Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Monday, August 27, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Week of: August 27, 2012
Sharing by: Pam Crawford                                          pmcrawford1@gmail.com

Matthew 6:26-27
“Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your Heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.”

LET’S FLY
This summer I was blessed to watch two separate Robins nest inside my gazebo area on my deck. I have been told that it was probably the same bird with her second litter, but I have no idea if that’s accurate because I’m not that bird savvy.

For whatever reason, this year I paid attention to the birthing process every step of the way. I watched and photographed her from the point of protecting her eggs inside the nest, to the point that she was instructing them that it was about time to fly out. It was so cool and I was blessed to actually catch one of them on the day of flight.

Nesting
Instructing


I had no idea the lessons these birds would teach me. These little creatures which fly around our earth so freely definitely have a story to tell, just like you and I have. The process of birth is very similar to that of human beings. These little creatures were formed in their mother’s womb and after they were born they instantly began to look to her for love, guidance, protection and nurturing. And when the time came for them to begin life beyond a nest, they were ready. They were prepared well. I don’t want you to miss that everyday their father was there to assist mama bird. I often saw him perched nearby making sure everything was going well. Both mother and father had one thing in mind and that was to help those little birds develop and learn to fly freely around this earth. I am really grateful that I stopped long enough to watch the process. 



This week many parents are doing or preparing to do the very same thing as my feathered friends. Whether it’s waving to their kindergartner getting on the bus for the first time, or saying their goodbye’s at a college dorm room, it’s a difficult transition. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I reflect back on those days in my own life. As my babies were taking off on their journey out into the great unknown; God began to teach me a very important lesson,one that reminded me that He is well equipped to take it from here. All along He has been providing exactly what we have needed for our children while they were safely in our nest. Now it was time that we let them fly with the assured confidence that He will be with them every step of the way. It was time to let go of worry, but is that possible? Mama Robin provides the answer.

As Mama feeds her little one for one last time on my deck, it appears that the time is near. What came next is something we can all benefit from so please don't miss this. As the last bird was taking flight, I got to watch the mother and father bird watching from the distance; one on my deck rail and the other from our willow tree. When the young Robin took flight I expected that they would follow behind to make sure it was ok, but the opposite occurred. The parents flew off in another direction. What!  I thought what are they doing?  Are they not going to fly behind it to make sure it’s ok, that it got to its destination safely? Then it hit me, they trusted their work was finished and now it was time to let go and get on with life.


If you are not familiar with the Creator of heaven and earth you may struggle with this a bit. However, if you know the God of the Bible, then you understand that these children belong to Him. In the nest we have a responsibility to teach our children about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are to help instill morals and values that line up with the teachings of the Most High. We do this by example and by instruction. Although I did not do this perfectly, my confidence is now in the One who will guide, protect, comfort and correct my children every step of their journey. Like the Robin I am now watching from a distance while I entrust them into the hands of someone greater than me.  And when I am called upon, I will be available to continue to help them along on their journey.

Moms and dads this season can be a time of celebration, we can enjoy it. It took me awhile to get this, but today I now understand what is spoken in chapter 3 verses 5b of Ecclesiastes. “A time to embrace and a time to turn away.” God has a plan for all people. He planned your life and He has a plan for your children and it includes them maturing both physically and spiritually. As parents we can pray that our children will grasp God’s plan so that it will go well for them. If they choose a different route, we can pray that God will get them back on course. But worry, that would be a waste of time and energy. The secret to peace is to trust wholeheartedly that God is in control and now you and me can let go.  Let’s fly in the right direction and experience God’s very best in our own lives. As guardians of God's children we can confidently release them when the time comes and watch them soar. Be blessed.

In Christ by grace,
Pam

For further encouragement on this subject please read the following from my friend Shelby who just experienced the release of her first of 3 to fly her nest. It’s a great read. http://www.gilgalmoments.com/2012/08/when-god-lets-go-and-we-give-back/marriage/

Psalm 121:3
"He who keeps you will not slumber."

Because God never sleeps, we can be at peace. He is always on duty.





























