About Bacon……or the fruits of our labor

“Bringing home the bacon” is what we called it in my generation, and perhaps a bit beyond. The implication here is; that men had a role to play as husband and father. There was not competition, nor was there a slight to women who had to work. It was assumed that we all have a role; I suppose viewed as a natural one; Every culture has it’s hunters and nurturers.

Today, it is the subject of great discussion as to who is committed to do what. There is significant evidence that men are choosing to be less responsible as providers. Depression and drugs have crept into the picture , and the are registering new and disturbingly lower levels of testosterone.

Women have, as the result, been moving into a dominant role and have statistically become better students, and actually many are receiving similar wages and taking over key, high level positions in the marketplace. In essence, they are bringing home a higher percentage of the bacon because of the quality of their labors.

Through all of this the institution of marriage has begun to suffer, as has that of parenthood.

The question may be one of; which came first, the chicken or the egg. Was there first an apparent male abdication (purposeful or unintended) or has there just been some kind of a female uprising in the form of women’s rights. And, has it weakened the role of the male in the household?

I think it is the former… and so do the so-called experts. I do not know who said this, but he, or she is right. “They do not make men the way they used to”  And, just who would “they ” be? The answer may well be society.

Society, and many schools have been downplaying women’s gift of managing the home, and performing the many thankless tasks of making it a place of love and learning; A place where children can grow to be responsible and mature in their respect for how families must function to bring true and lasting purpose into every members life.

Things are not as simple as dad plowing the fields or wrestling with machinery, or mom just cooking and cleaning, or ironing shirts. But, the requirement for dedication  to some of the other seemingly simple things like tutoring and monitoring, with honest assessments….. the lives of children in this more complex world….. cannot be usurped or assigned to others.

Can we live today in a a separate-in-focus, but equal world? Can we dismiss the idea of dominance, and upgrade our thinking to being part of a larger and requisite foundation that is necessary to support marriage and the family? More than ever, women must manage a stable an nurturing environment as only they can.

The stones are in our hands, and they are often heavy. More often than not, it will take two to carefully lift them into place.

Let no one claim superiority in the project. The victory is in the HOUSE that spans the generation….  and in those children who go forward and do likewise.

One to be treasured by God and History

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Nuggets – Made in Christ

Made in Christ
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Many men would boast of being “self-made” men, but no Christian can do this. Everything we are that is truly worthy and eternal was made in us by God through Jesus Christ. Our text is clear on this. We have been made righteous in Christ, but this was only because God made Him to be sin for us.

When He made us righteous in Christ, He also “made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). Furthermore, we were “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (2:13). The contexts of these passages make it abundantly clear that our being made righteous, accepted in Christ, and nigh to God, is all of grace; we did nothing to merit such privileges.

This is not all. At the same moment, He also has “made us meet [‘fit’] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12). That we in our poverty should be made joint-heirs with Christ once again is only by His unmerited grace. “Being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).

In promise now and in full reality later, He has “made us kings and priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). Positionally, we even share His throne, for He “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

Without Him we are nothing; but in Him we have all things. He is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Truly, in salvation as well as in creation, “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Young Men

Young Men
“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” (1 John 2:14)

There are two commendations about the “young men” (typically applied to those under 40) that John notes. They are “strong” (vigorous, healthy, both physically and mentally) and the word of God “abides” (remains, endures) in them. These are those who have come through their believing childhood, no doubt guided and counseled by the “fathers” in their lives, who are now active in the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Like Abraham, they are “strong in faith” (Romans 4:20), not staggering under the burden of unbelief. Like the leaders in the church at Rome, they are willing to “bear the infirmities of the weak” (Romans 15:1) and to be alert, standing “fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Even though they would have faced opposition from among professing Christians, they were “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

These are the ones who refused to handle the “word of God deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2), but gladly received it as “it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). They know that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), and have taken time to store the Word in their heart (Psalm 119:11). These “young men” know that if God’s “words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Those attributes make possible the result: “Ye have overcome the wicked one.” Safe in the secure saving faith of God, guided by the great truths of the Word of God, these young men have not been “overcome of evil” but have “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). HMM III

From the Institute for Creation Research

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August 19 – My Fancy Stick

But for Your grace Lord, we are lost in our sins.

THE RIVER WALK

When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter. (Esther 5:2)

Read: Esther 4:1-7:10, 1 Corinthians 12:1-26, Psalm 36:1-12, Proverbs 21:21-22

Relate: This is my fancy stick. OK, so it isn’t really mine and it isn’t all that fancy. It is just a climbing stick. I will be the first to admit that, despite my attachment to it, the thing is pretty ordinary. My stick started its life as a rake, or a hoe, or some other farming implement. Whatever was on the end has fallen away and now it is just a good, sturdy piece of wood with a little metal sticking out of one end. Most of the year it just sits along the wall of my uncle’s barn waiting for the next mountain to…

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Pain That Lead Us Close to Christ

ANNOUNCEMENT : We thank God for the return of Schist to be a blessing to the many Filipino compatriots who read our blogs here. Welcome back Schist!

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Most people do not want to experience pain. Who wants it, right? Society has conditioned us that we should always present ourselves smiling and happy. Our social media accounts post photos about us having the best times of our lives. While it is indeed a consolation that in life we have happy moments, we should also be accepting of the reality of pain.

Job’s Pain

The Bible has tons of stories of people going through painful experiences. Job would be one of the most important examples of a person that has gone through tremendous amount of loss and physical pain. What Job went through was extremely tough. It resulted in his anguish of mind and spirit. It’s so much more than just bodily pain, the loss of all his children and life’s comforts had only aggravated the suffering he was going through.

How would you feel if you being a man of honor and respect in your town was suddenly hit by a calamity that has taken away everything from you? The Bible noted that Job was a righteous man. Yet despite being a believer of God, God didn’t spare Job from life’s sufferings.

One of the many comments I read and hear from people is that Job questioned God. And yes, he actually did! When we are in pain, talking to God about it helps out tremendously. Job was honest before God. God leaned in on Job in the last few chapters of the book and answered the man’s questions. God doesn’t walk away from hard questions and won’t leave us in circles. His wisdom is infinite while ours is finite. Ultimately, Job realized that he was nothing before THE Maker.

Lessons from Job’s Pain

Pain is a part of life. Yet I have understood that it is also through pain and suffering that we get to depend on Christ and lean on His strength to get us through the ordeals of life. It is in pain that we learn our greatest lessons- lessons that help us become better people and ultimately, better children of God. It is also in pain that we reflect our humanness and the temporal condition of our being.

Whatever  hurt and suffering we may be going through, I pray that we draw ourselves closer to Christ. The book of Psalms repeatedly reminds us that “God is our comfort, our fortress and our refuge (Psalm 46).”  He is the one who doesn’t change no matter the season, no matter the circumstance.

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LB 116… “God Makes No Mistakes”

Here are two songs about the wisdom and goodness of God in life’s situations.

 

(Hymn Version)

Even when we go through pain we can still trust our loving and great Good King.

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Nuggets – Prepared Hearts

Prepared Hearts
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” (Ezra 7:10)

It does not come naturally into our hearts to seek, obey, and then teach others the words of God as found in the Scriptures. Therefore, like Ezra, we must prepare our hearts.

The Hebrew word for “prepare” means to “stand erect,” and thus takes special effort. One’s natural “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), not at all inclined to “stand up” for the Word of God.

But Ezra did, even in the court of a pagan king and in the midst of the enemies of God’s people in a far country, and even among the backslidden people of his own nation. He prepared his heart, fixing it in firm faith on the laws and promises of God. And because he did, he could testify: “I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me” (Ezra 7:28).

On the other hand we read, for example, of King Rehoboam whose rebellion and sin led to the dividing of Israel into two kingdoms and eventually into the captivity. These judgments came because, unlike Ezra, Rehoboam “did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:14).

Thus, our hearts need to be prepared to seek God and His Word, but how do we get them prepared? First, we must come to Him in true humility. “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear” (Psalm 10:17).

God is then the One who actually prepares our hearts! “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:1). We can only prepare our hearts to seek and serve God if we humbly call on Him to do the preparing. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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The Sabbath Rest in God’s Temple

Immortality Road

We become the temple of God when the Spirit of God begins to dwell in us. Things happen, and after our initial conversion, we may not feel it sometimes. We might be going through a trial that tells our mind something that is against the truth of His word that said, You are the body of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, Yah’s dwelling place.

Speaking of trials—they are for the purification of our faith. Peter says that these “fiery trials” burn out the dross of our faith, which he likens to gold. It operates in a cycle. Revelatory truth comes flooding over us, and we exult in the thrill of getting a little closer to God. But then the thrill is gone for a while. It is like low tide and high tide—ebb and flow. And then the fog lifts, and our hunger for truth returns, and we…

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August 16 – Don’t Take My Word For It

Lord may I draw closer to You over the years to come with experiences that show You are always in control. Amen

THE RIVER WALK

You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. (1 Corinthians 10:15)

Read: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Corinthians 10:14-33, Psalm 34:11-22, Proverbs 21:14-16 

Relate: The greatest theologian of the twentieth century was Karl Barth. Some might argue this. Personally, my favorite was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but that has more to do with his life and death than it does with his theology (which I also mostly do love). Some people might say the greatest theologian would be Paul Tillich or Rudolph Bultmann. Others who focus more on practics and less on theory might instead throw out names like AW Tozer or CS Lewis. Nope. These are worthy minds but Karl Barth was head and shoulders above them all. This is not my biased opinion. It is just the facts.

Near the end of his life, Barth wrote a book that comes fairly close to an autobiography. It…

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climbing the tree of life

Dear Lord, help us to reach for the heights with You. Amen

Grandpa's Stories for Young Boys

There was once a little squirrel named Brownie who had finished school for the summer. He had really nothing planned.  His mother told him; “You may spend the day in the forest, but remember to be careful and be back early.

Brownie decided to go as far as he could……so he packed a bag full of nuts; Who knows what he would find , or how hungry he would get?

He bounced (as squirrels do) straight into the forest seeing more huge trees than ever. Each one beckoned him to climb aboard… but no there was always one taller just beyond. Until suddenly a voice sounded from deep inside one huge tree that said; “Brownie, If you climb clear to the top, I will give you the best gift you have ever received .” While Brownie could not even see the top, he shook his tail excitedly and was instantly…

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