Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
1: It's their favorite topic of conversation.
2: They have a few friends... who are as persecuted as they are.
3: Their children are usually older, still living at home or have “rebelliously” left and married.
4: They are happiest while debating.
5: “Joy... hmmm... What's that?”
6: If their homechurch has over 30 people in it, there must be something wrong!
7: Pleasure (movies, music, etc) is considered a sin.
8: They dwell on their sinful past instead of the victorious future.
9: They have to control someone.
10: Their favorite Bible verses are probably listed among the following:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely...
Except the LORD of hosts had left unto a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom... (emphasis theirs)
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy be ye...
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Woe unto you,...! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers... within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
...wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth until life, and few there be that find it.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Replace the word “all” with “any” and you'll get the idea...)
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Our pastor was talking about persecution on Sunday and it got me thinking. The Bible says that if we're Christians and living godly lives, we will suffer persecution. How that adds up for me is still a mystery, because although I love God and try to live like it, I've never suffered persecution.
For the record, there are probably some people in North America who are being persecuted. But I believe that most of the Christians in North America who consider themselves persecuted... are not. In all reality, a lot of them bring it on themselves. They forget that, “A man that hath friends, must shew himself friendly...” They ignore common courtesy and act like irritating salesman selling their product.
They forget about 1 Corinthians 13...
“Though I speak with the tongues of man and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing... Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth...”
They forget about Jesus and the little children and how He treated sinners.
They don't realize that they are the modern day Pharisees. The ones Jesus referred to as vipers.
We have our religion and ourselves. We have our standards... a long list of do's and don'ts. But while we cast stones at folks that don't follow our list, we don't look down at ourselves.
I speak from experience because I used to be among the 'persecuted'. Now, I'm coming out. I feel free for the first time in all my years. But I have questions.
Yes, we need to be loving, but where do we draw the line? Yes, we need to touch the world, but how can we not allow the world to touch us?
What is worldy?
The Bible says the spiritual judgeth all things... but where do we cross the line into casting stones?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Abigail said: I desire above all to do God's will and to learn all that He has for me... If it draws me closer to Him and brings Him glory, it will indeed have been worth it all! I cling to that hope, knowing He will redeem everything He has allowed in my life and work it together for good.
Loretta said: God allows nothing to touch your life that won't somehow perfect and mold you into a truly beautiful vessel for His glory!
Lindsey said: Love you and remember that God is always there for you! *hugs*
Am I not among the blessed?
Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom, girls. Love you!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
With passions wild and strong;
And listening to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.
Where with intention I have erred,
No other plea I have,
But Thou are good; and Goodness still
Delighteth to forgive.
Monday, December 22, 2008
It was late Saturday evening when the phone rang at Pastor Neal's home in TN. He picked it up and a voice said, “Hello! This is The Sermon Outline Service. If you have to preach tomorrow and don't have a sermon prepared, just pull out your credit card. I can sell you a sermon outline for only $4.99!”
The caller turned out to be a fellow minister and good friend of the Neals, who is, to quote our pastor, “always cutting up like that.” LOL!
I am happy today... for several reasons. One of them being that I have mastered The Poor Girl Waltz. It has so many chords in it that I had almost given up on trying to memorize it, but finally decided to really tackle it. Now that I have the chords memorized, I face the challenge of memorizing the melody! The Poor Girl Waltz is such a beautiful song... Andy de Jarlis truly was the waltz king. :-)
Can you tell me your thoughts on Philippians 4: 6-7? Those verses have been a tremendous blessing to me lately. There's something so comforting knowing that God holds us in the palm of His hand. Even when things happen that are far from pleasant, you can trust that He does love you. And He knows what is happening and it's for a reason.
Sometimes it's hard to trust, isn't it? I know first hand because that's what I've been dealing with all this past week. I still don't understand the whys and wherefores of what's happened but I don't need to. He loves me. Isn't that such a wonderful thought?
This is my story. This is my song, praising my Savior all the day long...
Ok, I'm getting off my applebox now. ;-)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Our snow came and it's staying. We got several inches. The weather isn't too cold but it's a bit nippy. While walking to the library, I had to keep watching out for ice. I did slip once but I caught myself. Hopefully the walk back home will be as uneventful.
Today, the family went out and walked the horses to a different pasture. It's nice to have animals for them to work with! It helps with the boredness. ;-)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Maybe we won't have to worry about global warming after all. :-)
I just watched a short clip of Victor Borge. Everytime I see one of his videos, it makes me smile. Anyone else a fan of his?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Global warming, here we come!!!
Anyway, here are some pictures...
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
The road was good. We didn't have any trouble at all, PTL!
It feels odd not seeing Lindsey and Erin. When I woke up this morning, I couldn't figure out where I was!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It's not a serious injury but any surgery can be risky. Combined with this is that Grandma has had some very serious health issues the past year. Would you please join us in prayer for her safety/health?
Monday, November 24, 2008
We were intending to do 112 more today but this morning, the wind was blowing again. I think it's getting worse as time passes. It doesn't look like we're going to be doing any cattle processing today! I'm glad and I'm sad.... It would have been nice to get those cows done but I also don't want to work outside while the wind is blowing. Lindsey's Mom went outside this morning and she when she came back in, she told us that the wind goes right through you. Not fun.
I think I'll go curl up and read. :-)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Does anyone watch "Tropical Punch"? I've heard it's quite an experience. :-)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It's amazing how well Ellie can play the fiddle, since she only started playing last August. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone had that gift? But then, perhaps we all do... just in different areas. :-)
Lindsey and I hope to post some pictures of our visits soon... right now we're using dial-up so uploading pictures would take forever! But when we get to a high speed connection, the pictures will be posted. :-) Lots of fun! Thank the Lord for friends. :-)
Has anyone heard of the dietary supplement "Recovery"? I don't think I've felt such a major difference after taking any one supplement as I did after adding this product to my diet. My friend Dolores is also taking it and she is feeling so much better, she went out and bought herself a horse. :-)
Friday, November 7, 2008
Friends are a blessing from God!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Jesus Holds Me
There's a path along life's highway
So common and well trod,
By the shoes of burdened Christians
Who won't put their trust in God.
They've been born of the spirit,
But they live by what they see
So they trust in their own efforts
Never living in belief.
I'm not holding onto Jesus
He's holding onto me
He died and rose again to set me free.
I am resting in the Spirit,
Not afraid of what will be,
I'm not holding onto Jesus,
He's holding onto me.
I'm not sure who wrote it, but The Marshall Family sang this song on their CD, “Mountain Heritage”. I think it's one of my favorites because the words echo my heart. I used to be the burdened Christian in the stanza but now, praise God, I can truthfully sing the chorus: Jesus is holding onto me.
The reason I wrote down a few of the words is because I thought this song went well with what this post is going to be about.
Someone from our church lent us the episodes from the television series of Christy. After watching them, I was impressed with the quality of some of it but wanted to re-read the book. It had been years since I had done so. The next time my sisters and I walked to the library, I checked it out and read it.
Catherine Marshall wrote some very profound things. Things full of wisdom; things that would take courage to write, if one was part of her religious circle. But she still wrote them and I think if Mrs. Marshall really believed what she wrote, she was victorious in many areas of her walk with Christ that not many of His children have even dared dream of.
Since I cannot quote the book exactly (copyright laws), I will paraphrase what blessed me. Hopefully, you will get the same blessing out of this as I have. :-)
In Christy, you have Miss Alice: a Christian who has discovered the secret to being victorious in Christ. Then, you have Christy: a young Christian who is a seeker.
Miss Alice was not perfect and she never claimed to be. In fact, it was from her humbleness that came her wisdom. When Christy came to her for advice, Miss Alice gently pointed her away from herself: learn from the Bible, Christy; learn from your school children; learn from your friends among the mountain people;learn from nature. The sentence that struck me was this: Don't be afraid to ask, Christy. She even told her to not be afraid to ask the nearly atheistic doctor who was challenging Christy's faith. Miss Alice said if a person really seeks the truth, that person will find it. She added that the only times she didn't get a clear answer from God was when she wasn't being completely honest with Him. (From experience, I can vouch for the truth in that statement!)
As I was reading this, I was remembering a verse I memorized as a child: I am the way, the truth, the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me... (emphasis mine) Jesus said that. If He's the truth, I'll bet He can satisfactorily answer any question I send His way.
The second thing that really struck me in Christy, was the talk about religion. Do you know how many religions have taught that if a person enjoys himself, he's sinning? Lots of them. In fact, I would say 99% of them. Christy's mountain people were among those who believe God doesn't want His children to be happy. But Miss Alice brought them a whole new line of thought... Pay attention, now. :-)
She said that heresy is the lack of joy.
That's quite a bold statement to make. But so true! So very true. How many times in Scripture does the Bible tell us to rejoice? To be thankful? Or to be content? I, personally, haven't counted, but I would make a guess at several hundreds, perhaps even thousands of times.
Have you ever heard this said before?... “I know lots of Christians who claim to believe in Jesus and all that but they're unhappy.” It's ironic when people, searching for acceptance from God, fail to truly please Him by not taking Him at His word.
Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say, rejoice.
Am I joyful? Not all the time. There are moments, even days, when I forget God's promises and look at myself. Anyone would lose their joy if they knew what I was really like on the inside before God saved me. I believe everything in my old nature adds up to one thing: selfishness. It's depressing when I view myself that way. I always end up asking myself, “How can I ever change myself? How can I ever be good?”
The answer comes back to this: I can't, but Jesus is. And His blood has already covered my filthy sins and washed me white as snow. When I have joy, I'm looking straight to Jesus.
That's why the lack of joy is heresy: if we aren't joyful, we're denying or doubting what Jesus has done for us. And He's done so very much for us.
Oh dear reader, may His love... His hope... His peace... His joy... reach right into your heart!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
We have a lot of funny stories about food. One in particular never leaves my mind for very long and I thought I would share it here because other people might have the crazy sense of humor the Holter family has. :-)
In Saskatchewan one spring, my parents, along with two of my siblings, were gone on a trip. My grandparents were staying with us children to make sure we didn't get into too much trouble and to help out with the work.
Before my parents departed, Mom had made up a batch jam from rhubarb and applesauce (believe it or not, that combination makes an excellent jam). We can our jam and fruit in quart jars because we eat such quantities of it.
Anyway, one morning, a bowl of our lovely jam ended up on the floor somehow and what a mess that was! But the real showdown came the next evening.
Hannah had asked for the jam twice and no one was paying her the least bit of attention. At the same time, Zeke (7, at the time) grabbed his plate and came around to the end of the table to get some jam put on his toast. As I helped him, Hannah stood up so she could get the jam herself. Zeke was just picking up his plate so he could go back to his place, when Hannah reached over me to grab the jam. Unknown to her, there was condensation on the outside of the jar and she put a healthy squeeze on that puppy as she tried to lift it to carry it to her plate.
You can imagine the following scene: She actually shot that jar of jam straight at Zeke. Nothing broke, thankfully, but he was literally covered in jam. He had it in his hair, his eyebrows, on his forehead, cheeks and chin, his arms and hands; his shirt was red and wet, and so were his pants... he even had jam on his feet. And the floor was a disaster!
Being that all seated at the table were Holters, the situation appealed to our sense of ridiculousness and we all sat and laughed hysterically for over five minutes. :-) After all, what's the use of crying over spilt jam? :-)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As I listened, my eyes wandered idly over the crowd. I found that besides my siblings and myself there were scarcely any other young people in the room. Without thinking, I studied one of them. She was about sixteen years old. Her hair was dyed and cut in an odd hairstyle. She had earrings in places that weren’t her ears and she had lots of makeup on. She wasn’t dressed like us, either, I noted.
Suddenly, she looked up and our eyes met. We both grinned at each other at the same instant. We both loved music. We both were enjoying ourselves very much.
No, she wasn’t like me, but we were both friends from that moment. We never spoke to each other and we never saw each other again, but I will never forget her and that smile.
When I related this to my adopted Grandpa, he said, “Isn’t that funny how it is? A perfect stranger can smile at you and you feel like you’ve been friends forever.” He smiled at a memory, “One time, I was driving and had stopped. There was another gal coming from the opposite direction and I motioned for her to go first. We both smiled at each other and you know what? That brightened my whole day!”
A Congo proverb says, “The teeth are smiling but where’s the heart?” I look at pictures of people and I see a smile on their lips, but their eyes aren’t smiling at all. We know someone whose face is half paralyzed (birth defect) so when he smiles, it’s not his mouth, but his eyes that smile. He has one of the most sincere smiles I’ve ever seen.
There are different types of smiles and some that I do not care for. But I love smiles just plumb full of joy!