good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things Our Mothers Taught Us

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If your going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that comes out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC. "Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case your in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

13. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You're going to get it when we get home!"

14. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

15. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when your cold?"

16. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

17. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

18. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."

19. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

20. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

21. And my favorite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout..."

Proverbs 11:22 "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."

I have realized for some time this is a principle that I need to work on something terrible. Being someone who finds most often that when I get frustrated I need a sounding board in order to vent and gain better perspective on the situations that leave me in such a bind to begin with. There are some people and places that are not the wisest ones in which to release the slue of verbal arsenal in my armory. What starts as venting in order to keep from exploding at the wrong moment becomes gossip in the blink of an eye and a person has no business airing dirty laundry in front of others that have no business knowing it.

I realize, and i hope others do also, that it isn't that I find myself better than others or that I am judging them but everyone has a way of dealing with stressful situations. I am one who finds that going to a third party in confidence is a helpful way of doing that. Unfortunately, I have also noticed that my third party has turned into a third and then a forth and then sometimes even a fifth party. That's when it's no longer venting but it is gossiping and it's even worse when those parties are all together in the same room and I'm talking in a loud voice. I've had to apologize more than once for bad form or whatever you want to call it.

Those that have known me for years know that most of it I don't even mean, it's just my way of dealing with it and most of the time all that is needed for them to do is nod and say "I understand..." on occasion. Most often once I hear myself say it out loud I can see the right thing to do. Sometimes it's that I am the one in the wrong and I need to change my reaction or mindset or attitude; sometimes I see that it's stupid that I allowed it to bother me to begin with and sometimes there may not be anything that can be done about the situation and it just helps to voice it.

Going back to this verse though... this is exactly what it's talking about. Discretion is part of having self-control and good judgment and it's not just over what you say, though that is the area being addressed here. Coming from the book in the Bible known as the book of wisdom, it's safe to say this is a good piece of advice. I realize I'm really dumbing this down but I do have a point. From whom do we gain this wisdom and knowledge? From the Lord, of course. The book of Proverbs is only one place that is crammed full of the wisdom of God for our gleaning and if there is one "third party" that I need to be talking more to about my frustrations it's the Lord. He is the one that will give answers and wisdom and correction. He is the one who understands fully what we go through in life and He is the one that can change things or better yet, change me so that I can follow in His will as He would have me do. I do not want to be a beautiful jewel for the Lord in the nasty, dirty nose of a pig.

This is my point though, I send out a big "I'm sorry" to all those who have had to hear my venting when I did not use my better judgment on timing and surroundings. I hope you can forgive me. I also send out a big one to those whom my frustration turned into gossip, though I wont address anyone specifically on account that I don't think it would be smart to do that in a post online. It is my prayer that the Lord would continue to point out this short coming in me that through Him I would gain the victory and claim this verse for myself; that I might write God's Word upon my heart that I might not sin.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

link for Easy to do Homemade Recipes

After posting the recipe for Homemade Baby Wipes I got to researching sites for other recipes and found this one. I plan on trying out a few of the ones from this site. If you like, you should too. Let me know what you try and how it worked out for you. These are cost effective if you're on a budget or if you just like the idea of making things for yourself that are not as harsh on your belongings or your body. Enjoy!

http://www.easy-homemade-recipes.com/index.html

How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes!

I got this from my Aunt Connie! have fun!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups of water

2 Tbsp Baby Wash

2 Tbsp Baby Lotion

1/2 Roll of bounty Paper Towels (or any other THICK paper towels)

1 Plastic Bucket with a Lid that seals tightly

Directions:

Mix water, Lotion and Baby wash.

Put 1/2 Roll of Paper Towels in the bucket you intend to use.

Pour the solution over the Paper Towels.

Let it set for 5 minutes.

Pull the core out and throw away

Pull wipes out and tear off 1 at a time for use.

Enjoy making your own. You can try using Scented Baby wash and Lotion if you would like it to smell Oh-So-nice! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Self Esteem

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)

There is a great emphasis these days, even among Christians, on developing a positive self- image, building up one's self-esteem, and seeking self- fulfillment. The emphasis is on one's own self. But God's Word teaches differently.

One famous television pastor even developed his own unbiblical definition of sin: "Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem." Then he even redefined being born again as being "changed from a negative to a positive self-image."

Such concepts are diametrically opposed to Scripture, though often cloaked in pseudo-biblical garb, and they are leading multitudes away from the true gospel and true Christian life. We do not need a positive self-image. In reality, we need a realistic self-image-- to see ourselves as God sees us. Paul warned: "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but the think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Paul served Christ faithfully for 30 years, yet still esteemed himself as chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and testified that it was only "by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10). Jesus said: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself" (Luke 9:23). "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence" (1Corinthians 1:27-29).

Monday, September 27, 2010

A tale of Two Testamonies...but One saving Grace

I'm circulating this one again... enjoy.

From Tragedy To Triumph

I married Liz, my wonderful bride, in November of 1985. We had our ups and downs like most marriages, but seven years later, she decided our marriage should end. I was devastated! November 6, 1992 was a tragic date. My wife and I were found shot, lying at the front porch of my in- laws' home. I had written a suicide note and had done the unthinkable. My wife died, but I survived the gun shot wound. I was arrested, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced thirty to life in prison.

I knew in my heart that was going to die and go the Hell for what I had done. I had to get right with God, but I didn't know how. While in jail, I attended all of the prison church services including Catholic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Protestant. On March 7, 1993, a minister preached about Heaven, Hell, repentance of sin, and about a Savior named Jesus Christ. At the end of the sermon, he asked, "Who is in need for a Savior?" I jumped up and shouted, "I am!" The preacher talked with me for a moment, and then with all my heart, I confessed, "Dear Lord, I realize I am a sinner, in need of Your Great Salvation. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He bled and died to pay the price for my sin..." I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I was finally at peace.

