"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
November 4, 2015
Benjamin Franklin said this quote: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
While there is quite a bit of truth in his statement, I have found that there are a few other things in life that are certain. Although life holds many surprises and unexpected circumstances that cannot be planned for, and there is no way we can anticipate them, there are some things that we can be certain of; both good and bad.
We can be certain that when an innocent mind sees images of sexual sin and perversion, that cannot be erased from their mind. It is so acceptable in our culture to believe that young pre-teens/teens, especially boys, will look at dirty magazines or pictures of naked girls or watch dirty movies. In fact, it is portrayed on many TV shows that dads expect their sons to sneak around and do so; and it is also portrayed that all men look at porn -- whether it be dirty magazines or dirty movies or online. It is shown as the "manly" thing to do; and their wives are supposed to just accept it as normal behavior.
When a young person sees a TV show or movie for the first time that shows sex scenes, nude body parts, or gay couples, those images are then imprinted upon their mind and they can't un-see it. They cannot get that innocence back.
So should parents just be acceptive of that and blow it off as "normal curiosity" or "that's just how our world is today" or "well, they've got to learn about it sometime"? No. It is the responsibility of parents to know what their kids are looking at and watching and doing. If dad and/or mom overlook it as normal behavior or curiosity, then where do they draw the line? How much will be enough?
If godly parents want to raise godly children, then they have to set guidelines and rules and talk to their kids about right and wrong, and be diligent about monitoring their children's behavior. If their kids are exposed to those things through friends or sneak around to look at it or even accidentally turn on a show that shows such activity that steal their innocence, then the parents have to get out of their comfort zone and explain to their kids why it's wrong and what the consequences could be. They have to pray over their kids daily; which they should be doing anyway.
The parents also have a responsibility to act godly themselves and be diligent about what type of shows they watch and what kind of reading material they keep in the home. For example, if mom reads steamy romance novels with graphic sex or provocative scenes written in it, she needs to be aware that there may come a point when her young teenage son or daughter may sneak around and read one of her books out of curiosity; seeing the cover of the book and wanting to know what mom is reading. Ask yourself, are you comfortable with your pre-teen/teen kids or grandkids reading your books?
I am an avid reader and my favorite genre is christian historical fiction. I have learned that nowadays I have to be careful of the books that is supposedly christian. There are a couple of authors whose books I have always enjoyed reading in the past. Their books can still be found under the christian historical fiction genre, but recently their writing has become more provocative with very little or no reference to God or anything godly. Call me old-fashioned or a prude or stick in the mud or whatever....... but even though many wouldn't call the scenes "dirty", I don't want to read books that allude to sexual advances or activities and are racy in nature, and put those thoughts in my mind. It's sad when you can't trust the christian market or so-called christian authors to keep their work clean where it's enjoyable reading with no worries about what may be done or said; or feeling comfortable passing your books on down to your sisters or nieces to read.
Psalm 101:3 (NLT) says, "I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly. I will have nothing to do with them." The amplified version says it like this: "I will set no worthless or wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave unto me."
Philippians 4:8 tells us what type of things to set our minds on: "...fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
It is also acceptable in our culture that young men and women will lose their virginity before marriage. In fact, those who choose to remain virgins until marriage are often mocked and made to feel like something is wrong with them and that they are in the minority. There's a lot of pressure on kids to succumb to sexual temptations. Again, that is something that they can never get back and regain once they lose it. One time, and they are no longer virgins; and no matter how much they may regret it or wish it differently, that can't be changed. Many feel that as long as they don't actually indulge in sex, then it's okay to "make out" and touch the other person intimately. But once someone begins touching and making out, it often becomes easier and easier to lower the bar and convince themselves that as long as they love the other person or plan to marry them, then sex is okay. Once someone loses their innocence and it cannot ever be regained again. God created sex between a husband and a wife; but the world has cheapened that and uses it as a means to satisfy their flesh. It has lost its value and is no longer that gift that God gave men and women to share as a married couple.
We can also be certain that how we live our life on earth has eternal consequences. It doesn't matter if we allow our minds to be swayed by false doctrine or if we choose to live our life to please our flesh or decide that we are good enough without salvation; that's not going to cut it when we die or Jesus returns. We can make all the excuses in the world, but that's not going to sway or change God's word or change His mind. There is one, and only one, way to be saved and have the promise of eternity in Heaven. That is by believing that Jesus died for our sins, confess our sins, and accept the gift of salvation. There is no other way that man can be saved.
Heaven and hell, that is also going to be a certainty. We're not going to just one day die, then life end and we lie in a grave for all eternity. But at that moment, our eternity will begin, and the destination depends upon whether or not we've asked Jesus to be Lord of our life.
Life can contain a whole lot of uncertainties. But there are some things that we can be certain of. We can be certain that our actions will have consequences; both good and bad. We can be certain that the choices we make can affect not only ourselves, but our family and friends as well. We can be certain that if we try to live life on our own, then we'll experience a lot of inner turmoil. But if we place our hope and trust and faith in God, then peace will fill our heart and mind, regardless of the situation.
Whenever a person, regardless of their age, indulge in sinful behavior, they may lose their innocence or open their mind to other temptations. The good news is, even though a person may be unable to regain their innocence, if they will confess their sins, God is faithful to forgive them of their sins. His blood can make us white as snow. Nothing we do will cause God to turn His back on us or write us off as a lost cause, but He is always close by waiting for us to feel sorrow for our sins and repent of them and ask for His forgiveness. He is desiring to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)
There is a close physics analogy. Imagine a glass full of purest water. Then add a drop of ink. Most ink is already diluted quite a bit, so pure ink would work best. Even just one drop of pure ink is enough to darken an entire glass. But once the water is darkened, it's almost impossible to clean again.
There are some tricks that might help. You could boil the mixture slowly, and condense the steam, but a little ink will still get through, especially toward the end. Or you can freeze the mixture very slowly, and the ice will be a little cleaner than the mixture, but some ink will still get trapped in the ice, especially the last bit. You can drain the mixture through certain kinds of filters.
In every method, you will get cleaner water at first, but after the first half or two-thirds has been cleaned (mostly), what's left will have about two or three times as much ink as before (the ink is the same; the water is less). So it is much harder to purify. Ultimately, you can get the water almost pure, as long as you don't mind only keeping a small part of it, and discarding the rest.
Isaiah 1:18 (King James Version) says, " 'Come now, and let us reason together', saith the LORD: 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' "
Easy Delicious Crock-Pot Pork Chops
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing
Place pork chops in bottom of crock-pot. Pour in can of cream of mushroom soup and spread over the top of the pork chops. Sprinkle the packet of dry Ranch Dressing over the top of the mushroom soup. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until chops are tender.
Did you know???
Washed, farm fresh eggs can be kept up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
Unwashed, farm fresh eggs can be kept up to three months.
Store bought eggs are already between 3 weeks to 3 months old when you buy them.
FYI -- there really is a difference between store bought eggs and farm fresh eggs. The farm fresh eggs are much better. If you are able, buy the fresh eggs. Even if they cost a little more, they are well worth the extra cost.
"The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg.
It's about what we're made of, not the circumstances." - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon