Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Building on the Right Foundation

This blog has been quiet way too long. I am at the computer a lot but it's usually when I'm nursing Isaac and only have one hand available, so typing is hard. I thought I would publish one of the articles I have linked in my sidebar. It is short and sweet and so good that everyone should read it.

By Virgil Holt

I am a missionary working with New Tribes Mission, a grace-oriented organization, in Mexico. Although our mission works primarily among tribal people, my ministry is to challenge and train Mexican believers as missionaries. Therefore I am involved a great deal in the local church here in Chihuahua. Some time ago I asked a number of people in the little mission church we were attending to explain to me how they came to know the Lord. Without exception, the focus of their testimonies was how they stopped drinking, smoking, dancing, and so forth. Not one mentioned the finished work of Christ on his or her behalf!

I was shocked by their responses and since then I've listened carefully to other people's testimonies. The pattern continues. The element of the finished work of Christ is usually either missing completely or mixed in with what they had done, or had quit doing, to be saved.

I was alarmed! Could it be that many people have never really understood the Gospel? Could it be that the foundation of grace so vital to our growth as Christians is weak or missing?

As a result of these questions, I find myself in a difficult position when these people decide they want to be trained as missionaries. I fear that to prepare missionaries, we must first go back and "re-lay" the foundation of their understanding of the Gospel.

I think Trevor McIlwain states it well:

    The Gospel is not about the change which needs to be made in us, and it does not take place within us. It was completed by Christ, quite apart from us, almost two thousand years ago…The Gospel is not man accepting Jesus as his Savior, but that God accepted the Lord Jesus as the perfect and only Savior two thousand years ago. The Gospel is not man giving his heart or his life to Jesus, but that Christ gave His life, His whole being, in the place of sinners. The Gospel is not man receiving Christ into his heart, but that God received the Lord Jesus into Heaven as the mediator of sinners. The Gospel is not Christ enthroned in the human heart, but that God enthroned the Lord Jesus at His right hand in Heaven.1

It's unfortunate when our presentation of the Gospel becomes man-centered. The Word of God is crystal clear that fallen man is totally incapable of pleasing God. It is only the precious blood of the Lamb of God that can satisfy God's holiness. The person who comes to Him with hands completely empty of his or her own merit, but trusting completely in the finished work of Christ, is the one who will be saved.

There is a second effect of this "faulty foundation." To me it is equally alarming! It regards spiritual growth. Colossians 2:6 begins: "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." If a person's salvation is based even in part on the good he does, or the bad he doesn't do, he will likely base his spiritual growth on his own merely human efforts in the flesh and not on grace. However, if he comes to Christ having trusted in His complete and adequate sacrifice for sin, it follows that he will understand that "in my flesh dwells no good thing" (Rom 7:18). The believer will recognize that the flesh is judged to be dead on the cross with Christ, and that the life he now lives, is the life that Christ lives through him (Rom 6:3-11; Gal 2:20).

Until a believer leaves behind any hope of pleasing God by means of his flesh, he can't truly grow "in Christ." He merely makes his flesh conform to certain "Christian" activities. On the same basis that God must reject the works of our old man to save us, He will reject the works of our old man to sanctify us.

It's sad to say, but it is not only on the foreign field that people need to see these truths. We all need to get a firm grip on the truth that our Lord really meant it when He cried out from the cross, "It is finished!"2

We must all learn that our only righteousness is that which God has imputed to us through His Son. It is as we identify ourselves with Him in His death that we can also identify ourselves with Him in His resurrection. May God help us glorify Him by allowing the Spirit of God to live out the life of Jesus in us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oil of Coconuts

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.

Do an internet search on coconut oil for more information.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Warm Weather

Boy, it's warm here today. I think it must be Global Warming.

You must see this fascinating video on the subject:


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beautiful Flowers in my Garden

I took our new camera outside today and took some pictures of things that are blooming right now. I hope I got the macro to work right. . .

This is a Dropmore Honeysuckle. It is very hardy and neat looking and the hummingbirds love it. It is very funny to watch the fat bumblebees on it. They have to squish their bodies into those narrow flowers to get the pollen. The vine covers some ugly utilities by the front entrance.

