My Musings

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Site Updates To Tickle Your Fancy

I'm really excited to announce some major updates to The Baptist Muse. Over the course of the past week, I have implemented several major and a few minor changes to this website. You will notice a new rating system for each blog post, a new rank structure at the forum, a new awards system at the forum, and the biggest update of Independent Fundamental Baptist Church Directory in the resources section of the site. If you haven't taken advantage of these updates yet, be sure to check them out.

Forum Rank and Awards Systems

If you haven't posted anything at the Forum, what are you waiting for? The Baptist Muse Forum is a growing community where you can post questions and share thoughts about any topic in the world. And Now you will achieve rank for the more posts that you post and you can receive medals and recognition for your accomplishments through our band new awards system!

You'll start out as a private but you can work your way all the way up to Five Star General! You will also be able to complete challenges that we have posted to earn Challenge Ribbons. It's a great way to connect with others and it's loads of fun!

Also, keep in mind that this week our weekly give away is being based solely on posts at the forum! You could win a free book just for checking it out!

Independent Fundamental Baptist Church Directory

I have implemented a thorough listing of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Swing by there and make sure that your church is listed and properly updated. If not, just stop by the contact page and let me know what I can do to fix it...and I will....usually right away!

Blog Posts Rating System

I have also just implemented a rating system so that you can grade each of the posts at the Blog. You should notice the little star rating system at the bottom of each post. Leave one star if you didn't like a post and five stars if you thought that it was fantastic! Don't worry about being nice, just be honest! This will help me to understand which topics are the most entertaining or useful for you and will help me to improve the quality of the content here. Thanks in advance for the input!

There you have it! Those are this week's updates at The Baptist Muse. Be sure to check each of them out and be sure to leave some feedback so that I can continue to improve the quality of the site!

Thanks for being the best readers in the world!

In Christ,



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Lesson Learned: Persistent Prayer

Persistent PrayerThis past weekend I was able to attend a ladies retreat with five other ladies from our church. We all had a good time and it was great getting to know the other ladies better. All of us that attended were married except for one lady. By the time we came home on Saturday, we were all ready to see our husbands again and those that had children were ready to see their kids.

We were in an active cabin. That was the camps way of saying that we were in a loud, noisy, crazy, etc cabin since the other cabin was quiet. We were in the right cabin though since we didn’t go to bed until very early in the morning both nights.

On Thursday night after the session they divided us all up into eight different groups. The way we were divided made it rare for us to end up with someone from our church and that was the point. While getting to know the other ladies that were in our groups, we had to decorate a paper flower in a mosaic pattern. It was a lot of fun.

Friday afternoon they did a craft. The craft was a candy tin where we took 12 Hershey nuggets and wrapped them in a piece of paper. You then arranged them inside of a tin that has a clear front so you could see the pieces all wrapped up. We then placed a ribbon around it with a paper tag that we made that could say a variety of things from "I love you," "Thinking of You," and "Thank You." They were very simple to make and they make a great gift idea.

There were a total of five different teaching sessions. The one that stuck out to me the most is from Friday night. The speaker taught about the woman in Matthew 15 whose daughter was vexed with a devil. The first time she speaks to the Lord he doesn’t respond. The disciples want Christ to send her away. The woman speaks to Christ again and is compared to a dog. The woman then uses Christ’s words when she says that even the dog eats crumbs from the master's table. Christ then answers her prayer by healing her daughter and he even tells that whole world about her great faith.

This is an example of a woman who had a need and she didn’t give up because Christ didn’t respond right away. She was persistent. She kept at it until she got an answer. How often in our lives do we go to Christ in prayer and then we stop praying because we don’t get an answer right away?

This was an encouragement to me to continue praying about the same thing until God answers. If I only pray about something once or twice and then say well God’s not going to answer this so I might as well stop praying, then I lack faith. This is not having faith that God will answer and supply the need. Don’t give up in your prayer life because God didn’t answer in your time frame. Pray consistently and God will answer in his time.

Serving the Master,

Diane Cardot

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Get Rewarded at The Baptist Muse

Last week we announced the restarting of our weekly book giveaway. Last week, each member of The Baptist Muse Topsites received one entry into the drawing. I apologize that this post is one day behind schedule, but as I promised here are the results from this past week's give away! Congratulations, Maranatha, your blog, 'I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes,' has won our weekly contest. Please use the contact page to notify me of your snail mail address and I will get your book shipped out right away!

This week, we will be giving away a book entitled '199 Treasures of Wisdom on Talking with God' by Andrew Murray. To enter this week's contest, swing by the forum section and leave some posts. Each comment at our forum will be worth one ticket toward next week's drawing!

I want to encourage everyone to get involved. If you are new to The Baptist Muse or if you have been a patron here for a while then right now is the perfect time to jump in and get rewarded. Swing by our forum section and get a chance at a free book!

Contest Rules: To be eligible for this contest, all you have to do is sign up and leave some comments at The Baptist Muse Forum. This is a way for you to get to know other Christians, share prayer requests, debate for the truth, and many other things. I will be closely monitoring it to ensure that only appropriate comments will be added. Participating is completely free and you will receive one 'ticket' toward the drawing per comment submitted to The Baptist Muse Forum!

To determine the winner, I will use a random number generator using the total number of participants to set the limits of the generator. I will then begin counting through the members. The first member on the list at the end of this week will be number one. The second member at the end of this week will be number two. Etc. Whatever the number generator spits out at me, that is the winner of the book. If the generator spits out the number 12, then the twelfth person on the list will win the prize. In that way, it will be random among those who participate. I will then announce the winner and contact you to get your mailing address and I will send it right out to you!

The contest ends Saturday at noon. I will calculate the results on Saturday afternoon and announce the winner on Sunday's post. Good luck!

Product Description: Widely recognized as one of Christendom's foremost authorities on prayer, the South African theologian Andrew Murray wrote prolifically on the deeper spiritual life. 199 Treasures of Wisdom on Talking to God is drawn from Murray's writings relating to communion with God, explaining the what, when, why, and how of prayer.


Friday, April 25, 2008

By the Authority of the U.S. Supreme Court

In 1892, The Supreme Court of The United States of America declared without question that America is a Christian nation.
"These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."
~ U.S. Supreme Court
In their intensely thorough declarations, they took us step by step through the history of our early American Republic and showed without doubt that their decision was not based on anything less than fact, logic, and sound precedent! They began with Columbus, the pilgrims, and the early colonies and progressed their logic through state constitutions and congressional orders. They left no stone unturned as they made a solid and irrefutable case as to the Christian founding and establishment of this great nation!

In our modern society there is so much burying of history in an effort to further modern liberal agendas. In fact, many people go so far as to completely distort and rewrite the facts as they attempt to gain political power or public favor. The ACLU is working everyday to drive any mention about the Christian influence on our American founding right out the window.

This court case is now long forgotten in the annals of history. The congress which authorized the printing of King James Bibles is now looked at in mockery (1782). The presidential decrees for days of prayer and fasting are ignored and passed over in history class. The hundreds and maybe even thousands of quotes from the founders crediting God as the source of our freedoms, our liberties, our justice system, and for our government are completely ignored and thrown away!

A Few Points to Ponder: What other examples can you think of where the public arena has inappropriately kicked God out? Can you think of other examples of those in power working to rewrite history?

In Christ,



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Those Hate-Mongering Baptist Preachers!

I just recently read a wonderful article over at 'The Jungle Hut' entitled creatively 'A Rant.' This article is a must read so head over and check it out. Rita Vernoy, the author of that article, is a missionary to South America. She has faithfully and selflessly served to help the people there. She works with them, lives with them, prays with them, and does everything that she can to share the gospel with them. She truly is an unsung hero...unless of course you ask a secular liberal!

She has received comments recently attacking her and making statements suggesting that she is destroying these people's tribal spirituality, that she is a hate-monger, or that she is a 'spiritual pollutant.'

This is not the first time that I have heard people attacked for trying to share the gospel of Christ and I assure you that it will not be the last. As early as the book of acts, men have been attacked for preaching Christ. Can't you see Stephen standing there looking into heaven asking God's forgiveness on those who are stoning him into the history books?

Yet that's not the point of this post. What I want to look at is the argument that I seem to have heard a lot recently in my own experience. I had a lady ask me recently if I didn't feel it was a little bit selfish for me to say that I was going to heaven and that everyone else was going to spend their eternity in hell just because they don't believe in Christ the same way that I do. I have had others use the hate-monger card in referring to our belief in the clearly-taught Bible doctrine of hell.

If you believe that God would send an unbeliever to hell, you are a hate-monger! If you believe that God condemns homosexuality, you are a hate-monger! If you think that God judges people for sin, you are a hate-monger! If you believe the infallible, inerrant Word of God that men have tried to disprove but have never been able to, well, then you are a hate-monger!

Truth is not like a pet store full of puppy dogs. You don't get to pick and choose what you like. If it's the truth, it doesn't change just because you don't like it. Those folks who attack the Word of God cannot change its accuracy just because they don't like what it teaches. Their disbelief in heaven or hell will not change the fact that they are going to one of those two places. Their disbelief in the Son of God will not change the immutable fact that he is the Savior of the world.

Bro. Nick, you really are a hate-monger! If that is true, then it is also true that your doctor is a raging monster every time he informs you that someone has a disease. "You have a rare disease, but we should be able to treat it," the doctor says. Would you start hating him or would you thank him and graciously accept the treatment? Duh!

When it comes to hard truth from the Word of God, though, we would rather call names than accept the truth and dive into the remedy, Jesus Christ! Our liberal friends are sadly mistaken and highly hypocritical.

In Christ,



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Made to be His Help Meet

As a little girl, I dreamed about one day meeting my prince charming and being swept off my feet the same as any other little girl. I dreamed about what he would look like. I wanted someone that was tall with dark hair and very handsome. I dreamed about him riding off into the sunset with me on a white horse, or whatever else I might fantasize the perfect get away ride would be.

I planned every detail as a little girl from the perfect groom, the bridal party, the flower girl, the ring bearer, my dress, the colors and the cake. I can remember having my maid of honor picked out when I was probably 9 or 10. I really thought that she would be my maid of honor. We were inseparable for many years.

As I got older, I used to wish that I would marry a soldier. It didn’t matter to me what branch. I just loved the fact that they served our country to protect the freedoms that God has given us and not to mention that there’s something to say about a man in uniform.

I realized growing up that God was preparing me to be a helpmeet someday. As a young girl, in your teenage years and even in your young adult life there are things that you must learn to do and decisions that you have to make in your spiritual life.

As a child you need to learn to clean up after yourself. You need to learn how to clean a house. As a young girl I would say that I kept my room like a pig pen. It didn’t bother me until I was about 8 years old I guess when my dad came into my room with a camera and took pictures of my room. He told me that he was going to show them to my future husband someday to show him how I was going to keep our house when we were married. I can remember crying as he took the pictures. However that day I changed my room keeping habits and to this day I can’t stand for my house to be a mess. I love cleaning and I clean something in my house every single day.

Some of you may have learned to sew. This is a very important and practical skill that all ladies young and old can learn. My mother taught me to sew and I have made several articles of clothing in my time. My only regret is that I didn’t take to it the same way that my younger sister has. There are some things to do with sewing that I tend to avoid just because I am scared to try them it was easier to get mom to do them and now that she’s not here I just skip them or find a pattern that doesn’t require me to do them.

Cooking can be a very touchy subject. I know many ladies that do not know how or enjoy cooking and their families eat out all of the time. I have a very dear friend to me and she doesn’t cook all that well but she makes an effort even though her husband is a chef. I learned to cook for 7 people and when I got married it was an adjustment.
As a young girl, in your teenage years and even in your young adult life there are things that you must learn to do and decisions that you have to make in your spiritual life.
I wouldn’t say that I am the world’s greatest cook but I have learned to cook fairly well and am constantly trying new recipes.

God used my brother to help prepare me for marriage in these areas of my life. He also used sound biblical preaching to ground me in his word. I was convicted and made the decision at a young age to save myself for my husband. To not touch, kiss or have any sort of premarital relations with a man. Those of you who know me know that I had some examples of how not to live my teenage years like no boyfriends, no pre-marital sex, no kids out of wedlock, graduate and go to a bible college for at least a year. By God’s grace I was able to make it to my wedding day pure.

All of these things helped prepare me to be the helpmeet that my husband needs today. I can think of the things from my childhood dreams that came true by serving the Lord and allowing him to work in my life. I have my tall, dark haired, handsome man and to top it off he is also currently a soldier. I got my man in uniform. I love my husband and I know that he loves me.

Ladies when we get married we are designed to be his helpmeet. The lord starts preparing us in our childhood to be the helpmeet that our husbands need. As mothers God uses you to help train your daughter to take care of her husband. We are to love and support him in every area of his life.

Serving the Master,


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Monday, April 21, 2008

Leadership 101: Influence vs. Position

Every individual is a leader. In many cases, people don't realize this but in every case this is true. Every person that you influence to do good or bad, you have led in a very small way. Of course, those who have the most influence are most often recognized as leaders but the truth is that every person impacts and leads those around them at least a little bit.

Leading those around us is actually something that we ought to desire. Let me explain. We shouldn't necessarily be looking to be in charge of an organization or a committee, but we should be looking to continually be a greater influence for the cause of Christ in everything that we do. We should actively be looking for ways to very subtly leave an impact on those around us to encourage them to do right.

There is a common misconception that leadership is simply being in charge of people. Being in charge of people, however, is not leadership. It is simply management. A leader is someone who can inspire people to follow based on influence; a manager is someone who commands people to follow based on position.

Leadership, simply put, is influence. Consider Adolf Hitler. Hitler influenced his nation to attempt to take over the world. His leadership ability was off the charts and many scholars have suggested that he was one of the strongest leaders of the twentieth century. Few people know that Hitler was actually elected in Germany! Of course, as Christians, we know that he used every ounce of his influence and leadership to further the cause of Satan. I personally speculate that Hitler's leadership was multiplied by an active demonic force in his life that helped him to sway the masses, but then that is a different topic.

