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Forum: Article of the Week
 Topic: Growing As Parents: Our Influence and Attitude
Growing As Parents: Our Influence and Attitude [message #33437] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:23
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Growing as Parents: Our Influence and Attitude

By Tamara Eaton

Many Christian parents choose to homeschool so they can be the primary influence in their children's lives. They want to follow the principle set forth in Deuteronomy 6:5-7: Loving the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and might and teaching their children His Word and His ways when they're sitting in their house, walking by the way, and when they lie down and when they rise up--all the time! So...what type of influence have you been upon your children today?

Every child is a gracious gift from the Lord--a sacred trust--entrusted into our care to be loved, cherished, provided for, nurtured and trained for His glory. God gives them to us to prepare them for His purposes--and if we want to be good parents, we must depend upon Him DAILY for wisdom and grace! It's not enough to teach them about the way they should go--we must train them and demonstrate a godly attitude toward them, too. Thankfully, we have our loving Heavenly Father as our example, encourager, and enabler!

As homeschooling parents, we probably have more influence upon our children's lives than anyone else. Recently, I was thinking about the idea promoted by sociologists : "What you think of yourself is largely determined by your perception of what the most important person in your life thinks of you." If this is true, what do our children believe we think about them? Generally parents are the most important people in a child's life. We may feel unconditional love toward them--but do they perceive it? Is it demonstrated in our daily lives?

It's easy to get caught up in homeschooling and focus on the children's academic performance--inadvertently giving them the impression that performing well equals acceptance, but experiencing difficulties equals disapproval or even rejection. Our attitude has such an effect upon them! Our children need to feel secure in our unconditional love. In a very real sense, the security they feel in our love and care can influence how secure they feel in their Heavenly Father's love and care--which truly is unconditional. (Romans 8:35-39) Our love for our children should always reflect God's love

Psalm 103 gives some beautiful instances of how God deals with His children:

  • He forgives us
  • He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies
  • He gives us good things
  • He executes righteousness and justice
  • He makes known His Ways
  • He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy
  • He pities those who fear Him, just as a father pities His children
  • He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust

There are many other references in Scripture that portray a loving Heavenly Father who doesn't allow a temptation too great for us, and who doesn't overwhelm us with too much at once. He considers what we can handle and helps us overcome by encouraging us-- giving us hope and confidence that we CAN be what He wants us to be if we yield ourselves to Him.

Some of the ways we can demonstrate our love daily to our children are:

  • Seeing our children as blessings--not taking them for granted.
  • Appreciating their gifts and being patient with their weaknesses--taking time to pray for them and asking God to show us the best way to nurture the gifts and strengthen the weaknesses.
  • Asking their forgiveness and being open when we've not handled something properly.
  • Watching our tone of voice when talking to them.
  • Treating them with respect, not talking about them disparagingly in their presence. Even little ears are capable of picking up on negative comments, resulting in wounds and feelings of rejection and possibly rebellion.
  • Giving them the gift of time. Really getting to KNOW them, appreciating them, accepting them, and understanding them. Making them feel *special*--never like they are an imposition. Listening to them (even at bedtime when we are so tired and ready to tuck them into bed!).
  • Setting limits and boundaries concerning their behavior--love always sets limits. But making the rules reasonable, never excessive. God's commandments are never grievous or burdensome--we should follow His example, here, too! (1 John 5:3; Matthew 11:28-30)

There are no perfect parents. We're all still growing! As we come into a deeper understanding of God's Word and how to apply it to our lives, we must obey it, and that requires daily changes in our thoughts and actions. As the Lord works in an area, jot down ways you're committed to change. Look up Scriptures that would apply. Thank Him for the grace and courage to overcome and not give in to the way of the flesh.

Change is rarely easy, but we don't have to do it all on our own. God promises to work in us both to will and do of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13) He just asks us to yield to Him and abide in Him and He will see to it that we bring forth much fruit. (John 15) We make the choice, He gives the enabling to overcome-- so we are without excuse. The Lord builds the motivation within us to do what's right if we desire to please Him above all else!

If necessary, rededicate yourself and your children to God. Ask Him to help you view them as a precious inheritance, arrows to be shaped, lives to be molded. Ask Him for wisdom and direction so that you might not labor in vain. Remember, He promises to provide the example, the encouragement and the enabling!

 


 

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." --1Corinthians 15:58

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not..." --2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:1

"Teach the young women... to love their children" --Titus 2:4

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." --Ephesians 6:4

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind...Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.... Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth..." --1 Corinthians 13:4-8

      [Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Cures For Cabin Fever!
Cures For Cabin Fever! [message #33438] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:26
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Cures for Cabin Fever!

[ NEW BOOK SUGGESTIONS!]

By Tamara Eaton



Cabin Fever:"A condition of increased tension, boredom, blahs, etc. caused by living for some time in a confined space or an isolated area, especially in winter."

After three weeks of steady rain, I'm beginning to think we should consider "boat-schooling" instead of home-schooling--and preferably in Hawaii! The younger children are suffering from a lack of outdoor exercise and their pent-up energy and crankiness can be contagious. It's time for spiritual refreshment and practical ideas-- sure cures for cabin fever!

SPIRITUAL REFRESHMENT

I love what Andrew Murray had to say to parents about teaching their children and it still applies to parents of our generation. (Here he was teaching from Deuteronomy 6:1,2,5-7)

1. Instruct With All Your Heart!

"Parental instruction must come from the heart. We all know that instruction has little influence on children when given by an apathetic teacher...."

"When the work of instructing the children becomes a burden, you may be sure it is an indication of something wrong within your own heart. Your love for God in heaven, or the delight in His Word, has been fading. When you need more energy to joyfully perform your work, you must only turn to the words that reveal the secret of a godly education. Then, you will experience an unspeakable blessing in the wisdom that connects the heart's secret love with the mouth's spoken words:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. And these words shall be in thy heart. And thou shalt teach them to thy children. "

2. Instruct With Diligence!

"Parental instruction must also be diligent and earnest:

"Thou shalt diligently teach them unto thy children"..."

"He [the parent] must carefully consider how he can best gain both the child's understanding and affections. He does this by making the most of opportunities and activities in which the child is interested. The parent must also learn the art of speaking in the spirit of love. His whole life must be an attractive example of what he has taught. There is nothing that drives home the word of instruction like a consistent and holy life."

3. Instruct With Perseverance!

"Parental instruction must be persevering and continuous.:

"Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

The entrance of divine truth into the mind and heart, the formation of habit and the training of character, are not attained by sudden and isolated efforts, but by regular and unceasing repetition...."

"....The parental instruction was not to be at set times and stated in formal lectures. The whole life with all its duties has to be interwoven with the lessons of God's presence and God's service. With a heart full of God's love and God's Word, the ordinary activities of daily life help to lead youthful hearts toward heaven."

To those who would object that all this speaking and instruction would tire and alienate our children, Andrew Murray says: "Parents will receive wisdom from on high and be guided to know when and how to speak to their children. Love will influence their children's hearts and find a willing and listening ear when others would only grow weary!"

A Parent's Prayer

"Lord, give me wisdom and grace to be the teacher of my children that You would have me to be. I see how You do not permit any other to assume the parent's position. You have appointed me the first and most important teacher. Fill our hearts with Your love and Your Word. Help us to sharpen Your words deep into our children's hearts. Help us all the day long to walk in Your love and presence, and influence our children for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

[Taken from Raising Your Children For Christ by Andrew Murray (1828-1917) ]

 


 

CABIN FEVER REMEDIES

Here are some of our family's favorite things to do on cold, rainy days!

  • Build miniature clay villages or clay people. We use large rubbermaid lids turned upside down on top of a table and leave projects out for days, adding to them as inspiration strikes! The children have so far created parks, campgrounds, a Mexican village, Western towns, etc. [Check your local $1 Dollar Tree store for inexpensive modeling clay.]
  • Make little people out of felt and pipe cleaners and scraps.
  • Make bread dough sculptures. [Here's a great book resource,Creative Dough Crafts : 100 Delightful Designs to Make in Your Own Kitchen by Brigitte Casagranda --available from chfweb.com's bookstore.]
  • Fabric crayons or fabric paints --decorate T-shirts or pillowcases, etc. Decorate t-shirts with the name of your homeschool or one of your favorite Bible verses!
  • Build a house of cards.
  • Bring out the board games!
  • Build log cabins, etc. out of toothpicks and glue.
  • Start an indoor mini-garden.
  • Sew a mini-quilt or sampler. [Quick Method Quilts by Anne Van Wagner Childs is highly recommended! Read the review --available from chfweb's bookstore.]
  • Take up cross-stitch. [Two-Hour Country Cross-Stitch : Over 500 Designs by Susie Steadman is a terrific resource for busy homeschooling moms and kids! Easy enough for beginners, this book is available from chfweb.com's bookstore.]
  • Learn to knit or crochet.
  • Read aloud favorite books about being snowbound: adventure stories from pioneer days, etc. [For new book suggestions and reviews, visit the Best Loved Children's bookstore!]
  • Bring out the old family photos and share favorite memories.
  • Never finished that baby book for your child? Let them make one now from old photos! Supply funny stories and sentimental memories.
  • Use your video camera (or borrow one!) to make your own funny commercials, news shows, or movie spoofs.
  • Or record your own educational video sharing what you've learned in different areas!
  • Make family goals and create a banner to reflect this year's goals. Hang it in your kitchen or family room as a reminder. (Perhaps it will even be a scripture such as Psalm 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.")
  • Try some new recipes! Have a few days of totally new menus, let each family member choose a new recipe to try.
  • Make homemade doughnuts.
  • Have an old-fashioned taffy-pull.
  • Pop popcorn, roast marshmallows, bake apples and tell "add-on" stories around the fire or kitchen table!
  • Create a family newspaper and send copies to all your friends and relatives.
  • Create a family cookbook with all your relatives' favorite recipes, send copies to all your family.
  • Explore the books about hobbies in your library and try something new!
  • Make a family tree to hang up in your family room.
  • Go on a "pretend trip" using the Internet resources and your local library to learn more about the area you have chosen. Keep a "travel diary" or "write letters home" as a way to keep track of what you're learning. Try new recipes from the countries in your "travels".
  • Look up different countries of the world and find out their capitals.
  • Begin making a book of all the different countries, listing their capital and other basic facts, include a copy of their flag. This can be an on-going project for years, if necessary!
  • "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?" Research it!
  • "If you could live any period in history, when would you live?" Research it!
  • What are some of the things that have been invented in the last ten years? Twenty years?, etc. Find out about how they were invented.
  • Get creative! What would YOU like to invent?
  • Pick a decade from the past and learn what it would be like to live during that period of time.
  • Create your own time line and stretch it across the family room--use butcher paper and markers!
  • Create a newspaper about a certain period in history-- research what it would have been like to live back then and write news stories, advertisements and draw illustrations to reflect that period.
  • Research the history of your hometown, visit the genealogy section of your library to read old newspapers and books about your town.
  • Choose a famous person in history (or a relative or friend!) and write a mini-biography of him or her.
  • Learn about missionaries in different places and study their lives.
  • Become pen-pals with missionary families overseas, support them with your prayers and send them "care packages".
  • Play the presidents' game. Our children used to sit around with a book of all the presidents and take turns listing trivia and allowing the other children to guess which president.
  • Learn something new in science! Have a family science fair! Each member of the family chooses a scientific topic to research and shares his or her findings with the others.
  • "What do you want to be when you grow up, dear?" Let the kids research different jobs and the requirements necessary!
  • Make a "Blessing Box" by decorating a box and filling it with Scripture promises so that you can pull out one scripture at a time. Give them as gifts for grandma or nursing home residents or for friends in the hospital.
  • Have an indoor picnic or plan a party for no reason at all!
  • Have a "cowboy" night with food and music of a Western theme. (Our young "cowboy" loves to hear the "Cowboys for Jesus" sing songs!)
  • Plan a "talent show" (or an "untalent show" ) and let everyone sing songs, recite poems, put on a funny skit, share Bible verses, etc.
  • Write someone you haven't heard from in years or give them a call.
  • Have an indoor treasure hunt, hiding clues all over the house for the children to find the hidden treasure.
  • Write each family member's name on a slip of paper, then draw names for "secret pals". Each person will secretly do something nice for their pal and at the end of the week (or day) everyone will try to guess who their secret pal was!
  • Draw colorful, cheerful pictures and add scriptures, then deliver them with some homemade bread, cookies or muffins to someone who needs cheering up.
  • Ask the Lord for an opportunity to minister to someone outside your family--then prepare for it by praying and getting His Word into your hearts!

Boredom shouldn't be a problem for God's children--our Heavenly Father is so creative and delights in blessing us with ideas and opportunities to learn and grow in Him every single day of our lives--in sunshine and in rain, and warm weather and in cold! May we all say with Paul:

" ...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." --Philippians 4:19

Even in a house full of children after 21 days of cold, rainy weather!

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: What If He Rebels?
What If He Rebels? [message #33440] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:30
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


"What If He Rebels?"

By Tamara Eaton

Every month we hear from distraught parents who are worried about their teens rebelling. Often these parents fear to confront their children on important issues because they're afraid of "losing" them. Yet, even when we feel weak and helpless, the Lord is still strong and MORE than able to do the necessary work in our children's hearts. By the time they are teens, we can't turn them over our knees or force them to have "time outs", but we can pray the prayer of faith, trusting that the Lord will lead us and soften our child's heart, restore relationships and heal all wounds.

There are times when we have to take a stand, as parents, and do what's right by following the Lord and establishing godly principles of conduct in our family, having faith in the Lord that HE will do the necessary work in our children's hearts to draw them to Him. We can't compromise because we fear our children will rebel and that we'll lose them, on the other hand, we must always demonstrate our unconditional love and let them know that we are always here for them!

We experienced this some time ago--we had to make some decisions that were not popular with one of our teens. Thankfully, he submitted and the Lord worked in his heart, but we had to do it in faith, confident that the Lord would work it out.

I remember going to the Lord and saying, "Lord, I know this is right and what you would have us do--and I have no idea how this teen is going to take it--but I trust You to work it all out. Give him a hunger and thirst for more of You and a love for Your Word. Reveal Yourself to him more and more and help him walk in a way that is pleasing to You. I give this whole situation up to You and thank You for the work You're doing."

In a sense, I had to be willing to lose my son in order to obey the Lord, but also I knew that it would be impossible to totally lose him because he could only go "so far" and he could never escape the Lord! We had dedicated him to the Lord at birth and we knew God had a purpose and ministry that only he could fulfill.

Parenting is definitely a walk of faith. We can control outward behavior when they're little, but we can't change their hearts--only the Lord can do that, and hearts are His speciality! It is so comforting to know that the Lord has not left us defenseless as we encounter trials and tests from the enemy. He promises to give us wisdom, strength, comfort, grace, peace, and meet our every need.

Many times parents have to recommit their home to the Lord--or at least change specific areas that need correcting. We are ALL growing and there are times parents need to call a family meeting and explain to their children what God has revealed to them--and pray that the Lord would give their children understanding and a desire to do His will. Or maybe the parents are new Christians--it's not always easy when parents have just given their lives to the Lord and suddenly see so many areas of their family life that need changing. Yet the same Lord who softened the parents' hearts will also work in the lives of their children--even in seemingly rebellious, hardened hearts.

At one time William taught the Bible at a Christian Ranch for people who struggled with drugs, alcohol or emotional problems. The people were literally saturated with prayer and the Word of God. It was truly amazing to see the changes that took place. Most of these people were ages 19-35, and for the first time in their lives, they were forced to choose to lead disciplined lives and submit to authority. For many of them, the alternative was prison--and they began to realize that the life they had chosen to live truly WAS a prison and only the Lord Jesus could set them free!

My point is this: If the Holy Spirit can make such a change in ADULTS who have lived in rebellion their entire lives, how much more is He able to make a change in our CHILDREN?! The Lord will be faithful to perform the heart changes when we are faithful to carry out His Word and principles of bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

We must also examine our own hearts to make sure that there are no seeds of rebellion--whether it be resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness or anything else that would hinder our own prayers and walk with the Lord. Children are great imitators and we will surely reap what we have sown.

Modern parents often think it's more difficult to be a parent today than in the "olden days", but that's not necessarily true. Take time to study God's Word and see how parents have had their trials all through the ages. Even as far back as Adam and Eve! (Have you had a child so jealous he stooped to murder?!) But God in His mercy has not left us comfortless or without help--He wants us to take the time to seek Him for wisdom, He wants us to exercise faith in Him, trusting that He WILL answer us--that He WILL perform His work in our children and work everything out to His glory!

I am convinced that with each new stage of parenting, God's grace is still ABUNDANTLY available! I don't think teens have to rebel but that doesn't mean that our parenting and relationships will always be trial-free, regardless of a Christian parent's diligence in godly child-training, praying, and trusting God to work in the teen's heart. Our children have to make choices daily to take up their cross and follow Jesus, just like we do. But we can pray...and know that the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man [parent] availeth much." (James 5:16)

So we pray. We pray that the Lord will keep our teens' hearts close to Him as they face temptations to lower His standards to what is more readily accepted by the "world". Now, more than ever, we want our children to be able to tell others from their hearts that they have convictions to maintain God's standards and that they want to please the Lord and glorify Him in all they say and do!

And if they fall, we want to demonstrate the Father's unconditional love for them, pray that they'll receive the gift of repentance, forgive them, encourage them to be filled with His Word, stand in the gap with intercession and trust the Lord to fan the flame in their hearts for Him!

We want to see our teens ON FIRE for Jesus, setting an example for others! God is looking for yielded vessels to use and we've encouraged our children to BE THOSE VESSELS submitted TOTALLY to the Lord in EVERY area of their lives and let His light SHINE in their young lives! Naturally, we, as parents, want to model this life of abiding in Christ-- on fire for Him, becoming pure and yielded vessels willing to be used to glorify Him in every area of our lives, too.

Our attitude in training and discipling our children makes such a difference! If parents are angry, inconsistent, unfeeling, harsh, nagging, and unkind, they often wind up with rebellious children. Instead we want to cultivate a close relationship with each one of them by:

* spending time with them and making the effort to really KNOW them

* listening to them and trying to understand them

* setting loving, reasonable limits of what is acceptable in our household and what is not, and explaining our convictions

* keeping the lines of communication open, allowing them to express their opinions and feelings respectfully

* encouraging mutual respect

* appreciating them and affirming them

* letting them know that we see them as blessings!

Then they have assurance of our unconditional love and commitment to them and are more likely to be open to our thoughts and guidance!

Sometimes we have had to tell our teens that we don't know the answer yet to a specific issue or problem, but that we will all seek the Lord together to find out what He wants us to do. We encourage them to make godly decisions themselves, based on God's Word and their relationship to Him. We are here to guide them and step in, if necessary, but we are training them to discern the right path for themselves!

How thankful we are that we are not alone! Yes, we have a responsibility to faithfully help plant, water and nurture our "plants"--but it is GOD that gives the increase! Parents have their own little "mission field" at home so they can say with Paul:

"So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God..." (1Corinthians 3:7-9)

Our "works" (faithfulness to train, discipline, disciple) must be mixed with faith in the Lord:

* Having confidence that our children are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we [they] should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10)

* Knowing that "it is God which worketh in you [them] both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

* "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you [them] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

Whether your family has been committed to the Lord for many years or you are new to walking in His ways--He delights to work in families and you can trust Him implicitly to work out all the details! Even when circumstances seem bleak and you're tempted to despair--don't give up but look to the Lord, He will surely hear you.

 


 

"For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." -Micah7:6-7

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." -Matthew 21:22

"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." -Proverbs 23:24-26

"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life..." -Proverbs 6:20-23

If you are facing difficult circumstances with your child and would like to request prayer, please join us on the chfweb.com where other Christian parents will join you in intercessory prayer! See God move in your family!

Prayer & Praise message board.

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: None Of These Things Move Me
None Of These Things Move Me [message #33442] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:35
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


None of These Things Move Me

By Tamara Eaton

I could list all the trials we've experienced in recent months and come up with good excuses for depression and discouragement-- IF I lacked confidence in God's faithfulness to provide all our needs. Waves of doubts attack my mind, occurring unexpectedly in the middle of my normal activities, forcing me to discipline my thoughts and replace the fears with the unwavering promises of God. Circumstances change and are sometimes confusing, but God's Word is utterly reliable, unchanging and relevant for every area of our lives, and His love and devotion to us never wavers. I'm reminded once again that all we really need is Jesus.

All through the Word of God, we have examples of God's servants going through trials; the Lord uses these verses to encourage and instruct us today. Some of our trials may be different from the ones faced in Biblical times, but the principles remain the same--God is our Sustainer, Provider and Deliverer!

Paul was warned time and again by the Holy Spirit that he was to suffer bonds and affliction, but he didn't know all the details of what was to come--how he must have had to cast down vain imaginations and fears of the unknown! Yet he was able to say, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24)

Life is full of uncertainties, but God is steadfast--He wants us to be rooted and grounded in Him so that we may be secure all the time, regardless of the circumstances. He wants to become our stability so that we can say like Paul--yes, I'm facing trials in various areas but because I KNOW Whom I have believed--"None of these things move me!"

Hebrews 11 gives us many examples of men and women who persevered through trials and overcame by their faith in God. Certainly these people were subject to the same temptations to doubt as we are (James 5:17)--they, also, had to overcome fear and anxiety. Without trials we would never mature in our faith. God allows the trials for our good for the purpose of strengthening us and so we might be reminded of how very much we need Him. The more we mature in Him, the more we realize our own inadequacy and our complete dependence upon Him in every area of our lives.

Sometimes during times of trials, our circumstances seem to speak louder and more often than God--but that's when we can go to His Word for comfort, and follow the example of Moses--who "endured as seeing Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27)

"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens...." (Hebrews 11:32-34)

Next time you think you've got it bad, spend some time studying Hebrews 11 and research the lives of those mentioned here! Yes, perhaps you have stacks of bills due, little to no income, broken down appliances, vehicles, and houses. Maybe the children have been a handful or you're feeling overwhelmed by housework or homeschooling. There may be friction with your neighbors or in-laws or boss. You might be experiencing health problems and feel exhausted....but have you had to stop the mouths of lions lately? Quenched the violence of fire? Escaped the edge of the sword? Wandered around in goatskins or experienced being stoned or sawn asunder? I don't know about you, but my life is looking a whole lot better right now!

It's important to keep things in proper perspective. We have so much to be thankful for and we can expect God to work out even the most seemingly impossible situations to His glory if we will but trust Him.

We can receive such encouragement from Hebrews 12:1-3:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

May we all find hope and comfort in Jesus Christ--the same yesterday, today and forever--for He is ever present and willing to provide our every need!

 


 

Still Feeling Helpless?

There are times when there is absolutely nothing we can do to deliver ourselves from our predicament but trust God for wisdom, provision and deliverance. How do we "trust God" and overcome doubt?

He gives us clear principles in His Word:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." --James 1:5-8

If you are tempted to doubt, refuse to entertain it! The longer you dwell on it, the longer it takes to get rid of it. Replace doubt with God's word. Meditate on His character, His faithfulness. While it's always important to spend time in God's Word --it's especially crucial when we're in the midst of a battle and need to constantly renew our mind with God's positive promises. Our faith is strengthened and we're able to war against the enemy in the same way Jesus did during His wilderness temptations --using the Word of God. ("It is written..." Matthew 4)

And don't forget to be thankful and praise God for the answer --even before you see it:

"Be anxious for nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Dwell on good things:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Finally, endure!

Don't give up --you will see the Lord's faithfulness and work in your life if you faint not. (James 5:11; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17) He's got you covered! (Psalm 140:7)

 


 

More Encouragement From Scripture

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me..." --Psalm 55:16-18

"And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure." --Isaiah 33:6

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid..."-- Psalm 112:7-8

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." --Hebrews 11:6

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory..."--1 Peter 1:7-8

 


 

[For more encouragement along these lines, see the articles on "Overcoming Anxiety" ; "Comfort and Hope for the Weary!" ; "Homeschooling in Times of Trial" ; "Overcoming Condemnation" ; "In His Presence" and "Feeling Frazzled" ]

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Curriculum Wars
Curriculum Wars [message #33444] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:40
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Curriculum Wars!

By Tamara Eaton

Online message boards and support groups are great ways for homeschooling families to share information about curriculum and teaching methods. We all like to go beyond reading the paid advertisements or professional reviews to learn from the experience of "real families". But in doing this, it's important to realize that there are as many different opinions of the BEST curriculum and methods as there are homeschooling families! Think of all the variations: personalities, income, number and ages of children, strengths and weaknesses, backgrounds, goals and philosophies. No wonder we don't always agree!

When we first began to homeschool, there were few choices in curriculum and practically no homeschool curriculum developers at all. Homeschooling families were few and scattered so we rarely had the opportunity to discuss various curriculum or methods with peers. Instead, we were forced to do the best thing possible --DEPEND ON GOD.

The benefits of supporting one another in homeschooling and sharing ideas and experiences are enormous --we've managed online homeschool message boards for years and we're convinced these are valuable resources. God's Word exhorts us over and over to encourage one another in His Ways and this is one way we can support one another as we all seek to glorify God in our homeschooling. But let's make sure we don't allow our peers or even a "Christian" curriculum to replace the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants to lead our families in His Will and teach us His Truth --everything we hear or see should be "filtered" through Him and His Word!

Most homeschooling support groups --whether online or off, take on the "flavor" of the most vocal members of the group. We've observed groups take on the following "flavors": "traditional school at home", relaxed homeschooling, unschooling, unit studies, Charlotte Mason methods and eclectic styles. Can you imagine how confusing it can be to a new homeschooler who flits from group to group, trying to decide which one is right?

In our enthusiasm for the method or materials that have worked best for our family, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking these are best for EVERY family. We've learned through the years that this isn't the case, nor do we even use the same methods and materials for each child. Sometimes what worked once, no longer works so we learn to stay flexible and open to new ways of doing things.

Here are some principles that have helped us over the years in choosing homeschooling materials and methods:

* Pray for wisdom and direction from the Lord! He promises to lead you in EVERY decision you make if you trust Him. (James 1:5-6)

* Write down priorities and goals for your children's education. If you don't know where to start, prayerfully read the book of Proverbs, as well as articles and books on homeschooling. Jot down notes when what you are reading seems to confirm God's will for your family.

For example, our family's number one goal is for each of our children to be wholehearted, devoted Christians who glorify the Lord in their lives. Everything we do in our parenting, in our homeschooling, reflects this goal. We're teaching them the Word of God, to love it, to believe it, and to stand upon it. We're teaching them how to apply the Word to their lives and how to discern the will of God and hear His voice. We want each one to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus --really knowing Him and trusting Him! So any materials we choose would support our number one goal and not detract from it.

Not all "Christian" curriculum is in line with what the Bible teaches. It's important to use discernment and not assume it's Biblically sound just because a Christian wrote or recommended it. Check it out! We all must answer to the Lord for what we're teaching our children --whether it lines up with His Word or not. But fear not, the Lord hasn't left us to our own devices --He's promised to lead us and give us understanding of the truth by His Holy Spirit if we look to Him. (John 16:13) This doesn't mean that we never use "secular" books or texts, but we do make sure we explain or skip any areas that don't line up with God's Word and His perspective.

* We want our children to enjoy learning all their lives, not to view it as drudgery or limited to "school time". So as a result of this goal, we look for ways to make learning fun while they're young and stress the basic tools they need to begin to learn on their own as soon as they're able.

* We're blessed with a large family so we prefer to teach concepts as simply as possible and use materials that don't require too much advance preparation. Any curriculum requiring too much fuss generally ended up in our closet, gathering dust!

* As our children mature and become well-grounded in the basic tools of reading, writing, and math, as well as in good study and research skills, we desire that they become more independent learners. So we choose materials that are conducive to this particular goal.

We've shared specifics about choosing curriculum in other articles, as well as discussed developing a homeschool method or style to fit your own family, so our main purpose in this article is to encourage you to not get sidetracked or confused by all you read and hear about the various homeschool materials. Instead, take time to seek the Lord and give Him the opportunity to lead your family to the best curriculum for you!

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)

"Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me..." (Psalm 25:4-5)

"Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments." (Psalm 119:66)

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith..." (James 1:5-6)

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Beyond Minding Your Manners
Beyond Minding Your Manners [message #33445] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:45
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Beyond Minding Your Manners:

Demonstrating A Servant's Heart

By Tamara Eaton

Many homeschooling families consider good manners important, but we want to go beyond "minding our manners" and understand what it really means to demonstrate Christlike love and a servant's heart toward all, regardless of position, income, race, background or outward appearance.

A few months ago, I observed a Christian friend in the check-out lane of the grocery store --this woman was known for her kindness and thoughtfulness toward others in our circle of friends, yet her manner toward the cashier was condescending and unkind. Since then, I've observed others behave in a similar manner to clerks, maids, waitresses and other "servants" who offered their services to others. The fact is, Jesus wants us all to be His servants and serve others with a pure heart, treating them as we would want them to treat us --but servants aren't always treated with respect, even by professing Christians.

If we're honest, most of us will admit there have been times in the past when we've had misconceptions about others from different backgrounds than our own. How do we change our own attitude and how do we teach our children so they won't fall into the same sinful trap? The first step is to recognize the problem, confess it as sin, and ask the Lord for help in this area.

"My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves... If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin..." --James 2:1-4, 8-9

And note this serious exhortation and commandment from God:

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." --1 John 4:20-21

John doesn't say we should love only the brothers and sisters with a similar background --or those who happen to suit our personality and preferences! Ask the Lord to show you any areas in your own heart which are lacking. Pray that He will give you understanding so you can put His Word into practice in your life.

Look to His Word --it's filled with exhortations and examples of how we should view others and demonstrate a spirit of meekness and servanthood toward all. This is something parents need to model before their children, instead of merely teaching them the scriptures and hoping they will "do as the parents say, and not as the parents do". God wants to work in the parents' hearts so that they can be the examples their children need!

There is no "class system" in God's economy, we need to see others as valued in God's eyes, so they should be valued in ours. We want our children to understand that this is a heart issue, not just outward conformity to some perceived list of "good manners". Someone may know how to exhibit good manners, but it's how he acts when he thinks no one is looking that truly reveals his heart. And we know that God is ALWAYS looking!

In Ephesians, servants are urged to serve others "in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free." --Ephesians 6:5-8

And masters are told to "do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him." --Ephesians 6:9

Of course, if we treat others well, it doesn't mean that we will always be treated well ourselves--but we will have a clean heart before God, which is most important. He will reward us according to the attitude of our heart, and as we do it unto the "least of these", we do it unto Him!

"Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." --Matthew 25:34-40

We've been talking about our attitude toward others, now let's talk about our attitude toward ourselves --if we're secure in who we are in the Lord's eyes, it's easier to humble ourselves to be servants to all. We need to find our worth and value in the Lord alone. Not in "externals" like expensive clothing, high salaries, degrees, titles, job position or any other labels. Not in whether we bake all our own bread, serve gourmet meals and have the cleanest house in the neighborhood. Nor in having the most children or in homeschooling "so well" that all our children score 100% on their achievement tests!

Our worth has absolutely nothing to do with what we possess or don't possess. God considered us of such value and worth that He created us in His own image and according to His likeness--and then gave His own Son to die for us after the Fall. We are seated in the Heavenlies, joint-heirs with Christ, we are complete in Him. Our value, our worth, our merit, has nothing to do with how much we possess --it has EVERYTHING to do with who we are in Christ and what God says about us.

I love what Kay Arthur said in her book His Imprint, My Expression:

"Your worth and purpose in this life do not depend on who you are, on what you have done, or on what has been done to you. Your worth and purpose do not depend on where you have been...Your worth and purpose depend on God and God alone--His will, His calling, His choosing, His love."

When we understand this, we can finally see how each human is so valued and precious in the Lord's eyes. This enables us to reject the world's attitude and standards toward others and make God's attitude and standards our own --and teach them to our children! Can you imagine what a difference it would make if each Christian responded to others with a true servant's heart? It could revolutionize the world! Let's begin today in our own homes.

 


 

Here are more principles to live by from God's Word:

"And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." --Matthew 20:27-28

"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." --Matthew 23:11-12

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." --1 John 3:18-19

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." --1 Peter 2:17

"Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." --Hebrew 13:1-2

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men..." --1 Thessalonians 3:12

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." --Philippians 2:3

".... by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. " --Galatians 5:13-14

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." --Romans 12:10,14,16-18,20-21

[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Should You Put The Kids Back In School?
Should You Put The Kids Back In School? [message #33449] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:51
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member



Should You Put the Kids Back in School?

by Barbara Smith

When well-planned lessons continue to bomb, when routine household chores pile up, when bills and other family responsibilities multiply, homeschooling parents may look for other schooling alternatives. They recoil from introducing chemistry, Shakespeare or fractions to children who refuse to complete simple workbook assignments. Watching their homeschool dreams founder, frustration, fear and frenzy overtake some parents. They worry, as pressures increase, about their children's futures and the family's present. "Should we put the kids back in school," they wonder?

Home education will conclude at one point or another. However, may I encourage the parents who are frustrated or fearful, or at their wits' end? If fear and frustration were not sufficient reasons to choose homeschooling, neither are they sufficient causes to stop home education. The call to homeschool must come from God. So, too, the command to continue or make alternative arrangements must come from God. Stay the course until the Lord removes you from this duty assignment. Will you seek this call as carefully as you decided to homeschool?

Solomon, the master builder wrote: "Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts." (Proverbs 24:3-4 LB) Building and strengthening your children's education program means keeping abreast of the facts. What are the facts of your homeschooling enterprise?

1. Did You Ever Define an "Education?"

In their exuberance to begin teaching their children at home some parents skipped over defining the name of the game education or what it was they planned to do. They jumped in without thinking about what an education is, or why an education is valuable, or what God thinks about training children. What is your definition?

2. Whose Supposed to Do What?

An effective student is one who takes responsibility for learning the information, even if the material is dull, the text complicate and the teacher frustrating. An effective student is one who willingly submits to authority because his or her heart is not puffed up. (1Corinthians 8:1) Whether at home or "in school," is the student willing to do what it takes to learn?

An effective teacher is one who edifies students because knowledge is not an idol. An effective teacher is one who fears God, keeps His commands and is willing to do what He says. Is the teacher willing to be taught some uncomfortable lessons?

3. Who IS in Charge?

Parents have biblical authority and responsibility to teach. They must not leave their children with any excuse for thinking that parental responsibility is something mom and dad improvised. They should examine Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Ephesians 4:29-32 and 6:4. Children should understand that taking on mom and dad also means taking on their Father who is in heaven.

4. Review Your Goals:

One day the knowledge that traditional and home schools promote will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:8) What do you want your children to learn that they are not learning at home? We want them to be able make their way in this world! We want them to be able to earn a living and take care of a family we hope God will give them. Do you want them to be able to teach the Gospel to those children?

5. Assess Yourself

Some homeschooling parents who rushed to start homeschooling forgot to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and the drawbacks that homeschooling will impose on their freedom. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Some parents forgot to look at the emotional and spiritual cost of educating their children at home, and now are feeling "sticker shock." What is shocking you about homeschooling?

Some parents doubt their intellectual or academic ability to teach their children. God gives wisdom to HIS servants (Daniel 1:17-20) Wisdom is a gift that God gives to those who fear Him and are willing to learn; who are willing to receive instruction. (Proverbs 1:1-7) Parents model wisdom in humble dependence on Go who gives it in power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

6. Discipling and Disciplining

Remember Jacob's failure to discipline his children? Seventeenth century commentator Matthew Henry said of Jacob's troubles with his sons, in Genesis 34, "things never go well when the authority of a parent runs low in a family."A willful child who rejects a teacher's authority can stop any kind of schooling dead.

The issue of effectively educating a rebel is not who teaches them, or where we teach them. The issue is the heart, not the brain. Those who do not fear God despise wisdom and are fools, no matter how many degrees from prestigious institutions they win. "Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." (Proverbs 12:1 ) Praying for a child's heart to soften to Christ is the single wisest tool a parent can apply to training their child. Children who resist their parents' authority are resisting God's rule of their lives and will struggle with learning from anyone.

If parents still wonder what educational path to follow, ask God, and trust Him to do it. He is always available for free consultation. The psalmist knows that God answers such prayers and rejoices: "Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way . . . He will instruct him in the way he should choose." (Psalm 25:8,12)

1998 Barbara Smith From Growing Up Homeschooling, (or taking to heart what we wanted the kids to know) due out summer, 1998. Please email Barbara to request permission to reprint this article.

Barbara Smith has also written Teach Me Lord That I  May Teach... (or what we learned thinking we were homeschooling the kids) which we highly recommend! Read our review. Her articles and ministry have been such an encouragement and blessing to us. You may purchase her book online from our CHFWeb Favorite Books Bookstore in association with Amazon.com (find it in the Homeschool section!) or order it directly from Third Floor Publishing.

For more information and helpful articles, visit the Smiths' new website! Third Floor Publishing at: http://www.chfweb.com/smith

Third Floor Publishing PO Box 827 Arnold, MD 21012 410-431-5279 Email: workbook@toad.net

 


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: How To Know God's Will
How To Know God's Will [message #33452] Fri, 29 July 2005 16:58
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member



How to Know God's Will?

by Tamara Eaton

Should we homeschool our children or send them to the local Christian or public school? How can we be sure what God's will is for our family?

God chooses to reveal His plans for us in many ways. He doesn't usually give us a specific "sign" or audible voice with intricate instructions, or a clear road map with step by step directions. Instead, He wants to us to have a close relationship with Him, spending time praying and in His Word, asking Him to show us His Will. Often He chooses to lead us one step at a time, and we must step out in faith, trusting that He will stop us if we're going in the wrong direction.

The good news is that He wants us to be in His Will even more than we do, so He delights in guiding our steps! We just have to make sure our heart is to do His Will and seek Him by taking time to listen for that small still voice of the Holy Spirit, spending time in His Word, and not rushing into things or switching gears so fast we run ahead of Him.

It's not always crystal clear at first, and yet one way we can know that we're walking in the right direction is when we have that deep inner peace of the Lord. Sure, there still might be attacks of nervousness, and Satan might attempt to throw doubts into our minds. Respected friends may even encourage us to go a different direction. But when through it all, we still take time to "draw nigh to God and allow Him to draw nigh to us" (James 4:7-8), and we continue to have that deep peace, we know we are making the right decision.

We can't always go by circumstances to confirm whether we've made the right decision or not because circumstances can be very unreliable and manipulated by Satan. Paul talks in 1 Thessalonians 2:18 about how Satan hindered him time and again from taking a trip--obviously Paul believed it was God's will that he take the trip or he wouldn't have even planned it. So, let's say we decide to homeschool and suddenly almost ALL our Christian friends (and pastor!) start in on us saying, " I think this is a big mistake, you're just not cut out for homeschooling...your children NEED to be challenged in school with all those other children!" And then we find out the curriculum we've ordered is out of stock and won't be available for ages, and we have a big offer from someone who wants us to start a new business-- only catch is it would take up ALL our "extra" time. Does this mean God is trying to show us homeschooling is not His will? NOT NECESSARILY!

Sometimes we have to stand strong and go with what WE believe seems best, trusting God will intervene and clearly show us if we're wrong. Psalms and Proverbs are filled with principles and assurances that God will lead us if we commit ourselves to Him and put our trust in Him. He will make our way straight!

Look at the following principles from God's Word:

* Proverbs 1 Tells us how we must treasure and obey the Lord's counsel when He speaks to us, and if we listen to Him, we will dwell safely and be secure without fear of evil.

* Proverbs 2 Tells us how we must seek Him for wisdom, understanding, and discernment and that He stores up sound wisdom for the upright and guards and preserves our paths.

* Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

* Proverbs 16:1 "The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." And vs. 9 "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

To me these scriptures suggest:

1. It's up to us to spend time getting His Word into our hearts.

2. We must prayerfully and humbly seek His Will, repenting for any sins.

3. And then He will lead us and bless the steps that we take.

* Psalm 1 We should not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, but delight in the Word and meditate in it, this brings blessings for the Lord knows the way of the righteous!

* Psalm 9 "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."

* Psalm 16: 7-8, 11 "I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved." "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy..."

* Psalm 17:4b-5 "...I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer. Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip."

* Psalm 18:28-33, 35-36 Encouraging scripture when you feel weak and uncertain! He will enlarge our paths so that our feet don't slip and He lights our way!

* Psalm 25 He promises to guide the humble in His way and those who fear Him.

* Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you."

* Psalm 37:5, 23-24, 31 "Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand." "The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."

* Psalm 119:130, 133-134 "The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." "Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts."

* Psalm 139 is very encouraging! The Lord understands us and our path better than we do and we can't flee from His presence... vs.5 "You have hedged me behind and before", and laid Your hand on me." vs. 10 "Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me."

* Psalm 142:3 "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path."

* 143:8-10 "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You...in You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God;"

And there are many, many more...including James 1:5-6 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting..."

I believe the primary method of discerning the Lord's will is knowing His Word and while there aren't specific verses for everything, there are principles which we can learn to apply to our lives. Any further "signs" or specific directions we receive concerning God's will for our life would only be a confirmation of principles that are outlined in His Word and would never contradict the principles of the Word.

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His Ways. Psa. 119:2-3

May we all take time to discern His will for our lives! Because we are certain that homeschooling is God's will for our family, we are able to homeschool with confidence, assured that He will bless and prosper our homeschooling and discipleship.

For a more indepth article on discerning God's will, see "Where Are You, God?".

 


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing With Attitudes!
Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing With Attitudes! [message #33454] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:03
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member



Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing with Attitudes!

by Tamara Eaton

Picture this scene: It's fall and homeschool parents are filled with great ideas to start off the new school year! They have goals, new materials and can't wait to get started. Chores are divided up so that everyone shares the burden of caring for the home. Expectations are high-- learning together will be fun! Only one problem...there is a child who is not being cooperative!

He is whiny, drags out all his assignments and tries to get out of his chores. After 21 days, he appears to have formed a habit of ruining not only his own day, but everyone else's, too. What this child needs is drastic behavior modification! But how is the best way to do this? By now, the whole atmosphere of the home is suffering. Mom finds herself dreaming of boarding school, while Dad daydreams of military boot camps, but obviously, neither choice is God's best for their little darling.

Realizing they are partly responsible by not being consistent in their child training, the parents attempt to change everything overnight. Failure results because not only is the child totally overwhelmed, but the parents can't keep up with being consistent! It's all too much! Sometimes it does help to "get tough" and require even MORE if an older child has a bad attitude and poor work habits. However, I believe a "building block" strategy is usually more effective, especially for young children. After so many struggles, it's easy to fall into the trap of viewing your child in a negative light which results in more troubles--a vicious circle.

That's why I think it's so important to get down to the very foundation-- taking time to reach your child's heart, praying with the child and explaining to him that you're going to both trust the Lord to forgive him for past behavior and to give him a fresh slate, a new start.

Don't plan any extra activities, stop all lesson assignments for a few days (however long it takes) and work on basic attitudes. Start building good habits, one "block" at a time, *slowly* adding new areas. This gives the child an opportunity to start afresh, forming good habits and a new positive attitude!

This is training time but MAKE IT EASY for him at first! Don't require too much, but be consistent in all you require. Work on one area at a time. For example, if you want to teach the child to listen to instructions and obey immediately, you should clearly give him a reasonable amount of instructions, a little at a time, then make sure they are carried out. Cheerfully teach him how it should be done. Demonstrate doing your work as unto the Lord!

Make sure your expectations are reasonable. Don't be overly critical, remember that children are not miniature adults. (And after all, even adults aren't perfect!)

In How to Raise Your Children for Christ, Andrew Murray talks about allowing God's love to reign in our homes. He said:

"Let father and mother lead a life marked by love to God and man; this is the atmosphere in which loving children can be trained. Let all the dealings with the children be in holy love. Cross words, sharp reproof, impatient answers are infectious. Love demands and fears not self-sacrifice; time and thoughtful attention and patient perseverance are needed to train our children aright."

Have we become so exasperated that we've fallen into the trap of being harsh, unkind, angry, provoking to wrath? Or are we calmly, kindly, lovingly teaching and training our children to obey us in all things because this is the way God has ordained? Oh that we would all seek Him for wisdom in bringing up our children in the ways of the Lord.

We can look to our Heavenly Father as a perfect example! Psalm 103 gives some beautiful instances of how God deals with His children--

* He forgives us

* He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies

* He gives us good things

* He executes righteousness and justice

* He makes known His Ways

* He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy

* He pities those who fear Him, just as a father pities His children

* He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust

There are many other references in Scripture that portray a loving Heavenly Father who doesn't allow a temptation too great for us, and who doesn't overwhelm us with too much at once, but considers what we can handle and helps us overcome by encouraging us and giving us hope and confidence that we CAN be what He wants us to be if we yield ourselves to Him.

In conclusion, I'd suggest:

1. Make this child's behavior your #1 priority, limiting or eliminating other activities until this is resolved.

2. PRAY ! Seek the Lord for wisdom, talk to your child about his problem and tell him that Jesus wants to help Him overcome these things and you do, too, and you're there to help him. Pray with him and for him. Pray that your child's heart will be softened and that he might be strengthened to yield to the Lord instead of flesh.

3. Seek the Lord concerning any areas in which He wants to change YOU. I'm always amazed at how often when I've had a problem with one of the children, the Lord has pointed out things I've done, or left undone which have made the situation worse. Oh how blessed we are to have Him as Counselor!

4. Make some POSITIVE plans each day. Spend as much time as you can with your child doing interesting and fun things! These positive experiences help him overcome the habit of negative behavior. Demonstrate your deep unconditional love for him, be uplifting and positive! Look for things to praise, honestly.

5. Have a family meeting and set up the household rules, or go over them if you've already made them. Let the child know the consequences if he should disobey. Be firm. Be consistent. Be loving!

Your child may very well test you in this area from time to time if this has been a ongoing battle and you have not been consistent in the past. In fact, sometimes children will test even when you have been consistent! You just have to continue to be steadfast and trust the Lord for the results...NEVER give up or give in! Make certain your requirements are right and reasonable, then be firm. Eventually, you will see good fruit and joy will be restored to your home once more!

"Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." --Proverbs 29:17

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" --Philippians 1:6

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world..." --Philippians 2:13 -15


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

� Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Staying On Task!
Staying On Task! [message #33455] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:05
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member



Staying on Task!

by Tamara Eaton

Parkinson's Law: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."


"How can we stay on task? What should take a couple of hours ends up taking all day. I'm exhausted, the kids are stir crazy and the house is a mess. HELP!" --Homeschool Mom

Developing a workable homeschooling and homemaking schedule often takes experimentation and flexibility. What works for one homeschool family won't necessarily work for another and each year can be different due to varying circumstances and changes in children's ages and needs --still, here are some basic principles we've found helpful over the years.

* Establish a good routine, be flexible and allow room for interruptions but have a basic plan for your day. For example you might want to get everyone up by a certain time, eat, dress, quickly clean up kitchen, main living area all by a general time.

You've probably heard of Parkinson's Law: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This translates to mean --if you don't have a general time limit to basic things, it could take all day!

Because of my personality, I tend to plan to do less than what I actually think I can do, which usually works out about right. Otherwise, if I wrote down everything I thought I could handle, I wouldn't have enough time for interruptions and all those important hugs and kisses along the way. Not to mention that I'd burn out the children fast!

* Ease into new routines; don't try to change too fast from "summer-holiday" relaxed mode to fall "let's get our act together right now" efficiency!

* Introduce new topics of study slowly. Why not just cover math and reading the first couple of weeks or so? Throw in a little writing each day.

* Give a reasonable amount of time to each subject and break them all up by doing fun things or lighter subjects in between. It's amazing how much children can learn even in 15-20 minutes spurts and often you really get their full concentration this way.

* Help the younger children get started on their work; keep them close so you can supervise, work with them, encourage them, and keep them focused. This helps them learn good study skills and prepares them to be faithful in their work when they are older and working independently.

* Consider working four days a week instead of five. For example, on Fridays, clean up the house a little extra in the mornings or maybe do some baking, then enjoy educational projects, computer games, or videos in the afternoon.

* Don't try to cover all the subjects in one day. Instead, try doing a little history two days a week, and science two days a week, or even alternate weeks, have a week or two of science a couple of times or more a week and then a week or two of history --or devote a semester to each so you can cover them more in depth.

* Look for fun educational resources and hobbies that the children will want to do in their spare time. These things "count", too, and make learning painless!

For example: we've taken advantage of educational computer games (we don't allow "mindless" ones!), videos from the library, and recorded good specials from educational television. In younger grades, we covered many subjects simply by reading aloud interesting biographies or other non-fiction in the afternoons after naps, or before bedtime. A chapter a day doesn't take long and they absorb so much!

We try to pace ourselves so that we are learning all the time, but in a low-pressure way. We find we actually get so much more accomplished this way and homeschooling remains a joyful experience instead of a stressful one! We also don't hesitate to take breaks to catch up on housework or laundry when necessary. Relax and make time to plan a routine that works for YOUR family!

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, "You are my God. My times are in Your hand..." --Psalm 31:14-15

 


Additional articles on Time Management:

"Homeschool Management Tips"

"Priorities"

"Homeschool and Housework"

"Managing Our Time"


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran
Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran [message #33456] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:09
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Confessions of a Homeschool "Veteran"

(Our need of Faith, Fortitude and Focus!)

by Tamara Eaton

Planning to accomplish a lot today? Don't forget to watch out for the trials and tests that are bound to come your way! Last Monday marked the formal beginning of our new homeschool year. I woke up unusually early and thought I'd get a head start on the busy day --by the time the children woke up, I was ready to go back to bed for a nap. Instead, I drank another cup of strong coffee and prayed for strength.

By noon I was crashing fast and burning our science experiment. (I'd forgotten to switch the oven from preheat to bake!) Smoke was pouring out of the oven, the dog was dancing around us in circles, barking loudly, and my youngest daughter was saying, "Oh neat! Are we making rocks?!" She later told Dad what she'd learned from science --rocks were made from volcanos. (I guess the oven did resemble one with the smoke pouring forth!) I couldn't help but think of all the new homeschooling parents just beginning and hope their day was smoother than mine!

The rest of the week flew by with marathon math sessions with several children, lots of reading, helping with writing, trips to the library, juggling housework with encouraging and meeting needs, praying for the dog who stole and swallowed a chess piece from the children's game still in progress, and so forth. Clean laundry sat around in baskets (279 socks yet to be sorted), the answering machine took all the phone calls, emails piled up with messages unread while I concentrated on the more important task at hand --teaching my children!

We first made the commitment to homeschool our children in the late 70's. Our preparation began then and our love and zeal for homeschooling has increased each year. By this point, we've been involved long enough to see even more benefits and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeschooling has been the very best decision for our family!

Even after all of these years, we still have to overcome obstacles and distractions as we begin each new school year. Adjustments are always needed as we work out our new routine so last week's "adventures" didn't discourage me --instead, I reminded myself of three necessary ingredients to begin the new season: Faith, Fortitude and Focus!

1. FAITH

First and foremost, we need faith in the Lord. Faith that He will provide us with wisdom and strength for the homeschooling journey. Faith that He will bless our teaching and help our children to learn what they need to learn to accomplish His will. We don't bear the burden alone to nurture and teach our children, He promises to help us if we will trust Him.

2. FORTITUDE

Secondly, we need fortitude --a firm courage, even an obstinate sort of courage that refuses to succumb under any circumstances to defeat. If we know God has called us to homeschool our children, then we can experience this steadfast fortitude regardless of the trials and distractions that come our way.

3. FOCUS

Thirdly, we need to examine our focus each day and make sure it's centered on the Lord and His ways. Keeping my focus on the Lord in the midst of busy days, busy weeks, makes all the difference in the world, but I sometimes experience temptations to be distracted. Susan Alexander Yates, author and mother of five, shared some helpful thoughts on staying focused :

"Often in our lives as busy mothers, we may find ourselves so focused on our roles that we forget to rejoice in the Lord. As we walk through our daily activities, we will discover that our eyes are usually on one of three places: on ourselves, on our circumstances, or on other people."

  • Too Focused on Ourselves?

If we have our attention focused too much on ourselves then we're disheartened because our inadequacies may overwhelm us. Perhaps we're tempted to view ourselves as unorganized or poor teachers. If we dwell on our weaknesses, we may entertain self-pity or feel like total failures with no hope for improvement!

Too much introspection is unhealthy. Our good qualities suddenly disappear (in our eyes) and we only see flaws. On the other hand, some have the reverse problem and think they're "supermom" without flaws and if there are any problems, then it must be someone else's fault. Neither extreme is in line with God's view.

  • Too Focused on Our Circumstances?

Dwelling on our circumstances may also cause us to feel overwhelmed or worse --cause us to complain and not be content with whatever the Lord has currently provided for us! Especially if we compare our situation with others' situations.

Perhaps another homeschooling family appears to "have it all together", or be prospering in all the areas that you're lacking. Maybe their children ADORE homeschooling and are five grade levels ahead while your child struggles in academics. Instead of making comparisons, focus on your blessings and trust God to provide anything you lack and BE THANKFUL in the meantime!

  • Too Focused on Others?

If we allow ourselves to focus too much on other people, we can become frustrated, envying their talents and wishing we were more like them...instead of looking to JESUS and allowing Him to complete that work within us so that we will be like HIM. We should ask Him to reveal our areas of giftedness and to enable us to use those gifts to bring Him glory.

Mrs. Yates encourages us to "Look first to Him [Jesus!], then we will be able to view ourselves, our circumstances, and other people with eyes of appreciation. Whenever we feel discouraged, it is helpful to run an "eye check" and ask on whom are we focusing. Usually, we will find that we are concentrating on one of these three areas, and we must cast our eyes back on the Lord in order to rejoice."

The Lord has unique homeschool plans for each of us. Let's take time to seek Him each day and recognize what He is doing in our lives. Whether we're experiencing trials or triumphs (or something in-between!) remember our need of...

FAITH

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love." --1 Corinthians 16:13-14

FORTITUDE

"...we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." --Romans 5:3-5

And FOCUS

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." --Hebrews 12:1-2


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Let's Get Motivated!
Let's Get Motivated! [message #33459] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:13
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Let's Get Motivated!

Encouraging Self-Motivated Learners

by Tamara Eaton

How do we raise responsible, self-motivated learners? Some say rigorous, structured academics will teach our children self-discipline and perseverance. Others counsel us to turn children loose to follow their interests and eventually they will mature and become self-motivated. Is motivation taught, caught or inborn --or a combination of all three?

While some children are more naturally self-motivated than others, all have some degree of inner motivation (although it may not be obvious at first). All children also need training to help them become more responsible and self-motivated learners.

Parents can and should be training their children in these areas far before it's time to introduce academics. The principles young children learn through character-training can be applied to academics as they mature --so there is no need to rush young children into formal, structured academics before they are ready.

From the time our children were tots we began to give them opportunities to learn to do a job well, pay attention to details, be faithful in the little things. We did this by both modeling the correct actions and attitudes and by allowing them to work beside us.

As they showed interest in learning new things, we taught them using relaxed, fun, and enjoyable methods. It was never "you have to do school now" but "you get to learn some new things now!". A big difference! We didn't have to bribe them --instead we allowed them at an early age to follow their own interests with regards to academics and we never pressured them. At the same time, we continued to teach them to be responsible and faithful in the small tasks we would require them to do around the house --mostly working right with us.

By starting off on the right track with good training, so many poor habits are avoided, but it's never too late to put good motivational tips into practice in your home!

A Few Cautions...

It's important to avoid the snare of placing too much emphasis on accomplishments --you don't want to have your child equate his sense of self-worth with how much he has achieved. Children need affirmation, unconditional love and acceptance demonstrated at all times, regardless of their "performance".

It's not just the results that count, but the process of learning new things is important, too! Don't become so preoccupied with the goals that you lose sight of what God is doing in the process. Excessively motivated, driven people are often obsessed with achievements, never satisfied, and never take time to enjoy the process of learning and life --definitely not the ideal Christian family or homeschool environment!

There is always a danger in extremes --whether it be requiring too much of children or too little. Inexperienced parents may be tempted to despair of ever knowing balance but God has the answer and promises to give you His wisdom in homeschooling and parenting your children. You'll never go wrong trusting in Him! Allow Jesus to be your Ultimate Motivator and let pleasing and obeying Him be your Ultimate Motivation --the rewards will be of eternal value!

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." --John 10:27

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." --Philippians 4:13

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him,..." --Colossians 2:8-10

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." --John 15:5


A Few Tips for Grades 1-3

* By working with your child in math, you can help him develop good, efficient work skills and avoid bad habits such as dragging his work out over long periods of time. You can also see right away if he is having problems understanding concepts or instructions --another beautiful advantage of homeschooling: "one-on-one" instruction. You don't have to necessarily do all of the problems and you can help him by writing down the answers or by doing it orally at times.

* Keep a notebook or journal of your child's writing on a daily or weekly basis then let him see how much progress he's made after a period of time.

* Don't confuse creative writing with handwriting practice. When practicing handwriting, neatness counts. It's better to do a small amount of work neatly, than a large amount with many mistakes. When doing creative writing, allow the child a chance to edit his work later and don't get bogged down by mistakes. Remember, even professional writers use editors! Allow your child to dictate his story to you at times, too.

* Keep a log of all the books your child reads. If he is a beginning reader, allow him to make a chart and add a star each time he finishes a book. Let beginning readers read aloud to you, then you read aloud to them from interesting or exciting chapter books as a "reward".


More Tips on Motivation:

DON'T...

* Don't compare one child to another --children are all created as individuals and vary in abilities. Some children never develop skills to the degree their parents desire, or they mature at different rates than the arbitrary timetables set by traditional schools. Encourage your child to reach his own level of maximal achievement without pressure or stress.

* Don't stress competition! Children need to be taught to view objectives with God's perspective instead of comparing themselves with others or becoming obsessive about obtaining perfection. (Frustrated perfectionists have a tendency to give up even trying to complete goals because they fear they can't achieve perfection or "measure up" to others.)

* Don't be discouraged if all your plans for motivating your child seem to fail -- don't take it personally and don't give up! Seek the Lord for creative ideas and wisdom. Add variety to your homeschooling. Search for ways to use your child's interests and talents as a bridge to his academic development. Take time to explore his interests with him. It may be reading biographies of football players and writing them letters --it's still reading and writing!

* Don't equate learning responsibility and self-motivation with using a structured "traditional" learning style --it's possible to approach learning in a variety of ways and still learn faithfulness and efficiency in covering academics. Be flexible --if the curriculum you're using isn't working: simplify, supplement or substitute!

* Don't kill your child's natural curiosity and interest by too much rote learning --this can be a fallacy of the "strict textbook" method of homeschooling. We want our children to be motivated to think beyond the textbooks and learn to apply what they're learning to "real life" --otherwise they fall into the trap of studying material for the purpose of passing the test at the end of the chapter and then promptly forgetting it.

* Don't criticize your child in public --admonish him privately in gentleness and meekness, demonstrating your unconditional love.

* Don't expect perfection. No one is perfect in every area--exercise mercy and grace in your homeschooling. Then gently help your child learn from his mistakes.

* Don't go overboard! Seek balance in encouraging your child to be motivated. Examine motives and objectives to make sure they are worthy from God's perspective. Too much pressure and "drive" can result in destructive stress --which benefits neither you nor your child!

DO ...

* Do become your child's partner in learning. Be enthusiastic! Help him discover his interests and find good books and projects. Raise questions and help him discover the answers but don't allow him to see you merely as "the answer giver" but as an example of a lifetime learner and co-partner in his education.

* Do provide the necessary support for your child even as he learns to work on his own. Let him know you are available if needed and check in on him regularly to make sure all is going well.

* Do make the work challenging and useful. Avoid busy-work. Cover the basics as efficiently as possible so your child will have time to explore studies of interest. These self-motivated studies encourage children to enjoy learning and enable them to practice principles they will use all their lives!

* Do reward diligence with more freedom (bestow freedom a little at a time so the child isn't overwhelmed) and let there be consequences for lack of responsibility and faithfulness.

Ruth Beechick says, "When children have inner discipline, let them use it. When they don't, impose discipline for them. As they mature more of the learning responsibility should fall on them instead of on you." [You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 --available from most homeschool catalogs as well as chfweb.com's Homeschool Bookstore.]

* Do demonstrate your support and interest when they talk about their interests! Take time to listen to them --REALLY listen to them --even if you're not particularly interested in the same subjects.

* Do help them apply areas of academics to real life experiences so they understand the need to study and learn new things --even when they're not interested.

* Do set goals. Break down your larger goals into small steps. Work on achieving one step at a time. (Remember the old adage: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!)

* Do teach your children (and model before them!) the importance of integrity so they don't stoop to unethical or unchristlike "short-cuts". Sometimes the long way to a goal is far better.

* Do demonstrate confidence in your child. Solicit his suggestions and allow him to help in the decision making process when appropriate.

* Do help older children see how much can be accomplished if they apply themselves --perhaps early graduation is a goal or a new job or career. Perhaps they'd like to take classes at a local college or via distance learning.

* Do appreciate your child's work! Don't overlook what he has done. It can be so discouraging to work hard at something, only to have it ignored. Give positive feedback!


"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." --Psalm 19:14


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Preparation for Marriage and Thoughts on Courtship
Preparation for Marriage and Thoughts on Courtship [message #33460] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:15
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Preparation for Marriage and Thoughts on Courtship

By Tamara Eaton

In Proverbs 31, King Lemuel shares the words of wisdom and advice his mother gave him, saying "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies..." As a mother, I can identify with how his mother wanted only the best for her son --a wife who would fear and serve the Lord, and delight in following His ways.

The following articles were first written for my firstborn son, with a heartfelt prayer that he and his future bride would commit their way unto the Lord, and follow Him with all their hearts. Homeschooling gives us a wonderful opportunity to disciple and train our children in principles for godly living during their most formative years. Since these essential qualities for marriage aren't formed overnight, preparation for marriage actually begins from the cradle --and we can ask the Lord to be our guide!

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." --Psalm 32:8


Preparation for Marriage

Marriage is for mature adults --mature not only physically, but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

* One who is prepared for marriage has an adult perspective on life, knows how to judge priorities and determine God's will --not just live for fun and pleasure or selfish desires.

* He understands how to set and achieve both long-term and short-term goals and how to lead a disciplined life.

* He is willing to "die to flesh" and place his future spouse's needs (and future children's needs) before his own. No longer can selfishness reign! All decisions and actions affect two people now.

* He is willing to pay the cost to lead his family spiritually and he recognizes that he is going to answer to God as to how he leads his family. He has surrendered himself fully to the Lord and allowed Him full control.

* He is prepared to provide for his future wife's and future family's financial needs.

* He has learned to judge things in light of Eternity --he understands what is really important and what is not.

* He takes the time to study God's Word and pray --for himself and for others, for his future spouse, and for wisdom and understanding of the Lord's will for their lives.

* He realizes his spiritual maturity is revealed by the degree in which he cooperates with the Holy Spirit and chooses to live by His instructions and lines his life up with the Word of God.

* He prays that the Lord leads him to the perfect spouse for himself, one who has also dedicated her life to Jesus Christ and is submitted to His Lordship and desires to walk in accordance to His Word -- otherwise, how can two walk together except they be agreed?

* He is totally committed to one spouse for life, divorce will never be an option or even in his vocabulary. He realizes love is a decision, not just a feeling and that while feelings may increase and decrease in intensity according to current circumstances, true love endures because it is based on more than just a feeling --it is a lifetime commitment.


"Essential Qualities for Marriage"

1. A personal total commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Total commitment to Christ means not holding any area of your life back for your own, but giving it all up to Jesus. Are you spending time in His Word, applying it to your life, and do you seek His face daily?

2. An appreciation and acceptance of one's own unique gifts and calling from the Lord.

Self-acceptance doesn't mean selfishness, but rather understanding that God has created you for a special purpose and loves you with an everlasting love.

* He has a unique plan and ministry for you that only you can fulfill. (Psalm 139; Ephesians 1:18, 2:10)

* Accept the gifts He's given you and avoid comparing yourself with others.

* Offer yourself continually up to God and He will continue His work in you and conform you to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28)!

* Be more concerned about being adorned with the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22f) rather than your physical appearance.

* Let God's perspective become your perspective!

3. A humble and forgiving spirit

Pride and unforgiveness can cause bitterness, distrust, and resentment to build and destroy relationships and marriages. It can also cause deep depression. The cure? Forgiving others as Jesus forgave us, even while we were yet in our sins. (Mark. 11:24-26, Matt. 6:14-15, Luke 6:37, Matt. 6:12, Luke 23:34, Col. 3:13, Eph. 4:32). And when the enemy tries to bring those unforgiving thoughts up again, we must remind him that we've already forgiven and are free thanks to our Lord Jesus!

" Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." --Eph.4:31-32

"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" --Heb.12:14-15

"Only by pride cometh contention..." --Prov. 13:10

"He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife..." --Prov.28:25

"... be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." --1 Pet.5:5

4. Purity

Purity is a beautiful gift to offer your future spouse. Confess any sins of impurity and allow the Lord to help you "walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16) As He lives in you, He will bring to your mind any thoughts, words or actions that are impure. By filling your mind with God's Word (Romans 12:2; Psalm 119:11), you can defeat the enemy who would seek to distract you and rob you of purity before the Lord and before your future mate.

5. Awareness of Purpose

Without specific goals and purpose in life, one is reduced to floundering along life's roads with no sense of direction. Christians are given not only a road map --God's Word --but also the means by which we can discern God's Will for our lives --His Holy Spirit!

The Lord has a unique purpose and ministry for each one to fulfill and it's important to seek Him for wisdom and direction. Having goals and a sense of purpose is not only energizing but gives meaning to life, and allows one to set priorities in planning and working for the future.

The first and foremost goal for all Christians is to glorify God. One's job or career should not be an end in itself but only the means by which one fulfills part of God's plans and purposes for his life. Neither should the pursuit of leisure or pleasure be the ultimate goal --working in order to make enough to spend on fun weekends and buy more "toys" is not a worthy goal! Even working with the sole goal of financial security falls way short of God's plan --He wants each one to be focused on HIM alone for the ultimate security!

Examine your priorities in light of God's Word and what is of eternal value --don't squander time, energy and resources on things of no enduring value. How much wasted time and stress could be avoided each day by taking time to seek the Lord first and asking Him for wisdom and help in establishing priorities and godly goals!

Jesus saw many needs when He was performing His earthly ministry but even He didn't met them all--instead He did the work that His Father had given Him. That's all anyone can do--seek the Lord for His will and do it, not becoming side-tracked, even by seemingly worthwhile things. These side issues can drain us or keep us so occupied that we aren't able to accomplish what God has called us to do in the first place.

Remember: "There is always enough time to do the will of God."

6. Financial responsibility

Supporting a household is a huge responsibility, especially when you're young and just starting out. There are many expenses that come up unexpectedly and it's wise to have a cushion of savings to fall back upon if necessary (and it almost goes without saying --it will be necessary!). If a young couple starts out with both working outside the home, it's easy to grow accustomed to having two incomes, which causes huge challenges when the children begin to come along. It's best to learn to get along on one income to avoid these problems!

Don't let a "worldly" philosophy be your guide --God has much to say in His Word about finances and managing your money. Don't go into debt. Pray before purchasing. Ask the Lord to make you a good manager of the money He's provided. Look to the Lord to provide all your needs and make sure you're meeting all the conditions of being responsible with what He has already provided. If this has been a weak area, take time to read good books on managing your money and learn to plan and budget. It is much easier to learn this as a single person before you are responsible for providing for another person, too!

Above all else --dedicate all your money, possessions, time and future to God and allow Him to give you wisdom and direction! He doesn't want you to be bogged down with worry about material things, He promises to provide all your needs if you seek Him first. (Matthew 6:33)

7. Respect for authority and divine order

A couple prepared for marriage must have a proper respect for authority and divine order in the home. The Lord is the head, the husband leads the home under submission to God, loving his wife sacrificially just as Christ loved the Church, and the wife is in loving submission to the husband. God has given Christian husbands and wives to each other to function as a team, in mutual respect and honor, totally sold out and committed to Him, each contributing special gifts and wisdom as they're yielding themselves to Him, and thereby working efficiently and effectively to further not only His will in their lives, but in the kingdom of God!

Examine yourself and your future spouse --how many of these qualities are now present? How many are lacking and need further development? Before marriage the problem areas need to be strengthened and any weaknesses overcome. The Lord doesn't leave you on your own to struggle with this, He promises to equip and strengthen you as you trust and abide in Him. (John 15)



"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.... If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
--John 15:5,7

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." --Colossians 3:17-19

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is....Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..." --Ephesians 5:17-25

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear..... Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." --1 Peter 3:1-7


Thoughts on Courtship

Courtship, as opposed to playing the "dating game", is a popular subject in many homeschooling circles these days--and you'll find various definitions as to what exactly constitutes "Biblical courtship". I don't believe there is one set of rules for courtship that applies to all.

Courtship has been around for a LONG time --and even in the Bible we find different ways marriages came about. I think it's important to stick with the principles found in God's Word for purity, faith in God, looking to Him for wisdom, honoring parents, marrying in the Lord, living the crucified life --instead of a set of rules and regulations. We have brought our children up to know and understand the importance of putting these Biblical principles into practice from the start --way before they became old enough to start thinking about marriage!

We have prayed and will continue to trust the Lord to bring the right ones into their lives (if it's His will that each one marry) and we have asked the Lord to give them the wisdom and understanding necessary to discern His perfect will for their lives. We do believe it will be confirmed to all of our hearts when it is the "right one" and the right time for each of them to marry.

One reason we have such confidence in the Lord's ability to work out all the courtship details for our children is because we've experienced God's workings in this area firsthand.

William and I both prayed before we met each other that the Lord would have His way in our lives and provide a deeply committed Christian spouse. We saw His faithfulness in the way He worked in our own lives and clearly revealed His will to us. We also had the opportunity to get to know each other and fellowship around the Word of God as brother and sister in the Lord BEFORE we revealed our deeper feelings to each other. We discussed our convictions, goals, the Word of God, prayed together and learned that we both viewed the Word of God as our standard. It certainly makes it easier when both partners go into a marriage determined to follow the Lord and the standards set forth in His Word! (And it makes it much easier to talk about different issues BEFORE being so caught up dreamily gazing into another's eyes!)

Some parents are fearful that if they don't join the "right group" (homeschool organizations, church youth groups,etc.), their children will NEVER be able to find good "marriage material" (future spouses!). Certainly it's one way for young adults to meet other believers their ages, but it's not the only way GOD can bring that special someone into our young adult's life!

My mother was the only one out of all of our parents who was serving the Lord at the time William and I met--and we're eternally thankful our fathers didn't find spouses for us! We prayed; God answered. He is faithful and not limited to our finite understanding and ability to make plans. We don't have to hire a detective to investigate various families' backgrounds looking for "quality matches". (Whew!) What a relief that we can trust Him for EVERYTHING! We encourage our young adults to SEEK GOD, not a mate...."and all these things shall be added unto thee" --Matt.6:33.

Bottom Line: If we can trust our Lord to handle all these other issues of life, we can certainly trust Him to handle our children's courtships and marriages.


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

� Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Where Are You, God?
Where Are You, God? [message #33464] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:18
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Where Are You, God?

By Tamara Eaton

God delights in revealing His will to His children and promises to do so all throughout His Word, yet Christians often struggle with uncertainty when their paths don't seem clearly defined. "I'm not expecting an audible answer to my request for direction, but even the faintest whisper or open door would be so welcome right now.", sighs one weary believer. Since God does promise to lead us, why is there so much confusion and lack of clarity in so many Christians' lives when it comes to discerning His will?

If we don't have the assurance that God is for us, in us, and leading us, we will constantly be bombarded by the enemy and rendered ineffective. How can we avoid this hindrance and be assured? By looking to God's Word and understanding some of the ways He leads us, and by yielding ourselves fully to the Lord and abiding in Him!

In John, Jesus assures us, "I will not leave you as orphans..." (John 14) and tells us that He is giving us a Helper, the Holy Spirit Who will guide us into all truth and show us things to come. (John 16) He also promises to bring God's Word to our remembrance. Often the Lord will bring just the right verse to encourage us or give us wisdom about a particular situation --this should motivate us all to spend more time meditating on God's Word and getting it into our hearts.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." --John 14:26-27

Often in hindsight we can look back and see how the Lord has led us through the years, but we also need to know that He is leading us now, even when circumstances may appear dark and we're not certain which way to go. James 1 says we need to ask God for wisdom and then believe He will give it, otherwise we'll receive nothing from Him. We don't have to live our life in such a way that we step fearfully --oh so full of doubt --questioning that God is actually with us each day.

Are you in darkness? God will lead you!

"Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God." --Isa 50:10

"Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me." --Micah 7:7-8

How DOES God lead us? Misconceptions abound --everything from the idea that His leading has to be a huge supernatural and mystical occurrence to the practice of setting out fleeces and tests (and if "A" is the result, then God must be saying no, and if "B" occurs, it must be a yes). Judges 6 does give the example of setting a fleece but that would be the rare exception rather than the rule, and God wants us to exercise faith in Him to lead us without leaning on signs and circumstances (which can also be manipulated by the enemy).

First of all, we need to make sure we're in a right relationship with Him so we can clearly receive His direction!

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." --James 4:8

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." --1 John 1:9

We need to be humble and teachable (because God resists the proud!) and open to His direction, not assuming that He's going to automatically agree with our plans.

Here are just a few ways God does lead us:

* By the principles found in His Word.

The primary way the Lord leads us is by the principles contained in His Word. (2 Timothy 3:16) As mentioned earlier, often the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance key scriptures and principles from the Word that apply to our current circumstances. Any further "signs" or specific directions we receive will always confirm and never contradict the clear principles found in His Word.

"The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." "Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me." --Psalm 119:130,133

* By the quiet, still voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts.

Sometimes this can be an impression or prompting, quickening us to take a direction we hadn't previously considered or confirming our own plans, giving us His peace and assurance that we're on the right track. Or it may be a "check" impressing us not to go forward.

Other times it's an especially distinct impression that comes to us seemingly out of nowhere -- FLASH! BOOM! --a thought that comes when we're thinking about something totally different. Still, we must judge whether this is actually from the Lord or a mere distraction from our "flesh" or the enemy --here again, God will help us!

* By the witness and confirmation from other godly Christians.

"This will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." --2 Cor 13:1

"Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety....he who heeds counsel is wise." --Prov. 11:14, 12:15b

* By showing us when we're making the wrong decision.

For example, in Acts 16:6, the Holy Spirit forbade them to preach the word in Asia. In Acts 17:7, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. While it doesn't say how the Holy Spirit revealed God's will, it wasn't necessarily a great supernatural sign that stopped them in their tracks! If we're fully yielding ourselves to God and have a humble, teachable spirit, He will show us when we need to change direction.

* By experiencing His peace in our hearts.

When we experience His peace in our hearts, it is a confirmation that He is with us and in the decision we're making; when we don't experience that peace, it's a good sign that we need to seek Him further and wait on Him before proceeding with our plans. This peace has NOTHING to do with outward circumstances --one can be surrounded by negative circumstances and still have the peace of the Lord and confirmation that he's on the right path.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." --Phil.4:6-7

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts..." --Col 3:15

* By circumstances --open and closed doors.

This method of interpreting God's will requires much caution because the enemy can manipulate circumstances --and an open door doesn't necessarily mean that God wants you to go through, just as a closed door doesn't automatically mean He's opposed to you going forward. There are sometimes hindrances from the enemy just as Paul experienced in 1 Thessalonians 2:18.

Sometimes God wants you to plough through and make a door where there seems to be no door. He delights in working amazing miracles! Other times He has a better plan and wants to direct you in an entirely different direction so He shuts the door on purpose. So let His Holy Spirit direct you here and don't go entirely by the circumstances alone --but sometimes God does lead us this way!

* By silence.

Experiencing God's silence can be both painful and powerful --some of the greatest spiritual growth is the result of learning to trust in God's leading and direction even when He appears silent. God wants our faith to be strong in Him, even when we don't receive immediate or obvious "answers". He wants us to be able to step out by faith, trusting in His leading, even when it seems to be darkness all around, having confidence that He will show us if we're going the wrong way.

On the other hand, we don't want to misinterpret our dullness of hearing for God's silence...maybe He has been trying to speak to us but we've been too busy or too dull of hearing? Does His Word speak to our situation and we've been too slothful to pay the cost to see what He's already revealed? We need to make sure our whole focus is God, not ourselves...we need to recognize that it is HE who enables us to hear, not that we're so "super-spiritual" --spiritual pride will hinder us from receiving from the Lord for He resists the proud but responds to the humble.

* Through our own thinking and actions!

Sometimes the Lord is leading us already by our own thoughts and actions when we're not even fully aware of it. God works even in our own preparations --if our hearts are right toward Him and we're earnestly seeking to please Him in every way. As we walk in the light that He has given us, He will bless and ordain our steps.

"The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD....A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." --Prov. 16:1, 9

His will is rarely accomplished by our remaining passive, waiting upon Him to cause all the circumstances to fall into place. If our hearts are toward Him, He causes even our desires to line up with His will. He says He will grant us the desires of our hearts and work in us both to will and do of His good pleasure. (Psa.37:4-5; Phil.2:13)

There is an old saying, "You can't steer a parked car". The Lord rarely speaks to us in a complete void. He encourages us to apply scriptural principles, use our "renewed minds" (Eph 4:23; Col 3:10), and plan our way (Prov 16). The problems occur if we plan our way without being open to Divine intervention --our plans should never be more important to us than being in God's will!

How often do we plan something that "seems good" and then later look back and see that God was at work through our plans? This should encourage us that God truly DOES lead us even when we're not experiencing obvious "supernatural manifestations" on a daily basis! Our faith and works should go together just as explained in James 2. When our entire life is dedicated to God's glory, making our aim to be pleasing to Him (2 Cor.5:9), we give Him the credit for all those good things that occurred simultaneously as we were preparing and He was working. We need to always recognize the Lord as our deliverer and the One who blesses our work and brings forth the fruit. (John 15; Prov.21:31)

"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD." --Prov 21:31

A few principles of confirmation

1. God's Word --while there may not be specific instructions about your situation, there are principles which establish boundary lines.

2. God's Peace --if the peace of the Lord is there, you can rest in the fact that He is with you and blessing your steps, just make sure you remain open to any Divine interventions!

3. The Principles of Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

A. Trust Him with ALL your heart, have FAITH that He is leading you and will show you if you're going the wrong way. Flesh often is more comfortable with the "concrete" but God wants us to see our faith as the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1) He promises over and over that He will lead us --let's trust Him!

B. Don't lean to your own understanding! Don't think you have to know and understand every single detail about the future before you make a move. Flesh often wants yearly bread and He promises daily bread! (Matt.6:11) Our security should be in Him, knowing that He holds our future --not that we understand it all right now. He purposely doesn't give us all the details, but assures us He will give us the grace, strength, and wisdom as we need it -- not necessarily in advance.

C. Acknowledge Him in ALL your ways. Our lives should be surrendered to Him without reservation. (Romans 12:1-2)

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."


It is our prayer that the scriptures contained in this article will give you an assurance that the Lord does want to lead you each and every day and help you recognize some of the methods He uses to guide your steps.

"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." --Heb. 13:20


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

� Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

FLASH! BOOM! and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 Topic: Shaping Up for the New School Year!
Shaping Up for the New School Year! [message #33465] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:21
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Shaping Up for the New School Year!

By Tamara Eaton

It's time to get ready for another great homeschooling year!  Although we've homeschooled for many years, each year brings new changes and challenges. We've learned to trust God for wisdom in creating new routines to meet the changing needs. Here are some things we are doing  in our home to shape up for the new school year!

1. First of all, MOM is literally working on getting into shape. (Yes, that means ME!) I am finally getting serious and consistent about exercising every day and feeling so much more energetic as a result. This is something I can do at home with my children and it has actually become a great "bonding time" with my teens. We prefer using exercise videos but walking or biking or whatever gets you moving is great! Check your local library for books on getting fit after forty --or whatever your age! Our library proved to be a valuable resource and we were even able to check out aerobic exercise videos, too.

[Book Suggestion: Fitness for Dummies by Schlosberg and Neporent is a helpful beginner's guide ISBN 1-56884-866-9 ]

It's all too easy to focus so much on taking care of family needs that we neglect our own needs and end up getting burned out. For more tips on taking care of Mom, see : "Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge"

2. We're getting the house into shape. Room by room, we're decluttering and streamlining our cleaning so we can finish our daily chores within a short time each morning. We try to do a little extra each week instead of making it a major daily project --this makes it easier to maintain other responsibilities without it becoming overwhelming.For more tips on organizing and combining housework with homeschooling, see: "Homeschool and Housework" and join us on the Homemaking section on chfweb.com where we have a group committed to "Doing Housework to the Glory of God!"

3. We're easing our way into the new homeschool year by beginning new studies a little at a time. Sometimes it can be a rude awakening to go from lazy summer days to structured fall efficiency. We want to make the transition as enjoyable as possible so the children will continue to look forward to learning new things. Right now our weather has been terribly hot so it's a perfect time to stay indoors and work a little on writing skills and researching topics of interest during the heat of the day. This will also give us time to take off on those gorgeous, cool fall days for a nature hike or picnic!

For more tips on easing into the new school year see: "Staying on Task"

4. We're working on any necessary character training issues right now and not allowing poor attitudes to go unchecked. Sometimes "refresher" courses are needed in various areas, now is the time to deal with them before things get out of hand. See: "Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing with Attitudes" and "Training Children (and Parents!)" and "Living in Harmony"

And don't forget character training for parents, too! See: "Growing as Parents: Our Influence and Attitude" and "Formula For Failure"

5. We're prayerfully reviewing our priorities and the way we spend our time. There isn't time to do everything we'd *like* to do right now, but we can be assured that there is *always enough time to do the will of God*, so we're making sure we follow His leading. For help in determining priorities and managing your time, see: "Managing Our Time"

6. We're committed to staying focused on the Lord, spending time with Him and in His Word. He is our Source of wisdom and strength and we need daily encouragement and help from Him! For tips on Bible study and making time for busy moms, see: "In His Presence" and "Neglecting the Needful" and "Strong in Spirit"

7. We've ordered the needed additions to our curriculum for the coming year, but, we're also making sure we don't leave out the TRUE "essentials" for the coming year:

See "BACK TO SCHOOL LIST: Essentials for This School Year! and "A Homeschooler's Check List"

8. If you are new to homeschooling, or just in need of some fresh motivation to get you excited about the coming year, you'll find additional encouragement in the Articles Archives, where a broad range of topics include: socialization, motivation, teaching multi-levels, *enjoying* homeschooling, working with perpetual motion and homeschooling high schoolers.

May the Lord bless you all with a wonderful homeschool year! If you have questions or prayer requests, please feel free to share them on Christian Homeschool Fellowship where you will find encouragement and support from many homeschooling families.


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2001, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Pursuing and Producing Patience
Pursuing and Producing Patience [message #33466] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:24
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Pursuing and Producing Patience

By Tamara Eaton

Sometimes the Lord allows us to experience a "refresher course" in an area we thought we'd already conquered. In my case, it was a lesson in patience --and a chance to identify with new homeschooling parents who struggle to learn patience in teaching their children at home. Especially when nothing seems to be going right --at least not like the examples given in homeschooling articles and books!

If all homeschool days were like the first two days of our new school year, I would have been tempted to give up long ago. I was all geared up and ready to hit the books, but my younger two were still in the laid-back summer relaxed mode and couldn't seem to get into the swing of things. Everything was an effort.

I found myself teaching English to a couple of frustrated perfectionists and when my youngest daughter's eyes filled with tears, I knew something had to change fast to get us back on track. I felt impatient, wanting to spur them on so we could get everything accomplished, but I realized there was something far more important than sticking to my schedule --guarding the atmosphere of our homeschool. I needed to use wisdom, tenderness and patience to gently guide them in the way that they should go.

One important quality of a good teacher is the ability to pace studies to meet the individual student's needs. What difference does it make in the long run if some lessons take two days instead of one, or a month instead of a week? Establishing a good foundation is essential and one of the benefits of homeschooling is being able to take the necessary time to cover things well and not move on until the lesson is understood. This requires patience for both parent and child! Yet patience seems sadly lacking in our fast-paced society.

How many times have you heard people use the excuse of a lack of patience as their reason to avoid homeschooling? Yet would you believe me when I tell you that everyone has enough patience already to do what God has called them to do --they just need to exercise it? It's true! God has promised all throughout His Word to help us perform what He has called us to do. He tells us He won't allow more than we can handle. We just need to be reminded of this when circumstances require patience.

Here's how we can practice patience in every situation:

1. Stop! Recognize your need for patience!

2. Yield! Consciously yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to minister to you so the fruit of patience can flow through you. Pray, "Father, I give this area to you --thank you for helping me exercise patience and wisdom!"

3. Act! Determine to act upon what you know is right, instead of reacting to the circumstances. He won't force you to do what is right --you make that choice yourself, but He will give you the all the strength and wisdom you need to be patient if you look to Him.

Often we make it harder on ourselves by neglecting crucial areas that are within our control. The following things contribute to impatience if we don't watch out:

* Lack of sleep

* Trying to do too much

* On the go all the time -- not slowing down enough to smell the roses

* Focussing on the negative --not looking for the positive

* Comparing yourself or your children to others

* Expecting too much of your child academically

* Demanding perfection without giving room to grow and mature

* Lack of consistency in training and disciplining your child

* Neglecting your own spiritual needs --lack of prayer and time in God's Word

Thankfully, the Lord got my attention and I was able to adjust both my expectations and our schedule to allow us to go at a slower pace to get adjusted for the new year. Now, two months later, we are once again settled into a good routine and enjoying our homeschooling days. Oh, we still have need of patience! We get plenty of practice in that area as parents, but we have a Source that never wanes even when we are tempted to grow weary.

Failure is almost certain when we try to do everything in our own strength, it's only as we learn to abide in Jesus and yield to the Holy Spirit that we will ever be sure of succeeding in following His Will for our lives. Without His help, who among us could stand, but with His help --how can we fail? Let's all continue to focus on Him and put His Word into practice in our lives!

"But you, O man of God.... pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." --1 Tim 6:11

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." --James 1:2-4

"Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ." --2 Th 3:5

More Encouragement from Scripture:

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."--John 15:5

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." --John 15:7-8

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." --Galatians 5:22-25

"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." --Heb 6:11-12


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Under Pressure?
Under Pressure? [message #33467] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:27
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member


Under Pressure?

(God's Response to Stressed-Out Moms)

By Tamara Eaton

The gauge was already in the red area and climbing --how much more pressure could the cooker stand before blowing? Frantically, I flipped through the instruction manual, trying to see what I could do to relieve the pressure. Did I follow the recipe exactly? I was no longer sure, but I had to do something fast. Quickly, I reached to turn off the burner, but the knob came off in my hand.... this is how I feel when life's pressures are mounting and I'm battling to stay in control!

Life is filled with stresses and pressures and we can't eliminate them all, but some pressure we bring upon ourselves by making wrong choices or neglecting to seek the Lord and trust in His strength and wisdom. Pressures also tend to multiply when we don't deal with them properly. Molehills quickly turn into mountains if we lose our focus and perspective -- but God wants to give us His perspective and operate in His power! Pressure yields positive results when we are driven to the Lord, allowing Him to mature us through the trials. I like how J.N. Darby translates Psalm 4:1 , "In pressure Thou has enlarged me."

Are we allowing our trials to “enlarge us” by yielding ourselves fully to the Lord, or are we so blinded by despair and self-pity we neglect to discern what He wants to accomplish in and through us?

The Lord has given us all the tools we need to handle stress and He won’t allow more than we can handle. He promises to empower and sustain us even in the midst of the battle. As His Word describes, sometimes we feel "hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed..." (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9)

 We can rejoice and be thankful for His sustenance even as we wait for His deliverance!

Someone shared this quote with me years ago and it has stuck with me -"If you feel like you're between a rock and a hard place -just remember Who the Rock is!" We know Who our Rock because He’s revealed Himself to us in His Word:

“For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect...You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip…For You have armed me with strength for the battle…You have delivered me from the strivings of the people…The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (From Psalm 18)

God promises over and over again to be that "place of refuge" for us! I have been so blessed to meditate on all of this and realize my desire for peace and quiet and a nice deserted island somewhere (with all the comforts of home but none of the stresses!) can be fulfilled by "abiding in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91).

Just think about it:


* When you feel like crawling in a cave...God's got the place of refuge!

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”Psalm 9:9-10

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”Psalm 46:1-2

“But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.” Psalm 59:16-17

“In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”Psalm 62:7-8


* When you feel like you need someone to take care of YOU....God promises to do so!

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."Matthew 11:28-30

“…He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear…" Hebrews 13:5b-6a


* When you feel like nobody understands....God DOES!

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” -- Hebrews 4:15-16


* When you feel like you can't go on....God promises to carry you!

"Listen to Me…Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
Isaiah 46:3-4

* When you feel like your burden's too heavy...cast it at His feet.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”1 Peter 5:6-7


When you feel like your suffering is unique...remember the saints of old who suffered trials, yet overcame by faith in God. (Read Job and Hebrews 11 just for a few examples!)

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”Hebrews 12:1-2a


* When you feel you've lost all strength...let God be your strength!

“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

“The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.”Psalm 29.11

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD…”Psalm 18:2-3a

“I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD…”Psalm 71:16a

“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."Nehemiah 8:10


Warning Signs:


Sometimes we allow ourselves to be so overwhelmed by circumstances  we lose our focus. What once seemed so clear becomes fuzzy and we are hindered and discouraged by our lack of purpose. We reel to and fro, and stagger from the events of each day. We become weary, battered, and defeated. The Psalmist describes the following circumstances in Psalm 107:

“They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end.”

[Sound familiar yet? But look what happens next…]

“Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.”

[How refreshing that sounds!  May we all allow Him to guide us to His Haven of rest and peace!]

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” --Psalm 107:26-31

We dare not look to people nor events to define our goals and purposes, nor should we attempt to find our own manmade “havens of rest” by using the world's methods of escape. While there is a place for recreation and "light reading" and some forms of entertainment --some have made these things their gods without realizing it. Recreation and entertainment without God never produces lasting refreshment.

We must keep our eyes on Jesus and make sure we don't allow our personal relationship with Him to grown stagnant. I know I've had times in my life when I've suddenly felt so confused and weary I haven't known where to start to get back to a "normal" routine. Sometimes this has been a result of my growing increasingly busy and neglectful of my daily time in the Word and with the Lord in prayer. No matter how busy I am, I need His constant refreshing and the wisdom that comes through studying His Word and communing with Him.

Spending time in His Word and in His presence is the solution to all our troubles and stresses and pressures. His Word strengthens us and equips us --it produces life! The busier I get, the more I dare not neglect my relationship with the Lord. He alone is my Sustainer and Enabler. 

Make time today to read His Word and ask Him to show you His perspective and priorities for your life --then expect Him to give you the grace and strength to walk in it all. He will surely come through for you! 


Is It Too Late?

Perhaps you realize now that you haven't trusted the Lord for wisdom and direction or given your life fully to Him...it's not too late to do something about that right now!

In 2 Chronicles 15, the Lord encourages us with the example of His mercy toward Israel. Israel had forsaken the Lord and so the Lord had allowed trials and adversity to come upon them. Yet, when they repented and turned from their sins and idolatry, He was so merciful and gracious toward them. He hasn’t changed, He will demonstrate His mercy and love toward you, too!

"The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them …Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul..." --2 Chronicles 15:1-4, 12

Allow yourself to be “found by Him” and you’ll know what it is to be filled with “joy unspeakable and full of Glory” (1 Peter 1:7-9) –even in the midst of pressure!  Allow Jesus to become your Haven of Rest, your Strength, and your Sustenance!

[For tips on devotion, discerning God's Voice, and Bible study for busy moms see: "In His Presence"  and "Where Are You, God?" ]


More Encouragement from Scriptures:

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith; the salvation of your souls.”1 Peter 1:7-9

“Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, Yet Your commandments are my delights. The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; Give me understanding, and I shall live. I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O LORD! I will keep Your statutes. I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies. I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.”Psalm 119:143-147

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:7-8

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.”Psalm 139:7-8


Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2006 all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


Home


"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

 Topic: Stress-Free Summer Plans: (How to Homeschool Year Round without Noticing!)
Stress-Free Summer Plans: (How to Homeschool Year Round without Noticing!) [message #33468] Fri, 29 July 2005 17:31
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member



Stress-Free Summer Plans: (Or How to Homeschool Year Round without Noticing!)

by Tamara Eaton

Shhh…I’ll let you in on a secret –we’ve always homeschooled year round but don’t tell my children! Frankly, by the time most summers roll around, we’re all ready for a break from our normal studies and routine, including me. So I’ve learned to slip in summer studies in a simple, enjoyable way without anyone stressing out –no grades, no tests, no tight schedules, no record keeping!

 Here are just a few reasons I like to maintain a learning lifestyle year round: 

  • We don’t have to spend weeks reviewing in the fall –a public school teacher once told me she introduces very little new material for the first few months of school each year because so much time is spent on reviewing all the children forgot over the summer months.
  • We have plenty of time to concentrate on any weak areas or “gaps” we need to fill in.
  • We have extra time to concentrate on any strengths or special gifted areas in each child! Maybe one has wanted to explore art in greater depth, another is fascinated by geology. Here’s a whole summer we can dig into  these areas!  
  • We live in hot sunny Alabama so there are hours in the afternoon when it’s simply too hot to be outdoors –this makes a perfect time to work on constructive indoor projects and educational hobbies along with reading many wonderful books, without resorting to TV or other mindless pursuits!
  • We want to make learning FUN all the time and demonstrate a love of lifetime learning to our children –summer gives us freedom to explore all those “off the beaten curriculum paths” areas you won’t find in text books.
  • This also gives us the opportunity to take off when needed during the regular school year without guilt because we know how much the children have learned year round!

3 R’s  for the Summer

Generally we would plan to work in several short sessions of math and English each week. For example, we’d do a little English for two days a week –either working in an English textbook or doing a little writing for about 15 or 20 minutes each session, and then tackle about half a math lesson (depending on the child’s level and the length of the lesson) three days a week.  Sometimes  instead of working on the current math text, we’d take a break to drill in specific areas –no long boring drills for multiplication, addition, or subtraction facts, we’d play math games or practice facts as we would go about our other activities. 

Reading has never been “work” to us so we’ve always enjoyed reading good books no matter what the time of year. Weekly library trips  are a pleasure –and most public libraries have fun reading programs during the summer for younger children.  When the children were young, we had special summer reading traditions –for example, each summer we would read aloud from Elizabeth Enright’s  Gone Away Lake and  Return to Gone Away . What a wonderful way to spend many happy hours -- these books always inspired creative summer projects! 

[For a list of good summer reading, see “Our Favorite Books!” and check out the books reviewed and featured in CHFWeb’s  Bookstore, too! ]

Simplifying Housework so YOU can have a vacation, too!

Don’t stay indoors working all summer long --now is the time to create a simplified cleaning and meal schedule for the next few weeks so you can get out and enjoy the sunshine! Nobody will force you to take a vacation, it’s up to you to manage to find time for yourself. (Your family will appreciate the difference if they are observant –rested women make better wives and moms! )

  • Declutter! Each spring or early in the summer, we try to work our way around the house, sometimes just spending 15 minutes at a time, decluttering our house so we have less to maintain.  Surface areas are kept as bare as practical, making room for a simple bouquet of garden flowers or a plant, but quick to wipe clean each day.
  • During a recent camping trip, I noticed how little we actually needed to live comfortably and determined to get rid of as much excess as possible. It was so easy to tidy up each morning with fewer material things about. 
  • Make sure everyone pulls his own weight around the house –have a family meeting and assign specific chores if you haven’t already done so. Provide appropriate consequences for children who aren’t faithful. Make sure you’re following through and checking their work and training them for efficiency. (Keep chores age-appropriate –don’t expect too much or too little!) For more tips on establishing a family housework routine, see the article on: Homeschool and Housework!

  Join CHFWeb’s " Doing Housework to the Glory of God"  Christian Homemaking group on the Homemaking section if you need additional motivation! Just post a message asking for inspiration and accountability and you’ll hear from other homeschooling moms who are working on this area, too --they will be happy to share some tips. 

Take Summer Shortcuts in the Kitchen! 

  • Keep meals simple and don’t be afraid to pull out the paper plates!  Don’t tell the environmentalists  but we use hundreds over the summer. (We also plant trees though!)

If you need more ideas on easy healthy menus for summer, check out the Recipe Swap section of CHFWeb and ask for help from other homeschooling moms!

 Summer passes quickly, so let’s make the most of each day, enjoying time with our families and welcoming a slower change of pace and a restful, productive season filled with His joy!

 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. “ –Psalm 16:11


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

� Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2001, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our seven children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

MsoNormaldisc
 Topic: Discerning God's Mind and Heart
Discerning God's Mind and Heart [message #33546] Fri, 29 July 2005 23:33
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Discerning God's Mind and Heart

Who does God want to raise up? The faithful who will do what is in God's mind and God's heart. (1 Samuel 2:35)

Do you want to do what is in God's mind and heart, but struggle with knowing what His plan is for you? God doesn't require something of us that is beyond our ability --He wants to reveal His mind and heart to us. We just have to meet the conditions to be in a position to receive and discern His mind and heart in matters.

How do we do this?

1. Keep a short account. Confess all known sin and receive His forgiveness. Walk in repentance and fellowship with Him.

2. Be humble. God resists the proud, but look at all He promises the humble:

- He hears their desires, prepares their hearts, and causes their ears to hear. 
(Psalm 10:17)
- He dwells with them and revives their hearts and spirits. (Isaiah 57:15)
- He exalts them. (Matthew 23:12 and 1 Peter 5:6 adds, "in due time".)
- He gives them grace. (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)
- He lifts them up. (James 4:10)

3. Spend time in His Word --His Living Word is able to cleanse, guide, and speak to us. This is the primary way He reveals His will to us, and nothing He ever tells us will be contrary to it, so we need to know it!

4. Be quiet. Learn to be still and wait upon the Lord. Be sensitive to His Spirit. Don't allow the circumstances of everyday life or your emotions to distract you. Take time to slow down and listen. 

5. Walk in the Light you've been given. So often, we already know the right choices to make, we just have to do it. Step out in faith, doing what you already know to do, and trust God to make the rest of the way plain!

6. Live your life full of thanksgiving and praise, walking in an attitude of prayer. 
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –Phil. 4:6-7

7. Live in Faith and Expectancy. Have faith and expect the Lord to minister to you each day. He longs to do so! Expect Him to guide you and He will --He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.



"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." --Psalms 62:5



Copyright Tamara Eaton 2005, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address: chfweb.com. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

 Topic: Don't Worry About It
Don't Worry About It [message #265365] Mon, 23 April 2007 21:55
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Recently several experiences made me consider this phrase: "Don't worry about it!" How do you react when someone tells you this? 

A few days ago, my youngest daughter had a problem and she came to me, tearfully explaining why she was so upset. I quickly set her mind at rest by simply saying, "Don't worry about it. It's ok." She didn't need a long explanation. She trusted me. She believed me when I told her she didn't need to worry about it, that it would be ok. We have a history together --she felt secure. She was able to relax and let go of her worries.

Not long ago, one of my older kids unburdened himself to me about some troublesome issues he was worried about at work. We talked it out, I pointed out some things he may have not considered, giving him some suggestions of things he could do that didn't depend upon the actions of others, as well as giving him some ideas for good goals for the immediate future. 

What had been a day full of negatives, turned into a positive ending as he was able to release his worries and regain hope for the future. He was even excited about the prospect! He turned to me at the end and said, "Thanks, Mom, I love you!" He believed what I told him. We have a history together --he felt secure. He was able to press on and have a positive view of the future.

In the past few weeks, we've faced some challenges in business and family situations. Twice I've gone to my husband to discuss different concerns, and he's talked to me each time reassuringly, telling me, "Don't worry about it. It will all work out. It will get better soon." Each time I felt the burden lift off my shoulders and I felt released from worries about the situations. Why? We have a history together --I trusted him. I felt secure in his care. I knew he was praying and trusting God in all these things and that the Lord would give him wisdom.

I can go to my Father about everything. I do so every morning first thing, and I continue to talk to Him through the day --if I am burdened by something, He lifts me up and reminds me of His care for me. When circumstances seem bleak and things aren't going the way I'd hoped, I can still feel secure in the One who created the universe, upholds it all --and will never leave me nor forsake me. We have a history together --I trust Him. I am secure in Him.

Now, maybe you don't have that type of trusting relationship right now with your mother or your husband, but like me, you do have a Heavenly Father who is not only completely able to take care of us, but totally willing --and He has told us:

Don't worry about it!

Whatever you're going through --He has us covered!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." --Philippians 4:6-7

Now, how will we react to His Word? Will we choose to trust Him and allow His peace to permeate our lives? I pray we will! Not only for our own sakes, but so we can be an example to our children --that we have a God who can be utterly relied upon! A Father who tenderly cares for His own and promises to take care of our every need if we will just seek Him first! A Father who tells us, "Don't worry about it" --so our worries are released to Him and replaced with His Peace.


More Encouragement From Scriptures:


Luke 12:25-26 "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?"

Luke 12:29-32 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Matthew 6:34 "...Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him."

Psalm 50:14 "Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

Psalm 56:3-4 "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"

Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Many seek the ruler's favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord."

Psalm 115:11 "You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield."

Matthew 7:7-8,11 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened....If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

Mark 11:24-25 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

Hebrews 13:6 "So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 2007, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address: chfweb.net. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

 Topic: (A Message to Moms) Peer Influences --and What Kind of Influence Are You?
(A Message to Moms) Peer Influences --and What Kind of Influence Are You? [message #441548] Fri, 15 August 2008 08:38
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Peer influences --and the influence we have on others. I've been thinking about this lately.

What messages are your peers giving you without you even realizing it? How much do your peers influence your attitudes and actions as wives and mothers?

The Bible is clear about the influence of others and the need to have godly companions. This isn't just for our children, it's for us, too. Sometimes the influences are so subtle, we don't even recognize them.

"This is how it's supposed to be done." (What foundation? Who says? Traditions? Peers? Or God's Word?")

Can we say to our children and peers, as Paul did, "Follow me as I follow Christ." If our children follow our examples (and they will to some extent or another --especially the younger they are!), how much of their lives will reflect "following Christ"?

Our examples need to be rooted and grounded in Christ. Which means our minds need to be renewed from our own peer influences and traditions of the past which have no foundation in Christ. The only way we can do this is by spending time in the Word of God, allowing His Holy Spirit to renew our minds!

Perhaps we're looking for godly examples ourselves. Trying to picture what the godly wife and mom really looks like in comparison to the way our culture depicts her --how can we discern who is following Christ and who is not if we don't know what God's Word says?

If we will allow the Lord to transform our lives through His Word by His Holy Spirit, others will indeed be able to look upon us and see something *different* about us --they will be able to discern "She has been with Jesus!"

Can your husband look at you and see that you have been with Jesus? Can your children? Can your neighbors? How about even strangers?

Once someone told me, "I haven't spent time alone with the Lord or been in His Word in ages, I've been so busy." I thought to myself, you didn't have to tell me that --it's obvious! It was obvious by the words coming out of her mouth, by her description of what she'd been going through, by the way she was talking to her children and husband, and by the way she was talking about her children and husband.

About the same time, I had a discussion with a group of women about spending time with the Lord and in His Word and several of them shared the way they disciplined themselves to have a daily quiet time, and how they were able to spend time in the Word, or listen to it throughout the day in spite of being busy with their children. You know, I was not surprised to see who did and who didn't spend regular time with the Lord and His Word. It was evident in their lives. There was a difference about those ladies who spent time with the Lord and in His Word. They had been with Jesus.

Now, if you're saved, you have Jesus within you --but to have those Living Waters flow through you in such a way that others will be able to tell you have "been with Jesus," you need to spend time with Him! You need to make His Word your priority!

Why do you suppose the enemy tries so hard to distract us and keep us from spending time in the Word? It is ALIVE. It will TRANSFORM our lives! Learning and applying His Word to our lives is the KEY to living for Him in a way that will bring Him glory! So we can know Him and enjoy Him forever and influence those around us to do the same. Smile

Here are some scriptures relevant to this topic:

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Proverbs 22:24-25 " Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

Ephesians 5:8-11 "... walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

Ephesians 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind..."

Colossians 2:6-8 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

---------------------------
(Anyone want to join me in saying, "Ouch".) Now, excuse me while I go spend some time with the Lord and in His Word! ;-) 

Copyright Tamara Eaton 2008, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address: chfweb.net. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

[Updated on: Fri, 15 August 2008 08:48]

Forum: Bible Issues Library
 Topic: The Gift of Tongues
The Gift of Tongues [message #21] Tue, 19 April 2005 17:25
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The Gift of Tongues

The Gift of Tongues

While I'm certainly no expert on the subject of tongues, I do have the benefit of having possessed this gift for 27 years.

Jesus said that those who believe would be the possessors of the gift.

Mr 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

This verse should not be used to prove that anyone who does not have the gift of tongues is not a believer anymore than one would say that casting out demons is necessary for every Christian believer. But it is a sign that Jesus said would follow His people.

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to those who believe and one of the outward signs that the Holy Spirit had indeed been given to a person was the gift of tongues. (For a complete study of this phenomena see the two Bible Issues Library files entitled: Have you Received the Holy Spirit Since you have Believed #1 and Have you Received the Holy Spirit Since you have Believed #2 -these files give two opposite viewpoints concerning receiving the Holy Spirit.)

Ac 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

This aspect of the account isn't widespread in most who receive the gift although there are accounts of similar occurrences-- it isn't typical.

Ac 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the Spirit that gave the utterance, but as with all of God's gifts, they had to do the speaking. God never overrides our volition. We may find ourselves in an atmosphere where it is highly conducive for phenomena to occur, but it is never accurate to say that one was merely a passive participant that had no control over his own volition. This isn't to say that it might not seem as if one could do nothing else but act, or in this case, speak, but one thing is clear from my understanding of Scripture-God doesn't force His children to do anything. We are not robots; His Spirit gives the utterance, but we must, by an act of volition, speak. This is not so for one who has given himself over to the demonic powers of darkness. In cases of demonic possession it appears that the person has little or no control over his actions, but that is another discussion.

Ac 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

This verse shows that "tongues" are real languages and not merely babbling. This isn't to say that those who do not recognize or understand other languages might not conclude that those who speak in these languages are babbling (or drunk as some supposed.)

Ac 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

These tongues didn't need interpretation although there were people present who understood the various languages that were being spoken.

Later, God used Peter to spread the gospel to the gentiles and when he was preaching the Word (these signs shall follow...) the Holy Spirit fell on the gentile believers and they begin to speak in tongues as well.

Ac 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

The same sort of experience had befallen the gentiles as had previously happened on the day of Pentecost with the Jewish believers.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit was imparted by the laying on of hands, again the evidence that the Holy Spirit had come was the outward expression of tongues (these signs shall follow...).

Ac 19:6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

To this point in the Biblical account there hasn't been an emphasis on the particular function of tongues in the experience of the believer other than to give evidence to the infilling of the Holy Spirit --and when understood, they magnified God and His works. The emphasis is only on the initial experience and no mention is made concerning the continuation of this gift in the believer's life, but as Paul later develops regulations concerning tongues in the Church, we see that this gift was not just an initial outward evidence of the Holy Spirit's infilling, but a continual experience that actually had purpose in the lives of the believers.

-------Continued in the next message------- 

Next comes some specific teaching concerning the operation of the gift of tongues in the Church. Speaking of the gifts given to the Church, he mentions that there are at least 3 utterance gifts-tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy.

1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Keep in mind that Paul here is dealing not with the phenomena of tongues that occur upon receiving the Holy Spirit, but he is giving instructions on the operation of these gifts within the context of the Church. Apparently these gifts were in operation in the lives of believers long before Paul gives these instructions. It seems as if the Corinthian believers were blessed with an abundance of gifts and the free exercise of these gifts was causing problems in the context of the assembly of believers. This is a foreign concept in most of our modern Churches, thus when he says:

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an tongue, [let it be] by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course; and let one interpret

and then:

1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

You can see there were many of the utterance gifts in operation and each utterance takes time. One can understand why he needed to regulate the gifts-- if nothing else so the pastor could have a little time for his sermon!

If your Church has this problem (multiple tongues and interpretations, multiple prophecies), then by all means limit them to Paul's suggestions, but I don't see a problem if your Church just sings a few songs, takes up a collection, prays and then has the sermon. It would seem that encouraging more of the gifts (not less) would be the better strategy for most modern day Churches. You can always put in some of the regulations later if it gets out of hand!

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. {diversities: or, kinds}

There are a lot of ministries in operation here and most of us can only wish for a Church like the one at Corinth, but nevertheless Paul, because of this abundance of gifts and ministries, had to remind them to let everything be done orderly and for the edification of all. 

He goes on to say:

1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This verse is oftentimes used out of context in an attempt to prove that all believers are not given the gift of tongues, but the context is the context of the Church Assembly. No, not all have the gifts of healing-but all can pray for healing and be healed. No, all should not speak in tongues-or, as he points out, the Church will not be edified (unless there is an interpreter). And no, all do not interpret-but he says that if you do speak in tongues in a Church where there is no interpreter, then you can pray for the interpretation (even if you don't have the gift for the interpretation of tongues!) Most would agree that we all teach, we all exhort, we all encourage-to a degree, but we wouldn't necessarily say that we have the gift to teach in the Church, or the gift to exhort the Church-could we do it? Yes, but it is far better to let those who excel in certain gifts be the ones who use the gifts in the Church. We can't all be the preacher, but we can all preach! We can't all be the eye but we can all see! We all can't be the ear in the Assembly, but we can all hear!

---------Continued in next message---------- 

Ok, to continue:

1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

Paul in no way diminishes the value of speaking in tongues for our own edification, but as far as the Church goes there is a need for public edification, thus he continues to focus on what is best for the public assembly.

Apparently Paul thought it was a good idea for all to speak in tongues for personal edification (I'm sure this is where the phrase "personal prayer language" comes from) but his emphasis is the edification of the whole Church in this context.

1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

It is interesting to note that speaking in tongues--with interpretation-- edifies the Church as much as prophecy.

1Co 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. {easy: Gr. significant}

1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

Once again, interpretation is necessary if the Church is to benefit.

1Co 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

Praying in this personal prayer language edifies the believer because it is the spirit that is praying. This can be done at home, but when the assembly of believers meet together it is much better to speak with the understanding so that all can be edified.

Paul not only spoke in tongues at home but it seems he spoke everywhere but the Church!

1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an tongue.

Ok, next he goes back to the initial reason for tongues-the outward sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit:

1Co 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying [serveth] not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an tongue, [let it be] by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course; and let one interpret

1Co 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

I've been in Churches that stress the no speaking in tongues without an interpreter passage to a fault, but I believe that you can not take that passage out of context and place it into the context of our modern Church without first having the same problems that prevailed at Corinth.

We really do need more of the gifts in operation in our Churches and if an atmosphere is created where these gifts are stifled we all suffer.

Think about it, you will never know if you have an interpreter unless someone speaks in tongues, and I can envision that there might be a time when someone might speak out in tongues and the person who had the gift of interpretation didn't bring it forth. It might take a few times for some people to become bold enough to stand in the assembly, so be a little patient. Sure, if there is a problem (like at Corinth) where speaking in tongues predominates the meeting, there needs to be some regulation, but lets face it, most of our Churches don't have a problem where the gifts have to be regulated.

William

 Topic: Pastor... Is the Office Scriptural?
Pastor... Is the Office Scriptural? [message #22] Tue, 19 April 2005 17:35
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Pastors

Pastor . . . Is the Office Scriptural?


I. God's design in the beginning

A. Adam, Eve and the divine order

In the beginning God... with these words we see that it doesn't matter who has been delegated with authority, God is the one ultimately in charge, whether we are talking about Israel and her kings, or the Church and its shepherds.

Adam, in Gen. 2-3, was given the responsibility to lead and teach those who had been placed under his charge, and he was given a helper that would assist him in this mission. I believe that this is the established order that God intended throughout history. God-Man(one leader)-Woman(helper)-Children(our charge... the flock!)

As the family structure grew this basic pattern never changed, the head of the household remained the leader.

B. Noah leads the way

Noah was obviously the leader of his household and was able to lead and protect those under his charge. Gen 6-7

Like Adam, Noah wasn't perfect in his responsibilities (Gen 9)yet God doesn't stray from His original design of headship.

C. Abraham, Father of a multitude

The life of Abraham continues to reflect God's original design of headship. He becomes the "father" of the nation of Israel. We also enter into the blessings of Abraham through faith. Gal.3:7

Like those before, Abraham wasn't perfect in his leadership, yet God never invalidates the pattern that He established from the beginning.

D. Jacob and Esau

With Jacob and Esau, God introduces a slight variation on the concept of headship. Headship will now be enlarged to include more than the immediate family. This was hinted at in Gen 9:25-27 with reference to Noah's sons.

Jacob receives the blessing from Isaac that said..."Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord [ruler] over thy brethren..." Gen 27:29.

God continues to show through the pages of Scripture His design with regards to headship.

E. Israel becomes a nation

Jacob/Israel begat twelve children that were destined to become the twelve tribes of Israel

Gen 49:8 shows that Judah ultimately would have the leadership mantle.

The headship pattern was up until this point mostly limited to the family structure, but as the nation grew it became apparent that there would be a need to expand (not change) the leadership structure.

II. God's design for the nation of Israel

A. Moses, chosen by God to lead the nation of Israel

Moses became the central leader of the young nation of Israel. Moses exemplifies a leader that welded much power (some estimates say he ruled over 3 million!) yet he was known as the meekest man on earth at that time! (Num.12:3) How's that for a godly example to follow! Each family had its leaders, each tribe had its leaders but Moses was the central leader. With such a large nation to lead it was obvious that he couldn't lead effectively without help so he appointed "helpers" to judge the nation. Ex 18:17-26

B. Joshua, leader by example Josh.24:15

When it was time for Moses to move on, God instructed Moses to pass the mantle of authority to Joshua, who had been preparing for leadership by being a servant of Moses. Num. 27:18 Joshua became the recognized leader of the nation even though the nation still maintained the same pattern that God had established and expanded through the leadership of Moses. Josh. 24:1f

C. No central leader equals chaos

When Joshua passes from the scene the elders that were alive during his leadership continue leading the people until they also pass from the scene. A leadership vacuum results and Israel forsakes the Lord and falls under the Lord's judgment.

D. Judges

At this time, God begins to raise up judges to rule His nation, and a clear pattern emerges; Israel flourishes during the leadership of the judge but when the judge dies, they backslide once again. Jud. 2:16-19

III. God's design during the time of the kings

It has been stated that God never intended for the nation of Israel to have a king, I agree with this, but it is obvious that He did intend for the people to have a leader that would lead them in the ways of righteousness. Why else did He raise up Moses, Joshua, and the judges? I contend that He has shown clearly from the beginning the pattern of leadership.

Certainly He chose David's leadership to be a type of His own leadership over the nation of Israel. One leader, with many helpers, was the pattern throughout the time of the kings.

A. Saul

Saul was chosen as the King over the nation and while his reign left much to be desired, God didn't change the structure that He had ordained from the beginning. Even after it became obvious that Saul had abdicated his responsibility in leading the nation in a godly manner, he remained the recognized central leader. David would not usurp the office of the king even though Saul's leadership was detrimental to the nation.

B. David, kingdom patterned after the heavenly

Throughout the Scriptures, David and his leadership has been likened to that of Christ's reign over the earth. He certainly wasn't a perfect leader, but his heart was toward the Lord and the resulting prosperity that sprang from this godly reign should teach us the potential of true God-ordained leadership.

C. Solomon, leadership gone awry

Solomon reaped the benefits of his father's reign, but because of a misuse of the power of leadership he was doomed to have part of the kingdom torn from his leadership and given to another. From this point until the Babylonian captivity, the nations of Israel and Judah were on a fast track to destruction. Here we begin to see the fruits of "bad" leadership. However, even during this period when it seemed that a new pattern of leadership was in order, God did not change the design that He had instituted at the beginning.

IV. God's design during the time of Babylonian captivity

After many years of backsliding and repeated warnings of judgment, both Israel and Judah were put under the rule of the Babylonians. Their temple was destroyed and they were led away from the land that the Lord had given to them. They became a nation without direction and were it not for the few godly prophets that prophesied during this time, they would have been completely without direction.

It seems that it was during this time period that the Synagogues came into existence. The Synagogue was their only link to their glorious heritage. It offered them a chance to maintain their religion while under the rule of the Babylonians and teach the next generation the tenets of their faith. Interestingly enough, they chose to maintain the same structure of leadership that had prevailed throughout their history... a single leader for each Synagogue. Acts 18:8,17

V. God's design during the time of Ezra-Nehemiah

After the Babylonian captivity, God once again raises up an individual to lead his people back into the land of their inheritance, first Ezra, and then Nehemiah. Apparently God intended that the leadership structure of one central leader would continue to prevail, albeit without the baggage of a king!

VI. God's design during the Roman period

During this period of Roman rule the Synagogues remained the central pillar of Jewish life, even though the temple had been rebuilt and the order of worship had been restored. Leadership was never by committee although a godly leader will always listen to council from other godly sources. It was at this time that Jesus came on the scene and established His Church

VII. God's design for the church age

We know that there were radical changes that took place when Jesus established his Church, however, the model that had served from the beginning was nowhere rejected. It would seem that if Jesus had wanted to change the headship pattern that had prevailed from the beginning there would have been a statement to announce this major departure from the norm. Instead we see that even among the twelve there clearly was a delineation between some of the apostles. Peter, James and John emerge as the apostles who were chosen to have additional leadership responsibilities. Mk 9 & 14. Among this inner circle Jesus singled out Peter with the charge to feed His flock in Jn 21:15f. Peter was also given the "keys" to open the door to the Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) as well as the Gentiles in Acts 10. We see Peter leading in the selection of a replacement for Judas in Acts 1:15.

In discussing leadership with the Apostles in MK 10, Jesus made it clear that those who would exercise leadership in His Church, would be those who had the capacity for servanthood. It would not be those who had the most strength and power, or those who battled their way to the top!

Peter was recognized as leader of the twelve even though he became subordinate to the leadership in the Jerusalem assembly (which was led by another single individual).

