Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bruce Jenner

Almost everyone is talking about Bruce Jenner. He's on television, radio, newspapers, and the social media. Everyone has an opinion. As a Christian, I wanted to know what the Bible teaches us. Here's what I found:

Genesis 5:2 "male and female He created them."

Psalms 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

God is perfect and does not make mistakes. God made Bruce Jenner into a man, so that is what he was meant to be, whether he likes it or not. Doctors can change the way he looks, but they cannot change what God made him to be.

He may have breasts, but he still looks like a man, walks like a man, and sounds like a man. He may be an eunuch, but he is a man.

Bruce dresses like a woman. The Bible says, Deuteronomy 22:5 "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord detests anyone who does this."

1 Corinthians 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

So does the Bible indicate he is a sinner? Yes. It tells us that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Should we judge him? No. Matthew 7:1 "Judge not lest ye be judged."

With that said, what should we do? The Bible says we should teach him and pray for him. God is a forgiving and merciful God. He will forgive us for our sins. All we have to do is profess our sins and ask.

In our country today, people either want to condemn sinners or accept sin as a good thing. God wants us to "be in the world, but not of the world." That sends the wrong message. Being homosexual, transvestite, or transgender is a sin. We are not their judge, but we also should not condone it. Our children need to know it is not okay!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What's Wrong With the Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments are being removed from all government properties in the United States. I'm a Christian. I have a hard time understanding what is so wrong with using the Ten Commandments as a way of teaching good values and morality. Most children are not getting that at home anymore.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. If you believe in any god, I would suppose you would be expected to be loyal. If you don't believe in God, what difference does it make to you? Its not like you are going to do anything different.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. If you don't believe in God, you can worship money or anything else you want. Why does it upset you if I don't?

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. It is considered unexceptable to use certain words, especially in public. Although sometimes frowned upon, most people substitute other words in their places. For instance, the word frick is often used to replace the word f__k. Crap is a common replacement for s__t. Yelling out God, Lord, or Jesus Christ is considered okay. Damn isn't really seen as such a bad word. As a Christian, its not okay. Why would you yell for someone you don't believe in? I've never heard anyone call out, "My Zeus!" Why would you wish for damnation for someone, if you don't believe in Hell?

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. If you worship the almighty dollar, I can understand why this commandment would bother you. What's wrong with resting on the Sabbath?

5. Honor thy father and thy mother. People have no respect for their parents or others. They have not been taught, in most cases. Besides, why should it matter? They aren't worried about consequences now. If there isn't a God, what difference will it make anyway?

6. Thou shalt not kill. Why not? Because it hurts someone else? People hurt people all the time. In a hundred years nobody will even care. If there isn't a hell, why should it matter?

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Who cares? Is it anyone else's business? If you catch something or get pregnant, its your problem, right?

8. Thou shalt not steal. Hey, if I want it, why shouldn't I take it? If I'm careful I won't get caught.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Everyone lies. Big deal! Why should I care?

10. Thou shalt not covet. Why not? Everyone else does.

What Is Freedom?

Our great country just celebrated another birthday. Here in the United States of America, we pride ourselves on being a free country. But what is freedom? Does that mean we can do anything we want? Of course not. For every freedom someone is granted, a freedom is taken away from someone else.

There are some great controversies going on right now over freedoms. One is over the Confederate flag. Many see it as a symbol of hate. Others see it as a southern symbol or as a tradition. Now it is being banned all over the country, amid protests of many. The Civil War is being fought again. Shouldn't the people have been allowed to vote on that decision, instead of allowing it to be decided by politicians looking for votes in the next election?

Why? Over a piece of cloth that you can make mean anything you wish. Yes, it was used toward the end of the war. That offends many.

Not everyone that fought for the Confederacy owned slaves. Not everyone believed in slavery.
Not everyone who fought in the Union believed in abolition of slaves.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Constitution of the United States was a slave owner. I'm certain that there were at least some that signed it that were slave owners. Should we ban that?

Our first President, George Washington, was a slave owner. He is on our money. Should he be taken off, and his image be banned?

I've also read recently about people wanting stricter laws on what we should or should not be allowed to wear in public. Some styles of clothing have been considered indecent.

What is indecent? You can't turn on the television, radio, or computer without being bombarded with nudity, sexual innuendo, and profanity, and people having sex. It is considered freedom of the press.

Who should be able to decide what is decent and what isn't? The government? Isn't that also an infringement on people's freedom to choose?

Maybe we should allow the government to choose our wardrobe for us. Would you men object to a mandatory wearing of a certain hat? How about a turbon? Maybe everyone should have to wear the same cut or color of clothing?

Maybe you women would like to go back to wearing long dresses and keeping your hair covered? We could be like many countries and be forced to wear a veil.

Gun control is always a big issue in the news. Would gun control stop murders? There are many ways to kill a person. Should knives be banned to prevent stabbings? Baseball bats and tire irons to prevent beatings? Rope to prevent stranglings? How about anything that can be used to make explosives? Wouldn't that take away people's freedoms?

You would have to be blind and deaf to miss all of the controversy over gay rights and gay marriage. Is a person born gay, is being gay a choice, or does it even matter? Once again, who has the right to make that decision? Is it right or wrong?

Is it okay for same sex couples to be married? Does it hurt anyone? Does it infringe upon the rights of others? Who should be able to make that decision? The government just passed the laws needed to make gay marriage legal in all states.

Is it okay to refuse to marry or perform services for a gay couple? After all, the government has declared their right to marry. Isn't that taking away their freedoms?

Is it okay to force someone to perform those services, if it goes against their religious beliefs? Isn't that violating their freedom of religion?

All over America, the government is removing Bibles, the Ten Commandments, and all other Judieo-Christian symbols.

Schools no longer have Easter or Christmas programs, parties, and vacations. Even traditional greetings, decorations, stories, and songs are banned. They are now designated as Spring and Winter activities. This is to protect the rights of other religions and atheists. They are not even allowed to offer prayer in school. Does it not also take away the rights of Christians and other people who enjoy the traditions? What about their rights?

It can cost a Christian their job to speak about their religion. Doesn't that violate their freedom of speech?

Our Constitution says we are afforded freedom OF religion, not FROM religion! When our forefathers wrote about the division of church and state, they meant the government could not tell you which church you must attend. It didn't mean that the government was totally religion free.

Everything about the United States was based on the Bible. Our money says, "In God We Trust." Of course, people want to eliminate that.

The Pledge of Allegiance calls us "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all." People want to dispose of that, too.

Basically, it all boils down to this; Americans all want freedoms that benefit them, even at the expense of everyone else. What most people fail to recognize, is that by writing and passing laws that infringe upon the rights of others, and puts more and more in control of the government, puts everyone's freedom in jeopardy.

I vote, however, our elected officials usually say one thing and do something else entirely. I don't trust them. I don't want them to make all my decisions for me. Do you? Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Lord's Supper

Our little Baptist church on McClarity Fork, Four Mile, West Virginia, had The Lord's Supper several times a year. I can't remember how often,but I know it wasn't as often as the more modern churches do now. It was also much more formal. The men would set two pews facing each other on the left side of the church for the women, and two on the right side for the men. Everyone that had been baptized sat down on the pews facing each other. We had a washpan of water for each side and long cotton towels. One of the women would wrap the towel around her waist and kneel on the floor in front of the woman across from her with the washpan. She would remove the woman's shoes, then wash and dry her feet. The men did the same on their side of the church. After everyone's feet were done, the pews were returned to the normal places. A long table was set up in front of the church. A white table cloth was spread over it. Little plates and tiny glasses were set around. As many as could sit around the table were seated. The preacher told what Jesus said and did at the Last Supper. Everyone bowed their heads and the preacher prayed over the unleavened bread and grape juice. We ate the bread that represented Christ's body broken for us. Then we drank the juice representing the blood Christ shed for us. A lot of times they had to set the table several times for everyone to partake. Service was closed with song and prayer. This is one of my favorite memories of the church of my childhood. Most churches do not have a foot washing service these days.I suppose people think it's unsanitary or too embarrassing. I think if it was good enough for our Lord it should be good enough for us. Churches cater too much to people and not enough to the Word.

Diy Jewelry

Hi! I'm back. Had some computer problems for awhile. I've been busy lately with new projects and new hobbies. I've been making jewelry. I get most of my ideas off Pintrest, but of course, none of them look exactly the same. My daughter works at an animal shelter. She asked me to try my hand at making some animal jewelry. I made a horse's head and behind from copper wire. Then I needed a chain to put it on.I decided to make it using recycled materials. I used a strip of cloth and some old pony beads that I had salvaged from something else. Here are the results;
I also made a cat from copper wire, then added a pretty red bow. I did some more recycling for the chain. I took a strip of red cloth and wove it through some pop tabs. This is how it turned out;
I'm working on a few more and will let you see how they turn out after they are completed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Was Saved

When I went to church with Grandpa and Grandma Baker in West Virginia, I was usually a good little girl, but not always. I knew what being naughty would earn me. They would take me outside and whip me with a little, keen switch if I misbehaved. Although I didn't always understand everything as a small child, I loved singing. Someone once laughed a little and said I was the loudest singer in church. I was so proud, I thought it was a compliment. Once, after we got home, Grandma told me I had misunderstood what some of the words were to one of the songs we were singing. She told me the words were "It's a grand and glorious feeling," not a 'Granddaddy glorious feeling." I was embarrassed. I don't think I sang quite as loudly anymore. At a lot of our services, we would sing a song, while we walked through the church shaking everyone's hand. I liked that. I knew just about everyone there. Before we had prayer, we were always ask if we had any prayer requests. Grandma almost always stood up and talked about her children and grandchildren who were lost. She would often cry. I knew that being lost was a terrible thing, and that lost people would go to hell and burn forever. When we prayed at our church, many of the members would kneel down in front of their pews and pray. I liked that. Some would go up and pray at the alter. Everyone prayed their own prayer to the Lord in their own words. Most prayed out loud, some quietly, some loudly. Some prayed joyfully, while some cried as the prayed. Prayer was a rather noisy time, but everyone there prayed with their whole heart. At some meetings, people would be ask if they would like to give testimonies. Sometimes people laughed, cried, or rejoiced. I remember one older lady, Aunt Pearl, would start rejoicing. She had a stiff back, and had trouble getting around. When Aunt Pearl got into the spirit, she would shout, and sometimes jump around a little. Once she was telling how she was ready to just fly up to Heaven. She was jumping and flapping her arms and shouting. I was still rather little, and couldn't help but think it was a bit funny. I would never have thought about making fun of her or hurting her feelings, not on purpose. I got up behind her and started doing what she was doing. I was little, and she was big. I didn't think anyone would see me. Boy, was I wrong! My Grandpa Baker saw me, and we took a little trip outside.
I remember when we were there on Easter. Grandma Baker made Easter bonnets for my sister, Sharon, and me. She would take plastic jugs, cut off the tops, and help us make Easter baskets. She kept the plastic grass from year to year, and lined our baskets. Grandma boiled and colored a lot of eggs. Some she didn't have to color. The chickens laid some that looked blue, some green or aqua, some looked sort of pink, and some were in different shades of orange. She also boiled and colored a few goose eggs. They would just about fill up her big picnic basket. We got up on Easter Sunday, ate breakfast, and went to church. There was no talk of Easter bunnies. We all knew why we celebrated Easter. We all knew that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and rose again after three days. After church, Grandpa and the other men, hid the eggs outside, then turned us all loose to hunt. We got to take home whatever eggs we found. Anyone that found a goose egg received a small money prize, probably less than a dollar. Money went a lot farther those days, and kids didn't expect as much. Daddy built us a little house just down the road from Grandpa and Grandma Baker. He hired a local carpenter to help build the frame. Grandpa helped him build the rest of the house. Neighbors would stop by from time to time, grab a hammer, and help. Sharon and I helped some, too. After the house was built, we moved in. Daddy still worked in Ohio, but he came home on weekends and holidays. Mom started going to church. She was baptized by my too favorite preachers, Brother Carl Adkins and Brother Argie Davis. They were Grandpa Baker's cousins. I loved going to church on Sundays, Wednesday night prayer meetings, and to revivals. I liked when we visited other churches. My favorite services were homecomings. We would have church and Sunday School first. When we broke for lunch, there were a lot of tables pushed together outside, covered with almost any kind of food a kid could want. I always ate a lot of fried chicken, dressed eggs, green beans, tomatoes, and corn on the cob. I then would over stuff myself on cakes, puddings, fruits, and pies. After lunch we went back inside for a few more hours of preaching and singing. Once, when I was nine years old, my sister and I were once more living with Grandpa and Grandma Baker. They were having a homecoming at the log church over on Beech Fork of Four Mile Creek. At sometime that afternoon, something they were preaching touched my heart in a way I had never felt before. I thought about it until we got home. I wish I could remember what it was, but my memories are fading. I talked to Grandma about it. We talked a long time. I told her I had been saved and wanted to be baptized. I wanted Brother Carl and Brother Argie to baptize me like they had Mom. We went one day, soon after that, and talked to Brother Argie. He ask me a lot of questions, but once we were done talking, he agreed to baptize me, and we set the date for it. Brother Carl lived in Ohio and couldn't be there. On the appointed day a large group of us met by a big hole of water in the creek, over on Ten Mile Creek. I had on a pretty dress. We went in someone's house and Grandma pinned my dress between my legs, so it wouldn't float up. Brother Argie baptized me while they sang "Shall We Gather at the River." I can't say I have always been a faithful follower of Christ, since the age of nine, but I have always been a true believer. I have always prayed, and have had my prayers answered. No matter how far I have strayed I have always found my way back.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Introduction to the Lord

I lived with my Grandpa and Grandma Baker off and on throughout my childhood. They were the ones who taught me the most about Jesus, and our Heavenly Father. While staying there my Great Grandpa Shuff taught me the song "I'll Fly Away." Someone, probably Grandma Baker taught me to say 'The Lord's Prayer'. I can remember saying it when I was about three years old, alone at night in my bed. I can't remember when I didn't know it. My daddy, although he is not saved, taught me never to call him father, because I only have one, and that is my Heavenly Father. As far back as I can remember, Grandpa and Grandma took me to the little McClarity Baptist Church, down on the McClarity Fork of Four Mile, in Lincoln County, West Virginia. I can remember sitting, or lying, on the hard wooden pews. There was an old coal stove in the center of the room, for heat in the winter. We used hand-held paper fans during the summer. Almost all of the men sat on the right side of the church. They all hung their hats on nails in the walls for that reason. The women and young children sat on the left. There was no running water. Aunt Alma Sanders carried a bucket of fresh water from the well at her house all the way down to the church house. It had a dipper in it to drink from. (Grandpa and Grandma brought our own, in a bleach jug, with empty tin cans for each of us to have our own.) Out back, on the left side of the church yard, stood an outhouse for the women. On the right was one for the men. Our church only had one room. On Sunday mornings we all went to our assigned pews for Sunday school, so we could have our own little groups. There were a couple of adult classes that sat in their own assigned pews. They all had Sunday School books. All of the children, irregardless of age, sat together. Our teacher was Aunt Alma Saunders. She gave us each a little card, with a lesson on one side, and a picture on the other side. We loved our cards. There was a chart on the wall with our names, and we each got a shiny gold star by our name every time we attended. I think Uncle Ligie Adkins may have been the one to start the church service. Some of the details are a little fuzzy. I know he kept the church books and usually led the songs. Now Aunt Alma and Uncle Ligie were not even related to me, but we were taught to call our elders, Aunt and Uncle, as a term of respect. Our church had song books, but most of the members did not believe in musical instruments in the church, not even an organ. We didn't have a choir. Anyone could go up from and sing on the podium, or take song books back and sing in the pews. Uncle Ligie often chose the songs, but anyone could request a song, or they could volunteer to sing one of their own. Not all of the singing was good, but all of it was always full of the spirit. Our preachers started out quietly, reading a few verses that held the message they wanted us to hear. Before they were through, they were usually so caught up in the spirit, that they were shouting. It would have been hard to sleep during their sermons. They preached 'hell fire and brimstone', but it came straight out of the Bible. They would never have even have thought of suggesting that God was different than what the Bible taught. It would never have occurred to them to question whether the stories in the Bible were true. They told it like it is. The churches were always full of 'Amens' and 'hallelujahs'. Now and then, someone would start rejoicing. That didn't disrupt service, it just added to the spirit. I'm blessed to have had such a wonderful introduction to the Lord.