Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Hymns & Hymnist: Isaac Watts

I've done some blogging about hymns, and like to post lines of hymns on my fb & twitter. I thought I'd take this opportunity to express, why I specifically like hymns.

Our Christian culture is moving away from using hymns, (which are contemporary music, because they are still being written) and this I find devastating. I think that hymns have a knack for presenting the listener/singer, with sound Bible doctrine. I'm not saying that other forms of Christian songs do not, but I feel that hymns have somewhat "cornered the market."

I especially like to hear the hymns written by Isaac Watts. I feel that he has strong doctrine in all of his, and if we listen instead of sing in rote, nearly half asleep on a Sunday, we can't help but be blessed!

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

This is perhaps one of my favorite lines from the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. As Christians we can't boast in anything. To even become a Christian, to be born again, one must recognize their fallibility and the perfection of our Lord. We must sacrifice all the pointless bobbles that distract us from complete surrender to our Lord, as He sacrificed for us!

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Another amazing stanza. Think of what sorrow and guilt we should feel in the death of our Lord, of which we bare responsibility. And, yet, we can also feel joy in that the sacred blood we spilled has sealed our future in glory with our Savior. It has relieved us of the guilt we feel at His death!

The next time you're in service singing that hymn you sang four weeks ago, and every four or five weeks since your childhood, please, take a moment to contemplate it. Consider the conviction that the author poured into it's conception, and the message that was meant to edify you!

Hair Product Review: DevaCurl

I've mentioned before that I love Curly Girl: A Handbook by Lorraine Massey. Ms. Massey is also the co-founder of a salon in Soho called, Devachan, which developed a product line, Devacurl.

I've tried a few of these products. I'm going to give you my thoughts on them here:

I immediately thought that they would be perfect products, because they had Ms. Massey's stamp (enthusiastically) of approval. However, I've learned that just as every girl is different, so is every curl. I'm sure that the products that didn't work for me, work great for others, because they have great ingredients. However, only some of these products were successful on my mop top!

The first product I'll mention is No Poo I loved this product! I give it five out of five hearts! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It is a botanical cleanser that is completely sulfate free. I can use it just as I use conditioner to cleanse my hair. It works a little better than conditioner, and smells so good! This is the cleanser I'll probably use forever. I use this instead of shampoo on my girls and it works great even on the sticky stuff they can get in their hair, but it's even gentler than baby shampoo! Like I said, love this product.

The second product I'll mention is One Condition. This is a decent product I give it 3 of 5 hearts. ♥ ♥ ♥

This conditioner works well, but no better than a drugstore brand. The difference I felt between One Condition and a drugstore product is that One Condition is more concentrated. It took a little less product to get the same result. It worked well, smelled amazing, but overall using less didn't justify the price, so I went back to Suave, and am very happy with it.

The third product/s I'll review is AnGel & ArcAnGel. I give these 2 of 5 hearts. ♥ ♥

These are two forms of the same products & the only thing I say in favor of these gels is that my hair never felt like it had product in it while I used them. Overall, I don't recommend them. Not enough hold or frizz-fighting.

This is the final product I tried from the DevaCurl line, Set Up and Above. This product didn't work at all. It had no effect on my hair, so I waste no time reviewing it, nor does it get a heart!

In conclusion: I still love Lorraine Massey, and I owe her so much! Given the opportunity, I would love to visit her salon, and I think some of these products are definitely worth a try!

Happy Curling!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Firefly

The tears flowed from her face as her steps fell in a slow pace. She was walking down that same road she'd walked so many times. The June twilight loomed around her, and though, walking a rural, gravel road with darkness slowly stretching over the sky was not the safest thing to do, it was the only thing that brought her solace. She inhaled the fresh country, summer evening breeze, and tried to cleanse her body from the dim feelings that were invading her very soul. This was as terrible as it could be, she was sure of it, this was what rock bottom felt like. She'd reached a point of no return in her life. The events of this evening had shaped not only the rest of that day, but her tomorrow and all her tomorrows thereafter.

She passed over a small stream, and with the moisture came a swarm of mosquitoes. They buzzed about her and as they landed she furiously swatted feeling that even nature itself was surrounding and attacking her.

Suddenly, a mysterious, little, ugly beetle landed on her arm. She lifted her hand to swat it too, but then she paused the ugly bug suddenly glowed. It gone from ugliness to beauty in a matter of seconds. It left her arm and joined a huge light show in the bean field directly before her.

It was now completely night. It was not city dark, but country dark. The kind of inkiness that makes it difficult to see your hand in front of you, or the path that leads you to safety. But, she was not afraid, because in front of her, amidst the greatest blackness that had ever enveloped her, shown the most beautiful lights. Gleaming and blinking in the ebony.

Even when we believe that we've reached our lowest points, Christ is a light to us in the midst of sorrow and darkness.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." - John 8:12

Dedicated to my sister, Rachel.


The flames lapped fierce upon me,
the air was weak and thin.
I screamed in my agony,
Searching though my eyes be dim.
I could not find a help
to pull me from despair.
Until a hand reached down,
and tried to pull me near.

I fought against the hand,
with the nail pierced wound.
Though tortured as I was,
and death around me loomed.
I would not surrender
Tho' the flames did me surround.
I would die in my beliefs,
And firmly hold my ground.

However, we deny it,
Hell and Christ are real and true.
And someday we will face,
The Eternity that we choose.
I have chosen one way,
I hope with me you'll come.
Turn from your selfish desires,
and surrender to the Son.

For when my future here is over,
And past is all that's left.
This life I gladly resign,
For the glory in the next.
Peace incomprehensible,
and joy beyond compare,
Shall greet me on that shore
When my Savior holds me near.
I'll sit at His feet,
and sing His praise e'er more.
Happiness forever mine,
In the presence of my Lord.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I thought I'd be smart this year, and started planning some Christmas things ahead. Those who know me personally just fainted. My big idea for this year was to buy the girls one gift together. (More about that here.) I got to thinking that if we did this every year with our children, it might just turn out to be a great Christmas tradition. It would lessen the time my family is spending opening presents and make that time available for something more important. After all, who has enough time at the Holidays? Maybe this tradition would help to shift the focus of the day from self to Christ. Also, it would encourage family time, because if we're getting them one gift to share, it would have to be something they can use together. They couldn't be selfish, because it wouldn't be just their gift. Not least at all, it would save us a bundle. We could set a budget for the gift and no matter how many children we eventually have, we could keep that budget at the same level!
After I came up with this idea, I was really excited! I could see it forming from an idea to a tradition. Then, I got to thinking about the privilege my husband and I have right now. We're shaping our new family, but while we do, we create things like Christmas traditions, and life-long memories.
I can vividly remember making Christmas Tree spritz cookies with my mom, decorating the ugliest tree in the world that we kept about ten years past it's prime on the day after Thanksgiving. My dad reading The Night before Christmas each year. These thoughts even now bring me joy and happiness. They were the traditions and memories created for me with love by my parents. And, now, I get the opportunity to do the same!
This stage of our family feels like we're architects laying the plans and ground work for something extraordinary! Maybe it feels that way, because we truly are. Whatever phases of my life will come and go, I think this period will always be special.
My girls will think about these early years (well, the years they can remember) for their whole life. And, when they look back they'll experience a hint of that same innocent joy that they feel now. The joy I remember feeling when I sat on my dad's lap and listened to him read that same book he read last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Consignment Shopping!

I had the most fun today consignment shopping with my sister. I love consignment sales, the big semi-annual ones. I have found three in my area, but if you know of more in greater Indy, please let me know! I've successfully bought my older daughters wardrobe from them the past two years.
Today was a fantastic day, as well! She has almost nothing in the size she needs, and her little belly keeps poking out of her tee shirts, so I needed to really stock up. I did just that. I scored her a winter coat, in awesome condition for only $2.00! Yep, you read correctly, no need to call your optometrist, $2.00. In the end, both of my girls have snowsuits for the coming winter, and my older daughter who

Two Masters

As he labored, the perspiration beaded upon the young man's brow. His master had ordered him to load the truck with the scrap metal from the pile by the end of the day. He still had much to haul before he could even break for a sip of water. Just as he reached the halfway point the Master's wife called him to the house. She ordered the young employee to carry the wood from the pile into the house for her. He tried to explain to her that he could not complete the task given to him by her husband if he broke to help her, but she implored him. She told him how her husband would be angry with him if he did not assist her. She scolded and berated him, and so the hard worker conceded. It took him only half an hour to assist the woman, but when he finished the sun was beginning to set. He knew he would fail in the task he's originally set out to complete. He knew his master would be displeased, and his wages would reflect his ineffectiveness. He realized at that moment that he could not equally serve both his master and his master's wife. In order to have excelled in his work he now knew that he would have had to choose between the task he was originally assigned or that he was later requested to preform. No man can serve two masters.
So often Christians want to claim the title of Christian and the blessings of the Lord, but are not willing to give their lives fully to the Lord. When Jesus died on the cross he paid the price for our sins, and therefore it is reasonable that we willingly give Him our life in whole. We can not serve God and anyone else.

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" - Matthew 6:24

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jane Austen: Mansfield Park

Of course being a die-hard Austenite means that my favorite all time novel is the Pride and Prejudice. But, if Miss Austen had never written her trademark work I believe my favorite book would be Mansfield Park.
This is not one of her big three novels are well-known throughout the world. Perhaps it being a lesser
known work makes me love it all the more, as if it were a secret treasure that's I've had the good fortune to expose. 
Mansfield Park follows Miss Fanny Price as she's removed from her less fortunate family to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle. She's exposed to all the blessings that their lifestyle affords, but never treated as an equal, and her wants and desires are always secondary to those of her cousins, two young men and two young ladies. Her meek, kind, and impeccable character is never fully appreciated. 
The plot thickens when a new vicar comes to Mansfield and his wife brings along a charming half-brother and an attractive half-sister, both of whom have questionable morals.
When her uncle returns from a long and dangerous business trip he's brought back a new appreciation for young Fanny and her excellent character and judgment. And a new awareness of his own failings as a father.
Through it all Fanny is a constant of morality & propriety, a truly respectable young lady, when others fail to meet their parent's reasonable expectations. 
I love how much Jane Austen values meekness, character, wisdom and modesty, it's a reminder of what's been lost in our culture!
A side note, my favorite character in this book is Mr. Crawford. I won't include any spoilers, but I always think he's going to end different that he does, and though, he is a bit of a cad, I always cheer for him. To me, that's just good writing!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Saw Jesus in...

I  Saw Jesus in You by Ron Hamilton

When I enter Heaven's glory,
and I see my Savior's face,
I will offer Him 10,000 years of praise.
Then, I'll find that special one,
In whose life I saw God's Son.
And through tears of joy,
with trembling lips,
These words I'll say.
I saw Jesus in you.
I saw Jesus in you.
I could hear His voice in the words you said,
I saw Jesus in you.
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there,
You were faithful,
and I saw Jesus in you.

Everyone I know that hears this song can think of one specific person that this song describes to them. I think of my Grandpa E.
If you knew my Grandfather you undoubtedly just nodded your head in agreement.
He was quite possibly one of the kindest souls I've ever encountered. My grandpa had a gift for loving others. Or perhaps he loved his Savior so much that he could not help but reflect that love to others. Every person that he met was of value to him, and he never forgot their name. I can remember eating at fast food restaurants in different towns and the cashiers stopping to hug him before they took his order. He asked them details about their lives. I was always puzzled at how he remembered so many details about so many people. Everyone who met him felt they were special to him. They felt that way, because they were.
You see, he was able to remember those details because after he met them, he prayed for them. He prayed for them faithfully.
I saw the love of Jesus so clearly in my grandfather. He reflected it to others more than anyone I'd ever met and, I can only imagine, than I ever will meet. This is one of the reasons that I think of him when I hear this song.
I am excited to be reunited with my grandfather, to joyously say to him, "I saw Jesus in you."
And, my hope and prayer is I may emulate my grandfather in more than just looks, but in his heart for the Lord.

Where's my Sweet Girl? And WHO is This?

 Amongst the multiple birthday parties, which inevitably are accompanied by gallons of ice cream and piles of cake, and the vacation to the beach with an uncle who brings a whole new definition to the word spoiling, I've somehow lost my sweet little 3 year old princess. I'm not sure where she is, maybe she's still in July? In her place is something that looks like her and ninety-nine percent of the time acts like her, but that one percent, boy oh boy, that one percent. Usually that one percent comes at bedtime. As soon as she's to be put to bed she begins to scream and holler more than a football fan at the Superbowl!
So what is happening right now is, Fit Extermination Bootcamp. My girl is having a little bit of a shock, but it seems to be improving. The joys of parenting...

The Title

I close my eyes and walk beyond the lost soul in need.
I have too much on my schedule, I'm much too busy.
I shrug my shoulders when I'm asked what God has done for me.
I will not push my faith upon the others that I meet.
I disregard the statutes that I read in God's Word.
He can not expect me to obey them all, how absurd.
Why should I spend time in His Word anyway,
Can it be relevant to this day and age?
I don't believe it to be literal just a a metaphor.
That's my faith's foundation, nothing more.
Though I do not seek the helpless and the lost,
I am a Christian.
Though I do not serve no matter the cost,
I am a Christian.
Though I'm content to live in unrepentant sin,
I am a Christian.
Though I do not have a relationship with Him.
I am a Christian.
I claim the title, but disregard the Christ.
I claim the title, but don't live the life.
I am a Christian, or am I?

"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" - Matthew 7:23

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bobo and His Sisters Beat Me Up!

I've been pretty quiet since I came back from vacation a few weeks ago. I guess I have just felt that I don't have much to say, or rather, type.

Today, I've decided to share a story from my childhood:
My big brother had the misfortune of being the only boy in our family. Being ever resourceful, he turned that misfortune into good fortune, and never wanted for admirers. (Though, I myself do not understand it to this day!) Shortly after my family moved to a new town in Illinois from Ohio, my brother met a girl who she, herself, did not lack admirers. Keeping in mind that they were all eleven. I'm quite sure I don't remember the details of this most important relationship, who crushed on who, but there was a young man who felt himself spurned. I don't recall his name, and I don't think I can recall his face.

This young lover jilted, at least in his own imagination, met us one day on our walk home from school. There were the five of us ranging in age from 5 or 6 - 12 years of age. He hopped of his bicycle and confronted my brother, as any noble man in love should do! Somewhere along the way he shoved my brother, and made him slip out of the shoe he was wearing. His response to this affront was to pick up the shoe and hit the boy with it.

I should interject here that my family was taught not to get into fights. We were brought up on an Opie mentality: Our parents didn't want us starting fights, but they didn't want us running away from them either.

After we saw him physically assault our brother we did the only thing we could do, for surely his life was in grave danger. We all took up our metaphorical swords. Actually, the weaponry was not purely metaphorical. My eldest sister, the most mature, used only her words. My other two sisters and myself, we were a bit scrappier. We picked up sticks and rocks, pelting him and hitting him until he ran away.

The next day the young man went to school looking a little worse for the wear. When asked how this had happened to him he said, "Bobo and his sisters beat me up!"

The moral of this story is to never mess with children from a large family. Each individual member has a small army at their command.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part V: Does Jesus Care?

