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Instead of Halloween..

Hi everyone!


Halloween is quickly approaching! I wanted to share an article that I wrote last year called "Hell-oween." I already made my own decision not to celebrate this dark holiday five years ago. I remember what a difficult decision this was. Several people thought I was depriving my children of fun times. Yet, every year that I stood firm by my decision, I became stronger.

I definitely don't intend on depriving my children from fun times. We are starting our own traditions and having a fun family day instead. I have been brainstorming and was thinking about doing a "Candy Day." Yet, I'd love some ideas from you guys! What do you do instead of Halloween as a family? Please share :)



It is with excitement that I introduce to you a new website created by my family called "A Voice in the Wilderness." Here is the introduction:

"We address controversial subjects. The views expressed here may offend some people. Our team makes sure that we seek God's guidance first and we search His Word diligently before submitting an article. We share the same hunger for the Word and are being led to explore the deeper subjects of the Bible. If you share the same desire, then this blog is for you."


I would like to invite you to be involved with this brand new ministry, by following us on blogger, adding us on Facebook and Twitter! You will be able to receive updates of new posts! This blog also welcomes any guest writers to submit posts!

We also are creating a Deaf Ministry link (COMING SOON) with videos that have the entries translated in sign language for them!

Come and visit us at VW!

"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3


A Call to Be Bold

Acts 9:27
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Acts 9:29
And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Ephesians 6:20
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Hebrews 13:6
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Acts 4:13
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Who Will Stand?

As for some of you who follow me, you may notice that I write things that I am passionate about. I'm passionate about taking stands. I feel it driving me. Two years ago, Id never know that I was passionate about any of this. I know that I can come on strong sometimes, but I feel like crying out in the world.

I want all of you to know that my stand does not come from any hate, but a longing for victory in Christ. I stand for the cause. I stand against the sin. I'm speaking out against politics and the way satan is infiltrating this world. Yet, it is very important not to call out a specific person or bash them. That would lose all purpose because God loves each and every person He created. He loves every one of us and every one of us is a sinner.

Yet, what kind of world will it turn into if no one ever speaks out about sin? What if we never told our children that lying was wrong? That stealing was wrong? God is our Father. He hates sin, He won't accept it, He is just, yet He still loves us and thought of us worthy to die for.

It's not an easy thing to stand up or speak out in this day and age, and it never was either. But, the Bible calls us to rebuke and not to be lukewarm. God and satan are having a full blown out war and Earth is their battlefield. Pick a side, because whoever is standing in the middle will get crushed. It's the worst place to be.

And yes, you will be hated. The Bible says the world will hate you and that it will only love it's own, but we are not of the world. We belong to the Father and we're fighting for His kingdom. The disciples called out sin when they saw it, and they suffered and were killed but great is the glory they will have when Jesus appears.

Show love to every person, but take a stand against the cause, against the sin, and against the enemy. Stand with Christ. The world will crucify us with Him, but we shall rise and have victory with Jesus.





John 15:18,19 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."




Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called."
1 Timothy 6:12

Satan in Hollywood

Mike showed me this video of how many hidden symbols of masonic images and luciferian images there are in Hollywood and in popular movies. It's very eye opening and even nauseating. Up until now, I never fully realized how much satan was involved in movies, but then again, it does make sense that he is.

I also recommend doing further research on masons, shriners, luciferians, illuminai and so forth because it's everywhere, even in the white house and even in your neighborhood. The wiser we are, the more we can protect ourselves.

Beginning of Thoughts

Hi everyone!

I have internet back on, finally. I definitely missed blogging and writing for God. I also missed learning and fellowshipping with you guys. I can't wait to start writing again! I also noticed that I have thoughts here and there that say enough instead of writing long passages everytime. I'd like to start posting simple, brief thoughts here and I'd love your input.


Here is my first one.


I was sitting last night and it occurred to me that another reason to prove that God does not have a mother (ex. holy mother of God, etc) is because He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the beginning and end. God was never created or conceived by anyone before Him.



At Last

Here is something special that I wanted to share.


When I was sixteen years old, I was obsessed with the song called "At Last" by Etta James. It was my favorite love song and I would listen to it over and over. To me, it spoke the words and captured my dream of finding the true one I was destined to be with.

One day, I prayed and asked God that when I am with the one that He has chosen for me, then He could play the song "At Last," unexpectedly out of the blue while the one was in my presence. I held onto that ideal for a few years until my friends and family said I couldn't ask God for a sign like that. I was finally convinced that I couldn't really ask that from God and I let that go.


As Mike and I were driving from New York to Indiana to get married (although he proposed on the Empire State building on Friday, we had planned to marry that Monday), he asked me to pull out a burned cd from a pile. I put the CD in and suddenly I recognized the song. It was "At Last," and it had caught me unexpectedly. I had no idea he burned the CD for me and he only knew I liked Etta James and some oldies. "At Last" was the very first song that came on.


At first I was stunned and quiet. I kept speaking to God in my mind, and just in awe. God had finally confirmed it for me and brought me the one He had chosen for me. I was humbled he fulfilled an old romantic request I made as a teenager.

After the song was over, I turned down the music and tried to tell Mike what had just happened but I kept choking back tears. I knew Mike was the one, but God confirmed it far more than I ever expected. I hold to that always, that he brought me the one. At last my love has come along and life is like a song.

Happily Engaged <3

I flew to Long Island to see Mike recently. He planned a trip to New York City for us to go sight-seeing. I was thrilled since I always had wanted to see New York City! It's one of the places I have never been.

The city was unlike anything Ive ever seen, and it was an amazing day! Mike arranged for us to go to the Empire State Building together! I thought it was so romantic since I love watching "Sleepless in Seattle" and "An Affair to Remember." It was exciting to see the building, but there was a more exciting surprise waiting for me.

When we were at the top, Mike handed me a letter that he wrote February of this year. It was a beautiful letter that expressed his love and he held onto it the entire time for this moment. After I finished reading it, he knelt down on his knee and opened a ring box. He asked me if I would marry him!

I remember feeling flooded with such awe and joy, and I hugged him and said of course I will :)

I put on the beautiful ring and it fit perfectly on my finger (gee I wonder how he knew my size). It was the most perfect proposal and I couldn't ask for anything more special or memorable. I kept trying to remember every detail on the train ride home so I wouldn't forget.

This engagement will be very short considering we will be married in two days! Please pray for God to place our marriage upon his foundation and for it to be a successful and joyful marriage filled with love. Here are some pictures, and I will be posting wedding pictures soon!!!



Should We Take Any Credit?

I was having a discussion with my sister this morning over coffee. I brought up one thing has bothered me before and I've seen it happen in some places that I've been. I've sat in churches and watched people keep score on how many "souls they've won" that day, week or year. They also say that "I've led this person to the Lord," or "I got this person saved today." I started realizing more and more over time that we really have nothing to do with getting a person saved.

Note:I want to make it clear that I am not writing so that we may do nothing, but to fully grasp that it is all from God, his power and not of ourselves. We seek to earn points of righteousness, or take credit for a person's salvation. Is it really ours to begin with?


Here's a short passage from the Bible that reveals how it works.

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." 1 Corinthians 3:6,7

Who can really keep score or take credit for a person's salvation? Only God. We never actually lead anyone to the Lord. God has spent their entire lives leading them to this point. It's a humbling privilege when the Lord brings his lost and seeking sheep to speak to us about Him. But we are only a tool that God decides to use.



There are also programs in churches called "soulwinning." It reminds me of a contest or a game. There are also classes offered to help us become skilled soulwinners. Do we really need a class to teach us how to sell Christ to people? It seems manipulative. Isn't Christ and all he has to offer sufficient in itself alone? I took that class once and I thought it was no different than my public speaking and business classes at a public college.

Were the disciples bible college graduates? Were they skilled public speakers that went soulwinning in a suit with a Bible under their arm? None of them were. The Bible says they were uneducated, lowly fishermen who spoke with such power that those who heard knew they were with Jesus. That's the power of God and He will lead us to stand and speak for Him.

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13

We may say awesome things, but we will never be able to save that person. That is because only God's Spirit is able to transform and turn their hearts. We may knock on a thousand doors, but unless God destined us to meet that person, we will never save anyone. Ever notice that when a person is saved, their hearts have already been changing in the palm of God's hands? He then brings them to their knees.

Let us rejoice with God as he rejoices in the presence of His angels!

"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:10


So, should we take any credit? No. We'll be laying our crowns at His feet at the end. That's because we'll know it was Him all along. Glory to our King!

A Long and Overdue Update!

Hi guys! Here's the scoop! I know it's been so long since Ive posted anything. I miss blogging so much and keeping up with all of you! I am in the process of moving! My life is going to be making BIG changes in the next two weeks! I'll be writing about all of it and I should be getting internet soon! I can't wait to share everything! Love you all and I hope everyone has been well! *Mwah*

from, Charlene

My Mother's Wedding <3

I wanted to congratulate my mother on finally finding love and happiness. God blessed her with a wonderful man who truly loves her. I welcome George to our (crazy) family and hope God blesses their marriage in abundance for all the days yet to come!! Our family gathered together at a very small and intimate wedding on September 8th to celebrate their marriage! Congrats to Mom and George! We love you!! Here are pictures down below!!

Mom and George with me and Landon, my oldest son!

Arent the boys cute?? My nephew Cody, Landon and Brady, my two little boys!

The whole family! Including my sister Martha and her husband Adam!

<3

Meeting Mikey <3

I finally got to meet Mike, aka Tranquillity, in person after knowing him for a year and a half. He has been such an amazing boyfriend and I love him! It was definitely a blessing to finally meet him. We spent a week together in California and visited San Francisco and Vallejo! The kids totally had a blast with Mike too and their blog shows what they did with him, CLICK HERE. I'm blessed that God brought him in my life and I never thought I'd meet someone with all the same passions, values and beliefs that I have. God looked down and saw two people on opposite sides of the continent and matched them together. It's amazing how He works! Thanks for such an amazing week Mikey! _\m /


The Biblical Truth About Hell

I have been studying something amazing with Mike, aka Tranquility for a while now. God has truly shown him something wonderful. He kept feeling led to do a search for the truth about what the Bible refers to as "Hell." I am so proud of him for seeking the Lord about this and being willing to stand for such a controversial subject.

Have you ever wondered about Hell? Did you know that Hell has five different Greek and Hebrew definitions for one English word? All of them mean something different too! We all have been taught there's a huge, fiery inferno that bad people go to. Did you know there's so much more to it than we imagined?

If you're like us and love to seek and dig for his Word and truth, I recommend going to Mike's blog! He wrote several amazing posts about hell and he lists TONS of scripture and definitions. I encourage all of you to read and decide for yourselves. I also ask all of you to seek the Lord first and ask him to guide you.

INTRODUCTION


BIBLICAL TRUTH ABOUT HELL PT1

BIBLICAL TRUTH ABOUT HELL PT2


This has been revolutionary for me personally. It also has taught me more in depths about God's true character and the depths of his mercy. Keep searching for the truth my friends. His Word is more endless than the skies and deeper than the sea!

For some reason, the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man told by Jesus Christ has been on my mind for several weeks. I keep looking at it over and over. There's something about it that we are missing. What is this Parable?

I was taught that this was a true event that had already taken place. Jesus was telling people what had already happened. Yet, I don't think so anymore. I've been finding scriptures to prove this. Let's dissect this together.

*Note: This is my own perspective and views of this parable. I will provide scriptures to prove my points, to show how they match. If you see more in this Parable, please share and provide scriptures. This Parable is in Luke, chapter 16, from verses 19 to 31.

The Rich Man in the Parable was shown to be enjoying his wealth and luxuries of the world. I believe he represents those who love the world and their possessions. (v19)

Lazarus was a poor beggar who suffered and had nothing in his life. He was a leper and the dogs licked his sores. I believe that he represents the resurrection, as the real Lazarus rose from the dead. *(note: there are two different Lazarus in the Bible)* (v20, 21)



The Rich Man died and was buried (v22)

Lazarus was carried by Angels (v22)

The fact that Lazarus was carried by Angels proves this wasn't a past event, but a future event that has not happened yet. The Bible says that God will send his angels to the four corners of the Earth to gather his elect on the LAST DAY. The Harvest is at the end of the World. (References: Rev 7:1-3, Matthew 13:39)



The Rich Man was in torments (which mean sorrow in Greek) and he was in Hell (which is "Hades" in the original Greek, which means grave). The Rich Man is in death. (v23, 24)

The consumed tongue represents death. (v24)
Another interpretation of the tongue is cotton-mouth which comes with fear.

Lazarus was not in death nor in the grave. He is in LIFE. (v23)

The Greek translation for "in this Flame" is more accurately, "by reason of this flame."

There is a gulf between life and death that no one has ever crossed, except Christ Jesus. He crossed from death into life everlasting. When we have Christ, we shall cross over from death into life everlasting. The graves cannot hold us, and death has no victory over us! (v26)

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)

Why is Lazarus cradled in Abraham's Bosom? I wondered about that. Abraham was comforting him and he appears as a fatherly figure. What does that mean? Oh! When we have faith on Jesus Christ, we become the seed of Abraham, and the children of promise! (v22)

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." (Galatians 3:7,8)

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29)

Why did the Rich Man ask Abraham to send Lazarus unto his brothers so they may believe? (v27-31) The Rich Man thought his family would believe if Lazarus went up to them because he is alive now. He has risen from the dead. Abraham is also risen at this point, because right now Abraham is dead in the grave.

Is the Rich Man alive in the grave? No, that is why this is a parable that illustrates Jesus' point. When the dead die, they have no remembrance, no thoughts. The Rich man is in sorrow because he is dead and cannot be in life. Is he really speaking aloud? No. (references: Psalm 146:3-4, Ecc 9:5, Psalm 115:17, Psalm 6:5)



Jesus used many parables to speak to his disciples, and this is one of them.

"And with many such parables spoke He the Word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spoke he not unto them; and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." Mark 4:33-34.

I also received this link in the mail from Tranquility, and this is very good! If you are interested in this subject in the depths with scriptures, then visit this website! CLICK HERE

Signing for Him

Hi everyone!

While I've been at home without the internet, I went through my photo album and found a picture from my talent show days. I was also inspired recently by a wonderful video I watched on YouTube by a deaf pastor that worshiped the Lord with his hands in sign language. I decided that I'd share that part of my life with you all.

I started attending the county talent show when I was ten years old. I was encouraged by my teacher aide, Mrs.Elder, to perform songs in sign language. I fell in love with it and performed every year until I was 17. There was nothing like being on stage in the dark with the spotlight, the sweet anxiety before the curtains opened and knowing you had an audience somewhere in the dark. I love expressing music through my hands. I'd do anything for just one more chance to perform again.


(Me and Jenn, 1995)


I took some videos to show you guys an example with my digital camera in my living room. The first song is called "Ten Thousand Angels Cried" by Leann Rimes. I performed it for my church when I was young. This is one of my favorite songs to perform for churches.






This is the song that won me the grand prize at the talent show for my final year. I performed "Light Up My Life" by Leann Rimes. I did Disney songs growing up, but for my last year, I performed a more mature and romantic song.



And I wanted to share that I love to sing (by myself, lol), but that signing with my hands to worship is the same feeling as singing. I may use my hands, but it comes out from the same place in my heart. I thank God that He allowed me to be able to understand the words in the songs after I memorize them and the ability to follow along with the words. How awesome that we can use different ways to worship the Lord, and even enjoy "visual" music!

In the Bible, we can see how God used physical examples of what was yet to come spiritually. Those things were called, the shadow of things to come. They are physical examples of what is now spiritual.

While there are many examples, the one that I will give in more detail about today is baptism.

The physical baptism of those who were plunged into the water was called “John’s Baptism” or “the Baptism of John.” I believe we needed to have physical examples to understand what the spiritual ones really mean.

The baptism of John the Baptist was a shadow of things to come. We see in the physical, water baptism that the person was dunked in the water, and as the person is under water, they symbolically bury the “old man.” Then as that person comes out of the water, they are raised a new man unto Christ who now walks in the Spirit.


This is the same illustration, but this is done in the Spirit. Water does not really hold any power. Many will agree that a water baptism is only symbolic. I am here to tell you that there is a real baptism of the Spirit where we die to self. We bury the “old man” and receive a new life in Christ. We now walk in the Spirit and not the flesh anymore. The flesh is just dead weight and baggage to our Spiritual man. When we allow our carnal, sinful self to die, then we are truly born again.

“ Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 PETER 1:23


"For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." ROMANS 6:10, 11

We see in the New Testament that Jesus Christ fulfilled all righteousness and he was baptized so that we may receive his perfect life in our place. He fulfilled all things that needed to be fulfilled. Christ then put us in HIS place, and took our place on the sinner’s cross. When the Father sees us, he will see Jesus Christ in us and his perfect righteousness.



We see a lot of water baptisms continuing today, but there isn’t very many that teach about the true baptism of the Spirit. In the New Testament after Jesus Christ fulfilled all things physical, he then gave us the new spiritual way. We now have a spiritual temple within us, and not one made of bricks and stone. We have the first fruits fulfilled in Christ (article coming soon). We have the law fulfilled and now we have grace. We now have a Spiritual baptism, not of water anymore but of the LIVING WATER.


There is only ONE baptism now, and that is the baptism of the Spirit.

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” EPHESIANS 4:5

Paul and the others went to seek after the other disciples to tell them of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They had not heard about it yet and were only baptized with John’s baptism (which was of water and repentance), but now that the Messiah had already come and fulfilled all things, there was now a spiritual baptism they did not know about. Paul went to help them realize there was a new Spiritual baptism that they needed to be a part of. (Read Acts 19:1-4)

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” ACTS 1:5

How do we receive the Holy Spirit? SisterLisa showed me this good verse and it shows that we are to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit.


“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” LUKE 11:13


What do we see happen AFTER those people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? This passage explains it well.


16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. MATTHEW 16:16-20


Some false preachers will teach that signs and works of God are dormant, or that they are not for this present time, or only for Apostles. The Bible says these signs shall follow them who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who are truly baptized, and the Lord shall be with them. They will be able to do these miraculous things. God gave us this to use for his glory and we are taught they don’t exist anymore. That is not true! Jesus said that there are greater works we shall do! (John 14:12).

As I study the Bible more, I'm seeing that God has given us the spiritual things. Why do we keep searching for the physical things? He is beyond that. It is our carnal nature to seek things we can see and touch. God is none of those things. We will find Him in the Spirit and be able to walk with him in the Spirit alone.



A Hello!

Hi everyone, I am still without internet. I miss all of you! SisterLisa has been kind to allow me to use her computer. I have some blogs scheduled for a post every few days. Thanks for teaching me how to do that Jess :) Hope you're all doing well! I miss blogging, and reading all of your blogs!

Letting Everyone Know,

My internet isn't working and it's down because of some technical issues. It's been down since Monday and Im not sure when it'll be up and running again! Hopefully sooner than later! I'll be back to catch up! Miss you all already! from, Charlene

A Challenge from Beth in NC!

Beth in NC challenged me to do a fun thing by posting the sixth picture in my sixth file folder.

Is that a rabbit? Well no, that's me being silly. I can be silly. All you have to do is dangle a carrot in front of me and this just comes out. >:B

Oh uh, don't mind the laundry pile on the couch. It's only been there uh, 2 days. I'll get to it eventually!



And I'm supposed to tag five victims.. er, people :D

Each of you are supposed to show the 6th photo in your 6th folder -- then pass along to 5 other friends.

My Five Very Lucky Victims are.. ((drumroll))

1. Mikey at Be of Good Cheer
2. Martha at Fly Away Birdie
3. SisterLisa at Home Spun Life
4. Jessica at Pages of My Heart
5. Krystal at Krystal's Rants



.......*(hops away)*

A Revelation About Baptism

One of the most exciting things about this whole experience is how God keeps giving me (and others around me) revelations about the truth that is in his Word. It is outside of everything we have ever been taught and "indoctrinated" with. Truth is at the very source, from the Spirit of God himself speaking to us with his Word. It's enthralling to have the Living God moving inside of us and revealing things to us that our finite and carnal minds cannot grasp on it's own.

I attended two organic church gatherings and bible studies this week. A question was raised by some people asking about baptism. Personally, I never questioned baptism. I grew up with the belief that after we are saved, we go to be baptized with water to represent our new life in Christ. We die, leave our flesh in the water, and we are born again in the spirit.

But someone recently questioned this verse saying there is only one baptism:

"One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"Ephesians 4:5.

Okay, so?

But the bible speaks of two baptisms, one of water and one of the Spirit.

But that's two kinds of baptism, and the Bible says there's only one! We know the Bible doesn't contradict itself, so there must be an explanation.

And there is.

John the Baptist was a prophet of repentance. He preached repentance in the wilderness and baptized many in the water. When Jesus came to him to be baptized, John was stunned and said,

"I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" Matthew 3:14

Imagine, the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God coming and asking YOU to baptize him. Who is worthy? Yet, Jesus replied:

"Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." Matthew 3:15

Jesus Christ said this needed to be done for now, because he has come to fulfill all righteousness!

Jesus Christ walked a perfect man on this Earth and fulfilled ALL LAWS. He ALSO fulfilled righteousness. He fulfilled BAPTISM!!!

Now there is one baptism, which is the one of the Spirit.

When the guards put a spear through the body of Christ on the cross, it sprinkled blood AND water mixed TOGETHER (John 19:34). We are baptized of Christ in blood AND water, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

John baptized with water, but Jesus Christ baptizes with the Holy Ghost! (John 1:26, 33)

All physical things have been done away, and now Christ has brought spiritual things. Christ tore down the physical sanctuaries and created a spiritual temple within us by fulfilling the law. Christ fulfilled the physical water baptism and created a spiritual baptism by fulfilling righteousness.

Water is also an illustration of the spirit in the Bible. John 7:38, 39 reveal this.

"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified."

We are now baptized with the living water, which is the Spirit of God.

Behold, Jesus Christ has made all things new. Praise HIS name!!

Some of you follow me on Facebook and have witnessed that I have lost a friendship with a Sister in Christ over disagreements about the law. It's been difficult, because we do love and care for her and her family. I will remember them in my prayers, and think fond things of them, but I must still stand for the truth.

The Truth Is: If we choose to follow the law, we are choosing to have a yoke of bondage. We are choosing to reject grace, and then Jesus Christ has died in vain. He fulfilled the law while he walked on Earth and his death brought us liberty.

Jesus Christ followed the 613 laws of the Torah completely. He perfected the laws while he walked on Earth as a man. When we receive him as our Saviour, we are receiving his perfect righteousness. Jesus Christ took our place and received our punishments. We traded places with him and became heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. When the Father looks at us, he sees his Son in us. He sees Christ's righteousness in us! He sees all 613 laws of the Torah completed in us!

I was driving this afternoon and worshiping God. I was in awe of Him and I told Him that I have nothing to offer. I have failed. When we break one law, we're guilty of breaking them all. Even at my best, I am not good enough.

If we were good enough, we wouldn't need Christ. We wouldn't need him to leave Heaven and die for us. We wouldn't need a Saviour.

I need Him.


When I try,
I'm still gonna fail,
All my righteousness
Is worthy of hell
You looked down and saw me dying, Lord
You came down from Heaven with love
And you took my place
And you took my place
You died the sinner's death for me
And you let me take your place
And you let me take your place
And now the Father sees the Son in me
by, Charlene




I received this in a forward. It was an amazing read and I thought it was worthy to share. Please pass this on too!

THE QUESTION that CHANGED MY LIFE

-by David Ryser.

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school
of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly
searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with
Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church. I came across
a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short
version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this:

Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece
and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution;
it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and
became an enterprise. Some of the students were only 18 or 19
years old--barely out of diapers--and I wanted them to understand
and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding,
"An enterprise. That's a business." After a few moments Martha,
the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not
imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was
self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless,
I acknowledged Martha's raised hand, "Yes, Martha." She asked
such a simple question, "A business? But isn't it supposed to be
a body?" I could not envision where this line of questioning was going,
and the only response I could think of was, "Yes." She continued,
"But when a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?"

The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or
spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the
presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were
on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was,
"Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." I didn't dare express that thought
aloud. God had taken over the class.

Martha's question changed my life. For six months, I thought about
her question at least once every day. "When a body becomes a
business, isn't that a prostitute?" There is only one answer to her
question. The answer is "Yes." The American Church, tragically,
is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we
love Him? We don't even know Him; and I mean really know Him.

... I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not
know God--much less love Him. The root of this condition originates
in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what
we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would
bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him
for His money, and we don't care if He lives or dies as long as we
can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business,
merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded
to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ--that's pretty
intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love
someone we don't even know? And even if we do know someone,
is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or
prostitutes?

I was pondering Martha's question again one day, and considered
the question, "What's the difference between a lover and a prostitute?"
I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does
what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but
only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, "What would
happen if God stopped paying me?"

For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover
my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of
God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He
never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? Please
understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The
issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is
the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings
in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have
earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any
conditions? It took several months to work through these questions.
Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by
my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed
with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in
my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved,
but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God.

So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute?
There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for
that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both
places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no
substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I
mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another
look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.

-Dr. David Ryser.


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I read this amazing entry by Tranquility, whom I have learned so much from and hold in such high respect! He spent years studying about this topic concerning the Roman Catholic Church. He just spent literally the entire day writing this amazing post called "The Lord Jesus Christ vs The Roman Catholic Church!" Click on the link to read about this and he has covered it in great depth and detail. This is also a wonderful link to give to your Catholic friends that you care about.
I recommend this wonderful site!

Wow...

I read this and it just struck me hard. I have to share it with everyone. This is SO important too. Many of us have heard this story about the conversation between Jesus and Peter. It was never clear to me why Jesus rebuked Satan in Peter when he was saying something that seemed caring. Read this!! (Copied & Pasted)

-----------------------------------------------

Matthew 16:13-23 is a dialogue between Jesus, Peter and Satan.

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of thes aring God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not REVEALED IT unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on eart youall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time forth began Jesus to show 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.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Matthew 16:13-23

In verse 17, Peter had a direct revelation from God - " . . .for flesh and blood hath not REVEALED it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Again, notice God "REVEALED" it unto Peter.


Notice what happens in verse 23, just seven verses later. Jesus addresses Peter as Satan! Satan had completely taken over Peter. God, the Father was communicating directly to Peter in verse 17 and in verse 23, Satan had completely taken over Peter!


But what is really interesting is Peter's motive.


As Jesus began in verse 21 to tell how He would be crucified, verse 22 reads, "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee."


Peter's motive was his LOVE FOR THE LORD JESUS! He did not want Jesus to be crucified. And even though Peter's motive was RIGHT - when he got out of the will of God - Satan COMPLETELY TOOK OVER. You can have the RIGHT motive (even love for the Lord Jesus Christ!) and be completely WRONG! Even to the point of under the control of Satan.

Sincerity, and even love, is no substitute for the WILL OF GOD.

Let me say that again. . .

Sincerity, and even love, is no substitute for the WILL OF GOD.

*I read this from http://www.av1611.org/crock/crockex2.html that exposes false Christian bands. Read more for amazing information.*
------------------------------------------------------

So many of us may have a heart with good intentions, wanting to please God, to follow him and do more for him. Satan EASILY takes that and uses it for his will, and not God's. We all need to make sure we are SO CAREFUL about this!! Don't let Satan move you off the mark even by a small degree, because down the road, the slight change in degree becomes wider, and WIDER and we've realized that we've gone too far.




How to Dig for Treasure

The Bible tells us to dig in his Word like hidden treasure. It is more valuable than gold!



Here are some tips to really dig deeper into the Word of God. The Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle, and the pieces are ALL OVER the Bible, in both the OT and NT. Every verse has layers, and it leads to a bigger picture. The Bible can be the most exciting and exhilarating book you'll ever read!

Tip #1: Find Keywords. Each word is a key to a bigger piece of the puzzle. Track it down all over the Bible and list it.

