Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Ecclesiastes 7:7 
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

A wise man sees and understands when he is being oppressed and it makes him mad. A foolish man, however, probably doesn't even realize the oppression. The act of oppression could be "hidden" in the form of a gift. The gift keeps the foolish from seeing the oppression and trying to get out from under it.

Is it just me or do others see this being played out in America with the increasing socialist programs?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christ's Law

James 4:11-12
 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

What law is being spoken of here? The new law Christ gave--to love one another. If we speak evil against our brother, we are not demonstrating love. It is not up to us to destroy a brother's reputation. God is judge and will deal with him accordingly. We are to love, not give final judgement.

Friday, December 25, 2015



Author: Rian Anderson
It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been  enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas.
We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.
I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what..
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.
"I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?
Yeah," I said, "Why?"
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
"What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.
"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.
My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.
Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


As it is Christmas time, let us remember this verse. Our lives and the goodness of our lives are not dependent on what we have. The saying goes, "He who dies with the most toys still dies." Why not take this time of the year to be generous? Why not be content with what God has already given? You are worth more than what you own.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All Should Come to Repentance

2 Chronicles 33:1-20
  Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses. So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken. Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah. And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel. Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers. So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.

King Manasseh was a very wicked man. Not only did he do what "was evil in the sight of the Lord," but he was worse than the heathens God had destroyed to give the land to the Israelites.

Because of his wickedness, God brought great affliction on him. It was during this affliction that he turned to God.

He humbled himself, repented and prayed to God for forgiveness. God heard his prayers!

This was the most wicked man, but God heard his prayers of repentance. You can never be so bad that you can't come to Jesus. Many times people say they can't be saved because they have done too much bad, but the story of Manasseh proves otherwise. God will always hear the repentive heart.

Monday, December 21, 2015


1 Peter 2:9-25
  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

If you are a believer of Christ, you have been chosen to be set apart. We are peculiar to this world. We are strangers in this world. Our lives should stand out against the lost who follow their own lusts.

We should be honest in both conversation and deed. We should be obedient to authority. We should show honor and love.

If we are different from the world, we may have to suffer; however, we should endure the suffering knowing Christ is by our side and knowing God is pleased with our patient endurance. Even Christ endured suffering He did not deserve. God will bless the faithful who follow Christ's example.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lifted in Freedom

James 4:7-10Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

This speaks of our relationship with God. We are to submit to God and His commands. Then draw closer to Him (desire to get to know Him better) and He will draw closer to us. It is then that we will be convicted of our sins and instead of living in ignorant bliss, we will acknowledge our sin and repent. When we humble ourselves before God's authority, He will forgive us, release us from the prison of sin, and lift us in freedom!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Purchased Sinner

Sermon from 12-13-15 at Morey Community Church
Preacher: Chad Carmichael

Friday, December 11, 2015


2 Chronicles 32:7-8
Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

When God is on our side, we do not have to be afraid regardless of how big our enemy seems. God is bigger than the biggest army. He is stronger than the strongest men. It doesn't matter if they come at us with things of this world, God is our help and will fight for us. We can rest in God.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Live By Faith

I was reading the book of Habakkuk and it was continually impressed on me that this could be written about America.

Our land is filled with wickedness and evil. There is the blood of the innocent on our hands. People (and the government) take what is not theirs. We scoff at the righteous. Wrong judgement proceeds from our courts.

There is hope though! We know that at the appointed time, Christ will reign! He will come back and sit on the throne of judgement. We must not grow weary in waiting because He will come!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wars and Fighting

James 4:-6
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Many ask why God allows war if He is such a good God. Well, He gives us free will and war occurs because of selfish desires. We desire more than what we have so we fight and kill. Even if we do ask God for something, we won't receive it if we ask out of selfishness. We can not desire things of the world and things of God at the same time. If we want "success" in the eyes of the world, then we will be against the Lord.

However, if we humble ourselves before God, He will show us grace. We must make a choice-our pride or God.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fire from Heaven

Sermon from 12-6-15 at Morey Community Church

Handwriting Practice Review

I received a copy of Handwriting Practice to review.

Handwriting Practice
I chose to have my five year old complete the book. She could write her letters, but they weren't very neat. Handwriting Practice is perfect for her! She is learning how to properly form each letter and having fun at the same time. She is already showing improvement! She enjoys coloring the pictures on the pages and is looking forward to when she is writing the sentences that are further in the book.

The book is great for me as well. As a busy mother, it helps me to know that she is getting quality practice in forming her letters properly. She can just grab the book and go with very little guidance from me. Another benefit is the price. Right now it is just over $3 and if you have Amazon Prime, you'll get the free shipping and have it at your door in just two days. This is much more economical than printing the "free" worksheets that are so readily available on-line. Not only is it more economical, but it is all contained in one book instead of having lots of loose paper all over the house.

I was already using the Cursive Handwriting Workbook by Brookdale House with an older child and was loving it so I was sure I wouldn't be disappointed--and I wasn't!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Who is Wise?

James 3:13-18
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.


We all seek it. We all want to be known as wise. Here we are told to prove our wisdom by not showing off, but by living as a wise person.

A truly wise person is not full of bitterness, envy, or strife. Those thins are all of this world and stem from a life of selfishness.

True wisdom comes from God. It is pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful, giving, and easily lived. If you are truly wise, then you will not talk one way and live another. Your walk will demonstrate our wisdom.

Another benefit to true wisdom is that you will live peaceably with those around you.

May we seek true wisdom and strive to live it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Blessing and Cursing

James 3:7-12
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

When God created man, He put him in dominion of the earth--over all creatures. Man has been able to tame many animals-dogs, horses, birds, fish, etc., but man has yet mastered how to tame the tongue.

Our tongue can be very wicked. Many times we will curse others with our words. However, can we then turn around and praise God with that same tongue?

In all creation, everything is made for a purpose-an apple tree for apples, a spring for water, a dog to bring forth dogs. In no instance does a thing bring forth something not of itself.

If we praise God, we should not turn around and curse others with our tongue. It just shouldn't be.

I pray God would help me remember this and help me control my tongue.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Our Tongue

James 3:1-6
 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

I'm sure all of us have had moments when our tongue has gotten us in trouble! Our tongue may be a small part of our body, but it can do much damage.

James tells us that anyone who does not offend someone with their words is perfect. Controlling the tongue is a difficult matter and since Christ is the only perfect man on earth, we can only pray to control our tongue through His strength.

Our tongue can start a great fire; it can be a destroying fire or helping someone become on fire for God. Let us be careful of what we allow to come out of our mouths. May it lift and edify and be to God's glory.