Friends,
The protesting going on here in the U.S.A. concerning the outcome of our presidential election, I find to be both absurd and immature. Regardless of who each of us voted for, our voting system is an established, agreed-upon process, and one which has measures in place that secure fairness and honesty. Protests done before election day are reasonable, but to get out and protest now –well, what is it supposed to accomplish? Is it not action that says, “I didn’t get my way, and I demand that I do”? Is such behavior honorable?

Let’s also ask, does such behavior bring peace and stability to the country, or does it promote anger, unrest, fear, division, and other negatives? What then about those giving platform to the protesters? Are they not, in essence, saying, “It’s okay to be a sore loser, to vent one’s anger, to threaten anarchy, and to throw a temper tantrum as long as it’s ‘peaceful’.”–? Furthermore, why the airing of sobbing female millennials who claim they are terrified now for their well-being? How does this help our nation? It doesn’t. Any reasonable person knows it only adds fuel to the fire, stirring up more anxiety and anger while enticing the impressionable to also resort to the behavior of these touted as heroes or victims.

Typically I ignore political controversies. But ever since seeing, several days ago, on a national T.V. network, a particular sign of one of the protesters, I have felt significantly disturbed about the apparent worldview of those protesting our election result. The sign, to me, symbolized all that the liberal left stands for, and if I have to boil it down to two words, I’d say they stand for, promote, and cheer on –this: Deliberate ignorance.

There is a lot I could say about this deliberate ignorance that I believe many liberals possess –such as their “politically-correct” refusal to see such things as these: The foolishness of forcing the working class to provide for the slothful, that it is actually wisdom and justice that demand that immigrants may only enter this country legally, that race and sexual-orientation should give no one any extra privileges above anyone else, that tax-payers paying the tuitions of college students is neither just nor wise, that socialism is not better, that a record of peaceful citizenry gives that American the right to carry a gun, that being soft on terrorists only emboldens evil people, and that abortion is a violation of human rights at the most fundamental level and is, in fact, the murder of another human being. Yet liberals will chant, “It’s my body. It’s my choice.”

That was the sign that really disturbed me this week. –A young woman defiantly holding up her poster, “It’s my body. It’s my choice.” But is this true? Is a baby, just because his or her residence is still within a womb, not a separate human being? Everyone, except for those who are willfully, stubbornly, and purposefully naive, knows the answer to that. The unborn are not extensions of their mothers’ bodies, but are separate, individual humans growing within another body. Even science has confirmed this for years as undeniable fact. Yet this month’s political protesters allow, even encourage, deliberate ignorance to proudly march with them. Truly, this is when we know the core worldview of these protesters is far from reasonable.

While thinking about writing this post, I googled the words of the sign that so irritated me. Right away I came to this very excellent article: http://liveactionnews.org/where-the-my-body-my-choice-argument-fails/ It reminds us that the DNA of a baby is uniquely his or hers, and different from the parents’ DNA. It also says that scientists have pinpointed the exact moment that a new human is created and it happens with a flash of light when the sperm unites with the egg.

At the end of the article there is also a link to a music video sung by Matthew West in support of the unborn baby’s right to life. It’s beautiful. Here is that direct link: http://liveactionnews.org/music-video-untold-shows-a-mothers-courageous-choice-for-life/

I am saddened and annoyed and somewhat alarmed that we evidently have so many people in America, especially the majority of millennials, it seems, (or those who act like them), who cannot graciously and maturely accept opposition, defeat, or the obvious fact that they aren’t going to get their own way this time. They can’t seem to get over their self-centered disappointment so as to decide, along with the other half of the nation, to be hopeful and positive. Apparently they are ungrateful that the Supreme Court Justices who will now be chosen will undoubtably help steer the nation away from its rise in immorality, injustice, and foolishness. Why? Because their mantra, even though they would deny it, is, “I choose to be deliberately ignorant –ignorant of God’s laws, ignorant of what is wise, and ignorant of what is just.”

Yes, the “It’s my body. It’s my choice.” sign sums up the protesters worldview quite well.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Let’s ask along with Job, “Where does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? Where can wisdom be found?” (Job 28:12,20) Truly, “Man does not comprehend its worth” (v. 13) though “the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.” (v. 18) But wait! “God understands the way to it.” (v. 23) Yes, “He alone knows where it dwells.” (Same verse) Then we know what to do to possess it! Don’t we?

We do, for God has revealed the secret through His Word and Spirit. (1 Cor. ch. 2) He tells us it is in Christ (1:24,30) –who is the Word (John 1:1,14), the Truth (14:6), and the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17) He tells us it is by requesting it and then walking in righteous conduct (Ja. 1:5-8, 3:13-18) –which we do by walking under the full control of God’s Spirit. (Rom. 8:9 // Gal. 5:16,24,25)

Indeed, if we have been baptized with Christ, we are living a new life (Rom. 6:1-7) in which our spirit has been (and by our continual choice of submission, continues to be) cleansed, clothed, and saturated by His Spirit (13:14 // Gal. 3:27) so that, in actuality –measurable and obvious– we are eager and able to meet the moral requirements that have been laid down for us by the Almighty Holy God. (Rom. 8:4 // 1 John 5:3,4) Thus we are taught and understand: If we are in Christ, we will be fearing God and rejecting unbelief, rebellion, disobedience, sin, and all evil. (Phil. 2:12-16 // Heb. 3:12, 4:11, 10:26-39) That is wisdom. (Job 28:28) That is understanding. (Same verse)

Let’s understand the Truth: If we are in Christ, we have been set free from sin and its slavery and have been freed up to walk in righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. (Rom. 6:15-23) This walk can also be called “The Walk of Wisdom”. For as 1 Cor. 1:30 tells us, “Moreover, out of Him [out from God / because of God] you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God –that is [consisting of], our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” By being in Christ, we possess, along with all else that is and belongs to Christ, God’s wisdom, which enables us to walk in the will of God, which then results in our salvation. (Same verse // Rom. 6:22 // See also Mt. 7:21 and 1 John 2:17) Thus by the Spirit we can understand all “that God has freely given us” (2:12b) in Christ, through whom we possess the power and wisdom of God (1:24), “spiritual truths” (2:13), and His own mind! (v. 16)

So, “Where does wisdom come from?” It comes from God. “Where does understanding dwell?” It dwells in God / Christ / the Holy Spirit. “Where can we find wisdom?” We find it and possess it by being full of the Spirit of Christ who comes from, and is, God. (Acts 6:3 // 1 Cor. 2:12a)

But do we comprehend wisdom’s worth? If we do, even slightly, we will seek diligently to keep ourselves full of the Spirit of Him who has become for us the wisdom of God.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Buy His Eye Salve

April 2, 2015

Friends,
The Scriptures counsel us to stop thinking of ourselves as better than we are, and to repent. (Rom. 12:3 // Rev. 3:17-19) Too often we think we are in need of nothing spiritually –that we understand so much and that we are walking in purity, power, and knowledge –even though we most certainly are not. Oh, the abundance of pride! Oh, the refusal to humble ourselves, to listen to godly advice, to take an honest and hard look at ourselves, to fear God, and to heed His Word and His Spirit’s voice of conviction.

But pride blinds. It causes us to deny what we are actually doing, what we really have become. We have become deniers. Going on in lazy, lukewarm, and shameful behavior, we compare ourselves to others rather than to the Holy Almighty God who has commanded us to be as perfect and as holy as He is. (Mt. 5:48 // 1 Peter 1:15,16)

“I can never attain that!” many insist, their voice tinged with either hopelessness or rebellion, or both.

But God’s Word insists that the command holds. Moreover, we have been shown there how to achieve that victory and how to continue to walk in it.

Yet so much blindness prevails! Why? Isn’t it because of the high number of false teachers who are leading the flock astray? (Acts 20:29,30) –Leading many straight into the pit? (Mt. 15:14) Isn’t it due to the aversion so many have against the command to be holy and perfect? Isn’t it due to pride and the sense of being entitled to break any rule one feels like breaking at any given time? Yes, we have an Adversary “who prowls around looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and an Enemy who specializes in blinding men’s minds to the True Light of Salvation (2 Cor. 3,4 & 11:14), but it is our choices that really incur upon us the delusion! (Eph. 4:18 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12 // Ja. 1:13-15) And once we start down that road, how evil and bitter it becomes! (Jer. 2:19) Yet the punishment we reap for our lack of repentance is just what we deserved! (21:14 // Luke 13:3 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12)

