Pugnacious or Peaceable?

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14

Strife. This is something that all of humanity struggles with. Why? Because, we’re all human…and we all have our OWN opinions! Right? Our flesh hates to be told it’s wrong, so, as a result, strife begins. We must own up to the fact that we are NOT always right. But, even if we are right, must we argue about it? (Remember, it takes two to argue.) Probably not, considering that the majority of the time it’s over petty things…(notice, I am not speaking of taking a firm stand for truth from God’s Word). Why not resolve here and now that we are not going to add wood to the fire but rather purpose to speak with a soft answer as Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

We have two choices:  1.A Soft Answer and 2.Grievous Words. Which will we choose? If we are wise, we will choose the first one. To continually choose the latter over petty matters is evidence that we are giving in to the flesh and therefore adding kindle to the fire. Look at what Proverbs 26:21 says, “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” It takes courage to NOT argue. The question is, do we have that courage? “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”  Proverbs 20:3     

Below are some more verses concerning strife:

Proverbs 15:18, ” A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”   

Proverbs 16:28a  “A froward man soweth strife:…”    

Proverbs 26:20  “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”   

Proverbs 28:25a  “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife:…”

Proverbs 29:22  “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.”

~ Bethany ~



Over and Over and Over…

This morning, in our Bible time, Anna shared from a couple verses in Acts 20. As we discussed verse 31 (below), I became curious and asked the girls to name some warnings or instructions from off the top of their heads that they have heard their Daddy or myself give over the years. They immediately began to name a few, with the Scripture from which the instruction was taken. Before they could continue, I quickly stopped them and gave individual assignments to begin an ongoing list of warnings and instructions they have been taught, Scripture included. From the few that they had already mentioned, I noticed something. Not one of them was a “one time warning”. Each of the ones they mentioned was an instruction/warning that had been repeated time and time and time again in our home.

The next time we are tempted to be discouraged because we feel that we are giving the same instructions and warnings to our children over….and over….and over…and over…it would be good for us to remember the Apostle Paul’s words in the verses below:

“Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”  Acts 20:31

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”  Philippians 3:1

Mommas, don’t quit! While teaching and training our children, keep in mind, some may learn simply by repetitive instruction while others (like many of us could testify) may unfortunately have to learn by experience. Our job as parents is to faithfully plant the seed of God’s Word, “water” the seeds of Truth over and over and over again, and then trust the Lord that it will eventually take root in their hearts.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

~ Rachel ~

Jesus Never Fails

The girls and I have been singing this song the past couple of days and it sure has made its way deep in my heart. I hope the words are a blessing and encouragement to you as well…

So many souls have tested Him throughout the course of time; So many still reach out to Him with broken hearts and minds. And every one of them will say, without exception that they find…Jesus never fails.

Even in the days of old, He brought His people through. And then He came to show His love and died for me and you. Then He rose again to prove, that every story has been true…Jesus never fails.

CHORUS: Jesus never fails. Jesus never fails. You might as well get thee behind me, Satan; you cannot prevail because Jesus never fails.

Sometimes this world brings trouble I find so hard to bear. I know I could not make it without Jesus being there. It’s so encouraging to know, how ever deep we’re in despair…Jesus never fails.

So what can I do to prove to you, tell me how can you deny? No untold facts, no mysteries, it’s all so cut and dry. On the witness stand of your life, I’ll be the first to testify…My Jesus never fails.

CHORUS: Oh, I know Jesus never fails. Jesus never fails. You might as well get thee behind me Satan; you cannot prevail because Jesus never fails.

(words and music by Gary Driskell)

~ Rachel ~


Restoring Fellow Believers

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one
in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 

This verse is talking about the Christian walk and how we should try to “restore” other Christians when they have fallen into sin. In reading this verse, we see that we are to do it in the spirit of meekness, “…..restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;….”  So, we are to approach the person humbly, not proudly or arrogantly. If we find ourselves thinking, “I can’t believe he/she did that! Even I know better than that.”, every time we see someone struggling, we’d better watch out. We could be about to fall ourselves. I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  We should always keep in mind that we could very well be in their position, if it weren’t for the grace of God. The last part of the verse says, “…considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

We should also be careful, when we’re “helping” someone, that we don’t fall into the sin ourselves. So many Christians, when they go to “help” another Christian in their sin, find that they themselves are not strong enough spiritually. Too often, they are pulled down into the sin rather than helping the person out of it. Their good intentions were to “help” but they ended up in the sin themselves. These verses were a good reminder to me that when I approach a struggling Christian to help them, that I do so in “the spirit of meekness” while realizing that it could be me. But, also that I make sure that I am strong enough spiritually. Sometimes, all we can do is lift them up in prayer and trust God to send someone spiritually stronger than us to help restore them.

~ Bethany ~  

Learning to Cast Our Burdens

Psalms 55:22a says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:…” A few years ago, while at the Sword of the Lord Conference, I heard a message by Bro. Sam Davison about casting your burden on the Lord. I can’t remember if it was taken from the above text or from the more familiar verse in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”, but that message really stuck with me. I remember him emphasizing the word cast. Think about it. We have a tendency to take our burdens – our problems – and hand them to the Lord…..but still hold on to them at the same time (as though we don’t trust Him fully). That’s not even close to what “casting” means!  Casting our burden upon the Lord means taking our hands off and giving Him full control of our burden. Is anything too hard for God? I think not! After all, He is the Creator, right? So, why not cast your burdens upon the Lord, and sit back and watch HIS hand move in your life!

 Is Anything Too Hard for God

 Verse 1: It’s out of your hands, you’ve done all you can do
You’ve given God the problem, it’s no longer up to you
You’ve prayed the prayer of faith, you’re standing on God’s truth
While you’re waiting on the answer, He has a question for you

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who’s got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He’s not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

Verse 2: Only believe, trust His word, you’ll see
His plans are now unfolding, performing perfectly
It’s clear how much He loves you, look at all He’s done
For all your questions, there’s really only one

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who’s got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He’s not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

(song by the Whisnants)

~ Bethany ~

Talk is Cheap

~ Talk is Cheap ~

The above quote came to my mind when I read the following verse recently:
“In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.” Proverbs 14:23

If the Lord does not return, and He allows me to see this new year come to an end, I would like to be able to do so with a sense of accomplishment – to the glory of God! I would like to be able to say that this year was  profitable. But, how often are goals and resolutions just “the talk of the lips” that are quickly forgotten? Talk is cheap and only leads to penury, or extreme poverty.

*Failing to stay on track with our goal to study His Word and therefore grow as a Christian will lead to spiritual poverty.
*Failing to stay on track with our goal to develop a more fervent prayer life will lead to poverty of answered prayers.
*Failing to stay on track with our goal to serve Him more will lead to poverty of the JOY in serving Jesus.
*Failing to stay on track with our goal to practice more could lead to poverty of opportunities to minister.

Even goals that we may perceive as “nonspiritual” can have an impact on our spiritual lives –

*Failing to stay on track with our goal to get in better shape physically can lead to poverty of some opportunities to serve Him or poverty of the amount of years in which we can serve.
*Failing to stay on track in de-cluttering our homes can lead to unnecessary distractions and thus poverty of focusing on spiritual matters.

The list could go on. As I look forward to a new year, I think one thing that will help me stay focused is keeping in mind a verse I have heard my mother quote often – “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16.

Before we know it, March will be here…May…July….October…December, and then, this year will be history. I am praying that I will be able to stay on track. I have heard it said,

“I do not fear failure; I fear succeeding at what is not important to God.”

If God allows us to see this year come to a close, let’s pray that, for HIS glory, we can look back and see areas in which He has allowed us to profit.

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. “ Titus 3:8

~ Rachel ~

Standing or Staggering on the Promises of God?

“There is a living God; He has spoken in the Bible; He means what He says and will do all He has promised.” – Hudson Taylor

The above quote is written on the big chalkboard in my kitchen, and serves as a continual reminder of the trustworthiness of my God!  As a child of God, if we know that our Heavenly Father has given us a promise through His Word, then we can stand on it! There is no need to worry or fret; what He has said, He will do in His perfect timing. Our responsibility is to continue serving God while we “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”.  Psalm 37:7

I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible stories – the account of Hannah as she prayed for a son. 1 Samuel 1:10 describes her emotional state: “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.”  Later on in verse 17, we read the priest Eli’s words of assurance that he gives her from the Lord,  “Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.”  I love reading, in verse 18, what the Bible says about Hannah’s response to what Eli had said:  “And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.”  Hannah had received a promise from the Lord! There was no more need to go without eating. There was no more need to be sad. God had given her a promise and in His perfect time, He would bring it to pass!

Too often, I’m afraid, we read stories such as Hannah’s with an attitude of, “well, that’s just another one of those miracles in the Bible” and, instead of being encouraged in our faith, we continue on in unbelief. But, doesn’t God’s Word say, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)   Has God’s ability lessened over time?

Although it was many years before Abraham received the promise from God that he would become the father of many nations, we read of his faith in Romans 4:18-20, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”

The last part of verse 20 says of Abraham, “but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”.  Abraham’s strong faith honoured God!  A portion of Matthew Henry’s comments on this verse are:

“The strength of his faith appeared in the victory it won over his fears. And hereby he gave glory to God; for, as unbelief dishonours God by making him a liar (1John 5:10), so faith honours God by setting to its seal that he is true, (John 3:33). Abraham’s faith gave God the glory of his wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, and especially of his faithfulness, resting upon the word that he had spoken. Among men we say, “He that trusts another, gives him credit, and honours him by taking his word;” thus Abraham gave glory to God by trusting him.”

Today, are we standing or staggering on the promises of God?

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

(lyrics by R. Kelso Carter)

~ Rachel ~