In prison, I completed a four year theological correspondence course and received my Graduate of Theology and Bachelor of Biblical Studies degrees. The Lord is now using me as a soul inner. I have a Bible tract ministry and I give Bible studies in the prison yard. I wrote this to let you know that no matter how rich, how poor, how depressed, or how desolate you may become, there is always help and hope in God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed From Birth

I was born to Christian parents and have spent the majority of my life involved with some kind of ministry, mostly involving youth. I grew up in a small Independent Baptist Church in the town I grew up in. Not much to be said of any extraordinary things taking place there as far as daily events are concerned but in the Fall of 1991 at six years of age, something extraordinary did happen and it happened to me.

I can remember it clear as day, I was at the youth program that special night, it was Awannas at the time and I was a Sparky. It was my favorite thing to go and play games, eat refreshments, and win points for memorizing Bible verses. But that particular night I didn't find the games or prizes as much fun as usual. I just couldn't wait to get to our Bible lesson for the evening. My own mother was our main teacher and she had many helpers because there were so many squirmers and scratchers to be cared for. We all sat on the floor in front of her and she began to tell us about the wordless color book. (Black for sin, Red for the blood of Jesus that washes our hearts clean, which was the color white, yellow for the gold in Heaven and Green for growth in our walk with Christ.) Through out all of it she told us about God's love, how we were all born into sin and that all of us needed a Savior so Jesus, God's own son, was sent to die on the cross for us. All it takes, she told us, is for us to believe and trust in God as our Savior and ask Him to come in and cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness. We could do it right then, no time to waste. I went up shyly to my mother, tugged on her skirt and said, "Momma, I'd like to be saved, I want to go to Heaven to be with Jesus..."

She had another worker come up and take me outside to talk. His name was Bill and while he was at our church, I had made it a point to be his personal pest. I was his little buddy, like a little sister, I guess... always hanging on his back pockets. Well, we had a seat outside in the cool air and he wrapped a towel around my shoulders to keep me warm. He began to talk to me about how I could be saved, how I could know that I would go to Heaven when I died to be with Jesus; of God's love and what Jesus did for me. I trusted in the Lord as my personal Savior that night. I couldn't wait to tell my mother and family! I went up to the door of the fellowship hall where we had class and banged on the door. My mother opened it and asked what all the noise was about. I jumped into her arms and told her I had gotten saved...

That was 19years ago. I can't say I've done right everyday since that day, I've made some mistakes, but it's been a life blessed since birth and planned from before the beginning of time. I truly have grown from day to day not only physically, but spiritually also. I don't claim any good on my part but all by God's amazing grace.

Now, the first testimony you've read is true and was written by a man by the name of George A. The second testimony you read was my own. There is one thing that a murderer and I have in common. We both were in need of a Savior and God's saving grace. You may not have committed murder either, maybe you have had a good life blessed from birth, but you too are just a much a sinner, and in need of a Savior just like George and I!

The Bible says that we are all sinners.

"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

There is a price that must be paid for sin.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

You can't save yourself.

" Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us..." Titus 3:5

Jesus died to pay the price for your sins.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Repent and Believe the Gospel.

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

all verses are KJV

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Comfortable Church

'Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor; and blind, and naked." ~ Revelation 3:17

This is the heart of Christ's rebuke of the church at Laodicea, the "lukewarm" church (v.16) of the last days. This is an evangelical church for its candlestick is still in place (note Revelation 1:20; 2:5), but it has become a neutral church, "neither cold nor hot" (3:15). The reason for its tepid witness is because it has become "rich, and increased with goods," comfortable in a culture which tends to equate material prosperity with success and God's favor. It may have acquired large and beautiful facilities, developed special programs of many kinds, featured a variety of musicians and other artists, and even gained a measure of political power. Yet, Christ calls it poor and blind and naked!

Not all large churches become like this, of course, but it is always a real danger. The desire for large congregations can easily lead to compromising biblical standards of doctrine and practice. "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion," the prophet warned (Amos 6:1).

Note that the Lord began His letter to the Laodicean church by identifying Himself as "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). This strongly suggests that a major reason for the development of such complacency in a large church (or a small church, for that matter) is neglect of these three doctrines-- the sufficiency of Christ, the inerrant authority of God's Word, and the special creation of all things by God.

The letter to this church ends with the sad picture of Christ standing at its door, seeking admission (v.20). "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (v.22).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Imperatives of Redemption

" From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." (Matthew 16:21)

The little word "must" (Greek, deon) conveys urgency and necessity and is frequently used in connection with the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was just a lad, He told the learned men in the temple: "I must be about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49).

But then the first time this key auxiliary verb is found in the New Testament is in comprehensive prophetic statement of His mission, as given to His disciples in our text. He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, and die, and be raised the third day. As He was moving toward that climactic event, "he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent" (Luke 4:43). Furthermore, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).

He had much preaching and much work to do in that brief three- year interim in world history. But then He must die!

And why must He die? Because "the scriptures must be fulfilled" (Mark 14:49). "These are the words which I spake unto you... that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44).

And how must He die? "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14). But then, of course, "he must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9).

to what purpose must He be lifted up on the cross to die and then be raised again? Why, because "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cranberry Wassail

I love how people post super easy recepies on here. So I thought I might contribute one of my own.. maybe some others down the line.

I found this one and I want to try it around Christmas Time. It's Cranberry Wassail! Wassail is a contraction of the Old English phrase waes haeil which literally means "be healthy" (according to Mountain Rose Herbs) and is the toast that commonly accompanies the partaking of this warm, spiced punch during the Holiday season.

the ingredients are:

1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 three inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 whole cloves
1 orange, sliced

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients, except the orange slices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove spices and discard them. Transfer Wassail to a punch bowl, garnish with the orange slices, and serve warm.

Makes 5 cups...

If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

...jasoiernhtalnsdfoaubshgfong....

yep.. that's about how life feels currently. Things have been nuts, busy and complete chaos. From Dad having doctor's appointments almost everyday this week to trying to plan a baby shower for my sister, her health needs and church ministries in between; life has been hectic to say the least.

I honestly can't think of a time I have been under such stress and had so many sleepless or sleep troubled nights in my life. I think I'd take college during finals week over the current situations.

