Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Press On to the Higher Calling...

Why do so many of us fall into what Jesus called the "kingdom of darkness''" a.k.a. "this world's" idea of what a woman's calling is? How have so many of us been influenced and sucked in by the world's feministic view of a woman's role when it is so blatantly opposite God's view? How has satan tricked us into thinking we were doing any good by separating ourselves from our families to go into the world to compete with people for a day's wage or to "minister"? How has he tricked us into thinking we were doing God's will apart from anything God has told us to do in His Word? What does God's Word say the role of a wife and mother are?

There are many teachings about it. Unfortunately, most are untrue. Some will tickle your ears and your emotions. I've found most of the time, when it's something my flesh run far away from it. My emotions can flip/flop quicker than a fish out of water! My ears used to like to hear the "easy" things. I will be honest and say I used to listen to many popular "preachers and teachers" of the day-although something deep inside me (the Holy Spirit?) would catch something not quite right and question it. Thankfully, this has happened my whole Christian walk. Then I would check what they were saying with God's Word and find that they were off. Now, I look first to see if they teach false things contrary to God's Word.

Nowadays, we know alot about nutrition for our bodies. But do we have the same care for our spirits? Can I afford to feed my eternal spirit with the empty calories found in untruth? Can you? Yet, many people calling themselves Christians are dying of spiritual malnutrition! Should we heed all these teachers telling us things we want to hear? Do we need to read all their books and listen to their tapes, CDs and videos? Do we send money for a $25 prayer? Are we like those spoken of in 2 Timothy (4:3-4) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables." Matthew 7:13-15 says: "Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. (14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."

We live in a system that is run by the father of lies. Jesus told us that His Kingdom was not of this world. How can people who say they are Christ's act like this is it? How do we fall into the notion that once we say a prayer we are alright for eternity and then go about our merry way with no regard as to what it really means to follow "The Way" or be a "Christian." As we see above...He says the gate to life is narrow and difficult and few find it! Selah...Pause and calmly think about that. Do Not, I repeat Do Not let the world dictate to you how to live your life as a wife and a mother and a child of God! Destruction's Gate is wide and broad-many go in that way and are destroyed! Selah...Pause and calmly think about that!

Take another look at the cross and see if you do not think God the Father, His Holy Son Christ and the Holy Spirit took it seriously. What do you see when you look at the cross? Do you ever think about what was accomplished there? Do you think about how it applies to you? Do you think about what is required of you because of your belief in Jesus and His death on the cross? Did you realize that we died on that cross too? And it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me? If Christ lives in me and He never did anything but what the Father wanted Him to-how then should I live?

Wanting my own way-my will-is not the way of Christ. Believe me when I say, it is selfishness, which only leads to pain and suffering and enmity with God. If we are not walking a Christ-centered life, then we are walking down a side-road that will lead to death. Jesus said, "Many are called, few are chosen." and "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord.... did we not do all these marvelous things in Your Name,' and I will tell them, 'Depart from me I never knew you." What does that tell you? We can think we're alright when we are totally walking in a "form of godliness" but denying the power thereof. The scripture tells us, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death." We must walk circumspectly in these days we are living in-making sure we are in the faith.

Many will come in Jesus' name-even saying He is Lord...but they do not come to promote the lifestyle ("death-to-self-style") required of a Christian. They promote selfish gain and selfish attitudes and psychobabble and feel-good ear-itching garbage, saying whatever they can mixed with a little truth and in the end they want to fill their pews and their wallets. They will deceive many-there will be a great falling away. The Word warns us of these ahead of time.

How can we make sure what they're teaching is right and true? The Word says to test the spirits and test all things. What do we use to test teachings? Why, the Word, of course. It is our Standard. God does not want His people to be ignorant...He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us into all the truth-into the truth of His Word.

I said all that to say the Holy Spirit is showing me that laying down my life and my will and blessing my family by random acts of selflessness, has much eternal merit. Does the world look highly upon a woman who quietly ministers to the needs of her husband and family in spite of what those around her say, think or do? Some in the very church she attends will find fault with her. I don't know how often I've heard the expression about women being treated like doormats. Walking in faith and living God's Word do not "go with the flow". Their purpose is to shine God's light into a very dark kingdom-by a shining example of His Love.

We are to submit to our own husbands as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). Even when he's not doing what I think he should? Even when I think our family should head in a different direction? Even when I think I know more of the Word than he does? Even when....???

I wanted to encourage you run the race! Press on for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! This is a spiritual thing and not done in the flesh! Remember the Spirit...and the works of the flesh produce two different kinds of fruit. We want to let God grow the fruits of righteousness in our lives.

But if you feel as though you in your own strength cannot do this any more...good! What??? Good!! This means you will stop trying now-stop striving. Remember, it is the Lord who who works in us-His work is everlasting and His work is perfect. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Therefore we should let Him accomplish in us what He desires. Lay it all down and do not pick it up. Pray to the Father for your needs-He is waiting to show you how mighty He is!

Read Philippians 3:7-14 "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (8) But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousnes, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (11) if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

What do you think?

I know I sound like a broken record (or a corrupted mp3 player) but we must understand the will of the Lord on this issue. I know some women must work because they are single Christian Moms. But this is where I feel the church should come in to help lighten the load by helping with some meals, watching her children or any other way a Sister can be encouraged if she must work, so that she can be home when her children are home or at least know they are properly being cared for. Then pray for her, encourage her, and remind her that God can help her find a way to work out of her home. Many women do. If a Christian woman is working for any other reason, she should evaluate why she is working and if it's to keep up with the rest of the world and their ideas of the high life, get yourself to where you are living a less affluent lifestyle. There are many ways to earn money at home. There are many publications that share how they went from living as a two paycheck family to a one paycheck family. I would encourage anyone who feels God's prompting to become a wife/mother who stays-at-home, to pray and ask God to work it out. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (21) to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen." The result of all He does in us, is to bring glory to His Name! Ask Him to glorify Himself in you.

Just one other quick note:

God is so, as I was talking to another Sister about situations in living with and submitting to our husbands and raising children and wanting some things to be done differntly-this phrase blurted out of my mouth..."Pray It, Don't Say It"...I was talking about how my many words can do more damage than going to the Lord in prayer with all things and letting Him have the opportunity to take care of it before I make a bigger mess of it. So, I encourage you to do just that..."Pray it, Don't Say It" and see what God can do!!!

I wanted to keep sharing from "The Complete Home." Here we go with Aunt Sophronia to visit with Helen...

After Hester was gone I had more time to visit my other two nieces, and as I was lonely I paid more calls than usual to my friends in the village. The subject of Order in the Household was much in my mind, and I quietly gathered up my many hints concerning it. I went one Tuesday morning, about nine o'clock, to call upon Helen. As my ring was not answered, I went round to a side door opening into the dining room, and walked in. The door was open between the dining room and kitchen, and I saw that Hannah had just finished doing up the breakfast dishes, and was preparing to do the washing, which had been "put off" from the day before. I always send my washing to the kitchen sorted--a bag of coarse clothes, a bag of fine clothes, and the colored clothes and flannels by themselves. This facilitates the work of the laundress; she sees all that she has to do, and she is not delayed in picking the wash over. I trust Helen's style of sending down a wash is peculiar to herself. The door of the back stairs was opoen, and down these stairs had been flung an avalanche of soiled clothes--towels, sheets, shirts hose and tabnle linen promiscuously tumbled into the kitchen and lying along the steps. Hannah lazily gathered up some of these pieces, and dropped them into her tub. a pair of colored hose went in tangled up in Frank's best shirt, and I perceived that Helen's nicest collar was kicked by the unobservant maid into a pile of towels. I saw, also, that the clothes had not been mended; a skirt of Helen's, who wears her white skirts trained and dragging upon the sidewalks, had half a yard of the ruffling torn, and hanging in a great loop; and one of the sheets was also rent. I went upstairs to Helen. She was rocking in the easy-chair in her pretty room, with a face of discontent. She cried as soon as she saw me, "O, I'm glad to see you. I'm sick of housekeeping, and I'm dreadfully blue: all things go in such a turmoil here! Yesterday Hannah did not wash, because she thought it would rain, and now she has hardly begun, and she'll be until tea-time at it, and a helter-skelter dinner too. Then Frank has asked two gentlemen to tea tomorrow, and there should be cake and floating island made, and the ironing will be lying about; it will be noon before Hannah folds the clothes; and only see: I put this lace set in last week, and look how it is torn, and I want to wear it tomorrow, and it wil take me forever to mend it."

“Now, Helen,” I said, “you need a good plain talking to, and as I shall give it to you, I hope you’ll receive it kindly, and profit by it. As for your washing, it should have been done yesterday. Then, if it had rained, the white clothes could, lost of them, have been lift in a tub of light bluing water, and have been put on the line early this morning, while a frame full of towels, hose and colored clothes could have been dried in the kitchen, and Hannah could be ironing hem now. Your maid is disorderly; but don’t complain of that, when her mistress has no idea of order.” And so I told her how I had seen her clothes tossed into the kitchen.

“Well, aunt, what ought I to do?” asked Helen.

“I should say, go right down-stairs, and yourself sort that clothes that are lying about, and bring those torn pieces up, and mend them before Hannah is ready for them. It takes twice as long to wash ragged clothes as it does to wash whole ones. Just tell Hannah kindly, that you intend to have a new style in the washing, and that she must be brisk, and that all the clothes must be neatly folded in the basket, before she goes out this evening.”

Helen, seeing me reach out my hand for her torn lace, with evident intention of darning it, started for her kitchen, and presently returned with the torn skirt and sheet, and set briskly at her mending.

“Do the skirt first, because she will want to wash that first—the starched pieces should have the precedence, as they take longer to dry. Now, Helen, I will mend this set, and hereafter, do as I do: I always wash my own lace and fine embroidery. The best intentioned maids have neither to buy them nor repair them, and human honesty has it varieties; so does human ignorance. Hannah very likely rubbed this set on the board, and then boiled it. Have a little bag in your bedroom, and throw this kind of finery in it as it becomes soiled. When it has accumulated, put the pieces to soak in weak borax or ammonia water; some evening, wash them up lightly with your hands and fine toilette soap; next morning, scald them. Starch the embroidery, and iron it on the wrong side, laid on a piece of fine flannel. The lace, rinse in weak gum water; stretch it, and in it on a pillow, though some kinds can be ironed between two pieces of flannel. On washing days you should insist on having Hannah rise early, and begin washing before breakfast. Have the clothes ready for her in bags; have a breakfast that is easily gotten, and needs few pots and pans. Arrange for a dinner which shall be but little trouble, and give some help about preparing it; you can set the table, and make the dessert; and so you will encourage your maid, and have a better meal, for there is no propriety in making, by means of bad meals, the washing day a terror to Frank, as if he were an evil-doer.

“Tomorrow let Hannah get at her ironing as soon as she has cleared away the breakfast dishes; if her clothes are ready folded in the basket she can go briskly to work; and do you prepare the cake and floating island yourself: there will be a good fire in the range, and you will find it little trouble. In fact, Helen, if you do not turn over a new leaf and have order in your house, your housekeeping will be more and more misery to you; you will become petulant and moping under the burden; Frank will find you less agreeable, and will wonder why his home has no regularity. His clothes and drawers being out of order, and his meals at irregular hours, he will have cause for complaint, and become, by degrees, a faultfinder. You servant will go from bad to worse, for it is very easy in this naughty world to improve backwards—as cares increase, the complications of disorder will increase. Tell me, Helen, have you a place for everything? Are your bureau drawers in order, and has each its own appointed contents, so that you could find what you want in the dark/ In your dining room, has your china closet a fixed place for everything? So of your store closet, and your tin closet? Have you fixed places for your bed and table linen? Are your kitchen towels in a drawer of their own, or do you and Hannah consume five, ten, twenty minutes here and there looking for things?”

“Dear me!” cried Helen; “very little is in order, and it looks a prodigious task to put things in order, and make Hannah orderly, or be so myself. If I had only begun so when I was married!”

“But it will be a deal easier to reform now than next year; you had better inaugurate order at once.”

“You see, continued Helen, “grandma us a good housekeeper, but she did not care to be troubled teaching me, and I did not like to be bothered with learning, and we both kept saying ‘time enough.’ So the chambermaid took care of my room, and grandma did my mending if it was troublesome, and put my bureaus to rights every now and then for me, and now, really, aunt, order is not in me.”

“You must attain to it,” I said, “or you will have a very unhappy married life. An acquaintance of mine, one of the most prematurely aged, fretted, worn-out women I ever saw, wrecked her home on this rock of Disorder. When I knew her she had six children; not one of them had a drawer or closet for their own clothes; the stockings were mended or not, as it happened and when it happened; when mended, pairs were not rolled together, but the family supply tumbled into a basket or drawer, and at the cry, ‘I want a pair of stockings,’ came the reply ‘to go and look for them,’ and the little ones wore odd hose as often as mates. Sunday morning was a scene of worry: buttons off, hats mislaid, shoes lost. The muff, last work in early spring, was tossed upon a wardrobe, or on the spare room bed, and found next fall dusty and moth-eaten; the parasols, used last on some Fall day, were stood in a closet or behind a door, or laid on the bureau of the vacant room, and spring found them faded, dirty and mice-gnawed. Spasmodic house cleanings availed little, as disorder began again as soon as things were put to rights. No one was ever contented nor sure of anything. The house-mother was always tired, never had time, was always in a worry and nervous. A good cook and seamstress, she accomplished nothing by her knowledge, for where she built up by ‘knowing how,’ she pulled down by disorder. Neither her husband nor children thought their home a ‘nice place’:’ it was to them no center of their desires, no model, no ‘dear nest,’ whither they would always fly I tell you, Helen, in a Home it must be order or ruin. Order is to the house as morality to the human being—a sheet-anchor.

----Tomorrow Aunt Sophronia visits with Miriam...the organized neice!----

Good night Dear Sisters! Remember to bless your family by your prayers and be truly thankful for the home-sweet things! God Bless You!

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