Me at Yellowstone Lake with the Grand Tetons across it

15. My mom at Yellowstone Lake

16. Me, enjoying the scenic Yellowstone Lake

17. Me at LeHardys Rapids

18. My parents at LeHardys Rapids

19. Me, overlooking Yellowstone River near the Hayden Valley area

20. Bison along the road

21. Huge-antlered elk near the road

Friends,
My parents and I are having a fabulous time in Yellowstone. We’re staying in their friend’s cabin (for free!) and I am totally enjoying part of God’s beautiful creation I’ve never been to until now. What blessings the Lord bestows on His people! Yesterday when the cabin owner (who came down from southern Idaho) took my dad fishing, my mom read to me some of the Scripture verses the Lord had impressed her to read the night before, as she was very concerned about the 6 mile trek my dad and C.B. were going to undertake. One of the verses was Ps. 31:19 which says, “Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You and worked for those who take refuge in You, in the sight of the children of mankind!”

My mom and I spent time in prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord –not only for all His comforting promises and the fact that we can entrust ourselves to His care, but that He is so kind and good and full of generosity! How abundant are the blessings our family continues to receive from the Lord over the years! And how faithfully He cares for us in all different ways, including as we drive along precarious cliffs. (Needless to say, my dad and C.B. chose to go to some closer fishing holes and had a lovely drift down the Madison River in C.B.’s boat.)

Below are some photos from our first all-day drive around the northern part of Yellowstone Park which was on 6/23/14. Tomorrow I plan to post photos from our second all-day drive around the southern part which was on 6/24/14. I also plan to post some photos from our drive to and from northern Idaho and our time with my sister and her family. Since I don’t do Facebook, the photos I’m posting are for my own memories and those of our family. I share them with whoever else wants to enjoy them with us.

God is so good!

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

1. Me sitting on a ledge overlooking Gibbon Falls.

2. Me by a little creek

3. Steamboat Geyser at Noris Geyser Basin

4.My parents and me atop the Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone

5. My parents and me at another spot by The Canyon.

6. My dad and me on a ledge above The Canyon’s Falls.

7. The Canyon’s Falls has a glacier next to it.

8. My dad reading the sign.

9. My sweet and pretty mom!

10. Beautiful hills with dots of snow.

11. Yeahhhh! –snow in summer!

12. Tower Fall

13. Near Tower Fall

14. The Yellowstone River near Tower Fall

15. My dad overlooking Yellowstone River

16. Bluffs near Gardner River near Mammoth Hot Springs

17. My dad overlooking the bridge over Gardner River

18. A dormant hot spring cone at Mammoth

19. My parents at Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces

20. A weird spectacle at Mammoth

21. Headed south from Mammoth

22. The “Golden Gate” Pass

23. Me at a small roadside geyser south of Norris

24. My dad appreciating the bison near Madison

Friends,
Does anyone desire to read a masterpiece message? In my opinion, here it is:

http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/the-unfolding-revelation-of-salvation/

That post, clearly, has been written by someone who knows the Word very well, has a firm understanding of it, and is being taught by the Spirit of God. The rest of us would be wise to read it thoughtfully so as to take advantage of the wealth of information and insight within it. I strongly recommend all of Israeliteindeed’s messages.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
As Meriam and her family were boarding a flight out of Sudan yesterday, Meriam was re-arrested and her family detained. This is an outrage! Read (and again sign the petition) here:

http://aclj.org/radical-islam/bring-meriam-her-american-kids-home

It’s strange that we still have “thought-police” in our modern times. Can nations –can their rulers– dictate what every person is to believe? How can they? They can (though morally unlawful) demand that people perform outward religious actions, but how can they reasonably think that they can control the thoughts, hearts, and consciences of people? How can any nation think they can refuse or allow certain beliefs… convictions?

Those who try to control what others believe and think and feel are loathsome to me. Those who try to force inner convictions into people and command them to follow religious rules have, I believe, some form of mental illness themselves –that which comes from a heart decaying with sin and rebellion toward God and toward His Royal Law of Love.

Those who believe strongly in something, those who are zealous in promoting what they are truly convinced of, should definitely try to persuade others. But they should never, ever force others! No one should be arrested for believing something. No one should be imprisoned or killed for holding to a particular doctrine about God –nor about anything else. People are to be punished for violating another person in some severe and/or obvious way, not for having an opinion or conviction.

But alas, much of the world goes on in its skewed philosophies and evil behavior –hating love and righteousness and freedom while trying to veil their hatred, cruelties, and lust for power with pious speeches about nationalism, solidarity, and honor toward God.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Freed

June 24, 2014

Friends,
I, along with many, give the Lord huge thanks for answering prayer concerning Meriam Ibrahim. Apparently she has now been freed from prison and from the flogging and death sentence she was facing. May everyone continue to pray for her and her children’s safe passage home and sign here the new petition regarding that:

http://aclj.org/radical-islam/bring-meriam-her-american-kids-home

Also, I encourage everyone to be reading at Israeliteindeed’s blog. She has written many sobering exhortations by the Spirit of God in her –He who is warning the world to renounce sin, come out of the bondage, and walk in the freedom, the peace, the joy, and the purity which the Lord both commands and provides.

Read those messages here: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel