Tag Archives: Faith

Pursuits?

What are you “chasing” after?

“Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.”  Proverbs 21:21

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”  Matthew 19:29 

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”  Mark 10:21

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”   Revelation 3:8 

It seems to me that God has made it very clear that he doesn’t want us to chase after cars and trucks, houses, careers, college degrees, sports, hobbies, land, animals, plants, possessions, food, unrighteousness, sins, addictions, time, money, families, vanity and body image, popularity, planets and outer space, science and technology, medical, or anything else.

God wants to be the rhythm and passion of our life.  He alone is the reason for every breath we take, and every day we walk this earth.  He wants us to turn to him for every plan we make and every need or desire that we have. He wants us to be content with his answers to our requests. He wants to talk to our heart and fellowship with us every day. He wants us to sing about his goodness and tell our children, friends, and neighbors about him.

He want’s us to PURSUE HIM.

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Love Is Patient

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Loving others isn’t always easy.  It is hard to love when you are offended.  It is hard to love when you are angry.

I have been praying about how to help my kids solve their disagreements with their siblings in a loving way. Lately a couple of them seem to get on each other’s nerves a lot more.  I have six kids, the older two are heading out of puberty and seldom get into big arguments, and two are younger, but the middle two are heading into puberty and lately argue with each other a lot. After having gone through the “preteen years with the older two already, and now with the next two repeating the pattern, it seems preteen puberty has an affect on tolerance and attitude.

Though we have been teaching them about love, forgiveness, and getting along since the beginning of their lives, I feels sometimes like I am starting over in some way, like they forgot what they knew.  Before puberty, they used to be more patient and kind and generous and gracious in their attitude.  But currently they are easily offended. Right now, one day they are best friends and the next day words spoken by the other person feels like a verbal jab or a put down even when it wasn’t intended that way. So I am in the process of teaching them about loving the other person all over again.

So where do I begin?

Like I said, this is something I have been praying and asking the Lord to point me in the right direction.   This is a temporary phase kids go through as they head into puberty, so I have to give them some simple steps they can take to help them work through their feelings and chose to react to the other person with understanding and giving them the benefit of the doubt and not assuming the other wants to offend them.

Today I am focusing on solving an argument with “Love“.   Love is an action. Loving someone else you don’t want to love, or someone who has offended you requires something from you.   When you love,  it results in growth in your character as you make room to overlook the offense, overlook differences, overlook your own wants and put the other persons wants and needs in front of yours.   Choosing to argue is an option and choosing not to argue is another option.

“The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27

Choosing to forgive and love the other person is what God desires from us. God is love.  He wants us to be gracious, to extend grace to each other and offer each other a helping hand.  He wants us to show pure love towards each other.  When we love others and forgive them we show that we belong to God, that he is our Heavenly Father.

Love is is a choice.  Love is patient and endures.

Be blessed!

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!

May you seek first

this year of 2017

JESUS

He is Yahuah,

the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,

the only begotten son of God the Father,

the only way to eternity with God.

Seek Jesus,

while he may still be found.

 He is right at the door.   

May your New Year

2017

be filled with Jesus

and blessings beyond measure!

 

 

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New Beginnings

I’m spending time reflecting on this past year, as 2016 winds down and 2017 begins.  It has been a busy year.   Many goals have been met, and some left unmet, as life events have come and gone.

Normally at this time of year, I spend time prioritizing and writing goals and setting new routines for the year ahead.   I still have much left over from last year that I want to achieve in this coming year.   It would be easy to feel disappointed.  But if I allowed myself to be disappointed in areas I see a lack of progress, it would be non-productive at this point.

I can’t be disappointed that I didn’t get it all done, because truly no one can do it all.  It is a lie to believe that you can do everything you want to do.  Unless you are financially wealthy, there is a reality for most people that puts some boundaries and financial limitations on goals.  No one knows what tomorrow may bring or what next week or next month will look like.  We can try to shape the future, setting goals and new routines, but the truth is that the future is not 100% within our control.

If you are discouraged about a lack of progress toward your goals, don’t let it get you down.  Your value is not in the goals you achieve or don’t achieve. Your value is not in the amount of money you earn.  Your value is not even in what other’s think of you.  Look for your answers in God’s word, the bible.

Your true value is what God says about you.   You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  He was there when you were knitted together.  He knows every hair on your head.  He knows what you need before you do.  He is always there ready to assist you in the challenges you walk through in life.

TRUST

I  have come to learn that the true measure to look at your life with is what Jesus said. Everything about life and eternity is summed up in his words.  If you want to know the truth, FOCUS on the words of Jesus in the scriptures and I promise it will change your whole entire perspective!

Jesus taught us to pray this prayer with complete trust in Father God:

“Our Father, who are in heaven,

Hollowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done.

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation.

Deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.

FOREVER!

Amen!”         (Matthew 6:9-13)

 

Don’t Worry Be Happy!

I am thankful my life is 100% in the hands of God the Father, and I don’t have to worry about the future.   I am thankful that HE knows the future and I can trust Him completely even though I do not know the day or hour of events in my own life until they happen.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek.

For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Matthew 6:24-34)

I am thankful for the new year ahead.  I am thankful for new beginnings, and I am thankful that I am totally secure in spending eternity with God through salvation in his son Jesus who gave his life for me and rescued me from sin and eternal damnation.  I have hope and I have a future in HIM!

I am ready for the new beginnings that Father God ordains for my life. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  I am not the author of my story.  I am not my own god.  He wrote the story and he knows it from start to finish, and I trust him with my life completely.

I encourage you today to pray to Father God, to lay down your worries, and trust him with your life, your goals, your desires, and trust him with all of your new beginnings too.

Be blessed!

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Be Encouraged

I want to encourage you today to keep going and not give up.  Whatever struggle you may be facing in your life, trust your life in God’s hands and believe in his son Jesus.  Believe God is in control, and he can reach you right where you are at,  believe that he wants a wonderful future for you and he will protect and guide you when you put your life and your hope in him.

Circumstances do not define who you are and are not an indicator of your value.  People’s opinions don’t define you either.  Instead of these thoughts, only allow what God your creator says about you to define you.  His written word, the bible, says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He says he has a hope and a future for you and he will direct your path when you seek his counsel. He will answer you when you call on him, and he will show you many things that you did not know.

We are stewards of what we have been given.   We need to be good stewards of these gifts no matter what the circumstance looks like.  Some people have been given more, and some less. But no matter how much we have been given, we can be the best stewards of it today.  Because when we care for what we have, even if it is very little, we multiply the blessings it produces.

Perhaps all we have in our ability today is to choose to have joy.  That is HUGE!   By choosing joy,  you will see it multiply for yourself and it will multiply in the lives of  those around you. This simple choice can bring huge blessings into your life and give you a lot of hope beyond measure even in the toughest situations.   Being joyful is contagious and it can change the way we feel and the way others feel who come in contact with us.

Even if the only thing we have control over is the body we live in, we can choose to be the best steward of that body as we can be, and we will reap a blessing.   We are given one body to live in. We each have different gifts and talents, but we are similar to each other in that we have a body, and it is fragile at the same time it is strong.   We can learn to be good stewards of this body and multiply the blessings in our health and our emotions.

How can you be a good steward of your physical body?  We can learn how to nourish it, rest it, challenge it, strengthen it, and care for it. We can be good stewards of our body, multiply the blessings, and overcome limitations, illness, neglect, and injuries, and be the best we can be.

Perhaps all that we have today is a loaf of bread, then we can share it and see the blessing multiply in another person’s life too.

Hope, Faith, and Blessings

There is a story in the bible about a widow who only had a little flour and oil left to make one meal of bread for herself and her sons.  There had been a long drought and everyone was out of grain and out of money and she knew that their life was over and there was no hope of any food even in the near future because there was no rain to plant and grow any future crops and no money to buy food even if anyone had some to share.

So in desperation she planned her last meal.  But in the midst of her despair, God heard her and sent a messenger, a prophet of God.  He told her to go ahead and “make the last meal”, but to give some of it to him.   Do what?  This was all she had, and her family was about to die, so how could she give this away?  But letting go, and placing her trust in God and his plan for a better future for her, she obeyed the instructions.

 

1 Kings 14 : 7-16

“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.  Then the word of the Lord came to him:  “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”  So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”  As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”   “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”  She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”

It is an incredible story of doing our best in the midst of terrible circumstances, sharing the best (even if all we have is very little) we have to bless another person and meet their need, and putting our trust and faith in God to work out the outcome, in return, we will reap a huge blessing!

Be encouraged today, that no matter what your situation may look like,  by acting on your faith in God as your provider, healer, deliverer, multiplier, protector, and the source of life within you, he will reach into your situation and deliver you.   He says his arm is not short!  His arm is long enough to reach you right where you are.  With the help of the Lord, you can and will overcome and reap a blessing that is more wonderful than you have imagined!

Be blessed!

 

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Through the Narrow Gate

The Lord God offers you eternal life.  The only door into his eternal kingdom is a narrow gate.

The path to the narrow gate is straight.  You can’t turn to the right or left as you walk along, because it will send you in a different direction.  To reach the gate, the doorway of the kingdom, you must stay on the straight path.  The path of the road is not fancy, and it has ups and downs, hills and valleys.   But if you keep walking straight ahead, and don’t look back, you will find the gate.

 

One sure way to miss the gate is to get off the straight path.  For example, the path of personal gain and worldly possessions will lead us a different way.

Mathew 19:16-22

“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”  “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”   “Which ones?” he inquired.  Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (NIV)

To find the gate, you must seek Jesus, the only son of God, as your savior, believe in him and repent of your sins, and follow him.  He asks that you love God with all your heart, forgive others, and love others as you love yourself meeting their needs.  He is the light of the world and he lights the path God wants people to follow.

John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (NIV)

Be blessed today and seek to enter the narrow gate and follow the one who saves and gives eternal life!  His name is Jesus. 

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Noah and the Lego Ark

Got building blocks, Legos, or craft supplies?

Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories!  Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids.  This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning.  Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!

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Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards.  In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark.  The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8.    As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.

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God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth.  Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it.  He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal,  seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.

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God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood.  He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds.   God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth.  But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God.  God gave Noah the plan.  He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals.  His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.

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Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before.   They did not care about doing right.  They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins.  They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God.  They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.

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If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections.  Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use.  Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too.   You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.

Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?,  build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too.  There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.

Your kids will really enjoy this activity.  In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.

Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:

Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible

Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer

Arts and Crafts

Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story

 

Online Bible

If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version.  You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.

You can choose from several languages and several versions to use.   They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.

Lapbook and Unit Study

will update more soon.

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Creation Museum, A Visit Back In Time

My family had a great time when we took a trip back in time and visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

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The Creation Museum experience is like walking through biblical history. It is a great experience for both kids and adults.  It covers the 6 days of creation, plus many more historical people’s lives from the bible like Noah, Paul, Jesus, etc. and the history comes to life in a hands on way at the museum.  There are life size exhibits and a planetarium too.  Visiting the museum was one of the best decisions we have made for teaching our family about who God is and his amazing creation called earth and the animals and people.  Seeing the bible come to life right before your eyes is an amazing experience and it strengthened our faith.

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To plan our trip, we watched for a discounted ticket opportunity and went when they ran a special for children ages 12 and under to get in free with the paid admission ticket of an adult.  It was a great savings.   So we loaded up the family and took a road trip to Kentucky.  The museum is about an hour and a half drive South from where we used to live in Richmond, IN (and only 7 hours north of where we used to live in NC).  The drive through Indiana’s mini-mountains in South-eastern Indiana is absolutely beautiful! It was even more beautiful as we sang praise songs and listened to Nest Family Audio Bible stories all the way there and was a great way to travel as it keeps the kids attention and they learn so much.

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Besides the beautiful scenery, there are some fun places to stop and visit along the way including two reservoir lakes and several historical towns.  There is the Whitewater Reservoir, and also a much larger reservoir called Brookville Lake. The towns of Brookville and Liberty Indiana remind me so much of the historical town of Hendersonville, NC and are set up beautifully for tourists.  There are lots of little shops to see and great history to explore in these small towns with beautiful historic courthouses too.  We also crossed the huge Ohio river, that borders three states and with breath taking views.  The river is huge and divides southern Indiana from southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.  You can clearly see God’s handiwork in creation when you look at the changing landscape and the river. It is all designed beautifully.

The kids were so excited to get there.  You know how it goes: “Are we there yet?  When will be there?  I got to go to the bathroom!  I wish we were there!  Do you know how to get there?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?”  Ha! Ha!  You just got to love traveling with kids!

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At the museum, there is a large 70,000 square foot building with a huge bronze dinosaur outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscape, ponds, wooden bridges,  wrought iron and stone fences, and a tall fort with a zip line that crosses the entire museum grounds.  It is a very family friendly place.  The zip line costs extra and we did not buy a ticket for it on this day.  But someday we hope to be able to take the zip-line and explore the museum gardens from the tree tops as it looks like a lot of fun.

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The first thing we did was snap a picture with the dinosaur outside.  It had just rained and suddenly the sun was shinning really bright and we couldn’t hardly see at all.  It is funny how sometimes light can get so bright that your eyes cannot focus your eyes.  But once we got inside the museum, the lighting was perfect and there was so much to see.

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Archaeology is just one of their specialties at the museum, and they have lots of artifacts from biblical times. They have lots of fossils and a life size example of just about every kind of dinosaur.

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They have a replica of earth from the beginning, separating layers of the heavens, creating the stars, day and night, the Garden of Eden, the creation of Adam, and animals, and Eve.

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There is so much detail put into this museum that I bet you could go a hundred times and see something new each time that you didn’t notice before.  Actually they expect that you will need more time to see it all, and when you buy a ticket it is good for admission for two days in a row. Many visitors stay overnight nearby and come back the following day to explore some more.

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The museum is a combination of exhibits about science, history, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, Hebrew culture, our Christian roots, and so much more all rolled into one experience.

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Each room of exploration leads you into the next phase of creation and history designed by an amazing God who loves us and his handiwork is so obvious. Nothing is by chance! Everything was authored by our creator.

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This is such a fun way to walk through history!

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If you remember the story of creation, there is a tree that Adam was instructed to never eat from called the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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There is a deceptive serpent hiding in the garden who convinces Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

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Eve tells Adam and he also believes the serpent’s lies and eats of the fruit, even though God had specifically told them not to eat of the fruit of this tree.

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Evil becomes the ruler of the earth through Adam and Eve’s sin against God.

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They disobeyed God, and once they realized what they had done, they tried to hide their sin from God.  But God called them out on what they had done, and he forced them to leave the Garden of Eden.  From that point forward mankind must make a blood sacrifice to ask God for forgiveness of sin in their life.

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From this point forward, life becomes a struggle to survive. Later in the museum we return to the issue of man’s separation from God, and that he sent his son Jesus to reconcile us back to God through his own sacrifice. From that point forward, man no longer needs to offer a blood sacrifice for his sin because God sent his son Jesus who paid the price for us all who will believe in him and ask for forgiveness.

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As the world becomes populated, people and fallen angels do evil and wicked things.  God tells one righteous man, a prophet named Noah, his plan to flood the earth and wipe out wickedness.  He instructs Noah to build a large boat called an ark and preach to the thousands of people who will listen to board this boat to survive.  But everyone mocks Noah and won’t listen to him.  God instructs Noah to bring his family (including his wife, three sons and their three wives) and also 2 of every unclean animal, and 7 of every clean animal,  plus supplies, and to board the boat.

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Noah obeyed God and does all that he was instructed to do.

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After the ark is completed, Noah and his family board the boat with the animals and God shuts the door.  It rains for 40 days and 40 nights and floods the whole earth.  It takes almost a year for the water to recede.  Eventually the boat comes to rest on Mount Ararat.   Later one of the birds Noah sends out brings back a branch with a leaf and Noah knows that is safe to release the animals and his family from the ark.

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The museum has a lifesize interactive display of Noah and the ark.  You can hear the men talking and see them working as they build the ark.   The museum also owns a bible based theme park about an hour down the road from the museum.  They are building several life size recreations from the bible for the theme park.  One of those is called The Ark Encounter and it includes a life size ark, another museum and restaurant inside the ark, and a zoo.  We went to see it while it was under construction, and we plan to make trip soon now that it is open to the public.

Check out this short video we made of the awesome dinosaurs we saw!  The kids really enjoyed this entire trip and the highlight for them was seeing the dinosaurs.

And if you get hungry during your visit, the museum offers a jungle cafe to eat in and there are many picnic spots outside around the gardens and ponds.

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I encourage every family I meet to put this wonderful adventure on their to do list.  It is definitely worth the trip!

Be blessed!

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Casting Stones

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

Said by the wisest man who ever lived.

He is the living word of God, and his name is JESUS.

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(photo source: Morning Star Ministries)

Over the years, I have heard many Christians say mean things about other Christians.  It is sometimes heart breaking to hear their judgmental reasons for choosing leaders, churches, politicians, based on who they think is a better Christian.  But the Savior himself said we are not to judge others, instead we are to forgive them.

I read an article about a young Christian man who made a serious mistake when he was young. At the time he made the mistake, he came forward and repented of his mistake and sought forgiveness and help from his church and family.  However his life and the lives of those he hurt was deeply scared by his actions.  Though several years had passed, and because his family is famous, he experienced more than his share of haters from the Christian community who had no understanding of the situation when they found out about his past.  The pressure on his life is intense due to their fame.  Even though he is surrounded by his family and many loving people of the Christian faith, his life will never be the same, and the public is ruthless, mocking, and unforgiving.  The crazyist thing about the whole “scandal” is the ungodly response of the Christians is worse than how the un-churched public treat him.  They do not act like Jesus Christ.  He had a problem, he confessed and was forgiven, yet the Christians accuse him of his past sin and of practicing fake Christianity.

Was Peter a fake Christian because he denied Christ 3 times?

Peter fell down in his faith and committed a terrible sin.  He denied the one and only son of God who had shown himself to him, his closest disciple.  If Peter, who was with Christ 24 hours a day for three years and saw everything he did from the beginning to the end, could sin and deny him, isn’t anyone capable of doing the same?  Jesus said to his followers: “If you deny me to others, I will deny you before my Father”.  Was Peter denied entry into heaven?  No.  Because when he repented of his sin, he was forgiven.  Peter was a true Christian, even though he made the same mistake three times, and Jesus Christ chose to build his Church upon the work Peter would do in sharing the gospel,

Let me ask you Christian…are you without sin?  Are there sins you have committed over and over?   Are you a closet sinner and hide the truth?   What is going on in your home?  Is there divorce, stealing, fighting, adultery, lust, pornography, lies, drug abuse, gluttony, hatred, cursing?  If Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the rest of America, and only 1 out of 20 Christian kids remain in their Christian faith after they grow up, then I believe this indicates a basic fact that there is a whole lot of ungodly sin going on in the lives of Christians today.

How many Christian families in church don’t even establish any boundaries at all for their teens?  From the article: “By 17 years old, 48% of teenagers have had sex. One out of every three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20.  And it doesn’t count as consent just because you’re both under 18.  Another 26.5% of 15-19 year old girls are giving birth to kids – and those are just the ones that aren’t having abortions.”   Many of these kids live in Christian homes. Don’t tell me you don’t know. There are kids in your church right now that are sexually active and some are getting pregnant.   Let us take it a step further. How many teachers, leaders, and even pastors were sexually active before marriage? How many are guilty of other sins we overlook because they are in a position of authority, yet we don’t give each other grace for a similar offense?

Are you without sin?  Jesus said “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”.  No one is without sin, and no one should cast a stone at others.

Let us be careful how we judge.  Christians need to be mindful, because the same measure of grace and forgiveness we extend others, will be extended to us. God is not mocked.  Christians need to be mindful and careful of judging (stoning) others.  Jesus told us to say “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” when we pray to Father God.  He also told us to forgive 70 x 7 even when a person does the same thing wrong over and over.  He said we are to turn the other cheek and forgive them.  He also told us to pull the log out of our own eye before we remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  He wanted us to practice forgiveness in our daily lives and not let the sun go down before we had forgiven and let go of resentment and anger.

It is interesting that several spiritual heroes who sinned are listed in Hebrews 11. These people certainly wouldn’t get to speak at Christian conferences today, and they probably wouldn’t fit in at any of the local churches.  They would be seen a backsliders.  In fact, most of them would probably be straight up kicked out of church.

Abraham lied and sold out his wife twice.  He also committed adultery with his employee and got her pregnant.

Sarah scoffed in unbelief when God said she would have a son.

Jacob was a schemer and deceiver who completely ripped off his brother of his inheritance.

Moses was a murderer and was easily frustrated.  His unbelief kept him out of the Promised Land, though he helped free the Hebrew people from Egypt and did many mighty miracles for the Lord.  He still got angry and doubted God at times.

Rahab was a prostitute who slept around.  Yet she became the grandmother of King David.

Gideon was power hungry, and he built many idols of worship and led the kingdom of Israel astray after God helped him succeed in battles and free the Hebrew people from the Philistines.

Samson was a sex-addict and couldn’t control his anger against the Philistines and caused innocent people to die as well as his own imprisonment.

David was an adulterer and a murderer,

Eli completely failed to parent his sons and they became evil in the sight of the Lord and abused people.

And yet the author of Hebrews tells us to consider all of these people and imitate their faith.  To follow after God just as they did. To walk the same path they did.  Why?

Not one person is any better than the other.

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   Not one person is any better than this young man or Eli, or Sarah, even Peter, Jesus favorite disciple. They were just people.  They sinned.  Yet they asked for forgiveness from God, and God in his grace and mercy, used their lives in a mighty way to be a blessing, to strengthen our faith, and further the message of God’s Kingdom.

Be blessed!

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