With Adolf Hitler in mind, I have often wondered what a sold-ought, passionate Christian could accomplish if he or she would work as hard to bring people closer to God as Hitler worked to eliminate Jews? If Hitler changed the face of human history based on his influence over Germany with the help of Satan or demons, what could a Christian accomplish for Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit?

You may not lead in the same capacity as a man like Adolf Hitler, but you are still a leader. Every day others see your actions, they hear your words and in a small way they are influenced to do either right or wrong. On the Richter Scale of leadership you may not compare to heads of state, but you are still influencing people. You must determine that you will use your influence with your friends, your spouse, your children, your family, and with anyone that you come into contact with to strengthen their relationship with Christ.

Are you developing your leadership skills? Are you using your influence to move people closer to Christ or farther away?

In Christ,



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Free Weekly Give Away! Get Rewarded!

In an effort to stimulate activity at my website, I have decided to re-initiate a weekly free book giveaway contest. The book that I will be giving away this week is called "How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer" by John Wesley. The book is brand new and is completely free to the winner of my newest competition. Entry is free and only takes about thirty seconds. In fact, several of you who are reading this are probably already entered into the drawing!

I want to encourage everyone to get involved. If you are new to The Baptist Muse or if you have been a patron here for a while then right now is the perfect time to jump in and get rewarded. Get your site noticed at our Topsites section and get a chance at a free book!

Product Description: "Let John Wesley guide you into a deeper prayer life. These excerpts from his prolific writings will motivate and challenge you to greater communion with God. In approximately 45 readings, Wesley explains the why and how of prayer for believers at any stage of the Christian life. Lightly edited for ease of reading, Wesley's insights are sure to improve the way you pray!"

Contest Rules: To be eligible for this contest, all you have to do is sign up for The Baptist Muse Topsites. This is a way for you to promote your own blog or website by getting it listed at The Baptist Muse Topsites. I will be receiving email updates of every website that is added to the list and I will be able to closely monitor it to ensure that only doctrinally sound Baptist sites will be added. Listing your website is completely free and you will receive one 'ticket' toward the drawing per website submitted to The Baptist Muse Topsites!

To determine the winner, I will use a random number generator using the total number of participants to set the limits of the generator. I will then begin counting through the members. The first member on the list at the end of this week will be number one. The second member at the end of this week will be number two. Etc. Whatever the number generator spits out at me, that is the winner of the book. If the generator spits out the number 12, then the twelfth person on the list will win the prize. In that way, it will be random among those who participate. I will then announce the winner and contact you to get your mailing address and I will send it right out to you!

The contest ends Saturday at noon. I will calculate the results on Saturday afternoon and announce the winner on Sunday's post. Good luck!

In Christ,



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Are Your Friends a Bad Influence?

Michael was a 17 year old boy who had ridden a church bus almost every Sunday for several years during his childhood and into his teen years. There were several people who had invested a lot of time and prayer into Michael’s life. At one point during his years of riding the bus, he made a confession of faith. If you talked to Michael, he could tell you about the day that he asked Christ to save him.

During the summer of 2003, I got to know this young man while I was home for summer break from college. He and my brother attended the youth revival at my home church that summer. When I saw them together at the revival meetings, I made the connection that they knew each other. I made a specific effort to invest time and love in my brother and in his friends. I spent a lot of time talking and listening to them trying to lead them closer toward the things of the Lord.

Back to college I went and as far as I knew Michael was still riding the bus. My brother, Brandon, had had enough of the church after the youth revival and had gone back to only occasionally attending church. My brother and Michael continued to influence one another to discontinue living for God. The two of them eventually backslid completely.

I’ll not forget the day that my mom called me at college to tell me that Michael was dead. He had been reported missing a few days before when he didn’t return home to his father’s house. His dad found him a few days later along the side of the road. Michael had been strangled to death and then stabbed over fifty times with a six inch deep knife.

I was saddened and burdened for my bus kids that I had currently in Chicago. Would I be able to make a bigger difference in their lives then I had in Michael’s? Then I thought of a verse that had helped me choose the right kind of friends: “But Amnon had a friend.” ~ 2 Samuel 13:3

Amnon ended up destroying his life and the life's of several people around him as a result of the influence of a bad friend. Michael was a boy that had attended church and knew right from wrong and yet he made the wrong choice. He decided to let his friends in the world lead him away from the things of God. Michael chose the wrong friends. He allowed his friends to influence him into a life that was sinful.

You may have friends that are Christians and you may think that you have nothing to worry about. You go to the same church, your parents have the same standards, you are all saved and the list can go on. These friends can lead you astray or may lead you in a direction that is not pleasing to the Lord. You are not exempt from peer pressure no matter how old you are.
“You are right now or soon shall be exactly what your friends are!”
The decision to do right and live for the Lord isn’t easy and you may not have a lot of friends when you are done. You may even have to cut off someone that was near and dear to you when you see them heading into a life of sin. I speak from experience when I say that it’s not easy to break off a friendship. However you will have a testimony of someone who loved and served the Lord instead of being known as someone who was once on fire and allowed the wrong friends to lead them astray. You have a decision that you have to make. Are you going to be like you friends that are doing wrong or are you going to live for the Lord?

Serving the Master,


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Friday, April 18, 2008

4 Useful Things You Could Do Tomorrow

Let's face it, there are a lot of things that each of us could do to increase our productivity and maximize our effectiveness for Christ, for our spouses, and for our employers. The following are four very practical and useful things that could be done to help us accomplish those goals.

1. Get Up Earlier

Truth be told, it wouldn't hurt you to wake up a few minutes earlier. Of course, this might mean going to bed a few minutes earlier but that would probably be good for you as well. Benjamin Franklin was onto something when he said, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!"

It is pretty much a given that you will be able to focus on something more meaningful during the early morning hours than during the late evening. You can spend the extra time on whatever pursuit that you see fit. You can spend more time praying or maybe get in a little extra Bible reading. Perhaps you could spend some extra time talking to your spouse or to someone you love. Whatever you choose, you won't go wrong waking up an extra fifteen minutes earlier than usual.

2. Work Out for a Few Minutes

You could even use you extra time in the morning to do a few exercises. I know that sounds horrible, but there isn't one of us that couldn't use a few extra jumping jacks, crunches, or a short walk or jog on the treadmill or around the block. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, young or old. Everyone could use a little exercise.

You will feel much better throughout the day. In fact, you will probably feel energized as you set about to accomplish your tasks throughout the day. Also if you are on a diet, this is the best thing to go along with it.

3. Start Your Day With A Prioritized To-Do List

You will absolutely be surprised at how much more productive you can be when you have your daily goals and objectives visualized in the form of a written list. It will help you not forget what you have to accomplish and it will motivate you as you are able to check each item off of your list.

4. Organize Your Work Space

Whether you work at in a corporate environment or at home schooling and handful of children, you will find things much easier when they are organized. Take some extra time and straighten your desk, clean your class area, organize your laundry room, or clean out your car! I got a few of you on that last one, huh? Working in a clean and organized environment will transform your perspective on your work. You will be surprised how it will help you to get more done.

Tonight while you are setting your alarm, think about which of these ideas you can practice tomorrow. Think about what you want to accomplish and remember that these four steps will help you get them done.

In Christ,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Winner of the Tax Time Giveaway

Last week, I announced a contest that would run until Tuesday, April 15...Yesterday! That contest is now officially over and I am very excited to announce our two winners. One of these winners has been chosen because they earned the most points in our contest and the other winner was chosen randomly using each point earned as a chance to win. Our two recipients will be the proud owners of a ten-dollar gift certificate to any store of their choice!

I am very pleased to announce that the individual with the most points and the winner of our first gift certificate is Sis. Tori all the way across the globe working with and supporting her husband as missionaries in Croatia. The second winner whose name was drawn at random using each of their points as a ticket in a drawing is Bro. Tim who is now pastoring in Johnstown Baptist Church in Lake Butler, Florida. Congratulations to our two winners.

To receive your gift certificate, either email me or use the contact form on the contact page to let me know a mailing address where I can mail your gift certificate. Be sure to include what store you would like your gift certificate to be from. I will mail these out just as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone for playing! We'll try to roll some more contests out soon.

In Christ,



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Something Special for the One You Love

Are there ever days when you want to do something little and sweet for your spouse but you just don’t know what to do? I know that I’ve not been married all that long. It will be three years next month but there have been days that I wanted to do something special for my husband but I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I go out and buy a gift, should I do a candy gram, should I hide from him when he is coming in the door after a long day at work and the list could go on. There are several things that you can do for your spouse. It doesn’t always have to be something that the wife does for the husband. You husbands can do something for you wife as well!

Shortly after my husband and I were married we received this list in the young couples Sunday school class. I have done some of these things and they are really quite simple and a lot of fun. I hope that this list will give you some ideas to try and maybe you have already done some of these already.

I have my favorite picture of my husband that is inside the front cover of my Bible. It is not a serious picture of him, but rather one where he is being goofy. I took the picture while we were driving in the car on the way home from my in-laws house and he was making a silly face and shrugging his shoulders with his arms in the air. Every time I open my Bible and look at that picture I am reminded of how much we love each other.

  1. Verbally compliment your spouse habitually, in private and in public.
  2. Hide little gifts and small love tokens around the house for your spouse.
  3. Write a special love note and put it in a place that it is sure to be found.
  4. Take your wife out to eat at a restaurant and sit next to her in the booth.
  5. Plan a surprise picnic for your husband, and remember to invite him.
  6. Surprise your wife by doing some of the housework without her asking.
  7. Plan a special weekend outing for just the two of you, without and kids.
  8. Arrange a mystery date night at a location that your spouse will enjoy.
  9. Create a candlelight dinner for two and make it an extra special evening.
  10. Invite your wife out for lunch at a respectable, amorous restaurant.
  11. Telephone your wife during the day and tell her how much you love her.
  12. Think of a special term of endearment to call your wife and use it wisely.
  13. Pack a special love not in your husbands lunch box or briefcase.
  14. Give your wife some spending money and let her go out with her friends.
  15. Watch the kids for your wife and let her have a whole day to shop.
  16. Ask your wife to go for a late afternoon walk and hold her hand.
  17. Put on a special smile when your wife enters your workplace or office.
  18. Make sure to display a picture of your wife at the office or workplace.
  19. Keep a picture of your wife in your Bible, and your wallet at all times.
  20. Go to games, functions, and social outings whenever the schedule permits.
For all of you that are married or plan on being married someday if the Lord allows. Keep these ideas in mind as you go through your marriage.

Serving the Master,

Diane Cardot


Monday, April 14, 2008

I Got My Roadmap! Do You?

Have you ever gone on vacation without the roadmap? Drives you nuts in short order, doesn’t it? You stop at the first gas station and pick one up and whoever is sitting in the navigator’s seat gets to studiously mark out the route. Or if you are lucky enough to have one of the newer vehicles equipped with navigation tools would you consider leaving home without having it hooked up ready to go? Probably not!

I recall a weekend road trip that a friend and I took during college. On Thursday after noon, we left when class dismissed in Lexington, KY with the intention of driving shifts through the night until we arrived early morning at our destination in Letts, IA. We planned to take Interstate 74 through central IL all the way into IA. Too easy.

Because I had made the trip several times before (my girlfriend lived there at the time), I didn't think that I needed to take a roadmap. Yet sure enough, around two or three in the morning we began seeing signs for Chicago. "Chicago: 50 Miles"

I don't remember which of us was driving, but it didn't matter. We had taken a wrong turn somewhere and were now about a hundred miles off course. Although I am from Northern Illinois, I was not familiar with the road we were on and had no idea where to go to 'course correct.'

After realizing our mistake, we exited the interstate at the next available off-ramp and stopped at a gas station. We had need of only one thing: a roadmap! Amazingly we had no other navigation issues for the rest of our trip.

I learned an important lesson that night. Beyond the obvious 'always keep a map under my car seat' which is now my common practice whenever I go on long trips, I learned that without a roadmap it is nearly impossible to arrive at your intended destination when traveling in unfamiliar territory.

You guessed it. I'm not talking about road trips anymore. I'm talking about life in general. If ever there was a better analogy for life, I've yet to find it. Life is a journey through the most unfamiliar roads and terrain that you can imagine. You will experience wrong turns, get lost, and find yourself wishing that you had brought along a roadmap.

Simply put, our roadmap is the Word of God. God's Powerful Scriptures, or GPS, is a tool far older and more accurate than any technological marvel of today. It is the Word of God that can accurately direct us toward the perfect center of God's Will. It is the Word of God that can teach us to serve Him in ways that are pleasing to Him. It is the Word of God that will teach us in every area of our life.

It is the Word of God that can bring revival to America. It was the Word of God that presidents once looked to as the roadmap of National Policy. It was the Word of God that was once used as textbooks in public schools. It was the Word of God!

In Christ,


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Lesson in Old-Fashioned American Patriotism

I once heard a preacher tell of an incident that he lived through as a child. His father was a veteran of World War II. In fact, his father had been forced to endure the Baton Death March and was held prisoner by the Japanese for a long period of time.

One day when our preacher friend was about ten years old, he and his father went to enjoy the great American past-time. They went to watch a baseball game. As the game was gearing up to begin, the announcer came online and introduced the singer who would be performing the national anthem. As the singer moved toward the microphone, the crowd stood to honor the flag and the anthem. The entire crowd took to their feet except for a few small groups of disrespectful people...

A small group of men who were seated directly in front of our preacher and his father, continued goofing and carrying on as before. As the anthem sounded throughout the stadium, these men refused to show any signs of respect or courtesy.

The preacher's father was immediately irate! He curled both hands into fists and with all of his strength he punched two of the men right in front of him in the back of the head. It knocked them down. Before they could even begin to stand back up, he quickly returned to the position of attention and placed his hand back over his heart.

