My Musings

Saturday, May 31, 2008

God's Simple Plan of Salvation

My Friend: I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die?

God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again."

In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How?

First, my friend, you must realize you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. "For the wages [payment] of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal seperation from God in Hell.

" is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27).

But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. "...He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus had to shed His blood and die. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11). "...without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]" (Hebrews 9:22).

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie.

My friend, " commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17.30).

This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...'Sirs, what must I do to be saved'? And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...'"

Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected.

His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior.

"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". (Romans 10:13).

Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.

Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer.

In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just pray: "Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank you for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."

Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it!

God's simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith.

You say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." Yes, that simple! It is scriptural. It is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today.

If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this letter over and over until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world.

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).

Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment.

God's power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. "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" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God's promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to pratice daily for spiritual growth: Pray - you talk to God. Read your Bible - God talks to you. Witness - you talk for God.

You should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8).

"Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] Me before men, him will I confess also before My father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).

Written by Robert Ford Porter


Friday, May 30, 2008

The Friday Funnies

A young boy walked up to the preacher and said, "When I grow up, I'm gonna give you a whole bunch of money."

"Well that would be awfully kind of you," the preacher replied, "but why would you do that?"

"Because my daddy says that your the poorest preacher he's ever heard!"


I was at a Methodist church last week and I saw a red phone with a sign that said '$50.' I was curious so I asked what it was. They explained to me that it was a phone in which you could speak directly to God. I paid the fifty dollars and sure enough I had a nice conversation with God.

The following week at my Baptist church I saw a red phone with a sign that said 'Free.' Again curious, I asked what it was. The preacher explained that it was for talking to God. "Why is it free here, but fifty dollars at the Methodist church?" I asked.

"At the Methodist church it is long distance!"



Thursday, May 29, 2008

Share Your Testimony!

Well, my wife and I have just posted out testimony here at The Baptist Muse over the past week or so and we would like to extend an open invitation to everyone else to do the same. If you are saved...then we want to hear about it. Let us know when you got saved and how the Lord has been working in your life. You don't have to be a great writer. Just be saved and we want to hear about it. Just email your testimony to me or submit on the contact page and I will feature it as an article right here on the Blog page!

So what are you waiting for? Let's get the word out about what God has done in your life!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

About the Founder of The Baptist Muse

I was raised in Amboy, IL, a small rural community in the northern part of the state. I was raised by my father as a single child until I was thirteen years old. It was during that time, that I received Christ as a young child at vacation Bible school at the First Baptist Church in Amboy, IL.

I lived with my father only until I was thirteen because he was a very violent man. He was a very hard drinker and often succumbed to very violent fits of anger. He was abusive both mentally and physically. My childhood was anything but easy.

Due to these difficult circumstances in my home, it was at that time that my Aunt and Uncle adopted me into their family. When that transaction took place, I gained two brothers and one sister. I also later found out that my mother remarried and had two daughters who I have yet to meet.

From the time I was in the eighth grade until the time that I graduated high school, I had the privilege of attending small private schools. During my freshman and sophomore years of High School, I attended the Young Men’s Leadership Academy in Letts, IA. This was a military styled Christian school with much emphasis on leadership, responsibility, and learning various vocations. During my Junior and Senior years of high school, I attended the Amboy Baptist Academy. It was at this school where I was trained in what is considered to be a classical education. I was taught linguistics (Spanish both years, Latin both years, and French one year), logic, rhetoric, formal debate, physics, algebra, and grammar.

After high school, I attended Commonwealth Baptist College in Lexington, KY. It was there that I received my Bachelor’s degree in General Studies. My areas of focus included pastoral leadership and missions. I was able to graduate without taking on any student loans by working a full time job during my college years.

Dress UniformAfter college, I joined the United States Army. I entered the United States Army in February of 2007. When I raised my right hand and took the oath of enlistment to protect the Constitution from all enemies, I did so for three reasons.

First, I joined the Army to honor the service of my cousin who valiantly served for six years in the United States Army and received a purple heart and other medals for actions that took place at the Battle of Fallujah, Iraq.

Second, I joined to reclaim my family name. My father received a dishonorable discharge after serving for approximately twelve weeks in the United States Navy. The dishonor that he brought upon our family name will stop at my generation.

Third, and most importantly, I joined because I genuinely wanted to serve and defend my nation and my loved ones. Often I felt as if patriotism was a faddish movement in our nation. People would wear patriotic hats or shirts. People would stand up at the playing of the national anthem. Many of those people, however, did absolutely nothing to contribute to the success and greatness of our nation. I did not want to be counted in their ranks. I would rather make my patriotism known with my actions…so I joined the United States Army.

While in the military, I hope to continually challenge myself to grow and expand in all areas of my life. I hope to better myself in terms of self-discipline, leadership, self-confidence and many other areas. I hope to provide a solid home life for my wife and whatever children the Lord will give me.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Testimony: Looking Back at the Grace of God (Part 3)

The church eventually grew and we purchased a building downtown. The building was an old double movie theatre. I used to laugh and tell my friends that I went to the movies three times a week. They would look at me and then I would explain about the building.

While in the youth group one summer we had a youth revival. The man preached a message called “Don’t Let the Light Go Out”. The sermon was on hell. He had all of the lights off in the auditorium except for one flashing red light. Since our building used to be a theatre there were no windows in the auditorium. It was pitch black. In the background while he was preaching he was playing a tape of people screaming in pain, it sounded like people were falling, and being tortured or in serious pain which was the point. The sound was to be people in hell crying out for relief. At the end of the sermon he shut the light off which represented us dying without Christ and at death we didn’t have any more chances to come to Christ. I felt convicted in my heart that I was lost and on my way to hell. However I regret to say that I did nothing about it that day. I believe that this was in June of 1998 or maybe July. I kept telling myself that I already took care of this a long time ago.

The Lord kept working on me about this over the summer. In September of 1998 we had a revival meeting. The evangelist was telling about his different booklets one night before the service and one of the ones he talked about was his booklet entitled “Salvation is Simple ABC”. I was so convicted about my lost state that I could barely sit in my seat to listen to the sermon. After the service that night I accepted Christ as my savior. I was baptized the next night after the service.

