My Musings

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Friday Funnies - Man Rules­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note.. these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really .

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation,or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;

But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Modern American Hero: A Testimony from the Frontlines of Iraq

Ray Zindell, a Major in the United States Army, is a very close friend of mine. In October of 2007, he returned from a combat tour in Iraq. While there he worked as an avid soul-winner working to care for the soldiers around him and to reach them with the gospel of Christ. He has agreed to share his testimony on this website in an effort to encourage others with the amazing testimony of what God has done in his life while serving our nation overseas. Please leave your comments and feedback to let this American patriot know how you feel about his service and about his testimony.

Here is the question that I asked him that sparked the following testimony, “What is your most memorable experience or series of experiences while you were in Iraq?"

I remember one great moment in my life while I was in Iraq. It is a moment that has changed me completely, and changed my relationship with Christ even more. It involved the death of a United States Army Soldier that I knew through our Bible study in Iraq and it involved the heart of a Christian service member who cared enough to reach out to another Soldier when it was needed most.

I came to know Captain “John,” a friend of mine serving in the United States Air Force. While in Iraq. John had been introduced to me through Lieutenant Commander (P) Mike Chettham and participated in our soul winning ministry in Baghdad (run by Mike Cheetham and I). John became introduced to the blessings of soul winning for the first time through the class. As a result, God put a fire under John and he started experiencing the blessing God had in store for him through sharing the gospel. He would come back every week and tell us all the situations and continued to ask for more advice on approaching people for Christ. It was exciting to see what God had done in His life and the Life of those around Him because of the soul winning class. John soon became a great soul winner.

One of John’s soul winning efforts involved a Soldier with whom John worked with in Baghdad. During their down time together, John would talk to him about his salvation. They would talk about knowing if he was on his way to heaven. Every time John would ask that pointed question, this Soldier replied with, "Hey, I am fine!" or "It’s okay. You believe what you want to believe and I’ll believe what I want to believe."

But after church one Sunday evening he and John were having a cup of coffee. The subject came up again and the Soldier wanted to know how he could be 100% for sure that he was on his way to heaven. He said, "John, you know you can keep talking about this. Why don’t you tell me what you mean by this?" So John had the opportunity to lead him to the Lord, and the Soldier asked Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior right there in Baghdad, Iraq. Afterward, the Soldier was so excited. He picked up the phone and he called his wife back in the United States to let her know what happened, and to let her know the great news.

John came back and was just pumped up with the news that Monday evening. I can remember him emailing me and saying, "This is great, just great and wonderful." We rejoiced in what God was doing in Iraq that evening. It was really a great thing that God allowed us to be a part of that all.

Then, Tuesday came. We were getting mortared and rocketed pretty bad that week. More than usual. That Tuesday was particularly heavy as I can recall. The young Soldier that Captain John had led to the Lord that Sunday evening was walking outside the U.S. Embassy building when a number of explosive rockets made their way into the Compound. It was at that moment when the young Soldier went off into eternity from the rocket exploding just feet from the Embassy building itself. Some personnel on the scene tried to help him. One of the soldiers that was there tried to care for his wounds and get him stabilized so they could get him to the hospital. But it was too late.

It was Tuesday night in the middle of our Bible study when we found out that the had been taken home. There were tears of sorrow and pain. John especially was shattered to get the news. But we could proclaim this one thing in that Bible Study that night “It was that he was on his way to heaven.”

Then, John shared the young Soldier’s testimony to the class and in that little white building chapel that night we praised God for his salvation. John's reliance upon God's grace enabled Him to experience the joy of soul winning in the most powerful way, which to him is a huge blessing even today. It was all because a faithful Christian who had a heart for souls that wanted to reach out to the lost for God.

Just to be a part of that...even an indirect part of that, was amazing. But that is not where the story ends.

We went through the memorial service that Wednesday. On Thursday, the young man’s wife called the Chaplain there at the U.S. Embassy. The Chaplain exchanged some words with her and said that it was a good memorial service. The deceased Soldier’s wife said, “I’d like to talk to the man who talked to my husband that Sunday before he died.” So the Chaplain gave her Captain John’s phone number.

John talked to her for quite some time. Before he got off the phone with her he said, "Ma'am, I want to ask you a question and I don’t want to insult you. Are you 100% for sure that you are on your way to heaven or do you have some doubt?"

Now mind you three months ago, Captain John would not have had the courage to say all this. The young lady said, "No. That’s why I called. I want to know the same thing that you told my husband. I want to be able to share in the same joy that my husband shared with me!"

So, Captain John over the phone and across the ocean shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with this young lady, and she, like her husband just days before, received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

Now that it is a memory that I will hold closest to my heart. Had I not taken that step forward...Had I not thrown myself at the service for God and my country then I would not have had the opportunity to share the experience of soul winning with Captain John or meet great men like him or LCDR Mike Cheetham and all the rest.

I glory in that. Just to be a part of that was worth the price of admission. That God would share such joy as that in our lives makes me keep serving Him and my country. It is worth the cost.

Major Ray Zindell

*This is the expressed opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Friday Funnies

Each Friday I am going to be selecting some of the funniest content that is submitted to the humor section of the Forums at The Baptist Muse to feature here at the Blog. This week's features were submitted by our forum member who goes by the name of Jude. Well, come on, let's get started!

Redneck Technology!

LOG ON: Makin a wood stove hotter.
LOG OFF: Don't add no more wood.
MONITOR: Keepin an eye on the wood stove.
DOWNLOAD: Gettin the farwood off the truk.
MEGA HERTZ: When yer not kerful gettin the farwood.
FLOPPY DISC: Whatcha git from tryin to carry too much farwood.
RAM: That thar thing whut splits the farwood.
HARD DRIVE: Gettin home in the winter time.
PROMPT: Whut the mail ain't in the winter time.
WINDOWS: Whut to shut wen it's cold outside.
SCREEN: Whut to shut wen it's blak fly season.
BYTE: Whut them flys do.
CHIP: Munchies fer the TV.
MICRO CHIP: Whut's in the bottom of the munchie bag.
MODEM: Whut cha did to the hay fields.
DOT MATRIX: Old Dan Matrix's wife.
LAP TOP: Whar the kitty sleeps.
KEYBOARD: Whar ya hang the keys.
SOFTWARE: Them plastic forks and knifs.
MOUSE: Whut eats the grain in the barn.
MAINFRAME: Holds up the barn roof.
PORT: Fancy Flatlander wine
ENTER: Northerner talk fer "C'mon in y'all"
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY: Wen ya cain't 'member whut ya paid fer the rifle when yore wife asks.
MOUSE PAD: That hippie talk fer the rat hole.

How To Tell Your Pigs Apart

Two Irishmen bought two pigs, but then worried about how they could tell whose was whose. Paddy suggested he cut one ear off his pig. The other Paddy thought that was a good idea. This worked fine until a few weeks later when Paddy stormed into Paddy's house. "Paddy, your pig has chewed the ear off my pig! Now we got two pigs with one ear each. Now how we gonna tell whose pig is whose?" "Well, Paddy," said Paddy, "I'll cut ta other ear off my pig. Ten we'll 'ave two pigs and only one of them will 'ave an ear." The other Paddy agreed. This worked fine until a few weeks later when Paddy stormed into Paddy's house. "Paddy, your pig has chewed the other ear offa my pig! Now, we got two pigs with no ears! Now how we gonna tell whose pig is whose?" "Ah, dis is serious, Paddy," said Paddy and he thought a moment. "How about if I'll cut de tail offa my pig and den we'll 'ave two pigs with no ears and only one tail." Paddy agreed. A few weeks later, Paddy stormed into Paddy's house again. "Paddy, your pig has chewed the tail offa my pig and now we got two pigs with no ears and no tails! Now how we gonna tell 'em apart?!" "Ah, forget it," said Paddy. "Why don't you have the black one and I'll have the white one?!"

In Christ,

Nicholas Z. Cardot


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Selfless Pursuit of the Will of God

Selfless Pursuit of the Will of GodImagine yourself standing at the end of a large rope with in a group of several other men and women. At the opposite end of the rope stands another group of people who are prepared to pull against you when the buzzer sounds. Your goal is to pull so hard that you drag the rope and the other team until you are able to reach out and grab the prize that has been set at the edge of the arena.

Suddenly the starting bell rings and you are off. At first you pull half-heartedly, but quickly you realize that this is no small task. That other team is determined to drag you over to their side and claim the prize for themselves. You won’t have any of it. You pull harder. You push your feet into the ground. You grip the rope so tightly that your knuckles turn white. Your brow becomes covered in sweat and your shirt becomes all messed up. You can tuck it back in in a few minutes. Right now you are busy. You are determined to claim that prize for your team.

You begin to make a little headway. You and your team drag them about a foot in your direction…then two feet…then five. Finally, your teammate at the end of the rope reaches out and grasps the prize. You have pulled far enough to claim the reward. You release the rope and together with the others you begin to cheer and applaud one another. You did it.
Isn’t it funny that in a game as silly as tug-of-war you are willing to commit every last ounce of strength so that one of your teammates is able to claim the prize. All sense of selfishness disappears and the only thing that matters is that the team wins regardless of who gets to grasp the prize at the end.

What an amazing Biblical truth that each of us could bear to learn: To put aside all self pride and endeavor with all of our strength to reach for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus!

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 3:14

So often I fear Christians are pushing forward in the work of Christ solely for the purpose of looking nice in the eyes of those around them. While I am glad that they are at least doing the work of God, it is sad that they are doing it for sinful reasons. It is sinful to motivate ourselves in the work of God through the wickedness of pride.

Yet how often do we see this happening? Preachers are more concerned with announcing greater numbers than in seeing individual lives being transformed into the image of Christ. Bus workers are often more concerned about winning the spring campaign than they are concerned with the eternal souls of those on their buses. Soul-winners are short changing the gospel and leading men and woman through false professions so that they can simply get another ‘notch on their belt.’

We need a revitalized sense of serving Christ that is motivated by a love for God and souls. We need to get over the pride that drives us to seek our own glory. We need to throw our self-image out the window and give every ounce of our strength to seeing the Will of God accomplished in our lives and in our churches. Let’s press toward that prize!

In Christ,

Nicholas Z. Cardot


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In the Arms of Sweet Deliverance

In the Arms of Sweet deliverance, gonna’ lay my heavy burdens down And with my Lord I’ll abide When at last my travelin’ days are done, In the land somewhere beyond the sun, In the arms of sweet deliverance, In the arms of sweet deliverance I shall rest by and by …

This is one of my favorite songs. This song is all about taking your burdens to the Lord instead of bearing them yourself. It is so easy in our life to just make it through the day by the things of the world. This is not what God wants from us. He wants us to have a daily walk with him. He wants to bear of our burdens. He wants us to talk to him. He wants us to wait on him and to trust Him to take care of us.

Of troubles I’ve had much more than enough; Many the days my path is rough; Many the days I wonder what to do. But then I talk to my God in prayer and he assures me that he’s right there and whatsoever may come he’ll see me thro’

I’ve read in the book how the Lord once said, “The rain will fall on the good and the bad, But wise is the man who waits upon the Lord.” When trials and sorrows multiply I will not ask him the reason why, For strength is mine only heaven can afford.

There have been times in my life when I was going through a trial and the last thing that I did was go to God in prayer when it should have been the first thing that I did. There have been other times when I went to God as soon as the trial started and it ended quicker and with a better result than when I went to the Lord after trying to get through it on my own.

Last year while Nick was away at basic training, I was unable to sleep most nights. I remember the first week that he was gone I didn’t sleep more than an hour a night and I was still working 8-10 hours a day. That made for some very long days at work. I tried to find ways to fix the issue on my own instead of turning to the Lord. When I finally took it to him in prayer I started sleeping most of the night. It was still lonely at night but there was a peace that the Lord was looking out and taking care of me. This is what the Lord wants to do on a daily basis is to take care of us.

When the trials come who are you turning to? Are you turning to the Lord? Are you relying on yourself and the things of the world to get you through?

I have a desire to be a mother and to raise my children to serve the Lord. It is so easy to get discouraged as the months go by and realize that I am not going to be a mother in the next few months. Many times I have to stop and look at my prayer life in this area. I have to see if I took this burden to the Lord and prayed consistently about it. We are so quick to want to point fingers and say that it is someone else’s fault, but how often does the fault lie with us because we didn’t take it to the Lord and rely on him to answer?

"...Yet ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:2

The Lord is waiting with his arms of deliverance to shelter us and to carry us through the trials of life. There is nothing to great or too small for the Lord to handle. He is always there waiting for us to come to him in prayer so that he can carry you through the battle. What’s it going to be? Are you going to try it yourself and drag the trial out further? Or are you going to go the Lord in prayer and allow him to carry you through?

Serving the Master,
Diane Cardot

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Peace of a Real Salvation

I was raised in a Christian home. My father has been a pastor since I was five years old. At that time I had seen a lot of people get saved and all I knew about it was that
everyone ought to get saved, people getting saved made my mom and dad real happy, and when people got saved they went to the front of the auditorium, prayed, and then they were saved!

I thought, "Hey! I can do that!" So I did. I went forward, prayed the prayer everyone prayed when they got saved, and then excitedly told my parents that "I got saved!" My mom and dad gave me a funny look and said, "oh, that's nice." and dropped it. That was very wise of them. They never told me, "Now you're saved!"

Years later, we went to a showing at a church nearby of some movies about the end times. The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming back, and that He will come like a thief. This knowledge convicted me because I knew that if I did not prepare for His coming, I would be left alone. This thought really gripped my imagination. I couldn't sleep. I knew some new things now.

  1. If I had to face God right then, He wouldn't let me into Heaven. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..." Rev. 21:8

  2. When He came to get the saved, He wouldn't get me. "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Matt. 24:40

This is not a pleasant prospect, but the Bible is very clear on this matter. Sin ends up in a place of judgment, and we are in our sins without Christ.

I had a problem, though. So much of the Bible is about God's wonderful provision for this need we all have, and I FORGOT ALL ABOUT IT! I spent night after night dreading the morning in case I was going to wake up to an empty house. I would check the beds every night, sometimes several times.

Then after one night of desperate bed-checking, I lay in my bed pondering my misery and the Lord began to speak to my heart. The still small voice of God's Spirit asked me if I thought God wanted me to spend my life in this kind of despair. I knew that He didn't. Then it hit me like a load of bricks. "What! That's what Jesus came for!" Right then, I knew I had to get saved right away, and I knew the best thing of all:

  • "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. " II Pet. 3:9

  • "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Rom. 6:23

  • "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." II Cor. 5:21

  • John 3:16 says it better than I ever could, "For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I jumped out of bed and ran to my parents bedroom. They did not greet me enthusiastically this time either! In fact they were downright groggy and confused. I was not. I knew that I had to get saved before another moment passed. So I prayed and asked God to save me from my sins and from hell. I accepted His wonderful gift of eternal life. The relief and peace was amazing. The first thing I thought was, "Finally! I can sleep!" How wonderful to be able to rest in peace in this life! "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, oh Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

Reader, God loves you so much that gave His own blood to pay for your salvation. If you are trying to get it by being a good person, please remember, it's a gift! Your sins will keep you from ever being good enough to have peace with God. You have to get rid of them! Jesus is how. When He died on the cross, His blood paid the price to remove all our sin.

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgivness of sin." Col. 1:14

God says that if you turn from those sins and believe on Christ, you will be saved.

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

Sarah Joy
Sarah Joy's Corner

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Broken to Beautiful

When I was really little,
About the age of three or four,
I would get really scared,
When I'd hear a slamming door.
Mom and Dad would yell a lot,
Us kids never understood,
We knew that there were problems,
And we'd have fixed them if we could.

They never got along you see,
It's God's love that they did lack,
So when they did split up,
Dad said I won't be back.

My mom worked with a Christian,
Who asked her to come to church,
My mom said I'll try it,
Since nothing else has worked.

When my mom went that day,
And she fully realized,
That she was a rotten sinner,
She let that old man die.

Now that she was saved,
She began to really pray,
That God would bring her husband home,
For good and there to stay.

One day when my Daddy called,
About a few weeks later,
He said that he was on his way,
To file a divorcement paper.

Mom then went into her room,
To pray to God in Heaven,
About what Daddy said,
And about the situation.

The next thing that we knew,
Dad was walking through the door,
He said that he was home,
They needed to talk some more.

He said I don't love you,
I'm just here for the kids,
We'll put a month on trial,
We'll try this out again.

She'd pray to God every day,
That He would let this work,
Please God save my husband,
And let him get in church.

After weeks of asking,
Daddy finally agreed,
He said that he would go,
So his wife would no more plead.

Daddy had gone in the garage,
To get alone and think,
He'd knew he'd been convicted,
His soul was tired and weak.

So there that day my dad got saved,
His life forever changed,
Then he told his wife,
My life is rearranged.

It's been thirteen years since all this happened,
All of us kids are saved,
My parents are still married,
And dad preaches the Word today.

So next time you say it's impossible,
I've got a different story,
God put our family back together,
I give Him the praise and glory.

Trusting God,

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lovers of Their Own Selves

Selfish - Lovers of their own selves!In 2 Timothy 3, God gave Paul a list to characterize “the last days”, or as it is also referred to, “perilous times”. The first trait written was that people would be lovers of their own selves: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” (vs. 2). People in the last days would be known as being fond of self, or having self-love, i.e. selfish.

Now we can clearly see that this selfishness, this self-love, is normal in the human heart. In fact, it shows itself in a person as soon as that person is able to express himself! For example, no one has to teach a cute, cuddly, little baby how to throw a temper tantrum to get his own way. That selfishness comes naturally.

So what does a people, a society, a nation do to curb this selfishness in the individual? Well, a healthy society will impose restraints on this self-love. It will recognize the need to teach children respect for authority, such as with their parents at home, their teachers at school, their preachers at church, and with the law of the land. If a nation will be healthy and vibrant, it must teach children to be well-mannered and respectful of persons and the property of others.

But what is our nation doing about this? Is our society winning the battle to instill a respect for others, or is it losing ground by institutionalizing the love for self? We may be able to answer this by asking ourselves the following:

Are parents being encouraged to train and discipline their children, or are they discouraged from it lest the children become “inhibited”?

If a child is failing the courses at school, is he being held back, or is the grading system being adjusted lest their flunking do them “psychological harm”?

When someone commits a terrible crime, are his rights being taken away, or do criminals still have rights, even though they’ve shown no respect for the rights of those they’ve robbed, maimed, or murdered?

Do we have a generation addicted to drugs [and alcohol – a drug!], given over to self-indulgence, and without regard for social values?

Does today’s “music” of the world reflect and reinforce a love of self?

Do the “worship services” of many churches reflect and reinforce a love of self?

Selfishness [self-love] has become institutionalized in our society. Selflessness is not a hallmark in our country, although it still can be seen, but selfishness is prevalent and easy to see.

I know that evil has always plagued societies, but it would seem like Bible Christianity had acted as a restraint in our society. However today, it sadly seems like Christian standards of morality and decency are being pushed aside, and perversion is flaunting itself proudly in many communities, colleges, communication mediums, and in our nation’s Courts.

Are we in the last days? I believe we are. But does this mean we should just sell everything and go hide away on some mountain or in a cave? Of course not. What do we do? Well I’m glad you asked!

Let’s be men and women of character – CHRISTIAN CHARACTER! Let’s train our children in the way they should go. Let’s obey the commands of the Lord that are intended to restrain our self-love and keep us from the practice of sin; and let’s see that same obedience developed in our children, our next generation. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love ME [not self], keep MY commandments”. Let’s put into practice selfLESSness by having J.O.Y. = Jesus, Others, then You!

Yes, perilous times are upon us, but know this: The darker the night, the brighter the light! We and our children can live a life that’s selfless and that honors the Saviour!

Pastor Mike Szekely

The Pastor's Pen

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Updating the Style at the Baptist Muse

Many of you have probably noticed that I haven't been on the forum or commenting on the blog much this week. I am working on massively overhauling the style and file systems here at The Baptist Muse. The organization of this site is completing chaotic due to the fact that I really didn't know what I was doing when I got started. I am know trying to remedy that by revamping the theme and moving some files around. Starting tomorrow or Thursday, you will probably see some strange things here. By Saturday, I should have the updates complete and then be able to jump back into the swing of things. Thank you for all of your support!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Turn for the Miraculous

I did not grow up in a Christian home. My family never even attended a church service all my years of growing up. I think I went to one wedding that was held in a church but I'm not even sure about that. When I was a little girl I was riding down the road with my dad and I remember looking out the window and asking my dad if there was a God. He told me he thought there was but that was all he told me. It wasn't util I moved to Georgia that I even heard the name of Jesus. I'm not sure if you have ever met or heard of anyone that had gone 24 years of their life without hearing the name of Jesus...but you have heard of someone now.

I had given birth to my third child and a friend of mine's pastor made a visit to our apartment one day to talk to me. All he told me was that Jesus died for me and that He was how I would get to Heaven. After talking with me for a few minutes he asked me if I wanted to go to Heaven. Well....what person doesn't want to? So he told me to repeat a prayer after him (which I did) and after doing so he pronounced me as going to Heaven. I lived for four years thinking I was going to Heaven. We went to church SOMETIMES. But only when we felt like it. There was no desire to go nor was there any change that took place in my life.

In June of 1994 my world was falling apart. I took my son to one of his baseball games with my girls and had asked my husband if he wanted to go. He said he didn't because he was tired and needed some sleep. After getting to the baseball game I felt this prompting to go back home for something. I don't remember now what that "thing" was that I was to go home for but I knew once I got there why I needed to go. I walked into our bedroom to find my husband and his things gone and a note on our bed. He had left me and the kids and said he would contact me later. That was it!

No explanation or anything. I was devastated!

I worked at a bowling center in the snack bar and there was a lady that worked in the office that was a Christian. She was always witnessing to the employees there about the Lord. She would take every opportunity to talk to me about the Lord. Now remember, I thought I was already saved. I didn't know anything else but that. So when she would tell me that I needed the Lord I would tell her that I "tried" Him and He didn't do anything to help me keep my husband. So she would continue to talk to me every chance she got...always telling me I needed the Lord in my life.

She was very patient with me and very loving. To this day I call her my "persistent pest". I thank God for her to this day!!! Every week at least once a week she would invite me to come to church with her. Finally one day (about two weeks after my husband had left) I decided to go.

My in-laws had neighbors that went to the same church that my "persistent pest" went to. So I asked my sister-in-law to go with me and she said she would. That next Sunday my kids, my sister-in-law and I went to church. From the moment I walked through those doors of that church I felt loved. I also felt God's presence (although at that time I didn't know that was what it was I was feeling). I sat through the service under conviction the entire service. At the altar call another lady that worked at the bowling center I worked at came and asked me to go to the altar with her. All she did was pray with me. While she was praying with and for me I was praying and asking God to forgive me for my sins!!

Now...I didn't specifically ask God to come into my heart and save me. At that point in my life I still thought I had gotten saved four years prior. But what a blessing when even though our mouth doesn't know what to say and what to ask for that our heart knows what we need and what to cry out for. All I know is that when I got up from that altar that a peace came over me like I had never had before. I knew in my heart that no matter what happened from that point on (whether my husband came back home or not) that my kids and I were going to be okay.

From that day forward I was a changed individual. It wasn't long after that day (June 26, 1994...I only know that is the day from a daily journal I was keeping at the time) that I learned to begin claiming God's promises. I claimed Psalm 27:14 ("Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.") as God's promise to me. I would request prayer for my husband in church and in Sunday School. Approximately two weeks later I got a phone call. My husband told me that he was on his way to see a divorce lawyer...that he was filing for divorce. I was hurt and upset (as any woman would be) but I still had that peace that God would take care of me. Two hours later he showed up at the house and told me he was going to move back home and give our marriage three months and that if nothing changed then he was gone and gone for good. I told him that was fair. He told me he didn't love me like a husband should love his wife but that he was only home for the kids.

I continued to take the kids and go to church faithfully. I would ask him to go each time we'd go and he would say no. Finally one Saturday he was sitting in our garage having his personal moment like he would do to get away from me and the kids....and the Lord began to deal with his heart and on that day in our garage he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. He had gone to church as a bus kid when he was a teen and knew how to be saved. He made a profession of faith as a teen that wasn't real. This time in our garage it was real. He truly repented. That is the day our marriage and our home took a turn for the miraculous!!!

My husband is now a missionary with Highways & Hedges Christian Ministries to the prisons and I am a missionary's wife. Ronnie and Kristina got saved not too long after my husband did and Michelle made a profession of faith that same week but realized in August of 2001 that she didn't have salvation and she gave her heart to Christ. Now we all serve the Lord in our church and on a daily basis as best we can with the Lord's help. I sit here before you today as a miracle and can speak of the miracle that God can repair a home and will as long as all involved let Him!!


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Monday, June 2, 2008

From the Church of Rome to the Family of God

I was raised in the Roman Catholic church in an all catholic town in Northern Maine. My father was an alcoholic and my mother a devout catholic. I was also a devout catholic and was even taught catechism in the CCD program. I married my high school sweetheart in 1974 and moved to the Northern Virginia area.

After six years of a failed marriage, knowing I could not get divorced (remember, this was the 70's and divorce was still frowned on by the catholic church), I decided that suicide was the only answer. I was "in love" with someone else who did not even know that I existed and life seemed too much to bear!

My best friend from Maine came to visit Virginia during her vacation. She had become this "born again" Christian and I had warned her not to "preach to me." However, the Lord had quite different plans for me. During her visit, we discussed the "end times." I had a great interest in Nostradamus and the future. I was so afraid to go through the horrible times that these so-called prophets had written about. I remember thinking that there just HAD to be a way out.

The Holy Spirit had spoken to my friend's heart and compelled her to bring along with her a tape of Hal Lindsey discussing the end times. He is the author of "The Late Great Planet Earth." Ironically, my husband had been reading that book lent to him by a man he worked with. I, of course, did not read it. I listened to Hal Lindsey discussing what Christ had to say about the end times in the Scriptures.

He also spoke about this plan of salvation! He spoke of how I could not work my way to heaven as written in Ephesians 2:8-9. He said that there was no one on this earth that was not a sinner as written in Romans 3:23. He said that because of my sin, I would have to pay the penalty, which is going to hell! WHAT? Go to hell? I had always been taught that if I did not die in mortal sin, I would go to purgatory until enough prayers and indulgences had been made on my behalf, then I would be released to heaven. Hal Lindsey's response to this was if I could get to heaven because of my good works on earth or because someone prayed me out of purgatory, then WHY in the world would God send Jesus to die for our sins? This meant that Jesus' death on the cross was not enough!? What a cruel and horrible thing for God the Father to do to His only Son!

All of this sounded so foreign to me. I had never heard such a thing in my entire life! I taught catechism, for crying out loud. Certainly I would have heard something from my priest or in my catechism book. Not once had I ever imagined that the things I was taught were according to a church's traditions and doctrines rather than what the Bible, the Word of God, taught.

I remember thinking to myself that I could honestly stand before God and tell Him that He had to let me into heaven because I had never heard about this plan of salvation as a catholic. It was not in any of my catechism books. I was telling the truth here. This was never something that had been taught to me ... not in church nor by my parents. Certainly God would understand this and let me into heaven! At the very moment this thought entered my mind, Hal Lindsey said "And you can't say that you never heard the plan of salvation because I just told you so!!

My friend, I can't begin to tell you what this did to me. I was NOW accountable before God for being a sinner and I was on my way to hell. It was at that time I knew that I was a goner and that I could not escape so great salvation.

I was born again by the Grace of God at noon on April 1st, 1980. Praise God for His unending mercy! Not only was I saved from eternal damnation but the Lord healed my broken marriage within just a few months!

I thank God that He used my dearest childhood friend as an instrument for my salvation. Now we are not only friends but sisters in Christ. This has been a source of great comfort and blessing to me throughout the years.

Saved by Grace,

Kate Plourde

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Feature: Referrals For Cash!

Here at The Baptist Muse Forums, I am very excited to announce a brand new feature: referrals. When a new user registers, they will now be given the opportunity to enter the name of the person who recommended that they join.

This is exciting for one main reason: CA$H! I am going to pay $2.00 per referral to the top five referrers in the month of June. That means that if you refer ten people and you are one of the top five referrers then you just won a twenty dollar bill!

Write an article at your blog, send emails to your friends, tell your friends and family at church, or do whatever. Simply get people to sign up and post at the Forums at the Baptist Muse and you will have a chance to win $2.00 per referral!

*IMPORTANT!!: Be sure to instruct your friends to put your forum user name into the appropriate box labeled "Referred By." If this is not done they will not count.

Payment options include Paypal, Amazon gift card or snail-mail check.

P.S. The winner of our free book for this past week was Jude! Just email me your mailing information and I will send your book right out to you! Also, the Free Book Give Away will be discontinued indefinitely and is temporarily being replaced by our Referrals For Cash program.