That doesn't even begin to tell about the financial difficulties with not being able to find work and trying to keep from being a burden on my folks. It's rough out in the big, bad and ugly world and this grown up chic is struggling just to do the back float much less the breast stroke or whatever other type of swimming one might take a notion to do.

On the flip side though... I try remind myself it could always be worse. I could be lost and on my way to Hell. I could not have the victory through Christ. I could be homeless, shoeless, cloth less, foodless, friendless, comfortless, and a million other lesses out there. I could not be able to claim the promises of God through His Holy Word. I could not have a mediator in Jesus Christ. I could be fatherless, motherless, sisterless, brotherless, familyless and so forth.

But the truth remains that I DO have salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ and I AM on my way to Heaven. I DO have the victory through Christ. I DO have a home, more shoes than I could ever need, Clothes to wear and the skill to make my own. I AM full in my belly with food and I AM NEVER in want of something to eat. I DO have friends that are so wonderful and the best friend a person could ask for in Christ alone. HE IS my comfort and I CAN claim His promises EACH AND EVERY ONE in His Holy Word. HE IS my mediator and God IS my Heavenly Father. I DO have a father, mother, sisters, brothers and family and friends. And despite what rough and rocky patches I may go through, these things never change and that is just another wonderful blessing from God. I guess I should try more to focus on these things more so than the other stuff but everyone can relate with me when I say that sometimes that gets kind of hard.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blast from the past stirs deep thoughts...

I found it an ironic blessing to be presented with the opportunity to come in contact with people I haven't seen in years, today. It's funny to me how those interactions go. The shaking hands, the "how-do-you-dos" and so forth. It brings with it a swirlly mixture of old and new, of familiar and unfamiliar when you realize that the person before you is both what you remember about them and also someone completely different. At first it doesn't even cross your mind until you walk over to them, make that eye contact, looking them in the face and shake their hand and when it's done to realize that somehow that seemed to take a second longer to do than when you shake anyone else's hand. Like you're both trying to pull out something from a dark and dusty; long forgotten corner of your mind. You linger to try and hold on to it like trying to hold on to a dream you had the night before.

What makes it even more ironic is when you start recalling the past and see that you and that person weren't very close to begin with but somehow the memories you share make them part of who you are today and therefore they play a bigger role than you ever imagined. You wonder if your part in their past had the same, if any, affect on them too. You being asking yourself things like "Could I have been a better friend? Did I miss any chance of imparting something worthwhile during the time we were growing up together?" You hope that what they remember are all good things even if the things you remember may be a little good and a little bad.

None of the questions going through your mind have any answer that you can find because you've no way of going back to the past to find out. It doesn't stop you from wondering though. In your wondering about the past, you have the hope that maybe the future will hold other opportunities to see them again and be friends. You hope to have a good influence on them, you desire to pray for them and see them grow in the Lord. You want to keep tabs on them and make sure they are safe and doing well with their families, but all in all, the reality that is so bittersweet is the fact that it will probably be a long time before you ever see them again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Common Knowledge...

you can find this on Fundamental Baptist Institute website as well, I think....

Believers in general have a common knowledge that we must grow in Christ. Those that make the effort to grow have this question come to mind, "How should we grow?" Peter commanded in his second epistle, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18) Believers should grow in grace and in their knowledge of their Lord and Savior.

Grace is the first area of consideration by God in Scripture. But the question arises out of the text, "What is grace?" Grace comes from God as we see in Psalm 84:11 "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Grace for our relationship with God came about from Jesus, as it is stated in John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Grace is also justifying in its nature. As Paul wrote to the Romans, "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:24) Turning to ulterior and other definitions of grace, grace, according to Word Net, is the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God. This grace comes about to people who are lowly and humble. As it says in Proverbs 3:34 "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." It also comes to them that obey, as Paul wrote "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:" (Romans 1:5) So to attain more grace (note: not saving grace), one must be lowly in heart and obedient to God.

The knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is also an area commanded that one should grow. In the beginning of the book of 2 Peter, Peter tells us the components of this knowledge. "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." (2Peter 1:5-7) The first thing that is seen is that one needs to have faith. Again the question arises, "What is that?" There are many components of faith, three of which I will cover here.

Faith must have an object. Christians must have as the object of their faith Christ, nothing else can substitute. the second of the major components of faith is one must have intellectual agreement with Scripture. But just having intellectual agreement is not good enough, because even the demons believe it. The last component of faith that one must have is complete submission to every command in Scripture. To have true faith one must have these basic components.

Another thing that is part of the knowledge of Jesus Christ is virtue or moral excellence. The question that one must ask himself is whether he is striving to be pure in this corrupt culture; this one thing that one must constantly strive for. The next thing that is part of the knowledge is knowledge itself. One must be constantly adding to his knowledge, not just of the Scriptures, though this is the most important thing, but of life in general. The next thing that one must exercise is self control. This self- control must not be in one area of life such as physical or academics, but in all aspects of existence; physical, mental and spiritual. Patience or perseverance is the next thing that one must grow in his life. A Christian must keep the faith even when tried by others; others that may kill the body. Another thing that is necessary for a Christian's knowledge of Christ is godliness. A Christian must strive to be perfect, even though, in this life, it is not obtainable. The goal of his life should be perfection in all areas of life, except that which is sin. The next thing that a Christian much grow in is brotherly kindness. One must be kind and gentle to all men, kind especially to the household of faith, though not excusing the sin which, because of our fallen nature, comes out of our daily life. The last thing that is written in this passage is love. A Christian must love the Lord his God with all his soul, mind, and strength. this is not an option for the believer, but a mandate to all mankind.

After considering all that, one must wonder, "What will come about if I do all that?" The answer is very simpler. It is explained by Mather Henry in his commentary on the Bible in this way:

"This is the knowledge of Christ the apostle Paul reached after and desired to obtain. such a knowledge of Christ as conforms us more to Him, must needs be great use to us, to preserve us from falling off in times of general apostasy; and those who experience this effect of the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will, upon receiving such grace from Him, giving thanks and praise to Him, and join with our apostle in saying, 'To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen!'"

This knowledge conforms us to Him and it also keeps us away from apostasy. So to safe guard against error, let us continually work at growing in our knowledge of Him. Growth must occur in these two areas of life, as it is commanded by God through Peter, for us to please God. Believers should continue growing in these areas till we reach the end of eternity. So, let the Christian who desires to please God with his life continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So that he can truly say, "to Him be the glory, both now and forever. AMEN!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Few Secrets To Calling Whitetails with Success

Enjoy another Field Insight from Jason Cruise..

Whitetails do talk! Here's some field tips to help call in deer on frequent basis.

TAKE SEVERAL GRUNT TUBES WITH YOU TO THE STAND

Duck hunters seem to understand this completely, as do turkey hunters. Deer hunters, however, seem to be slow learners! Turkey hunters would not dream of taking only one friction call to the woods. Duck hunters hang a host of calls from their neck. Deer hunters should, too. God gave each deer a different voice. Sometimes all it takes is simply changing to a different tube to see that deer step into range.

MIX UP YOUR PITCH LEVELS

It is not enough to take three grunt calls with you. Be sure that each call sounds a bit different. just like humans, deer have different inflections in their voices. By adjusting your reed just a little, you can add inflection to each tube and sound like a different deer each time. Don't be afraid to change up calls when calling a deer. Some deer have been known to commit to coming only after they heard a second type or pitch of grunt.

"COLD CALLING" WORKS WELL

Many hunters only call to a deer after they make visual contact. Doing that hurts your odds. "Cold calling", or calling when you do not see or hear a deer, is a very effective method. Don't be afraid to call often, especially during the rut.

YOU MUST BE WILLING TO BREAK THE SILENCE

Deer hunters value silence. And it's that very same core value that often leads to failure when hunting that trophy buck. Don't be afraid to call. Whitetails are vocal animals. If you don't call, you have a 100% guarantee of never calling up anything!

How about reading 2 Chronicles 7:14 to see what it says on calling to God!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Setting Up a Ground Blind

This is yet another Field Insight by Jason Cruise. I don't know why I am so fascinated with these field insights. I've only been hunting once in my life and it was pretty cool but it isn't something I do on a regular bases or anything. I do, however, understand the mind set and I can relate to it a lot, just like I can relate to someone who is in or has been in the military. But that's another blog for another time...

This one is about Setting up a ground blind.

On any given hunt, you can find yourself in a situation where you have little structure to hide yourself. Here are some tips on building a makeshift ground blind:

ARRANGE YOUR BLIND FOR COMFORT

You don't set up a small blind if you plan to move soon. Since you are going to be there a while, get comfortable. This is key to staying still and hunting for longer periods of time. Quietly clear out rocks, protruding sticks, thorns and such. Make your blind hassle free.

PREPARE THE BLIND FOR SILENCE

Even though you're in a blind, sometimes you need to reposition to get a shot. Clear out the leaves and sit on the dirt. Clip branches that get in your way or create noise should you need to swing your muzzle or bow in a shooting situation.

BE AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE

Use structure from the immediate area if you can. Make your blind blend in with natural elements native to where you are hunting. In the spring the woods are greening up. Sometimes fallen down trees host only dead limbs. One easy trick is to clip branches off of trees, and stick them straight into the ground along your blind. It provides the green effect and still gives you vertical structure just as if it were small saplings taking root.

TRY TO ELIMINATE THE BACK DOOR

Many hunters fail here. Once you've decided on an area in which to set up, never just set up without thinking of the direction from which the animal should approach. Granted, you cannot completely eliminate an animal from sneaking in on you. With a little forethought, you can try to put your back to the area least likely to host a travel route. All the more reason for a blind should an animal come slipping in.

PLAN FOR WIND DAMAGE

Hunters tend to forget about the role wind can play when constructing a blind. Wind can blow through your blind and change it completely. Construct it the best you can by thinking of how sturdy it will be should a strong breeze come through. On another note, if your blind material or netting blows easily in the wind, it can spook game. Carry a little extra string to tie things together. Make it extra sturdy the first time, and you won't find yourself sitting in the open.....again.

GET THE RIGHT GEAR

You don't need a lot, but you do need a few things: ratchet clippers, or aka, "pruning sheers" a must for any hunter, string for tying limbs together, small tacks can be life savers for attaching your blind material or netting to tree trunks.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Bear Facts

Here's another Field Insight written by Jason Cruise, maker of the Sportsman's Bible. A small compact KJV Bible for the outdoorsy people who would like to take God's Word with them on their outdoor adventures.

The Bear Facts

Do you know what the number one bear defense weapon is?
A .357 magnum? No. A Gatlin Gun or a Howitzer? Well, sure. But you probably don't have that kind of cash! The best and most practical dear defense is... pepper spray. Believe it or not, it's the best all around weapon you could possibly have when you walk upon a bear. And that is usually just how it happens--- you are working your way quietly through the woods, keeping the wind at your face, and in some underbrush only 10 feet away a nasty bruin lifts his head to investigate that strange creature invading his territory! One of the best advantages of pepper spray is that good brands can throw a "screen" of defense: When you are nervous, you can easily miss your mark with a rifle or pistol. But hyped up pepper spray, the kind made for bears, throws a sheild of defense, and bears absolutely hate it. In fact, they run from it.
In talking with Steve Gray of Guard Alaska, he is quick to point out that God did not create all pepper spray as equals! Many pepper spray brands have a short shelf life, and they can lose actual "throwing" power or thrust when put into action.
Guard Alaska is a leader in the pepper spray industry, and they produce spray that contains large amounts of "capsicum" - the stuff that makes pepper spray burn. It's not water or oil based, which can make it fail against wet bears. Guard Alaska's "Bear Repellent" penetrates mucus membranes, so that it can burn quickly.
Basically, it works on any animal that breathes, so that includes wolves, cougars, or grizzlies. Steve Gray also said that it's absolutely crucial that your pepper spray have an EPA rating; without that, you are pretty much hurling nasty purfume. And, yes, you guessed it, many store-bought pepper sprays do not have an EPA rating.
With Guard Alaska's "Bear Repellent" you can aim at the face and it will throw a net of defense up to 20 feet!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Passon For Souls

In the Bible Study that I attend every Thursday evening we study God's holy Word and spend time in fellowship and praise and worship of the Lord our Savior. AMEN! Right now though we are going through the book of 1 Thessalonians and boy what a study it has been. Something that continues to pop up in this study time and time again is the Apostle Paul's love of the brethren and his desire to see souls saved.

Tonight we finished 1 Thessalonians 2:17- 3:13. In these verses we see Paul's heart for the church of the Thessalonians. How he longed to see them, to know how they were doing in the faith and how he prayed for them and desired for them to grow in the Lord.

It reminded me of a piece of scripture I was studying not too long ago out of the book of Romans chapter 9. This is yet another piece of scripture where we get the opportunity to see Paul's love of others and his longing to fulfill the call from God to spread the Gospel to all men.

In Romans 9:3 It says; "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"

In the context of this scripture Paul is referring to Israel. His brethren in the flesh and goes on to prove that in the next verse. Also I want to point out what exactly it is he is saying here. The word "accursed" here in simplest terms, I believe, is the same as saying "Separated." So what Paul is revealing here about himself is that he had such a burden for souls that if he could he would wish to be "separated" from Christ, from God, completely for the sake of others.

Now, in application for us as Christians, (and as you can see salvation in our own life is key to this passage because of Romans 9:1), we should have the same burden for souls that Paul had. So much so, that we would be willing to be separated from God ourselves for the sake of souls coming to a saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. That is a great challenge for anyone and everyone. For not only are we commanded of God to be witnesses, we should count it a great privilege to share Christ with all we meet.

As my last point to share with you, Reader, is this... In the heart of Paul in this passage we also see Christ and what He did on Calvary. In Matthew 27:46 and again in Mark 15:34 we are seeing Christ's crucifixion and he says"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which being interpreted is "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The reason he spoke those words is if you look in the previous verses it describes a darkness that came over the land. What happened is that Christ, in dying on the cross, he took on the sins of the whole world. God being holy and righteous could not look down on Christ with those sins. He, (Jesus Christ), in that moment became "separated" from God the Father because he became the sacrifice for sin. In this we see the Gospel message that Paul was so adamant that others should know. That they would not reject the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much so to the point he would give up his own life for them, and not only his physical life but his spiritual life in Christ for the salvation of others.

How many of us can say that we have a self- sacrificing love for souls like that and not only say it but live it?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Down From His Glory

Down From His Glory has to be one of my all time favorite songs to sing in praise to my Lord and Savior. Not only is it written in a beautiful soprano key but the words are so true and just AWESOME!...

I don't know if anyone else here has ever heard it before. My guess is probably yes there are some that have. Anyway though, I just thought I would post the words here for anyone else that might get a blessing from reading it.

Verse 1

Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name,
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of Sorrows,
Tears and agony.

Chorus

O how I love Him!
How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine,
My all in all!
The great Creator,
Became my Savior,
And all God's fullness
Dwelleth in Him.

Verse 2

What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win,
To save my soul.

Verse 3

Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance,
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden plan.
O glorious myst'ry
Sacrifice of Calv'ry,
And now I know
Thou art the great
"I AM."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wahoo Cooking Success!!!

For any of you that know much about me then you could probably safely assume that cooking isn't really my thing. Though I can cook,( I do have that skill), and most often it turns out well; it just isn't something I get overly excited about.

Tonight though I had a hankering to try my hand at something new. I had seen in our pantry some cans of Pineapple chunks in their juice, it said. I got to thinking about my mother's Easy Pie recipe and how you can pick out any fruit you want to put in it. Well, most often we use cherries, apples, peaches, strawberries... you know, typical pie fruits. Not tonight... I took those cans of pineapple and Scuba Duba... put all the ingredients together and a few minutes later I had Pineapple Easy Pie. It was sooooooo good! It had a very light flavor, didn't sit heavy in your mouth or on your tummy. I recommend it for a good summer treat if you don't want a very strong flavor. Oh and most certainly have some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to go on top!

Now this pie recipe, because it's been simplified comes out looking more like a cobbler because you don't bother to make a form-able crust in the traditional pie pan. you just mix the flour, milk and sugar together and pour it in with your fruit mix. Easy as pie, (pun TOTALLY intended) hahaha... I am putting a copy of my mother's Easy Pie recipe with this blog. It will be at the end.

Now that I had the dessert figured out I had to put together something for the actual meal. I asked mom and dad if they had any plans or ideas of what they wanted to eat. Can't make anything we don't all agree on. They didn't and so I suggested a meal that had been on my mind to make for several weeks now. I had really, REALLY, thought on it so much so that I wanted it real bad.

I asked if I could make Roast Beef with Gravy and mushrooms on a bed of rice as a main course and then we had green beans and corn off the cob for sides. What a hit!! HOME RUN, TOUCH DOWN, HOLE IN ONE!!! :) I was pleased that they liked it, but mostly that it didn't turn into a complete mess in the kitchen. Thankfully, our kitchen is still in one piece. One more thing to be thankful for as well.... DISHWASHER! haha.. All I had to do is clean off the table and pile all the dishes into the dishwasher for washing later when it is full.

Ahh... now that was one satisfying supper success...

Mom's Easy Pie Recipe

1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar (or splenda if you're like us)
4 cups of fruit (any kind)
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup milk

Start by putting 1 cup of your sugar in a pan with your fruit and bring to a boil. Stir to keep from burning. Melt the butter in the pan that you will be baking your pie in. Combine the flour, milk, and remaining sugar in a bowl and mix gently until all lumps are gone and pour it in with the melted butter. Next you want to take your fruit/sugar mixture and pour it on top of everything else in your pie pan. Bake all this in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

A good suggestion is that this pie will fill a MEDIUM size glass casserole dish, which is what we use to make this cobbler style pie. Have fun trying it out! Let me know how yours turns out and what kind of fruit you used...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

God the Hunter

This is a Field Insight written by Jason Cruise, maker of the Sportsman's Bible. A small compact KJV Bible for the outdoorsy people who would like to take God's Word with them on their outdoor adventures.

