Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Family Wedding Coming Up

My niece is getting married.

Oldest daughter of my oldest brother John.
Ange is marrying a preacher's boy. Can't think of his name, have never met him.

Getting married in June 8, on the front lawn of a friends home.
Family celebration time is June 7 in the evening.

Out in Ottawa.
Jim can't go because he's got an important service on the Sunday, but I hope to go.
I'm hoping that Eva will watch Justin (or I'll take him with me, we'll work something out). :)

Challies Giveaway

You may notice that I've changed the Challies Giveaway Banner.

Here are the details:

Three prizes will be awarded as follows:

  • First prize: Reformation Heritage Books Selections: God with Us, Reformation Heroes, Meet the Puritans, plus all books in the 2nd and 3rd prize package.
  • Second prize: Soli Deo Gloria Selections: Freedom of the Will, Excellency of a Gracious Spirit, Keeping the Heart, Parable of the Ten Virgins, plus all books in the 3rd prize package.
  • Third Prize: Profiles in Reformed Spirituality: A Consuming Fire, A Sweet Flame, Dedicated to the Service of the Temple, Christ Is All.
How Does it Work?
  • Unless otherwise specified, these giveaways are open to anyone, anywhere.
  • There will be one giveaway per month for the duration of the giveaway program.
  • Participants can enter each draw only one time! Anyone trying to enter the same draw multiple times by using different email addresses will be disqualified from the current draw and all future draws.
  • Everyone who enters a giveaway will earn a single ballot for that draw.
  • Additional ballots can be earned by referring additional participants to the giveaway. A participant will earn one additional ballot per person he or she refers to the giveaway.
  • The contest will close after 7 days. At that time I will randomly select the winner(s) from all the ballots entered.
  • At the close of a giveaway all ballots will be erased and participants will need to re-enter their information to qualify for subsequent draws.
What Do I Do to Participate?
  • You must provide your name and email address through the form provided. All information will be kept strictly confidential and will not be given away or sold to anyone, anytime for any reason.
  • At the conclusion of the draw I will send an email to all participants to announce the name(s) of the winner(s).
  • At the beginning of each subsequent giveaway I will send an email to all participants to announce the new giveaway.
  • Participants can unsubscribe from the email list (automatically with no questions asked) at any time. However, participants who withdraw before the close of the current draw will not be eligible to win a prize.
Click here to enter.

My Hubbie a Boon to me

So my hubby yesterday while I was at the dentist for 1.5 hours cleaned the downstairs of the house. Went to the dentist for the main work of getting a cap on a tooth. Dr. MacGregor is a really nice dentist. :)

He was successful in this endeavor because he refused to let the boy child help in any way, shape or form. Not like mommy who lets him help and therefore finds it takes forever to get things done. :)

The downstairs was so nice and clean! The kitchen, the living room AND the hallway!!!! He even cleaned the downstairs toilet!!!!!!!! :)

Such a boon for me.
I hate going to the dentist. It always seems to take forever for my mouth to feel normal again, for the freezing to come out, for my jaw not to feel like it isn't quite attached to my body and so forth. It can take 5-8 days to feel right again. The first day I always feel like horse kicked me in the head. We had company coming for coming home to a house that was looking so much better was just....oh...such a blessing.

As I told my Jim...I know you probably did this for really selfish reasons....but right now this is just a boon and blessing to me. So thank you. :)

And I just wanted the world (or at least the world that cares enough to read this blog) to know my hubby is a total sweetie. :)

Christian Horizons and the Human Rights Commission

Yesterday Jim mentioned to me a Human Rights Commission thing that Christian Horizons is undergoing right now. here's another piece on that. Have to admit, I was stunned.

Background: I worked for many years with this organization. It is very much client-focused, and a very much a faith-based organization. It very much encourages the things of God. It is by no means perfect, some of the things it did seemed odd to me, but that did not detract from the fact that it tried HARD to promote the name of God in service to special needs people.