The young boy was terrified. As soon as these guys stand back up, his father was going to be beaten by these men. When the men stood up, however, they looked at his father with his hand over his heart and immediately stood up tall and placed their hands over their own hearts. Several men seated nearby followed suit.

After the ball game the young boy asked his father, "Dad. I thought for sure that when you hit those men that they were going to beat you up! Why did you do that dad? It was really dangerous."

"Son," he replied, "I traveled half-way around this world and fought for that flag, watched my buddies get killed for that flag, and I stood ready to die for that flag. I may not be on the other side of the world, but my opinion of that flag hasn't changed one bit!"

At work on Friday morning, another soldier showed me the following video. Just as in the story above, this is another great example of Old-Fashioned American Patriotism! I applaud the man in this video and I hope that everyone in America takes a lesson from him. Don't ever be afraid to stand up for America!

In Christ,


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Friday, April 11, 2008

How to Deal With Life's Malfunctions

On July 16, 2007 I stepped out the door of an in-flight airplane for the first time in my life. As soon as the status light turned green and I launched myself out the rear side door of the plane, I knew that I had entered into an adventure both exciting and scary. I felt the rush of two-hundred mile-per-hour winds pushing against my body sending me twisting and turning through the air.

My first jump was my worst. I had a poor body position on my first exit which resulted in a parachute malfunction. Although my parachute deployed, my lines were twisted and the canopy wasn't fully expanded. I was headed toward the ground faster than the soldiers around me.

My first thought was that I was going to die on my first jump. That thought quickly disappeared, however, as my training kicked in. I remembered being drilled and prepped repeatedly for this moment. Since day one, we had studied corrective procedures for partial and full malfunctions. This was only a minor malfunction. I knew what to do to save myself from injury. This was nothing that I couldn't handle. It was nothing that I had not been equipped to deal with.

I twisted my legs and pulled apart on the risers. I kicked and spun and after about ten seconds my parachute was fully deployed. As lightweight as I was, I began to descend much slower than my fellow soldiers and was actually one of the last to land. The rest of my jumps have all been smooth rides and soft landings.

I learned an important lesson at airborne school. The Army puts a lot of effort into making sure that soldiers are equipped and trained to deal with the hazards that they face. More than that, God will never allow us to enter into a situation that He will not enable and equip us to deal with successfully.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ~ I Corinthians 10:13
He won't ask you to jump out of an airplane until He has trained and equipped you to land successfully. He has given us his Word for training. His has given us a church for fellowship with godly friends. He really has given us everything that we need to be a successful Christian.

There is no way that we can place the blame for our failures on Christ. He has provided us with everything, including access to God himself, so that we can do what is right, accomplish God's will, stand true in the face of persecution, reach souls for Christ, and stay pure in a world of filth.

The next time you face a difficulty and you have trouble figuring out how to move forward, stop for a moment and remember your training. Remember the scripture passages that you have the taken the time to remember. Remember the sermon truths that you have learned over the years. Remember the lessons that you have learned from the Word of God and take control of the situation. Face your difficulty head on and with a strong reliance on God, tackle it!

In Christ,



Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Causes of the 'Great Recession'

Recently in the news there has been a lot of talk about the 'recession' that America is entering into. In fact, a British news agency has referred to America as entering into another 'great depression.' The housing market has crashed and foreclosures are at an all time high. The financial markets have crashed. The price of oil and gasoline has been skyrocketing and the 'experts' are predicting that it will continue in that direction. Inflation is racing forward as the price of milk, wheat, and other staple items continue to rise.

Then the fingers are pointed. Democrats point to the policies of president Bush. Republicans point to the fact that the Democrats have controlled congress and should have legislated a solution to this long before now. The media blames the banks and the mortgage brokers calling them names like 'predators' and 'sharks.' Some have even blamed the media claiming that their announcement of a recession has created a self-fulfilling prophecy. People hear in the news of a recession so they spend less money to prepare. Since they spent less money the economy becomes stagnant.

In a small sense, every person listed deserves a small portion of the blame. The banks made poor decisions in able to sell their loans. The media beat this recession into our heads because the sound of that word sent their ratings a fraction higher. Democrats in the congress have actually been putting pressure on the financial industry to make more loans to lower income families so that they can own their own homes. That sounded noble until you realize that a huge portion of the foreclosure market is comprised of lower income families who would not have been approved for a loan five or ten years ago. They weren't done a favor by being granted a loan that they could not afford. Their blame, however, is only deserved in a very small way.

Nobody seems to blame the individual Americans whose houses are being foreclosed. No one wants to point the finger back at their own irresponsibility. Recently in the news they announced that a large percentage of Americans feel like they have less money than they had five years ago. The report went on to claim that a majority of Americans feel like they have more debt and less money saved than they did five years ago. Yet not one person wants to point to the poor savings and budgeting habits of the American people. In fact, they were using these statistics to point to the idea that America needs more legislation and better government policies to curb this negative trend from moving forward.

We truly do live in a welfare generation. We have developed a society that believes that they deserve to have more than they have and that it is the governments responsibility to make it happen. I watch every day as the people around me who make far more than I do spend all of their money, complain about the banks and credit card companies charging them fees for spending too much or for paying a bill too late, and go looking for added government hand-outs! We laugh at our grandparents and call them 'old fogeys' when they talk about their experiences through the great depression and in so doing we dismiss decades of wisdom.

As I write this article, I think of my personal financial situation. I have thousands more today than I had five years ago and I would be considered lower income. I have almost no debt and I have money in savings. I make far less than many whose lives are in ruin and I live in an area where the cost of living is extremely high, Washington D.C.

What America needs is a revival in the concept of personal responsibility. I realized a long time ago that I wasn't going to be a success financially by relying on the mandates of Congress, the generosity of a bank, a policy of the president, or by the good fortune of the stock market. I learned early the truth of hard work, saving money, budgeting, carefully and conservatively investing what you have saved, and a few other tricks that our modern generation seems to have forgotten.

In Christ,



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Joyfully Caring For God's Children

Two weeks ago there were revival meetings going on at our church in Alexandria VA. Evangelist Dwight Smith was preaching. During the week several different ladies were scheduled to be in nursery. On Thursday night, one of the ladies that was scheduled said that she would rather not be in the nursery. I volunteered to take her spot since I love being in the nursery as it is my desire to have children someday.

The lady that I volunteered to do nursery for looked at me like I had lost my mind. When I told her that I loved being around kids and being in the nursery, she still looked at me like I was crazy. This is an area that God has allowed me to be in since I was a young child. It is a very important ministry to the mom’s in the local church.

That lady ended up doing nursery that night. I was also still in the nursery because they needed extra help and the ladies in charge of our church nursery had already taken turns and been in there during the revival meetings. While I was playing with the kids the lady was observing my interaction with them and she said “Wow! You really do enjoy being around kids and being in the nursery”.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”
~ Colossians 3:23
I started working in the nursery at a young age with my pastor’s daughter, Kristi, who was just a bit younger than me. At my home church the mid week service is on Thursday evenings. For all of you mom’s out there before you have a heart attack that we were in the nursery when we were young, you must realize that most of the kids who were in the nursery during the midweek service at that time were our siblings and for a few years we rotated the mid week service every other week with my pastor’s wife.

I can remember only one accident that has occurred the whole time that I have been in the nursery and that was with my little sister, Sarah. She was probably 2 or 3 years old and the kids in the nursery were running around just like they do every service. As they rounded the corner to make another lap around the room Sarah fell. I don’t remember her crying but I do remember walking over to her and picking her up. When I lifted her into my arms I looked at her chin and noticed that it was split open. Very calmly I walked over and got a paper towel, held it to her chin and sent Kristi to go get my mom. Sarah ended up with stitches in her chin.

I can see your faces… some of you ladies are about to have a heart attack at the thought of your child getting hurt while not under your care. The questions and fingers of blame are running through your head. It’s their fault, they weren’t paying enough attention. Ladies with kids, accidents happen whether you are the one with them or not. I have a brother that fell down the basement stairs while my mom was home and watching him. Of course, with as many brothers as I have (twelve) that was probably impossible for that not to have happened eventually!

Ladies you may not enjoy being in the nursery or even want to be in there at all. You never know what the Lord is going to do in the service or what kind of stress the mother of a child is under. Working in the nursery and striving to provide a safe, clean environment for children during a service allows a mother to attend the service and allows the Holy Spirit to work in her life without her worrying about her child making noise and disrupting the service.

Don’t be afraid of the nursery. Don’t be afraid of the children. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. Just jump right in and do your best for the children and for the parents!

Faithfully Serving,

Diane Cardot


Author Info: Diane Cardot a godly army wife. She is a wonderful, supportive, and loving person and I am privileged each day to be able to call her my wife.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tax Relief At The Baptist Muse

Tax time is upon us. Here at The Baptist Muse, I understand the financial crunch that tax time imposes on our lives. That is exactly why I have decided to offer a little bit of green to the winner of my newest contest. In fact, I am going to give a ten dollar gift certificate to the store of your choosing to two different winners on Tuesday, April 15, 2008. You can consider that to be tax relief at the Baptist Muse.

All right, here’s the rules. I will select two winners. One winner will be the individual who has accumulated the most raw points. So if you can earn 50 points and the next guy only has 40…you are ten dollars richer. The second winner will be drawn at random, using each point as a ticket in a drawing. If you have fifty tickets, you will have fifty chances to win while the next guy in our example with forty points will only have forty chances to win.

Grab As Many Points As You Can…And Here’s How

Leave Comments: 1 Point – Leave up to five comments per post and you receive one point per comment up to five. Spam comments don’t count.

Forum Posts: 1 Point – Every comment posted in the Forum section of our site is worth one point! There is no limit! Go hog wild. Spam comments don’t count.

Email Subscriptions: 5 points – If you have never signed up for the free email newsletter, there has never been a better time to join! If you are already signed up on my email list, you already have five points in this contest.

Write a Review of the Baptist Muse: 15-25 Points (150-250 Words) If you write and post a review of The Baptist Muse at your website or blog, you will receive an instant 15-25 points. The minimum is 150 words which is worth 15 points. Every ten words over that and you will receive and additional point up to 25 points. Leave a comment here so that I will know to swing by your site and check it out!

Good luck and happy blogging!

In Christ,



Monday, April 7, 2008

The Testimony of a Praying Wife

This is a precious promise from the Lord, and one that is personal to me, as I claimed the verse for my husband"s salvation.
"Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." ~ Psalm 37:4
Let me start my story from the beginning of my relationship with Jim. I was sixteen years old, attended church, and participated in my youth group, having been saved at the age of nine at church camp. Although I went to church and enjoyed the company of my friends there, I was still very much a baby Christian.

Jim was eighteen and had graduated high school the year before in a nearby town. I knew he was unsaved, but I thought he probably would get saved soon. He attended church with me once or twice, but soon I stopped attending myself. I preferred to have my time free to spend with Jim. We married two days after my nineteenth birthday. From that time I determined to be a "good" wife and although I was not living for the Lord, He blessed us with three beautiful children. I did pray and occasionally read my Bible. I was not consistent enough to allow the Lord to speak to my heart though.

In 1988, my oldest son Chad was ten years old and began riding a church bus to King's Kids at my former church. One night he came home and told me he had been saved! I began to cry, both from happiness and also from conviction for not raising my kids in church. It took about six months, but eventually I rededicated my life to the LORD Jesus Christ. I vowed to live for Him and to raise my children for Him.

When I shared this with Jim, he was less than enthusiastic. He said I would not be allowed to force our children to attend church. (He had been forced to attend Catholic services as a child.)

The Lord worked this out so that my two younger children, Jared and Leah got saved within the year. Leah later received assurance of her salvation, having only been 3½ at the time of her original decision. I never had to force any of them to attend church. They wanted to go!
For many years the children and I prayed for Jim's salvation. The Lord provided many miracles, including Jim allowing the children to attend Christian school for a time and Chad being allowed to go to Bible College at Fairhaven Baptist College in Chesterton Indiana.

During Chad's freshman year, 1996, we visited the college several times. On October 6, 1996, we attended the morning service because of a promotion for a family portrait. During the invitation at the end of the service, Chad asked Jim if he was ready to be saved. Jim went forward and was met by a man in the church who took him to a private place. We all prayed and waited. Jim got saved! After 25 years of our relationship! We never did get that family portrait. We got something much better..... A Christian family!

On May 9, 1998, our family was blessed by a new addition. My thirteen year old nephew, Nick, came to live with us. I had always wanted another child. Another desire of my heart met by God's Grace! This would have been impossible before Jim's salvation, but God's timing is always perfect!

If you are a Christian with an unsaved spouse, do not give up! God does indeed keep His promises!
"Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" ~ Ephesians 3:20 & 21

Serving the King,

Janelle Delhotal


Author Info: Janelle Delhotal is the aunt of Nicholas Cardot, the founder and author of the Baptist Muse. He is the one mentioned in the story who came to live with them in 1998.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Sunday Morning Surprise

This morning when I arrived at church, one of my friends approached me and asked if I could teach the Sunday School lesson for the teenagers. "Of Course!" I replied and I reached down into my Bible for my notes from this week's "A Tale of Two Kings" lessons that I have been posting here at the blog. They weren't there. Before I left for church, I had cleaned out all of the excess papers from my Bible.

"Oh, well!" I thought. I'll just teach the lesson from memory. And so I did. A couple of times, I stumbled looking for the exact verse, but the teenagers actually helped out and worked with me. The lesson went great and the teenagers paid attention really well.

One of the reasons that I maintain this blog is because I am not always able to preach as often as I would like. By reading, studying, and writing articles for The Baptist Muse, I am forced to stay on my toes in this area. I am able to preach through writing and I am able to exercise my preparation skills. Then, when preaching opportunities arise, I am able to step up to the plate and give it my all.

Let me turn this brief testimony into a little challenge. What are you doing to sharpen your skills in the areas that God has called you into?