When I think of last Sunday, September 11, 2011, the ten year anniversary of terrorist attacks on our country, I think of the age old question: Why doesn't God care & allow horrible things happen to people?

A lot of Christians face this question from unbelievers, some questioning genuinely and others seeking a "trap" to prove that either God is not real or cruel and uncaring.

When I hear that question, I think of the hymn, "Does Jesus Care" by Frank E. Graeff

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

The Lord doesn't take pleasure in our pain. In fact, he designed for us a comfortable, happy, beautiful & perfect paradise. But, the choice of our ancestors to sin caused pain and sorrow to enter the world. Pain is a direct result of sin & it is our own sin, in which we choose to indulge that causes us the grief we so often have to endure. But, Jesus does care. This song is so poignant and always relevant. I sang it after my grandfather passed away to comfort me.

My paternal grandfather passed to Glory when I was only 12 years old, a victim of cancer. I can remember crying so hard that I had to be held onto the pew on which I sat. I understood death more than most 12 year-olds, but I still ached as if there were an arrow shot into my heart. He was followed by my maternal grandmother when I was 19 & my maternal grandfather when I was nearly 21. I still feel a little cheated at times. I was very close with them and I ache that my children do not know them. I yearn for them to be able to benefit from their wisdom as I was. And I still have days these many years later that I feel that God took them far too early from me, when I am still in need of their guidance. On those days the last verse of this song is a great comfort to me. I know that he sees and cares when I ache for their company again. When I have a question I think only my grandma can answer or in need of wisdom only my grandpa can impart, or a song only my grandpa can sing.

This song reminds me that when I ache with the sorrows of this world. My Lord is ever watching, ever caring, and ever present. Though I say goodbye to those I love the dearest on this earth, I never say goodbye to my Savior!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

I normally don't blog on Sundays for a few reasons, but today, I've made an exception. This is because, today, is no ordinary day. If you are an American then you've undoubtedly been spending today, this most stoic anniversary, remembering those feelings you felt ten years ago. I can remember waking up a little late, because I had the day off of work, and coming down stairs to turn on my television. Literally moments after I did so, the first plane struck the world trade center. My mom was about to leave for work & a friend of the family was coming to give her a ride. I was glued to the tv as my mom tried to walk out the door, but just as she was about to cross the threshold the second plane struck. I experienced the most horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, the strongest since of dread I've ever experienced, I began to cry, "It wasn't an accident!" My mom and the friend paused to watch the coverage, but even at that moment, no one knew what a pivotal time in history those seconds were. I spent the remainder of that day on my couch watching the coverage alone in my pajamas. The first time I moved was after 11 AM to go to the restroom.

I realized that one day, just as I asked my mother what she was doing when President Kennedy was assasinated, I would be asked by my children (who were miles away in my mind) what I was doing, where I was on the day that the U.S. stood still. The day we were all united as we'd never been since December 7, 1941. United in fear, in dread, in patriotism and love for our fellow citizen.

9/11 had many effects on the people of this great nation that I love. It frightened us. Businesses closed, and the city that never sleeps became comatose. But the desired effect was not achieved. We were not destroyed, we were united. Our way of life had been attacked. A way of life that defends the weak, loves liberty, and protects freedom! But it was not demolished, instead we adopted a mentality that was more right than it had ever been in my lifetime. People were suddenly willing to give their lives for the freedom of others again. The people of our country began to call upon the Lord again. They asked Him for His healing and praised Him for His protection.

What has happened to our nation since? We are divided more than ever. We've allowed our political differences to tear our unity to shreds.Though I still hold the political and religious beliefs that I did ten years ago, those differences seem to separate me more from my fellow citizens than it did in 2001.

Tomorrow will be the ten year anniversary of the first tomorrow. The first tomorrow after tragedy. The tomorrow we recognized that we are one people, one nation. Let us recover that love, patriotism and unity. Let us remember, let us never forget!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Hardest Job

I've worked in a few different fields professionally. I once worked for a small business owner who had quite a few different irons in the fire. I was called upon to be quite the renaissance man, I should say, woman! During that time. I helped do minor repairs, I did the cleaning in the office, I did the office management/secretarial work, I mowed lots, I helped with heating & cooling work, I helped to set-up mobile homes, and even helped him build a garage that was bigger than the house we attached it to! I was up on ladders siding the monster garage, I climbed on the roof and lugged the shingles around while I helped to roof!
I've worked some long days in the past, 12 even 13 hours, I was from home. However, I've never worked a longer hours or physically harder than at my current place of employ.
Being a mom is an exhausting occupation! I feel as if I'm always behind and that I'm never going to catch up! I know that these days are short in number and someday all too soon I'll be comforting my exhausted daughters when they are raising tiny ones as well! I don't think I mind that so much...grandma sounds like a fun job!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Thought for Himslef

No thought for Himself,
He bore the cross for me.
No thought for Himself,
My life he came to free.
No sacrifice sufficient,
He left His home on High.
No sacrifice too weighty.
He knew He would need to die.
No sinner too guilty.
His love can not reclaim.
No sinner too guilty.
He does not wish to save!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Inside World of Homeschooling!

"You're homeschooled? Don't you hate it?" *Insert mocking/disgusted face of my peer here.*<br>
This was the typical response of other teenagers when they found out that I did, in fact, school at home. Often it was followed by questions such as "Don't you miss your friends?" "What about sports?" And, so many others! I always replied, "I get to sleep in & I finish my schoolwork in about 3-4 hours...would you hate it?" At which point the expression on the teen's face would transform to envy! The more I described my schooling the more he/she would want to try it himself/herself. <br>
I must say that homeschooling is perfect for me! I like being home. Though I love to watch (GO COLTS!) I don't like to play sports.( I must also insert that there are plenty of possibilities for sports for the homeschooler. It was never an issue for me, however.) I also learn well from reading. For me the time the teacher spent at the front of the room was wasted I needed to read the material in order to comprehend it. This made it a breeze for me because most of the time my mom could assign reading and homework and I could do it on my own. I typically finished within a few hours. This left the rest of my day for me to be a teenager! <br>
After being homeschooled I realized how much time is wasted in conventional schooling. This isn't a slight to teachers, rather it's a waste of their time too, but I realize it can't be avoided! You can't help using more time organizing, transporting, feeding, and doing everything when you have a large class rather than a handful of students. <br>
Also, it's my firm belief that students in conventional schools are spending too much time in school (Aug-May & 8-3) and learning too little. Again, I don't mean this as a slight on teachers, but again, something that can't be helped because of the sheer size of classes. <br>
I attended school from the day after Labor Day to the Fri. before Memorial Day, never before or after! As stated above, I spent only 3-4 hours in class. I didn't have to interrupt my learning to eat lunch. I could eat my lunch while I was finishing up! <br>
I see homeschooling as education streamlined! In my experience it was faster and more efficient. I feel the reason for this is that moms are some of the best teachers in the world. Moms teach their kiddos how to talk, walk, potty, eat, even blow their noses! I know the best way to teach my daughters, because I've been doing it since the day they wear born. Because of our intimate relationship they can't deceive me into believing they've understood a concept that they have not. I know when they are being pushed too hard or not enough! This makes me excited to homeschool them someday. (Of which I fully intend to blog!) <br>
My favorite parts of being homeschooled:<br>
Sleeping late!<br>
Flexible schedules.<BR>
Eating and drinking when I felt hungry or thirsty.<BR>
Growing closer to my siblings.<Br>
Learning at my own pace. (Not moving on until I had mastered the concept.)<br>
Learning to time-manage. (Something I was terrible at before!)<br>
Being with my family.< br>
That last point will be the last thing I touch on in this particular post, though I will be blogging about it again soon.<br>
With all the pressures placed upon today's (and in my case: slightly yesterday's) teen, it was such a help to me to be home with my family more than I had. My relationships with my mother, father and siblings all grew much stronger, the benefits of which I am still reaping. This made my home a safe haven, and my familial relationships built on strong trusts. I truly believe that this was instrumental in all the great things that I experienced as a teenager, and made my high school years, maybe, a little less rocky than what is typical! <br>

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saul, First King of Israel: Saved or Unsaved?

"And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand." - 1 Samuel 18:10

There are two ways to interpret this verse:

If Saul does not know the Lord this could be perceived as an demonic spirit that entered Saul at the allowance of the Lord. This would be similar to the case of Job. Of course, we've seen that Saul has disobeyed the Lord and that (if he doesn't know the Lord) he might be open to an attack of Satan.

The second theory is that this spirit is not demonic, but a spirit of conviction for his sin. We know that when we, as Christians, disobey our father he chastises us & often that includes conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that Saul knew the Lord. I believe this because of many tiny clues I read along the way and one great big neon sign in chapter 28.

Let me give you a little background if you are unfamiliar with the story:

The Philistines were gathering and Saul began to worry so he instructed his servants to seek out a woman with a "familiar spirit." When the woman was found, Saul disguised himself and went to her. She was concerned at first because Saul had killed any one practicing witchcraft, but Saul assured her that she would suffer no punishment, and asked her to bring up Samuel.

The familiar screamed because she succeeded in bringing up Samuel and was told that she was face to face with her greatest fear, the King Saul. What Samuel said to Saul is my neon sign:

"Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." - 1 Samuel 28:19

Now, I don't know about you, but I think this is very clear. When Saul died he was going to be where Samuel is, as would Jonathan. If Saul was not saved, neither was Samuel or Jonathan.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Saul, First King of Israel: The Great Mistake!

We, as Christians, believe we can glean more from watching a positive example rather than a negative. I tend to believe the opposite. The Lord placed men in the Bible who were wicked or who had opportunities to serve Him yet rejected them (like the rich young ruler) for a reason: We can be edified by studying it! I believe the best experience to learn from is somebody else's! I don't want to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before me, and I'm always thankful for those who have traveled the road of error and are generous enough to offer me wisdom when they see me entertaining to venture the same path.

I firmly believe that Saul is someone from whom the modern Christian, especially the modern Christian, can learn much. He is an example to me of a well intentioned person who makes the wrong choices. Many believe Saul to be unsaved and some believe him to be saved. I will address that in my last post on him, but you may already know to which belief I lean. If he is or is not, bitterness, which was his greatest downfall, is a disease that attacks too many of the Children of the Lord and therefore he is a good life to study to avoid this.

Now, without further ado, the Great Mistake: Saul was ready to battle the Philistines, and he was anxious to begin. However, he was waiting on the prophet, Samuel, to offer a burnt offering. He'd waited seven days, until the time that Samuel told him he would come, but Samuel, for whatever reason did not come. Finally he'd had enough and offered the burnt offering himself.

I believe that modern Christians perceive this mistake in two ways:

1. We see it in a "holier than thou" fashion. We think to ourselves, "Why did he not wait? How horrible to act without the blessing of the Lord?"


2. We think, "I don't understand why this is a problem. He didn't sin, he was offering to the Lord?!"

I think that either way we contort our apprehension of the situation to the point that we are incapable of gleaning what God would have us to learn from it.

What we should realize is that we are an impatient race. Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do, and sometimes he asks us to wait a long time. It's very tempting to go ahead of the Lord, but this is a dangerous thing to do, as Saul learned. I can think of people have felt permanent effects for being to hasty. King Saul was one of these people.

When we don't wait on the Lord we do not follow His perfect plan for our lives. I know of many who have done this, and have repented. These people go on to love and serve the Lord, and though, their lives have been changed forever, they are happy in the service of the King. But, this is not the case with Saul.