I had already learned by the time I started working at Christian Horizons (CH) that service industries fell into two spheres...client focused or staff focused. Rarely a good balance between the two. CH tried HARD to be very client focused, sometimes to the detriment of staffing, but that's part of life serving the special needs population. I dislike the staff focused approach as it does not respect the dignity of the people being served.

My understanding of Christian Horizons (CH) is that it is a charitable organization, that is has been deemed a ministry ..... much like a church is...where their senior staff can get housing discounts much like a pastor can in many church denominations. So it's a legitimate mission organization.

One of their things is therefore to encourage godly behaviour among it's staff. No drinking on the job --- and no encouragement to do so off the job either. No sex outside of the bonds of marriage. NO same gender relationships, and such like.

They even have a moral code/lifestyle thing that staff are expected to sign. This is what that covers:
The organization's morality pledge did not single out gays and lesbians. It made all employees promise to refrain from a host of sexual and personal behaviours CH believes are prohibited for Christians, including "homosexual relationships," "extra-marital sexual relationships (adultery)," "pre-marital sexual relationships (fornication)," "viewing or reading pornographic material," "endorsing" alcohol or cigarettes and "lying.
Some of it was an honour system. Such as if college students shared co-ed housing, it was expected that separate rooms would be maintained, but it wasn't like someone was going to check up on you or anything. I disliked the scenario's presented that if you were out somewhere having a drink or two with your buddies and a client approached that you had to get rid of your drink. That seemed a bit overboard to me. And people could smoke, but had to take their smoke breaks outside off the property. To me that was like...okay...they can smoke on the job just not IN the house, but on the street in front of the house. But people having a drink on their own time with their own friends had to toss their drink??? That made not a whole lot of sense to me.

NOW... I have to be upfront with this. I did not like being required to sign that lifestyle code. What I do outside of my work hours is MY business, not my jobs' business. But it was very much sign or be prepared to be dismissed. At that time I was not prepared to be dismissed.

I also recognize that other jobs have certain moral codes that individuals are expected to adhere to, on or off the job, so in some ways this was no different. AND as this was a ministry, just as pastors and church workers are expected to lead a certain lifestyle, therefore so should I.

Made sense, but I didn't like it.

So in some ways I can understand Ms. Connie Heintz having an issue with Christian Horizons over this whole issue. In a day and age where increasingly the church is under attack for their stance on homosexuality and what that means within the church...for example not letting gay and lesbian into leading positions within the church, and where actively living the lifestyle calls into question their faith, this type of thing was bound to happen sooner or later. Just as genuine churches are being challenged, so will a para-church organization be challenged on it.

An attempt was made a while back in regards to this as well, but it was unsuccessful, this challenge seems to be more successful.

I do hope that CH fights this to the highest levels. I really do. It has ramifications all across the board for all types of Christian service agencies and para-church organizations. How can we hold to the truth of God's word?

More information on this case can be found here and here.

The Wealthy and Guarding the Truth

Closing off the book of 1 Timothy, we come to Chapter 6:17-21

17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

20O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," 21for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

Grace be with you.

Paul has some closing instructions for Timothy regarding the wealthy among his people.

  1. Charge the rich to not be proud, or to be too concerned about the value of their stuff. Rather to set their hopes on God who gives us everything.
  2. Encourage the rich to do good, to be rich in the good works that they do, to be generous with what they have, people who are ready to share.
  3. If the rich do so, they will lay up treasure for themselves, a good foundation for their future.
  4. If the rich do these things, they will take hold of what is really life.
He has some encouragement for this young pastor:
  1. Guard the deposit entrusted to you.
  2. Avoid irreverent babble and contradictions that some might call knowledge.
In other words, don't confuse or mix up the sound doctrine that you have been taught. Guard it from outside influences. Don't let the "knowledge" of other folks creep into what you know is the truth. Hold to, guard that sound doctrine well.

And then he extends grace to him.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Surely Goodness.....

This one is an oldie, but it still makes me smile. :)

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school.

He didn't want his mother to walk with him.