Tip #2: Get the Greek and Hebrew translation. The grammar is structured differently, but you can find the real and accurate definitions to the word. Sometimes the English word can have three or four different Greek words and meanings to the same word.

Tip #3: Get a concordance and find all the references to the verse you want to learn more deeply.

Tip #4: Once we unlock a piece to the puzzle, we'll find MORE puzzle pieces and trails! So write down what you have learned in a journal, and categorize it.

Tip #5: Most importantly of all.. Pray for God to reveal his truth to you. Only he can lift the veil off our eyes and make his Word manifest to us. It is the living Word, and it leaves 'wise' men of the world dumbfounded. The carnal mind cannot perceive it, only the spirit can.


In our group, when we bible study together, we have several books open all at once at the table. We have the KJV open, the Geneva Bible open (has amazing and historical notes from Puritans that were martyred and persecuted for hundreds of years), The Greek and Hebrew translation, Strong's Concordance, and a dictionary.

Happy Hunting!!!

My Prayer Drive

One of my favorite things to do is to take a prayer drive. I especially love to take those during the sunset in a summer evening, or during thunderstorms. I live on the outskirts of town and it's a quiet area by the mountains. I don't live very far from a road that has miles of endless fields and farms. I took some pictures with my phone so the quality isn't very good. These pictures only give a glimpse of the vivid colors of the skies, the vast and endless fields, the cows and horses grazing the grass, and the magical feel of old, rugged barns. I recommend taking prayer drives because it is such a rich way to worship our Saviour while being in awe of his creation and wonder.

















Stranger in a Photograph

"Stranger in a Photograph"
Dedicated to my Sister @;-->--


You've robbed me of my worth
As a woman, and as your wife
She's just a girl
That you've never met
You don't know her name
She's a stranger in a photograph
And you've let her take my place

You say it has nothing to do with me
But it has everything to do with me
You left me out
Right where I should have been
And you let someone else in
(In your heart, in your mind)
She was the one you were thinking of
And it wasn't me,
And it wasn't me

Remember when I was your forever girl
Will I ever be enough for you?
I was created for you by the hand of God
A woman made for this man
I'm meant to be
Just what you need
Why won't you let me?
Cause I don't wanna share you anymore baby
Cause you're supposed to be mine
But I don't feel that way

Let me love you freely
Without fear of pain
There's so much we're missing out on Darling
If only it was that way
If only you could see
How much it hurts me
And try to understand
My worth is all in the eyes
of the man I love

by Charlene, 06/10/2009

Come and check out AGM's newest articles! SisterLisa has been writing many amazing posts! She is writing about the profound things we have learned during the past three months! What a revelation from Christ! Be sure to visit Apples of Gold Ministries today!

Apples of Gold Ministries

Children of the Promise

One night, Jessica and I were bible studying together. She showed me this passage she found in Galatians. She had read this entire book of Galatians the night before, how awesome! She found this amazing analogy about law and grace in the story of Abraham. WORTH READING!!


READ Galatians 4:22-31

22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.


Abraham = Father of the Children of Promise
Sarah= Free woman which represents Grace.
Hagar = Bondwoman which represents Law
Ishmael= Flesh
Isaac= Spirit.




The flesh and the spirit war with each other. Eventually, the flesh must depart. The free woman and her son is the heir to the promise God has given to us. Cast out the bondage under the law, and the flesh. They will not be the heirs to the promise.

What a beautiful passage, and we know that everything that happened was a shadow of things to come, and everything is about Christ!

At the Last Day

I am going to throw some verses in here without telling you what I think it means. I'd rather you share what YOU think it means. You don't need to hear me tell you what it means, God can speak to you himself. It is in his Word. I'll just ask some questions what you think God is telling you.


*"Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." John 11:24

*"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." John 6:39

*"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40

*"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. " John 6:44

*"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:54



The Bible mentions the "last day" multiple times. What is the last day? What does it mean that he will raise us up at the last day?

Hi everyone!

I can freely come out and announce that I do homeschool both of my boys! Their father has given us his blessing which is a joyful miracle to me!! I have been learning about homeschooling for several months. This is my first year, and I am still learning!! Any advice and tips would be appreciated!!

I enjoy spending quality of time with Landon (age 4) and Brady (age 2). We have a wonderful bond. I enjoy the liberty in homeschooling and teaching them wisdom in life as well as education. This is the most natural way to go, and God designed teachers in parents. As I give Landon and Brady back to God, I want to lift them above my head. I want to teach them everything I know, and teach them how to go on ahead of me.

From Nature walks and picnics in the park...



to enjoying music together...



to hands on activities...



and quiet time readings.



Homeschooling is fun!!!

Churches and Cults

I was shown this list a little while back and I kept reading it. It made me think a lot. Many of us call other churches a cult, or we may even hear others call our church a cult. What is a cult? That is something we really need to check with because those who are in a cult don't even know they are in a cult. This does not apply to all who read this, but it is something we need to know to protect ourselves.

Growing in Grace Magazine also listed a wonderful article about the "Culture of Cults." CLICK HERE to read their article!


What do Churches and Cults Have in Common?

Adapted from The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen


[There are] seven characteristics which can be found in most spiritually abusive systems.


Power Posturing
The leaders spend a lot of time focusing on their own authority and reminding others of it as well. This is a necessary trait in such a system because their spiritual authority isn't real or genuine so it has to be postured if there is to be any. The leader subtly replaces Christ or God over one's conscience. A church leader or pastor might say: "In this flock, I'm the chief shepherd!" Such an attitude really assumes the place reserved only for the King of Kings. Christ is the Chief Shepherd and the head of the church. Unhealthy, authoritative leadership encourages people to put their leaders on a pedestal. This type of leader is eager to place people under them and under their word, under their authority.



Performance Preoccupation
In an abusive spiritual system, those running such a system will be preoccupied with the performance of their members: worthiness = performance (often perfectionism).This system doesn't really foster holiness or obedience to God, it merely accommodates the leaders' interpretation of spirituality and his/her need for control. "Out of context, obedience to leaders looks like good theology. Add the larger context and you will see that it is only appropriate to obey and submit to leadership when their authority is from God and their stance is consistent with His" (The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, p. 66). It is not to be lorded over them.



Unspoken Rules
These are rules which govern unhealthy churches or families but are not formally stated or written. Since they are not spoken verbally, you do not find out that the rule(s) exist until you have broken one.The unspoken rule may come across like this: Do not disagree with the church authorities, especially the pastor, or your loyalty will be suspect. Silence becomes the fortress wall of protection, shielding the pastor's power position from scrutiny or challenge. Of the unspoken rules, the “can't talk” rule is probably the most powerful. The thinking of this rule is: The real problem can not be exposed because then it would have to be dealt with and things would have to change, so it must be protected behind walls or silence (neglect or by assault, legalistic attack). If you speak about the problem out loud, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. In some way you must be silenced or eliminated. A good example of this “can't talk” rule would be the phrase, “touch not the Lord's anointed.” According to John Avanzini, Dr. Walter Martin (a cult apologetic expert) died because he spoke out against some of the Word-Faith teachers and their messages (John Avanzini with Paul Crouch, Spring 1990 Praise-a-thon, broadcast on Trinity Broadcast Network).Speaking up or against spiritual abuse is not the problem. The real problem is if a Christian who feels violated stops talking, then the perpetrator will never be held accountable for his behavior.



Lack of Balance
Many times this characteristic shows up in one extreme or another in trying to live out the truth of Christian life. The first extreme is that of extreme objectivism, which elevates objective truth to the exclusion of valid subjective experience. This can be seen in those whose religious systems theologically acknowledge the Holy Spirit's work but on a practical level appears to ignore Him. All too often this type of extreme limits God to act only those ways we can explain or understand. The second extreme is that of extreme subjectivism, which is deciding what is true based upon feelings and experiences rather than what the Bible teaches. In such a system, people are led to believe that they cannot understand Scriptural truths until the leaders receive them by spiritual revelation from the Lord and impart them to the people.



Paranoia
When the church or family is spiritually abusive, there will be a sense (spoken or unspoken) that "others will not understand what we're about so let's not let them know, that way they won't be able to ridicule or persecute us."In such a system persecution-sensitivity builds a case for keeping everything within the system. The reason is that the evil, dangerous or unspiritual people outside the system are trying to weaken or destroy "us." They go on to say, "This mentality builds a strong wall or bunker around the abusive system, isolates the abusers from scrutiny and accountability, making it more difficult for people to leave because they will then be outside too."




Misplaced Loyalty
In a spiritually abusive system, a misplaced sense of loyalty is fostered and even demanded, loyalty, not to Christ but to an organization, church or leader. Because authority is assumed or legislated, and therefore not real, following must be legislated as well. Included in this is the attitude that "we alone are right,” something the leadership projects. So many groups have this in common. When Hobart Freeman began Faith Assembly (not associated with the Assemblies of God) loyalty to him and his teachings were to be accepted without question.
In such a spiritually abusive system, manipulation certainly takes place, especially in the area of dating and marriage. [Some] leaders of groups keep members in check by forbidding them to date [or controlling whom they may date and when and for how long, and whom they may marry].




Secretive
There is no reason to hide what is appropriate, only what is inappropriate. When you see people in a religious system being secretive, WATCH OUT!Perhaps one reason spiritually abusive families and churches are secretive is because they are so image conscious. People in these systems cannot even live up to their own performance standards so they have to hide what is real.



Taken from Clete Hux’s adaptation, Posted on: 05/01/2003
Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics
Source: CCN

http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=681

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