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Everything posted by WellWithMySoul

  1. I haven't been a member of this forum for all that long, but in the time that I have been here I've been filled with consternation at the several "strange doctrines" being promoted here. I usually do not participate in "contending" or trying to reason with the fellas about doctrinal matters because I do not feel that the Lord is leading me as a lady to do so. However, I do hope that Mr. Markle will continue his membership here, as well as many of the other fine and doctrinally sound people, because whether they see it or not they truly are a blessing and an encouragement to me. Praise God that I am quite sound in my faith and fully persuaded in doctrinal matters, but it isn't me that I'm concerned about, but rather the "babes" that come to this forum and become confused about scripture. It is quite easy to observe and to discern with those that are promoting that which is false, that they're not about bringing glory to our precious God as much as to trying to promote what they think or believe. They talk about scripture, the interpretations of it, and put forth all kinds of "knowledgeable" things....but if I wasn't saved or was just a babe in Christ, I would NOT be drawn to the Lord because of the very (con)textual attitude of most of those promoting falsities. There are so very many "religious" people out there that know a great deal about the Bible, can even quote it, and they can talk all about and around God...but so can the devil. The evil one knows more about scripture than he's given credit for, and he will use little bits and pieces of it to craftily, subtly, and cunningly deceive people as he has from the beginning. As I said in another thread anyone can have knowledge, lots of it, and readily spew it out, but that doesn't mean that they truly KNOW the precious God and Author of the Word. Is God impressed with our knowledge? He has told us to seek knowledge, but also with it, He has told us to seek understanding and wisdom and to apply them in our lives. There are a lot of very insecure folks out there that are needy to appear "spiritual", but in the end they become as "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal". One that is truly being progressively transformed into our dear Saviour's likeness -living, walking, and breathing with a hunger and thirst for righteousness and becoming obviously more and more recognizable as a child of God with Jesus' light being manifested outwardly - then the truths of the Word are very, very sweet, and things that are false are easy to spot and are sour and bitter. There's a huge difference between a true sweet spirit of meekness and a proud demanding and selfish spirit. "Though hand join in hand", "...And such were some of you"; are we all so very careful to examine ourselves before the Lord to prevent that "...Thou art the man"?
  2. Saved And I Know It My grandma on my mom's side used to take my sisters and me to Sunday School and also to VBS during the summers. Those were very pertinent times, and the influences from them paved the way to my salvation. In later years, Dad and Mom started attending church and in time actually became quite actively involved. Dad used to smoke (as did my grandpa), and he also used to consume alcohol and sell it in their little store. That came to an end when some of the church leaders went to him and more or less taught him that he ought not to be selling it if he was a Christian. At Easter time when I was about 7 years old, a movie was going to be shown in the Sunday evening service. That was exciting, and I believe our whole family attended. The movie shown was called "The Greatest Story Ever Told". I was just a little girl, and I knew nothing really about Hollywood and how close movies were to being accurate according to the Bible, but I praise God that He can and will use whatever means He chooses to love us to Himself. Indeed, that movie had such a profound effect on me, that after it was over...I ran home across the street and scrambled into my jammies and crawled into my little bed and started crying and crying and asking Jesus to please come into my heart and forgive my sins because I dearly did not want to go to hell. To this day, that time is very vivid to me. There was no doubt in my mind that I was saved that night! I don't recall the time sequence at all, but it seems that some of the other children that went to Sunday School there were also saved near the time that I was. Again, I have a lapse of memory about the timing of things, but I remember how very serious and zealous I was about sharing the "Good News" with others. Without doubt, I didn't want anyone else to go to hell, and so I truly wanted to share about Jesus with others. What I do distinctly remember is actually getting to share about salvation with 2 of my little friends. One was a boy that lived across the street, Mikey G, that I used to play with...and the other was Carolyn A, a friend that was in my class at school. I shared the best way I knew how about salvation and what it was and then asked each if they wanted to get saved (this took place at different times). They both said yes! I'm not sure if they truly and genuinely got saved at that time, but I sure believed that they did. I remained excited about the Lord and took Him so very seriously....with, yes....FEAR and trembling! Then I began to notice that none of my little friends seemed to be very excited about Jesus. They didn't talk about him or even seem to show interest except at Sunday School and church. I also observed that the adults didn't seem to be very excited about the Lord either. I didn't understand it! I felt like there was something wrong with me because I was so serious about being obedient to the Lord and sharing Him with others. I didn't get the encouragement that I sorely needed, and so after a time...I fell silent about the Saviour. I still took Him very seriously in my heart, but truly believed that something was wrong with me for wanting to talk about Him to and with others. There's so much to share,....but, I'm going to cut this short....today, that is! I will just conclude for now by saying that even though I definitely knew that I was securely saved to the uttermost, I didn't have any understanding of God's LOVE for me. I knew that He loved me because the Bible said so, and because the song "Jesus Loves Me" told me so. I believed that He loved me because He was God and "had" to. I knew that I was going to go to Heaven without a shadow of a doubt, but I also believed that my "place" was going to be in the farthest corner of Heaven. Even though I didn't express that outwardly, I truly believed these things until I was in my late 30's. I'd love to share the continuation of my relationship and walk with the Lord soon. It is a joy to share and glorify Him for all of His workmanship in my life! (A continuation of more is to come later.)  
  3. Thank you so much for this thread about scientific facts. Fascinating! I'm going to be thinking on a question to ask.
  4. This devotional is a wonderful blessing! Thank you for defining pertinent terms to refresh our memory and to help "drive home" the context. Praise God for the exhortation of His Word!
  5. It has been a few months since this thread was posted in, and so I was wondering how you all are doing in your individual walks with our Lord? Once again I will say that I absolutely love sharing what the Lord is doing for me...but at present I must keep my sharing to a minimum because I'm having to type one-handed. I slipped on some snow covered ice in December and broke my arm/wrist. Just briefly I will share my thanksgiving to my precious Lord that my fall didn't have more serious ramifications! A couple of xrays were taken at the ER and it was found that I have an advancing case of osteoporosis. I was amazed that it was obvious on a simple xray because usually a bone density cat scan is taken to determine that diagnosis. I could've broken my hip or even my back or hit my head! Instead the Lord was merciful to me and I ended up with a clean break, and a good warning to be even more careful in my activities. As my husband drove me to the hospital I began asking the Lord what I could learn from this opportunity. Was the Lord chastizing me? Was this a time to be still and just rest in Him? Was this injury allowed so that I could share my Saviour with someone I might normally not come into contact with? Was this a time to be reminded that humility is Christ-like? Was this maybe just a big warning from the Lord to be aware of the osteoporosis? Perhaps the answers to all of the above are true! The Lord didn't respond to my questions to Him by singling out anything in particular....but regardless I shower Him with gratefulness that indeed He is working in my life granting me many opportunities to learn more about Him, and to grow in Him by His workmanship, and to love others even more by sharing the vast love that He has for me and for them. As the Lord leads, and when my arm/wrist is healed I look forward to sharing my personal testimony here...both of my salvation and of my walk with my dear Saviour. Please be encouraged to be thankful both in and for all things...we have a very gracious God!
  6. 'Praying for you bunches, Rosie....wishing I could actually sit down and pray with you. It's glorious tho' that the blessed Spirit is never challenged by distance, huh? Bless your heart, dear lady...
  7. In agreement with Mike, it's very grievous the twisting of scriptues to try to "explain away" the enmeshing of the gender roles that God explicitly set up! It's incredulous how any woman could ever believe she was glorifying the Lord by being a "pastor"! Sigh...it shows a total disregard to God's Word...and those that participate in that belief rob and sabotage themselves from the utter and abundant joy there truly can be in "ministering" to others and sharing the Gospel within the parameters of the distinct roles that God has given to us to obey. Truly, God's ways are for our best, and so to follow Him in them with right hearts proves our faith and submissiveness to Him, and His light within shines forth bringing glory to Him. Before God, the role of a pastor is very, very serious...for as I posted above..."they watch for our souls" and "give account". I count it a privilege and blessing to be able to share my heart and thoughts here on OLB....especially with so many members being Godly pastors. Never wanting to overstep the bounds of my role as a lady...I try to ever so carefully and wisely measure what I share by the Word and what would be pleasing to the Lord. Whether our minds and feelings can wrap around God's truths or not it's still better to obey than to "sacrifice" by holding the Word up with the highest regards....for it is God-breathed to us.
  8. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, plenary, and preserved Word of God. We must maintain a most high regard to it in the fear of our most Holy God. Indeed, the Lord changes not and is not the author of confusion. Anyone can derive knowledge from the Word, but there is no understanding without spiritual discernment (I Cor.2:14). Too often, too many have taken what appears to them as contradictions and in their subtilely deceived zeal...try ever so hard to bring God's Word down to their level of understanding. This is very dangerous ground to tread on. It must always be remembered that God's thoughts and ways are omnisciently and omnipotently higher than ours, and so we must be growing UP more and more in Him seeking discernment, understanding, and wisdom from Him. There will be areas that we don't fully come to understand even after seeking His ways and thoughts...but we must be careful not to "major" on those areas and be distracted from continuing in God's ways in the areas that we do understand. We also need to be careful not to "put words in God's mouth"...but to revere every word that does proceed out of the mouth of God. ('Just a question...why should the Lord grant us "meaty" understanding if we aren't following Him in obedience in less "meaty" things?) He knows our hearts and desires, and He knows when we are truly "fearing" Him as we ought to. We must be carefully aware to not base beliefs on or by emotions, feelings, our minds, personal preferences or standards, or by placing over-confidence in "men" (including ourselves). "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mt. 5:16). I praise God for Godly men that shew their faith by their works, in deed as well as in truth - "...For they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Heb. 13:17). Does anyone dare have the audacity to try to "change" Jesus - most perfect Saviour? HE IS the WORD... (John 1:1) so truly we need to be ever so careful to "fear" Him and His Word as we ought to.
  9. Dear Rosie....it's wonderful that you've communed with the Lord and that He has granted you peace even tho' the decision made wasn't what you wanted! So often in my almost 54 yrs of being His child, I've prayed many a prayer (including prayers I've prayed amiss) that the Lord answered in ways much differently than what my desires were. I "gotta" smile tho' because more times than not, the Lord showed me that His way and timing was by far much better than mine! I pray much more differently now as He has grown my faith and given me more understanding of His ways and thoughts and timing. Now I go to the throne of grace and mercy more aware of being simply honest with myself and share my requests and heart desires with Him and what my limited perspectives are....but then follow in surrender seeking not my will but His. It sure isn't always easy to surrender...because the ole flesh tries to chime in. Sigh...but when I fall to my flesh, no peace follows. I'm sure still learning....and it's disappointing when I fail to trust the Lord....but so, sooo glad that He knows my heart and is so merciful to me. I can't seem to not be redundunt in sharing how the Lord is working in my life in so many areas....but I do hope to be encouraging and edifying to others as I do. You're a precious child of our dear God, Rosie....and I will continue to pray for you and for your loved ones!
  10. Hi, Rosie....so glad you got your answer, and I truly hope you are are relieved and able to go forth with contentment and the peace that can only come from our Lord. Sometimes I've had answers to prayers that were definiely different than the way I wanted them to be....but overall, I also know that I can still trust God's omniscience...beings my perspectives are so limited. I pray blessings to you thru the decision made.
  11. I love it! I love old farm houses! It's great that this one has been in your family for as long as it has...lots of memories made there, huh? My husband grew up in an old two story, drafty, tilting farm house. His dad was a pastor in the rural community...and so the family of eight was quite poor...but they made the best of what they had and praised the Lord for it. I think that old farm house that they lived in was actually photographed and put into a magazine (no recollection of what magazine). My daughter also lived in an old two story farm house in a town that boasted of about ten for its population. That was also an awesome house. Old farm houses have so many stories to tell; stories of hard back-breaking work, of times of tears and heartbreak, times of rest and reflection, of worry and trust, of storms and sunshine, the joy of births and sorrows of loss, and the times of joy and laughter....lots of living! Your son's big grin and his "stockings" light up the room! He looks like such a great young man! Your blanket is gorgeous, and your crochet hook is fantastic!! Both are of priceless value because of being made with love and care and with a giving spirit! Thank you for sharing your pics!
  12. Hey, Rosie...yeppers, I shall pray that you will absolutely know the Lord's leading in the decision you need to make. I pray that you will have great peace about it all thru-out the process. Oft times when I'm really just not sure what direction to take, I ask the Lord to either open or shut "doors" as I seek His will. He has been so faithful to direct my paths...to light the way that I should go. It's so absolutely wonderful and comforting to know that He knows my heart's desires to seek His way and not my own (and He also knows when I'm not completely surrendered too...), and is so mercifully and tenderly faithful to respond in His time. I have been learning and hope to continue learning...NOT to lean on my own understanding, but rather to trust Him. It's more than awesome to know the One who knows ALL, isn't it? Yep! He's the WAY to live LIFE in His TRUTH! I will be praying!
  13. Dear trapperhoney...indeed I understand about your vehicle troubles, and I have lifted your situation and needs up to our precious Lord Jesus. He will be faithful to supply for all of your needs according to HIS riches in glory! I know that you know this...but I long to encourage you with it because often the clinging to it and trusting Him will bring that sweet peace that passes all understanding. From our perspective things can seem so, sooooo difficult and we simply can't see the answers...but God knows our frame and limitations. Especially at times like this...we just need to "grit our teeth" and be thankful both in and for the circumstances whether we "feel" like it or not...because the Lord has allowed this trying of your faith for a reason. Perhaps it's not to test you and your faith, but rather to be able to prove your faith and the indwelling presence of the Spirit to someone not even remotely related to the situation. We just never know who might be "watching" us and how we deal with various inconveniences in life. Perhaps too...in being obedient to be thankful when our heart just isn't in it....there's plenty, PLENTY more reasons to be thankful....such as: we still have a roof over our head, we still have food for our bellies, we still have clothes on our backs...let alone the innumerable other blessings from Heaven. Again, I know that you know all of these things...but I long to help in the bearing of your stress with encouragement and thru the power of prayer! Once again, I am ever so grateful for your husband's service to our country! I will continue to think of you and pray for your situation...and I am anticipating with love to our Lord Jesus...the wonderful way He will supply for you! Praying for you...
  14. There are countless blessings that I am so very grateful for. 'Can't help but to think of John 21:25 - "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." HE loves me; ME! Wow! His works, His workmanship - made it so that I have the absolute privilege and blessing of ever saying that it is "well with my soul"! More specifically today, I am tremendously grateful for all of the answered prayers for journey's mercies. My husband and I traveled about 120 miles on icy, somewhat snow-packed roads over mountain passes to get to our daughter's place yesterday. At the same time, our daughter was also traveling over even slicker roads up and over higher mountain passes about 90 miles to get home from school - by herself. Our youngest son and his family got caught in rush hour making it very late after already driving 400+ miles to also drive over dangerously icy mountain passes to join us.. I had been praying and praying for days about all of our traveling, and our gracious God indeed KEPT us all! I'm also very thankful that we get to spend this time with 3 of our 4 kiddos. This year none of the kids are in "harm's way" over in the "desert sands"...and this military mom is elated; my "babes" are all stateside! Praising Him!!!
  15. I greatly appreciate your husband's and son's service! I mentioned in another thread that all 4 of our kiddos have served (two still serving), and the Lord has sustained us through 8 deployments between them. I do understand the feelings of being a wife of a military man, and also being a military mom...and so I long to be of encouragement and support to you! Thank you for posting all of the pictures. When praying it helps to have their faces in mind, and makes it more personal. You have a very precious family! Lifting you up in prayer... Merri
  16. Both of your simple, yet profound testimonies brought tears to my eyes! The very Spirit that indwells my heart also abides in yours. Everytime I read the epistles, I'm blessed by the love and appreciation expressed amongst the beloved brethren. Thank you for sharing your ministries that are led by that very same glorious Spirit as those that walked with God so long ago.
  17. It is such a wonderful blessing to hear or read the testimonies of others! It's such a joy to see our God working in the lives of others. There's a lot of dialogue about doctrine...which can be very illuminating, and there are lots of salvation testimonies too...which is such a delightful thing to rejoice in! One thing that I truly miss though, is the sharing and testifying about the "relationship" different ones have with the Lord now. I'm not referring to our position in Christ being accepted in the beloved, and I'm not speaking of the knowledge and understanding we have of scriptural matters. Just as we have a relationship with loved ones on this earth, we also have a personal relationship with our precious Saviour. How is that relationship faring? What are our struggles in our individual walks with Him? Are we comfortably able to pray without ceasing? Do we sense His presence, and know His leading in our lives? Are you finding that there are times that the Lord seems to be being very still, and we long to "hear" from Him? At times do you catch yourself trying to "explain" things to the Lord or "defend" yourself to Him? Do you have times of doubt and times of not fully surrendering to Him? Do you KNOW that the Lord is working in your life and progressively transforming you more and more into His likeness? Can we testify of the wondrous gifts and His workmanship of victory over faults and weaknesses and fears that we have? Is our relationship with Him truly active or are we tending to live life a bit on the "automatic" relying on what is familiar modes? Are we being sensitive to the blessed Spirit's gracious leading? Is there a struggle to intimately KNOW the love our dear God has for each of us? Can we truly and honestly say..."it is well with my soul" regardless of the circumstances in our lives? I love....I LOVE...to share what the Lord is doing for me, and oft times I can truly be a "motor mouth" because it's so very exciting to walk with Him! How can any of us ever become apathetic or lackadaisical about Him? If we are growing in Him, how can our zeal ever be dampened? Is our faith small or are we struggling to trust Him? Do we "forget" to not only put off the "old man" but to also "put on the new man"? Can we speak of those times that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak? There are so many aspects to our earthly journey and we truly need to "edify", exhort, and encourage one another in Him. We also need to see the "benefits" of forsaking pride and being truly and simply honest with Him first, and then with one another. We need to be available and sensitive to the needs of others around us, and be desirous to be a blessing to them in the bearing of burdens as the Lord leads. Again, I long to hear from others how the Lord is personally working in their lives! Please share! A brief testimony would be such a blessing and encouragment to me!
  18. There is no doubt that the Lord orchestrated the whole trip out to Missouri and back. Our flights were right on time and we arrived without incident. There was a service for our dad the day after we got there. It was nice, and the Gospel message was presented. The next four days consisted of hours and hours and hours of work going through our dad's belongings, and that all went very smoothly between us sisters. After we went through the belongings, and with the help of a nephew and niece, we got the whole house cleaned. We also did some yard work to help with the "curb appeal". The house is now being listed with a realtor. We loaded up our dad's van to the max; every nook and cranny full and stuffed in...utilizing every square inch. Then my two sisters and I began our journey driving to California. I won't go into detail, but it's obvious that the Lord was with us protecting us, keeping us, and helping the three of us to be able to share, cry, and grieve together. We sang hymns, discussed Bible verses, and enjoyed speaking of our precious Lord Jesus. Thank you so very much for all of your prayers. There is going to be another service on the 10th here in California in the tiny town where our dad was born...where he was raised...and where he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Saviour. Now he has made his last trip home, and though he is with the Lord...his body is being laid to rest next to our mother. I am exhausted from all of the work, the traveling, and the grieving...but I praise God for those who have faithfully lifted us up in prayer. His grace is sufficient! My Lord will continue to help me to be as strong as He wills for me to be, and will grant me good courage as He sees and knows my needs. Thank you all so very much. You're each one precious!
  19. My dad passed away last night at about 10:15. Even though my sister and I out west here didn't make it back to Missouri in time, our oldest sister was by his side. There were also some family friends that were able to be with him yesterday, and they prayed with him and sang some songs. We don't know how lucid he was during that time, and what all he could hear...but that is a very sweet "send-off" from this earth and into eternity. We all still need prayer for journey's mercies as we travel to and from, make decisions, and as we take care of our dad's belongings. Thank you for helping me and my family bear this burden of loss with your prayers and kind words.
  20. From the time that I was basically a toddler, I was an athlete. I was a busy and hyper little thing, and one of my childhood nicknames was "Rabbit", because I was always running and hopping and jumping. I am now "paying" for all of the pounding on my feet. I've had several surgeries on them, but they haven't been successful. I walk 7 miles per weekday (in increments) to keep my feet limbered up, because if I stop walking....I will stop walking for good. During the day I am so busy doing this or that, that I don't pay much attention to the pain I have. Nighttime is another story...that's when the pain hits. I have learned however...to be content in this state for I am very grateful that the Lord gives me the ability to be so active still. Oft times I have to remind myself that regardless of the pains of getting older...the loss of dexterity, the increased vulnerability of falling, and the recognition of aging....that it is still "well with my soul"! I am not exempt from the mental processes of dealing with getting older though, and I truly have to continue to run to the Lord with it. "If only!" "If only" I'd had the mind that I have now, with a youthful body! I know I'm not alone in thinking of that...but we are where we are...and I long to be grateful in and for all things, including the aging process and the aches and pains and suffering of it. Hopefully we will continue to seek to glorify Him and that our lives will testify of His presence right up to the time that we shall be with Him in glory!
  21. It's so wonderful to know that our God understands our sorrow and grief when a loved one is passed on. I'm so glad that, "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" (Ps. 56:8). Our dear Saviour wept...He knows, and when we lift our hearts to Him...He gives us peace and comfort. I am praying!
  22. Finally! I haven't been able to post replies from my tablet recently, but all is working fine on my PC. I would like to thank all of you for praying for my dad and the situation. There's a lifting of burden knowing that there are others praying, and in that knowing...strength is ebbing its way into my heart. You are each one appreciated and I praise our Lord for your compassion, empathy, and for taking the time to lift us up in prayer. I just pray that even though my heart is already grieving over the imminent loss of my dad, that the Lord will yet grant opportunity to testify of His presence and glory throughout the whole grieving process. I am so glad that my Saviour indwells my heart and that He goes with me wherever I go, and that He ever loves me. When I cannot verbalize my heart in prayer and only a groan can be uttered up, He knows...He loves...and He interprets the depth there. Oh how He loves you and me!! Indeed, I am very grateful for how your very prayers enhance His love to me. Mike...I am also lifting you and your family up in prayer over the loss of your dear dad. Thank you for your empathy.
  23. My sister and I will be flying out to Missouri next week to hopefully be able to see our dad one more time. He is going on 95 yrs old, and so has had a long life. He is in a nursing facility back there and is fading swiftly. Our oldest sister lives back there, and so we 3 sisters will be going thru our dad's house to get it ready to sell. It's going to be a very difficult process going thru belongings but prayerfully will also be a help in saying "goodbye". We believe our dad is saved even tho it was difficult to see fruitfulness from it. The sister I am flying out with, and I...will then be driving our dad's van back to California. Please pray for our dad, for journey's mercies, and for wisdom and comfort. The story is long about our dad so this prayer request just "scratches the surface". Your prayers will mean much to me, and I shall appreciate them.
  24. It is a bright and beautiful Sunday morning here, and as I gaze out of the window...I catch glimpes of my Father's world. That was a beautiful rendition of that song, Alan. Thank you for posting it. It is such a blessing to live in a tiny little town surrounded by the beauty of creation. We are in a small valley surrounded by mountains and lava flows. Many places on the mountain sides one can see where the great flood of Noah's day filled the valley and then receded. We have rivers and springs and lakes; we have high desert and forested areas. Not far away are two volcanic mountains, and many waterfalls. In the wee hours of summer mornings we can hear the yipping coyotes, and the soft lowing of cattle. As the sun rays peek over the mountaintops, the many birds begin chattering, and roosters begin crowing. Covies of quail often bob their way across the yard, and up higher wild turkeys can be heard gobbling. Honking geese fly in V-formation overhead, while bears and mountain lions lurk and roam on the outer fringes of the valley. The beauties and wonder of our Father's world stretch, and I am so very grateful that the Lord gave me this place to be my earthly home. Though I am blessed to live in such a beautiful area, I can yet see and witness the destructiveness and grievous consequences of mankind's sin. It makes me feel very sad, but what causes me even more sadness is knowing the lost and perishing condition of the vast majority of human beings that God created. Oh how we must be busy about our Father's business of sharing the Good News of salvation! Are we truly being obedient to the first and second commands of the New Testament (Mark 12:30, 31)? Do we truly care about the perishing? We all must ask and remind ourselves often, "For to me to live is...??"
  25. Re Titus 2:3-5 Now being in the "aged women" category, I can look back and more readily see what would've been much more helpful to me when I was a young lady. Indeed, when I was young... "radical feminism" (I call it "grave disobedience") was beginning to be practiced in full force. Trying to consider the "whole matter" over the years while striving to personally be obedient in a way pleasing and glorifying to the Lord, I've found that there are roots of disobedience by both genders. There is no excuse or justification for either. Just as in the beginning in the garden - Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, etc. - the "natural" part of us wants to escape personal responsibility for our own areas of disobedience. Without question, disobedience (sin) needs to be warned and preached against! However, it must be motivated by truth, yet immersed with a Godly attitude and love considering one's self. Much wisdom must be sought after, to prevent a "false balance" of responsibility. As a young lady maturing in the Lord, more times than not I was quite discouraged by the "warnings" from the pulpit against "radical feminism". From my experience, there was an extreme of responsibility put on the saved women while there was rather a void of balance concerning the need for the saved men to lead women as God set forth for them to. So, what would've been more encouraging to me personally? Over the years the Lord has taught me much about the need to focus on His truths above over-focusing on my weaknesses, failures, and sin (Eph. 4:22-24 - "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; * And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; * And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness"). It would've been encouraging to not only be challenged by the "warnings" against disobedience, but also to be encouraged by the blessings and joys of being obedient. Negativity and dark perspectives come easily for mankind, but "looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith" encourages favorable hope and reminds us of the triumph we can have in Christ. Ps. 18:28 - "For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness." Ps. 119:105 - "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Ps. 43:3 - "O send out thy light and thy truths: let THEM lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles." I want to diligently concentrate and focus on the lamp for my feet and the light for my path (the Word), for then the darkness will be enlightened. I want to focus more on where I need to go in obedience than on where I shouldn't go in disobedience. There has been a very real void of zeal towards the absolute blessing, the joy, the sweetness, and the "reward" of being obedient to the scriptural roles that God has commanded of us. God did not set up the roles to cause misery and to tempt rebellion, but rather to encourage trusting Him, and to be able to rejoice in our respective roles. Each role that God has given to us ought to be celebrated for what it is, for each is for our own good and each defines clarity to prevent the very chaos that prevails today. Do each of us truly, genuinely know the joy and privilege of getting to submit and be in obedience to our particular roles? We all ought to rejoice and appreciate with a Godly fear and trust, that HIS ways truly are far above ours! "A good leader is first a good follower of Jesus Christ." "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. * And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (I John 3:18-19).
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