These are his words and I think they are practical and insightful. I hope you enjoy reading what he had to share.

God the Hunter

" Hunting's greatest reward is not the kill; it's the work it took to make it happen. Working that gobbler, enticing that big bull elk with your cow calls, or knowing just where to place your stand to harvest a buck... that's where the hunt really happens. It's in those times that you are in full pursuit. Calculating. Dreaming. Doubting. All those decisions must come to fruition in just the right way. And there is risk involved, too. You can't be everywhere at once even though you wish you could. You must make a choice of where you want to play out your hunt. When it's all said and done, you are, as they say, in "fair chase."

There's a link to God in this concept of Fair Chase if you really think about it. You have to wonder why God created us, don't you? Seriously, What were His intentions? What do you imagine He was thinking when He decided to create people "in His own image?"

Truth be told, when you read Genesis 3 you find that God was operating in a "fair chase environment." He created Adam and Eve, gave them everything they needed and then some, and yet set them free to make decisions. They did fine for a time, but eventually they blew it completely. And they didn't just miss the mark for themselves, but they started a domino effect of problems that affect us even today.

Even with the dew still fresh in the abandoned Garden, God remained in pursuit. His persistent love will not stop no matter how hard of lonely the chase gets. Understand that God's hunting you is what separates Christianity from every other faith. Christianity is not you searching for God, it is God searching for you through Jesus Christ. He came here, Made His home among us. Pursued a relationship with real people. Fair chase. Uncontrolled. Free will we may have, but His love never stops pursuing us. In that respect, God knows what it means to pursue something you love. Is it not mind-boggling to think that He is so obsessed with us? "

sons and daughters of Hibernia (Ireland)

I found this painted on a coaster and liked it so now I'm sharing it with all of you...


We are the sons and daughters of Hibernia
proud heirs of an ancient legacy.
We've settled every corner of the globe,
driven from our homeland by famine and oppression
or simply by the restless spirit that's our birthright.

Wherever we go, we bring with us a love of freedom,
a melancholy humor, a biting wit and a golden tongue.
But regardless of where destiny may take us,
We're linked to the land of our ancestors by an
ethereal thread that binds the heart
and reminds us always
that we are a unique people.

We are the Irish!

Ain't

AIN'T...



He was just a little boy,

On a week's first day.

Wandering home from Bible school,

And dawdling on the way.



He scuffed his shoes into the grass;

He even found a caterpillar.

He found a fluffy milkweed pod,

And blew out all the 'filler.'



A bird's nest in a tree overhead,

So wisely placed up so high.

Was just another wonder,

That caught his eager eye.



A neighbor watched his zig zag course,

And hailed him from the lawn;

Asked him where he'd been that day

And what was going on.



'I've been to Bible School ,'

He said and turned a piece of sod.

He picked up a wiggly worm replying,

'I've learned a lot about God.'



'M'm very fine way,' the neighbor said,

'for a boy to spend his time.'

'If you'll tell me where God is,

I'll give you a brand new dime.'



Quick as a flash the answer came!

Nor were his accents faint.

'I'll give you a dollar, Mister,

If you can tell me where God ain't.'

Bearing Fruit

This was a chapter taken from "Parables of Jesus" volume 2 by Clarence Sexton, Crown Christian Publications. The end question I was left with in my own heart was "Am i right with God so that I may bare MUCH fruit for His glory?"

"And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."~ Luke 13:8-9

You have been placed on this earth for a special purpose. God said to the first man, Adam, "Be fruitful and multiply." Fruit bearing gives evidence of something much deeper. Not bearing fruit, or having a barren fruit tree gives evidence of something much deeper also. In other words, there is something that produces the fruit, and the lack of it causes the barrenness.

The Word of God says in Luke 13:6-9,

"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years i come seeking fruit of this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shall cut it down."

What does this parable mean? Parables are stories that Jesus Christ "placed alongside." The Lord gives us a story. Alongside that story, He points out something we need to know about the work of God- the way He gets things done, what He expects, and what He intends to do.

~ The Privilege of Fruit Bearing~

What does it mean to be right with God? Many people overemphasize results. They overemphasize the "fruit." The emphasis needs to be placed where God places the emphasis- being right with Him. When considering the fruit, more importantly, we must consider what produces the fruit.

In the Old Testament, in the fifth chapter of the book of Isaiah, the Lord speaks of His vineyard. God gave a distinct privilege to Israel. They are His special people, even though they have been set aside for this time. To them and through them, it is God's desire to make Himself known to the whole world. We understand from the Scripture that the fig tree in the vineyard represents the nation of Israel. The vineyard is the special privileged place that God gave to His people Israel. In that special place, God placed His special people- His fig tree.

The Bible says in Isaiah 5:1-7

"Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My welbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: and I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. Fr the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry."

God said, "What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?" Contemplate that question. "Is there any more I could have done for you than I have already done? Could I have given you greater privilege? Could I have provided for you more than I have provided for you? Could there be anyone on the face of the earth to ever say that God has been better to him than I have been to you?" The answer is no.

God is saying, "I expect a certain thing from you; when i went to get that certain thing from you, I did not find it. I took tender care to build a fence around you, to build a tower to look out for you, to prune you, to make sure you were doing everything possible to be fruitful. Now, Israel, I am going to remove all the tender love and care that i gave and all the special attention I poured into you." God has not forgotten His people, Israel. He is not finished with the Jew. But for this time, they are set aside.

In interpretation, one must not see anything else other than the Jew; however, in application, one can see all of our lives. The principle remains true, not only for Israel, but for nations, churches, families, and individuals- for all of us. God is good to us. God has blessed us beyond measure. He has every right to expect that we be fruitful.

Notice what our lord says in the closing part of Luke chapter twelve beginning with verse forty-nine and ending with verse fifty-three,

"I am come to sending fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptize with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in- law against her daughter- in- law, and the daughter- in-law against her mother-in-law."

Who is the Great Divider? The Lord Jesus Christ is the great divider. When God saved you, Christ became the Great Divider in your life and family. Things we once loved to do, He divided from us. People that we once fellowshipped with, had things in common with, and even some of our own household, He divided us from. When we decided to live a life of righteousness for Jesus Christ, He became the Great Divider.

The Bible goes on to say in Luke 12:54, "And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is." To the west was the Mediterranean Sea. When clouds came from the sea onto the land, it was known that those clouds brought water in them and that rain would come.

In Luke 12:55 the Bible says, "And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass." To the south was the barren desert. As the winds crossed the desert, hot scorching winds would come upon them, and there would be heat. Everyone living in that area knew there would be heart if the winds blew across the south desert.

The Lord says in Luke 12:56-59,

"Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate as thou are in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite."

Christ declared, "I want you to know that you are not going to escape." They were angry. They lashed out at Him. They felt that He had spoken against them and against their sin. What happens when we are convicted of our sins? Are we willing to repent and to change the way we are living? Are we willing to say, "Lord, you are right and I am wrong." This is our time of opportunity to serve the lord Jesus.

~ The Personal Accountability of Fruit Bearing~

Notice the reason that Christ gave this parable. The Bible says in Luke 13:1, "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." The people blurted out saying, "You think that we are so bad, but what about those Galileans? These Galileans, in the act of sacrificing, were killed by Pilate. They must have been terrible." The people believed that any type of calamity that came to one's life was because of sin. They believed that because these people had a terrible thing happen to them, it had to be because they were such terrible sinners. These Jews in Judea were especially delighted to call attention to the Galileans who had been killed.

The people who were talking to the Lord were actually saying, "Wait a minute. Let us compare ourselves to the Galileans that Pilate killed, They were much worse than we are." We are never going to be right with God as long as we compare ourselves with others. If you want to go through life trying to find someone doing less than you are, you can do it. But you can never be right with God by comparing yourself with other people.

The Lord said in verses two and three of Luke chapter thirteen, "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell ye, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Think of that. Christ changed the whole perspective. He told the people, "We are not going to talk about those Galileans; we are going to talk about you." He said, 'Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

In Luke 13:4 Christ said, "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" Evidently, when the tower of Siloam fell and eighteen people were killed, everyone knew about it. Christ was saying to them, "Are you saying that you think the eighteen that died at Siloam were the greatest sinners in Jerusalem just because they were there when the tower fell? Are you saying that the tower fell on them because God was punishing them for their great crime against Him? Is that the way you have it all figured out?"

Christ answers His own question, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." In this short parable of just a few verses, Christ is talking to us about how to be right with God. It is not about someone else's accountability, but our accountability.

Christ tells a story about a vineyard, but in the vineyard there was a fig tree. That was not unusual. On certain parts or parcels of ground in a vineyard, other types of plants could be planted. Certain plants, in accordance with God's law in the Bible, including the fig tree, could be planted in a vineyard.

In the vineyard, which represents the sacred place that God selected for the Jew, God planted His people. They are represented by the fig tree. He put them there to be fruitful. He came seeking fruit and found none. Note again in Luke 13:6-9,

"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."

The Bible says in verse six, "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none." He had every right to come and seek fruit because he expected it to bear fruit. It was suppose to bear fruit.

Verse seven says, "Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none." He said, "I've been coming for three years seeking fruit on this tree. No fruit!" Then he said, "Cut it down." This is a solemn thought.

No wonder some churches and some Christians are having such trouble. They have God's judgment on them because there is no fruit. They are doing nothing. They are just taking up space. They are doing absolutely nothing to reproduce.

He said, "Cut it down!" From God's declaration of cutting it down, notice what he said, "Why cumbereth it the ground?" When a fruit tree does not produce fruit, it is taking ground that could be given to some other fruit-bearing plant. So quite naturally, the ground that was used by the tree was nothing more than wasted space.

I believe that there was a note of tenderness in his voice when the dresser of the vineyard said in verse eight, "Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it." In other words, "I'm going to disturb the ground around the tree. Then I'm going to add nourishment to the ground. i'm going to dig around it and dung it to fertilize it. Let me do that, would you please?"

Then the Bible says in verse nine, "And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." In other words, "Give me an opportunity to work, disturbing the ground and adding nourishment." This is a time of mercy. It is a time for digging and dunging. It is a time for things to be disturbed. The Lord is at work.

I believe we are living between od saying, "Cut it down," and His coming again. He is digging and dunging. He is disturbing our soul. Many nations, many churches, many families, and many individuals have had this opportunity. What more could be done to disturb our ground?

After God has disturbed the soil and poured in what we need for nourishment to produce fruit, he has every right to look again and expect that we are bearing fruit. After no fruit, no fruit, no fruit, what if the Lord says, "Cut it down"? Do you believe as I believe that we are living on God's mercy?

May God awaken us that we should be doing more than just taking space on the earth. "Why cumbereth it the ground?" Why is it just taking up space if it is not going to produce fruit? God gave us this time, this place, this space, so that we might produce fruit and honor Him.

Think of how many people go to our churches, read the Bible, listen to the Word of God, and get nourishment poured upon them, but never produce any fruit. Then they go through divine disturbances where God digs, but no change. I think that at any moment He might pass through again and say, "Cut it down!"

"Why cumbereth it the ground?" Why is it there? It Is there so it can reproduce and bear fruit. Christians are to reproduce other Christians. Churches are to bear other churches. We are to live our lives honoring God, exemplifying Christ.

what we find here is an example of the way God works. God tells us that this is sin; but He gives a time to repent. When the holiness of God demands, the mercy of God answers, "I will pay the price." A holy God said that men must die for their sin and go to hell forever trying to pay for their sins. God's Son, the Lord Jesus, said, "I'll die for them. I'll pay the sin debt."

