James, carpenter turned evangelist

James, carpenter turned evangelist

From the time our children are old enough to walk and talk, we teach them about jobs. We may not get too detailed at such a young age, but we subtly plant the idea of a career into their heads simply by picking out a Halloween costume. From the first grade on we are constantly asking them what they want to be when they grow up, and usually their answers line up with the costume they will pick out to wear that year. (more…)

Hey Eve, What Was It Like to Be the Very First Mom?

Hey Eve, What Was It Like to Be the Very First Mom?

Have you ever thought about the first kid who ever lived? His name was Cain and he was, of course, born to the first people who ever lived, Adam and Eve.

What was life like for him? We don’t really know much about his or his younger brother Abel’s life when they were kids. The first we read of them in Scripture is in Genesis 4.

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ’I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.’ And again, she bore his brother Abel.”

Genesis 4:1-2a (ESV)

And then, suddenly, they were grown-ups, tending sheep and growing crops.

There was obviously some sibling rivalry since we know what happened when the Lord accepted Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s.

“Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”

– Genesis 4:8 (ESV)

Since Cain resorted to murder this obviously wasn’t the first hint of jealousy he had for his brother. More likely it was a bitterness that grew in his heart for many years before. How could someone come to hate his own brother that much? Where were his parents during all of this animosity?

And that brings me to Eve, the first mother there ever was. The mother of everybody. (And we moms think we have a lot of responsibility!)

These days, we have our mothers and grandmothers as examples, good or bad. We can look to friends and other family members and listen to their advice. There is no shortage of resources in print and online for us to use to help us in this journey called motherhood.

Eve had nobody. She wasn’t just a new mother, she was THE new mother. Talk about pressure! Suddenly there were these little people whom she and Adam were completely responsible for and there were no mothers before her or James Dobson books to guide her. No mommy blogs or Facebook group boards for moms to ask questions.

She was it.

And in the end, she lost one of her sons at the hands of her other son. Then she essentially lost that other son when he was sent away by God to live in another land. I wonder if she doubted her abilities as a mother or questioned where she went wrong, as we are so apt to do when our children make bad decisions.

first mother ever

The Bible doesn’t talk much about the reaction of Adam and Eve when disaster struck their family. But it does tell us about the redemption God gave to her later.

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, ‘God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.’ To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.”

Genesis 4:25-26 (ESV)

God took the pain that Eve must have felt after the death of one son and banishment of the other and redeemed it with the birth of a third son, Seth. And not only that but through Seth’s family line, the Bible tells us, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26b)

That’s redemption.

God turned Eve’s mourning into joy. Of course, Seth could not replace Abel for her, but God was gracious to give her another son to help her deal with her grief and she was able to see that son and his family honor God. Adam and Eve were 130 years old when Seth was born (Genesis 5:3)! I’m sure they never expected the blessing of another son. But God gave them that blessing.

God turned Eve's mourning into joy. Click To Tweet

Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we had planned or hoped. Sometimes our children do stray. Or maybe there are other difficult issues that we face that test our faith and leave us grieving.

I love this verse from Joel and I’ve referred to it in my own life:

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” –

Joel 2:25 ESV

Friends, He does that for us. Those times of waiting and wondering,  of mourning and famine, are restored to us in ways we can’t even imagine. He gave Eve “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3) and He will do the same for you.

Cain was certainly not the perfect kid, nor was Eve the perfect mother. They made mistakes and sinned just like we do. But their story is one of grace and redemption. His story for you doesn’t end in sorrow either. Trust Him and let Him finish writing that story for you.

 

 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let His Faith and Freedom Ring in You

Let His Faith and Freedom Ring in You

Slavery did not begin in the 1800s. It did not begin in Exodus 1, nor did it end as the children of Israel’s feet touched dry land at the end of Exodus 14. Our freedom wasn’t stolen from us by the Enemy. We handed our faith and freedom to the Enemy in Genesis 3 when we chose to believe him over what God had said.  (more…)

Faith Is Not Always Free

Faith Is Not Always Free

In America we have many freedoms. Freedom of speech, the press, the right to bear arms, and the freedom of religion. While on my journey around the world with the World Race, it became clear to me that not everyone is as fortunate. In many countries, the law determines what religion you are to practice. As in America, if a law is broken, you are punished.

For some Hindus or Buddhists, converting to Christianity would mean being exiled from their family. In a country where radical Islam has religious rule, converting could mean death. For us here in America, it may look like being bullied at school or our job.

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Freedom Vs. Free Will

Freedom Vs. Free Will

In America, we talk a lot about the freedoms we enjoy, many of which our constitution guarantees. These freedoms are part of what makes this country unique and perhaps explains its longevity. But in our secular progressive society, freedom has morphed into the idea that we’re free to do anything, even if it violates longstanding moral codes or blatantly breaks laws. Absolute anything, especially truth, is no longer embraced. (more…)

Free to Fly

Free to Fly

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose work I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 57:3-4)

Miracle of Transformation

Did you know that there are over 20,000 species of butterflies and moths? They all begin their existence on this earth as a worm-like creature that crawls along the ground seeking the substance that will sustain its life. This lowly worm has long been used as an example of life lessons, in part because species in this group will at some point demonstrate what is called a “complete metamorphosis.” Have you ever experienced or known someone who had a complete transformation?

I have!

Once my life was lived in bondage and fear, bound to circumstances I had no control over, or so I thought. The fear was physical, mentally draining and all-consuming. In my early adulthood, I was trapped in abuse and turmoil. Not knowing where to turn for help, being naïve and immature paralyzed my ability to think clearly and find solutions.

The caterpillar clings to earth and plants for survival. I clung to lies, to ignorance of the truth, hoping someone, or a change in circumstance, an elusive miracle would suddenly banish my fears and break my chains. The decision to marry at age sixteen to escape the dysfunction of living in a home with an alcoholic father created a situation that spiraled into heartbreak and divorce. Even though I was a Christian, I suffered from a lack of knowledge and understanding .

The force of nature, designed by the hand of God, propels the caterpillar to a point of change. It seeks a place to build a cocoon that encases its body. The creature becomes immobile. In the dark, quiet stillness there is a natural surrender to nature that results in the transformation. When the dormant time is over, the new creature begins to move, to struggle and work free. The miracle has taken place but it is this final struggle that the wings are open to fly.

There came a time when I surrendered my fears to the Lord. I spent time in study and prayer with a precious mentor. I sought godly counsel. Most of all, I spent time alone with God in prayer. My life lay dormant during that time. God taught me that when I am weak, He is strong. The circumstances in my life did not change, the turmoil was still present, but I began to change. God is the Master of transformation. The struggle was not easy but I learned to break free and fly with His help.

Be anxious for nothing, but in all things through prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, make your request known to God. And the peace that passes all understanding will keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus .Philippians 4:6-7

True freedom comes from Jesus Christ our Lord.

Do you need a transformation in your life today? What do you think of the journey of the butterfly?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

 

 

The Oxymoron Of Freedom

The Oxymoron Of Freedom

This month in America we celebrate the independence of America, and the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans. It’s cliche, but true freedom is never free. Many men and women have died to create and to protect the rights of American citizens.

God gives you freedom too. You have the freedom to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior or choose to follow your way.

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How to Teach Our Children to Have Godly Patriotism

How to Teach Our Children to Have Godly Patriotism

One day last year, our little family of three attended a local minor league baseball game. As usual, the National Anthem was sung before the game began. Everyone stood, most of the men removed their hats, and nearly everyone put their hand over their heart. I glanced over at my then three-year-old son and nearly began to weep. He stood proudly with his hand over his heart. I don’t know if he was imitating those around him, but I’d like to think that along the way he has learned the importance of honoring his country. But how do we teach our kids to have a godly patriotism? In other words, how do we connect our faith in God with our honor of our country? I believe there is a way to do it. (more…)

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