The Jerusalem assembly was led not by an apostle but by James the brother of Jesus. By reading Acts 15 you will get a good picture of how a godly leader goes about his duties. Paul recognizes James' leadership and he is mentioned separately from the rest of the elders in Jerusalem in Acts 21:18. Early Church history confirms the fact that James was the leading elder in the Jerusalem assembly.

Even a cursory glance at early Church history show that all of the major assemblies had a plurality of elders but that there was only one leading elder (called a pastor or bishop) who was responsible for the direction and oversight of the assembly.

The Gentile assemblies also followed the same pattern of leadership that had been established from the beginning. Paul had established many churches during his missionary journeys and continued to appoint leaders in every church. Timothy (who wasn't an apostle) is an example of one who was given authority in the Ephesian Church. He was given instructions on dealing with problems in the Church and was expected to lead the Church despite the fact that he was apparently very young. Paul also gives detailed instructions on leading the Church to Titus, leader at Crete. Here again, an example of one central leader given the responsibility over a young Church.

Even in the last book of the Scriptures, the book of Revelation, we see the divine order that was established in Genesis still prevails. Rev. 2 & 3 contains seven letters written to seven churches from the Lord Jesus. Each letter is written to a single individual who has the responsibility for leading the church under his care. The recipient of each letter is referred to as the "angel" of the church which is a descriptive metaphor for a single individual within the Church and not, as some have mistakenly said, literal "angels." This can be easily ascertained by looking at the language used by the Lord when He speaks to these "angels."

Revelation 2:1 1. To the angel of the church of Ephesus write;...vs 4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from which thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works;...

Revelation 2:12 12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;... vs 16 Repent; or else I will come to thee quickly,...

Revelation 3:1 1. And to the angel of the church in Sardis write;... I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Revelation 3:14 14. And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;...I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.

Literal angels don't need to be reminded to return to their first love, or to repent. They don't need to be told that they have a name that they live but are really dead. Literal angels aren't lukewarm!

The angel metaphor is used because these singular persons are in reality messengers from God. They are to be leading the church by finding out God's direction, His purposes, and then relaying the message to the assembly that God has given them charge over.

There are other places in Scripture that the same Greek word "angel" is translated as "messenger." Here is an example:

Luke 9:52 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

VIII. Summary

It seems clear that God has from the beginning ordained that there be those who have the gift and responsibility of leadership, both within the confines of the family, as well as the broader context of the Church.

Having said all of this, I realize that not all "senior pastors" are operating the way God has ordained. Some are obviously in leadership when they are not even called. We often have to search for churches (even including Home Churches) where divine order prevails, yet this lack does not negate the divine pattern that God has established.

God's gifts to the church are the 5-fold ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. (Eph.4:11) Not all have these leadership gifts in the church, although all have been given gifts and are expected to function in their place in the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:12-14 tell us the purpose of 5-fold ministry in the church:

1. To equip the saints for the work of ministry

2. To edify the Body of Christ

3. To bring everyone into the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God

4. To help perfect the Body of Christ, to reach the fullness of Christ

5. To protect and to feed the flock, so that they are "no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting." (Eph. 4:14) So that the flock will mature and "grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ".

And finally, vs. 16 of Ephesians 4 points out that it's the "WHOLE body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which EVERY part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

For the past twenty years, we have been members of churches which practiced body ministry, along with the God-ordained "senior pastor" and elders. In these churches, members were taught the Word of God by teachers who were gifted in this area, and they were encouraged to use their gifts to fulfill their place in the Body. (Peter 5:2-4) We don't believe that those called by God to be pastors and teachers must necessarily attend Bible schools or seminaries, but we do believe that they should have a solid foundation in the Word of God so that they don't lead their flock into error. Obviously, all Christians should obtain this solid foundation in the Word of God, but those who are in leadership will receive the stricter judgment, and it's extremely important that they not lead their flock astray by teaching error. (James 3:1 "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.")

There will always be those who, like Korah, don't like the idea that God chooses certain of His servants to lead His flock, but the overwhelming evidence shows that He indeed does just that.

To conclude, since the NT states that there will be people who have a problem with the "one" leader concept like the OT figure of Korah (Jude 11) I would like to quote the passage where Korah and his followers rebel against the divine order that God has established through Moses. Please note that these folk (like their modern day counterparts) were also concerned with the "senior pastor" who seemed to be "taking too much" upon himself:

Numbers 16:1 1. Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they assembled themselves against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: why then do ye raise yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? {Ye take...: Heb. It is much for you} 4 And when Moses heard [it], he fell upon his face: 5 And he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will show who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near to him: even [him] whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near to him. 6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 7 And put fire in them, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be [that] the man whom the LORD doth choose, he [shall be] holy: [ye take] too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. 8 And Moses said to Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: 9 [Seemeth it but] a small thing to you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them? 10 And he hath brought thee near [to him], and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? 11 For which cause [both] thou and all thy company [are] assembled against the LORD: and what [is] Aaron, that ye murmur against him?

...Then comes the judgment:

Numbers 16:28 28 And Moses said, by this ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for [I have] not [done them] of my own mind. 29 If these men shall die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; [then] the LORD hath not sent me. {the common...: Heb. as every man dieth} 30 But if the LORD shall make a new thing, and the earth shall open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] to them, and they go down alive into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. {make...: Heb. create a creature} 31 And it came to pass, as he had finished speaking all these words, that the ground opened up that [was] under them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] to Korah, and all [their] goods. 33 They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

William & Tamara Eaton

 

 

 
 Topic: Faith--Do you know what it is?
Faith--Do you know what it is? [message #23] Tue, 19 April 2005 17:39
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Faith--do you know what it is?

Faith

This is an answer to a post on Hot Topics:

http://chfweb.com/forum/GetMessage.asp?Section=7&ID=2424 62

Hi , (here is my long awaited reply to your assertion that I was being unscriptural in a "big way"!)

You start: >>>>IN a previous post you said Insert faith To replace Salvation- and here again you are comparing the two as if Salvation and faith are fair in comparing. It is like comparing apples and oranges.<<<<

Your statement is inaccurate. I said that you can substitute "healed" for "saved" not "faith" for "salvation" and I'm not comparing "apples and oranges" because I showed that the the word is the same in the Greek language-"sozo" so I'm comparing apples to apples.

You took issue with my statement: "Faith is simply believing God. It doesn't come in gallon buckets. Faith is hearing a promise and believing that promise."

And you said:>>>>There are a huge number of problems from what you wrote- for one thing the bible does teach measures of faith. It teaches that you can have little faith or great faith, faith the size of a mustard seed, and NO faith. (It does not teach in little salvation or great salvation, salvation the size of a mustard seed. With Salvation you have it or you don't!)<<<<

Again, you are inaccurately attributing to me something I never said-not in the quote you gave or in any of my posts. I've never equated "faith" and "salvation". I have equated "heal" and "save" because both are equated in the Greek language.

But even if you were inaccurate in your assessment of what I actually said, you'll have to admit that no where in the Bible is it said that faith comes in "gallon buckets" so I'm still on firm Biblical footing here! <grin>

Ok, back to serious stuff I'll assume that you equated my reference to "gallon buckets" to mean "portions" based upon the fact that you start quoting passages that seem to indicate that faith does come in "gallon buckets" (and "pint-sized" portions as well!)

You quote:>>>> Matthew 15:28

"Then Jesus answered, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.' And her daughter was healed from that very hour. "

Mark 4:40

"He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"

Matthew 14:30-32

"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down."

Luke 17:6

"He replied, 'If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree: Be uprooted and planted in the sea. And it will obey you.'"

And your assessment of the passages: >>>>From the outside we may not be able to measure it in a gallon bucket because we do not live in the hearts of people and know what is going on in them, but Jesus does, and he DOES know the measures of faith in each of us.<<<<

I hate to state the obvious here but in using these verses you actually prove that faith doesn't come in "gallon buckets".

Your first example is an example of "great faith", the second one "no faith" the third one "little faith" and finally "mustard seed faith".

If you understand what true faith is, the meaning is clear. A mustard seed is the very least you can have and if the least you can have will do something "great" like move a mountain (that verse is in Mt 17:20) then He must not be talking about a "portion" in the sense of ounces/pints/quarts/gallons but something else. Why would one need a gallon-sized bucket of mustard seeds since one is more than sufficient to move any mountain? Essentially if you understand what faith is you'll understand that one grain of pure faith is all that is necessary. Why, you might ask? Well to answer that we have to start with the definition of faith as is set forth in Hebrews 11:1:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

The word "substance" in the Greek means literally that which has real existence, the basic essence, the actual reality, that which has substance. Here we see that faith is something real that stands in place of the thing hoped for. Practically speaking your "faith" stands in the place of what you ask for until what you ask for becomes a visible reality. Faith is real, but it is "invisible". When what you ask for becomes a visible reality, then faith is no longer needed. Faith is an invisible reality that stands in place of the visible reality until the visible reality becomes visible!

An example: A person asks God to save them. Visibly, nothing happens, but something did happen-a reality has been created within-faith is present (at least in a real salvation experience). Now don't get ahead of me, the proof of the presence of that faith will eventually be seen by the fruit and etcetera, but that isn't salvation, salvation is still an invisible reality that won't be visibly realized until we stand before God. Manifestation of fruit is evidence that a change has taken place but it isn't the salvation itself.. (Ok, I'll get ahead of myself a bit and say that when James says I'll show you my faith by my works he's basically saying that the proof of faith in one's heart is shown by the fruit on the outside, but the fruit on the outside isn't "salvation", it's only the evidence that faith is present-more on this later.) From the time a person "believes" until the hope of his salvation becomes visible, the "believing" is what stands in the place of the visible reality-that being the end of our faith - the salvation of our souls (1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)

This is why faith is such an essential part of Christianity. Without faith, the Bible says, it is impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.)

Faith, as you can see, is the invisible reality of what will eventually (at the end of our faith) become a visible reality.

Faith for salvation is in its very nature the same as faith for healing. It is the same as faith to walk on water (as in the passage you quoted above)-Peter's faith in what Jesus had said caused him to get out of the boat and walk on the water. It is the same for the woman that Jesus commended for having "great faith". The woman who by outward circumstances had no claim to the healing that Jesus offered (because she was not from the house of Israel) but because she believed that Jesus both had the power and had the compassion held fast to her faith in the face of adverse circumstances and received the end of her faith-the healing of her daughter. Talk about presumption!

When faith is present (and you know in your heart when faith is present) it can only mean one thing-that what you've asked for is yours and only waits for the visible manifestation (which is absolutely in God's time) and the end of your faith. Again, this is true whether we are talking about faith for salvation, faith for healing, faith to move a mountain, or faith for anything else. This is one reason that I've stated over and over the importance of knowing God's will you cannot have faith unless you are assured in your heart that it is the will of God. When you are sure it is the will of God (and assuming that you are meeting the conditions for receiving anything from God-no un-repented sin, walking in the light, etc.) you can have but a mustard seed of faith and be assured that you have those things for which you are asking.

But there is more to the biblical definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 faith is also "evidence" of things not seen. Evidence of something is absolute proof of its existence. You cannot have "evidence" of something unless that "something" has actual existence. So, since faith is substance of things not seen and evidence of things not seen, and since evidence is proof of its existence then you can see that it is impossible (using the definition of biblical faith) to have "halfway faith".

You either believe it, or you don't, you cannot claim that you have a little bit of faith in Salvation. You apparently believe at least this part with reference to salvation based upon your statement: >>>>"(It [the Bible] does not teach in little salvation or great salvation, salvation the size of a mustard seed. With Salvation you have it or you don't!)"<<<< but you discount this kind of faith when I use the same statement with regards to "healing". I don't know how one can at one time understand the definition of faith and then turn around and throw out the definition of faith when that same faith is used with regards to the other promises of God.

Whenever one receives a promise of God - by faith - they "either have it or they do not". Faith cannot be an invisible reality of something and be the evidence (proof of something) and at the same time not be reality and proof of something. Hence it is impossible using the biblical definition of faith to believe that faith comes in gallon buckets-you either have faith (for a particular promise) or you do not have faith for a particular promise.

What difference does it make whether you have a mustard seed of pure faith or a gallon bucket of pure faith? If it is true faith-then you have the promise, otherwise you just have "hope" that you have what you are asking for and "hope" IS NOT FAITH!

Biblically speaking, if you have faith for something, then the very fact that you have faith is the evidence that what you are praying for has reality. Must I say it again-you cannot have faith for a particular promise unless you KNOW God's will, and if you KNOW God's will then you can KNOW (have faith) that those things you have asked for have reality and will become visible to us in God's own time. Mark 11:24 teaches the principle of faith: 

Mr 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. [couple that with] 2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Why? Because it is impossible to believe you have received something (a promise of God) and at the same time not have it. Either you "believe" (have faith in the fact) that you have those things for which you are praying or you only "hope" you have them. There can be other factors involved in not receiving of course, (perhaps giving up your faith because of doubt, etc) but the fact remains-"faith doesn't come in "gallon buckets".

God doesn't make promises to us that He cannot keep and He doesn't make promises to His children that He doesn't want to keep. Therefore if He promises us something AND we can embrace that promise -by faith, then we can be assured that we HAVE those things He has promised to us.

Mt 7:7-11- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

So what of the passages where it "seems" as if faith might be available in "gallon buckets"? There must be some other explanation if we accept the biblical definition of faith given in Hebrews 11:1.

We might understand the concept of faith and the opposite "no faith" passages in light of the definition, but what about the concept of "little faith" and "the measure of faith" passages?

Peter, after hearing the word of Jesus to "come", stepped out of the boat. Apparently he "walked on water" which means he had faith in the word of Jesus. But based on the next phrase "seeing the wind and the waves," we see that he begin to sink. What happened? Doubt and fear happened. He begins to look around, taking his eyes off of Jesus (and His word) and allowed what he was seeing (circumstances) to overwhelm his faith. He began to "waver" in his faith (James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.) Consequently he began to sink. Jesus then says to him 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' Peter had faith, or he wouldn't have been able to walk on water he also had faith in Jesus to save him because he cried out "Lord, save me!" (which Jesus did). So he did have "faith" but something else interfered with his faith-fear & doubt.

Don't forget what Jesus said just before He told Peter to "come" Mt 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Was Peter "afraid"? Of course, he was! He may have started out "without fear" having "faith" in Jesus' Words but then he, disregarding Jesus' admonition to "be not afraid", became fearful.

Two arch-enemies of faith. Two tools that Satan uses to overcome the Christian. When fear is allowed to rush into our lives it overwhelms our faith. When doubt is allowed to go unchecked our faith is smothered. Fear and doubt can only be overcome with faith in God's word. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and resist the temptations to fear and doubt.

Matthew 4:1 shows how Jesus overcame the temptations of Satan - Jesus addressed the temptations with "it is written!" (Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.) You've got to KNOW the Word of God to be able to effectively use it against the temptations of Satan.

"Little faith" is faith that allows fear and doubt to reign in the heart instead of the Word of God. "Great faith" is faith that holds fast to what it has embraced despite opposition. So yes, the statement is true "faith doesn't come in gallon buckets" it is quite simply -- believing God.

When you say: >>>> Since you are a big fan of James (It's one of my favorite books as well) I will point out this Verse in Chapter 2 verse 19 "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder." No William the bible does not teach that "Faith is simply believing God." --as you wrote. Faith is much more then simple Belief! <<<<

Again, you are intent on implying something that I'm not implying. Sure, the demons believe. They believe in the existence of God. There will be people in hell that believe in the existence of God. In fact, there will be people there who are characterized as "fearful and unbelieving". Does God make a promise of salvation to demons? Does He promise healing to them? Of course not. He does however make the promise to us and it behooves us to place our faith in those promises.

And please, when you quote James don't assume that anything I've said can be contradicted by the old faith/works argument. In fact, the biblical definition of faith says the same thing. If one has faith, the invisible reality, it will always manifest itself the only way it can and that is by works of faith. How can anyone say that they have that invisible reality working within and it not affect their deeds? (In fact, in each example of faith given in Hebrews 11 there was action on the part of those receiving the promises).

I believe that in my first post on the subject I stated that if one had faith in a promise certain things would be in evidence. Of course I cannot repost everything each time I post, but if you are going to accuse me of something (of being "unscriptural IN A BIG WAY") at least give me the courtesy of reading what else I said. In the post that contained the "steps" for receiving the promises of God, I clearly stated that once a person had 1) grounded their faith in the Word of God, 2) asked for the promise 3) agreed with God's word (confessing the Word of God) they then are to 4) ACT upon what they believe. (True faith always ACTS-James says it-I say it) and finally they are to 5) hold fast to what they believe.

I stated that each one of these steps will be evident in the life of one who embraces a promise of God. Faith without works is dead. Faith is simply, believing God and if you have faith, you should act like you have faith.

So while one might choose not to believe some of the promises, it does not mean they have chosen to not believe other promises, and if they do believe, then there will be evidence of that belief-corresponding works.

In summary, faith is not hope. Faith is the means to receiving those things we hope for. Faith is not sight. Faith is the evidence of things "not seen" -- it can only exist in the invisible realm. (You can however, see signs that one has faith-James 2) So if a person prays and there doesn't seem to be a "visible sign", this is where faith flourishes (the only place where faith flourishes) faith takes the place of the visible until what you are praying for becomes "visible" at which point faith is no longer needed.

William

 Topic: Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? Continued
Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? Continued [message #214622] Fri, 26 January 2007 10:00
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"Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part One

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:34 a.m.

I wanted to continue the discussion on the Holy Spirit which began a couple of weeks ago. Kevin posted a three part study on "Receiving the Holy Spirit" after Merrit got the ball rolling with this comment...

Merrit said:

"I believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience separate from salvation. All believers receive the Holy Spirit at their new birth, but scripture seems to indicate that their is an anointing, infilling, empowering, baptism (or whatever you like to call it) of the Holy Spirit that can only occur to people who are saved already"

Kevin disagreed with this statement and gave reasons for doing so. I'll follow Kevin's format and deal with the same scriptures so that the argument can be easily compared.

First of all, I agree with Merrit's statement with the following qualifier (I believe Merrit would also agree with this.):

I think that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience *subsequent* to salvation and not *separate* from salvation.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is contingent upon the salvation experience having occurred. In other words, one cannot be baptized in the Holy Spirit without being saved. All claims to the contrary are false. These false experiences are a direct result of Satan's work and any attempt to yoke these false experiences with the Holy Spirit are deliberate attempts by Satan to malign the true experience of the Holy Spirit.

Kevin then comes to the "fundamental question":

"Do these passages (Acts 8 and 19) use "receiving the Spirit" to refer to a salvation experience, or to an experience that comes subsequent to salvation?"

Kevin takes the position that receiving the Spirit is a salvation experience.

I take the opposite view for the following reasons:

The language used in the Acts 8 passage shows a chronological progression.

1) They believed the gospel of Jesus Christ--which makes them Christians.

2) They are baptized-- which confirms that they were now believers.

3) They, afterwards, received the Holy Spirit. This happened, not when they were saved, but after believing and then being baptized.

The language used in Acts 19 shows the same progression. They believed, were baptized, and then afterwards, the Holy Spirit came upon them.

There are other passages where water baptism occurred after the Holy Spirit baptism, but in no example does water baptism or Spirit baptism occur before the believing process.

--- John 7:37-39

... Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. ---

Concerning this verse, Kevin says:

"I think this describes the experience of any saved person after Pentecost. It says "He who believes in me" and "those who believed in Him", emphasizing that this is the common privilege of all believers. "

I agree, it should be noted that every saved person is entitled to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit baptism. No saved person is excluded. The Holy Spirit isn't reserved for those who have attained "super-saint" status.

Kevin continues:

"It connects the receiving of the Spirit with living water, which I take to be related to having eternal life."

Definitely "related," but I would contend it's not "equated".

Kevin states: (Still referring to the Jn 20 passages)

"At the same time, it explicitly clarifies the distinction between what was true of believers before and after the glorification of Jesus, i.e., before and after Pentecost. It seems to view Pentecost as the watershed event between two different ways in which the Holy Spirit deals with believers. The emphasis is on the Spirit's ability to quench our spiritual thirst (more than, say, on spiritual power). "

Pentecost was definitely a watershed event with reference to the way the Holy Spirit related to believers, but let us be clear-- there were believers both before and after pentecost -- and as I hope to show, these believers, by virtue of being believers, were entitled to receive the promised Spirit.

I also don't understand why such an emphasis is placed upon the day of Pentecost being the transition between the Old Testament dispensation and the New Testament dispensation. The transition took place with the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was at that point that the new covenant was established. Certainly there were promises to be fulfilled (i.e. Spirit baptism, etc.) but to equate a "New Testament salvation" experience with the events on the day of Pentecost is taking things a little far (my opinion, of course!).

Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that the day of Pentecost was the transition, it seems that much of the argument in favor of equating salvation with the receiving of the Holy Spirit depends on *not* making Acts 2 the day of transition! Acts 8 would be the transition for the Samaritans, Acts 10 for the gentiles, Acts 19 for the Ephesus believers, ad infinitum. In fact, if anyone wants to say that believers are not true believers until the Holy Spirit falls upon them then we have a major theological problem. Does salvation depend on something more than believing that "Jesus is the Christ"? Does one become a "true believer" only after they are presented with the gift of the Holy Spirit? If this is true, then those in Acts 8 and 19 cannot be referred to as true believers until after the act of receiving the Holy Spirit. In other words, if they needed another experience (in addition to their faith in Jesus Christ) to be considered true believers in the New Testament sense, then we'll need to apologize for opposing those groups that teach and believe that the only way to be saved, is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.

-- John 14:16-17

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. ---

Kevin says:

"Again it seems to be related to the basic salvation experience for all believers."

To which I would agree, "related" but not "equated."

--- John 20:21-23

Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; but if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." ---

I agree with Kevin here, when he says:

"My current understanding is this: Jesus was giving a sort of a benediction or blessing."

--But I wouldn't be too dogmatic if someone offered a more plausable explanation.

--- Acts 2:38-39

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." ---

Kevin summarizes:

"Peter says, in essence, "Repent, become followers of Christ, and you will receive the same Holy Spirit. This is being offered to you right now by Jesus.""

First of all it should be pointed out that the statement "shall receive the gift..." doesn't express the surety or determinative nature of the promise, but rather expresses the tense of the promise (grk. future tense). In other words, *after* repentance, and *after* baptism (which presupposes a lapse of time... go find a pool of water, etc.,) a future gift is promised, i.e. the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, this statement by Peter is made *after* the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the disciples... the promised Holy Spirit, had come! Now he begins to preach to those who were not believers, and he gives them the chronological pattern for receiving the Holy Spirit... first, become a believer, then you are eligible for receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Kevin says:

"In the context, [Acts 2:38-39] He is inviting them to participate in the outpouring of the Spirit which Jesus has given, by becoming followers of Christ."

True, but he makes it clear that the only way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, is to first repent, and this leads naturally to an outward expression of that inward repentance--baptism. Now, as Kevin has pointed out, baptism doesn't save any one, but to be clear, it is a symbol of something that has occurred, namely, salvation. No one gets baptized and then receives Jesus. Becoming a Christian is obviously a prerequisite to water baptism. Becoming a Christian qualifies one for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Kevin summarizes part 1 of his note by saying:

"I am convinced the most straightforward way to read this is that receiving the Holy Spirit is offered to all in salvation --those who become followers of Jesus will receive it. The promise is for them all."

To the first phrase, and the last sentence, I say amen, but the middle statement cannot be absolutely true. The Holy Spirit is a gift. A gift must be received to be experienced. Like the gift of salvation, if it isn't received, it doesn't become a reality in one's life. One must appropriate the promise of Jn 3:16 before it will ever become an actuality. You don't wake up one morning and say, well, I'm saved, God promised the gift and it happened. No, it must be actively received. Even so, the gift of the Holy Spirit is an experience that must be actively received *subsequent* to salvation. While it can occur moments (even seconds) after believing, it nevertheless is *after* becoming a believer.

My position is, that when those Samaritans believed those things that Phillip taught concerning Christ, they were truly saved in the New Testament sense of the word. They then were able to receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.

Corrine (Merrit's wife) gives us food for thought when she says:

"...why not ask God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues and see if it is separate? What better way to find out which is true? We are not issuing a challenge, just suggesting that if you completely yield yourself to God, He will show you and let you experience for yourself. I doesn't take the laying on of hands to receive it. Merritt's Mother did it on her own in private. The laying on of hands is just one way. What it really takes is faith to believe that God will give it to you. If you want it, it is yours. Take that step of faith."

Jesus says:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13 KJV)

More in part 2 ...

William


"Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:36 a.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part One, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:34 a.m.

Continued from part 1.

--- Acts 10:44-47

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" ---

Kevin quotes the sense of Peter's words by saying:

"Peter says "how can we refuse water baptism for them now", since it has become clear that they must be saved, or they could never have been given the Holy Spirit."

My point exactly! But then Kevin makes the statement:

"Again, it seems most straightforward to see this as speaking of salvation itself."

Well, it is either one experience, or it is two, but it can't be both! (grin) Was the Holy Spirit given to confirm a salvation experience or was it the salvation experience?

Kevin then clarifies his meaning with this statement:

" Of course, I need to be clear -- Cornelius and the others, like the apostles before Pentecost, were probably already children of God, already saved (since he apparently trusted in the true God of Israel, even as a Gentile: see 10:2,4 etc) -- but only in an Old Testament sense. They hadn't yet heard the gospel, weren't yet indwelt by the Spirit of God."

I'm not convinced that they had not heard the gospel. Acts 10:37 says:

"That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea..."

It seems very unlikely that they hadn't heard the gospel at this point. They may have questioned whether or not they were to be included, as they were gentiles, but surely they had heard the gospel. But even if it is admitted that they had not heard at this point in time, note verse 43 which says: "To Him give all the prophets witness [surely they read the prophets] that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins..."--- they certainly heard this, and their hearts must have cried out--"YES! WE BELIEVE!"

Kevin comments further:

"The fact that they spoke in tongues is mentioned as a parenthetical comment to explain how the others knew they'd received the Holy Spirit, since otherwise it would've been invisible. " And: "Clearly Cornelius et al were saved and filled with the Spirit before being baptized in water. "

I agree on both counts!

--- Romans 8:15-16

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. ---

Kevin says:

"This clearly points to salvation. Those who have received this Spirit are the true adopted children of God. The context supports this (v 9,14,17). Note the related phrases in the immediate context: being in the Spirit, having the Spirit dwell in you, having the Spirit of Christ, being led by the Spirit. "

But this misses an obvious point-- those to whom Paul is writing are assumed to have also received the Holy Spirit. The New Testament was written to born-again, Holy-Spirit-filled, believers. Today we have a situation where you mention the Holy Spirit baptism, and, in many cases, you are met with opposition from professing Christians. But in that time, whenever they ran across believers that had not received the promise of the Holy Spirit, they immediately corrected the situation (e.g. Acts 19).

--- 1 Corinthians 2:11-12

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God ... ---

Kevin:

" Paul says that since the Spirit in us is God's Spirit, He knows the mind of God as completely and fully as we know our own minds. We have God Himself thinking in us, and that is why we have the ability to perceive spiritual truth. There's no good reason not to assume this happens at salvation."

Again, it *should* happen at salvation-- or shortly thereafter. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been given and there are no good reasons why believers should not receive the gift immediately after receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior.

--- Galatians 3:1-3, 13-14

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

... Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law ... that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. ---

Kevin:

"Again, this refers to salvation. Receiving the Spirit is "having BEGUN by the Spirit", i.e., it refers to the very beginning of their Christian life. When he speaks of hearing with faith, in context he means hearing about Jesus' atoning death. He is saying that since we received salvation, with all its benefits — including the indwelling Spirit — by faith, having decided that our works would not suffice, it is foolish to switch back to a works-based approach afterwards. Verses 13 and 14 summarize the preceding arguments by emphasizing that through Christ Gentiles receive the opportunity of receiving the Spirit (i.e., salvation) through faith. "

Once again, this is written to those who have experienced salvation, *and* received the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is no excuse for a believer in Jesus Christ not to receive the Holy Spirit. Were it not for centuries of equating salvation with the gift of the Holy Spirit we wouldn't be talking about this issue now (in my opinion).

Kevin concludes part 2 with:

"SO ... except for Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:1-6, I would lean towards the idea that "receiving the Spirit" refers to what happens at salvation. Notice that at Pentecost and at Cornelius' house this happened to believers AFTER they were already faithful followers of God, they just hadn't entered into the experience of New-Testament-style salvation. "

Since Kevin has made much of the "New Testament-style of salvation," let me pose a question: Would modern day orthodox Jews fall into the category of those who are faithfully following God, and would it be reasonable to assume that their experience would mirror Acts 8 & 19, if they were presented the gospel? Would it be probable that they would become believers, and then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience?

Since the New Testament presents a pattern, namely that salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit are presented as two experiences, and since there isn't clear evidence that this pattern has been overturned (other than presuppositions), isn't it reasonable to, at the very least, pose the question that Paul raises: Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

More in part 3

William


"Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Three

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:37 a.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:36 a.m.

Continued from part 2.

Now for the "problem"[for those who equate the two experiences *grin*] passages:

--- Acts 18:24-19:6

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, ... came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures ... had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to go across to Achaia ... he helped greatly those who had believed through grace, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul ... came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. ---

Kevin:

"First, trace the chronology here. Apollos started at Ephesus, knowing "the way of the Lord" accurately, but only as far as it was concerning "the baptism of John"... In the meantime, Paul came back to Ephesus and found some disciples who only knew the things acquainted with the baptism of John. Now the passage doesn't spell it right out, but it's reasonable to assume that these disciples were the products of Apollos' ministry in Ephesus — BEFORE he learned more of the truth about the Lord. "

I disagree with this assumption, due to the fact that Acts 18:24 says that Apollos "came to Ephesus" and then in vs 26 it says he "began to teach..." and in the same verse it says that Aquila and Priscilla when they heard him took him aside and enlightened him. There isn't any reason to assume that Apollos had been there long enough to gather a following of disciples and even if he had, he would have, no doubt, corrected any misconceptions that he had fostered (especially among an intimate group of his own disciples) before he left the area. It would have been his Christian responsibility to do so.

But the point is moot with regards to the question at hand--Is receiving the Holy Spirit synonymous with the salvation experience?-- because Acts 19:5 shows that they were "baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" which means they were, at that point, saved believers. Then in verse 6, *after baptism* they received the Holy Spirit with the corresponding evidence.

Finally ...

--- Acts 8:14-17

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ---

I believe that the passage speaks for itself-- first salvation, (in the "New Testament sense") then a later experience of receiving the Holy Spirit.

Kevin then makes an interesting comment about the *way* they received the Holy Spirit:

"--it would mean that the only way Christians in the new area were able to receive the Holy Spirit in this deeper sense was through having the original missionaries personally lay hands on them. I don't think that's what William or Merritt or anyone else really believes, is it? "

Of course not. The Holy Spirit baptism has never been limited to the laying on of the hands of the apostles (although many teach this --which is a rather effective way of assuring that the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit wouldn't find its way out of the book of Acts!). No, the experience is not dependent upon the act of the laying on of hands, be it the apostles of the early church, or any minister today. Luke 11:11-13 says that one need only to ask the Father (which presupposes they are children, i.e. believers) for the Holy Spirit. That passage also assures us that He won't give a substitute, but the real thing!

"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" --Luke 11:11-13

Kevin: "None of us believes that we need certain special believers to come and pray for us to receive the Spirit in a deeper sense. "

Ahhh, common ground, once again!

Kevin: " Why did these people find themselves unable to receive the Spirit (in whatever sense it was meant) except when the apostles themselves came down and prayed for them? ... I think that verses like John 20:23, and Matthew 16:19 are referring (partially at least) to a special authority that God left in the hands of the church and specifically the twelve and possibly mainly Peter. I think that in the plan of God "the twelve" played a special role in the development of the church which was quite different from the role of other believers. This difference is really evident in the first few chapters of Acts, if you read it through looking for the differences that it points out between the apostles and the other believers. I think that God honored this setup by waiting until the apostles came to Samaria before He poured out the Holy Spirit there. Two chapters later Peter went to the house of a Gentile and God poured out the Spirit on Gentiles too. So the pattern seems to be that the twelve (mainly Peter) were the first to offer the gospel to the Jews (Acts 2), the first to confirm its offer to the Samaritans (Acts Cool and the first to offer it to the Gentiles (Acts 10)..."

But then in Acts 9 you've got a plain ol' disciple like Ananias, (after receiving a vision and hearing the voice of God) laying hands on one of the greatest apostles ever, (superseding even Peter! *wink*) and imparting the Holy Spirit-- setting into motion a ministry that is still rocking the earth!

Kevin concludes by saying: "OK ... anyway, that's essentially why I don't believe that Acts 8 and Acts 19 refer to a second blessing of the Holy Spirit that is separate from salvation. I realize that most of my arguments depend on nuances of interpretation in each of the passages. It's quite possible to go through every verse I quoted and interpret in a way that supports the second blessing doctrine. Most of those interpretations seem forced to me, but I suppose my interpretations could seem forced to some of you. All I can do is interpret each passage as naturally as possible, as I see it, trying to avoid reading my own presuppositions into it. "

William: *grin*

Kevin: "I also want to re-emphasize in closing that I in am in full agreement with the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I just happen to believe that any experience we have of it is grounded in something which actually took place when we were first saved. I realize that many times a Christian IN PRACTICE does not move into the full blessing available until later on in his life. "

Yes, I agree with that!

William


Ok... for the $20,000 Question!

Posted by joni on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 12:40 p.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Three, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:37 a.m.

I have a simple, but important question: According to your interpretation, how does a person know whether or not he has received the "gift of the Holy Spirit"?

Sincerely in Christ,
Joni


"What saith the Scriptures?"

Posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 4:27 p.m., in response to Ok... for the $20,000 Question!, posted by joni on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 12:40 p.m.

Joni, what saith the Scriptures? You'll know the same way the New Testament saints knew. Look to God's Word for the answers, not to yours or others' *experiences* (or church tradition!). The whole point of this discussion (at least on my part) is to limit it to what the Word says, not some subjective experience. Ask God. (He won't charge you $20,000! *grin*).

William


Will search, William! but for the time being...1 Cor 12:13

Posted by joni on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 5:15 p.m., in response to Ok... for the $20,000 Question!, posted by joni on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 12:40 p.m.


"For we were ALL baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were ALL given the one Spirit to drink."

Does that not mean ALL?

Notice the phrase, "BAPTIZED by one Spirit"--is it your opinion that Paul is speaking here of a SUBSEQUENT baptism? The context seems highly unlikely, in my opinion. Paul says we were "baptized" into the body of Christ. Didn't I become a member of the body of Christ at my conversion? So I must have been "baptized by the Spirit" at my conversion.

I will continue to study my bible and have enjoyed reading your posts. Have a great evening!

Sincerely in Christ,
Joni


1 Cor 12:13? The Corinthians definitely had the Holy Spirit!!

Posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 7:47 p.m., in response to Will search, William! but for the time being...1 Cor 12:13, posted by joni on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 5:15 p.m.

As I said to Kevin, the New Testament was written to born-again, Holy-Spirit-filled believers. (It's obvious that the Corinthians had the Holy Spirit!!)

I'm with Kevin when it comes to the "proof-text" method of arguing a point --it's a difficult thing to do; it's important to establish an overall pattern and not try to prove something merely on the basis of an isolated text.

If you will show me where my fundamental exegesis is flawed then it will be a true discussion and I'll understand the scriptural reasons behind your disagreement.

If after reading all of the above, you still feel the need to equate the two experiences, then there isn't much more that I can say to convince you. From reading your previous posts on this subject, I think you may have already made up your mind due to your past experiences. I agree with Merrit and Kevin in that this shouldn't be a divisive issue among Christians.

William


Actually, I said I WOULD search...

Posted by joni on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 7:08 a.m., in response to 1 Cor 12:13? The Corinthians definitely had the Holy Spirit!!, posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 7:47 p.m.

but was not free to do so yesterday, or prob. today, either.

Furthermore, I do take Kevin's position on some of the texts, and see no reason to repeat what he has already eloquently written.

I don't believe that Acts is completely normative for today, nor has it appeared to be for the past 1900 years. Do many people in your church get prayed for and then all suddenly receive the gift of speaking in different tongues at the same moment? Perhaps things like this do happen and I am unaware of it.

If I appear close minded, I am not. I am discerning, especially since I have already spoken in tongues before my conversion. Obviously, that was not the Holy Spirit's doing.

I have sincerely asked two questions for which I am in search of answers:

What is the difference between prayer language and tongues (and supporting scriptures, please?) I believe I indicated my reasons for asking. I am open to tongues, but I am not open to 40 people all speaking in tongues at the same time (nor did it appear that St. Paul was!!!). If it is ok for 40 people to pray in a *private* prayer language *publicly*, please show me what I am missing in scripture.

and

How do we know we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit (also supported by scripture!)?

If I appeared that I want to *argue* the point, I don't! That would be pointless since you have already made up your mind; however, I have not and am looking for answers!

Sincerely in the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit!

Joni


Theology --Based on Acts or 1900 years of Church History

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 7:44 a.m., in response to Actually, I said I WOULD search..., posted by joni on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 7:08 a.m.

Joni, my question would be why has the church not followed the pattern set forth in Acts and why would we base our theology on experiences (or lack of them) instead of the Eternal Word of God?

Concerning the other questions you mentioned...my time is limited and I have to measure my words and choose which discussions I can be involved in...others can surely jump in and respond (which they have in the past).

Personally, after you made the comment:

""I'm absolutely sure that the Lord has not called me to seek out this gift...""

I don't see how any further discussion on this with you can be fruitful, edifying, or glorifying to God.

William


Dear William,

Posted by joni on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 9:32 a.m., in response to Theology --Based on Acts or 1900 years of Church History, posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 7:44 a.m.

Yes, I agree, you and I shall have to discontinue this discussion.

My statement that you quoted was actually regarding tongues, not the baptism in the spirit, but perhaps you equate the two. I don't know.

Yes, tongues can be a divisive issue. I don't really understand why. If I had said that I was convinced the Lord had not given me the gift of healing or the gift of interpretation, I believe it would have been easier to have this discussion.

"All do not have gifts of healings, do they?
All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts." (NASB)

Warmest regards,

Joni


You are right...

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 10:03 a.m., in response to Dear William,, posted by joni on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 9:32 a.m.

> My statement that you quoted was actually regarding tongues, not the
> baptism in the spirit...

Right you are, Joni. My mistake. I apologize for reading that into your note. Thanks for clarifing what should have been clear already!

William


Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two

Posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 10:19 a.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:36 a.m.

Dear William,

I generally don't jump in on "these type" *grin* of discussions (I have seen them at times become very divisive and that is NEVER my intention), and I am only wanting to relate something from my "experience" that I thought was interesting.

From William's post: 'Kevin says: "This clearly points to salvation. Those who have received this Spirit are the true adopted children of God. The context supports this (v 9,14,17). Note the related phrases in the immediate context: being in the Spirit, having the Spirit dwell in you, having the Spirit of Christ, being led by the Spirit. "

But this misses an obvious point-- those to whom Paul is writing are assumed to have also received the Holy Spirit. The New Testament was written to born-again, Holy-Spirit-filled, believers. Today we have a situation where you mention the Holy Spirit baptism, and, in many cases, you are met with opposition from professing Christians. But in that time, whenever they ran across believers that had not received the promise of the Holy Spirit, they immediately corrected the situation (e.g. Acts 19).

--- 1 Corinthians 2:11-12

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God ... --- '

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When I was a very young believer (less than 2 years old) I moved to West Virginia to teach. I became friends with a couple who were "Spirit-filled" (their term). Our friendship was based (and has continued for the past 20 years) on our love for the Lord. They were convinced that I had not received the Holy Spirit since I had never spoken in tongues. They prayed over me to receive the Holy Spirit and nothing changed. One day, several months later, their regional pastor came to visit and we spent a wonderful time talking about the Lord. He said to me, "Ah, I can see that have been 'Filled with the Spirit', when did you start to speak in tongues?" My reply was, "Oh I don't! And I haven't been filled with the Spirit as you say." He was greatly confused. He went on to say that he couldn't understand my not being "filled" with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues since it was obvious that I was understanding spiritual things that only the Holy Spirit could reveal and that he saw the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in my life. His final question was, "How can these things be if you don't have the Holy Spirit living in you?" But I replied, "Oh I know the Holy Spirit lives in me."

As the months went by, this couple convinced me that unless I spoke in tongues I wouldn't be receiving the "added" blessing God promised for me...not just speaking in tongues, but being able to understand the scriptures and being able to gain victory over sin. (apart from the speaking in tongues, these things had already been happening). They prayed over me time and time again...they had their regional pastor pray over me...they told me to just "open my mouth" and the tongues would flow...they told me I was thwarting my receiving the Holy Spirit, I needed to just believe and it would happen. I wanted very much to follow God in all areas of my life, to surrender all of my life to His will, I cried out to the Lord to purify my heart...I couldn't see where I was "thwarting" receiving the Holy Spirit. I read scriptures that talked about how easily other saints had "received" the Holy Spirit and couldn't understand why I had to "work so hard" and also how I could have been growing so much in my life in my faith, in victory over sin and in the deep understanding and truth He was bringing to my soul and spirit unless it was the Holy Spirit doing the work in my heart.

After much "prompting" from this couple, one day I "tried" to speak in tongues. They were delighted and I was uncomfortable. Everything in me told me that this was not a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but just me opening my mouth and speaking in what sounded like jibberish. I had had no great power come upon me, I had no great peace fill my soul; but I did have a deep regret that I had tried to produce this manifestation of the Holy Spirit on my own strength from the urging of this couple.

They treated me with more respect. Why? I hadn't changed...I still spoke the same words to them, I still had the same questions, I still had the same flaws in character that I was working on, I still had the same 'wisdom' that I had had - what was different? I had "spoken in tongues" to their satisfaction.

Their theology had led them to believe that it was not the power of the Holy Spirit in a person's life to transform their lives from sin or the power of the Holy Spirit in a person's life to reveal the deep and unfathomable truths of the Word to their hearts and minds that was evidence of the person having received (been baptized, filled etc...) the Holy Spirit; but it was the manifestation of 1 (and how many others could I have manifested and it still wouldn't have been good enough for them?) gift of the Spirit. (see the verse in 1 Cor 2 quoted above from William's post)

I DO believe that none of the gifts of the Spirit have disappeared. It just so happens that my 'giftedness' from this same Spirit is wisdom, not tongues (at this point in time *grin*). As time went on the Lord showed me through the Word that I HAD indeed received the Holy Spirit in my life and that He was working in and through my life (although I had a LOOONG way to go before I was completely yielded to Him in every area of my life continuously and that wouldn't happen until I was in heaven). I WAS manifesting the Holy Spirit in my life, just not in the specific manner that my friends thought was the only telling "sign".

I share this, not because I believe that experiences are our rule and guide, but need to be filtered through the scriptures. It is the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the born-again believer (kind of redundant...sorry! *g*) that should be evidence of His presence.

I bow out of this discussion now. *wink*

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Dear Kate,

Posted by joni on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 11:45 a.m., in response to Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 10:19 a.m.

Thanks for sharing. I, too, believe "at this point in time *grin*" that tongues is not my gift.
Because of my false manifestation, I *believe* that if the Lord wants me to have this gift, I will KNOW it without a shadow of a doubt! I have been convicted that the Lord does not want me to live in doubt and confusion!

I am earnestly reading and studying scripture about all the gifts. I have enjoyed reading William and Kevin's posts, and, now, yours.

Thanks, again, for sharing.

Sincerely in Christ,
Joni


Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two

Posted by Kelly, MO on Thursday, 13 August 1998, at 1:31 p.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:36 a.m.

I, too, like to "steer clear" of these types of conversations! I do think that many people over the years have "coined" phrases that many people have taken for the gospel and imagine the confusion after a study of the scriptures to find the truths of these words and can't find them. These people are truly hungering and thirsting after the righteousness of God and want to grow in every area of their spiritual lives. They are reluctant to pursue something that they cannot back up with scripture. The experiences are there, and they are very real for today; however, some in their zeal have made things more difficult for those that follow. Thanks William and Kevin for your sharing of the scriptures with all of us.
In Christ,
Kelly
PS: Jack Hayford has written a book called "The beauty of spiritual language" and several bible studies that deal with these issues for you to search on your own.


Very timely discussion. . .

Posted by Alexandra on Thursday, 13 August 1998, at 2:41 p.m., in response to "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Three, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Tuesday, 11 August 1998, at 8:37 a.m.


Lately I have been questioning some things I always thought I understood, even some foundational doctrines. (The foundation of my faith hasn't been shaken--but I sure have, seeing how fallible my understanding is!)

I've really enjoyed reading these discussions. Thank you! Interesting, I just read Acts 2 today.

Please continue!

Alexandra


Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two

Posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 13 August 1998, at 5:59 p.m., in response to Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Wednesday, 12 August 1998, at 10:19 a.m.

Hi Kate,

I'm glad you did jump in! In fact, your note addresses an issue that I've wanted to comment on for a long time. But let me say first --anyone who would question whether or not you had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, certainly doesn't have any discernment!

The Biblical gift of "tongues" are an evidence of the Holy Spirit, but they aren't the only evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling. A person can be baptised in the Holy Spirit and *not* speak in tongues.

I've got to run now, but hopefully I'll have time in a few days to respond more fully to your note.

William


Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two

Posted by Chris on Friday, 14 August 1998, at 9:05 p.m., in response to Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 13 August 1998, at 5:59 p.m.

Can you explain this to me? I have always thought that tongues was the evidence of being Baptised in the Holy Ghost? I am not saying that you are wrong because I have often questioned it myself. Can you show how you support this please?


Tongues aren't the only "evidence"...

Posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 16 August 1998, at 9:15 a.m., in response to Re: "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" Part Two, posted by Chris on Friday, 14 August 1998, at 9:05 p.m.

Hi Chris,

Actually, I said that the Biblical gift of "tongues" are *an* evidence of the Holy Spirit, but they aren't the only evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling. A person can be baptized in the Holy Spirit and *not* speak in tongues.

I'll explain the reasons I believe it's possible to have the Holy Spirit without manifesting the "evidence" (so called) of tongues --but first let me explain what I don't mean. I don't mean to say that if someone (a child of God) asks the Father for the Holy Spirit and then speaks in "tongues" that this isn't evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism, it certainly is. It is an outward manifestation of something that has occurred within a believer that wouldn't be otherwise known by observers, at least initially. There are instances in the book of Acts that show that it was "tongues" that confirmed that the promised Holy Spirit had indeed baptized the believers.

So yes, tongues are evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism, again, assuming that the the person manifesting the tongues is a true believer that has asked for the gift in the manner described in Lk 11. I keep stressing this passage because I know that there are counterfeit tongues, but I also know that God's Word is forever settled. Jesus says that if a person asks the Father for the Holy Spirit HE WON'T RECEIVE A COUNTERFEIT!)

Now here are the two reasons I believe it's possible to have the Holy Spirit without manifesting the "evidence" (so called) of tongues:

1. The present-day lack of understanding about the Holy Spirit.

2. The free will (volition) of believers.

My first reason is based upon the prevalent misinformation about "tongues". I believe that a believer could ask for the experience and due to a lack of understanding concerning the gift (and in some cases, outright fear), not speak in tongues.

There is a woeful lack of teaching concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe it's possible for a believer to ask for and receive the gift without knowing anything about tongues. I don't think this would have been the case in the experience of the early Church, at least not initially, because they heard about the gift being poured out on the day of Pentecost and the gift was inexorably yoked with tongues. Believers naturally wanted the Holy Spirit with the corresponding evidence of tongues. There wasn't a mind-set that would have allowed a separation between tongues and the Holy Spirit. Tongues were to them a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit. To have rejected tongues would have been the same as rejecting the Holy Spirit.

Today, lamentably, *Biblical* tongues, instead of being seen as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, are sometimes viewed as fleshly manifestations, or worse -- as manifestations of demonic powers. Why? I can only offer my observations, but I believe this unscriptural position is directly attributable to the Church's rejection of the supernatural. Of course, they (this element of the Church) have always acknowledged Satan's supernatural abilities, but not God's, at least not in this present dispensation. Sure, they tell us, God used mighty miracles to spread His message in the book of Acts, but now we only need our Bibles, and the only supernatural work that God is doing now, is with reference to the new birth. This kind of mind-set isn't conducive to readily embracing a power-packed experience like the Holy Spirit baptism. But God gives the Gift indiscriminately, so if a believer asks, he will receive (I'm basing this on the immutable character of God) even though he might not choose to manifest those gifts that are perceived to be more supernatural in character, e.g. tongues.

Which brings me to my second reason; the Gift doesn't suspend one's volition. A believer can choose to suppress the manifestations, due to an ignorance of the manifestations, or due to a prejudicial bias about the manifestations (which is, I guess, the same thing), and the manifestations will not overrule volition. This applies to all manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Which also explains why we discount claims by some that "the Holy Spirit forced me to do this"....the Holy Spirit NEVER forces believers to do anything. (All claims to the contrary notwithstanding --there are a lot of things going on in "charismatic circles" that we do not support!)

William


Thank you for sharing. nt

Posted by Chris on Sunday, 16 August 1998, at 2:38 p.m., in response to Tongues aren't the only "evidence"..., posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 16 August 1998, at 9:15 a.m.

ntntnt

[Updated on: Fri, 26 January 2007 10:07]

 Topic: Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?
Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? [message #214629] Fri, 26 January 2007 10:10
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Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 1

Posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:00 p.m.

Hi All,

Probably many of you on the board agree with the following statement by Merritt:

"I believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience separate from salvation. All believers receive the Holy Spirit at their new birth, but scripture seems to indicate that there is an anointing, infilling, empowering, baptism, (or whatever you like to call it) of the Holy Spirit that can only occur to people who are saved already."

Since I disagreed, I'd like to back my opinions up a little bit here.

Merritt (and William) asked me about my interpretation of the passages in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:1-6. I find that a hard question to answer succinctly, because my approach to studying Scripture is a matter of reading and re-reading several chapters or passages at a time, and trying to find common perspectives and ideas. When I come up with conclusions, they're rarely easy to put into just a few words, and hardly ever susceptible to proof-texting. All I can say is, "That's what I see as a common theme in all those verses ... don't you see it too?" It'd be a lot easier to make my case in person than in writing.

Anyway, I thought I'd provide at least a partial answer by considering the specific phrase "receiving the Holy Spirit". That is the phrase used in the two passages in question. Let's look at the other Scriptures that use the term "receive the Holy Spirit" in some form or another. After doing this, I hope to be able to get a good sense of what "receiving the Holy Spirit" would have meant to Luke as he wrote Acts; that will give us a handle on what he was referring to in the two passages in Acts.

My fundamental question at every point will be, "Does this passage use ‘receiving the Spirit' to refer to a salvation experience, or to an experience that comes subsequent to salvation?" My answer in every case will be that it seems to refer to a salvation experience — but I am going over things verse by verse so all can search these Scriptures and decide for themselves.

Here are all the verses in the NT that use some variant of the phrase "receiving the Spirit".

---
John 7:37-39

... Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
---

I think this describes the experience of any saved person after Pentecost. It says "He who believes in me" and "those who believed in Him", emphasizing that this is the common privilege of all believers. It connects the receiving of the Spirit with living water, which I take to be related to having eternal life. At the same time, it explicitly clarifies the distinction between what was true of believers before and after the glorification of Jesus, i.e., before and after Pentecost. It seems to view Pentecost as the watershed event between two different ways in which the Holy Spirit deals with believers. The emphasis is on the Spirit's ability to quench our spiritual thirst (more than, say, on spiritual power).

---
John 14:16-17

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
---

Here the emphasis is on the Spirit in us as a Helper or Comforter. Again it seems to be related to the basic salvation experience for all believers. Christ compares it with His own presence (in previous verses), and says "that He may be with you forever" (as opposed to Jesus' physical presence with them, which was about to end). When Jesus said "He abides with you", He didn't mean Himself, standing before them, but the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who was already guiding their lives — but nonetheless He refers to a change in the way the Holy Spirit relates to them and they to Him. Similarly the Holy Spirit works in the lives of unbelievers, but He does not abide in them eternally the way He does in believers. We acknowledge this fundamental truth about being saved every time we talk of asking Christ into your heart.

Once again there is a clear distinction drawn between the way the disciples experienced their walk with God THEN, during Christ's earthly ministry, and they way they would experience Him later, when the Holy Spirit came in a new way to them.

---
John 20:21-23

Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; but if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
---

I have to admit, this one is the most confusing for me. I don't see how it can mean that they received the Holy Spirit at this point, when so many of the other Scriptures emphasize that it would happen after Jesus was glorified. It's also not clear why this is paired with the next verse about forgiving and retaining sins.

My current understanding is this: Jesus was giving a sort of a benediction or blessing. I think when He breathed on them, that wasn't the actual receiving of the Spirit but a symbol of what would eventually happen. It was similar in some ways to Jesus' actions in instituting the Lord's supper, where He held up the glass of wine and said "This is my blood." In this case, He breathed on them as a sort of ceremony to impress on them that they had His authority to receive the Holy Spirit. Then connected with that, He gave them special authority with the forgiving/retaining sins statement. Both of these things were connected with the general preparation He was giving His apostles in the period between His resurrection and Pentecost.

I see this, then, as Jesus' seal of authority on the apostles (and the church, by extension) to receive the Spirit.

---
Acts 2:33

Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
---

I include this because it uses "receive" and "Spirit" in the same sentence, but of course this verse is not really talking about receiving the Spirit in the sense we've been discussing; it is talking about JESUS receiving from the Father the "permission" to give the Spirit to His followers. This is the heavenly counterpart of John 20:21-23, and the fulfillment of John 7:37-39 and 14:16-17.

By "this which you both see and hear" Peter means the events of that first Pentecost (2:1-4) — a noise like a big wind, tongues of fire on appearing above the disciples, everyone there speaking in tongues.

Peter's sermon says "What is happening? The Holy Spirit is revealing His presence. He is now indwelling the believers here. What does this mean? It means that Jesus has been glorified (‘made both Lord and Christ') and has poured the Spirit out." Then he adds "You are guilty of crucifying Him," and when they are convicted to the heart and ask "What should we do?" we come to the next set of verses ...

---
Acts 2:38-39

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself."
---

Peter says, in essence, "Repent, become followers of Christ, and you will receive the same Holy Spirit. This is being offered to you right now by Jesus."

First, let's deal with why Peter says they should be baptized (in water). He is doing something similar to Billy Graham when he asks people to come down the aisle to receive Christ. Billy Graham doesn't mean to imply that people can't get saved without coming down the aisle — but in the context of a crusade, that is the most natural and appropriate means of expressing a new belief in Christ. In the same way, Peter means "show that you want to be followers of Christ; respond to the invitation I'm giving". Baptism might be considered God's divinely appointed altar call. Peter didn't mean that water baptism is essential to salvation.

Second, to what does Peter refer when he says "you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" and "the promise is for ... as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself"? In the context, He is inviting them to participate in the outpouring of the Spirit which Jesus has given, by becoming followers of Christ. It comes straight out of the demonstration of the Spirit's presence in the Pentecostal signs, it occurs right in the middle of a presentation of the gospel, and it leads to a report of how many people got saved.

I am convinced the most straightforward way to read this is that receiving the Holy Spirit is offered to all in salvation — those who become followers of Jesus will receive it. The promise is for them all.

More to come in part 2 ...

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 2

Posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:06 p.m., in response to Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 1, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:00 p.m.

Hi All,

Continued from part 1.

---
Acts 10:44-47

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?"
---

The context of the whole story is the extension of the gospel to Gentiles. It amazed both Peter and the others that God would not only save Gentile believers but even give them a full part of that salvation, including the Holy Spirit Himself. Peter says "how can we refuse water baptism for them now", since it has become clear that they must be saved, or they could never have been given the Holy Spirit. Again, it seems most straightforward to see this as speaking of salvation itself. Of course, I need to be clear — Cornelius and the others, like the apostles before Pentecost, were probably already children of God, already saved (since he apparently trusted in the true God of Israel, even as a Gentile: see 10:2,4 etc) — but only in an Old Testament sense. They hadn't yet heard the gospel, weren't yet indwelt by the Spirit of God.

The fact that they spoke in tongues is mentioned as a parenthetical comment to explain how the others knew they'd received the Holy Spirit, since otherwise it would've been invisible.

Notice all the different terms that are used almost synonymously here. The Holy Spirit fell upon them; the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them; they received the Holy Spirit. The event is linked back to the apostles' own experience: "just as we did" — this reads most naturally as pointing back to Pentecost, not to earlier times in the walk with the Lord in His earthly ministry.

I have a friend who was worried about whether water baptism was necessary for salvation, and the Lord led him to this verse coupled with the one in John 14:16-17 where it says the world cannot receive the Spirit. Clearly Cornelius et al were saved and filled with the Spirit before being baptized in water.

---
Romans 8:15-16

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
---

This clearly points to salvation. Those who have received this Spirit are the true adopted children of God. The context supports this (v 9,14,17). Note the related phrases in the immediate context: being in the Spirit, having the Spirit dwell in you, having the Spirit of Christ, being led by the Spirit.

---
1 Corinthians 2:11-12

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God ...
---

Paul says that since the Spirit in us is God's Spirit, He knows the mind of God as completely and fully as we know our own minds. We have God Himself thinking in us, and that is why we have the ability to perceive spiritual truth. There's no good reason not to assume this happens at salvation.

---
Galatians 3:1-3, 13-14

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

... Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law ... that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
---

Again, this refers to salvation. Receiving the Spirit is "having BEGUN by the Spirit", i.e., it refers to the very beginning of their Christian life. When he speaks of hearing with faith, in context he means hearing about Jesus' atoning death. He is saying that since we received salvation, with all its benefits — including the indwelling Spirit — by faith, having decided that our works would not suffice, it is foolish to switch back to a works-based approach afterwards. Verses 13 and 14 summarize the preceding arguments by emphasizing that through Christ Gentiles receive the opportunity of receiving the Spirit (i.e., salvation) through faith.

SO ... except for Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:1-6, I would lean towards the idea that "receiving the Spirit" refers to what happens at salvation. Notice that at Pentecost and at Cornelius' house this happened to believers AFTER they were already faithful followers of God, they just hadn't entered into the experience of New-Testament-style salvation.

More to come in part 3

In Him,
Kevin


Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter

Posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:09 p.m., in response to Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 2, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:06 p.m.

Hi All,

Continued from part 2.

Let's take a look at the two problem passages, starting with Acts 19:1-6.

Actually, I'm going to start back in chapter 18:

---
Acts 18:24-19:6

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, ... came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures ... had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to go across to Achaia ... he helped greatly those who had believed through grace, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul ... came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
---

First, trace the chronology here. Apollos started at Ephesus, knowing "the way of the Lord" accurately, but only as far as it was concerning "the baptism of John". Priscilla and Aquila taught him the rest of the facts, which he apparently accepted willingly. Soon he moved to Achaia (that is, Corinth), where he boldly argued for the gospel, now with a fuller understanding. In the meantime, Paul came back to Ephesus and found some disciples who only knew the things acquainted with the baptism of John. Now the passage doesn't spell it right out, but it's reasonable to assume that these disciples were the products of Apollos' ministry in Ephesus — BEFORE he learned more of the truth about the Lord.

Second, let's ask, what did these disciples believe? What had Apollos been teaching, and what did they themselves believe? Apollos "knew the Scriptures", so he probably had a very good grasp on the OT prophecies about the Messiah. He was "acquainted ... with the baptism of John" and the disciples were baptized with John's baptism. John the Baptist emphasized the need to be personally repent and prepare for the Messiah who was coming very soon. His baptism gave his followers an opportunity to publicly identify themselves as repentant of their sins and serious about returning to God, to show that they were waiting expectantly for the Messiah.

It also says Apollos was teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus (although it qualifies that by limiting it to "being acquainted only with the baptism of John"). For a while I thought that Apollos only knew about Jesus as "the coming Messiah", without realizing that Jesus of Nazareth was Him. But I've changed my mind about that — I think Apollos probably knew some about Jesus' life. One reason is, Luke doesn't say "the things concerning the Messiah" but "the things concerning Jesus". A second reason is, John the Baptist himself identified Jesus as the Messiah (I think? John 1:29 for instance, although he seems to have had doubts later), and a third is, it wouldn't have been very easy to have followed John and NOT known about Jesus the Nazarene. Their ministries were closely connected for awhile (they were cousins after all) and occurred in the same area. I think a better guess is that Apollos knew quite a bit about Jesus' earthly ministry — about his signs and miracles, about much of his ethical teaching, about his claims to be the Messiah. When it says Apollos was instructed in "the way of the Lord", I think that emphasizes Jesus' ethical teaching.

Still, there are clearly some things Apollos DIDN'T know, or Priscilla and Aquila wouldn't have had anything to straighten out. His disciples in Ephesus hadn't even HEARD of the Holy Spirit. They apparently had never been baptized into the name of Jesus. I suspect that what they didn't know was anything connected with the Great Commission, i.e., everything Jesus told His disciples to preach after His death and resurrection. If you compare the passages that discuss the period between the resurrection and Pentecost, you see Jesus shifted gears, so to speak, with the apostles. He gave them a new message, a new mission, different from that they'd had before Compare Matthew 10 with Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:25-27,44-49; John 20:21-23,29; Acts 1:2-8. This new message was echoed in all the sermons in Acts by Peter, Stephen, Paul etc. It consisted of preaching that Jesus died for our sins, was raised from the dead, would come again soon to judge the world, and that those who wanted to become his followers should be baptized in His name and continue to live by His principles; and that they would gain forgiveness and eternal life and receive the Holy Spirit I think these are the things the disciples at Ephesus did not know — they hadn't heard about Jesus' atoning death and resurrection, about being baptized into His name, about the deeds and preaching of the apostles in Jerusalem. In short, they knew nothing about the aspects of salvation and following Jesus which related to the New Covenant. Like other disciples of Jesus during His earthly ministry, they believed He was the Messiah; they had heard some of His teachings and tried to live by them; but they had never come to terms with the atonement.

The conversation in Acts 19:2-4 is of course a short summary of a much longer discussion. Paul didn't just ask "did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" — he probably assumed they had and began to talk about something related to it, and they said, "Whoaaa... what are you talking about?" Then Paul said, "Didn't you receive the Holy Spirit?" and they said "We don't even know that there IS a Holy Spirit." This doesn't sound like believers who had previously received the Holy Spirit in ANY sense! And so Paul immediately tried to find out whether they were believers at all — "into what were you baptized?" (By this Paul meant their PHYSICAL baptism. He meant, if you were baptized as followers of Jesus, then how in the world were you NOT taught about the Holy Spirit? After all, the water baptism was a symbol of the spiritual baptism.) So in effect he asked, "Wait a minute. What did you do when you became ‘disciples'?" They told him, "John's baptism." Aha! That clarified things, and he went ahead and explained the gospel further. Verse 4, again, is almost certainly a simply a brief summary of what Paul actually said — he must have had a fairly lengthy discussion with them, explaining all the aspects of Christianity they hadn't heard about. Then he baptized them in water in the name of Jesus — their first chance to officially and publicly declare themselves followers of Jesus with a full knowledge of the gospel. At that time, they received the Spirit as well.

Were they saved before Paul got there? Well, they were saved as much as the disciples were saved before Pentecost or Cornelius before Acts 10. In a word: yes. They were saved in the OT sense.

This view seems to me to take more seriously the claims that they didn't even know what the Holy Spirit was, and Paul's immediate enquiry into whether they'd even been baptized in the name of Christ at all. If this were a matter of a second blessing, and something Paul frequently encountered in his travels, the whole episode would've gone a little differently.

Finally ...

---
Acts 8:14-17

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
---

First, the believers had "received the word of God", which in this context means the gospel. Unlike those in Acts 19, they had heard the whole truth of the death and resurrection of Christ. They had "been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus". Second, somebody somehow realized that they hadn't received the Holy Spirit, and as a result the apostles specifically laid hands on them and prayed for them. According to 8:6,10, whole multitudes were listening attentively to Philip, and the implication of that and verse 12 is that many people were being baptized — not just 12 men, as in Acts 19, but perhaps many more than that. Yet it seems clear that Peter and John individually laid hands on each one and prayed for them, especially in light of Simon's request to buy that power.

The really significant thing here is not just that they hadn't received the Spirit, but that apparently Philip, who had done signs and wonders and preached the gospel with great effect, was unable to do anything to help them receive the Spirit. It took the apostles — Peter and John — coming down and laying hands on people for them to receive the Spirit. This wasn't a simple matter of Christians not realizing what was available to them in Christ. It's even possible that the very reason Peter and John came down was to do this, which would doubly emphasize the unusualness of this situation. (Although actually I suspect the idea is that Peter and John came down to see how things were going, to inspect what was going on, and when they got there they realized the need for people to receive the Holy Spirit.)

If we faced truly similar situations today — perhaps, as William said, in "current situations where the evangelism of the lost was occurring" — it would mean that the only way Christians in the new area were able to receive the Holy Spirit in this deeper sense was through having the original missionaries personally lay hands on them. I don't think that's what William or Merritt or anyone else really believes, is it?

On the contrary, while a lot of you out there would tell a Christian "you are saved, yes, but there's something more available for you — the baptism of the Holy Spirit — if you'll just receive it", and while a lot of the rest of us would say to the same Christian "you are saved, yes, but you don't realize what you were given at that time — the baptism of the Holy Spirit — and how it can affect your life, if you'll just believe that it's been given to you", what ALL OF US agree on is that every believer has the full resources of the Spirit's power available to him. None of us believes that we need certain special believers to come and pray for us to receive the Spirit in a deeper sense.

So I think we have to conclude that the Acts 8 passage is talking about an unusual situation, not the norm. The question then becomes, what was happening here? Why did these people find themselves unable to receive the Spirit (in whatever sense it was meant) except when the apostles themselves came down and prayed for them?

I don't have a sure answer, but I have a suggestion. I think that verses like John 20:23, and Matthew 16:19 are referring (partially at least) to a special authority that God left in the hands of the church and specifically the twelve and possibly mainly Peter. I think that in the plan of God "the twelve" played a special role in the development of the church which was quite different from the role of other believers. This difference is really evident in the first few chapters of Acts, if you read it through looking for the differences that it points out between the apostles and the other believers. I think that God honored this setup by waiting until the apostles came to Samaria before He poured out the Holy Spirit there. Two chapters later Peter went to the house of a Gentile and God poured out the Spirit on Gentiles too. So the pattern seems to be that the twelve (mainly Peter) were the first to offer the gospel to the Jews (Acts 2), the first to confirm its offer to the Samaritans (Acts Cool and the first to offer it to the Gentiles (Acts 10). There's no evidence of further need for such steps. I realize this sounds a little Catholic (with its emphasis on Peter's special role) but only a little — I'm still a died-in-the-wool Protestant! (* grin *)

In any case, since what the Samaritans faced was really out of the ordinary anyway — since they were held back from the full blessing of the Holy Spirit until the apostles visited — I see no need and no reason to suppose that they got "half the blessing" when they were converted. It makes more sense to me to assume God did not give them the Spirit at all when they professed Christ but waited until Peter and John came down. Then He replayed Pentecost in the lives of these believers, one person at a time.

OK ... anyway, that's essentially why I don't believe that Acts 8 and Acts 19 refer to a second blessing of the Holy Spirit that is separate from salvation. I realize that most of my arguments depend on nuances of interpretation in each of the passages. It's quite possible to go through every verse I quoted and interpret in a way that supports the second blessing doctrine. Most of those interpretations seem forced to me, but I suppose my interpretations could seem forced to some of you. All I can do is interpret each passage as naturally as possible, as I see it, trying to avoid reading my own presuppositions into it.

I also want to re-emphasize in closing that I in am in full agreement with the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I just happen to believe that any experience we have of it is grounded in something which actually took place when we were first saved. I realize that many times a Christian IN PRACTICE does not move into the full blessing available until later on in his life.

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Re: Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter

Posted by Corrine on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 11:50 p.m., in response to Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:09 p.m.

I would like to "fill in" for Merritt, but I am not as eloquent as he is, but since he had to go to bed to get up early for work, I am going to try to pass along a few things we have discussed.

1. The "birth of the church" actually took place on the day Jesus breathed on the disciples. John 20:22 "And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' " NOT on the day of Pentecost, as so many choose to believe. Jesus told them, in Acts 1:4-5, "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Later he says to them in Acts 1:7-8, "He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' " The believer does not receive the power from the Holy Spirit except through the baptism.

2. You have not been able to give an explanation for the incident at Cornelius' house and the other one (I'm sorry I don't remember the incident right now.) where they receive the baptism separate from their being saved. Merritt said that if he was not already baptized in the Holy Spirit, he would be very confused with your teaching.

3. Finallly, why not ask God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues and see if it is separate? What better way to find out which is true? We are not issuing a challenge, just suggesting that if you completely yield yourself to God, He will show you and let you experience for yourself. I doesn't take the laying on of hands to receive it. Merritt's Mother did it on her own in private. The laying on of hands is just one way. What it really takes is faith to believe that God will give it to you. If you want it, it is yours. Take that step of faith.

I hope you understand that we do not want to argue. We just want to make sure there is no confusion. Unexplained scriptures cause confusion.

God Bless you, and I will be praying for you for understanding.

In Christ Jesus, my All in All

Corrine


The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!

Posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 7:29 a.m., in response to Re: Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter, posted by Corrine on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 11:50 p.m.

I believe that we receive the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. I also believe during New Testament times, through the laying on of hands by the APOSTLES (as indicated in scripture), that certain individuals received special powerful gifts from on high for the purpose of spreading the church.

The Holy Spirit descended on the l2 at Pentecost (I know some believe it is more, but Jesus told the l2 to wait, and it was the 12 that were filled with the Spirit and began to preach.) The twelve then laid hands on believers at which time they began to speak in tongues as a sign to unbelieving Jews as recorded in scripture.

About the chocolate shake analogy:

I once heard someone give a talk on the Holy Spirit (I'd give him credit if I could remember his name!) and this is how he described the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

At the point of our salvation, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. You don't get a little now and more later, just like you can't be a little bit saved and then more saved, or a little bit pregnant or more pregnant! You're either indwelled by the Holy Spirit or you aren't! Period. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, and when we keep that in mind, rather than think of Him as some "power" or "force" like in Star Wars (!!!), it is easier to understand that we don't get more of Him or less of Him!

Imagine that you are a glass of milk and someone pours chocolate into your glass. If it's not stirred, it's still a glass of milk with chocolate in it, but it doesn't taste very "chocolatey"! Now, stir the milk! It tastes "chocolatey"!

I believe the "shaking" up is a lot like our lives. Sometimes we need shaking up!

Sincerely in Christ
and indwelled by the Holy Spirit,
Joni


oops! Jesus told the "eleven" to wait, not the "twelve"! nt

Posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 12:10 p.m., in response to The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!, posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 7:29 a.m.

nt


Re: Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter

Posted by Jan on Tuesday, 4 August 1998, at 12:33 a.m., in response to Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter, posted by Kevin & Kate Megill on Sunday, 2 August 1998, at 10:09 p.m.

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for an excellent study on receiving the Holy Spirit.
My experience is not profound and I haven't researched as well as Kevin.
When I became a Christian, age 9, I knew nothing about the power of Christ. I just knew the few stories I learned in Sunday School. Over the years our family drifted from church. I became an agnostic.
At the age of 20, and after some family and personal difficulties, I had a rededication to the Lord. Not by my doing, however, God came to me. I sensed His presence while in a prayer meeting, so strongly that I believed if I looked up I would physically see Him.
He overwhelmed me and delivered me, immediately, from many sins and harmful vices. With in days I was a new person.
During the first two weeks (in the throes of the lightening bolt experience) I attended a revival at a local pentacostal church. Great messages! A very exciting time. The preacher was telling us that if we desire to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit to simply ask and we would receive. I was so full of the Lord then that I really wanted this gift. I spent hours praying to receive this gift, I prefaced that prayer with "if it be Thy will Lord."
I never received a gift of tongues but was filled with the Spirit.
Through my Christian life I have prayed many times to be filled with the Spirit but I have never been expecting or asking for tongues. I only wished that the Lord would use me in a very special way for that particular time. This is usually when witnessing, or when having a discipleship meeting with a new Christian. God has always answered and filled me, I experience love, power, confidence and a clear mind. I can recall verses that I sometimes believe I have forgotten. Praise God!
This is the manifestation of God's Spirit.

On a sad note, I have a life long family friend who although is a Christian and attends a good church, and she speaks in tongues, feverishly at every Sunday service, lives in complete and shameless sin throughout the week.
My point in saying this is only that people can be deceived and I believe this friend is. I love her and am sorry that she rests in her experience on Sundays. She relies and trusts her very real experience as an indication that she has somehow "arrived".

I do not by any means define people with the precious gift of tongues by my friend's behavior.

Jan


I completely agree! Thank you for making it easy to understand! (nt)

Posted by Lisa TX on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 1:45 p.m., in response to The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!, posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 7:29 a.m.

nt


I think this is a very balanced view! (nt)

Posted by Lisa TX on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 1:48 p.m., in response to Re: Receiving the Holy Spirit - A Study Part 3 - The final chapter, posted by Jan on Tuesday, 4 August 1998, at 12:33 a.m.

ntnt


Re: The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!

Posted by Jayne Bennett on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 5:18 p.m., in response to The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!, posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 7:29 a.m.

Great analogy Joni! I've always thought of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a gift within a gift. Salvation being the larger of the two. When we get saved we're given the gift. It just takes some longer to get around to opening the smaller package. Some never do. Isn't that sad?

I like getting gifts. Especially if they're chocolate! :^)))

The chocolate is stirred in my milk,
Jayne


Think about it next time you're in the tub!

Posted by Jayne Bennett on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 5:41 p.m., in response to The "chocolate milk" analogy and the Holy Spirit!, posted by joni on Monday, 3 August 1998, at 7:29 a.m.

I just recalled an analogy I considered somewhat silly at the time (a brand new baby in the Lord)although it made perfect sense to me then and still does. (note: I was taking a shower)
here goes:
Jesus being the shampoo that washes away my sin; the Holy Spirit being the conditioner that, when used properly, causes the hair to shine and remain "tangle free". Conditioner not used properly can cause one's hair to get pretty yucky pretty fast and it's not very pleasant to behold. Shampoo not used often enough can cause the same appearance!

I love taking "showers",
Jayne


Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 6:22 p.m., in response to Think about it next time you're in the tub!, posted by Jayne Bennett on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 5:41 p.m.

Hi Jayne,

You wrote:

> .... the Holy Spirit being
> the conditioner that, when used properly, causes the hair to shine
> and remain "tangle free". Conditioner not used properly can cause
> one's hair to get pretty yucky pretty fast and it's not very pleasant
> to behold.

I think we need to be VERY careful how we speak of the Holy Spirit...and make a distinction between the Holy Spirit Himself and the human vessels that sometimes misuse their gifts. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the *Holy Spirit* to be "not used properly". We don't "use" the Holy Spirit, He uses us.

Can the Gifts of the Holy Spirit be counterfeited? Certainly! Is it possible for people to get in the "flesh" and not use gifts in wisdom? Absolutely! Jesus Himself even said in Matthew 7:22-23 that "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

The Lord also so clearly desired that the Holy Spirit be honored and respected that He said in Matthew 12:31-32 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

He spoke these words in response to those who were charging the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil --a dangerous situation!

I'm sure you meant to refer to the abuse of the gifts, rather than the Gift Giver (the Holy Spirit), but I just wanted to be sure to point out the seriousness of confusing the two.

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Re: Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Posted by Jayne Bennett on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 9:01 a.m., in response to Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 6:22 p.m.

Hello Tamara,

You wrote:
>> It is IMPOSSIBLE for the *Holy Spirit* to be "not used properly". We don't "use" the Holy Spirit, He uses us. > I'm sure you meant to refer to the abuse of the gifts, rather than the Gift Giver (the Holy Spirit), <<
Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for clarifying that.

And for further clarification we use shampoo, we don't 'use' Jesus.

My analogy was, I believe, given me by God. It was given at a time I was seeking an answer to the question, "Is the Holy Spirit at work today?" A baby in the Lord, I had just been told by a pastor that the Holy Spirit, was not at work today, in fact, I was told any manifestation, tongues, prophesy, etc., would be the work of the devil.

You gotta understand I was confused, to say the very least. Here I had read and accepted the Truth of this Wonderful Book, was seeking a place where I assumed there would be others who believed The Bible, and I'm told not to believe this particular portion. Hmmmmm...

So, what was God saying to me? Like horse and carriage, shoe and sock, shampoo and conditioner, Jesus and the Holy Spirit go together. The pastor was wrong- that was not the place to attend. (we were lead to an AG congregation)

Thanks for the reminder to clarify. Sometimes I forget that others -can't- read my mind and I should make sure I make myself clear when I speak or write stuff down.

In Him whom I live for,
Jayne


Amen, Jayne! Praise God for the work of His Holy Spirit today! (nt.)

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 10:21 a.m., in response to Re: Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, posted by Jayne Bennett on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 9:01 a.m.

nt.


P.S. One more thing...*grin*

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 10:40 a.m., in response to Re: Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, posted by Jayne Bennett on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 9:01 a.m.

Jayne, one more thing I wanted to add...your explanation of the "background" behind your analogy helped me understand even more where you were coming from. Unfortunately, we've come across some professing Christians who are so against the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit, convinced that the Gifts of the Spirit are no longer valid for today, that they would practically mark out all references to the Holy Spirit and His Gifts from their bibles if they thought they could get away with it. God calls us all to be discerning but that doesn't mean we should jump to the extreme and reject everything just because some have fallen in error. How that must grieve the Holy Spirit --I know it grieves us! Thank you for your encouraging post!

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Re: Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Posted by Lisa TX on Thursday, 6 August 1998, at 11:07 p.m., in response to Respecting the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Wednesday, 5 August 1998, at 6:22 p.m.

Thank you so much for pointing out that passage, Tamara! I have been struggling for a little while now about something someone who left my church said. He was not sure the manifestations of the Spirit he saw there were real.

Until I had that conversation with him, I was just fine with my church. I still love it, but that conversation haunts me. My friend now goes to a church where the gifts are not practiced nearly as much.

I honestly believe our church is not "abusing the gifts," but I let this conversation bring doubts to my mind. The passage you pointed out really helped clarify things for me. I do not want to be guilty of saying the Spirit's work is of Satan!

Thank you for helping bring peace to my mind!

 Topic: The Unpardonable Sin
The Unpardonable Sin [message #234224] Sun, 04 March 2007 22:49
CHFWeb
Messages: 76
Registered: April 2005
Member

Unpardonable Sin

Posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

I have been very troubled the last several weeks over something....

