Category Archives: old-fashioned

Acts, Chapter 2.

Verse 1

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Acts 2:1

There’s several things that jump out at me about this verse:  1)  The “Day of Pentecost”, 2) the words “fully come”, and 3) that they were all with “one accord”.

What was the “Day of Pentecost”?  From what I have read, it took place 50 days after the Feast of the Firsfruits.  According to J. Vernon McGee, the Feast of the Firstfruits speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one is his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 20-26 

The Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ:  “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  1Corinthians 5:7-8

The words “fully come”, again according to Dr. McGee, could be translated to mean “fulfilled”.  The Passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Day of Pentecost, being “fully come” (aka fulfilled) means that it represented the fulfillment of something — the birth of the church, the day the church came into existence.

So, in order to understand the timeline…..

  1. Jesus was crucified.
  2. 3 days later, He was resurrected.
  3. For 40 days, He walked upon the earth, resurrected.  (Acts 1:3)
  4. He then ascended into heaven. (Acts. 1:9)
  5. 10 more days passed.
  6. On the 50th day (Pentecost) the church was born and the Holy Spirit arrived.

  Continue reading

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Not Watching American Idol.

Our family is going to be participating in what many in America consider to be a horrible thing  –The National TV Turn Off Week. 

The bigscreen will finally be put in the repair shop (blue tube is going out).  The, yes — count them….4 (!) other televisions will be unplugged and laid to rest for the whole week…..it will be just HORRIBLE!!!  🙂   

We are doing this to be a part of the family emphasis that someone (?) started some time ago.  I don’t really know the history of it all, but National TV Turnoff Week has been going on for many years now.   

Why would I put our family through such an “awful” thing?….because I do agree that television watching takes the place of a lot of family time and other things that should be priority.  Families in America are so dictated by their schedules that we miss out on the regular sharing of our lives together.  I read stories about how the family used to sit down and read their bible together, have regular devotions, share time, and pray together.  Honestly, we have always struggled with this in our family.  Try as we might, it seems like we continually have a conflict that prevents us from making family devotions a regular part of our week.  However, this week, we are going to unplug the tube, and do what we can to make our time together count. 

I have already begun reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” to the boys tonight.  This timeless story still brings tears to my eyes, and I think they will love to hear it.  (and …we have promised to rent the movie to show them at the end of the book reading…  ha ha — next week, of course!!) 

Another priority I will focus on this week will be to read more of my bible.  As part of a wonderful 17 member e:mail accountability group, I issued a challenge for us all to find extra ways to utilize this week to do some catch up reading.  After brainstorming, the list of examples for catch up activities became: 

  1.  Make it priority over everything else.
  2. Set a goal, and stick with it.
  3. Rise an hour early everyday this week just to have coffee with the Lord.
  4. If you are busy with projects around the house, read five chapters, then complete a task, then read five more chapters, and complete another task.  Keep this up until you’ve read a whole book in one day.
  5. Commit to read half of a book at one sitting.
  6. Ask a friend to babysit for you one day this week, so that you can focus on reading.  (By the way…I’m available for anyone who needs it!)
  7. Volunteer to babysit for a friend who needs some alone time with God.
  8. Keep sticky notes handy to mark scriptures you want to research further, that way you can read through it quicker, coming back to dive deeper later.
  9. Sit down with your bible, a commentary, and a dictionary all at once so that you can look up unfamiliar scripture quickly.
  10. Put a visible marker on the page where you should be according to the calendar Cynthia gave us.  This will give you motivation and a goal.
  11. Stay up an hour later each day this week just to read.
  12. Take a vacation or personal day from work this week to read all day.  We take vacations for everything and everybody else…why not for the Lord?
  13. Take your bible to work everyday, along with a sack lunch.  Commit to using your entire lunch time everyday to read.
  14. Use audio tapes or CD’s of the bible to listen to on the way to work or as you run errands.
  15. Make a rule:  No TV unless you’ve read at least 20 chapters (or more)!
  16. Plan simplicity in your daily schedule for a week, so that you can use the time reading. 
  17. Cook using the crock pot, instead of spending two hours over the stove so you can read.
  18. Use paper plates and plastic cups to cut down on dish washing time so you can read.
  19. Hire someone to mow the lawn this week so that you can read. (By the way, there is probably some youth at church who could use the money for summer camp!)
  20. Use accountability as an advantage….commit to post your progress daily.  Nothing gets me going more than having to admit what I haven’t done!?
  21. Ask a friend to call you everyday this week to specifically ask how much you’ve read! (ouch!)
  22. Get in your car, drive to the park, and read.
  23. Let your house go…..don’t clean anything for a day!  It will end up looking like mine (?!), but at least you will have been able to read quite a bit J
  24. Drug the kids so that they will leave you alone to read.  (JUST KIDDING…..really!…..DON’T DO IT!!)
  25. Ask your husband/wife to take the kids for a fun day so that you can read at home.
  26. Get away to the library to read.
  27. Commit to read during every meal this week.  It’s a time that you usually at least sit down, and most of us can eat and read at the same time!
  28. I would love to know how many of us use the bathroom as a reading room?  Well…just substitute your bible for “Uncle John’s Big Bathroom Reader”!
  29. Ask God to help you, and then diligently commit to a reading plan.
  30. Read outdoors!  There’s something inspiring and motivating about the fresh air!
  31. Read out loud!  Involve your children and spouse…teach good habits, infect them with God’s words!
  32. Go to church an hour early, find a quiet, unused room, and read.
  33. Take your kids to McDonald’s or to the playground/park and read.
  34. Make reading your bible the first thing you do everyday…even if it makes you late for something else.  Most likely, the first day you are late for work or an appointment, you will realize that getting up earlier is what needs to happen, and change your habits from then on.  Yet…you will have honored God still by putting Him in His rightful place….FIRST!
  35. Motivate yourself with a reward if you read a certain amount this week.  …Tickets to the Ranger game, a new dress, new nails, a new fishing pole, dinner out, etc.  speaks loud and clear when we want it bad enough!!
  36. Put pictures of your reward around the house to remind you of the week end’s prize!
  37. Put notes that say, “Have you read your bible today?” all around the house.  There’s nothing better than a constant, nagging reminder to be obedient!
  38. Keep your car keys inside your bible.  Commit to read five chapters before you leave to go anywhere.
  39. Keep the remote control inside your bible!
  40. In the spirit of the “baby project” at high schools across the country…..carry your bible everywhere you go, to every room in the house, to every store, in the car, etc. until you have reached your goal this week.  When it “cries” out to you, stop to read. 
  41. Recognize that it’s all about Commitment, Willpower, and Priorities!
  42. Ask members of your Sunday School class to pray for you, and check in on you through out the week.
  43. Sticker charts are acceptable for adults, too!  Get your creative cap on, make you a chart that shows your progress, and award yourself a sticker after you read each chapter, sets of 10 chapters, book, etc.  Then….go get yourself an ice cream when you fill up the chart!! J  (Sorry….I’m a mother of a preschooler!!)
  44. Consider what you normally do with your free time.  Make a list of the time you have between sunrise and sunset that is not taken by your employment schedule.  Then…do away with those distractions this week, and “plug” in the word “Bible” during those hours.  You will probably be surprised how much time you COULD be reading!
  45. Try to sit down and make a list of acceptable reasons why you should NOT read your bible….see if you can get to #1……and then…go read!
  46. Pray before you read everyday.  Ask God to open your eyes and mind to His Word.
  47. Make it fun!….enter into a contest with a friend to read a certain amount of chapters….the first one to complete it buys lunch!
  48. Memorize this passage:  “How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word.  With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”  Psalms 119:9-11, and then recite it out loud ten times, each time you try to talk yourself out of reading that day.
  49. Take your VCR apart, piece by piece, and then try to reassemble it.  (Most likely you won’t be able to, without an instructional manual as a guide.)  Then realize that life is much like a VCR….we need the bible to instruct us daily.
  50. After you are caught up in your reading plan, go buy another VCR!!

I thought I would just share this with you, wondering if there was anyone in “Blogdom” that might like to join us this week by reading your bible, too! 

Turn your tv’s off, find a good chair, and soak in the warmth of God’s Words.  I guarantee you that it will be better than Simon Cowell! 

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Old-Fashioned.

OLD-FASHIONED…That’s Me

It’s really no secret….I’m a “old-fashioned” girl.  I love “Little House on the Prairie”, the thought of quiet, country living, and as long as I could take penicillin and air conditioning, I would probably be willing to live back in time as Laura Ingalls Wilder did.  I also like my share of city lights, chain restaurants, malls, and latte’s, but when it really comes down to it, I much prefer the simpler life.  Thanks to my Dad, I learned to appreciate the great outdoors, old times, and the loooonnnnngggg Texas drawl he exhibited so well.

I guess because of my roots, I have come to appreciate the old-fashioned way, but to many in today’s world, being old-fashioned is a bad thing. 

Even in our churches, we are seeing movements where it seems that every traditional  aspect of our church heritage is being questioned, and in many cases condemned.  We sit too much, we are too complacent, we are too organized in our services, we dress too formally, we have too many services, we use music in place of the message, we “perform” instead of practice our faith, etc., etc., etc.  It seems to me that “modern” movements within the Christian realm are forgetting about the foundations that our church forefathers worked so diligently to put in place.

I agree that in many, many cases the church “sits, soaks, and sours”, and is out of the will of God because there is no evidence of real commitment to our Christian faith and duties.  Yet, it still seems beyond me to visualize all of our traditions and old-fashioned ways gone. 

Christian “buzz” words like “modern”, “contemporary”, “emergent”, and “missional” are not new to the Christian faith.  If you really look at it, they are just a new expression of what we all should be doing anyway.  Why is it that we have to re-label the values that are traditional, and then call the old-fashioned ways bad? 

Isn’t it good to meet together, pray for one another, encourage one another, respect one another, reverence God in our clothing, sing and worship to our Lord, and exhibit an organized environment focused on reaching others for Christ?  These traditions in our churches are what is being called “out-dated”, “unfruitful”, “boring”, and “outside of God’s will”.  It’s like there’s an attack, a revolution among our Christian brothers and sisters who, I believe, have good intentions, but instead are helping to create an atmosphere of controversy and condemnation with our church family.

It is sad to me to see our churches being portrayed as buildings where worldly people just attend a good “show”.  It’s no wonder why the unsaved people don’t want to hear the message!  We can’t even agree among ourselves. 

New ideas, and new movements toward furthering the gospel of Christ can be good, but only when the focus is on Christ, and not in the condemnation of others who are responding to God in another way.  God gave each of us a particular gift and purpose.  We are all different, yet part of one body.  When one part starts tearing down the other part, it only causes harm. 

I am noticing brother against brother, sister against sister, and even minister against minister and, honestly, I am embarrassed and ashamed.  Our focus needs to return to Christ, who administered the ways of “old”, and who is never changing, and who we should all be “fashioned” like.

Is there a way that we can all work together toward this effort?  I believe so.  I ask you to examine your heart and mind before you respond,

“…laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…” 1 Peter 2:1

“…He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct..”  1 Peter 1:15

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, “Who commited no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”” 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability, which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified…  1 Peter 4:9-11

As we look for new ways, new ideas, new directions, let us not forget the benefits of “old”.  There is wisdom we can gain from respecting our early churches and the traditions that come over time. 

Let’s encourage each other to respond to God’s direction, in ALL His different ways. 

The problem is NOT the traditions OR the new ideas, it’s the ATTITUDE of the people who don’t practice the Christian faith as they should.  From generation to generation I expect this will always be a problem.  Until we learn to be “…doers of the word, and not hearers only..” James 1:22, the church will experience seasons of drought. 

Let us respect the ways of old, acknowledge the fruit they have brought over time, and the wisdom we, today, can benefit from them.  On the same token, let us praise those who aren’t afraid to initiate new ideas, those who respond to the modern world and all its’ benefits in order to bring more people to Christ.  Both ways can be useful.  Both ways can be effective.  Both ways can be honorable. 

My clothes dryer is a new, advanced, modern way of doing laundry.  It can dry clothes at an unbelievable rate.  It takes static out, and leaves my clothes wrinkle free.  Yet I have to respect the aged clothesline.  Clothes that are dried outside smell so good!  You can literally smell the warmth of the sun and the natural, God-breathed air.   

Both ways achieve the same result….dry clothes.  Right now, I exclusively use the clothes dryer.  However, I think I will ask my husband to set up an outdoor line as well. 

Why?  Because I have found that it is when we take the time to reverence the things of “old” that we learn to appreciate the advancement of time and all its’ improvements

So…if, in this new age of technology, where dryers are ultra-sized, energy efficient, time saving mechanisms, you drive past my house and see “bloomers” on a line, I hope you will laugh with me, not at me.  

The Lord calls each one of us in a different way, and when we respect our differences, the whole body is complete.   Let us, as believers, remember to “…speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among (us), but that (we) be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”1 Corinthians 1:10 

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