Sunday, June 28, 2009

Are you a lover or prostitute?

By: David Ryser
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church. I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe.

It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this: Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old--barely out of diapers--and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, “An enterprise. That’s a business.”

After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha’s raised hand, “Yes, Martha.” She asked such a simple question, “A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?” I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, “Yes.”

She continued, “But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?” The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on holy ground.

All I could think in those sacred moments was, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that.” I didn’t dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class. Martha’s question changed my life. For six months, I thought about her quesion at least once every day. “When a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?”

There is only one answer to her question. The answer is “Yes.”

The American Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don’t even know Him; and I mean really know Him. What do I mean when I say “really know Him?” Our understanding of knowing and knowledge stems from our western culture (which is based in ancient Greek philosophical thought). We believe we have knowledge (and, by extension, wisdom) when we have collected information. A collection of information is not the same thing as knowledge, especially in the culture of the Bible (which is an eastern, non-Greek, culture).

In the eastern culture, all knowledge is experiential. In western/Greek culture, we argue from premise to conclusion without regard for experience--or so we think. An example might be helpful here. Let us suppose a question based upon the following two premises: First, that wheat does not grow in a cold climate and second, that England has a cold climate. The question: Does wheat grow in England? The vast majority of people from the western/Greek culture would answer, “No. If wheat does not grow in a cold climate and if England has a cold climate, then it follows that wheat does not grow in England.” In the eastern culture, the answer to the same question, based on the same premises, most likely would be, “I don’t know. I’ve never been to England.”

We laugh at this thinking, but when I posed the same question to my friends from England, their answer was, “Yes, of course wheat grows in England. We’re from there, and we know wheat grows there.” They overcame their cultural way of thinking because of their life experience. Experience trumps information when it comes to knowledge.
A similar problem exists with our concept of belief. We say we believe something (or someone) apart from personal experience.

This definition of belief is not extended to our stockbroker, however. Again, allow me to explain. Suppose my stockbroker phones me and says, “I have a hot tip on a stock that is going to triple in price within the next week. I want your permission to transfer $10,000 from your cash account and buy this stock.” That’s a lot of money for me, so I ask, “Do you really believe this stock will triple in price, and so quickly?” He/she answers, I sure do.” I say, “That sounds great! How exciting!

So how much of your own money have you invested in this stock?” He/she answers, “None.” Does my stockbroker believe? Truly believe? I don’t think so, and suddenly I don’t believe, either. How can we be so discerning in the things of this world, especially when they involve money, and so indiscriminate when it comes to spiritual things? The fact is, we do not know or believe apart from experience. The Bible was written to people who would not understand the concepts of knowledge, belief, and faith apart from experience. I suspect God thinks this way also.

So I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not know God--much less love Him. The root of this condition originates in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don’t care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing.

This should not be.

We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ--that’s pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love someone we don’t even know? And even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them?

Are we lovers or prostitutes? I was pondering Martha’s question again one day, and considered the question, “What’s the difference between a lover and a prostitute?” I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, “What would happen if God stopped paying me?”

For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? Please understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have earned or a bribe/payment to love Him?

Do I love God without any conditions? It took several months to work through these questions. Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God. So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute?

There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Update on my previous post

From HSLDA: Delegation at UN Disconnects Phone--

Friends: Congratulations!
The office of UN Ambassador Susan Rice has been inundated with calls! (GREAT JOB GETTING ON IT!)

The first phone line we sent out has been completely shut down, and the voice mail system for all of their lines has been crashed.

This means you can't likely get through, so what do you do?

You no longer need to call the U.S. office at the UN. Instead, please contact the White House comment line at 202-456-1111.

It may be busy--we have kept it busy all day--but keep trying. It is only open from 9 to 5 EDT, so time is limited.

However, you can also send them a message online at

Also, contact your senators. Find their contact information by using our Legislative Toolbox at . Congressional offices also close at 5 (EDT), so try to get to them quickly--or call tomorrow!Please visit for more up-to-date information on this campaign before calling our office.Thank you so much, and keep up the great work!

Michael Farris

HSLDA Chairman

Stop The CRC!!

Call Now to Stop UN Children’s Treaty

If you are unfamiliar with the UN CRC, go here.

Please read about this dangerous treaty that would take the place of our constitution.

Got this from HSLDA today.

Monday in a Harlem middle school, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told a group of 120 students that administration officials are actively discussing “when and how it might be possible to join” (that is, ratify) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As before, she also communicated what a disgrace it is that the U.S. would stand with only Somalia against such a widely accepted treaty.
This is the first direct public statement by the Obama administration that it will seek ratification of the UN CRC.
In my 30 years of political involvement, I have learned to recognize this as what is called a “trial balloon.” Like in World War I trench warfare, our opponents have “sent up a balloon” to see if it will draw fire. If things remain quiet, they will proceed with their plans to push for ratification of the CRC in the U.S. Senate. To discourage them from doing so, we need to make sure that our voices are heard with unmistakable clarity. We must let the Obama administration know that we oppose this anti-family, anti-American treaty.
Here’s what we need you all to do:
1. Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111. Tell them you heard the administration wants to ratify the CRC, and you strongly oppose this giving away of U.S. sovereignty to the UN. Also, keep in mind that this treaty gives the government jurisdiction to override any decision made by any parent if the government thinks that a better decision can be made—even if there is no proof of any harm.
2. Call the Ambassador Susan Rice’s office at the United Nations. Tell her that you want her to represent the United States to the world rather than trying to get the United States to go along with international law initiated by the UN. Her office number is 212-415-4000.
3. Contact your senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this treaty. (Find your senators’ contact information by using HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.) Ask them also to defeat it once and for all by cosponsoring SJRes 16—the Parental Rights Amendment.
It is very important that we speak up right now. Please call before you close this email!
Michael Farris
HSLDA Chairman

Monday, June 22, 2009

Homeschooling High school Seminar


We have an oportunity to host a HOME SCHOOL FOR HIGH SCHOOL SEMINAR AND PORTFOLIO SESSION with Kathleen Duncan in September 2009. Kathleen has traveled through the Southeast for the past eight years and is willing to come to the Richland area for a one-day event. More details about the event and the Duncan family are below.

We must have 20 families committed to attend before July 15 to make this happen. Those 20 families will need to write a check for $50 to cover the Seminar registration or pay via Paypal on Kathleen's web page. (If the event is cancelled, you will receive a full refund.)

Please email me if you are interested in attending this event or in helping me with organization, set-up, snacks, and clean-up. I need to know by the end of the week who is interested so we can finalize our plans.

Thank you,

Home School for High School Seminar and Portfolio Session
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Early Registration Deadline will be August 28, 2009

Schedule for the evening:
Registration 3:30-4:00Portfolio Session- 4:00-5:30Break - 5:30 - 6Home School for High School Seminar - 6-10 with short break in middle

Location - TBA
Home School for High School Seminar 6-10
Seminar Fees -
Cost per family: $50 if paid by the Early Registration Date
$60 if paid at the door or after the Early Registration Date

Optional Portfolio Session Fee -
$40 if paid by the Early Registration Date
$50 if paid at the door or after the Early Registration Date

Teens are welcome to come with their parents.

During the Seminar, Mrs. Kathleen Duncan will present information about Home Schooling for High School. Each family attending the seminar will receive a binder containing more than 200 pages covering topics such as
Getting Started
Course Development
Record Keeping
Standardized Tests: PSAT, ACT, SAT & SAT II, GED
How to Document Courses Completed
Joint Enrollment Options
Graduation Requirements
College Admissions Requirements
Creating a Portfolio & Transcript
College Search and Application Process
Many More
This information applies to colleges and universities throughout the US.

Optional Portfolio Session -
Do you want to begin a Portfolio Binder for your teen? Kathleen will be bringing supplies so we can put our portfolios together and begin the record keeping process the very next day! Each Portfolio Kit includes: heavy-duty D-ring locking binder, dividers for major subjects and 30 courses, and more than 90 pages of information and forms. You will take home a binder with close to forty dividers and dozens of forms ready to go. You will also receive copies of Course Objectives for a variety of classes plus copies of blank Course Worksheets to use when compiling your child's records at home. Attendance at this Session will also allow you to access a website to download all forms used during the Session so you can make copies for your other students!

The Duncans homeschooled their seven children including their current high school students. The Duncans lived and home schooled in Georgia for five years prior to moving to Wichita Falls. Their oldest child was accepted into an area college and offered academic scholarships at 16. She chose to remain in high school and complete classes through Joint Enrollment - on full scholarship. As a senior, she was a National Merit Scholar Finalist and received four year academic scholarships for college. The Duncans' second daughter also entered college at sixteen as a Joint Enrollment student and their oldest son worked for the US Congress as a page at age 16 before returning home and participated in a joint enrollment program his senior year. He is now serving in the United States Marine Corps.

The Duncan's have four teens still at home. Adam is 17 and will be a senior next year. He has already earned 15 college hours. Andrew is 16 and will be a Junior. He completed his first college class this past spring.

At the seminar, Kathleen will discuss their experiences with home schooling their high school students. Examples of curriculum and sample records will be on hand for your review.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tightwad Tips

Everyone seems to be tightening down on the cash flow these days, either out of sheer need, or out of a desire to save some money in these troubling time.

My friends and I have spent hours sharing tips of saving money galore, so this is not new to many of my readers. Don't even get me started on the many uses of baking soda, vinegar and washing soda.

I know that most of my readers already make their own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, baby foods, cloth diapers and covers or wool soakers. Most of us already grow gardens, can foods, cook only from scratch, bake our own breads and buy in bulk. Good for you!

I can't even begin to share more with you than you shared with me. I did find one little money saver recently. As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention"

I found myself out of brown sugar one day while doing some baking. Not wanting to drag 7 children to the store for brown sugar...I decided to make some.

I mixed 1 cup of white sugar with about 2 tablespoons of molasses in my food processor. I use a really good, un-sulfured molasses so the color was really dark brown. It smells wonderful and I am able to use much less (since I use that great molasses) Check out the differences between molasses sometime when you are bored.

I figure that I saved about half the cost doing it this way, based on the sale prices this week.

Another tip I have is for carrots. When we do not have a garden full of them, I buy the 25# bags at the local supermarket for around $7 (less than .30 cents a pound)

That is an amazing price. You have to use them up fast or they will go bad, which is no trouble for your average family of 9!
We juice them almost everyday and use them in salads, breads, muffins, meals and for snacks. The kids love carrots!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Embracing life

This is a great ministry right here in my hometown.
Pray about supporting their upcoming fund raiser!

Go here for more info on their fund raiser and here for a really good reminder of just what God thinks of us, even the smallest ones of us!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Father's Day!

Do you know that the history of Father's day celebrations started in Washington? Interesting.

This year is gonna be good! My husband is taking his check ride with the FAA on Father's day!

This is the last step needed in getting his private pilot's license, for which he has been studying hard for this past year. (Once he passes this, he will go on to pursue his commercial pilots license and CFI rating. Should be another year or so before he can start applying for pilot jobs!)

I am trying to come up with ideas to make his day awesome (aside from getting his license) and to really let him know that we love and appreciate him so much.

I already got my free custom photo card for him from shutterfly. You only pay shipping ($1.08)

We are planning a BBQ (of course) and I plan to have the kids make him some cool crafts, cards and a dessert that he likes.

Check out this site and this for ideas. My kids are all pretty young, sorry I don't have a link for older kid ideas...maybe a poem or drawing? Maybe a coupon book of chores the child will do for Dad?

The day before Father's day will be our day to go see The American Heroes Helicopter Air Show. It is at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Since he loves all things that fly, especially helicopters, we will be there at 7:30 a.m. when the helicopters land. (Pray for me...LOL)

He will most likely want to stay all day. I plan to pack a cool picnic lunch for us and lots of snacks to keep the little ones happy (and keep us from buying the expensive foods they offer!)

It is a free event put on by the American Heroes group and the museum is not charging people. They will let people back to the landing strip area where the event is without admission. Of course, you cannot go into the museum after the show, but we took Daddy there on "Free Thursday" (last week) so he has already been inside recently.

Can you tell that we are excited about Father's day? We are making a really big deal about it this year.

My husband is a great father. I am so blessed to have such an awesome man to raise children with.

Be sure and plan a special day for the fathers in your life! It is important to teach those little ones to honor and respect their Dads!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Clothes lines!

I have wanted a clothes line for a long time. For years, we had a huge wrap around porch, and I hung clothes all along the railing there. Worked fine.
Since we moved, I have not had that.
My friends all tell me how much money you can save, and how nice the clothes smell. I know all that and still, I had no clothes line.
The pilot is pretty busy most days. I won't nag him about things when he spends all his time either looking for work in this dry economy, studying for school or actually working when we are fortunate enough to have work to do!

Finally, my dryer broke down and I had no choice. The pilot was still busy, so my oldest son hung a make shift clothes line for me. We did not use the "right" line, but it is working great for a free clothes line.

I found this article on clothesline 101...might interest you.

The dryer was fixed by our landlord (thanks Leona!) and I am still using the line on hot days. The pilot has commented on how nice his clothes smell. I am sure I am saving money on electricity (and it is R-E-A-L-L-Y high in this house) so that is a bonus.
One other thing I have noticed is that on hot days, the clothes dry SO fast that my laundry is done in half the time and the clothes tend to get folded right off the line and put away sooner instead of baskets of laundry sitting on my couch (never a good thing)

I know some of you hang your clothes all year long. Interesting concept. How do you get it to dry fast in colder weather to make it "worth" it? I do about 4 loads a day, I can't wait all day for it to dry, especially on diaper washing days.

Let me see your tips and hints please!

Have a blessed week.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Time to enter again!

Joyous Notions Blog Giveaway!

Don't forget to check back at the end of the month to see who wins!


More pictures

I know, I know...I am not writing much these days! The whole point of my blog was so that I could WRITE..which I love to do. We have just been having too much fun for me to sit here and do that. Not to mention that my Shay Baby is potty training, My Heze-nator is teething and v-e-r-y- clingy...and then add the rest of life...I am a busy lady.

We went to Deception Pass yesterday. It is SOOO beautiful there. If you ever get the chance to should! We plan to go many more times this summer. Of course my kids wanted to go here first. Nothing like a danger warning to get their interest! Turned out what was dangerous was that is was very close to the 100 ft. cliffs. It was beautiful. We just held onto little hands really well all the way!