Category: christian living

What Makes Jesus Indignant?

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”   Mark 10:13-16

John MacArthur expounded on this passage and his points stirred some of my own thoughts.  If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I feel like Christians, generally speaking, have adopted a jaded view of children.  The comments made about larger than normal families reveal that we really do view children more as commodities–and therefore, too many are a burden.  My ongoing prayer is that those who proclaim Christ (myself included) will imitate Him.

And as it concerns children, this passage is one that gives us particular insight about Jesus’ heart toward children.  MacArthur pointed out that the phrase “he was much displeased” is from the word translated “indignant” and is used only a few times in the Bible.  Jesus was often disappointed and/or frustrated with His disciples, but only a few times was he “indignant.”

Indignant.

We don’t like to see this side of Jesus.  Not the always-kind, never harsh one that we’ve conjured up.  He was livid. And really, it seems like such a small thing, doesn’t it?  The disciples simply told the parents to stop bringing their children to Jesus because they were interrupting His teaching.  They were seeing the children as a burden.  (By the way, MacArthur also points out that these children were infants–according to the translation.)

I think this passage has two implications.  First, is the general attitude we are to have toward children.  If Jesus was indignant at those He loved for speaking of these children as burdens, does He not become indignant with us as well when we do it?  I’m just pointing out a very plain observation.

And how about children “coming to Jesus” in church services?  Isn’t that where we meet the Lord?  Where we worship? Where our children see us lift up His name corporately and learn about spirit and truth?  How many of you have ever been told you need to remove your children from the service because they might disrupt or interfere?

I think we are not afraid enough of our Lord’s indignation.  What does he get angry about?  Maybe we should take notice.  Maybe it should make us angry too.



The (Ultimate Christian) Bundle That Has My Heart + I’m Giving Away a KINDLE!!

It’s that time again, and if you know about The Ultimate Bundles, you know you better jump in and grab it.

But this bundle….it has my heart.

I long to become more like Christ, to become a mother that leads my children more and more to Him, to become a wife that is a sweet blessing to my husband, to become a woman through whose life the love of God shines.

But I struggle. A lot.

And I’ve actually been thinking lately that I haven’t immersed myself enough into God’s Word, into books that would challenge and strengthen my heart. It’s too easy to browse Facebook or read a snippet here and there, and I don’t know about you, but before I know it, I can begin to feel the dryness of a life not filled up with Him.

And I am resolved to be more deliberate. This bundle is such a breath of fresh air to me. Yes it’s for sale and I make a commission selling it, but that doesn’t lessen its worth ONE BIT.

With great kids, a loving marriage, a successful career or business and a closer, faith-filled walk with the Lord. But for many of us, making that a reality is big challenge!

That’s where the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle comes in. Ultimate-Bundles.com called in some best selling authors, leading experts and top business professionals to address the most common challenges faced by families and individuals today – all from a solid, Biblical foundation.

For the family…

The bundle contains 11 wonderful books focused on incredibly inventive ways you can craft the marriage you signed on for. To complement that subject, they added 8 more books focused on parenting and passing on your faith to your kids. That wouldn’t be complete without books just for kids so they also included 8 children’s books that parents can read with their children. To close out the content for family life, the Singing Bible MP3 version that Focus on the Family so highly praised was added (a $25 value all by itself). It actually teaches children the story of the Bible not just random stories.

For your professional life…

You will find John Muratori and Michael Pink’s six -hour Christian Wealth Building course ($77 value) which was complemented with Bob Lotich’s 31-day devotional Managing Money God’s Way. There are a total of 14 business related books and courses including Zig Ziglar’s powerful Born To Win course (that Seth Godin and Dave Ramseyrave about), Dr. James B. RichardsWired For Success – Programmed For Failure and Untold Secrets for Creating Wealth by Brig Hart and John Beehner. You’ll even find one of the best selling Christian business books of all time,The Bible Incorporated – In Your Life, Job & Business.

To ignite your faith…

Rounding out the package, Bridge Logos and Moody Press made a series of classic Christian literature available from generals of the faith like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, A.W. Pink, E.M. Bounds, Calvin, Wesley, Edwardsand more who wrote about grace, prayer, faith and an overcoming life.

In addition to these wonderful classics, the Ultimate Bundles team snagged 14 heart-stirring devotionals from authors like A.W. Tozer and Nancy Leigh DeMoss that speak to matters of faith that are sure to inspire. Let’s not forget Gary Chapman’s Extraordinary Grace or Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master for sharing your faith with others. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, don’t miss Philip Cameron’s, They Call Me Dad, the story of one man’s fight to save orphans from human trafficking.

So as you can see, the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle is an extraordinary value.

(Psst…how about it also includes The Christian Classic Series with titles like The Pilgrim’s Progress and Absolute Surrender?!)

But it still gets better…BONUSES!

The Ultimate Bundles team asked several sponsors to step up to the plate and with no strings attached, provide meaningful BONUS GIFTS. One of the first to step up was Dayspring Greeting Cards who offered a choice of heart-warming gift card packages to choose from.  Another, is a downloadable DVD workout series for getting in shape and maintaining health. With a retail value of $62.99 it includes a Biblical study guide for stewarding your health.Bonus gifts alone have a total retail value of over $160

So now you know…

For as little as $34.95 you can receive over $1,140 worth of valuable eBooks and eCourses that address the issues of life most of us face at one time or another, from a profoundly Biblical worldview. The BONUS GIFTS alone are worth more than four times the price of the bundle! So, if you want to ignite your faith, strengthen your family and help your professional life, there’s no better place to start! All the hard work has been done for you…

The low price of the bundle is like buying a pass that gives you unlimited access to an online shop, and you get to be like a kid in a candy shop.

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th until 11:59pm (EST) on Monday, November 10th.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 18,500 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day guarantee: you have a full month to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s life, you’ll get your money back in full!

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 8 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, November 5 until 11:59 p.m. (EST) Monday, November 10 (or until 18,500 bundles are sold)

What? 75 eBooks plus eCourses and more, PLUS over $160 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

Click HERE to see all the titles in this bundle. You will LOVE them! Here are the categories:

  • Business & Personal Finance
  • Christian Classics Series
  • Christian Living
  • Devotional Life
  • For Children
  • Inspirational Novels
  • Married Life
  • Parenting
  • Reaching the Lost

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth over $1,140, and it’s yours for as little as $34.95. Sweet deal, right?

When you’re ready, you can either buy here directly, or right through the website. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

AND….I’m giving away a Kindle to one of you to put all your new books on (or give away for Christmas)! There is no purchase necessary to win. Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

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There IS Something We Can Do For Our Fellow Persecuted Christians (The ISIS Crisis)

Alone we are just a single voice but together we can be the collective voice of our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria telling the world what is happening and how we can help!”

 

I will be honest with you: I’ve seen the headlines about the unthinkable atrocities going on in Iraq and Syria and I have avoided them as much as I’ve been able. I haven’t read the stories and I have even averted my eyes from the pictures.

It’s not because I don’t care deeply. It’s because I care too deeply and up until now, I have thought there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the situation; so to keep myself from being mentally and emotionally tortured by the internalization I tend to do of tragedy, I have avoided it.

But that’s not what Scripture commands: “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9

And thanks to the joint efforts put together by some fellow bloggers, there is something we can do now–all of us, including you.

We can be their voice. It’s one of the huge blessings of the Internet. We can give money and encourage others to do the same, raising awareness and using the power of social media to fund the mission efforts in these countries seeking to provide food, shelter and other necessities to Christians fleeing from the brutal persecution.

This is what the Food for the Hungry campaign is about:

FH campaign is focused specifically on helping refugees fleeing the fighting in Iraq and Syria. FH is partnering with Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) which works with the local church in the Middle East to help those fleeing the ISIS onslaught to find safety and shelter.

$125 – Provides one week of emergency food rations to 10 people to guard against malnutrition
$65 – Ensures that three families receive essential hygiene items, including a bucket, jerry can, soap, and disinfectant
$22 – for one family for hygiene items

For a real-life peek into what many of these families are going through as they flee for their lives:

There are 2 ways I’m asking you to consider helping:

1. You can give here now.

2. You can share this post, the video, and the link for giving as often and in as many places as possible over the Internet.

All our voices, united together, helping our brothers and sisters. This is what it means to “visit those in affliction.” Will you be a voice?



When God’s Will is Wildly Different Than Ours

Of all things in the Christian life, I marvel most when the irony of God’s will completely contradicts human logic and ultimately reveals a magnificent display of His glory, a finished, breath-taking tapestry we’ve only been able to see from the messy underside.

I think we don’t get to see the wonder of God’s power very often because we are too afraid to walk in faith. I spoke recently with a young woman expecting her first child. She was hardly considering quitting her job to stay home with her newborn not because they couldn’t afford it, but because she didn’t feel comfortable when the checking and savings account fell below a certain amount.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?…you of little faith!” Luke 12:25-28

Reading the story of John Bunyan again yesterday left me in awe. He had one passion: to tell others about Jesus. So much so, that he disobeyed the law to keep preaching. And then he went to prison. For 12 years. How easy it would have been for bitterness to set in. How tempting it would have been to shake a fist in God’s face (after all, he had children to care for) and say, “I was doing this for you! Why did you let this happen?”

In fact, would any of us not have reasoned that “if preaching is against the law, I’m biblically bound to obey”? We so quickly default to our own understanding and raise it higher than God.

But his faith did not waver. And because of that, John wrote the most powerful, most popular book besides the Bible, ever read–The Pilgrim’s Progress–among many others.

But the great irony is that his voice for the Gospel has reached hundreds of thousands and that number growing, long after his life, and far more-reaching than his preaching voice.

Faith. God took John’s obedience woven with his very heart’s desire and multiplied it beyond what he could ever have imagined. He’s done that all throughout history.

I’ve watched Him do that in my own life.

I should not have 10 children. Logic told us we couldn’t afford them. People told us that too. And we couldn’t. Human wisdom would have had me back out in the work force because we had too many bills. And certainly logic would have stopped the babies. But we knew what God had said to us and we believed that He was going to show up. He did. Not before heartache and fear and being pushed to our limits, but when He did, it was amazing. If you ask me how I know He lives, I’ve seen Him do what could never be done on human terms.

I think God delights in showing Himself mighty in our lives. I think we really never get to see what true faith is until we come to the end of ourselves and our own wisdom.

Think of John Bunyan, then let God move your mountain.



Why We Must Be Theology-Loving Christians

“I don’t really get into ‘theology’ or ‘doctrine.’ I mean, I love Jesus. That’s really all that matters.”

This is a frightening reality among most Christians, and particularly Christian women. Frightening because our theology defines how we live. It informs all our decisions and thus, our whole direction in life. Theology matters.

Theology is the study of the nature of God and truth. It’s not just a cursory glance, but a delving in that shapes our life choices.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:3-5

“Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live…You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.” Psalm 119:116-118

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6

We must make the Word of God, from where our theology is formed, absolute priority in our homes. Read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and let it encompass your lives. Too often the Bible is something from which we enjoy cherry-picking pretty verses that make us feel happy at just the time we’re discouraged. And it can do just that.

But if we view His Word only as a book from which to draw out a few verses now and then to satisfy us in a particular problem, we have largely overlooked its meaning and power in our lives. It is, in its entirety, for our “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16) to equip us for all of life.

We learn how to respond, think and act like Christians by studying Christ and the character of God throughout His Word, by understanding His holiness which leads us to pursue holiness. We learn about salvation and God’s plan for mankind and how His ways are not our ways. And if we are willing to look and study long enough, we might find we have to let die some strong elements of wrong theology we were taught since childhood.

Essentially, true followers of Christ will seek to know more and more about the nature, thoughts and wisdom of the One whom they serve. They want to know truth. True Christians will seek theology.

We ought to be poring over His Word ourselves, and passing that thirst onto our children, making it one of our top priorities. Whatever effort you are placing on math or English or science, I would encourage you to double that effort teaching God’s Word.

Take every problem, question and concern to His Word. It speaks to every area of life and it is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. Love theology. Don’t be afraid it.



Our Health Insurance Alternative (Saving Money on Health Insurance)

Dropping our Blue Cross Insurance was the best thing we ever did–financially and ethically. Not only were our premiums becoming increasingly expensive, but we were still paying large sums out-of-pocket, all while much of our money went to greasing the great big Insurance Machine.

We knew about Christian medical sharing programs, but were a little concerned they might not work as well in real life. Not to mention, I had been pregnant several times when we considered joining and thought our maternity care would not be covered. (It is.)

We joined Samaritan’s Ministries about 4 years ago and have been beyond excited about the way it works and how it has benefited our family.

What is a “medical sharing program”?

Samaritan’s is comprised of over 30,000 families who have agreed to pay a monthly “share” which is distributed among needs for that month.

If you have a medical bill over $300, you submit your “need” to Samaritans along with copies of your bill(s). They distribute the expense among as many families as it takes to cover it. You will then receive checks from individual families (usually along with an encouraging note) for part of your submitted need until full amount is received. (On rare occasions, the needs for the month exceed the shares and you receive a percentage. This has not happened to us as long as we’ve been members.)

Thus far in our experience with Samaritans, we have had our submitted medical bills covered 100% every time. We never had that experience with regular insurance companies.

What do you tell the doctor/hospital?

Samaritan’s provides you with a membership card which you can present at the time of treatment. You are considered a “self-pay” patient which hospitals and doctors actually prefer, since it alleviates the red tape of bureaucratic companies.

Does it work when there is a large medical expense?

Yes. We really got to see Samaritans in action when my father had a heart attack in 2011. Also a member, my Dad had a near-death experience when he had a massive heart attack and we rushed him to the ER. His bills exceeded $100,000, and every penny was paid by Samaritan’s members.

Consider that if they had still been on their former insurance which only paid 80%, they would have had to pay $38,000 just on the price their self-pay was. With insurance, the actual amount would have far exceeded that number and their out-of-pocket would as well. You aren’t just saving on premiums.

You can opt to pay extra and increase your share coverage.

How much does it cost?

A family pays a monthly share of about $400.

Another amazing thing…

In our newsletter each month there is a section for “special needs” which includes certain medical needs of members not covered by Samaritans because they are pre-existing. Members are offered the opportunity to give, in addition to their regular share, to these families to help cushion the expenses.

One month we gave $25 to such a need–an expensive operation. Several weeks later we received our check back. The note accompanying the check read that they had received more than they needed to cover the bill and he was actually having to return money to different members!

I was speechless.

Samaritan’s isn’t only an efficient, well-oiled machine that members can feel secure about, it’s a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ coming together to meet one another’s needs, just as Christ mentions in Scripture.

They have my highest recommendation.

Oh, and one more bonus: if you refer me, I get a credit on my next share amount. Which is also good news for you if you join. When you start sharing your positive experiences (and you will!), you’ll save more too.

*You must be a Christian and member of a church to join.



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