How do we get right with God? It involves seeing our own accountability to the Lord. Our eyes are on everyone else and everything else. The only race we ever have to run is the race against the opportunity and ability God has given us. If we are ever to be right with God, we must say, "Lord, I will stand alone before You and I will answer to You for my ability, privilege, and opportunity." This is the way to be right with God. God brings us into the place where we see ourselves personally accountable to the Lord.

In interpretation, this parable is about the nation of Israel; but in application, it is about all we should be as a church, all we should be as a blessed nation, all we should be in our Christian homes, and all we should be as individuals. God has done so much for us. He has blessed us. he said, "if it bear fruit." There is evidence of the right kind of life when fruit is borne. I want to be a fruit-bearing Christian. The Lord has every right to expect me to be a fruit- bearing Christian. I have life in me; not my life, but His life in me. I am partaker of the divine nature. The Lord lives in me.

if there is no fruit in your life, one of two things is evident. Either you are not abiding in the Lord, or you have never been born again. As Christians, we are all to bear fruit. We place the emphasis sometimes on the fruit; let us place the emphasis first on the root. If we are right, we will bear fruit.

In too many places, we have equated activity with spirituality. Too many times we have talked to people and given them the idea that if they simply do more, they are going to be more of what they should be. I do not have to convince you that i believe in the urgency of the hour. I do not have to convince you that we are living with the fact of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I want to love His appearing.

Let us turn our attention to 2 Peter chapter one. one of the ways we understand scripture is by comparing Scripture with Scripture. i appreciate every good thing we can read that God has given other authors to pen in books that we can buy, borrow, and read, but the greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible.

The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:1-5,

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add unto your faith..."

Notice the language here,"'Add to your faith." The Bible does not say add faith; it says add to your faith. Some people have the idea that if a person finally gets enough information about Christ, he is a Christian. No! Salvation is immediate. Just as physical life begins with conception, salvation is also instantaneous. Once there is conception, that human being is going to live forever as long as God lives. Once there is regeneration, we are born into God's family. The moment we "faith" the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Lord comes to live in us. We live forever as children of God, with God. We are born into God's family.

Once we have faith, we should add to our faith. God says in 2 Peter 1:5, "Add to your faith, virtue..." Virtue has to do with character. Character has to do with what we are, not what we do. We may live virtuously; but if we live virtuously, it is because we have virtue. We may "do" right things; but the emphasis is on "being" right, so we we will do right things. We may bear fruit; but if we bear fruit, it is because we are right with God.

Let us continue with 2 Peter 1:5-9,

"... and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity. For these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

In this passage, the Lord is talking to Christians. He says that they have not been living as Christians. God tells us in 2 Peter 1:9-10 what we need to do if we are going to be fruitful.

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."

We should bear fruit. Someone once said that the fruit of a Christian is another Christian. This is true. But there is also the fruit of the Spirit.

In Galatians 5:22 the Bible says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. The word 'fruit" is singular.

This "fruit" is like a cluster of grapes. There are nine grapes on this individual, singular fruit. This "fruit' is produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit produces love. The Holy Spirit produces joy. The Holy Spirit produces gentleness. The Holy Spirit produces goodness. The Holy Spirit produces faith. The Holy Spirit produces meekness. The Holy Spirit produces temperance.

What is evident when this "fruit of the Spirit" is not in our lives? It is evident that we are not being the Christians we should be. We are not abiding in Him. We are not living obedient lives.

Do you desire to be this kind of fruit-bearing Christian? Remember, the parable is regarding Israel. The Lord is inspecting them, and there is no fruit. In application, we must bear fruit.

Let us look again in John chapter fifteen. The Bible says in John 15:1-5,

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

The word "fruit" is found in verse two; "more fruit" is found at the conclusion of verse two; and in verse five is "much fruit." I want to be a "much fruit" Christian. Not simply "fruit" and "more fruit," I want to be a "much fruit" Christian. John 15:6-7 tells us why.

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

How do we bear fruit? By being right. How are we right with God? By abiding in Christ and recognizing our own individual accountability to God.

~The Purpose of Fruit Bearing~

Our purpose in fruit bearing is to bring glory to the Lord. What is the parable about? The vineyard was the Lord's; the fig tree was the Lord's. The parable was about the Lord getting glory from His vineyard and His fig tree. He gave the vineyard; He gave the fig tree. It was all His.

What is it all about? It is not about applauding men. It is not about praising men. We should say, "Lord, I want to bear fruit." But why bear fruit? We should want to bear much fruit. Why bear much fruit?

The Bible says in John 15:7-8, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." If we bear much fruit, God is glorified.

We must hunger and thirst after the Lord. The fruit is not the goal; glorifying the Lord is the goal. As long as we desire to glorify the Lord, the Lord will smile on us, bless us, and provide us with what we need. Let us ask God to help us to bear much fruit for His glory.

How Can I Know?

Not saved are we by trying,
From self can come no aid:
'Tis on the Blood relying,
once for our ransom paid.
'Tis looking unto Jesus,
The Holy One and Just;
'Tis His great work that saves us,
It is not try, but trust.


No deeds of ours are needed
To make Christ's merit more:
No frames of mind or feelings
Can add to His great store;
'Tis simply to receive Him,
The Holy One and Just;
'Tis only to believe Him-
It is not try, but trust.

Funny Christians

A lot of Christians are like
wheelbarrows...
No good unless they're pushed.

Some are like canoes...
They need to be paddled.

Some are like kites...
If you don't keep a string on them,
They fly away.

Some are like kittens...
They are more contented when
petted.

Some are like footballs...
You can't tell which way they
will bounce.

Some are like balloons...
Full of wind and ready to blow
up.

Some are like trailers...
They have to be pulled along.

Some are like neon lights...
They keep going on and off.

And then, for which we thank the Lord,
some are like a good watch...
Open faced, pure gold, quietly busy,
and full of good works.

Are you a good watch or are you one of the others?