God’s Word repeatedly commands us to watch out, be on guard, walk wisely, be alert, be careful… Do we think we are immune to being tripped up? Do we believe ourselves to be good, even when we lack clean clothes and adequate sight? (Rev. 3:17) God counsels us to buy from Him that which can cleanse us and lift the veil! (v. 18) But do we? Do we study His Word and pray for His Spirit who can open the eyes of our understanding so that we can see both who we are and to where we need to lift ourselves? (v. 17,18 // Eph. 1:17-19)

Let us stop thinking of ourselves as better than we are. (Rom. 12:3) If we are rebuked or corrected, let us not respond so defensively, so blindly, so immediately. (Pr. 9:7-9) Instead, let us take time, even days, to soberly consider the matter, all the while earnestly seeking God for His word concerning it. Let us rub in the eye salve He offers (Rev. 3:18) –that Cure which eliminates the diseases spreading across the eyes of our understanding. The diseases that come through pride. The diseases that result from our denials. The diseases which are pulling us toward the Pit. –That Pit where all go, and exist eternally, who remain lazy, careless, and blind.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
A few days ago my husband and I watched a movie about Steve Jobs and Apple. I thought it was a well-done movie, but it also reminded me of some sad facts about all of humanity. One is the fact that power, fame, and money do most often erode, not improve, a person’s decent character.

When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to be more compassionate and caring toward others? When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to become more Christ-like? When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to turn his back on striving for more of the same so that he takes time to seek and “honor the God who holds in His hand everyone’s life and all their ways”? (See Dan. 5:23) The answer for all three questions is: Rarely.

Self-centered. Ruthless. Selfish. Cruel. Arrogant. Thoughtless. Deceitful. Need I go on? A host of negative adjectives can be used to describe most of those who clamor to gain more and more power, fame, or money. Betraying those who helped them, cared about them, befriended them, prayed for them, and/or loved them, the person consumed by greed not only finds happiness and contentment elusive, but realizes too late that he withered his own soul in the process. As a result, his earthly end is hollow and his eternity is the darkness. (Mt. 16:24-27 w/ 25:30 and John 5:29)

Those who invent incredible and useful things are to be commended and Steve Jobs certainly gave society something great. I, like most, truly enjoy and appreciate my laptop and the knowledge and abilities accessible to me through it. But did Jobs give God glory for giving him his genius? I saw no evidence of that, nor did I see it when I did a bit of internet research on him. There had been a rumor that Jobs had experienced a conversion to Christ in his last months of illness, but I read nothing that proved that at all.

Hence another sad fact I thought about: Genius, not submitted to God, is foolishness to God. (1 Cor. 3:19)

The movie definitely made me worship the Lord, because it is He who has equipped mankind with the potential and the means with which to invent things otherwise inconceivable. But the movie also made me sad as it reminded me of the masses of people who have dedicated their lives, not to Jesus and His Gospel, but instead to achieving, even ruthlessly, power, fame, or money –things that will be burned up in the end. As Jesus has warned us, such people will lose for eternity. (Mark 8:35)

For the rest of the evening after watching the movie, Mark 8:36 kept coming to mind: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

Steve Jobs certainly gained prestige across the globe. He certainly succeeded in making his product better and better, achieving for it and himself great acclaim. But, if he forfeited his soul in the process, what good was it for him? God’s Word give us the answer: None. (Luke 12:15-21 & 16:19-31)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Yesterday my post was about maintaining relationships God’s way and how we should be humble, kind, and patient in the face of disagreements with those whose fellowship we have valued while within God’s will. However, this maintenance is not to be confused with the (likely) necessity to end relationships that have proved hazardous. Relationships that produce continued negativity, accusations, lies, condescension, mistreatment, or abuse should, in fact, be ended if possible (1 Cor. 7:20,21 & 15:33 // 2 Cor. 6:14-18), unless the Lord has told us to remain (which He does sometimes command –1 Peter 2:18,19). Provoking one another to anger and devouring each other is never godliness.

There is a difference between disagreement and mistreatment. There is a difference between disagreement and disrespect. There is a difference between disagreement and abuse. Disagreement between those in relationship is allowed, and is actually normal between two people who have two different brains. God Himself allows us, in using the gift of freedom He has given us, to reason, wrestle, and even disagree with Him as we petition Him or while we are asking Him to clarify His words or rationale to us. (Gen. 32:24-32 // Ex. 32:9-14 // Isa. 1:18 // Ezek. 4:15 // Mt. 15:21-28 & 18:23-27 // Luke 18:1-8) We can, and must, do this in great reverence, for disagreement does not equate with disrespect, nor should it ever.

Looking past the faults of others, or instead calling them to account, is sensitive stuff, and in whichever action we take, we must be led by the Spirit of the Lord. The Lord has given us His Word and His Spirit, and He has tutored us in Wisdom. Therefore, through all three (which are really One and the Same), and by having learned through the experiences God has caused or allowed us to walk in, we make our choices.

What if a wife continues to flirt with other men? What if a husband frequently strikes his wife or children in anger? What if a boyfriend engages in pornography? What if a girlfriend makes violent threats? What if a teenager keeps breaking curfew? What if a parent demeans a child’s abilities? What if a family member resorts to meltdowns when upset? What if a boss often yells and says harsh or even untrue statements toward or about employees? What if a family member breaks dishes, screams or swears when angry, gets drunk most weekends, won’t answer phone calls in a timely manner, keeps other relationships a secret, or refuses to comply with reasonable household rules? Should a person maintain relationships with those who resort to such behaviors? How about with those whose behaviors are less abusive but which still cross the line of respect?

Love is not the gauge with which to determine whether or not to maintain a relationship, for although true love is tough as well as tender, people often think that softness and tolerance is the definition of true love; thus loving thoughts can actually confuse us. Therefore it is God’s Wisdom, God’s counsel, which we must be ultimately led by. For though love is great –greater than even faith and hope (1 Cor. 13:13)– Wisdom, we are told, is supreme. (Pr. 4:7)

So how do we make correct choices regarding relationships? We use God’s Word (the whole counsel of it, not just bits of it), we use God’s Spirit (His counsel as well as His power), and we use God’s Wisdom –the Wisdom which God has already tutored us and grown us in, as we have, time and again, utilized His Spirit in putting into practice His Word.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Do Not Lie

July 18, 2014

Friends,
It never ceases to amaze me how people, especially how people who claim to love and follow Jesus, can have such a careless attitude about their practice of lying. Lying is a sin. To skew the truth, to deceive, or to omit information necessary for someone, is to lie. To tell a “little white lie” is to deprive or steal knowledge and truth from another. It is wrong.

Not only do we hate it when our fellowman lies, but the LORD, as well, hates a lying tongue. (Pr. 6:16,17) A lying tongue is detestable to Him. (same verses) “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD.” (12:22) Being this is the case, God will condemn to Hell all those who refuse to repent of (renounce and quit) their lying. As Rev. 21:8 warns, “All liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

It is wise to train ourselves, or rather command ourselves, to never lie. For one thing, lies grow. They grow bigger, more numerous, and they create all sorts of other sins, such as hypocrisy, cruelty, laziness, and general self-centeredness. A person who lies is almost always acting out of concern for himself, not others. He is intent on getting what he wants and in the easiest way possible.

When a person begins to see that he is getting away with his ability to lie, temptations of all sorts likely flood into his mind, and his heart. For all sorts of sins, he realizes, can be partaken of, as most have as their foundation a lie. Like shop-lifting, like adultery, like tax-evasion, like fraud…

But, a lying tongue doesn’t last very long. (Pr. 12:19) For being that the All-Mighty God abhors those who are deceitful (Ps. 5:6), He will destroy them. (same verse) Yes, “whoever tells lies will perish.” (Pr. 19:9)

Therefore, let us be wise and heed God’s Word, including the command, “Do not lie to one another.” (Col. 3:9)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
My husband gave me this link about a month ago. I’m sure many have already visited it, as its message is profound, its advice wise. But for those who have not or for those who need to hear it again…

It’s true: So many opportunities missed, so many relationships lost, so much beauty ignored, so much dialogue and laughter never participated in. All because of an instrument we hold in our hand which promises power, knowledge, and popularity. But which, in the end, will prove useless to us, and likely even aid our condemnation, come Judgement Day.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel