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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

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3 hours ago, whisperingsage said:

PArtof the problem is that this isn't just a "women's issue" because the husband is as immature as the wife, he won't read his bible either. (she actually has a better brain and memory- she gets most of the question candy because of this, she just can't/won't apply it to herself). Without reading and study he cannot hope to guide his own home. He is great for  asking questions all during,  and even disrupting service, but the nature of most of his questions shows he has very little understanding of a lot of things. He, for example, thought "humble" meant "prideful".  How do we even attempt to correct something so basic?  If he doesn't understand basic English (and he's a white boy born in the USA) how can he ever hope to understand the KJV? I was homeschooled and taught to read at 3 but there was always a drive to read things beyond my comprehension, and if I understood some of it I was pleased. Most people don't/won't/can't do that today. But he doesn't even really try. He may never be capable. Is it fair to put him in charge when he can't even judge rightly for himself? His best "friends" are foul mouthed older men that appear to use him for labor "paying" him an old piece of junk they were going to throw away. That's the nature of his "work" for them.  That can be a treasure as I have done it myself, but again, he's spina bifida and of a weak constitution. He just can't put in the labor that the average bear can do. It can and has hurt him. When I was his age I was stronger than him. I was stronger than him 5 years ago. But the point is he hangs with bad people, with filthy mouths and doesn't grasp that there is something amiss with that person. We can't be around these people 5 minutes without hearing a slough of curse words spewing forth. And yet the couple tell us no, this man doesn't swear...

Sadly, a great many younger adults are in the boat of lacking understanding. But here's the thing: you and Mike can only do what you can do. Neither of you are called to change this man...that is the Holy Spirit's job, and He is quite capable of working on the man even if he's partially or completely illiterate. You, my dear sister wsage, are not called to deal with this man, nor to take the burden upon yourself (so, it should never be "how do we attempt" to do anything regarding him). Your hubs is the one called to work directly with him. As Mike's help, you pray for Mike - for wisdom, for strength, for guidance, etc. AND you pray for this man - to learn the things he needs to learn so that he can begin growing in Christ. (AND you pray for the young woman, that she will realize that knowing the answers for candy rewards is not the end of things, that she, too, will grow in Christ...).

As to your question "is it fair to put him in charge...": GOD put him in charge. You didn't. Mike didn't. Mike is not the head of any home represented in your church, except yours. Hands off should be the policy, other than Mike working with him in regards to spiritual things. And associations do fall under that category, but rather than pointing to specific people, the principle of proper companions should be taught. These two folks are adults. Granted, immature adults. But it is NOT your job nor Mike's to raise them.

Here's one thing you could consider: start a "school" for an hour a week, where folks who want to learn grammar, vocabulary, etc. As an outreach of the church, a ministry, so there would be no charge. Offer it (Mike would do the offering) to any members who would be interested. But I wouldn't even consider doing something like this until both he and she really realize that your hands are off their lives.

I hope this makes sense...

 

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He, for example, thought "humble" meant "prideful".  [1]How do we even attempt to correct something so basic?  If he doesn't understand basic English ([3]and he's a white boy born in the USA) [2]how can he ever hope to understand the KJV?

[4]...he's spina bifida

  1. You correct it by teaching him.  If you taught him the meaning of that word, now he has a better understanding of the English language by one word.  Some people need to take one step at a time.
  2. How can he hope to understand the KJV?  With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and, perhaps, your husband (or someone else)  could sit with him and teach him; knee to knee, one letter at a time, if need be.  
  3. What does being "a white boy born in the USA" have anything to do with it.  Would it make more sense if he were black or hispanic?  If a person is illiterate or if they have a shallow understanding of the English language, it is because of the simple fact that they never learned it properly.
  4. He is not spina bifida; he has spina bifida.  He is a human being.

This is not meant to be unkind and please forgive and correct me if I am wrong, but as someone on the outside of this, you come across as bearing a great deal of resentment and disdain for this couple and I am guessing that they are probably picking up on that.

Might I suggest you revisit 1 Corinthians 13?  Here is the definition of charity from Webster's 1828 dictionary:

  1.  In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.

Also, remember what Jesus said to Peter and the disciples in Matthew 18:21-35 and Luke 17:3-4.

One of the cliche's they used to use in the church in which I worked, was that some people are EGR; "extra grace required."  If they are suffering from physical issues with their brains, they may need more guidance and patience than others; they may not comprehend things with the same ease and clarity as others can.

Have you ever considered taking her out shopping for an appropriate outfit?  Tell her how wonderful she looks in it and buy it for her as a surprise gift.  Perhaps you could make it an afternoon for just the two of you and try to really connect with her.  Apologize for any past wrongdoings and misunderstandings and show her that you are genuinely  interested in her.  

Contrary to popular belief, we can learn to choose our feelings and we can learn to feel affectionately toward people that we may have even hated previously; just as we can choose to behave in kind ways.  Through prayer and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, I have learned how to do this myself.

Definitely set boundaries with them and limit some of the day to day help, if they are taking advantage.  However, unless they are doing something that meets the biblical criteria of separating from them, don't give up on them.  Maybe even ask them if they could help you and your husband with a small, light duty project at the church; just the four of you.

When I start getting too big for my britches, I try to remember 1 Timothy 1:15.

 

Edited by Brother Stafford
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2 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

Sadly, a great many younger adults are in the boat of lacking understanding. But here's the thing: you and Mike can only do what you can do. Neither of you are called to change this man...that is the Holy Spirit's job, and He is quite capable of working on the man even if he's partially or completely illiterate. You, my dear sister wsage, are not called to deal with this man, nor to take the burden upon yourself (so, it should never be "how do we attempt" to do anything regarding him). Your hubs is the one called to work directly with him. As Mike's help, you pray for Mike - for wisdom, for strength, for guidance, etc. AND you pray for this man - to learn the things he needs to learn so that he can begin growing in Christ. (AND you pray for the young woman, that she will realize that knowing the answers for candy rewards is not the end of things, that she, too, will grow in Christ...).

As to your question "is it fair to put him in charge...": GOD put him in charge. You didn't. Mike didn't. Mike is not the head of any home represented in your church, except yours. Hands off should be the policy, other than Mike working with him in regards to spiritual things. And associations do fall under that category, but rather than pointing to specific people, the principle of proper companions should be taught. These two folks are adults. Granted, immature adults. But it is NOT your job nor Mike's to raise them.

Here's one thing you could consider: start a "school" for an hour a week, where folks who want to learn grammar, vocabulary, etc. As an outreach of the church, a ministry, so there would be no charge. Offer it (Mike would do the offering) to any members who would be interested. But I wouldn't even consider doing something like this until both he and she really realize that your hands are off their lives.

I hope this makes sense...

 

It does make sense, but since the man insists he has a BS in biochemistry, and pretends he loves to read, I doubt he will take me up on that sort of class. The wife, she actually is good at reading, so ditto. There is a woman they invited to church that comes about once a month, and she we discovered has a 1st grade reading ability, I set up some phonics lessons for her (I have done this before- got an "LD" student reading, they never bothered with phonics evidently) , and she does well before or after service, but I think she really prefers to get disability and if she could read well, she might have to get a job. Another one that doesn't have a car and we have to take shopping. However, she only comes about once a month and I would have to work with her more often to make it stick. But again, I think she doesn't want to lose her SSI , She's 49. I never can get over the terrible job the government schools have done.

Also Matt 6:21 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

We can tell what's important to them by how they spend their time and money. God , the Bible and learning are not it.

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We have taken them out to shop at thrift stores, in fact, a year after their quickie wedding we helped them buy her real wedding dress for her “real” wedding, (It was $35, a steal!), satin and embroidery and a train and lace. I had to taylor it some to get it to fit right. I was sad and disappointed when maybe 10 people (relatives) showed up. And they didn’t know how to dress for a wedding. Everyone came in their slob clothes. Jeans and T shirts. Maybe two girls in real dresses. It was supposed to be a potluck. One sister brought macaroni salad. That was it. We too late realized we would have to kick in with serious food and special ordered fried chicken from the local convenience store (nearest real shopping 40-60 miles away) enough to feed everyone. We had been accustomed to providing 75% of food at potlucks, but no longer have our church building with oven, so I couldn’t just pop in our usual two giant pans of chicken to roast. If we had been aware this would have been needed we could have planned  better. Also, no one brought them wedding gifts, like they just weren’t aware that was the norm. The groom’s dad gave him a cheap birthday card. That was it. This kind of shows the lack of normalcy.

 

For other clothes, yes we bought her other things, she would wear a time or two and then never see again. Sometimes he shows up dirty and in tank top and has to be sent home to change. It’s funny, they are driven to show up an hour early, but in their rush, say they didn’t have time to change. They are a block away.

I have shared many books with them. We bought them the KJV on CD (the James Earl Jones one). Somehow they still haven’t gotten through it. How much more can we do? They harbored a fugitive at their house and lied to us about it. They almost got arrested for it. The sense isn’t there. The judgement is not there. The desire is not there. I think they come to use us for rides and get what they can.

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54 minutes ago, whisperingsage said:

We have taken them out to shop at thrift stores, in fact, a year after their quickie wedding we helped them buy her real wedding dress for her “real” wedding, (It was $35, a steal!), satin and embroidery and a train and lace. I had to taylor it some to get it to fit right. I was sad and disappointed when maybe 10 people (relatives) showed up. And they didn’t know how to dress for a wedding. Everyone came in their slob clothes. Jeans and T shirts. Maybe two girls in real dresses. It was supposed to be a potluck. One sister brought macaroni salad. That was it. We too late realized we would have to kick in with serious food and special ordered fried chicken from the local convenience store (nearest real shopping 40-60 miles away) enough to feed everyone. We had been accustomed to providing 75% of food at potlucks, but no longer have our church building with oven, so I couldn’t just pop in our usual two giant pans of chicken to roast. If we had been aware this would have been needed we could have planned  better. Also, no one brought them wedding gifts, like they just weren’t aware that was the norm. The groom’s dad gave him a cheap birthday card. That was it. This kind of shows the lack of normalcy

For other clothes, yes we bought her other things, she would wear a time or two and then never see again. Sometimes he shows up dirty and in tank top and has to be sent home to change. It’s funny, they are driven to show up an hour early, but in their rush, say they didn’t have time to change. They are a block away.

I have shared many books with them. We bought them the KJV on CD (the James Earl Jones one). Somehow they still haven’t gotten through it. How much more can we do? They harbored a fugitive at their house and lied to us about it. They almost got arrested for it. The sense isn’t there. The judgement is not there. The desire is not there. I think they come to use us for rides and get what they can.

 

The latest in this issue, obviously something they have no control over, this girl's (from our church) mother, who went to jail recently for (supposedly) hitting a local teen with a bat, got out of jail. Well, a little background. She was selling her place here in our town, to move back to Florida to stay with her son. Then she went to jail. She was released on her own cognizance, got all her stuff out of the house, put into storage, put her animals with a friend, then flipped her truck, got ejected from it, and the truck landed on her, and she died from her injuries. She was due to go back to court for a possible 'third-strike' in May, meaning possibly a long sentence if she was convicted. At this point, it all seems odd. Apparently she was pretty serious about her seatbelt, but wasn't wearing it. There is some speculation that she did it intentionally, especially since she was driving on a road with a 35MPH limit, and you can't flip a truck that much at that speed, but of course, who knows? She wasn't a nice person-much of her daughter's issues stem from her mother keeping her on medication to draw disability for her; she came to the church for a bit, but was so clearly trying to irritate her daughter and her husband by bringing friend with her and declaring how nice it was to finally have some family with her, things like that, I finally had to have her leave. So, with everything else, now her mother dies in this accident, something they really didn't need. And of course, who does, right? But if, as many think, it was intentional, it would be in her nature to believe it, because she was very selfish-her whole family was separated from each other based upon who had a relationship with her and who didn't.  Maybe, after the pain, it may allow her family to come back together, we hope.  

On the plau side, being there for them in this time of loss can maybe also help heal some rifts with them-sticking with people through their pain can help form better bonds.

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I've hesitated to put this in writing, but it's been on my heart so here goes...

The Bible tells us "Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease." Prov. 22:10

Honestly, I am wondering if serious consideration ought be given to church discipline with the end view of putting out from membership if the strife does not stop (and from all that you've both been saying, the strife doesn't look to be stopping but rather growing).

This situation does not sound, to me, as a woman against woman issue (and, believe me - a woman would know...). It sounds to me like a situation in which a troubled-and-trouble-making woman has gained the upper hand. Your sympathies are in play, Mike, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But what is it doing to the church? And to your wife? Both the church AND your wife are more important than one couple who is in the seat of the scornful (which appears to be where they sit right now).

Part of being in the ministry is sacrifice. But that sacrifice has to be tempered. We cannot sacrifice the whole for the part. When someone who is determined to be contentious is allowed to have sway (and when decisions are made in the contentious one's favor, or excuses made out of sympathy to the contentious one, that one is holding sway), chaos reigns because contention brings chaos. And confusion. But God is not the author of confusion, so allowing it to go on is wrong.

So, again, I'm wondering if serious consideration ought to be given to church discipline. For the health of the church and the health of your marriage.

(please don't be offended or think that I am condemning anyone...)

I could be wrong - it has happened before - but I am skeptical of sympathy softening a scorner.

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