In Christ,



The Sunday Funnies

This post is a collection of a few of the things that had me laughing this week. I hope they bring a little bit of joy to each of you as well. Happy Sunday!

Shards O' Glass Popsicles

The Nobel Peace Pies!

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Smuggling Diamonds."

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don t use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance , Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

Add your own. :)


Saturday, April 5, 2008

First-Rate Christian Wallpaper

This page is a collection of christian wallpapers that I have been and am continuing to collect from around the internet. I am contantly looking for more images to add to the collection so please email me any pictures that I could add to this collection. Thank you in advance.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Storybook Love

This is an image I made from a photograph of my wife. Isn't she beautiful?

A Tale of Two Kings: David's Response

Hello and welcome back to day three of our adventure through the lives of King Saul and King David. This is part three in a four part series entitled “A Tale of Two Kings.” Lord willing, I will be posting the fourth and final installment of this lesson on Monday. If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you read the first two posts so that you can gain a greater understanding of what we are discussing today:

Day One: ”A Tale of Two Kings: The Preacher’s Rebuke”
Day Two: “A Tale of Two Kings: Saul’s Personal Response”

Finally, before we begin, I invite you to read through the passage of scripture that today’s lesson is built on: Psalm 51.

On day one, we looked at the rebuke that the prophet Samuel and the prophet Nathan brought to their respective kings. We realized during that lesson that their rebuke was both personal, it was tailored specifically to their recipients, and prophetic, it was brought as an envoy on behalf of God. On day two, we looked at Saul’s personal response to Samuel’s rebuke. We looked at each of the four ways that Saul rejected Samuel’s advice. He deferred the blame, denied the blame, described the blame, and defied the blame. Never once, however, did he repent or show remorse for his sin.

On day three, today, we are going to look at David’s personal response to Nathan’s rebuke. It won’t take long to realize that this response is a stark contrast to what we saw in Saul’s life. David went through four phases in his response to Nathan. Let’s take a look.

David Acknowledged His Sin

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:3
Unlike Saul, David didn’t play the denial card. He immediately admitted that he had done wrong against God. They say that the first step to overcoming is admitting that you have a problem. David had no problem admitting his wrong-doing.

Perhaps during the year that he waited for Nathan’s rebuke, the tender voice of God had been speaking to David’s heart about repenting. Then when Nathan spoke to David, it was the straw on the camel’s back. He just broke down and confessed his sin.

David Accepted the Guilt

“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Psalm 51:2-4
Recently in the news, I read of a man who had attacked, sexually assaulted, raped, and murdered his young neighbor girl. During the interrogation process, he admitted to all of it. He spoke of the bizarre fantasies that he had wanted to fulfill including cannibalism. Disgusting! During the interview, he explained that he had developed these fantasies as a result of abuse he had received from his parents and because of the rejection that he had experienced at school. He claimed that his disgusting, wicked actions were to be blamed on someone else: his parents and his school friends.

Men and woman have been passing the buck since the beginning of time. Adam tried to pass the blame onto Eve. Saul tried to defer the guilt onto his followers. Even you try to pass the blame onto other people for most of what you do. They just make me so mad. No! They don’t make you sin. That is a result of your own lack of spiritual and emotional discipline. Let’s not stray, however, too far from our feature presentation, the life of King David.

David didn’t follow the path of our psychotic, cannibalistic friend, of Adam, of Saul, or of you! He stepped up to the plate and boldly placed the blame on his own front door. He acknowledged that he had done wrong and he admitted that the guilt belonged to no one except himself.

David Asked For Forgiveness

“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:11-12
Once David realized and admitted how sinful he was, he wasn’t satisfied until he had begged God to restore to him the relationship that they once knew. He desired passionately to be reunited with Christ in fellowship as intimate friends. Perhaps this is why the Scriptures later refer to David as ‘A man after God’s own heart.’ That title may be linked to the passion in which David sought after God’s heart.

David Actually Repented

“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17
The greatest thing that David had going for him was the fact that he genuinely repented. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.” David whole-heartedly turned from his sin and back toward the heart of God. His entire heart and mind were together in sorrow for his sinful past. He was a broken man.

As you can see, David’s responses were extremely different from Saul’s. Saul’s answers were filled with pride and more sin. David’s answers were filled with humility, brokenness, and a desire to be restored to God.

What is your response to your sin? When the preacher mentions your sin from the pulpit, do you cringe and get angry like Saul or are you moved to draw closer to God?

In Christ,


Thursday, April 3, 2008

He Hangeth the Earth Upon Nothing

Recently, I have been experimenting with Adobe Photoshop. This is the first desktop wallpaper that I have created. I hope to be adding some more very soon. Let me know what you think!


A Tale of Two Kings: Saul's Personal Response

Hello and welcome back to day two of our adventure through the lives of King Saul and King David. This is part two in a four part series entitled “A Tale of Two Kings.” If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you read the first post, "A Tale of Two Kings: The Preacher’s Rebuke”, so that you can gain a greater understanding of what we are discussing today. Finally, before we begin, I invite you to read through this brief passage of scripture that today’s lesson is built on: I Samuel 15:15-30.

In yesterday’s lesson, we saw the great sin of these two men and we began to dive into the events that followed their respective wrongdoings. The first thing that we looked at was ‘The Preacher’s Rebuke.’ We took note that it was a ‘Personal Rebuke’ designed specifically for Saul and David and that it was a ‘Prophetic Rebuke’ in that is was brought to these men on behalf of God.

It is important that we jump in and try to understand each man’s personal response. King Saul and King David responded to their rebuke in entirely different ways. One man was humble and contrite; the other was proud and arrogant. One man was repentant; the other wasn’t even remorseful. These varying responses are the very key to understanding why God chose to deal with them in such unique ways. Their responses were polar opposites, and ultimately, so were the results. Today we will discuss King Saul's response and tomorrow we will discuss King David's.

Let’s begin by looking at Saul’s reaction. When Samuel presented his rebuke to the king, Saul responded in four ways.

King Saul Deferred the Blame.

“And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen...But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen...” I Samuel 15:15,21

At this point in our story, Saul makes it obvious that he must have learned at the feet of the famed Psychologist, Dr. Freud. He juggles through his mind thinking of his parents, of his friends, of Samuel, and finally settles the blame on the people. His sin is their fault…not his.

Saul's first response is a shocking revelation of his true character, or lack thereof. Rather than manning-up and accepting the responsibility for his actions, he tries to defer the blame to the people around him. He blames his followers for saving the animals, he blames them for taking the spoils of war, and ultimately he blames them for his sinful rebellion. It must not have occurred to him that if this strategy hadn't worked for Adam, it wasn't going to work for him!

This was Saul's first response: Blame someone else!

King Saul Denied the Blame

“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.” I Samuel 15:20

While King Saul had been enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous, he must have relapsed and been out drinking on the night they taught the principle that ‘the first step to overcoming a problem is to admit that you have a problem.’

After Saul realized that shifting the blame wasn't holding any weight in Samuel's eyes, he shifted gears and entered into outright denial. “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord!” I can hear him angrily shouting back at the prophet. In his eyes and in his logic, he did nothing wrong and nobody, not even the prophet of God, was going to tell him otherwise. He would not stand to be corrected by the facts, by the evidence, or by God himself!