I surrendered my life to serve the Lord anywhere, anyway. I made many decisions as a teenager that have gotten me to where I am today with God’s grace and help. Who my friends were going to be, who I wasn’t going to be like, that I would remain pure until I got married, and the list could go on.

I attended a public school until I was in eighth grade and then was homeschooled until I was done with high school. After high school I attended a bible college for two years and then worked on staff at a Christian summer camp where I met and started dating my husband.

There are several people through the years that have made a major impact in my life. Some of them have passed on to Heaven to be with the Lord. I am so grateful for all of them and there is no way that I can repay them but to invest in the lives of others.

As I look back over the years I see where my life could have lead if I didn’t surrender and follow the leading of the Lord in my life. For all of you who think that God can’t use you because you come from a broken home, or it seems like no one else in your family is serving the Lord. You can make it and serve the Lord if you seek Him in your life and surrender to Him daily. You don’t have to be another statistic or a bad sermon illustration.

Serving the Master,

Diane Cardot

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Monday, May 26, 2008

A Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day is set aside for us to remember those who have died defending our great country. It was first proclaimed by General John Logan on May 5, 1868. The first Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at our own Arlington National Cemetery.

But do we need an official day to honor those precious souls who have defended our nation? Should our gratitude be set aside for just one day a year? Sadly, this is true for many Americans.

I can remember the early years of my childhood where anyone serving in the military was revered and appreciated for his contribution. We all wore the little poppy flower on our lapels to show our gratitude for those who gave unselfishly for our country. What a sight it was to sit in church and see everyone wearing these little poppy flowers. Later, we would attend the Memorial Day Parade and our war Veterans would be marching and everyone would wave their little American flag, clap and hail them as they marched by. The cheering would be deafening! Pride, patriotism and gratefulness swelled in our hearts as we cheered!

Unfortunately, I have seen this dissipate throughout the years and it is ashame - in fact, it should be an embarrassment to the American people! This reveals the general attitude of our country. This lack of gratitude is a blemish on the American flag and it stomps on the graves of the precious soldiers who fought, bled and died for what our flag represents.

Today's soldiers who fight for this great nation have the same courage and vision as those who fought during our first wars in the Colonial wars! These soldiers do not have the privilege of having an opinion on the politics that put them into battle. They willingly place themselves in harm's way because they believe that the United States is still the best country in the world. Our country was founded on biblical Christian principles and it is great today because of this foundation.

Unfortunately, America is moving further away from this precious foundation. Is it any wonder that our military no longer comes home to a hero's welcome as they did yester-year with ticker tape parades? Is it any wonder that Americans honor their war dead only once a year with no thought of them on the other 364 days? If your child was killed in action, wouldn't you want your countrymen to appreciate what he did for them?

What do you do on Memorial Day? Do you use this holiday to spend time with the family and have a BBQ? Or, do you visit veterans at the nursing home? Have you taught your children why we celebrate this holiday? Have you taught them to honor those in the military who are yet still living? Why wait until they are dead to honor them? Honor them today with your gratefulness. Don't be shy - show them by going up to them in the restaurant and thank them. Better yet, pay for their meal!

My son, a Marine, has gone to Olive Garden twice and both times his meal was paid by a grateful citizen! Reach out - thank those in your family, those in your church and your community. Keep the gratitude moving and continue to honor those who gave themselves for our beloved United States.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
~Moina Michael~

An Honored Military Mom,
Kate Plourde


Author Info:This is a guest post by Kate Plourde, who is using her personal experience to encourage and challenge Christians with Cancer.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Testimony: Looking Back At The Grace of God (Part 2)

The man knocked on our door and introduced himself as Pastor Brad Cranston. He was the pastor of a church that was recently started and was meeting at the local community college on Sundays and in his home on Wednesdays. The church was an Independent, fundamental, KJV only Baptist Church. He invited us to church and we started attending in the next few weeks.

On August 22, 1992 Pastor Brad Cranston came into our home and led me through a prayer in our living room. I didn’t get baptized right away because we had to go to another church to use their baptistery. In October of 1992 Heritage Baptist Church was established and I was a part of the founding day. I remember signing the member roll.

For a while my pastor worked a second job to support his family and the small congregation. I can remember going to church and it was the pastor’s family, my family and a hand full of others. One of the jobs my pastor did on the side was to be a substitute bus driver. The year that I was in third grade we were required to take swim lessons at the local high school. I can remember being ashamed that he would see me not in a skirt like he did at church but in shorts or pants. I used to try to use my backpack to cover it up so that he couldn’t see. Little did I know that it was the Holy Spirit working on me to convict me about my dress standards.

While helping in the nursery one Sunday morning a lady in the church asked me if I wore dresses all of the time. I said no and went about my day. It was a question that I couldn’t get out of my mind. I can remember surrendering to God in this area of my life. I went home from church and told my mom that I didn’t want to wear pants anymore but that I only wanted to wear skirts and dresses. My mom said ‘ok’ and she went to my closet and she removed all of the pants and shorts that I owned. She removed the temptation from me after telling me that once I made the decision there would be no turning back. This is a decision that I do not regret as I believe that this is God’s will.

To Be Continued on Tuesday...

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Friday, May 23, 2008

My Testimony: A Look Back at the Grace of God (Part 1)

I have been in church almost every day of my life since I was born. I attended Riverside Baptist Church until I was about three years old. Sometime before I turned three my mom came home from work to find another woman leaving her house. This woman was having an affair with my biological father. As a result, my mom and my biological father were divorced sometime before I was three.

Shortly after, my mother married Gary, now my stepfather, on the day after Christmas in 1986. Gary took on the role of a father to my older brother Dean, who would have been 10, and to me. He loved us as if we were his own children. At the time that they were married, Gary had three children of his own living with him. He also had four other children, one whom he had adopted.

We attended the First Southern Baptist Church from 1986 until the summer of 1992. The Southern Baptist Church did preach salvation, however they did not believe in standing for the King James Version or in a biblical separation of dress.

Each summer the church had what was called ‘backyard bible school’. This was very similar to Vacation Bible School which many of you are very likely familiar with but instead of taking place at the church it took place in the home of a church member. One summer I must have made a confession of faith buy I don’t remember it. What I do remember is being baptized. The baptistery was huge it was the size of a small swimming pool or at least it seemed like it to me.

In July of 1992 I was standing in the kitchen talking to my mom and dad. My older brother Chris was present there as well. We looked out the window and saw a man walking down the street wearing a white shirt. We had a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons that knocked on our doors growing up. We all assumed that this man was from one of these two churches. I remember someone saying that they needed to go get one of our church tracts to give to him. Little did we know that this man would have a huge impact on my life personally.

To Be Continued Tomorrow...

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Friday Funnies...A Day Early - The Trunk Monkey


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Addicted To God (Part 4)

We Must Always Be Growing Our Desire For God!

It is sad that there are Christians reading this who have only been saved for a few months or a few years who have more excitement and desire to be used of God than those who have been saved for many years.

It is sad that there are Christians reading who have been saved out of wicked sin who are more excited about being used of God than those who have enjoyed growing up in Christian families or who have enjoyed having a good family for some time now.
I was saved as a young child. I have been saved for over fifteen years, but it’s time right now for me to be more excited about serving God and having God do a work in my life than I have ever been.

There are those who struggle with addictions. They struggle with a desire to smoke a cigarette that is so strong they can’t break that habit. They struggle with a desire to drink another sip of alcohol. Those desires have been fed for years and now they struggle to break those desires and those habits.

You see for years they enjoyed cigarettes or drugs or alcohol and now to stop is one of the hardest things in their lives.

But why don’t we as Christians decide that we are going to spend so much more time with God, and doing the work of God that we get addicted to God! I mean, why don’t we cultivate our desire for God until it is so strong that people couldn’t get us away from church if they tried. So that people couldn’t get us to cuss or say something wrong if they paid us. Someone at work once asked my wife if she ever cussed. She said no. They offered to pay her ten dollars to say a bad word. She told them that it would take a whole lot more money than that to get her to cuss.

Our desire for God should be so strong that we are addicted to him!

We need to do right so much and feed that desire for God so much that we can’t be pulled away for anything. We need to feed it so that we would be addicted to doing right and living morally straight. How bad do you want God to do a work in your life?

Developing An Addiction To God

  1. Spend time with those who are addicted to God!

    To be a success in any area of life we must spend time with people who are a success in that area. It does not matter if you are an electrician, a carpenter, a preacher, or an engineer. It does not matter what industry you are in. If you spend time with people who are successful in that field, you will learn how to be a success.

    Be faithful to church as there is no better group of people to be around when trying to grow your desire for God than those who are at the house of God.
  2. Spend time feeding your addiction to God!

    Sometimes you won’t want to go to church. Sometimes you have to go and then later you will want to. Spend lots of time in the Bible and praying even when you don’t want to. Sometimes the ‘want-to’ only comes after much time spent doing the right thing.


How badly do you desire to have God do a work in your life? How strong is your desire for God? Is your desire for God so strong that it changes your life, your conversation, and your behavior?

I could never understand what it might be like for thirty eight years of waiting for God to do a work in that man’s life. He desired that blessing so badly he would wait seemingly forever for it. How strong is your desire for God in your life?

In Christ,

Bro. Nick


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Addicted To God (Part 3)

How Bad Do You Want God To Do A Work In Your Life?

My question for you today is, “How bad do you want God to do a work in your life?

There are two types of desires:
  1. Flippant desires- where we would like to have something but aren’t willing to allow our life to change in order to get it.
  2. Life changing desires- where we would be willing to do anything to fulfill that desire.

A desire is only as strong as the action it produces.

When I ask you how bad you want God to work in your life, I am not asking how much you feel like it would be a neat thing. I am asking how much your life is being transformed by the thought of God being real in your life. How much of your time is consumed thinking about God? How much of your time is consumed reading the Bible? How much of your time is consumed praying? How much of your time is consumed fighting against sin? How much of your time is spent feeding the desire to have God in your life or don’t you? Do you just spend your time living for the flesh and feeding the desire to live for the world and feeding the desire to do those things that oppose the very nature of God!

You see when you get a real desire to have God do a work in your life it goes beyond saying it with your lips and your tongue. It will transform your behavior. That’s the type of desire I’m talking about today. A desire is only as strong as the action it produces!

Life IS A War Of Desires

I’ve learned that often life is a war of desires. Paul said in Romans 7 that he often desired to one thing, but found himself doing something else. We desire to do right for God, but we desire to do wrong in the flesh.
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” ~ Romans 7:19,23
An old Indian chief once said that there are two dogs fighting within him. One dog is good, pure white dog. The other is bad, pitch black dog. A young Indian asked the old chief which dog would win the fight. The old Indian replied that the one whom he fed would win the fight.

You say that you desire to have God do a work in your life…..But do you actually feed that desire. You say that you want to enjoy the blessings of God….But do you actually feed that desire and live for him.

To Be Continued Tomorrow...


Monday, May 19, 2008

The Weekly Book Give Away!

Three weeks ago, we re-introduced a weekly book giveaway here at The Baptist Muse. This coming week, we will be giving away a brand new copy of 'Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord' by Charles E. Hurlburt and T.C. Horton. We have been allowing every comment at the Forums to count as a ticket in a drawing to determine who wins the free weekly book give away. The contests begin at Saturday noon and end exactly seven days later. This week will be no different. Jump right in and get involved over at the Forums and you might just win a free book! The winner of last week's book is Jeff, also known as 'JeffTheBaptist' from Ashland, KY ! Congratulations you have a brand new copy of 'Foxe's Book of Martyrs' coming your way!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Addicted To God (Part 2)

“Now there is...a pool, which is called...Bethesda...And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. ~ John 5:1-5
They beg the doctor for a solution, but in those days there was no solution. Jacob would have to live his life without legs. Now in those days there was no state aid. There were no wheelchairs. At the age of one year old he had been condemned never to be wed, never to have a family, and never to understand any of the joys of society but only to live life as a cripple.

Finally after growing up as a cripple, he hears of this miraculous pool called Bethesda. It was said that an angel would come down from heaven and stir the water there. It was said that whoever would step in the water would be healed of any disease or illness that they had. I can imagine as this man’s eyes light up. He gets some friends to carry him to this pool and he begins to wait for the stirring of the water.

But when he arrives he is saddened to find that there are many people there. There are many people who are trying to get in the water. Eventually the water is stirred and he begins to crawl toward the water. But before he can get into the water someone else steps in and his opportunity is gone. The tears begin down his eyes as he is so disappointed but he determines that he will stay closer to the water and crawl faster next time. But again someone steps in before him. And it goes on like this not for days, not for weeks, not for months, not for years, but for decades as this man sat with this disease for thirty-eight years.

His Desire Outweighed All The Obstacles

Friends, I am only twenty three and I will be the first one to tell you that I have no idea what it might have been like for him to have stayed there for thirty eight years.

But somehow this man’s desire to be healed was stronger than any of his disappointments. This man’s desire to be made whole was stronger than any of his loneliness. This man’s desire for God to do a work in his life was stronger than any of his obstacles and he remained at the pool of Bethesda, his place of hope for thirty eight years! His desire was so strong for God to do a work in his life that he waited thirty eight years without ever giving up.

To Be Continued on Tuesday...


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Addicted To God (Part 1)

“Now there is...a pool, which is called...Bethesda...And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. ~ John 5:1-5
Todd and Amy have two children, Alex and Garret. They love them and they do their best to provide for them. And when the news comes that Amy is pregnant with a third child they are both overjoyed. They are as excited as ever to know that they will soon have another child. After eagerly and painstakingly waiting nine months they are blessed with a beautiful baby boy. He is healthy. He is strong. He is everything they wanted in a child. They name him Jacob. They take Jacob home and begin to take care of him. Throughout the months to follow they watch as he develops as the other two children had done.

But after several months they begin to notice a problem. You see Jacob has a problem with his legs. They bow out in a peculiar way and Todd and Amy get worried. They take their child and they go the doctor’s office to see what the problem might be. When they arrive they are told in detail how his legs are formed wrong. But the doctor encourages them by telling them that the corrective surgery to fix this problem is nothing but routine for him. He tells them they can have his legs fixed and in only months he will be walking and running as well as any child his age. Without a doubt they go for it. The surgery is performed and Jacob is soon running and playing, as we all know, as well as any other child.

But let’s go back and change the scenario just a bit. Two thousand years ago a man and woman just like Todd and Amy are thrilled to know that they soon will be the proud parents of a little baby. And when the day comes they are overjoyed to hold a healthy little boy in their arms. Perhaps they even name him Jacob. It was a popular Jewish name. They begin to take care of him and they watch as he begins to develop into a young boy.

But just as in Todd and Amy’s case they begin to notice a problem. His legs are not formed correctly. They rush to get the help of the doctor and the doctor gives his diagnosis. His body will continue to grow, he tells them, but his legs will grow weaker and weaker until he is no longer able to use them. Perhaps, he’ll be two years old when they become too weak to use, perhaps sooner. They beg the doctor for a solution, but in those days there was no solution. Jacob would have to live his life without legs. Now in those days there was no state aid. There were no wheelchairs. At the age of one year old he had been condemned never to be wed, never to have a family, and never to understand any of the joys of society but only to live life as a cripple.

To Be Continued Tomorrow...


Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Three Year Anniversary

During the summer of 2004 I had the opportunity to work on summer staff at Cedar River Baptist Camp. I was on summer break from college and felt the Lord working in my life that I would not be going back to school in the fall and that I shouldn’t go home for the summer. I called my pastor and he counseled me not to stay at the school during the summer but that I should work on staff at the camp. There were two other girls from my church working there that summer.

I went and worked at the camp. My desire that summer was to serve the Lord and allow him to work in my life. While working at the camp that summer I prayed that God would give me a clear direction as to what I was to do in the fall. After being at the camp for about three weeks I got moved to the office to assist my very dear friend Karie. After moving to the office I felt the Lord leading me to stay on staff at the camp after summer was over and not go back to college. I prayed about this and counseled with my pastor and the director of the camp and I ended up staying until the beginning of March 2005.

Shortly after I moved to the office there was a young man who was working on staff for his fourth summer. He did a lot of things that required him to be in the office and he would try to talk to me. At first I didn’t respond back to him. I didn’t want to get in trouble as the camp had a strong stand against relationships during the summer as most of the summer staff was young teens. I must say that at times the first week he tried to talk to me I was very rude to him.

He was persistent and eventually I came around and would talk to him. The young man’s name was Nicholas or Nick to all of his friends. Nick befriended me and as the weeks went on I realized that there was more feelings there than just a friendship. Still not wanting to get in trouble I didn’t say anything to anyone. I prayed that the Lord would show me his will in this area of my life. I can still remember the morning that I prayed, “Lord if this is meant to be more then please show me now…if not then please take these feelings away.” That same day there were a group of men out playing instruments and singing choruses. The director of the camp came in and sent Karie and I out for a 15 min break from the office. When we went out Nick was up there acting like he could play an instrument. I didn’t realize it until someone pointed it out that I was watching him and not really paying attention to anything else.

I excused myself and headed back to the office. I was almost to the door when I heard the director say that he and his wife needed to talk to me. 'Oh no!' I thought, 'he saw me watching Nick and now I am going to get in trouble.' I went over and they talked to me for a while about how my summer was going and about staying on and working in the fall. Then they said that one of the young men on staff had approached them about courting me and that he had already contacted my parents and my pastor. I was a little scared at first since the only guy on staff that was my age or older than me was Nick’s friend Russell. I didn’t say anything about who I thought it was and they then told me that it was Nick and asked me if would be interested in getting to know him. I didn’t stop and think about it for more than a few seconds. I said yes because the Lord had answered my prayer from that morning and from the days before that.

We went on our first date the next night which was July 8. We got engaged December 31, 2004 and then were married on May 16 ,2005. Today is our three year anniversary. I will never forget the day that I married my best friend, the love of my life, my sweetheart Nicholas Cardot.

To all you single ladies out there God has someone that he made just for you. Just be patient and wait for him. I wasn’t looking for my future husband that summer I was looking to live for the Lord and he crossed our paths. God’s timing is perfect and you will be the happiest when you are in the center of God’s will.

Serving the Master,

Diane Cardot


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parenting that Pleases the Father

The story you are about to read is true and - sad to say - probably happens more often than we realize or would even like to believe. The episode took place in Target and had a profound effect upon me. I was shopping for a birthday present to give a little girl. Quite naturally, I was in the toy section browsing through isle-after-isle of stuffed animals, action figures, dolls, and games trying to make the perfect selection for a near perfect little girl. Right near the "boy's toys" two women, with a little boy in their shopping cart, were carrying on a conversation. They were loud and unpleasant and as I paused at the end of their isle I saw the boy's mother backhand him across the face—hard. She cursed at him (the likes of which are too embarrassing to record in this writing) and told him never to pull on her jacket again. He couldn't have been more than three-years-old and burst into uncontrollable tears.

She continued to publicly berate him as I stood there with my jaw dropped and my eyes wide open. I was astonished. What on earth could I do? I wanted to rescue the little guy. I wanted to comfort him and tell him everything would be okay, that his Mommy must've had a really bad day and she really didn't mean to hurt him like she did. But he wasn't mine; he was hers. Hers to make and to mold into the man he was bound to become — angry, resentful, and a hater of women.

I escaped to the next isle over and wondered what that little fella's days were like. If his mother behaved this way in public, I could only imagine her behavior at home. My ear caught the conversation between the two offenders: "She was watching you"..."I don't care who was watching me, that ain't child abuse - that's discipline! Let her say one word, and I'll be cursin' her out." This, of course, was all said in reference to me. I find it remarkable that I never said one word to these women and yet a reference was made to "child abuse." That little boy's mother KNEW full well that she had abused her son. Physically and emotionally. And he would remember it for a very long time. Poor little guy.

In the front of the store, a whole different situation caught my ear. Another little boy was crying—uncontrollably. His words came out between dramatized sobs, "I want it! I want it! I WANT IT!" As I write this, I am more than sure my readers have witnessed parents who do what I am about to describe: Nothing. They did absolutely nothing. In fact, they ignored him. They acted as though he wasn't even there! They didn't instruct him, they didn't look at him. They just dragged their screaming son down the aisles, placing items in their cart and staring blankly ahead as if the child was a figment of their imaginations.

Once again, I was astonished. What on earth could I do? I wanted to rescue the little guy. I wanted to instruct him and let him know that if he didn't behave properly we would leave the store and take care of his selfish behavior outside, in the car. But I couldn't. He wasn't mine; he was theirs. Theirs to make and to mold into the man he was bound to become—angry, selfish, discontent, and unable to maintain normal relationships. Poor little guy. Was he being bratty? Yes. Do I think that the other people in the store were annoyed by his behavior? Yes. Was it his fault that he continued? No. The fault lies at the feet of the parents who would rather not own up to the fact that it is their responsibility to take the time and effort to properly confront and deal with their child's unacceptable behavior.

May the above situations never be found in the life of a Christian parent. The Bible instructs us to train up our children in the way they should go and then, when they are old, they will not depart from it. This includes much love and much discipline, both given to the child in a way which would please the heavenly Father.

Kindest regards,
Mary Engesetter

Author Info: Mary Engesetter is a happily married mother of three, writer, Sunday school teacher, church secretary, business owner, lover of nature and natural medicine, and, most importantly, child of God. She records her thoughts and observations about life through the keyboard and camera at her blog entitled "The Way It Is."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Feminist Movement and its Contribution to the Modern Home (Part 2)

The issue in the minds of most liberal women is the idea of equality. They feel that to be a housewife is a disgrace and that they should not have to subject themselves to that low degree. They feel that the position of housewife is a lower position and that they should not have any more responsibility to fulfill that role than should the husband. The problem they have is that the look at the proper Biblical role of women as a lesser position and the workforce as a higher position. This is twisted, corrupted thinking. The Biblical pattern provides for the care and love of women. It provides for them to be honored and exalted. Yet the modernist looks at it as the opposite. The workforce is a hard place and a hard path to go. It is a place that the husband should not want the wife to have to lower herself to. If God leads then the husband and wife will go that direction but usually God does not lead in that way and the husband should have a desire to deliver his wife from having to live through life in the modern workforce. That is the once accepted Biblical pattern for women and the home.

This is the trend that has taken American women by storm in our modern generation of Americans. This trend has lead to the breaking up of the family, the insecurity of children based on the lack of love and acceptance no longer being found in the home, and many more issues. Women were at one time the primary teacher of the children in the home. Today the public school systems have become the mental mothers of children in many ways. The school system is now the one who determines and teaches the children the philosophies that will affect him for the rest of his life. They now provide for the children counselors and psychologists to provide the emotional stability that the children can no longer find in their homes. They have counselors that will help them to determine their life occupation which was at one time the role of the mother and father. The public school system is brainwashing America’s youth into believing Atheism, evolution, and many other blasphemous lies of the devil. And this brainwashing is being allowed because of the rise of the feminist movement. The wife is now at work when she was at one time at home teaching, training and loving her children. Satan has stepped in, transformed the philosophy of women, and is now destroying our children by the millions and millions.

We must understand that the way God ordained is the way that God blesses. People cannot have proper, functional families and live in such a way that is in direct rebellion to the plan of God. America needs to turn back to God in the area of the family if she ever hopes to see God’s blessing on her again. The transforming of the family has brought about the transforming the nation toward the sins of the devil and of hell. And the transforming of the family has been brought about by the rise and exaltation of the feminist movement.

In Christ,


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Feminist Movement and its Contribution to the Modern Home (Part 1)

At the founding of America the home was the most important thing in a person’s life. Men bleed and died in order to prepare a land where they, their families, and their posterity could live in freedom and prosperity. They fought with their lives to protect and prosper their children, wives…… their families. Men worked hard to provide for the home, often working far more than eight hour shifts, far more than five days a week, far more than is the norm today. Women of the day were exalted, loved, and taken care of. These women loved their families and counted it a great honor to raise and rear children with godly principles of hard work and character. Women of these days didn’t look at being a housewife as a chore, but as a privilege. They loved their children to the point that they wanted to give all that they had to see them grow up to be men and women of character for the next generation.