I attended a children's church service with my kids at a local church I was visiting. During the service, the youth pastor asked the children if they wanted a special touch from the Lord. About 20 or more went up and he laid hands on them and every single one fell down on the ground one by one. 2 of the adult helpers fell down as well, leaving the rest of the children unattended (except by me and the youth pastor) and rather rowdy. Some of the children who were laying on the floor up front were lifting up their heads and peeking around and then laying down again. Towards the end of the service, the youth pastor told them that Jesus doesn't mind if they just fall down because their friends do it. I was troubled by this and I don't know why... coming from a Pentecostal background, this ordinarily wouldn't be unusual, but I had never seen this kind of thing with so many young children before and had never heard that sort of comment from a pastor.

The problem doesn't lie with them, it lies with me. I came home and talked to my husband about it, because I wasn't convinced that all of what took place was genuine and said so out loud.

I'm so upset to have even said anything out of my mouth, even to my dh....I may have committed the unpardonable sin by questioning the goings on at this nice church (who am I to question these things?...I don't even know why I did) I feel horrible... I don't know what to do...

Do any of you have any scriptures to lead me to or any advice? How do you know if you've stepped over the line? How do you know that you've committed the unpardonable sin? Am I doomed? I'm so scared!


Christian lobotomy?

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 18 November 1998, at 12:04 a.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

Hi,

One thing is for sure, you didn't commit the "unpardonable sin". (For a number of reasons, primarily, you didn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit.)

You said:

"""The problem doesn't lie with them, it lies with me. I came home and talked to my husband about it, because I wasn't convinced that all of what took place was genuine and said so out loud. I'm so upset to have even said anything out of my mouth, even to my dh....I may have committed the unpardonable sin by questioning the goings on at this nice church (who am I to question these things?...I don't even know why I did) I feel horrible... I don't know what to do... """

You bring up an interesting dilemma that plagues Christians everywhere: Do we use our brains, or not?

When God created us, He could have easily created a race of robots that would act and react to every situation in a predictable way, using a preconceived set of instructions.

Instead, He choose to create us with a brain capable of discernment and choice.

We all know the mistakes that can be made if that mind isn't subject to God and to His will, *but* do we really understand that the mind is just as capable of right-choices --if we are walking in the light?

God never intended that the wonderful gift of volition be viewed as something negative, something that we should seek-at-all-costs to avoid using.

No, He has given us minds to be used for His glory. It brings Him no glory when we don't use our minds in situations (such as the one you mentioned) and follow blindly a course of action without careful thought. How else do we think God is going to lead us? Are we to expect Him to speak audibly whenever there is a dangerous situation? Usually He expects us to put two and two together, and not plunge head-long into something when we aren't sure that it is His will.

It's the enemy of our souls who shouts "UNPARDONABLE SIN!" when we question something that we are not sure about. Do we seriously think that God is pleased when we blank our minds and follow every wind of doctrine that blows our way? I think not.

Satan needs a passive mind to be able to effectively work his devices, and if he can also promote the idea that a passive mind is a "spiritual" mind then he has achieved a great victory.

When we use our *redeemed* minds, to make judgments, discern His will, and question things we don't understand, we are doing exactly what God intended.

My point being that you should never over-ride concerns. If you are growing in the knowledge of God's Word, your mind (through decisions, judgments, etc.) is going to be the primary way that He leads and ultimately keeps you from disaster.

Ok, up until this point I haven't commented on the specific situation that brought this about (the youth pastor's actions) only the problem that you said was within yourself-- your attitudes, etc.. But concerning the "laying on of hands", I personally wouldn't let anyone lay hands on me, or my children, unless I was certain of the source--both the message and the messenger.

William


Re: Our minds, God's Creation

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 18 November 1998, at 12:17 a.m., in response to Christian lobotomy?, posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 18 November 1998, at 12:04 a.m.

For an in-depth study on this topic you might want to check out the book: WAR ON THE SAINTS by Jessie Penn-Lewis. It is available in the bookstore for $4.79.

It is one of the most insightful books that I've ever read concerning the relation between Christianity and Volition.

Here is the link:

http://www.chfweb.net/biblebook.html#spiritualwarfare

URL Suggested: <Title: Bookstore>


Re: Unpardonable Sin

Posted by Valerie on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 12:15 a.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

Dear Anon,
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation, did you know that you were sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day He brings you home - into His presence, forever? Picture the canning process - The jar is completely purified and cleansed before anything can be put in it, then once it is filled it is sealed to keep all contaminates out and that which remains inside is pure till the seal is broken and the jar opened.

You have been made pure by the blood of Jesus and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. To reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you would be unpardonable. What would be left to save you? Nothing. That's what makes it unpardonable. By questioning things you either don't understand or that are confusing to you is absolutely not rejecting the blood of Jesus Christ for your salvation.

You have been given the Holy Spirit which will guide you and teach you - you may reserve the right to question anything or any teaching from anyone, so long as it is done in a humble spirit before God where you are open to receiving His revelation of truth. And this truth He will reveal to you through His Word - and He will reveal it to you in His time. We are to depend on the Holy Spirit and His Word in this way *so that* we will not be led astray. You were being honest, and that is exactly what we should be, while allowing Him to reveal His truths to us.

With love and prayers,
Valerie


Re: Unpardonable Sin

Posted by Janet, MD on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 4:04 p.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

I believe the others have phrased my thoughts more eloquently, but I still feel the need to express my thoughts.

Is the Lord glorified in action we do simply because our friends do? I am uncomfortable with that concept and the pastor that encourages such behavior. Yes the movement of the Spirit in our lives can bring us to our knees, but the Spirit doesn't move us all in the same way.

I believe I hear you saying, I want my children to move where the Spirit moves them, not as some one tells them to move. I agree, let them learn through the teachings of His word and His Spirit, not through the words of men.

MHO
Janet


A study of the unpardonable sin

Posted by Kevin Megill on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 6:34 p.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

Hi,

Amen! I agree with Valerie that the unpardonable sin is "to reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you". Here are my reasons ...

---

A study on the unpardonable sin.

Passages to look at:

Matthew 12:22-45 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verses 31-32).
Mark 3:20-30 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verses 28-30).
Luke 11:14-12:12 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verse 10).

Jesus' teaching about the unpardonable sin happened in the middle of some other incidents and some other teachings of Jesus. Each of the three gospels presents a different mix of these events. Let's start by listing the basic pattern of events and teachings from each passage, concentrating on the CORE IDEAS of each teaching. Afterwards, we'll draw some conclusions about what the unpardonable sin means.

---

The passage in Mark is the shortest, and proceeds as follows:

1. Jesus was teaching and performing miracles, and the crowd's response was huge.
2. Jesus' family's response was to be embarrassed for him and to try to take custody of him and bring him home.
3. The response of the scribes was to say "He is possessed by Beelzebub" and "He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons".
4. Jesus gave the parable of the strong man. (I.e., Satan would not be doing the things Jesus was doing, it'd be undermining his own kingdom!)
5. Jesus mentioned the unforgivable sin:

"Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin ..."

The passage adds that he said this because they were saying "He has an unclean spirit".

What are the core spiritual principles involved?
1. The core issue seems to be how people were responding to Jesus' obviously supernatural ministry. The crowd flocked to him. His family was embarrassed. The Pharisees attributed it to Satan.

2. Jesus' response to the Pharisees was first a teaching and second a warning.

a. The teaching emphasized the clear purpose and effect of his healing -- not just to show power, but to deliver people from Satan. Jesus was saying they needed to look at the fruit, and notice that this was of God, not Satan, because it was destroying Satan's kingdom, not building it up.

b. The warning emphasized two classes of sins. First, that all other sins and blasphemies could be forgiven, no matter what they were. Second, that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was unforgivable. The implication of the words "but is guilty of an eternal sin" seems to show that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is by its very nature a much more serious sin than merely general blasphemy.

The Scripture says that he said this "BECAUSE they were saying ‘He has an unclean spirit'", so apparently what they were saying was connected with blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

---

Now Matthew 12:22-45

1. Jesus was teaching and performing miracles, and the crowd responded in amazement.
2. The response of the Pharisees was to say "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons."
3. Jesus gave the parable of the strong man. This time, though, in the middle of the parable, we get these words:

"But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

4. Jesus says:

"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he does not gather with Me scatters."

5. Jesus mentions the unforgivable sin:

"Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come."

6. Jesus emphasizes that evil speech is an indication of an evil heart.

First he says, "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit." Then he emphasizes that the Pharisees cannot say what is right, since their hearts are wrong, and warns them of eventual judgment.

7. The Pharisees ask for a sign (38ff ). Jesus responds by rebuking them for their unbelieving response to the clear evidence of His Messiahship and warns them of coming judgment.

8. Jesus gives the parable of the unoccupied house (when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, ... it returns and the last state is worse than the first ...)

What are the core spiritual principles involved?
1. That Jesus' Messiahship was clearly in evidence.
2. That the Pharisees rejected that evidence.
3. That they did this because their HEARTS were wrong.
4. That rejection of the Messiah was going to lead inevitably to judgment.

Everything in the passage reinforces these basic principles.

The parable of the strong man shows, as in Mark, that Jesus is not acting in cooperation with Satan. But the really significant thing is the statement in verse 28, where Jesus turns the parable around and asks, "Suppose that I do things by the Spirit of God, and NOT by Satan? What would be the implication?" He emphasizes that that would mean THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAD COME UPON THEM -- i.e., they were being given an amazing opportunity and rejecting it meant rejecting the kingdom of God, meant rejecting the Messiah.

Two verses later, he says "He who is not with Me is against Me". Jesus' point was that the Pharisees HAD to make a choice -- not to accept Him for who He was meant judgment for rejecting Him.

In mentioning the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit He again distinguishes between OTHER blasphemy and that. In particular, He mentions that they can be forgiven for blaspheming against the Son of Man. He emphasizes the eternal nature of blasphemy against the Spirit.

Next, He talked about the way their words proved their hearts were wrong -- and that they needed to repent at a heart level to be right with God. Whatever the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit involves, it is connected with a wrong HEART response to God, not merely the wrong words.

In verses 43-45 He emphasized that men are given a WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY by the grace of God, and if they don't respond as they should during that time, their last state ends up worse than the first. If someone is set free from an unclean spirit, the purpose of that freedom is to lead them to the Holy Spirit, to let Him fill them instead. If they don't let Him have their lives, their is nothing left for them but to relapse back into worse bondage than ever.

Now, look at Luke, then we'll draw some conclusions.

---

Luke 11:14-12:12

The sequence of events:
1. Jesus was teaching and performing miracles, and the crowd marveled.
2. The response of the Pharisees was to say "This man casts out demons by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons."
3. The Pharisees also demanded a sign.
4. Jesus gave the parable of the strong man. In the middle of the parable, we get these words: "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
5. Jesus said: "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he does not gather with Me scatters."
6. Jesus gave the parable of the unoccupied house.
7. Jesus said the real blessing comes from obeying God.
8. Jesus reproved that generation for neglecting their opportunity.
9. Jesus gave the parable of the lamp.
10. Jesus reproved the Pharisees for their hypocrisy.
11. Jesus told his disciples to beware the Pharisees.
12. He encouraged them to trust God and not fear the Pharisees.
13. He talked about the importance of standing up for Him.

"... everyone who confesses me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

14. Now, in this context, Jesus mentioned the unpardonable sin:

"And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him."

What are the core principles?
1. Again, the overall theme is the opportunity that was available to the people and the Pharisees, and their slowness to take it. The Pharisees and the crowd were exhorted to respond with obedience instead of hypocrisy.
2. In chapter 12, the emphasis moves to the difference between true believers -- the disciples -- and the hypocritical Pharisees. Jesus emphasized that the disciples should be bold because it is being right with God that really matters.

Verses 8-9 emphasize that our eternal destiny depends on what we do with Christ, and whether we are willing to identify with Him or instead reject Him. Verse 10 clarifies -- even if someone denies the Son of Man, they can be forgiven, but the thing they must not do is to commit the sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit.

---

Conclusions.

First, we have a fundamental question to settle.

Had the Pharisees already committed the unpardonable sin?

They said that Jesus cast out demons by Satan's power, and thus accused Jesus of having "an unclean spirit". Mark makes it clear that it was because of this, and in reference to it, that Jesus made His statement about the unpardonable sin.

When Jesus distinguished between speaking against the Son of Man and speaking against the Holy Spirit, it sounds as though He was giving them a warning -- as though He was saying "Be careful! You may be able to speak against me, and be forgiven -- but you are coming perilously close to speaking against the Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven."

I think that Jesus was warning the Pharisees, not because they had ALREADY committed the unpardonable sin, but because they were CLOSE to doing so.

That means that merely saying "He is doing that by Satan", while it may have blasphemed Jesus, did not yet really constitute blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Which makes sense -- after all, the Pharisees weren't saying anything wrong about the Holy Spirit Himself, they were merely denying that Jesus was operating by His power.

But I do think the Pharisees were very close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

That means that we know the following.
1. The theme of all three passages was the people's need to respond to the window of opportunity they had to accept Jesus as Messiah.
2. As Matthew emphasized, the real question is not a person's words but his heart.
3. The Pharisees had not committed the unpardonable sin, but they were close to committing it.
4. Speaking against the Spirit was always sharply contrasted with speaking against the Son of Man.

Read those again -- carefully!

Let's take the first three points and bring them together. The people had a window of opportunity to respond to Jesus. Because the real question is one of the heart, their response to Jesus needed to be a heart response, not merely a verbal one. The Pharisees were close to committing the unpardonable sin because their hearts were so hard, because down deep they were shutting out the call of God to salvation.

Now why was speaking against the Spirit contrasted with speaking against the Son of Man? We need to remember that to those in that day, Jesus had not yet been revealed as the Second Person of the Trinity. They weren't thinking of Him yet as God in the flesh, but as a man SENT from God. When Jesus said "speaking against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but speaking against the Spirit of God cannot", they heard it as saying "You can reject God's messenger and be forgiven by God, but if you reject God Himself, how can you be forgiven?"

That is, "speaking against the Son of Man" represented an external reaction to the person and ministry of Jesus. "Speaking against the Holy Spirit" represented an internal, heart-level rejection of the work of God in one's life. Jesus was saying "Be careful! It's one thing, Pharisees, to speak against my ministry with your mouths. But if you are simultaneously rejecting the work of God in your hearts, you will have no hope. When you reject my miracles, you are on the verge of rejecting the One who does the miracles. To shut me out, you will have to shut out the Spirit. Every time you slander me, you also harden your heart inwardly against God's purpose for you. You close your window of opportunity. And THAT sin, the sin of rejecting the Spirit's call to salvation, is one for which you can never find forgiveness."

---

Application today:

1. As we witness, we need to be aware of the real issue -- people can reject our church, our moral convictions, our Bible, our Savior -- but all we really see is the angry words on the outside. The real question is what these words show about the state of their hearts. The Holy Spirit is knocking - - are they pushing Him away? Or are they willing to yield? We need to pray that people will have soft hearts before God. We need to warn them (if the timing is appropriate) that their heart response to God goes far beyond whether they accept or reject us as messengers.

It's instructive to consider hell in light of this teaching. The only people in hell will be those who've committed the unpardonable sin. The only unpardonable sin is to reject the forgiveness of God when He offers it by His Spirit. And that's a sin that people commit NOW, in their lifetime on earth, thus sealing their eternal destiny.

2. Clarifications.

a. While it is the inward response to the Spirit that defines the unforgivable sin, yet a person cannot accept salvation inwardly without accepting Christ outwardly. If someone rejects Christ, they show clear evidence that they aren't really saved. "...every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God" -- 1 John 4:4.

b. I'm not sure whether the unpardonable sin can happen in a single moment. Maybe it can. Or maybe it's a process in which a person continually hardens his heart, only reaching the point of no return when he dies.

3. While we as Christians can never commit the unpardonable sin, we can still learn from the principle involved. Whenever I find myself scoffing at someone who claims to speak or act by God's Spirit, I need to ask myself, "Is it possible that I am closing myself off against something God is trying to do?" We need to have open hearts and minds, be willing for God to do things in new ways. See Luke 5:38-39. Once we have searched our hearts and cultivated an open attitude, we have every right to test that person's claims by the Scripture. If they fail the test, we can confidently assume they are not speaking from the Holy Spirit. Wanting to be open doesn't mean I can throw discernment out the window!

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Re: Unpardonable Sin

Posted by Kim Frey on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 8:03 p.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

I also grew up in a Pentecostal church, and had a great fear of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I've come to understand that we are to have DISCERNMENT when it comes to things of the Spirit. Christians need to be careful not to allow an "anything goes" attitude. The Bible says to try the spirits (I John 4:1). Anything involving the Holy Spirit should give a Christian a feeling of peace, not confusion. God is not the author of confusion. (I Cor. 14:33) The uneasiness you felt may have been the Holy Spirit opening your eyes to error.


Am printing out--now, if you could just explain...

Posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 8:58 a.m., in response to A study of the unpardonable sin, posted by Kevin Megill on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 6:34 p.m.

that "touch not God's anointed" doesn't mean we can't disagree with certain teachings, maybe... I could have a discussion with my cousin who seems to think that any criticism or disagreement with any teaching is a BIG sin! Isn't that statement to be read literally -- it meant not to "physically" attack?

Thanks and God bless.

Joni


If I may say, peace is not the test of whether or not something is true.

Posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:08 a.m., in response to Re: Unpardonable Sin, posted by Kim Frey on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 8:03 p.m.

Peace is not the test of whether or not something is true.

I have felt strong, strong feelings of "peace" when involved in new age practices, and others can tell you the same thing. False religion can counterfeit just about every aspect of Christianity. Even "fruit" is not the test. If fruit were the test, I'd be Mormon. Grin!

Yes, Satan can counterfeit "peace" and "fruit"--watch out!

The scripture is the final word on whether on not something is from God.

Hope this doesn't sound too preachy!

God bless.
Joni


I don't agree!! Nothing can 'imitate' the peace of Christ!! HE alone can give me that kind of peace *warm fuzzies* Surprised) nt

Posted by Nicole WA on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:59 a.m., in response to If I may say, peace is not the test of whether or not something is true., posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:08 a.m.



Yes, but...

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:41 a.m., in response to I don't agree!! Nothing can 'imitate' the peace of Christ!! HE alone can give me that kind of peace *warm fuzzies* Surprised) nt, posted by Nicole WA on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:59 a.m.

In a sense you are right, ultimately nothing Satan imitates compares with the true peace of God. The same can be said for joy, etc..

But there are multitudes that do experience a type of peace (joy, etc.) that can be quite deceptive, especially if the person isn't familiar with God's true peace. Even if one has experienced the "peace of God" that passes all understanding this isn't a surety that such a person cannot be blinded by sin and accept something far less in a future encounter with Satan's wiles.

No "feeling", no matter how good it feels, should ever be a substitute for a knowledge (and understanding) of what God has already revealed about Himself, via the Scriptures. (As Joni points out!)

What do you think?

btw, Kevin, as usual, you have given us a lot to think about with your note above. I plan to jump in with a couple of questions later!

William


Hi joni . . .

Posted by Catherine on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 12:02 p.m., in response to If I may say, peace is not the test of whether or not something is true., posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:08 a.m.

You said . . .
Even "fruit" is not the test. If fruit were
the test, I'd be Mormon. Grin!

Yes, Satan can counterfeit "peace" and "fruit"--watch out!

/////////////////////////////////////////////
I don't completely agree.

Jesus said that we would know false prophets by
their fruit. Mt 7: 16 and then again in v. 20.

I think the tree analogy in this chapter conveys
the message that fruit takes time to be produced. So looking at the Mormons going door to door and their other individual "good deeds" is not really looking at the longer picture of the "tree" bearing fruit. (my opinion only, BTW)

I do agree that Satan counterfeits both fruit and peace and one can certainly believe they are at
"peace" when involved with a counterfeit. However,
there is NO comparison to the peace found from knowing our Savior!

God Bless.
Catherine


Thanks for the word, "ultimately" William!!

Posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 12:07 p.m., in response to Yes, but..., posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:41 a.m.

The peace that surpasses all understanding is, to me, the peace that I have salvation in my Lord, Jesus Christ. Nothing can take that away from me.

Besides, when we are to test the spirits, aren't we to test them in light of scripture? What is our yardstick to test anything, if it's not the scripture? Surely, it's not our feelings!

That said, I do believe that the Lord wants us to have a deep and abiding sense of peace when we are in His will.

Blessings.

Joni


Hi, Catherine! What do you think of Phil 1: 15-18

Posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 1:04 p.m., in response to Hi joni . . ., posted by Catherine on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 12:02 p.m.

Interesting discussion, huh?

Matthew chapter 7 also says:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in YOUR name, and in YOUR name drive out demons and perform many miracles.' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.'"

I wonder how many followers these prophets had who were also calling on the name of the Lord. It's human nature to seek after signs and miracles, so they may have had large followings, yet Jesus clearly states that these prophets were not saved.
Was the doctrine sound enough that their followers were saved?

I find Philippians 1 15-18 also rather interesting.

"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former PREACH CHRIST OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION, NOT SINCERELY, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice."

I think these two passages of scripture indicate that it is possible to produce fruit out of selfish ambition or false motives (A tree NOT right with God.). After all, Paul says that the gospel IS being preached. I think we can assume from that statement that people are probably being saved. But if the teachers' hearts are not right with God, I believe (my opinion only) that it's only a matter of time before their doctrines are so perverted that they are unable to bring their followers to the saving grace of Christ.

I believe fruit is one evidence of a right relationship with God. I also believe sound doctrine is another evidence. If a man is truly filled with the Holy Spirit his doctrine should line up with Scripture! Sure, we can disagree on the finer points of theology (human MISunderstanding?!!!), but the Holy Spirit will not allow us to drift too far away, in my opinion.

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:11

Just my ramblings on an interesting discussion!

Blessings!

Joni


I most definitely agree, in addition to the peace God gives me...

Posted by Nicole WA on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 2:31 p.m., in response to Yes, but..., posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:41 a.m.

about certain issues in *my* life, I must constantly run it by His Word. For me, God has given me a sense of peace about things, that cannot be mistaken for any wiles of the devil. I still run it by His Word Surprised) I agree that people who have not experienced this peace find it in other aspects of life.....drugs, sex, money and other tricks of Satan. I thank the Lord daily that I know who He is, and pray for those who do not. It truly saddens me to know there are people who have not experienced the love, peace and joy that God offers freely Surprised)
God bless you, Nicole


Re: If I may say, peace is not the test of whether or not something is true.

Posted by Kim Frey on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 7:41 p.m., in response to If I may say, peace is not the test of whether or not something is true., posted by joni on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:08 a.m.

I agree we need to use the Bible as our ultimate measuring stick! We're all Christians here...I hope:-) Yes, there are lots of other religions proclaiming peace, even "salvation." Satan's tactics include counterfeiting everything that God offers to His people. My point was just because something happens in a church doesn't make it godly, and we are supposed to weigh what goes on according to His Word. I feel I Cor. Chapter 14 gives a good explanation of how the Holy Spirit is supposed to move in the Church.


A little logic

Posted by Steve on Sunday, 22 November 1998, at 1:19 p.m., in response to Unpardonable Sin, posted by Anon for now on Monday, 16 November 1998, at 4:19 p.m.

Consider the following.

If the unpardonable sin is to attribute to some work of God the work of the Devil, and if we are instructed to "try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone into the world." (I John 4:1), then our salvation is hanging by the tenuous thread of one wrong judgment.

If we do follow the instructions to test everything, and if we are all human and thus fallible, then there is a good likelihood that in the course of our lives we will, at least once, make such an error. Consequently, no one would be saved.

Some would argue that we are not ever to question those in authority. However, if we do not "try the spirits", "many shall follow their pernicious ways." (II Peter 2:1,2)

Surely nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38,39) or pluck us out of His hand.(John 10:29)

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

Steve


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective

Posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 24 November 1998, at 10:40 p.m., in response to A study of the unpardonable sin, posted by Kevin Megill on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 6:34 p.m.

Hi Kevin,

You certainly pull out the stops when you decide to do a study!

I have a few disagreements... (don't I always? *g*) but this is a pretty important topic and I'm sure that there are many who may want to jump in with their thoughts.

(--for Kevin's complete study see his earlier note in this thread.)

At 10:18 PM 11/22/98 , you wrote:

>Amen! I agree with Valerie that the unpardonable sin is "to reject the
>saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you".

I believe that the reasons for my disagreements stem from your premise. I think that it is a mistake to assume that just because a sin was not pardoned, that makes it unpardonable. Unpardonable/unforgivable doesn't mean unpardoned or unforgiven. In other words there are sins that may go unpardoned because of a lack of repentance, but certainly these sins can not be equated with an *unpardonable* sin which by it's very nature is unpardonable.

Anyway, that is the premise I start with but I'll go through your note and comment individually on each of your points.

>Passages to look at:
>
>Matthew 12:22-45 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verses 31-32). Mark
>3:20-30 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verses 28-30). Luke
>11:14-12:12 (the unpardonable sin is mentioned in verse 10).

First, let me skip over most of your summary. I agree with your heart/mouth emphasis (it's not just words but the heart behind the words...) and your general layout.

>That means that merely saying "He is doing that by Satan", while it may
>have blasphemed Jesus, did not yet really constitute blasphemy of the Holy
>Spirit. Which makes sense -- after all, the Pharisees weren't saying
>anything wrong about the Holy Spirit Himself, they were merely denying that
>Jesus was operating by His power.

Actually I believe that they were... they were charging the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil. This is brought out in each of the passages. The things that Jesus was doing were not being done in His humanity, it was through the power of the Holy Spirit.

>Speaking against
>the Spirit was always sharply contrasted with speaking against the Son of
>Man.

Exactly! Wasn't this the reason He spoke of the unpardonable sin? Maybe they had committed it, maybe not, but it seems a pointless exercise to bring up the subject unless what was happening was an example of the unpardonable sin.

>Let's take the first three points and bring them together. The people had a
>window of opportunity to respond to Jesus. Because the real question is one
>of the heart, their response to Jesus needed to be a heart response, not
>merely a verbal one. The Pharisees were close to committing the
>unpardonable sin because their hearts were so hard, because down deep they
>were shutting out the call of God to salvation.

Here again, He doesn't chide them for rejecting His message but it was the *works* that the Holy Spirit was accomplishing that they were speaking against. He explains the unpardonable sin to them after they claimed His *works* were satanically motivated.

>Now why was speaking against the Spirit contrasted with speaking against
>the Son of Man? We need to remember that to those in that day, Jesus had
>not yet been revealed as the Second Person of the Trinity. They weren't
>thinking of Him yet as God in the flesh, but as a man SENT from God. When
>Jesus said "speaking against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but speaking
>against the Spirit of God cannot", they heard it as saying "You can reject
>God's messenger and be forgiven by God, but if you reject God Himself, how
>can you be forgiven?"
>
>That is, "speaking against the Son of Man" represented an external reaction
>to the person and ministry of Jesus. "Speaking against the Holy Spirit"
>represented an internal, heart-level rejection of the work of God in one's
>life. Jesus was saying "Be careful! It's one thing, Pharisees, to speak
>against my ministry with your mouths. But if you are simultaneously
>rejecting the work of God in your hearts, you will have no hope. When you
>reject my miracles, you are on the verge of rejecting the One who does the
>miracles. To shut me out, you will have to shut out the Spirit. Every time
>you slander me, you also harden your heart inwardly against God's purpose
>for you. You close your window of opportunity. And THAT sin, the sin of
>rejecting the Spirit's call to salvation, is one for which you can never
>find forgiveness."

Every supernatural thing that Jesus did was motivated by the Holy Spirit of God... therefore anyone who claimed that those supernatural works were Satan inspired were guilty of the unpardonable sin. They could reject His message all day long and still be able to obtain forgiveness--apparently many did-- but those who saw the supernatural power of the Spirit and charged it to Satan had committed the unpardonable sin. At least I don't see any other reason for Him bringing the issue up. Am I missing something here?

>Application today:
>
>1. As we witness, we need to be aware of the real issue -- people can
>reject our church, our moral convictions, our Bible, our Savior -- but all
>we really see is the angry words on the outside. The real question is what
>these words show about the state of their hearts. The Holy Spirit is
>knocking - - are they pushing Him away? Or are they willing to yield? We
>need to pray that people will have soft hearts before God. We need to warn
>them (if the timing is appropriate) that their heart response to God goes
>far beyond whether they accept or reject us as messengers.

I realize that it is hard to apply the message today, because we don't have many operating in the supernatural power of the Spirit. But I believe that the same standard applies to any minister of the Gospel operating under the power of the Holy Spirit-- if he casts out demons, heals the sick, raises the dead, etc.-- and someone attributes the power to Satan, then the Holy Spirit has been blasphemed and there isn't any hope of repentance. (Do I really need to put a disclaimer here about discernment and Mt 7:21?)

>It's instructive to consider hell in light of this teaching. The only
>people in hell will be those who've committed the unpardonable sin. The
>only unpardonable sin is to reject the forgiveness of God when He offers it
>by His Spirit. And that's a sin that people commit NOW, in their lifetime
>on earth, thus sealing their eternal destiny.

Only if your premise is correct. I think that there will be many in hell that will be there for sins that Jesus would have pardoned if only they would have repented.

>I'm not sure whether the unpardonable sin can happen in a single moment.
>Maybe it can. Or maybe it's a process in which a person continually hardens
>his heart, only reaching the point of no return when he dies.

The unpardonable sin is by its very nature a one-time sin. There cannot be a process involved. If at some point (during the process) a person could change, then they certainly haven't committed the unpardonable sin. When the sin is committed, it's over.

>3. While we as Christians can never commit the unpardonable sin, we can
>still learn from the principle involved.

Well, I guess that would be another discussion, but for now I'll just say that it seems possible for a Christian to apostatize and speak against the Holy Spirit, but there will be those who contend that they never were Christians to begin with. Oh well, a good place to end. *grin*

I know you've been super busy with James (I'm still trying to find time to digest it all) so respond at your convenience.

William


P.S. Due to lack of time...

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 8:08 a.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 24 November 1998, at 10:40 p.m.

By the way, Kevin, often when dealing with doctrinal issues, I post a general response and don't always add all the personal comments to "soften" my message or disagreements. *grin* But just for the record, as always, I really respect and appreciate you!

William


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective

Posted by Steve on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 8:33 a.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 24 November 1998, at 10:40 p.m.

William,

How would you handle the dilemma arising from the fact that we are to try the spirits and be on our guard against false prophets. It sounds to me as though you're saying a Christian who made one erroneous judgment would have committed the unpardonable sin and thus would lose his salvation. (I am assuming your definition of the type of judgment that would be risky.) I believe we are all still fallible (until our sanctification is complete), and consequently liable to err, at least on occasion. Is your solution that we refrain from making any such judgments? I would think frauds would welcome this solution. It is clear from your "Christian lobotomy" post that you believe we should be discerning. Do you not think a Christian could make an "honest mistake" in such a case?

Steve


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective

Posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 11:38 a.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by Steve on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 8:33 a.m.

Hi Steve,

Actually I believe that is possible to make a judgment in ignorance and not be guilty, but having said that, I wouldn't encourage anyone to jump to conclusions about the source of supernatural activity without first making sure about their judgment. Those that Jesus referred to were not babies in the faith... they were leaders who knew--or at least should have known-- the implications of their words.

Like I alluded to in my post, there will be those who cast out demons and perform miracles, who are doing it by Satan's power. (Mt 7, Rev. 12, etc.) So my note in no way should encourage a lack of discernment. Just be sure you KNOW before you speak.

Kevin mentioned that it isn't just the words, but from the heart that these blasphemies come, and imo if the heart is so blinded to the truth of the workings of the Holy Spirit, then this wouldn't be an off the cuff pronouncement based upon a casual observation, but a heartfelt judgment that a person has taken.

If you are asking me where the line is to be drawn, I don't know, but I would strongly suggest that a person should not be referring to situations without a clear understanding of the consequences, lest they be guilty.

In the same context Jesus says:

(Mat 12:36-37 KJV) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Scary huh?

It's worth noting that the miracles that were being done were by nature designed to prove the validity of the Messiah, so there wouldn't be "questionable" miracles, or a mixed signal generated between message and miracle as might be the case with other ministries.

What do you think?

William


Re: I was always taught...

Posted by caroline in Ca on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 7:45 a.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 11:38 a.m.

The unpardonable sin was ignoring the Holy Spirit resulting in the *ultimate* failure to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior during our lifetime.


The preacher was wrong...

Posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 9:04 a.m., in response to Re: I was always taught..., posted by caroline in Ca on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 7:45 a.m.

If this is the case then you don't have an "unpardonable" sin, only "unpardoned" sins.

Blasphemy is something that must be actively engaged in, ignoring the Holy Spirit (however reprehensible) is passive, and in no way could be considered blasphemy.

What do you think?

William


The rock and the cliff

Posted by Steve on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 4:24 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, at 11:38 a.m.

William,

I appreciate what you wrote concerning idle words. James (3:3-12) also warns us to be on our guard about what we say, and judging (anyone) is a serious matter (Matt. 7:1-5). We are, however, instructed to try the spirits and to be on our guard against false prophets. We both realize that one's position on the doctrine of eternal security is relevant to this discussion, and that we are on opposite sides of that question (we need not debate that now).

The question that began this thread was not only about the unpardonable sin. It was about a Christian and the unpardonable sin. A Christian's hope is not in what he or she can do, but in Christ who is faithful. The image I have of our salvation is that we are firmly planted in the middle of the Rock. Nothing can separate us from God or pluck us out of His hand. We still have our free will and will commit sin (though we expect that our lives will not be characterized by sin). In some cases God will chastize the wayward child, just as we chastize our own children, but He will not forsake them. When I imagine your position, I see us instructed to go to the edge of a cliff ("try the spirits"). With one false step we tumble into the bottomless pit.

Steve

P.S. I hope I didn't misrepresent your position; it was not meant to be a caricature.


Accidental Apostasy? God's hand=Slippery Slope? I think not!

Posted by William Eaton on Friday, 27 November 1998, at 9:23 a.m., in response to The rock and the cliff, posted by Steve on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 4:24 p.m.

Hi Steve,

I was too stuffed last night to respond so maybe I'll do it this morning before diving into the leftovers!

At 05:24 PM 11/26/98 , you wrote:

>I appreciate what you wrote concerning idle words. James (3:3-12)
>also warns us to be on our guard about what we say, and judging (anyone)
>is a serious matter (Matt. 7:1-5). We are, however, instructed to
>try the spirits and to be on our guard against false prophets. We
>both realize that one's position on the doctrine of eternal security
>is relevant to this discussion, and that we are on opposite sides
>of that question (we need not debate that now).

This brings us to an apparent paradox: On the one hand, we have the "eternal security" of the believer -- and on the other hand, we have the Bible, much of which is concerned with warnings to be on guard against being led astray.

I don't think that any of my statements go beyond the warnings that are found in Scripture.

My first note didn't mention the unpardonable sin, except to assure the lady that she had not committed it, primarily because she had not blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I don't think you have a problem with that.

My other note dealt specifically with Kevin's study on the unpardonable sin, did you disagree with something there?

>The question that began this thread was not only about the unpardonable
>sin. It was about a Christian and the unpardonable sin.

It was also about the propriety of questioning an event that had happened in Church. Most of my reply dealt with that-- did you disagree with something there?

>The image I have of our salvation is that we are firmly planted in
>the middle of the Rock. Nothing can separate us from God or pluck
>us out of His hand. We still have our free will and will commit sin
>(though we expect that our lives will not be characterized by sin).
>In some cases God will chastize the wayward child, just as we chastize
>our own children, but He will not forsake them. When I imagine your
>position, I see us instructed to go to the edge of a cliff ("try the
>spirits"). With one false step we tumble into the bottomless pit.

The problem is with the analogy. Your image (the Rock) doesn't seem to need the warnings of blasphemy (or the other warnings of Scripture for that matter). As far as your representation of my position, it certainly doesn't fit.

Your analogy made it sound easy to blaspheme the Holy Spirit ("one false step...") -- that couldn't be farther from the truth! In fact, if one accepts the position that blasphemy is more than the spoken word (and I've done nothing but reinforce this idea) and is a matter of the heart, then it would be impossible for the *believer* to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Only an *unbeliever* could possibly blaspheme the very source of his salvation.

It is not an easy thing to change the heart. (Which makes salvation so miraculous!) Unbelievers can certainly *say* "Jesus is Lord", but getting them to *believe* "Jesus is Lord", is quite another task. The cliff of the heart doesn't have too many leap-off points!

People say all of the time that they are capable of believing (remember, heartfelt belief is what we've been talking about) whatever they choose, but they are mistaken. An example:

Suppose I told you George Washington never existed. You've never experienced George Washington with your physical senses. You've never seen him, never heard him, yet you *believe* he existed. Now if one were a master of his own will, he should be able to choose to believe George Washington never existed, but I say it would be nearly impossible for one to believe George Washington never existed. It's possible, but highly unlikely. Of course one could *say* "I don't believe George Washington existed" but it would ring hollow given the state of his heart.

Certainly it would be easier for one to believe George Washington never existed than it would be for a *BELIEVER* in Jesus Christ-- A "BELIEVER* in the workings of the Holy Spirit-- to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. So when you equate my position with one who is "one step" away from destruction, you err greatly.

In the notes I've posted on this topic, I've done nothing more than warn, in the same way the Bible warns, against foolish activities like blaspheming the Holy Spirit -- and encourage Christians not to fear to practice godly discernment concerning ministries and practices in the church.

Perhaps you assumed that questioning the activities of a minister was in some way related to blasphemy as did the woman in her first note? If I haven't been clear to this point, let me vehemently deny that assumption. In fact, I didn't even see the necessity of dealing with the "unpardonable sin" aspect of her note because of it's irrelevancy.

Questioning something you aren't sure about is not the same thing as pronouncing Satan as the source of an activity. The very fact that you place Satan as the source, indicates, not a questioning heart, but a sure heart --a heart that is confident of its position. This is okay if an activity or ministry is not of the Holy Spirit, but if it is, then it is blasphemy. In other words, we need to be sure we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and not reacting foolishly. (By the way, I *do* pronounce Satan as the source of some activities and don't hesitate to do so when I am *sure* about it.)

The Bible is written to Christians.
The Bible warns against blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
William warns against blaspheming the Holy Spirit. *grin*

Now we can, and should, debate what blaspheming the Holy Spirit is, but I don't think that its relevancy to Christians should be dismissed so quickly -- if my position is correct.

Sure, it is important to warn against hardening the heart against God's grace and mercy, but to equate this with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (unpardonable sin) seems contrived.

If, however, it is true that the unpardonable sin is charging the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil (as I contend) then it would be foolish (imo) not to warn Christians to take heed. The Bible does the same thing when it warns Christians to be wary of deceivers, false teaching, etc..

At least that's the way I see it.

Thanks for jumping in, I look forward to your response at your convenience!

William


Re: Christian lobotomy?

Posted by Jennifer on Friday, 27 November 1998, at 2:10 p.m., in response to Christian lobotomy?, posted by William Eaton on Wednesday, 18 November 1998, at 12:04 a.m.

What exactly do you think it means to "Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?" We have been having a discussion on that in S.S. Just wondering what your thoughts are!
Thanks,
Jennifer


Re: Christian lobotomy?

Posted by William Eaton on Friday, 27 November 1998, at 2:24 p.m., in response to Re: Christian lobotomy?, posted by Jennifer on Friday, 27 November 1998, at 2:10 p.m.

Read on Sister! *grin* There are a few notes below that deal with this issue. (And I suspect there will be more!)

William


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin

Posted by Peggy K. on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 6:11 a.m., in response to A study of the unpardonable sin, posted by Kevin Megill on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 6:34 p.m.

Kevin,

How are you doing? I haven't been around much lately, but popped in to see what was happenin'.

I'm am not entirely sure what constitutes the "unpardonable sin", but was wondering how these two statements of yours are consistent with one another.

You said: "I agree with Valerie that the unpardonable sin is 'to reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you'...

3. While we as Christians can never commit the unpardonable sin, we can still learn from the principle involved."

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: Explaining apparently contradictory statements

Posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 3:34 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin, posted by Peggy K. on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 6:11 a.m.

Hi and welcome back!

I didn't mean anything mysterious or deep.

When I quoted Valerie, saying the unpardonable sin was to "reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you", I had in mind a man who UNDERSTANDS the gospel clearly, but REJECTS it and refuses to believe. It was real to him in its clarity, but he never surrendered to it. Under this interpretation, there's no contradiction in saying that a Christian can't commit the unforgiveable sin.

I don't know if Valerie meant the same thing, of course.

Did I misunderstand you? Was there another contradiction I don't even see? Smile

In Him,
Kevin Megill


Once Saved, Always Saved?

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 5:54 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin, posted by Peggy K. on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 6:11 a.m.

Hi Peggy, (and All)

Great to have you back!

I don't mean to speak for Kevin or Steve, but it seems to be the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" that keeps one from a straightforward interpretation of these passages.

If it were not for that doctrinal bias, doesn't the literal text suggest what I've shared? Perhaps I'm wrong, or not seeing it clearly but this seems that way to me.

For example, put yourself in the shoes of those hearing the message of Jesus Christ -- wouldn't it have been natural to conclude that Jesus' statement was a warning to all who would charge the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan? Or would the assumption be that Jesus wasn't talking to them, because, after all, they were elect?

Maybe I'm asking the wrong person this question (actually I've never heard you espouse that it is impossible for one to fall away) but I do know that you have a background that stresses the sovereignty of God. I, too, strongly believe in the sovereignty of God, but I'm not encumbered with the notion of "once saved, always saved" which seems (to my finite understanding) to be the sticky point in this discussion.

Personally, I've never had a problem believing that we have a responsibility for our actions, a "free will", at least a limited freedom, which becomes the basis for our accountability before God.

Limited before regeneration because of our sinful nature -- we could choose how big of a sinner we wanted to be! But once the Spirit of Christ came in regeneration, did our "will" simply switch sides and become at once incapable of rejecting Christ? Didn't it become "more free", if you get my drift?

In other words, do we become incapable of rebellion once regenerated? Are we locked into our regenerated state (a great place to be!) regardless of our volition?

I do believe totally in the security of the *believer* from God's side (His promises are immutable!), He has promised it, and we can rest in His offered security. However, I don't believe that after having received that free gift of God, one is rendered *incapable* of giving up the faith.

To me, it is inconceivable that all of the warnings in Scripture are table dressings that really aren't needed after one is "saved". I do understand that many believe that the warnings are given for our *temporal* well being, but it seems that many of the warnings go beyond our present state and have a bearing upon our eternal well being as well.

I don't want anyone to get the idea that we are "one false step" from destruction for reasons I've already given, but it seems *possible*, (however remotely) to reject the blessings of an Eternally Faithful Father, and return, like the dog to its own vomit. (2 Pet 2:20-22--SEE BELOW)

I know that the easy answer is to say that such a person never received it in the first place, but if so, then "eternal security" is a moot point anyway. e.g. If John received Christ at age 12 and to all appearances, lived all his life professing to be a Christian who loved and served God -- then 40 years later "falls away" by rejecting God and denying Him before others -- is it really satisfactory to say that he never knew Christ? If so, the doctrine of "eternal security" didn't mean much for him if it could be so easily explained away.

If it is so easy to be deceived into thinking that one is a Christian, then who can ever be sure that they have made a real decision? To me there is much more security in knowing that God will never forsake me, nothing can separate me from Him, no one can pluck me from His hand -- as long as my heart is toward Him, He will even work in me to will and do His good pleasure. (Phil 2:13) He enables me to walk consistently with Him. This creates in me an unwavering desire to *always* serve Him and never want to jump out of His Hand.

That, my friends, is true eternal security!

William

(2 Pet 2:20-22 KJV) "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective

Posted by Kevin Megill on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 5:59 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 24 November 1998, at 10:40 p.m.

Hi William,

I appreciate your comments and along with you I welcome anyone else who might want to jump in with their own thoughts on this passage. Ultimately, you and I may have to simply agree to disagree on this! I understand your position a little better, and I think it's a logical one. (I think mine's logical too, of course! *grin* ).

I've already said my say (in great detail!) and I don't have much to add, except to respond to a couple of points where I may not have made my meaning clear enough.

1. I wrote:

"I agree with Valerie that the unpardonable sin is 'to reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you'."

You wrote:

"I think that it is a mistake to assume that just because a sin was not pardoned, that makes it unpardonable. Unpardonable/unforgivable doesn't mean unpardoned or unforgiven. In other words there are sins that may go unpardoned because of a lack of repentance, but certainly these sins can not be equated with an *unpardonable* sin which by it's very nature is unpardonable."

My response:

I don't believe I'm confusing unpardoned with unpardonable. Those in hell will have committed several sins -- all of them unpardoned -- but only one which was also unpardonable, the sin of rejecting salvation.

2. I wrote:

"That means that merely saying 'He is doing that by Satan', while it may have blasphemed Jesus, did not yet really constitute blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Which makes sense -- after all, the Pharisees weren't saying anything wrong about the Holy Spirit Himself, they were merely denying that Jesus was operating by His power."

You wrote:

"Actually I believe that they were... they were charging the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil. This is brought out in each of the passages. The things that Jesus was doing were not being done in His humanity, it was through the power of the Holy Spirit."

My response:

I agree that what Jesus was doing was IN FACT being done by the Holy Spirit -- but the Pharisees didn't know that (albeit due to their own hardhearted unbelief). In their hearts, they had no INTENTION of blaspheming the Spirit of God Himself, but only the man Jesus whom they did not recognize as being divine, nor as being empowered by the Holy Spirit. The question is whether their careless words, motivated by hard-hearted unbelief but not deliberately intended by them to be blasphemy, were an example of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, or only an example of blaspheming the Son of Man.

3. I wrote:

"Speaking against the Spirit was always sharply contrasted with speaking against the Son of Man."

You wrote:

"Exactly! Wasn't this the reason He spoke of the unpardonable sin? Maybe they had committed it, maybe not, but it seems a pointless exercise to bring up the subject unless what was happening was an example of the unpardonable sin."

My response:

Was I that unclear? My position is that Jesus brought up the unpardonable sin because THEY WERE IN DANGER OF COMMITTING IT. Hardly a pointless exercise!

In turn, may I ask you a similar question: under your interpretation, is there any distinction between blaspheming the Son of Man and blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Why bring up blasphemy against the Son of Man? Why distinguish between the two?

4. You wrote:

"... He doesn't chide them for rejecting His message but it was the *works* that the Holy Spirit was accomplishing that they were speaking against. He explains the unpardonable sin to them after they claimed His *works* were satanically motivated."

Certainly it was His WORKS they were rejecting, and not His message per se. But in the same context, Jesus emphasized the need for people to go beyond the works and recognize the MEANING BEHIND the works. His miracles were God's way of getting their attention, of telling them that the Messiah had arrived, the Kingdom was at hand.

To blaspheme the works -- which they were doing -- was to blaspheme the Son of Man, and could be forgiven. To blaspheme the God who tried to speak to them in those works was to commit an unpardonable sin.

5. You wrote:

"Every supernatural thing that Jesus did was motivated by the Holy Spirit of God... therefore anyone who claimed that those supernatural works were Satan inspired were guilty of the unpardonable sin. ..."

My response:
As I explained above, my position would be that since the Pharisees did not know that Jesus was motivated by the Holy Spirit of God, their intentions weren't blasphemous against the Spirit, and I believe that keeps this from being an example of the unforgiveable sin.

and you continued:

"... those who saw the supernatural power of the Spirit and charged it to Satan had committed the unpardonable sin. At least I don't see any other reason for Him bringing the issue up. Am I missing something here?"

As I mentioned above, the reason for bringing up the issue is because they were in danger of committing it.

6. You wrote:

"I realize that it is hard to apply the message today, because we don't have many operating in the supernatural power of the Spirit."

My response:

This is NOT at all central to this discussion, but I would say this differently. I think we have many operating in the supernatural power of the Spirit, doing quite "ordinary" things like serving and teaching and giving unselfishly. But we don't have many using that supernatural power to do signs and miracles. Would you agree?

7. You wrote:

"The unpardonable sin is by its very nature a one-time sin. There cannot be a process involved."

I'm not certain of this, but I don't mind assuming it for the sake of argument from now on.

8. Now let me ask you a question. I think I understand your position, and it is the one I would take if I weren't taking mine! But there is an awkward and obvious question -- if God loves us so much then WHY is there a sin He won't forgive? My interpretation answers this satisfactorily -- although I want to go on record as saying that even if we DON'T understand why, we still have to take the Word of God as it is, without softening or changing it to conform to our understanding. But I'd like to know: do you have an answer for this question, under your interpretation?

In Him,
and with respect and appreciation for you too (*grin*),
Kevin

P.S. Just how DO you spell unforgiveable / unforgivable?


Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 6:36 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by Kevin Megill on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 5:59 p.m.

Hi Kevin,

You wrote:

""As I explained above, my position would be that since the Pharisees did not know that Jesus was motivated by the Holy Spirit of God, their intentions weren't blasphemous against the Spirit, and I believe that keeps this from being an example of the unforgivable sin. ""

My response:

They *absolutely* knew that what He was doing was not *humanly* possible, that was why they charged Him with doing it via Satan's power. So I don't see how in any way it would be possible that they were simply rejecting the "man" Jesus.

You wrote:

""This is NOT at all central to this discussion, but I would say this differently. I think we have many operating in the supernatural power of the Spirit, doing quite "ordinary" things like serving and teaching and giving unselfishly. But we don't have many using that supernatural power to do signs and miracles. Would you agree? ""

I don't see that "ordinary" is equated with "supernatural". Miracles, signs, wonders, casting out demons, raising the dead, are supernatural and can only be accomplished via the Holy Spirit, or by some other "supernatural" power.

Concerning the rest of your statements, I'm sure we may end up disagreeing, but I honestly don't see how that you can equate "unforgiven" and "unforgivable".

He says: (Mat 12:32 KJV) "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

Why contrast this world with the world to come?

Do you believe that there are people walking around right now that are unforgivable? Or that have committed the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

I guess my next question would be-- is blasphemy and rejection the same thing? You seem to be saying that rejection of the grace of Christ is blasphemy. I just don't see how the two can be equated.

I appreciate your (and Steve's) willingness to discuss this, and I hope that I don't sound too adversarial. I'm rethinking all that I've ever thought about this issue!

William


A concession and an answer

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 6:48 p.m., in response to Re: A study of the unpardonable sin-- Another perspective, posted by Kevin Megill on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 5:59 p.m.

You said:

""Was I that unclear? My position is that Jesus brought up the unpardonable sin because THEY WERE IN DANGER OF COMMITTING IT. Hardly a pointless exercise!""

My pathetic admission: *grin*

You are right -- I concede this point!

You said:

""In turn, may I ask you a similar question: under your interpretation, is there any distinction between blaspheming the Son of Man and blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Why bring up blasphemy against the Son of Man? Why distinguish between the two?""

I thought that Jesus made it clear that there *was* a clear distinction between the two. Blaspheme Jesus (people do it all of the time) and you can obtain forgiveness, blaspheme the Holy Spirit and you'll never obtain forgiveness in this life or in the life to come.

(Mat 12:32 KJV) "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

William


Re: I never learned much from preachers...

Posted by caroline in Ca on Sunday, 29 November 1998, at 8:26 a.m., in response to The preacher was wrong..., posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 26 November 1998, at 9:04 a.m.

my attention span was too short and I am too distractible...but...

I dont think salvation is "forgiven sins" as such. We can still have salvation without having asked forgiveness for each sin we commit. Jesus died once for our overwhelming state of being in *sin*. The sin we were born into.

I do need to go back and look at the passages again...I want to say that in all cases, when Jesus was talking about the *unpardonable sin* he was talking to unbelievers (I am putting pharasees in the unbelieving group) but in the back of my mind, there seems to be something in Hebrews(?). so, I will come back to this if it hasnt scrolled off!


Re: Explaining apparently contradictory statements

Posted by Peggy K. on Sunday, 29 November 1998, at 10:57 a.m., in response to Re: Explaining apparently contradictory statements, posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 3:34 p.m.

Hi Kevin,

You said: "When I quoted Valerie, saying the unpardonable sin was to "reject
the saving grace of Jesus Christ once it has been made real to you",
I had in mind a man who UNDERSTANDS the gospel clearly, but REJECTS
it and refuses to believe..."

Ok, that's where I misunderstood what you meant. In my mind something is not "made real" or made a "reality" unless one submits or surrenders oneself to it's concept. One can "understand" something without accepting it as a reality. So when you said "made real", I thought you meant when someone surrenders to the reality of the concept of the saving grace of Christ (which in my mind means the point of conversion).

You asked: "Did I misunderstand you? Was there another contradiction I don't even
see? :-)"

Nope. It was only that one thing. Smile

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Grace and peace,
Peggy


"I agree with what Valerie said" ;D

Posted by Valerie on Wednesday, 2 December 1998, at 2:42 a.m.

Wow! Haven't had time to pop in here for a few days and all the posts sure got me thinking about what it was I had said!

I believe the unpardonable sin is clearly explained in Hebrews 6:1-6.

In particular, Heb. 6:4-6 "For it is imppossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they cruicify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

Clearly - after having the truth of the gospel revealed to us to the point where we actually taste this heavenly gift - and then reject it, this then becomes unpardonable because there is nothing further that can be done.

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the fulness of this gospel to us. I certainly have tried to the best of my ability to help people understand, and for reasons I can not fathom, some do and others do not. The only conclusion I can draw is the one that lines up with the Word (funny, how that works!) and that is that the Holy Spirit is the only one who can reveal the full truth about Jesus to us!

Blaspheming the Son of Man, would not qualify, I do not think, because Jesus said He did not come to condemn, but to save. Many blaspheme Jesus and then come to repentance. To have the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit - not just be witnessed to and never understand, but actually come to a saving knowledge, and then utterly reject it down in one's heart - that would do it.
I think the reason He said it to the pharisees was because He knew what was in their hearts. He knew that they knew the truth in their hearts about Him and yet they chose to lie and give the credit to Satan. As priests they more than anyone should have been able to recognize the Messiah by the prophesies being fulfilled - and then when the Holy Spirit is demonstrated as being with Him through miracles, I believe those to whom He spoke *knew* the truth - yet were chosing to reject it. In His mercy, Jesus warned them to not pursue this course.

In my own life, I repented, tasted that freedom for about a week, and then promptly had a good dose of the law dumped all over me for the next few years. I rejected it, and all I had learned about God. Anyone looking at the path I started walking for the next year or two would certainly have surmised I was "backslidden" and that I had rejected God. Yet, in my heart - which only He knew, I was crying to know this Jesus which I felt I had had a glimpse of, but Who went against everything I had been taught. In my "rebellion" the Holy Spirit was able to show me the wonderful, truth.
Had I rejected Jesus? No. Only the false one I had been given. He alone could have judged my heart then. Good thing!

Anyway, there's what Valerie meant!

Love, Valerie


Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences)

Posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 3 December 1998, at 5:40 p.m., in response to "I agree with what Valerie said" ;D, posted by Valerie on Wednesday, 2 December 1998, at 2:42 a.m.

Hi Valerie,

So you are the one who started this! *grin*

I wondered how long it would be until the Hebrews passage/s were brought into the discussion. By the way, Hebrews 10 also contains an interesting statement.

Anyway, I agree with the facts of your post up to the point where you equate the "falling away" in Heb. 6, with the "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" in the Gospels... I think there is a difference between blasphemy and apostasy.

In fact, I believe the discussion has blurred three distinct experiences:

(If anyone disagrees, please show me where!)

1. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit-- This is actively *speaking* against the Holy Spirit. (imo-in my opinion)

2. Apostasy-- This is an active (willful) forsaking of the Faith by one who was in the Faith. (imo)

3. Ignoring/rejecting Christ when the Holy Spirit seeks to reveal Him.

All three are serious, all three can have areas where they overlap, but all three are distinct, separate experiences. The first two seem irreversible, but all three ultimately lead to eternal damnation.

The gospel passages (Mt 12, Mk 3, Lk 12,) deal with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 6 (and 10) seems to be dealing with the idea of apostasy. See further 1Pet 2:20f.

Ignoring and rejecting Christ is the common experience of all of mankind unless/until regeneration takes place.

Would you agree with these distinctions?

William


Re: Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences)

Posted by Valerie on Thursday, 3 December 1998, at 11:32 p.m., in response to Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences), posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 3 December 1998, at 5:40 p.m.

William,
I do see points 2 & 3, as both clearly being sins which would be unpardonable. Both of those being first dependant upon a revelation of truth by the Holy Spirit concerning Jesus.

I am not sure about the first point though, "1. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit-- This is actively *speaking* against the Holy Spirit.

(imo-in my opinion)"

Would you consider one who speaks against the Holy Spirit without first having had truth revealed to them, guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Such as any unsaved person who does not see or understand the things of the Spirit?

Jesus points out in John 15:24 "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well."

Wouldn't the miracles Jesus did be considered a "revelation of truth" by the Holy Spirit - which was in actuality what they were rejecting?

Hebrews 10:29 lists three activities which would be considered unredemable. "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Sprit of grace?"

I see these three mirrored somewhat in the points you listed. Rejecting Christ, forsaking the Faith, and speaking against the Holy Spirit. But I do not think that the Spirit is insulted by an ignorant person who speaks without having had a revealing of the Spirit first. Their foolish minds are darkened, so how can they truly know what they are saying? Can we understand the "Spirit of grace", to insult him, without having had it revealed to us?

I am afraid I may be speaking in circles without much clarity, especially as I am knew to delving into Biblical studies myself, only the past couple of years. (And my vocabulary to express myself, frankly, stinks! Very Happy I'm hoping that's one of the things I will pick up on the more I hang around this place!)

To wrap this up, I do see your three distinct experiences, but since I see them contingent upon a revelation of the Holy Spirit first, I feel that they all fall under the unpardonable sin being a rejection of the revelation of truth from the Holy Spirit. I do not see speaking against the Holy Spirit without such revelation as being in this category.

(Are you shaking your head, yet? *G*)

Valerie

PS - I find all of this good for my mind, but ow! sometimes it hurts!


Re: Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences)

Posted by William Eaton on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 7:52 a.m., in response to Re: Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences), posted by Valerie on Thursday, 3 December 1998, at 11:32 p.m.

Hi Valerie,

Actually, I dealt with the issue in some of the other posts listed below....however, the point I'm trying to make (and thus far have been unable to get it across)--

The Bible says *blasphemy* is a *spoken* word -- *rejecting or ignoring* the Holy Spirit is not *blasphemy*.

Jesus says *blasphemy* of the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.

Try reading the text again with this in mind and I think you'll understand what I'm trying to get across (MT 12, LK 12, MK 3).

Blasphemy is active --rejecting or ignoring is passive.

(As I mentioned earlier in this discussion, I do believe that sometimes people say things in total ignorance that does not, in my opinion, constitute blasphemy.)

Thanks for giving me a chance to clarify --better get off to work now! *grin*

William


Re: Questions...blasphemous things...

Posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:48 a.m., in response to Re: Blasphemy-Apostasy-Ignoring Christ (Three distinct experiences), posted by William Eaton on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 7:52 a.m.

so if I think it, act on it but dont speak it it is pardonable?

Can we block the contents of our hearts and minds from God?

My emotions resist the thought that ignoring or resisting the Holy Spirit is passive. I remember the days and weeks that I was doing that before I was a Christian, and it was not passive. I was being compelled to come to Him and it was work resisting Him and such a burden was lifted when I finally made the decision to surrender to Him.


Re: Questions...blasphemous things...

Posted by William Eaton on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:13 p.m., in response to Re: Questions...blasphemous things..., posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:48 a.m.

Hi Caroline,

Your question:

"so if I think it, act on it but don't speak it it is pardonable?"

Jesus' Answer:

"(Mat 12:31-32 KJV) Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

It doesn't matter how much you resist, ignore, hide your head in the sand, run from the hounds of heaven--THIS DOES NOT EQUAL *BLASPHEMY*! (According to the Mt 12, Mk. 3, and Luke 12 passages)

Sorry for shouting but I'm suffering from a acute inability to communicate. Does anyone understand my point, or have I completely lost the ability to communicate?

Yikes! I hope "hounds of heaven" isn't blasphemy, at least I'm just typing it, not speaking it!

Seriously though, It's out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and if the heart is full of blasphemies it usually will find its way out of the mouth. However, the standard that Jesus sets forth is in the passage above.

We can argue whether or not we are to take Him literally, (I take it literally, by the way) but I've yet to understand how one can equate *blaspheming the Holy Spirit* with *rejecting/ignoring the Holy Spirit*.

How can we change a clear warning to not *speak* against the Holy Spirit -- and make it mean don't ignore/resist/reject the Holy Spirit? Is this doing justice to the passages?

William


Re: sorry to exasperate you!

Posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 9:00 p.m., in response to Re: Questions...blasphemous things..., posted by William Eaton on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:13 p.m.

I actually thought I was asking 2 totally different things in this post! I felt that I left enough space between them to have them separate.

thanks for your answer...


Get ready to pull more hair, William!

Posted by Valerie on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 10:18 p.m., in response to Re: Questions...blasphemous things..., posted by William Eaton on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:13 p.m.

So ...

If one is ignoring, rejecting or resisting the Holy Spirit, they are safe until the moment they actually *speak* out words against the Holy Spirit - then their fate becomes sealed? If they do not *speak* those words they still have redemption available?

By George! I think I've got it!

Because ... by the time it does come out past their lips, it was so settled in their heart anyway, that it was never going to change?

This could be why Jesus says in John 15:22-25
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, 'They hated Me without a cause.' "

Is that it, William? I think I see ... and, and, by golly, I think I agree! *VVVBG*

(Sure hope I got this right!)

Valerie


May I jump in and attempt to explain? *grin*

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:19 a.m., in response to Re: sorry to exasperate you!, posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 9:00 p.m.

Hi Caroline,

I'm going to jump in here and try to explain why I think it's so important that we stick with what Jesus actually said about blasphemy, using *His definition*, instead of trying to guess at what, in our minds, would constitute blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

1. Because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a SERIOUS charge, with ETERNAL consequences and unpardonable according to Jesus' Words.

We don't want to add to or take away from what Jesus has said about it.

2. Because who but the Lord Himself can judge for certainty whether someone has committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

He DOES know the heart and intent of each one, and we don't.

Therefore, we feel compelled to warn others (just as Jesus did) against committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, using His definition of it, and His Words.

And we can have the assurance that if anyone is worried that they possibly committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then the very fact that they're WORRIED about it, is a good sign they have not committed it. (If they are not worried, then it's possible that the Lord has already given them up and is no longer working in their hearts to bring them to repentance...but there again, only He can judge.)

So it is not up to us to judge whether someone has committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit or not, it is up for us to WARN others to take heed....

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." -- Matthew 12:31-32

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


RE: Passive Resistance

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:22 a.m., in response to Re: Questions...blasphemous things..., posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 8:48 a.m.

Hi Caroline,

RE: Passive resistance and passive rebellion

As parents, we have dealt with this before in our children and have stressed that this is just as much rebellion as any outward act. Yes, things are "churning" inside and *if left unchecked*, it eventually comes forth and manifests as active resistance and rebellion.

HOWEVER, in relation to committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit -- nowhere does Jesus say that it is passive resistance but rather *speaking against the Holy Spirit* (Matt 12:31-32).

As the Holy Spirit worked in all of our hearts to bring us to repentance that we might experience His salvation, no doubt most, if not all, initially had waves of resistance to turning our WHOLE lives over to His control instead of our own. If resistance to the Holy Spirit constituted blasphemy, who among us would be forgiven and saved?

Praise God for His grace and mercy in our lives!

Tamara


Re: Once Saved, Always Saved?

Posted by Peggy K. on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:28 a.m., in response to Once Saved, Always Saved?, posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 28 November 1998, at 5:54 p.m.

Hi William,

You said: "but it seems to be the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" that keeps one from a straightforward interpretation of these passages...Maybe I'm asking the wrong person this question (actually I've never heard you espouse that it is impossible for one to fall away) but I do know that you have a background that stresses the sovereignty of God."

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but each time I started, I didn't know what to say. I know it must seem incredible that I could be at a loss for words, but it does happen sometimes. LOL

You are correct in saying that I've not spoken much on the topic, because it seems that no matter which side you take, there is trouble reconciling some parts of scripture. But, you are also correct in saying that I tend to lean heavily on the side of God's sovereignty, so I would also lean heavily in the direction of saying that "once saved, always saved".

It would be difficult for me to assert that the completion of a work that Christ began was up to me. There does not seem to be much hope in a Gospel that does not rely *entirely* on the saving works of Christ, alone. That does appear to leave the obligation of response and action to be left adrift, but I think you know me well enough to know that I believe that response is of the utmost importance, because our actions reflect upon the One we call Lord and Savior.

You said: "Personally, I've never had a problem believing that we have a responsibility for our actions, a "free will", at least a limited freedom, which becomes the basis for our accountability before God."

I guess the way that I see it is that through Christ, where once our will was enslaved by sin, it has now been freed by His grace to abide in Him and His will. My hope lies not in the faithfulness of my will, but in the faithfulness of His will.

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Rom 5:11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Peggy


Re: Get ready to pull more hair, William!

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:49 a.m., in response to Get ready to pull more hair, William!, posted by Valerie on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 10:18 p.m.

And I've still got a few tuffs of hair left too!

Seriously though, I don't have any idea why Jesus used that standard. The Greek language has plenty of words that would have indicated something different -- if He had intended something different (and wanted to let us know!).

Anyway, so you agree that ignoring/rejecting is a *state of mind* and speaking/blaspheming is an *active* manifestation?

William


Re: sorry to exasperate you!

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 8:05 a.m., in response to Re: sorry to exasperate you!, posted by caroline in Ca on Friday, 4 December 1998, at 9:00 p.m.

Caroline, I'm sorry I sounded so exasperated. *grin* I was experiencing a loss for words to convey the point I was trying to get across --seemingly no one was understanding what I meant.

After looking at your note again, I see you had two questions. I responded to your first question with Jesus' words, and I certainly agree with your second question/statement that God sees and understands our hearts and motivations!

William


Yes, I do.

Posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:17 a.m., in response to Re: Get ready to pull more hair, William!, posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:49 a.m.

Yes, I agree.

I think my difficulty came in thinking that there could actually be something one could DO, as in *speaking* that would be so permanent. In my mind, I have always thought there was that chance that no matter what one did, they could still come to Christ. But reading beyond Christ's warning, re: what comes out of the heart of man, and then in Mark that they *hated* Him and His Father, I can see how this sin of blasphemy is unpardonable.
I will go back and read the posts again, as this does go back to the original discussion of what would actually constitute blasphemy. Is it the words used? Or a combination of what is in the heart and the fact that it actually comes out of the mouth? I think it *must* be the latter, and since He knew their hearts, their hatred, knew the gravity of the road they were heading. (I would think He must have stopped them in their tracks, hopefully with the result that some in their group may still have been able to believe on Him themselves.)

Have a good day, William! And thanks for persevering.

Valerie


Tamara! I was wondering if you would jump in here!

Posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:22 a.m., in response to May I jump in and attempt to explain? *grin*, posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:19 a.m.

I had this picture of William coming to you and saying, "Can you explain to me why I am not being understood? This is so clear. It's written on the page." Maybe even, "Is this one of those 'women are different than men things', and I'm not explaining it right?"

I agree with you and understand it, too!

Have a good day, too!
Valerie


One more point for our situations today!

Posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:47 a.m., in response to Yes, I do., posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:17 a.m.

Today we have many out there who are performing "miracles", and many of us may feel skeptical about what they are doing. And I feel rightly so. Frauds have been found out in the past. But when I think of the the type of "healing miracles" done today compared with the ones Jesus performed, there is a distinct difference. The ones Jesus performed were visible, permanent and irrefutable that they happened! There was no room for doubt that a miracle had occurred!

Although I am not passing judgment on what is occurring today, at the same time I cannot ignore that many lack that visible, permanent and irrefutable evidence of Jesus' miracles! So, I do not feel that someone who may doubt their validity and voice it out loud would be coming close to the sin of blasphemy either.

With so many manifestations of the Holy Spirit being claimed out there these days, I can see how one might be afraid to voice their concern if they think it might be blasphemous. And in light of Tamara's and William's most recent posts this Sat. am, and my own understanding of it now, I commend "Anonymous" for her original post! She was being careful!

Boy! Have I just learned a thing or two this morning!

Valerie


God and Man; Hand in Hand Wink

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 10:18 a.m., in response to Re: Once Saved, Always Saved?, posted by Peggy K. on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 7:28 a.m.

Hi Peggy!

It IS so good to see you posting! I couldn't help but laugh and remember the discussions on the Christian Homeschool Forum concerning God's sovereignty and man's responsibility --I once posted our views and then got emails from "both camps" thanking me for saying what they were trying to say! *grin* (Both fully convinced we were on their side. Wink )

This is all so interwoven that it's difficult for our limited, frail human minds to comprehend, much less try to explain --but I believe the scriptures teach that God predestinated and elected those who would believe as a part of His eternal plan from before the foundation of the world--AND His plan also decreed that they must exercise faith and freely choose to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Complicated to our minds, but not to God's, thankfully! *grin*

- There are scriptures that show predestination of all things *includes* man's free choices and actions.

- God predestinated man's freedom to choose good or evil --so He is not responsible for men's wrong choices.

- Predestination can't influence man's free choices because His "side" is not revealed to us.

So God has foreordained it all, as well as the means by which it all happens --including our prayers, actions, and responses!

The following scripture shows both election and man's free response:

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

God ordained that His plans would be carried out *through belief of the truth*. Even though we've been predestinated and elected, we must respond.

Ephesians 1:4 shows how He chose us before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 4:5 shows we are predestinated.

Ephesians 4:11 shows God has an eternal plan and purpose.

2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

Romans 9:11 "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;"

1 Peter 1:2 "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus..."

We've discussed all this before (and I think we were pretty much in agreement if my memory serves me!) so there is no need to respond unless you want to and have have the extra time, but I thought I'd throw these thoughts out again in light of your message.

I believe our understanding of "eternal security" is all related to our view of predestination and election and man's response and that we can trust God to give us the proper balance and understanding so that our theology doesn't hinder us from being able to properly interpret scriptures! His plan is beautiful --even if we are stretched in understanding it and have even greater difficulty explaining it. *grin*

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Ummm....did you read William's response to "Anon for now"?

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 10:39 a.m., in response to One more point for our situations today!, posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:47 a.m.

Hi Valerie!

In case you missed William's response to "Anon for now", we DEFINITELY believe it's right to be discerning and we don't have to fear seeking God as to whether something is truly of Him or not. That should never be confused with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit --the scriptures are full of admonitions for us to be discerning and "test the spirits"!

And I think it was in one of William's messages to Kevin (or Steve?) later in the thread that he mentioned the same thing about the miracles Jesus did being rather different than what is generally going on today in the church! Good point!

Tamara

URL Suggested: <Title: Christian Lobotomy?>


You got it, Sister! And at this rate, he's going to have to cook lunch, too. *grin* (nt.)

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 10:46 a.m., in response to Tamara! I was wondering if you would jump in here!, posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 9:22 a.m.

nt.


P.S. Preservation and Perseverance...

Posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 11:01 a.m., in response to God and Man; Hand in Hand Wink, posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 10:18 a.m.

What do you think about this...

The admonitions and warnings in the Scriptures are the very means by which God secures the true believer's perseverance.

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" 2 Peter 1:10

And...the true believer will persevere because God will preserve him.

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ...Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are **kept by the power of God** through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." --(1 Pet 1:2-5)

Here we go again...all interwoven. *grin*

Tamara


I did read his posts - and they made me think...

Posted by Valerie on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 8:04 p.m., in response to Ummm....did you read William's response to "Anon for now"?, posted by Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 5 December 1998, at 10:39 a.m.

which then prompted me to "write out loud"! I had never considered all this before, but have certainly enjoyed it and learned somethings!
Thanks everyone - (and especially you, William, for your forbearance! *G*)

Valerie

 

Forum: Titus Two Library
 Topic: Intimacy in Marriage
Intimacy in Marriage [message #19] Tue, 19 April 2005 14:57
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CHFWeb: Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web - Articles & More: Message Board Library - Titus Two

Intimacy in Marriage

A Sister asked how she could meet her husband's desire for intimacy when she felt so exhausted all the time? Here are some of the responses:

Posted by Tamara Eaton:

I have a few suggestions that might be helpful if you're not already doing these things:

* Take a nap or a good break in the afternoon from your daughter to get rested up. Children benefit from this,too.

* Take care of yourself--eat foods that are good for you and get regular exercise. Drink some V-8!(big grin)

* Pace yourself during the day so you're not so exhausted at night. Think about whether your husband would like a spotless house and a wife who has completed 192 projects that day or a rested wife who has enough energy to demonstrate her great love for him? (grin)

* Plan your dinner earlier in the day so it's not stressful in the evenings, either.

* Make sure your daughter has a regular bedtime routine, make it early enough so you can have some time to unwind before you go to bed.

* Establish a good bedtime routine for YOU, too! Maybe a relaxing bath and soft music. Sometimes moms have a problem making the transition from mom to wife, especially when their child is young. Don't forget that you're much MORE than "just a mom".(grin) You are a WOMAN and God has given you a MAN --your own husband! Enjoy him!

* PRAY! God has created both husbands and wives with desires and needs, ask Him to help work this out and help you meet your husband's needs and nurture your special one flesh relationship.

This will strengthen not only you and your husband but your daughter, too. She will reap the benefits of having parents who love each other unconditionally and completely and are able to then, from that strong relationship, minister to her needs, too. What a precious gift and example!

Here's one more thought that might help you:

*You have the honor of giving your husband more pleasure than anything/anyone else in this world.*

I'm, of course, talking about *God's plans* here. HE planned it so that a married couple could experience this pleasure and fulfillment --you can give your husband something that no one else can give! Isn't that wonderful? The world has been so deceived into a perverted view of intimacy, but God's plans and purposes are so holy and beautiful and He actually wanted us to ENJOY it, too!

In His Abiding Joy and Strength,

Tamara


Posted by: Cynthia

If we take the actions....our feelings will usually come along fairly soon. After 14 years of marriage, 3 children, a dog, 2 cats, and homeschooling....I am also very weary at the end of the day. So, we've starting using the "early morning" hours...it's a great way to send him off to work. And then I don't have to feel guilty in the evening if I am too tired. And then sometimes..I will submit simply because I want to show him I love him, most men *really* need that affirmation in the bedroom. More than anything else I think. And my dh is *always* less cranky if I keep his physical needs met...which means he is alot more eager to meet my emotional needs. I'm sure God planned it all perfectly. It just takes us a while to figure out how this is supposed to work. Keep lovin' your man...any way you can. He's your gift from God. Enjoy!!!

All His,

Cynthia


Posted by: Charity

Tamara wrote: " Establish a good bedtime routine for YOU, too! Maybe a relaxing bath and soft music. Sometimes moms have a problem making the transition from mom to wife, especially when their child is young."

This is excellent advice. I think it is very difficult to feel "romantic" when you fall in bed just after checking off the last chore for the day.

Having a bit of time to do something feminine for yourself (and in the process for your husband, as well) will make you approach your alone time with your husband with a whole different mindset.

I love to take a nice bath before bedtime and I've elevated it to a fine art. Smile I put on some lovely soft music, light scented candles, pour in about 3 million cups of bubble bath. Get myself a glass of

iced tea in a long-stemmed glass and absolutely camp out! When I get out, I treat myself to a wonderful smelling lotion or powder (usually peach). Do my nails. Or have a facial. Or style my hair the way he likes it. Pamper. Pamper. Pamper.

This really works. You'll come out of the bathroom feeling like a whole different creature. All the work and seeming drudgery of the day will be gone and you'll feel like a wife again. Smile

Hey...if it worked for Esther....

Charity - Whose Husband Tells Her "You need a bath" When She's Cranky


Posted by: joni

Dear Julie,

You've gotten some great advice so far. I would definitely work on getting more rest and cultivating those special thoughts about your hubby the way everyone has suggested.

Here's my additional two cents.

Pray. Yes, I did say pray. Many of us have allowed things into our past lives that intrudes and warps this intimate area of our marriage. My dh often prays aloud that God will bless our lovemaking. HE does.

Be realistic. You don't have to see shooting stars every time you come together!!! We try to find the time and energy to express our love the way we both like it very often. However, there is nothing wrong with coming to an understanding that he might have more needs than you, and that you can gently and lovingly "submit."

Okay, so I'll be bold and just say it. Sometimes we're BOTH too tired, but he would still like to make love. Know what I mean? For a long time, my dh would roll over and go to sleep without saying anything because he knew he wasn't up to a five-star performance! Now, he realizes that the Lord has given my body to him to and he doesn't feel guilty about it! And I don't make him feel guilty about it! I can enjoy our lovemaking in a different way at those times. Besides, we know that next time...we might see shooting stars!

Someone suggested the a.m.... well, all I've got to say about that is... "rejoicing comes in the morning" (wink!)

With affection,

Joni


Posted by: Julia

Thanks for starting this thread, Julie. I've benefited from all these suggestions. Timing and fatigue have been real issues in my marriage at different times. Here are some things that have worked for us: 1) My dh has to go to bed very early (8:30 p.m.), because he has to be on the job by 4:00 a.m....YUCK!! When I'm really organized, I can have all the kids down by 9:00 p.m. Since I'm a night owl, I'm not the least bit sleepy and believe me dh doesn't mind if I wake him Wink!! 2) Whoever said that the time to make love is in the evening when we want to go to sleep??!! Be creative and experiment with different times during the day. Don't everyone laugh at once!! We have three children and it CAN be done!! My 11 yr. old is capable of a simple breakfast for the younger one's while mommy and daddy "sleep-in" for a few extra minutes (don't tell dh that I said "minutes"). My kids also love a favorite video in the middle of the afternoon (dh is usually home by 2:00 p.m.). We love to take showers together! 3) Set the mood throughout the day. Greet your husband with a romantic kiss and caresss when he walks through the door. Believe me, he'll be very attentive the rest of the evening!!! Very Happy 4) Communicate verbally your desires to one another. I don't want to be too explicit, but you get my meaning. 5) Many times we get in a vicious cycle of not meeting his physical needs because our emotional needs aren't being met, AND he's not meeting our emotional needs because his physical needs aren't being met. DON'T let that happen!! Take the higher ground that God calls us too and meet his physical needs. Be the one to break the cycle if it starts!

Well, I think I'll give dh a "love call" at work now! Can't wait 'til he gets home!!! *wink*

Blessings,

Julia


Posted by: Julie

And to think I was afraid to start this thread!! You ladies are awesome! Joni, about praying before (or during) lovemaking. That reminds me of a series of sermons my pastor did last year on marriage Hebrews

13:4. It was a seven sermon series and was great. Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though we weren't married yet. We both knew we would get married and looked forward to hearing everything all over in premarital counseling. My pastor is a VERY reserved, symmetrical person (we love him dearly). He was talking about when a husband and wife come together and that when you go into the bedroom, not to leave God out when you close the door. He said, "I'd like to suggest something...now this is gonna blow your holy heads....but what about praying during love making" He continued to elaborate on how to pray, what to pray for etc. It was kind of funny when he said that because no one in the 350 person congregation would've expected him to say that, but he is truly a wise man. He also talked about "the little foxes that spoil the vineyard"--I think it's from Song of Solomon--I can't remember the verse off the top of my head. But it had great wisdom in it. That was a whole sermon in itself. By foxes I mean---poor communication, bringing worldly language into the bedroom, selfishness, you catch the drift. He reminded us to "not get too familiar with each other"--in other words, not to take each other for granted, to continuously learn about the other person, to still leave some things up to the imagination, if that makes any sense.

It is certainly easier to communicate when you're talking face to face, isn't it?


Posted by: Ellen

Hi Julie,

Sex, between, a husband and a wife, is a joy that God has blessed us with ! Submission to your husband does not mean gritting your teeth until it is over. It means that your husband is the head of your home, and in a Christian home, this is a position that honors YOU too. When our children were really little, all I wanted to 5 minutes without ANYONE touching me, needing something from my body (Caroline was nursing and Josh needed to be held constantly) and Jeff saw that I was starting to feel that making love was ONE MORE demand on me. So, instead of being pushy, he began to "woo" me all over again. I mean, he'd light candles, give me backrub and just make me feel that I was SPECIAL to him and not just what I could do for him. I think we learned more about intimacy during that time than in any other time in our marriage. What could have been really stressful became a time that we fell in love all over again.

Talk to your husband about your needs, how you are feeling physically and be very honest about being tired. I think what you may need, too, is to 'make a date' with him ! I know that on nights we do this, I even make myself a cup of coffee to stay awake for our special time together. Your husband may simply not know how you're feeling !

About submission in other areas: my mother is an absolute feminist. She was married several times before marrying my dad (they've been married for 26 years this month !) and feels that women lose themselves in a marriage. I think that she views this through the eyes of someone who was involved with unChristian, unkind and generally men who didn't honor her, God or their relationship. She views the 'submission' idea in light of abuse and mistreatment. But, what she fails to realize, as do many feminists, is that submission in a Godly marriage to a Godly man is not slavehood or servitude. It is a structure of family. My husband relies on me to run our home smoothly, to teach our children diligently and to trust me with our daily finances. I rely on him to support us, to be the 'rock' of the family, to lead us in worship, to be 'the principal' of our homeschool and to advise me on many matters. I think clearly defined roles help a marriage so much. The marriages I have seen crumble are often ones with an ongoing power struggle.

When we think of Christian husbands and our submission to them, we also need to think of men DESERVING this very high honor. An abusive or negligent husband does not honor his family, and thereore, is not falling under the same guidelines. Just my VERY humble opinion !

Love,

Ellen


Posted by: Peggy

Dear Julie,

First I want to say that I am glad that you posed this question, because I'm sure that it is one that other women may grapple with. It shows an honesty on your part and a willingness to rectify something that seems to be a problem in the most important earthly relationship you have.

All of the thoughts the others have contributed are worthy of consideration. In addition, I have some other thoughts I'd like to pose that may require a great deal of soul searching and honesty on your part.

You said that intimacy is not new to you, that you've had other intimate relationships, before becoming a Christian. Is it possible that when you were so poor in spirit, you were attempting to use physical intimacy to legitimize your own worth...attain love and acceptance where you could not find it elsewhere? If there is any possibility that this is the case, you may have been "using" intimacy for your own gain (albeit a gain that is an inherent necessity in the lives of all human beings...that of feeling some sense of worth and love).

True intimacy, as God intends it, fulfilled within the bounds of lasting covenant and nurture is enduring...trust is developed and fear banished. When intimacy is not within those confines, it becomes hollow and meaningless...it proves nothing substantial and enduring.

I'm sure that now that you are in a relationship of enduring covenant and nurture, you feel much more worth and love. But, perhaps your associated feelings in regard to physical intimacy still rings somewhat hollow and unsubstantial because of the emptiness in your past relationships.

You may not know the beauty behind it in the covenantal relationship, because your other relationships did not prove the enduring beauty of it. You no longer need to use physical intimacy to gain love and worth, because that love and worth has been given to you freely by your husband who loves, trusts and cherishes you in all ways.

Now you need to show *your* love...*your* trust in your husband by giving him the intimacy that can hold promise for *both* of you by virtue of its being a constituent of enduring covenant and nurture. Trust him, Julie...and love him. Even if that intimacy doesn't hold the same primacy for you in acquiring what you need and desire, it is still something very substantial and meaning-filled in the covenantal relationship you have with your husband, now. It is something that *he* needs and desires even if you are not aware of its meaning for yourself right now. Believe that it can and will have meaning and substance and you and your husband will be one in spirit and flesh.

Love,

Peggy

 

 Topic: A Husband's Struggle With Pornography and A Wife's Pain
A Husband's Struggle With Pornography and A Wife's Pain [message #20] Tue, 19 April 2005 14:59
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Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Hi, first I should say that I come from a very abusive background. When I met my dh I knew I wanted to marry him when he was in a very stressful situation and I said something very innocent but dumb and he didn't blow up, strike or leave me! Our first year of marriage was rough and he went for Christian counseling. (I should tell you he is a believer and came to Christ in college.) It was at this time that he let me know that when life was difficult he would partake of pornogaphy (this was something he was exposed to in high school). The counseling went very well and I thought he was healed. Honestly Ladies, I couldn't ask to be treated better. He is so loving and compassionate, and a great father. Well, 10+ years have passed and occasionally I would ask him if he was having any trouble in the area of porn and he would deny it. Well, the beginning of last year he was going away on business and one of the guys in his accountability group called him. I truly had no reason to "eaves drop" but I heard him giving this man his beeper #. So I asked him if this man planned on calling him while he was away. He said,"Yes, he just wants to talk about something." My dh left the next day, and I guess the Holy Spirit decided it was tme for me to learn the truth because all I could think about was a commercial I had heard on Christian radio about a man that didn't like to travel because of the temptations with porn,TV and cable. So when he called that day I confronted him and he broke my heart and admitted that he had never been able to get totally away from it. I've been broken ever since. Everyone in my life is so human, but nothing prepared me for this.
I have no family support and I NEVER expected him to let me down like this. I can't tell you how often people will approach us and tell us how they respect our marriage, and I just want to tell the world it is not true, it has been a big deception. The lying is the most painful part. He could have come to me and we could have battled it together, but he says he never wanted to hurt me like he has. His accountablity group knew about the problem, but he couldn't tell me.
My family has always caused so much pain. They continually lie to me and about me, I thought I could trust my dh.
I'm so confused, hurt and angry. I would never lie to him... The only lesson that I see for myself in this is that my husband is a man and he fell. Unfortunately he is the only adult in my life that I feel I had been successful at connectiong with.
I love him sooooo much. I still get so excited when I see his face. He is continually telling me and showing his love for me, but as you can tell I'm struggling. I can't except that if he truly loved me he would have done those things. Is it possible that he does love me and could fall in that way?
I would love for someone to explain this to me. I'm too ashamed to talk to anyone. He is on a business trip right now and I'm on a downward spiral.
Obviously I would love prayers, too.
Thank-you.


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear Sister,

I understand that you are feeling deceived and lied to, but one thing is important for you to remember, this area of struggle for your husband has nothing to do with his love for you. He has been in continual contact with godly men to help him gain victory in this area. He has been working on keeping pure in this area. And he probably had a great fear that if he had told you about it many years ago your response would have been one of mistrust and disrespect for him as your husband. I am not trying to excuse his not being honest with you, but I am wanting you to see it from his perspective. If he had been living in denial these past 10 years I would be much more concerned, but he has been working on bringing this struggle under the control of the Holy Spirit and you need to be grateful for that.

For many men this could be a very long struggle, but one that God will bring more and more victory as they seek to walk in obedience. For others it is a sin that is easily dealt with.

Dear, it will be important for you to know that it is not profitable for you to ever know the details of your husband's struggle in this area. Part of his protection of you is desiring to keep you from struggling with your own desirability as a wife (since for him this is probably not an issue). You need to keep on your knees in prayer for him knowing this is an area of struggle. It could be that he has gone for months or years when things were relatively temptation-free, but knowing that
he still was suseptable.

Consider praying and fasting for him on a weekly basis. The greatest strength you can give him is your love and support. He is battling a very deep sin area in his life and he has been leaning on the support and prayers of his brothers in Christ. He also needs the support and prayers of his wife. God will be dealing with you in this area as well. Are you willing to continue to accept that *this* is the man God has given to you, that his struggles are also your struggles? Are you willing to take them upon your shoulders without weighing him down with guilt from you as well? For some men that added guilt from their wives makes things almost unbearable. I have been friends with many women over the years whose husbands have struggled with some type of "pornea" (sexual sin) and in every case, when the wife puts guilt on her husband he loses ground rather than gains ground. I am not trying to discourage you but to help you understand that what he needs from you is not pressure...allow the Holy Spirit to do that in his life, but love and prayer.

When he is on business trips, consider fasting for much of the time he is gone. Look to see how you can uphold him in prayer, especially during his vulnerable times. Don't ask him questions other than something like, "should I be praying more specifically now?" I knew a gal who wanted to know all the details of what he was struggling with. These things are not edifying (to say the least) and shouldn't be spoken of again...it causes your husband to "practice" this sinful behavior all over again.

This may have been rambling, but I have seen a number of women struggle with this and know that God's desire is to bring healing and wholeness to people's lives and marriages. Don't allow the enemy to convince you that the last 10 years of your marriage have been a lie...your husband obviously loves you and aside from this area your husband has kept from you it sounds like you have a strong relationship with one another. Be sure that you keep your heart focused on the Lord and His work in both yours and your husband's lives.

In His Joy and grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Jill Ehrlich, IN on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:01 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I know your husband must be in pain also. Pornography is truly an addiction, almost as much as alcohol, drugs etc. I know it must be hard to see it that way, it seems as if he does have choices.
I take great encouragment that your husband is seeking help from men of God! Pray for your husband, and thank God that he sent you a husband so loving and kind. Look to the positive things about your husband, and allow the Holy Spirit to heal him.
I know these things cannot be easy alone, I will pray that the LORD OF ALL THINGS will give you strength.
Love In Him, Jill E.


Praying for you, dear sister (long)

Posted by Anon2 on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:30 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Your story is very similar to mine. My friends think he's almost perfect. He's been a wonderful husband, VERY giving, gentle, devoted to the children, good provider, and so on.

My dh is also in a accountability group and has this problem. I know how very, very hurt you are, but your husband would not be in a accountability group if he was not trying to break free from this sin!

When my dh confessed (and his confession involved quite a bit of sin), I immediately forgave him and strove to support him. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my entire life. Please believe your husband that he doesn't want to hurt you. My husband frequently had thoughts of death because he could not break free. Once he did confess to me, Satan's grip was loosened, and he's now COMPLETELY healed. He praises God daily for this freedom. He believes he was in the bondage of pornography since he was a young teenager. No, he didn't have much opportunity to view it, but sex became something "dirty". The computer later opened up a whole new avenue into this sin.

I'd like to say one thing. A lot of the Christian literature I've read and radio programs I have heard on this subject cautions husbands to think carefully about whether on not they should tell their wives. I'm sure your dh did not want to hurt you, perhaps he thought you would leave him, and perhaps he thought you weren't strong enough to deal with this issue. Are you? (Remember -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.)

I hope you are spending a lot of time in scripture. That's so important. The Lord loves you and your husband and will care for you. Place your trust in him.

I'd be happy to help you with anything that is troubling you. Ask away. I'm praying for you.

Your sister in Christ,
Anon2


Re: Praying for you, dear sister (long)

Posted by Anon (me again) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 4:54 p.m., in response to Praying for you, dear sister (long), posted by Anon2 on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:30 p.m.

You are a source of inspiration for me. There was so much truth shared with me today! I appreciate your honesty and love. It is so difficult for me to displace this from myself and something I've done or failed at. I will be praying more diligently for him and praising God for my dh!!!
In Christ,
Anon


My downward spiral has turned UPWARDS!!!

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 5:05 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

I am probably embarrasing myself cause I don't "know" you, but , I've seen your name and WISDOM lots!!! You definitely have the gift of wisdom and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I wish we (you and I)had talked before he told me the truth, because I forced every detail out of him and that was a mistake. I should not have gone there, it has only made the battle harder for me.
Again, you'll never know how the Lord used all of the responses. I've been blessed!!!
In Christ,
Me


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 5:08 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Jill Ehrlich, IN on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:01 p.m.

Jill,
Thank-you for your encouragement and prayers. I can't tell you how the Lord has used the responses to minister to me. I really needed it too! I DO need strength and I know where to get it!
Thank-you so much!
Me


Re: A year ago...

Posted by caroline in Ca on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:09 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

we found alcohol, cigarettes and chewing tobacco in our teenage sons room! I was upset! My husband was concerned but his response was "I just thank God that it isnt pornography!" I thought he was crazy! how could a book or movie be more harmful than what we were dealing with? He then explined something to me!

I knew that he worked with a group that trouble shoots church problems and takes them to prayer and finds solutions. I did not ever push any about it because it wasnt my ministry and I didnt want to be put in the position that I may be accused of gossip! Its not uncommon for this ministry to not be shared with wives...it is very sensitive information!

BUT! Thats when he shared with me how damaging and addicting pornography is. many, many pasotrs even have this problem. It has very little to do with their marriages...most of the time the addiction starts as teens. It seems that this problem is best dealt with between men but the men that are helping your husband may know of a woman that can help you deal with the backlash of it!

I am praying for you!


I understand

Posted by anon (3) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:27 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

how you feel completely. However, be glad that your dh is and has been trying to get help. My husband doesnt even see what the problem is or that their is anything wrong with it (he does not attend church but claims to be saved???? that is not for me to judge though) It is soooo hurtful. I am very close to turning the internet off because of it. I can hit the "history" file and just see tons of places that he has visited (address only...I dont actually go there) I was molested as a child so sex to me is very hard and I already feel dirty. Knowing what he looks at on this computer only makes things worse for me. I will take the advice you have been given and just pray for him. Who do I think I am to be able to make him stop by asking him to anyway!!???!! I feel for you and can completely sympathize!

God bless you as you work through this together!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:53 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

Dear Sister,

What a wonderful and loving response Kate gave to you. I believe that she is 100% right. I do feel led to say something else. Please don't be offended but.... this is your husband's test. It is between him and God. It is not about you. God is working with him. Your husband is trying to get to where God wants him to be. Your biggest job in your husband's test is not to get in the way. You do have a test but it is a different one.

Your test is how to handle the fact that your husband is not perfect. God is using this time for you to peel away the scars that came from your life as a child. God wants you to look at Him and not at other people's weaknesses. I know that it is very difficult when it involves our husbands but God needs us to be out of the way so that He can work on our husbands. There may be times when God will use you but it won't be when you are hurt. It will be when God's timing is right.

God knew that you would be going through this at this time and He has provided everything that you need to pass your test.

I care very much for what you are going through and you are in my prayers.

Kathyj


Thank you, Kate!

Posted by Also Anonymous on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 9:40 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

My husband has struggled in this area, also. I've seen God's abundant grace in our lives as we grow, and especially in this area of his life.

Your wisdom was what I needed to read.

Thank you.


Re: I understand

Posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 10:38 p.m., in response to I understand, posted by anon (3) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:27 p.m.


Anon3

I am so sorry. My heart cries out when I think of children being assaulted. Two of my nieces were sexually abused as children. I have seen the devastation that comes from child abuse. One of my nieces had to live with us during part of her teen-age years because of what she had gone through with her step-father. It took everything we had to help her. My husband and I did our best to find out how to help her and to let her know about God's love. The other niece told me that she had always felt that she must have done something to deserve this abuse. She must not have been a good girl or something. She told me this when she was 30. She had a small 8 year old daughter. I asked her if her 8 year old daughter could do anything so terrible to deserve this treatment. She looked at me in horror and said "no she is just a child." I asked then why couldn't my niece be as understanding about herself when she was a child of 6 and the abuse had started. As an adult, she finally realized that "IT WASN'T HER FAULT".

I hope that you know that it wasn't your fault.

I know that what you are going through with your husband is very difficult. It is good that you are not trying to take your husband's sins as your responsibility. It is good that you have given it to God to handle.

When you realize that God made the heavens and the earth without our help; that he made the universe without our help; and that we have gravity and oxygen to breath because of God, then you realize that He doesn't need our help to make things better. Sometimes He does give us chores to do because it helps us, not Him. (Sort of like what we do when our 3 or 4 year old wants to help. We give them a job that they can handle.)

My husband did not know the Lord in our early days of marriage. It made many things very difficult. I prayed a lot and I asked that I do what God wanted me to do. Well, I never got permission to do anything. Then after many trials and tests, my husband found out what Jesus Christ had done for him on the cross. He found this out not because of what I did but because God was able to work in his life without me getting in the way.

At the same time, I was going through my own brand of tests. Smile

You are in my prayers. I know that God has a plan for your life and that God has a plan for your husband's life.

Kathyj


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Dawn on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 11:05 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear Dawn,

Please know that I am praying for you and that I went through the same thing years ago-Your life is NOT over and your marriage can be better because you are facing this together. The verse the Lord gave me when I became angry was, "entreat him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." You will be stronger and able to comfort others because you have faced this addiction together-it was not your fault-in any way! The enemy is active and your husband is a wounded soldier. God can and will use you to support and bandage his wounds, so to speak. Your support will see him through.(God supporting him through you, of course.

Our marriage actually got better once I got past the bruised ego point and realized that we still "had" what I thought we "had". A godly lady told me, "your husband was a godly man, but he had "feet of clay". I realized too, that it could've been me who had fallen. That helped me to want to help him!

God allowed us several years together, we were sooo young-and then he took my precious dh home to Heaven. (He was in his twenties) I am sooo very glad, I loved and supported this special yet wounded man. I will never regret sticking by his side-He needs you precious lady-God will equip you to help him.
Love and Prayers!!!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 4:44 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:53 p.m.

You are so very right. I appreciate your honesty and prayers. It has been a real struggle to leave this between dh and God.
I am so grateful for all of the love and wisdom on this board!!!
In Christ,
anon


Just wanted to let you know

Posted by Anon 4 on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:31 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

I've been through this too. My dh has relied on me to help him. I wish he would go to other men instead. It is a burden I don't think I should carry, but I feel he needs me. He doesn't relate well with other men. Your dh has chosen a very loving path. Other men will understand the temptation while we as women usually don't.
My dh has experienced victory and great spiritual growth through this time. Your dh will too. Don't give up hope.


Thank-you again, Kate.

Posted by Anon 4 on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:34 a.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

You have blessed me many times.


Small point of disagreement.

Posted by Me, too. on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:47 a.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

Kate--

Your advice is tremendous, but I have to disagree with the idea of the husband not sharing details. Knowing how and what he was looking at and how he found it was healing, not hurtful to me and the confession was good for our marriage. We have young daughters and I wanted to know frankly if he was into child pornography. It had not gotten that far, but he had worked his way from pretty tame stuff down to just starting with very young teenagers by the time I caught him. Child porn was the next step. The Lord's timing was fortunate. He would have ended up there sooner or later and what a man sees long enough, he will act out. Mine did on me without me knowing it.

If he'd kept details from me after I caught him in the act, I would have gone on forever wondering when he was going to do something to our girls. Now I know that it stopped with me and I can handle that. He's at the place now where he knows he cannot be alone with the computer. One day soon he'll gain complete victory and I'll be able to leave him at home alone--right now he doesn't want me to, and I don't mind staying by his side while he browses. God is good!

I understand why you're saying it, but I think it might be more of a matter of the situation and the partners involved. A flat statement of "no details" I believe is wrong. It certainly would have been for us! I love him all the more for answering my difficult questions and his confession gave him relief that there's no secrets anymore.

Respectfully,

Me, too


Re: Small point of disagreement.

Posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:18 a.m., in response to Small point of disagreement., posted by Me, too. on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:47 a.m.

Dear Sister,

I understand your point but I still maintain that it is neither profitable nor edifying for husbands to tell their wives all the details of their struggles with this area. Simply finding out that the sin was not dealing with pedophilia is enough to know. Too many women want to know the specifics of this and that...none of those things should be discussed as they are defiling to those who speak about it and those who hear it.

There is a difference between open confession which includes being frank about how far things have gone and giving all of the details about what was seen or imagined.

I am glad that things worked out well in your situation and rejoice that God has brought greater love and security through your communication, but I have seen too many times where women heard things they had never imagined and it helped drive a deeper wedge in their hearts between them and their husbands. There are many ways we can help our husbands in this area without having to know all of the details...as wives hearts and minds remain pure in this area there is often less room for the enemy to plague them with deeper doubts and fears.

We may have different perspectives on this point, but I am rejoicing in our unity in looking to the Lord's holiness and purity reigning in the lives of our husbands (and us).

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 12:39 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear anon! Oh how my heart weeps for you! It must be devestating. I want to try and give you a little insight. This is an area that I myself have struggled with and let me tell you - it is a STRONGHOLD!!! I truly believe that for the victory to be won in this area,or in any stronghold - there must be prayer and FASTING!! I was abused sexually when I was young and blocked it from my memory. As I grew up, I knew in my head that my preoccupation with sexual thoughts and fantasies were wrong but couldn't feel anything. This continued throughout my marriage and affected my Christian walk - obviously! This is an almost impossible struggle to mention within a church concept and so I kept trying to make the changes on my own. Until the Lord dealt with me and I realized that this was a stronghold, I would slip and fall every time I tried to correct my failings. Do not be too hard on your dh - although you feel that he has betrayed you in the most intimate, personal way - the issue is not so much about you as it is about our yielding to the Lord. My husband to this day does not know about this part of my life and the Lord has graciously allowed me through much trial and error, prayer and travail to finally! break the bondage that I was under. Do not doubt your dh's love for you! This is an extremely humiliating addiction and he needs you to support him and be his helpmeet in overcoming this. Love him with all the love that the Lord will give you for him. Do not sit in judgement - his sin is no worse in God's eyes than our sins of gossip or overindulgence or whatever you struggle with. Our God is faithful to supply all our needs - even the need for love when we don't want to love. I am upholding you in prayer. Persevere through this and see what God can do through difficult situations!!

In Christ!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 1:36 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 12:39 a.m.

I can't tell you how the Lord has worked thru you women!!! I am so blessed by the love and wisdom here!
I am working towards lifting my dh and his sin up to the Lord and trusting Him for the work He is doing in my dh's life.
Thank-you for everything. It was very helpful, and I will pray for you, too.


Never mind, we're in agreement! Smile

Posted by Me, too on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 5:32 p.m., in response to Re: Small point of disagreement., posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:18 a.m.

Hi, Kate!

Thank you for the clarification...I was hearing you say "details" as in asking about anything going on beyond the knowing a problem existed.

No, I didn't ask for the nitpicky stuff, just the frequency and type and how found, so we were actually agreeing. I misunderstood.

Thanks again!

Me, too

 Topic: If you're over 40 and expecting, or have had babies in your 40's, please join us...
icon7.gif  If you're over 40 and expecting, or have had babies in your 40's, please join us... [message #4759] Fri, 29 April 2005 20:40
Tamara Eaton
Messages: 4954
Registered: April 2005
Location: South
Senior Member
Hi Everyone!

If you're over 40 and expecting, or have had babies in your 40's, please join us also over on the SheLaughed.com message board! We just moved to this new format there, too, thanks to William's work late last night getting everything set us for us and we need some new members now!

I'll be working on getting the old SheLaughed.com message board archived --at least the discussions that are worthy of saving and the testimonies, etc., and I plan to post some on the new board soon, too.

Unfortunately I had problems accessing the Internet today during the period when I was trying to do stuff to the board, so I'll have to wait until I have time to work on it some more later!

[Updated on: Thu, 22 January 2009 15:43]


Blessings,
Tamara

"There is always enough time to do the will of God. Don't Waste Your Life!"
 Topic: Marriage Nuggets compiled by Jenni from the Living Life to the Glory of God board
Marriage Nuggets compiled by Jenni from the Living Life to the Glory of God board [message #498463] Thu, 22 January 2009 15:38
Tamara Eaton
Messages: 4954
Registered: April 2005
Location: South
Senior Member

[From Jenni]
Good Thursday morning, dear sisters!

Thank you so much to everyone who shared yesterday! If you'd like to add any more thoughts or ideas, please do! Let's continue these conversations on intentionally blessing our dh's for another day, okay? Please feel free to share anything "you wish you knew" or anything that's really helped you in staying happily married. What a priceless treasure we can give our dc: the example of a happy, God-centered marriage! And what a warm and inviting home it makes. Here's a compilation of yesterday's "nuggets" 

[Note these are from all the various participants of the discussion. Jenni originally had them in different colors, but that format didn't transfer directly to this forum, and I'm not taking the time to make all the necessary format changes now! --TE]:

The whole line of authority thing just makes it all work SO much better! I wish I had known that I didn't have to do everything...and that God could and would take care of Dh without any help from me. No naggin' needed 

Oh...one of my other nuggets that I thought about as I was adding beer to my grocery list Don't have convictions FOR my husband!! I am NOT his Holy Spirit....and until God speaks to him about such things as long as it's not a clear sin, I need to keep my big mouth shut! There are FAR worse things in life than a husband who enjoys a beer every now and again...yet I could have, and would have but for the grace of God, ruined my marriage but pushing MY convictions on my husband...cause I knew better And it's not that I even think drinking is a sin, I just don't do it any more...so I didn't think he should either 

When we got married, the pastor told us that marriage is not a 50/50 situation, but a 100/100 situation. What he didn't tell us was...my 100% would rarely equal dh's 100%! Sometimes his was greater, sometimes mine. It is wrong to compare mine to his...we are both doing our best, and that is what's important, even when it doesn't seem to be "enough". (After being married for 25 years or so, we came to realize that it all evens out in the end... ) 

This is also the model of Christ and His Church. We often don't live up to Jesus' 100%, yet He remains faithful to us! So, too, we must remain faithful to Him (even if we think His 100% isn't "enough" at the moment). 

Listen more closely to his "suggestions."

A couple of things that I remember a person telling me before my husband and I got married was to always make sure *I* was the person he wanted to come home to see. She went on to say to make sure home was his haven, the place where his wife loves on him, etc. I had another person tell me to treat him better than you would a stranger on the street. I mean, really - think about it, "we" tend to treat strangers with courtesy and such! 

I've also learned through the years that we can't compare our marriage to anyone else's marriage. What works for us would be a train wreck for someone else.

My major advice would be to seriously consider the admonition to honor your dh and always be careful not to undermine him. Always defer to his leadership and be respectful when you need to question him.

I think the one thing I would share is when you commit to a marriage, commit 100%. There is no halfway commitment....I'll do this, if he does that. It's 100% on both sides but all you can worry about is your own 100%!

1. I learned to submit to his authority and to encourage him to lead. I was NOT a submissive wife when we married, and he is too laid back to push it. We went along for years like that until God began to work on us. Now I sometimes still struggle, but I know that dh is much better at leading than I am! 

2. I have learned to use his love language. We talked about this earlier, but I really think it is important. My love language is acts of service, so I would do things like wash his clothes and make tea, etc. and expect him to get a big thrill out of it. He appreciated it but just didn't seem so excited. I learned that I need to use his love language to really fill his tank!

3. The other most important thing I've learned is to seek to satisfy him physically. (Did I say that delicately enough . I have heard many Christian wives (and I've been one) who say, "Well I'm too tired and busy from caring for the house and kids, and that just shouldn't be such a big deal. He just thinks about that all the time!" But, the fact is, that is how God created dh. And I need to love him in that way. It makes all the difference in our relationship when he knows I am seeking to please him there.

-The person you marry is going to be your best friend in life, for life. You should treat each other that way.

-Make home a refuge. 

"1) make sure your dishes are done after every meal and keep your sink clean and 2) make sure you learn how to do everything around the house so that when he dies, you'll know how to do things." 

Find little ways to bless your dh. Not only does it help him out, but it helps me because I'm more in tune with him and his needs/wants. To me it's a way of telling him, "Hey! I've got your back!" The workplace can be a not so nice place and the knowledge that there is a sanctuary waiting for them can be so helpful. (Even if that sanctuary is chaotic at times, lol, it makes a difference if they know you have their best interests at heart.)

1.Greet hubby at the door when he gets home. When you have children, train them to do the same. It is hard for men (at least it is for my hubby) to leave home every day to go out into the corporate world. Welcome him home with a hug and kiss.

2.Figure out his love language, and maybe yours, too. 

3. Physical needs are VERY important to men. Make them feel special by pleasing them.

4.Some men (I would say most men) are 'fixers' and if you unload problems on him, and he sees a way to fix it, that is what he will tell you. If you are just wanting to 'vent' preface that before you start talking. 

5. To me, love is a choice. Even during hard times, when your hubby doesn't seem lovable...make that choice to love them--To honor your covenant to God,and to him.

You may think you know everything about the person you are going to marry, but you don't. You will continue to be learning about each other.

Effective, fervent prayer 

Realize that dh has off days, as much as we do, and sometimes either needs to just be alone or at times needs you to just listen & not try to 'fix' [That's hard for me!] Also, even when you've argued, don't go to bed mad at each other. Forgive and make sure to say I love you and kiss before you or dh leaves EACH time.

Pick well to begin with... 

Frequent and free physical relations.

1. Living the CRUCIFIED LIFE with Christ! Dying to self pretty much takes care of a huge number of problems. 

2. Focus on the positive qualities of your husband instead of any negative --and don't sweat the small stuff. Don't be easily offended.

3. To be human is to have an "off" day at times...take turns. Laughing Don't both of you be childish, stupid, or grouchy at the same time! 

4. Have an attitude of ministry and serve your husband as you would serve the Lord instead of having a "doormat/slave" mentality where you feel you are a martyr. 

5. Let your love and appreciation for your husband show each and every day --not just in saying you love him (although that's nice, too!), but in your actions!

6. No matter how long you've been married, no matter how busy you are, or how many children take up your time, always demonstrate to your husband that he is number ONE (in Christ ) in your life!

1) Make him your #1 priority. I think when we become moms, we are tempted to give our children all of our best time. He needs that best time. If he is not your priority, when the kids are gone, who will be left?


2) Tell him everything -- your hopes, your dreams, your worries and concerns and be there to listen to the same from him

3) Never ask a question that you don't want to hear the answer to 

4) Ask him about spiritual matters -- This will only work if equally yoked. I think it really honors my dh when I bring him spiritual questions

5) The promise I made myself when I got married -- never, ever say no to relations. I think that this one has really made a difference. I have not been perfect and not gone in wholeheartedly at times, but I never told him no. God has met my needs even when I was tired or not feeling my best. And I have a very happy dh. 

6) MAKE time for you and dh -- go out on a date or set aside time at home with NO distractions. The dishes and housework can wait. Better to have a happy husband and a dirty home than to have a spotless home where two strangers live. 


Some things I wish I knew when we got married:

Talking directly to dh is better than talking obliquely.

Dh thinks differently than me...not because he's obstinate...but because God made his brain like that...boy babies' brains get formed differently in general than girl babies' brains.

Dh has a different spiritual gift than I do...we used to drive each other crazy because we didn't understand that. Someone would be struggling - my perspective as a comforter/mercy person is: Oh, let's go talk to them and make them feel better -- dh's perspective as a servant is: Oh, let's go build'em a deck! I thought he was insensitive and he thought I was impractical for the longest time. It turns out we're just bent toward different responses...and that's something God gave each of us.

I don't have to tell dh all my words ...I can adapt my conversational style. 

The thing I wish I would have known when I got married is how not to take his moodiness personal. I don't now but I could have saved myself a few years of hurt feelings over nothing. 

My marriage "nugget" to a bride-to-be is: 

Learn to appreciate your dh's viewpoint - especially in areas in which the two of you are not totally in sync. Work toward understanding his position and supporting it. 


Praying blessings over our marriages and our homes! Have a great day, friends. 

Hugs to all,

Jenni

[Updated on: Thu, 22 January 2009 15:40]

 Topic: Ways to pray for cancer sufferers...
Ways to pray for cancer sufferers... [message #701068] Sat, 28 May 2011 22:46
Jeannette in Pa.  is currently offline Jeannette in Pa.
Messages: 50
Registered: April 2005
Location: land of horse and buggies
Member
I have been thinking how it may be helpful if I made of list of things to pray for for people with cancer. This isn't an exhaustive list, and if there is anything anyone wants to add, feel free. Its just good sometimes to know specifically how to pray.

1. Pray for the emotional/mental challenges that one is faced with as they deal with the disease. Not only is there the initial shock, but it is such a roller coaster ride of varied emotions, much like grief is. Anger,depression, fear, bargaining with God, denial, acceptance- in any order and the feelings tend to come and go repeatedly.

2. Pray for clear guidance regarding what treatments are best for the particular person. What may be best for one may well be deadly for the next person.

3. Pray that the cancer fighting genes and mechanisms in the body would be activated and that they would be empowered to destroy the cancer cells.

4. Pray that the actual cancer cells would either self destruct or be conquered by the body's immune system, or by the medication.

5. Pray against the complications of chemotherapy and radiation. Pray that secondary cancers from these treatments would not arise. And that the immune system would be protected.

6. Pray for vision in the heart of the cancer victim, that as long as they have breath, God is still using them and they have an important role in this life.

7. Pray that who ever has cancer, that they would know the Lord in deeper and more intimate ways and discover the peace that penetrates deeper than any pain or heartache.

8. Pray for the family... its a terribly hard battle to endure for them, too. I sometimes felt that my suffering was harder on my loved ones than it was on me.

9. Pray for wisdom to eat nutritiously.

10. Pray that the Lord would make Himself manifest in new ways to not only the cancer warrior, but to the ones who their lives touch.

11. Pray for rest... or energy, depending on what the need is the most for.

12. Pray against fear. After you have been diagnosed with cancer, even if you have survived it, every time there is something a little out of the ordinary, it is very easy to begin to fear the cancer is back. And during the seasons of active battle, the medical testing and appointments can be very overwhelming and scary.

13. Pray for peace of mind while awaiting results of biopsies and tests.

14. Pray for provision in those seasons where work is limited or impossible.

15. Pray for safety and energy when out in the heat.

16. Pray that the side effects of any treatment would be minimal and that the person is kept safe from infection.

Thanks for all the prayers you have lifted up for me and some of our sisters here on chfweb who battle cancer. We truly appreciate your support.

Blessings,
Jeannette


Nothing is impossible with God...
Forum: Sr High Faith & Fellowship
 Topic: Reminder about posting movie quotes and recommendations...
Reminder about posting movie quotes and recommendations... [message #325990] Fri, 21 September 2007 22:26
Tamara Eaton
Messages: 4954
Registered: April 2005
Location: South
Senior Member
Please be extremely responsible and careful in posting only those movies and quotes that would be appropriate for homeschooling Christian teens. We realize not everyone would agree on which movies are entirely appropriate, but some movies contain content that is pretty obviously not something the vast majority of Christian families would approve of! We don't want people to run off and rent movies based on CHFWeb participants' recommendations only to be totally shocked.

Thank you for helping us maintain high standards for CHFWeb! Smile

Blessings,
Mrs. Eaton

[Updated on: Thu, 06 November 2008 21:19]

 Topic: zindread battle
zindread battle [message #436309] Thu, 31 July 2008 21:32
matthew  is currently offline matthew
Messages: 57
Registered: April 2008
Location: Zindread
Member
I finally made it so that you guys can try my unfinished masterpiece game, Zindread Battle. Click on the green circle next to the left side tower to shoot and click on the arrows at the bottom of the screen to change arrow types. Click on the blue circles on the left side to change the music. Have fun!!!! Very Happy Wink I just realived that the game file is way too big to put on here so I am putting it on yoyogames.com/play you will have to go there to try it Sad .

[Updated on: Thu, 31 July 2008 21:43]


"The Craall are coming to invade, you must flee to the mountains or die".
The words of Farnell of Neelloc upon coming to the city of Ecmah.
 Topic: Brithday Party!
Brithday Party! [message #439594] Sat, 09 August 2008 15:07
Brittanythegreat  is currently offline Brittanythegreat
Messages: 7
Registered: August 2008
Location: Texas
Junior Member
So, I'm doing a Beauty and the Beast themed party for my Best Friend's 18th birthday party. Anyone have any ideas on how to decorate? Preferably something cheap.


"You either die a Hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a Villain."
 Topic: paintings
paintings [message #459159] Sat, 04 October 2008 19:56
matthew  is currently offline matthew
Messages: 57
Registered: April 2008
Location: Zindread
Member
These are some recent paintings I made.


"The Craall are coming to invade, you must flee to the mountains or die".
The words of Farnell of Neelloc upon coming to the city of Ecmah.
 Topic: I'm soooo thankful I was homeschooled!!!!
icon10.gif  I'm soooo thankful I was homeschooled!!!! [message #460318] Tue, 07 October 2008 14:54
Emily
Messages: 1904
Registered: April 2005
Location: Southeast Ohio
Senior Member
Being here at college has really helped me realize just how beneficial being homeschooled has been.

It taught me to think for myself and to be self-motivated. If I run into something I don't know, I don't wait for the teacher to explain it or give up on ever understanding it; rather, I know how to go about researching it and figuring it out on my own.
I don't have problems self motivating myself to do homework. I don't depend on the teacher to keep me accountable.
I know how to research topics properly on my own.
I know how to take proper notes in class and pay attention during lectures so I have adequate notes to study from.
I know how to study for tests - AND how to motivate myself to study for tests!

It absolutely amazes me the difference homeschooling has made for me academically! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy I wouldn't trade it for anything!


Emily
 Topic: colleges
icon5.gif  colleges [message #607761] Sun, 31 January 2010 01:22
snowangel  is currently offline snowangel
Messages: 32
Registered: November 2007
Location: ALASKA
Member

hey anyone know of any good colleges on the west coast preferably that have good marine biology classes or animal classes? thanks!!! Very Happy


Love Never Fails
For those I love, Lord, I pray
Bless those who spitefully use me and give me the patience to love them through u
 Topic: Aaaahhhhh!
Aaaahhhhh! [message #690878] Thu, 31 March 2011 15:06
Robbie<3  is currently offline Robbie<3
Messages: 442
Registered: April 2009
Location: Arizona
Senior Member
We got a call this morning from the lady me and my sister work for and one of the horses down at the stables has colic. Sad So we went down there all morning to help and thankfully he is doing much better. Smile


#Bowties are cool
 Topic: We're taking a poll concerning a new board for ages 13 and under...
We're taking a poll concerning a new board for ages 13 and under... [message #788982] Tue, 29 October 2013 02:14
Tamara Eaton
Messages: 4954
Registered: April 2005
Location: South
Senior Member
I'm posting this here just in case there are any younger kids reading.

Timothy Youth section was removed ONLY because no one was posting in it anymore! There had been no new posts since last year! Shocked

However, we are taking a poll now to see if there is enough interest in a new area for homeschoolers age 13 and under, if there is, we'll be glad to open one up.

Here is the link to the poll --only vote if you are 13 and under and would have your parent's permission to participate on such a board --or if you are a parent who has a homeschooler 13 or under who wants to participate! Smile

http://chfweb.com/index.php?t=msg&th=85224&start=0&a mp;a mp;S=9d11bda05805ae1ab42c2725d3dc2151

[Updated on: Tue, 29 October 2013 02:15]


Blessings,
Tamara

"There is always enough time to do the will of God. Don't Waste Your Life!"
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Women In Ministry??? ... This is a compilation of several threaded discussions on the Bible Issues section. The first poster asks, "So I have to ask,after reading all the posts on submission and cultural interpretations how do you all feel, react or handle women in ministry? Do you think they are out of the Lords will? Just curious for other thoughts."

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