Coralbells. They actually like my icky soil. I have two plants. The hummers like these too.

Lily of the Valley. The most exquisite perfume of spring. Anybody want some? They're taking over the bed.

Bleeding Heart. Not very many blooms on my bushes this year. And very late.

Saponaria or Soapwort. I guess if you mix the leaves with water they make soapsuds.

Bridal Wreath. This shrub is almost done and it's not even June yet. Is it just me or does everything seem to be blooming at weird times this year?

Viburnum or cranberry bush. They're blooming for the first time this year and I think the blossoms are very interesting.

Perennial Geranium. I bought this little plant on a whim and it blooms happily in the center of the driveway where nothing else likes to grow.

And an old-fashioned Rugosa rose. Very fragrant.

And my favorite flower of all!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another Year, Another Blog

Happy Birthday to me! Actually not to me, but to my blog. Yes, it's been a year since I started this endeavor, believe it or not. I haven't done very well at keeping up with it! So I am turning over that Proverbial Leaf.

I have given Madame Blog a new look. I even updated my profile pic to include my new sweet baby.

We just got a new camera, so I hope to be taking copious pictures of our new family member to post here, since I know you are all dying to see him at every age and angle.

When I first started this blog, I thought I would only post the significant things. Considering the small number of posts over the last year, I guess Significant Things do not happen as often I as thought they did.

So, I will try to ramble just a little bit more about everyday happenings. For my own sake, if not for others'. And I will try not to ramble too much, as Some Bloggers are apt to do. ;)

Please, please, suggestions and ideas are always welcome. And I love getting comments.

Hopefully soon we will continue our search for that godly woman. . .

Don't you just love this baby quilt that Auntie Corrie made? The pattern is "Attic Windows."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We interrupt this series for a very important announcement!

A Baby has been born!

On Tuesday, March 27th, 11:33am, our family welcomed Isaac Stuart into the world. He was 8 lbs, 5 oz, a whopping feat for someone of my size! Isaac is absolutely adorable (everyone says so) and a good baby so far.

We are grateful to God for this sweet gift after so long a wait.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What is a Godly Woman Anyway? Part Three

OK, here it is. A list of qualities, which, according to the Word of God, describe the qualities of a "godly woman." No opinions, no agendas, no cultural molds, no additives or preservatives. Compare these with your current paradigm:

  • She helps and supports her husband (Gen. 2:18)
  • She is trustworthy (Prov. 31:11)
  • She is a good worker (Prov. 31:13, 15, 18, 27)
  • She shops wisely (Prov. 31:14)
  • She manages finances and even real estate (Prov. 31:16)
  • She stays in shape (Prov. 31:17)
  • She makes an income (Prov. 31:18, 24)
  • She is not afraid to work with her hands (Prov. 31:19)
  • She is involved in ministry (Prov. 31:20)
  • She plans ahead (Prov. 31:21)
  • She makes her home and clothing beautiful (Prov. 31:22)
  • She is highly respected (Prov. 31:25, 31)
  • She causes her husband to be respected (Prov. 31:23)
  • She is wise (Prov. 31:26, Tit. 2)
  • She is kind (Prov. 31:26)
  • She has good relationships with her husband and children (Prov. 31:28, Tit. 2:4)
  • She fears the Lord (Prov. 31:30)
  • She dresses appropriately (I Tim. 2:9-10, I Pet. 3:3)
  • She avoids gossip (Tit. 2:3)
  • She is temperate, discreet, self-possessed (Tit. 2:3, 5)
  • She aspires to be a good teacher (Tit. 2:3)
  • She is chaste (pure) (Tit. 2:5, I Pet. 3)
  • She is a homemaker (Tit. 2:5, Prov. 31)
  • She is good (Tit. 2:5)
  • She submits to her husband (Tit. 2:5, I Pet. 3:1, 5-6)
  • She is meek (humble) (I Pet. 3:4)
  • She is quiet (peaceful) (I Pet. 3:4)
  • She trusts God (I Pet.3:5-6)

One small note: many of these are describing a married woman, although it is worthwhile for a single to learn these qualities too. I do plan on writing about singles exclusively in a future post. :D