Monday, August 20, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Week of: August 20, 2012
Sharing by: Pam Crawford                             pmcrawford1@gmail.com

Politics, Values and Truth – Part 3
If you have been following along over the past two weeks I pray that today we can come to the conclusion that no matter what the sin, we do not have to remain bound to it. There is a way out, but it begins with a choice. If you have not read part 1 and 2 I encourage you to do so today as this subject is all around us these days.

Homosexuality and sexual immorality on a whole is a tough topic to tackle because there are opposite views.The following is the final piece from a writing I found in 5 Minute Apologetics for Today by Ron Rhodes. I believe it might be helpful as we work to hang on to hope.   

Day 36
Liberation from Homosexuality
By Ron Rhodes

"Paul speaks of complete liberation from homosexual sin in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Neither the sexually immoral…nor men who practice homosexuality…will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
   
Liberation requires an unwavering commitment, knowing that complete wholeness may require several years of hard work (see Luke 14:28). A key component to liberation is a commitment to complete obedience to God.
   
The heart of liberation is stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!”
   
Personal counseling plays a key role. The goal is to discover gender identity disorders in early childhood, difficulties in relating to parents as a child, and other such issues.
   
Repentant homosexuals need the support of a good Bible-believing church. A small group that can provide encouragement and accountability is especially beneficial (James 5:16).
   
Temptation will still come. However, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
   
To help minimize temptations, one should get rid of all homosexual literature, pornography, and vestiges of one’s former lifestyle."

Pear of Wisdom:  With God all things are possible!

It is my prayer that many will choose God’s way. Our world is beginning to look like a world contrary to the depiction God intended us to embrace. When we connect to God as our power source He can help us do things we never thought possible. God is Love, and He is also Hope. Hang onto God today and ask Him to help you better understand His Word.

We often hear it said that we are to hate the sin but love the sinner. God says love the sinner, hate the sin. As Christians we cannot condone sin, but we can work to help people understand the gift of hope. This has been my intention as I have shared on this topic. Should you find yourself desiring to explore freedom for sexual sin, I highly recommend the following organization. http://exodusinternational.org/

To better understand this love the sinner, hate the sin, please read the following article from Got Questions.org. http://www.gotquestions.org/love-sinner-hate-sin.html


Today’s prayer:  Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of encouragement. I pray that you will use this writing in a powerful way. May it penetrate the heart and mind of anyone who might be struggling today with homosexuality or sexual sin of any kind? Help us to understand that sin is sin and no matter what it is, it has the potential to separate us from You. Help us to break free from our sinful nature to experience Your best in our lives. Empower us to become new beings who desire to celebrate the impossible which is made possible through our relationship with You Father. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

"Remaining in sin is an abuse of the Lord's patience." - Stanley

Have a blessed week ahead.

In Christ by grace,
Pam

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Week of: August 13, 2012
Sharing by: Pam Crawford                                                        pmcrawford1@gmail.com


Galatians 6:1 (NLT)
‘Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Politics, Values & Truth – Part 2
Last week I weighed in on the Chick-Fil-A controversy as it relates to the view of traditional marriage. I attempted to provide a Biblical perspective to support the viewpoint that marriage was designed to be between a man and a woman. If by chance you missed the writing, I encourage you to read it to better understand where I’m going today.

This summer I have been spending time in a book titled 5-Minute Apologetics for Today by Ron Rhodes. If you are a student of the Word I highly recommend this resource as a compliment to your Bible.  According to dictionary.com; Apologetics is the branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity. In the introduction of Mr. Rhodes book he asks “Would you like to gain more Christian wisdom, biblical discernment, and doctrinal expertise over the next year, all in five minutes a day?” I’ll simply ask that same question.

In our world today I see so many things that point to moral decay. Satan is working overtime to “kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) that of which God intended for good. Over this past year for instance, I have seen him wreck havoc in marriages (11 families in my personal circle just this past year). Some of these couples include professed Christians. I have also witnessed the culture war that now exists between those who believe that life is sacred; opposed to those who scream they have the right to abort. I watched in disbelief last week as people participated in a “kiss in” as a form of opposition to the viewpoint of traditional marriage.  

It is impossible to overlook that in America in 2012 we are slipping away from a Christian foundation. Many people believe that their opinions/beliefs trump the Word of God. I didn’t always think this way, but today I understand that God’s Word is above my opinion or anything that I may believe that does not align to what He teaches. He is the great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14) and His Word is to be honored by His children. I am thankful for a new set of lenses and I give Him thanks and praise for grace.

Our moral foundation includes obedience to the Creator of heaven and earth.  The following are just a few facts about America being founded upon Christian principles. This information was gathered from attorney David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association www.ChristianLaw.org. I believe it is relevant to understanding our heritage.

“In 1892 the Supreme Court of the U.S. declared this country is a Christian nation.

During the war for independence Congress imported 20,000 Bibles because their use was so universal and their importance so great.

The New England Confederation of the 1600’s stated it’s purpose was to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace.

Engraved on the metal top of the Washington Monument are the words “Praise be to God.”

Christianity is written on every page of American history. Don’t let modern seculars or educators convince you otherwise. The facts are that America was founded as a nation under God.” – Gibbs

Do you believe it? If so, I will ask the same question I asked last week. “How can we defend anything that is contrary to what God teaches?”

Friends, sin separates us from God’s best. The Bible is clear that if we see a brother or sister enslaved to sin, we have a responsibility to them (Galatians 6:1). It’s not someone else’s problem.  We can begin by praying for God to draw them to himself. We can ask Him to help them see their need for repentance. We can ask God to bless them with victory over sin. Proclaim the blood of Jesus over your loved ones and friends. Fight on their behalf.  

As I study God’s view point on homosexuality and many other sexual sins, my heart aches for those who are willfully choosing to engage in it. To me the consequence is too high (1 Corinthians 6:9). Yes, there is grace and forgiveness for those who genuinely seek it, however we must not overlook the simplicity of what God expects from each one of us. He expects us to not only confess with our mouth that He is Lord and Savior, He expects us to obey what He says (James 1:19-27).

The following article enhances what I provided last week as a backdrop against sexual sin. I pray you have eyes to see truth and ears to hear whatever God may want to relay to you personally.

Day 35
HOMOSEXUALITY
By Ron Rhodes
(excerpt from 5-Minute Apologetics for Today)

“When Paul said homosexuals will not inherit God’s Kingdom, he was not simply stating his private opinion (1 Corinthians 7:25). All of Paul’s writings are divinely authoritative (Galatians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 2:13, 12:12). Moreover, his primary condemnation of homosexuality is in Romans 1:26-27, and the divine authority of this passage is undisputed.

The Levitical Law against homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22) has not been abolished (Acts 10:15) along with the Levitical law against eating pork and shrimp (Leviticus 11:2-3, 10). God’s law against homosexuality is a part of His moral law, not ceremonial law, and God’s moral law is still binding (see Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9).

If God’s law against homosexuality was merely ceremonial (and thus abolished in New Testament times), we would have to conclude that rape, incest, and bestiality are not morally wrong either, because they are condemned together with homosexual sins (Leviticus 18:6-14, 22-23).

Homosexual acts connected with idolatry are condemned (1 Kings 14:24), but Scripture also condemns homosexuality apart from idolatry (Leviticus 18:22). Moreover, homosexuality is condemned alongside other forms of sexual sin, such as adultery and incest. Are we to conclude that adultery and incest are wrong only when associated with idolatry and that all other forms of these practices are okay? Such reasoning is warped.

Pearl of Wisdom: "Only by twisting Scripture can a person allege that the Bible sanctions homosexuality.”

When Satan condemns and we buy into it, there is no hope. When God convicts we have an opportunity to make changes that bring hope. If you are engaging in a lifestyle of sin there is a way out. Look up and be willing to explore all that God has to teach you. Next week I will touch on liberation from sin from a biblical perspective. Until then, be blessed in making godly choices.

In Christ by grace,
Pam


This week: Rest in truth and enjoy this song:
The Great I AM









Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Genesis 2:18 (NIV)
“And the LORD God said, it is not good that man should be alone;
I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Vs. 21-23 (King James)
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Vs. 24 (King James)
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Politics, Morals, and Truth
In case you haven’t noticed there is a new “Civil War” brewing and the precursor of sorts was played out right here on American soil this past week through traditional and social media. The battlefield has been set up on a slightly different battleground than that of the “Civil War” of 1861-1865 in the sense that in July 2012, the battle lines have been drawn around the territory of the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A. This particular food chain is known for its Christian values and is one of the very few businesses in America that refrains from opening their doors on Sunday. It should not surprise anyone that they have now been tossed on the front lines of yet another human conflict of interest story.

According to the Associated Press “The controversy started after an interview with the fast food restaurant chain's president and COO, Dan Cathy, who appeared in The Baptist Press on July 16 weighed in with his views on family."We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."  http://www.newsherald.com/articles/chick-104525-fil-interview.html

Apparently Mr. Cathy’s view ignited the new war strategy of those who do not share in his First Amendment right to express his personal opinion. However from everything I have read concerning this conflict, Mr. Cathy never said that he was against the opposition’s opinion or beliefs. He was simply stating that as a Christian, he was “guilty” of believing in the “biblical” definition of marriage. I have to admit I am shaking my head at the opposition’s headlines.

In the United States of America the Constitution was formed to guide the American society in both law and political culture. To better understand the First Amendment you may want to read the following article. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

If we can all agree as Americans that we have the right to the expression of “freedom of speech,” I think we can move forward and maybe we can avoid an all out new kind of Civil War. Well, at least that’s what I am praying for. Although I will certainly understand if you choose to boycott my next BBQ because maybe my views don’t align with yours; I cannot, nor will I as a professed believer in Jesus Christ forsake or discard the truth of Gods inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16) simply to win approval from man.  

Many argue that they have the right to live their life anyway they darn well please; and this is evident in the outrage and response towards the Biblical viewpoint that surrounds the Chick-Fil-A controversy. Christians are now living in an age when they are expected to embrace and tolerate that of which is in opposition to God's Word. If they happen to align to the Biblical viewpoint of God; well they are now considered “haters.” Ironically, I find it quite fascinating that many are against God’s viewpoint considering it was God that originated the concept of this thing American’s have come to embrace as freedom of choice.

What does it mean to have “free choice” or “free-will” as it is known in the Bible? It simply means that you can make your own decisions just like Adam & Eve did back in the Garden of Eden. I would encourage you however to read their entire story and please do not overlook the section that outlines their consequence for choosing it their way (Genesis 3:23).

Now some will argue “I don’t believe in God” and I will live as I choose.” Again, that’s your right. However just because you don’t believe in something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or it’s not true.

1 Corinthians 7:2
“But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

At this point I want to address those who do claim Christianity. My head has been spinning in disbelief as I have listened to and have read responses from people who claim to be followers of Christ. I’m sorry friends; you cannot ride the fence on this issue because there is too much at stake. I’m going to be rather blunt here; it would be foolish to claim you believe in God and then make statements that you are not against gay marriage. How is that possible?  If God says that marriage is between a man and a woman; how can you defend anything different? The same is true of things such as abortion, murder, adultery, stealing, etc. If God tells us that these things are wrong, how do we defend them?

I am all about loving sinners because I am one. But, it is insane to expect Christians to embrace a viewpoint that goes against the Father’s Word. Because there is no use in arguing a personal opinion, I’m simply going to end with God’s Word on the subject of disobedience and sin. I pray you have ears to hear and an open heart to consider what God has taught. To study more on homosexuality and other forms of sexual immorality consider spending time in Leviticus 18. Ask God to help you understand what He has instructed. Then, if you would like to further explore the consequence of disobedience in reference to this particular topic, you could take a look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-20.

In the end I don’t believe it’s going to be about what the Constitution of the United States affords us in the form of free speech. It’s going to be about our obedience to our Creator. Some like to think that hell is not a real place, or that a loving God would not send anyone there. Do not be deceived! God’s Word says that “those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinth 6:9). God calls us to repent of our sins, accept Jesus as Savior, and live our lives aligned to what He instructs. That is the way to heaven dear friend, but of course it is your choice.

If you’re still reading at this point and you agree with this message please don’t keep it to yourself. We are in a war and truth must be exposed. Share this forward.  You can press the share button at the top right hand corner of this page. Also please join me in prayer that God will use His Word to defeat Satan’s attempts to eliminate God and His viewpoint from this planet.

In Christ by grace,
Pam