This was Saul's second response: Deny! Deny! Deny!

King Saul Described the Blame

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” I Samuel 15:24

When Saul was a young boy, if he had ever wronged his sister, his parents would make him stand in front of her and apologize. He would hang his head down and stare at his shoes, but realizing that this was his only way of escape, he would finally blurt out, “I’m sorry.” His sister would cross her arms and with all the audacity in the world she would ask, “Did you mean that?” Of course, he didn’t mean it. He just wanted to get the embarrassing situation over with so that he could get back to playing with his Lincoln Logs…err, his Moses Logs.

At this point in our story, Saul is dangerously close to getting right with God. Samuel has finally beaten him back into a corner and Saul is forced to admit that he had failed to obey God's command. Of course, this confession only came after Samuel announced that Saul would lose his kingdom, but let's keep on topic. Saul finally confessed and announced his guilt but he failed in one major area. He remembered the strategy that he had used on his sister so many times as a child and forgot, if I may sarcastically use that word, to actually repent!

This was Saul's third response: Confession without repentance!

King Saul Defied the Blame

“Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.” I Samuel 15:30

After Samuel's brow beating Saul with God's message, Saul was finally backed into the corner. He admitted his sin. But instead of lowering his head in shame and in humility and making things right, he cocked his head back defiantly. He looked at Samuel and in his pride, he commanded him to recognize him before the elders and the people. He may have done wrong, but nobody else was going to know about it.

This was Saul's fourth and final response: Ignoring his Conscience!

The principle that we need to remain focused on is this: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So let me put it to you this way: will you learn from Saul's poor example or will you repeat it?

In Christ,



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Tale of Two Kings: The Preacher's Rebuke

Hello and welcome to the first in a three part series entitled “A Tale of Two Kings.” Throughout this series, we will be diving into the amazing lessons learned from the lives of King David and King Saul. I invite you to read two brief passages of scripture before delving into today’s lesson: I Samuel 15:1-15 and II Samuel 12:1-7.

The lives of King Saul and King David were scarred with major sin. Their lives tell the story of tragedy and despair. They both fell hard, slamming themselves against the laws of God and committing disgusting wickedness.

Saul’s sin was disobedience. God had directed Saul to destroy the Amalekites and leave nothing remaining. Not a sheep, a cow, or a piece of gold was to be saved. Saul decided, however, to destroy only the garbage from the sacked city. He kept the best of the sheep and the best of the oxen. He had directly rejected God’s command clearly placing convenience above that of obedient character. This was Saul’s sin.

David’s sin was arguably much worse. He began his rebellion by having an adulterous affair with a neighbor lady named Bathsheba. He then moved on to murder her husband to cover his tracks, and then brushed it under the rug for nearly a year. David’s sin was far worse than that of Saul.

It becomes clear from the scripture, however, that the ultimate, long-term fate of these two men was not molded by the sin they committed but rather, by their actions following their wicked misdeeds. After their fall from grace, these men followed two unique paths which would eventually determine if they lived or died.

It is important that we first take notice of the Preacher’s Rebuke. There are three distinct phases that these men journeyed through after their sinful rebellion, and this was the first. The Preacher’s Rebuke!

It Was a Personal Rebuke

When Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience, he didn’t speak in vague generalities and he didn’t beat around the bush. He specifically mentioned Saul’s sin. He made it personal.

When Saul returned from his conquest, he was all smiles. He had just enjoyed a huge military victory and had gained a lot of gold, silver, sheep, and oxen. He was so excited. His adrenaline was pumping. That is, of course, until Samuel interrupted with his timeless rhetorical question, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” (I Sam. 15:14) Apparently Saul’s mother had never told him the story of Achan.

This same principle was true in David’s situation. When Nathan stood before David, he began by telling him a parable: A rich man owned many sheep and cattle. A poor man owned only one small lamb. In fact, the poor man’s one sheep was treated like family and ate with them and was more of a pet than a piece of livestock. One afternoon, the wealthy man had a visitor and rather than go all the way to his fields to fetch a sheep for a meal, he stole the lamb from his lower class neighbor.

David was outraged and immediately proclaimed, ”As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die!” (II Sam. 12:5).
Suddenly Nathan makes it personal. You can almost see his bony finger pointing up at David as he says, “Thou art the man!”
Too often we find ourselves getting upset at something that the preacher says to us. ‘That’s none of your business, preacher. That’s personal!’ We fail to realize that these men of God are only following the Scriptural pattern laid out for them by these two prophets, Samuel and Nathan. Get over yourselves, friends. Take the rebuke at face value. Accept it. Repent.

It Was a Prophetic Rebuke

“Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel…” I Sam. 15:10
“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David…” ~ II Sam. 12:1
A prophet was simply someone who presented a message on behalf of God. Neither Samuel nor Nathan had any personal interest in seeing these men reconciled to God. They didn’t speak out against their respective kings because of self-interest or pride. They weren’t trying to make themselves look better than their audiences. They were simply relaying a message that they had been commanded to preach.

When Saul and David accepted or rejected their rebuke, they were not answering the prophet. They were answering God!

Go ahead, friends. Get offended at something that the preacher says. Get upset that he would preach against the way that you dress or the music that you listen to. Get angry that he would mention a part of your sinful lifestyle. How dare he mention your rebellion or sinfulness during one of his sermons?

But before you do, take a lesson from the two men in our story. You’re not rejecting your preacher…you are rejecting the tender call of God's mercy! Be careful where you tread.

In Christ,



Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Book Club: April's Update

I am really excited that my husband has asked me to take over the reigns of the book club here at the Baptist Muse. I love to read and can't wait to get into this month's book.

The Book Club is located at the forum portion of the website. Last month we started the book club by reading "By Duty Bound" by Ezell Ware Jr. This was an excellent book dealing with two men who were enemies because of their race but then shot down over Vietnam and left alone stranded for three weeks they became brothers.

The Book Club is a place for Christians to encourage one another to read and discuss books. Each month a different book will be chosen and we will work to stimulate our discussion and learning. The books will be chosen by the users of this site through a very simple process that will allow everyone to participate. To read about that process, click here.

The book for April is "Because They Hate" by Brigitte Gabriel. We would like to thank Kate Plourde for recommending this book. Each month there will be a discussion board opened where we all can discuss the book as we are reading it. To participate in the discussion, click here.

In an effort to whet your appetite, let me give some more information about this month's book:

“Brigitte Gabriel eloquently reminds America what is truly at stake in this struggle against terrorism: our families, our way of life, and our hopes. Ms. Gabriel's personal account of her own experience is riveting, compelling and spellbinding. This is a must read for the entire American public . . . Because They Hate contains monumental revelations that will shock and disturb you. But it is also a story of an indomitable spirit--Brigitte's-- that will move you.”

--Steve Emerson, author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Amongst Us, Executive Director, the Investigative Project on Terrorism

We are looking forward to having as many of your participate as would like to.

Best Wishes,