God’s design for the home is very similar to the way of life that was the accepted norm for the home in the early American republic. Yet today the home has become a very unimportant part of society. Nearly fifty percent or more of modern marriages end in divorce. Millions of children across America have no idea who their real, biological parents are because their parents live in fornication and adultery to an extreme degree. The modern family is in a sad, sad condition. Statistics tell us that Christian homes have the same, if not higher, rate of divorce that married couples of lost families. This is not God’s plan for our lives or for this great nation but is a demonstration of how much the sinful trends of the world have infiltrated the lives and families of Christians.

Satan knows that if he can destroy the home then he can destroy the church and the nation. To accomplish this destruction of the home he has tried to fill the minds of wives with discontentment. God does not intend to make a woman suffer through raising children, but it is His intention that children are to be a blessing and an heritage of the Lord. Yet Satan has reversed this godly trend that once dominated the minds of American wives and has put in them a spirit of discontentment and rebellion. He has slipped into their minds a desire to be free from the so-called bonds of being a housewife and have tried to encourage them to desire their equality with men. God intended that women be exalted, honored, and loved by their husbands. Satan is transforming that once accepted norm into a desire to be above men in such a way that would cause them to be in the workforce providing for the family. Satan is duping women into believing these thoughts of equality and freedom from being a housewife and is destroying our homes and our nation. Children now have to grow up and with no understanding of the love of two parents living under one roof, sharing, caring and providing for one another.

To Be Continued...

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Hope of a Nation

When Nehemiah heard of the conditions in Jerusalem, he was immediately stirred in his heart. In fact, by all accounts, Nehemiah's heart was broken and he literally mourned and wept at the state that his homeland was now in. You see, there were small groups of people who had been in Jerusalem trying to repair certain parts of the city. Instead of seeing progress, however, they were laughed at, ridiculed, and held up from their task. In fact, their opposition knocked the wall down and burned the gates. The nation of Israel was in derision. Nehemiah was right to be heart broken.
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. ~ Nehemiah 1:3
God's people were laughed at and their great city, their great accomplishments were torn to the ground. Today America is in the same condition. Our great landmarks of American history are being torn apart. The Christianity involved in the founding of this nation is being white-washed from the history textbooks. The Scriptures that once guided our leadership have become a relic that society looks upon with scorn and disdain. Christians who once set the standard for American living are now the laughingstock of the modern American culture. Preachers who take a stand against sin are derided as hate-mongers and as divisive. God is all but banned from the public eye.

The wall of America also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. In Nehemiah's day, those words drove him to weep and pray for his people, yet in our day Christians do very little in response to the declining state of our nation. Christians sit and watch as our nation quickly fills with sin. We stand idly by as Satan attacks us from within. Instead of being moved to tears for the sick condition of our homeland, we live insignificant lives catering to the devil's desires. We do little for the cause of Christ. We live apathetic to the need of this land.

We have been raising generation after generation of lazy Christians. Christians are now too lazy to read the Word of God and pray, let alone impact their community for Christ. Christians are too lazy to make any attempt at serving Christ the way that men and women did in the book of Acts. Our laziness to serve and love God the way that we ought to is sending this nation to hell!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ II Chron. 7:14
The world doesn't know any better than to do the things that they do. You can expect the world to promote sin and wickedness. If we want to see this nation turned around, we are going to need to see Christians that are filled with the Holy Spirit of God take a stand and make a difference. We need men and women to stand as that shining light on a hill in this dark and troubled world.

Will you join me in praying for America? Will you join me in seeking God's face? Will you join me in seeking revival in our own lives so that we might see a revival in America?

Will you join me?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Weekly Book Give Away!

A couple of weeks ago, I re-introduced a weekly book giveaway here at The Baptist Muse. This coming week, we will be giving away a brand new copy of 'Foxe's Book of Martyrs.' We have been allowing every comment at the Forums to count as a ticket in a drawing to determine who wins the free weekly book give away. The contests begin at Saturday noon and end exactly seven days later. This week will be no different. Jump right in and get involved over at the Forums and you might just win a free book! The winner of last week's book is Baptist Brethren from Burlington, IA! Congratulations you have a brand new copy of '199 Treasures of Wisdom in Talking With God' coming your way!

Just use the contact button at the top of the page to send me your information and I will get you book shipped right out to you. Congratulations!

Product Description: This Christian classic tells the stories of brave men and women who were martyred for their faith in the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries.

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!

In Christ,



Friday, May 9, 2008

My Ten Year Adoption Anniversary

On May 9, 1998, my Uncle Jim and Aunt Janelle adopted me into their family rescuing me from an abusive father and giving me a loving family. This was exactly ten years ago today. I struggled with a lot of things growing up including rebellion and resentment over my childhood. These folks who had no reason to help me continued to love me no matter what. This is a poem that I wrote in honor of their sacrifice.

Thank You by Nicholas Z. Cardot

In Honor of James and Janelle Delhotal

There comes a time in every life when trials fill the soul,
And all around no help is seen as heartaches take their toll.
Nowhere it seems can he escape whose life is plagued with hurt,
And the pains that fill that life of gloom, no joys come to avert,
When all around on every hand only struggles can be found.
And though that life would like to sing, the heart seems chained and bound.
Downward ever falling, that life would soon lose hope,
Distresses seem to hang that life at the end of no small rope.

Some men when they do reach that point, they put their trust in God,
And God draws near and walks with them as through this life they trod.
But other men, a bit less wise, reject the God from up above.
Their heart is filled with bitter thoughts and they decline His perfect love.
And when I found myself surrounded by these fears,
And on my face no joy was seen, but only always tears.
I chose the path of the unwise and departed from what's right.
Against the God who loved me so, I decided now to fight

I turned my back on all God's will, and fled from his bright face.
I hated all that brought to mind the thought of His sweet grace.
But in that time that I rebelled, when my heart was cold and black,
I seemed to feel a loving tough, it was a hand upon my back.
And when I looked to see whose hand was extended in my aid,
I saw a loving couple with no profits to be made.
The love of God shone in their face and pierced my heart straight through.
Their loving care reached deep within and made my heart anew.

I'll never understand just why they loved me so,
I'll never understand why they were there to help me grow.
And yet, they'll never really know how much their love has meant,
They'll never truly understand the thanks that I have sent.
Nothing could ever repay what these two have done for me,
No gift could open up my soul and truly let them see.
Instead I'd like to bring to them, on this their special day,
A heart of love and thankfulness, and these simple words I'd like to say,

Thank you for your love


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is the World Comfortably Abiding in Your House?

A stubbornly resistant cold/virus has held me housebound for nearly a week now. Because there's not much else I can do but rest, I've had time to surf through cyberspace, and to scroll through the blogs of other Christian women. It's been wonderful to see the threads of Christian virtue woven through the writings of so many good ladies and young women.
It's always a good thing to try and imagine what you would do should the Lord Jesus Christ stop in for an unannounced visit. It helps to assess what one has in her home and whether or not it should remain there.
Yet I am troubled... troubled by a book. A book that I've seen highly praised by those who have read it and by those who have only heard about it yet cannot wait for a quite moment to sink their minds into its pages.

Many blogs I've seen have posted a picture of the book's front cover; and as soon as I saw its title I determined in my heart not to buy it and not to read it, ever! Maybe the information stored within its chapters would be quite worthy of my time. It may be chock full of applicable principles. But its title speaks of a separation issue right off the bat. You're curious about the title, right? Here it is, "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God." I think if all of us are honest, we'd have to admit that it brings to mind a less than virtuous television program—a sitcom that's worse than the worst, revealing and reveling in the ugliest traits a woman could possess. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." A perfect verse to describe the television program I'd rather not mention—it's that bad.

Why would an author who says God is her Father find it necessary to look to the world to title the book she, no doubt, labored over for months and months? Does not the Scripture exhort God's children, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Could it be the perfect will of God that the title of one's book conjure up polluted images of the world in the mind of the reader? Could it be acceptable to the Lord that one blogger mixed up the title's adjectives while writing her intentions to read this short volume? There's something very wrong about this, I think.

It's always a good thing to try and imagine what you would do should the Lord Jesus Christ stop in for an unannounced visit. It helps to assess what one has in her home (magazines, catalogues, DVDs, CDs, etc.) and whether or not it should remain there. And if He did come for a visit, each one of us would greet Him with much adoration and deep reverence, wouldn't we? But would we be ashamed at some of the items lying about the living room? Would we hurry to change the radio station? And what would we do if "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" was displayed on the coffee table directly in front of the place where the Lord was seated? I can hear it now: "It's not what you think, Lord, really. The title is different, it just sounds the same, but it's not the same thing as that television program. It's this book about Christian living, and it's really good, but it's not anything like that show. I know it looks that way—my unsaved neighbor thought the same thing—but it's not, really. Here, I'll just hide it for now." Shame. Not because of its contents (like I said, it may be a very good book), but because its title is equated with the wicked world. The unsaved around us should be able to plainly see the difference Christ has made in our lives. May it never be said of the professing Christian woman that the world comfortably abides in her house.

But why should we pretend that Christ may pay us an announced visit? There's really no need to merely imagine His divine presence. He is here, right now. Remember what the Lord said to His children, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." His all-seeing eye inventories the life of the Christian every single second. My life, your life. Have you anything you'd rather He not find? Is there something in your home, such as the above-mentioned book, that just doesn't seem right? Get rid of it. There's an abundance of good, unquestionable reading material out there for the Christian woman's betterment. To end this post, I will leave you with Scripture, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." I Thessalonians 5:22. As for "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God"? I'll never buy it, I'll never read it, ever. No apologies given!

Sincerely in Christ,

Mary Engesetter

Author Info: Mary Engesetter is a happily married mother of three, writer, Sunday school teacher, church secretary, business owner, lover of nature and natural medicine, and, most importantly, child of God. She records her thoughts and observations about life through the keyboard and camera at her blog entitled "The Way It Is."

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Falling in Love With Him...Again

After our first date things only went up hill in the relationship between my wife and I. We began to talk more. We spent more time together. We got to know each other, and eventually we fell in love. After a while we reached a point where we were totally infatuated with one another (that is the stage that we have now been in for the past three years!). When we stepped into that stage of our courtship a new aspect of our relationship emerged. We now went out of our way trying to make the other person happy. I wanted to know what restaurants she liked, what foods she liked, what colors she liked, what kinds of clothes she liked, and everything else that she liked. I then took that information and would take her to restaurants, buy her teddy bears, buy her flowers, buy her clothes, etc. I wanted to do whatever I could to make her happy.

It became my goal to try to find out what she wanted and then get it for her. Believe me, this was easy. My wife had such a small desire for new clothes, gadgets, and other stuff that it was easy to find out exactly what she liked. No matter what I got for her, she just loved it. She never commanded me to buy anything for her. She never coerced me to buy anything for her. In fact, most of the time she would complain and say things like "You shouldn't have!" or "You spent way too much on that!" or "I don't deserve this!" She was wrong. She deserved a lot more than I could ever give her. Even though she never once asked me to buy anything or do anything for her, I did because I loved her. My love drove me to do as much as I could to fulfill her wants. I wanted her to be happy with me, with what I did, with what I got her, and with what I did for her.

As we expand on our thoughts from yesterday, let's look once more at our relationship with God. If you've been in church for any time, you have heard people talk about the 'Will of God.' This is another one of those terms that I don't like. Let me explain before I get crucified. In our modern Christianity, many Christians always talk about the will of God on some huge scale as something that they are going to do years in the future. A teen will talk about what God's Will is for them after they graduate high school and after they graduate college while they are actively living in little sins today. A man will say that it is God's Will to start a ministry...someday. I hate seeing God's Will referred to exclusively in the future tense and exclusively on that large scale of thought.

Let's reshape the way that we look at God's Will and see it in the perspective of the relationship that we are supposed to have with God. The phrase 'Will of God' simply means 'what God wants.' Just like I said that I had set out on a quest to find out what my wife wants so that I can make her happy in our day-to-day lives, we need to be seeking out what we can do to satisfy what God wants in every area of our life. Don't just look at what God wants from you ten years from now. Think about what God would want from you today. Try to see what tie God would want you to wear when you get ready in the morning. Maybe you look at one tie and say to yourself, "I look really good in that tie so I should wear that one." And then you realize that it is pride and that God does not want to see you prideful so you decide to put off wearing that particular tie until another day. Yes, friends, God does care about the little things...and he cares about them today.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
~ Revelation 2:4
We ought to fall in love with Christ all over again every day and do everything that we can to find out what he wants us to do to please Him! We ought to treat God as though he were our best friend and we are trying to make Him happy or as though He is our dear loved one and we are trying to pamper Him with our love, affection, and service. The infatuation of a love-struck college boy ought to be our example for our relationship with God.

So let me ask you a few questions. Did you take God out on that first date that we talked about yesterday? Did you begin to rebuild that relationship? Are you falling in love with Him over and over again? Are you seeking throughout your day to find ways to please our loving God?

If not, there has never been a better time to start.

In Christ,



Monday, May 5, 2008

Your First Date With God

I remember the day that I took my wife on our first date. It was in early July of 2004. We went to Wal-Mart and the mall and I was able to get her something to eat at the food court. As we walked around through the various stores, I had a difficult time thinking of what to talk about. I was nervous and most of our conversation was what I would now consider to be small talk. I couldn't think of what to say. I couldn't tell what products we should go look at. I couldn't decide if my hands should be at my side or in my pockets.

The entire time that we wondered around, I knew that I was attracted to her and I wondered if their was any mutual feeling or if she was just tolerating me. I wondered if she had any feelings for me and if she would want to go on another date or if this would be the last that I would see of her.

To make conversation I would ask her silly questions like 'When is your birthday?' Then I would say that my dad's birthday is that same month. I would ask her what color is her favorite, how many brothers and sisters she had, and what she like and disliked. It was pretty much a night of awkwardness...probably for both of us.

Ten months later, however, we walked down the aisle and said our wedding vows to one another. Since the time of our first date almost four years ago until now, my ability to carry on a conversation with her has dramatically changed. Today I can talk to her about anything. I can speak about whatever is on my mind or on my heart and she will respond and do the same. I don't worry any more by wondering if she feels toward me what I feel toward her. I know that she loves me.

I often hear people use the term 'fellowship' when referring to the relationship that we have with God. I have grown not to like this term. Don't mistake what I am saying. We need to fellowship and it is a Bible word. However, in many modern minds, fellowship has been so formalized.

We fellowship with other Christians only at organized functions. We fellowship with God only during our prayer time (if we have one) and even then we simply read our requests off of a list. True Scriptural fellowship includes much more than these formalities. It includes the same fellowship that I can now enjoy when talking with my wife or when taking her on a date.

If I spoke to my wife in the way that most Christians speak to God, she would slap me. That is to say if I only spoke to her for two minutes each morning and when I did I just read to her a list of my needs, I would deserve a black eye! Everyone of us would probably agree with that, yet we do the same thing to God. He doesn't want ten minutes in the morning. He wants fluid conversation all day every day. He wants to speak to us through his Word and he wants us to speak to Him through prayer.

He wants us to share with Him what we need, how we feel, our burdens, our desires, everything about our daily life. There is nothing to small for God to listen. The best part is that you won't ever have to worry about whether or not God feels toward you the same way that you feel toward Him. God loves you more than you will ever love Him this side of Heaven. If anything, God is wishing that you would reciprocate the feeling.

You've got to start this relationship somewhere. My wife and I started through slow, awkward small talk and over time we developed our relationship to where it is today. Have you begun to build your relationship with God? Are you actively enjoying conversations with God? If not, maybe it's time to take God on that first date again and rekindle that flame!

In Christ,



Sunday, May 4, 2008

Rewards, Updates, and Growth!

Well, last week I decided to begin promoting the forum page of The Baptist Muse by offering a free book to a randomly selected person who left comments there. Since last week's announcement, we have received close to four hundred comments over there. Needless to say, the forum is beginning to develop into quite the growing community. In fact, if you haven't been by there yet, then hop to it because this week we are going to do it again! Every comment over at the forum will be worth one chance to win our book for next week. I will be giving out the same book as last week, '199 Treasures of Wisdom on Talking With God' by Andrew Murray. So hurry up, head on over, and get involved!

Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Congratulations! The winner of last week's contest is the user by the name of 'Media Missionary!' Just use the contact button at the top of the page to send me your information and I will get you book shipped right out to you. Congratulations!

This week, we will again 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, May 2, 2008

Join The Team - Write At The Baptist Muse

I proposed the idea of having guest bloggers for the first time two months ago. Initially, I had a great response. Several people volunteered to write articles here and every article received was an excellent piece of literature. Recently, however, very few people have been interested in this idea. This is my attempt to revitalize that idea. I would love to have a whole bunch of people who would be willing to write an article at certain intervals. Maybe you could write once or twice a month. Great! I would love to move this website away from a 'Nicholas Cardot' theme and more into a community theme. I want this website to be all about you. You don't have to be the best writer in the world. Be passionate. Be honest. Be real. We'll publish your work and give you the recognition you deserve!

If you are reading this article “Write For Us” , it’s probably because you are interested in writing for The Baptist Muse. Great! :)

I would like to develop a team of writers, preachers, godly wives, Christians, bloggers, [insert title here], and of course I'm always looking for quality content to publish on the blog.

If you’re a writer and an Independent Baptist, you're looking for a place to publish your work, and you can give great advice or write a great article about life, Christianity, finances, or whatever, get in contact with me.

What I Am Looking For

Please take some time to read the posts already published, so you get the idea of what The Baptist Muse is about. I'm looking for well-written posts/articles that Christians and Americans will be interested in reading, as simple as that.

If you would like to suggest a resource for our “resources” section, please leave me some comments also.

If you’re looking to get a little more exposure to your own blog or website and want to get your name out there, writing on The Baptist Muse should help you do just that.

Rules And Guidelines

Here are some basic “rules and guidelines”. Common sense really. ;)

  • 500 words minimum
  • No images, I will add one
  • Spell check before sending your post(s)
  • If you’re not sure, send a sample of your work. (I don’t bite :) )
  • I reserve the right to edit your post (h3 and strong tags, punctuation, grammar)
  • Include a byline/signature (with 2 links max)
  • No affiliate links
  • No links to questionable websites

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me through my email. Please put “Write For Us” in the subject line.

Thank you very much,

Nick - The Baptist Muse