She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe.
So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her.

She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.

Finally she said to Timmy, 'Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?' Timmy nonchalantly replied, 'Yeah, I know who she is.'

The little girl said, 'Well, who is she?'
'That's just Shirley Goodnest,' Timmy replied, 'and her daughter Marcy.'

'Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us? '

'Well,' Timmy explained, 'every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much.

And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!'

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

I know you smiled! I sure did,

Flee and Pursue

11But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Taken from 1 Timothy 6, these verses remind us why we are to run, and in essence what we live for.

We are people of God. So we must run from anything that takes us away from God, be it the stuff of this world, or false teaching, or anything else. Just RUN from it.

I was talking with my Sunday School student on Sunday, and she told me that sometimes things make her feel all scared inside and like she should run away from it but that she wasn't sure if she should... I told her that wasn't a bad feeling. When things happened that made her feel like that (she was talking about wanting to do bad stuff or being around bad stuff) that she should do what God tells her to... RUN away. As fast as she could. God tells us to run, so we should! Running is not a bad thing to do. :)

Even though we are to run away from the "bad stuff" in life, we are also charged to run after (to pursue) other things.
  • We are to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.
  • We are fight the good fight of the faith.
  • We are to take hold of the eternal life we are called to
  • We are to take hold of the confession we made before witnesses (I think this is talking about when we publically confess our faith in Christ, this would be something we can cling to)
So yes Run away from the bad, but don't run aimlessly. Run with a purpose toward God and that which you know is yours (in faith). Fight, cling, hold on.... our faith in God is an active faith.

And Paul here charges Timothy, and therefore us to keep the commandment of God unstained and free from reproach until Christ's return. In the presence of God(the life-giver) and in Christ Jesus (who didn't bow under the pressure of Pontius Pilate) Paul made that charge to Timothy. That Charge is the same one we face today. We must do all we can to keep the gospel of God fre from reproach, to pursue those things set before us: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. We must not let his word be changed. This we are charged, as believers in the one true God, to do.

And who is this Christ that we claim, who is our example?
  • the blessed and only Sovereign
  • the king of kings
  • the one who will return at the proper time
  • the Lord of lords
  • the one who alone has immortalilty
  • the one who dwells in unapproachable light
  • the one who no one can ever really see
This is the one to who we owe our honour. To him be eternal dominion.


Monday, April 28, 2008

False Teachers and True Contentment

working through the next section on 1 Timothy 6:
Teach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
One thing I must not forget to see is the last five words from verse 2 "teach and urge these things". Do you remember when we discussed verses 1-2? The relationship that we are to have with our masters(employers) ? How we are to treat with honour and respect them? How this will all benefit the church? Paul says...Teach this! Urge people to follow this precept.

For those who don't teach this.
For those who teach a different gospel (a different doctrine).
For those who vary from the teachings of Christ and godliness.
You are a false teacher.

False teachers should know that :

  • you are puffed up with pride and really understand nothing.
  • you have an unhealthy desire for controversy and quarrels about words
  • your end product is envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicion and constant friction
  • you deprive people of the truth
  • you imagine that godliness will get you something
Now while it is true that godliness will get you something....all it will get you is contentment.
Contentment is good because we came into this world with nothing, and we will leave it the same way. We learn, through godliness, to be content with the things that we have.

Have to admit, I like that. It is something that I am still be content with what I have. To not want more....whether it be more attention, more "Stuff", more time just to walk my dog and be quiet in myself, more to eat (which I definitely don't need) and so forth. I am still learning this....and I'm discovering the best way to learn it is to stop focusing on me, but instead to focus on God. Fits in well with Jim's sermon from yesterday. Walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16), the more you walk in the spirit, the less you sin.

I need more godliness in my life. I really do.

BUT this passage continues....those who lack contentment want more. It is easy for them therefore to fall into temptations, into snares laid for them, to fall into the many senseless and harmful desires that so easily are the ruination of people. This love of money, this lack of contentment in God, it is the root of all sorts of evils. And because of it, some people leave the Christian faith and find themselves full of pain.

Now I have to admit....I don't quite get the leaving the gospel. At this point in my life I can't honestly conceive of saying NO to God, to walking away from him for "stuff". I just can't. But I suppose if one I want thus and such...and it just a small thing, God won't care. I suppose that one little thing like that could build upon another little thing like that and so on and would just become a slow leaching you away from God. That I suppose I could see. That means diligence in my walk with the Spirit. To not get caught up in that stuff, or those temptations, to be able to RUN as fast as I can from that very thought or action.

I don't want to leave my God. I want to fill my world with godliness so that I can live a life of contentment. So diligence in walking in the spirit is good. Seeking after God is good. This I can do....even on a daily basis....and even perhaps on a minute to minute basis. Let me so be be led.

What about you?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Prayer for Justin

He has an owie in a particular area. Please pray that it heals well. Thanks.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prayer for Neighbours

Found out on Thursday about two prayer needs for neighbours.

1. possibility of skin cancer. had a mole that kept growing despite removal.

2. another who just had a MRI done (at least I think it was that and not a CAT scan). On her head and neck because she's been having knock you off your feet headaches for about a month now, with no real cause as to WHY she should be having them.

Both are sisters.
Neither go to church or see the need to do so.

I figure prayer and continued interest is a way for me to reach out and touch them for God.

As to my dad:
  • His thumb and fourth finger are healing well. Just a bit of oozing from the fourth finger. But mostly they are fine. So that is a praise! :) yeah! Hopefully soon those bandages will be off for good and that will give Dad a bit more mobility there.
  • The second and third finger will take some time to heal, they were badly mangled and basically have to regrow all the skin on them.
  • My mom is able now to change the dressings which reduces their time on the road going to the doctor for that. Mom is happy with less time on the road right now. She is TIRED. My heart just aches for her because I can't help her with this. Some of the care that dad needs right now I can't help him with since I'm his daughter. All I can do is call and pray and let her know I care.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Other Justin Favourites

This is a flap book. Justin got this from his Auntie Joan last year for Christmas. It has remained a total favourite of one young lad. :) Thanks Auntie Joan. :)

Then there is this one that we found somewhere... I think at a discount place. It was cheap...50 Cents, I figured I'd see what he thought. He loves it too! I find it fascinating the different things he notices as he matures. he loves it when the duck quacks, especially since ducks don't quack well with a mouthful of hay! :) Read the book to discover what we mean. :)

Auntie Joan also got him this one: Also a lift the flap book. This book is just another fascination for him. Though tonight he stymied me asking, where bird take ornament? I had NO CLUE. There is no bird in this book that takes any ornaments. Go figure.

Justin gives this two thumbs up! :) Read it gain? Read it gain mommy? One more time?

Duck Books

Justin has been enjoying these books lately at night before he goes to bed.
I've had them for years! :) They are simple. Easy to read with youngsters. AND easy to help him learn to read with them. The simple pictures make it easy to point out different things to him and talk about them as well. Lots of fun.

London, Usborne. (ISBN: 0746012780) Hard Cover. Ill.: Cartwright, Stephen. Laminated pictorial cover. Duck books are designed for very young children and adults to look at and talk about together, and are ideal very first stories for those who are just ready to follow a sequence of pictures through a book. Very Good.

Relationships with our 'Masters'

Starting chapter 6 of 1 Timothy. I find these words
1 Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
Back in the days when this book was written slavery was part of the norm. So many of the early Christians would have been slaves.

When I read these verses I think, hmm...these should have been included in the previous chapter where Paul spent time talking about how we're to treat each other.

Paul reminds us here that we must treat others with respect. That our 'masters' are worthy of all honour. That we can't let our common faith cause us to lose respect for each other and our positions in life.

It would be easy for slaves, if they were believers and their masters were not, to have some feeling of being above their masters. After all, they knew the truth of God. Likewise, it would be easy for them to feel on the same level as believing masters. Paul wants to remind them, good service is key in the relationship here.

The gospel does not cancel out work relationships. What the gospel should do is enhance them. IF we work better for knowing the gospel we might cause our employer to say "hey, what makes this employee better?" and if our boss is already a believer, you are serving the family of God. Both promote the gospel of Christ. And that is what we're to do.

Some News

"I want tagu" was the early morning cry that got me up this morning. Tagu had fallen to the floor. When I went in to rescue him, that cry was quickly followed by "I have pee in my diaper!" and "I want pants." All needs cared for, little boy went easily back to bed. Me on the other hand, stayed awake! :)

So yesterday I moved bunnies around. Was planning to put them along the side fence by the hedge, but experimenting with my two dry does and buck I decided that Bob's (neighbour) thoughts were accurate. That location over the summer months would be too hot for the bunnies unless I figured out some sort of shade for them. Right now I have them along the side of the house, I had to move the canoe out of the way first. I have to figure out where to put the rest, plus I have two cages left to build. I THINK I will put them on the opposite side of the house, behind the privacy hedge. There they will be protected by shade as well. Makes it not as convenient to care for them when they are scattered about, but what's more important, my convenience or caring properly for animals under my control?

Decided this week to withdraw from conversation over at Exetercrc.blogspot. I came to the conclusion that there was no point in my spending time there. Why waste my energies on people who were determined NOT to change their minds. Who were arrogant and self-serving, and who didn't answer questions put to them? Several times I would ask a question and I would either end up being attacked or belittled but the question would not be answered. Having also to deal with people who thought it okay to attack others from the screen of anonymity was getting a bit tiresome as well. My energies are better served elsewhere.

Managed to find bunny care for the rabbits while we are on holidays in May. YEAH! :)

Oh...went to the rummage sale Wednesday and Thursday from the hospital. They put it on two times a year. Went Wednesday night (let Jim put J to bed), got some books, clothing for J. Then on Thursday again (half price day) got clothing for all three, a writing desk (needs a bit of repair), more books, a whack of unused candles and J picked out a few trucks that he wanted. All told spent $26.70 in support of our local hospital. It's like a huge yard sale. It was really nice this year how they moved it from the smaller side to the bigger. Made it much easier to get around and didn't feel so claustrophobic. :)

Jim's put up the trailer. One small boy child wants to spend ALL of his time in there now. He's having a hoot exploring everything in it. I'm not having as much of a hoot trying to keep it decently clean and putting stuff away again. :) But hey....I've found that if I let him explore it takes less time for him to work it out of his system. So it is all good.

I think that's it for an update here. so Cheers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Leadership - why and how in treating leaders

having only looked at verse 17 in yesterday's passage, I thought I'd continue with the same section. :) From 1 Timothy 5 we find these verses:
17Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." 19Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
So yesterday we learned about giving honour and respect to those who lead us well. Today we learn the why and a bit of the how to that.

Because a labourer is deserving of his wages. An ox is not muzzled while it works.
Therefore giving honour and respect to our leaders is part of their wages. Is part of the recompense they deserve to get. The pay cheque of our leaders is more than the money we give them for doing their job....they are also paid in how we treat them. We may not pay all the elders in the church, but most churches pay their preachers. Our payment to them should also include how we treat them.

How is some of this played out?
  1. Do not charges be brought against an elder without there being sufficient evidence of at least 2 or three witnesses.
  2. If a leader persists in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all...SO THAT others may stand in fear.
  3. Do not prejudge,
  4. Do not show partiality.
  5. Do not be hasty in laying on hands. (I think that means that one should not let a leader become a leader too quickly or easily) Believers need to be seasoned a bit before they take leadership positions.
  6. Do not take part in the sins of others.
  7. Keep yourself pure.
  8. Know that not all sins are easily seen, just as some sin is easily sin, some sin takes time to be seen.
  9. Just as sin can be seen, so can good works.
Treat your leadership well.
If they sin, make it known, and deal with it in a public format. BUT take your time, prove the charge, do not prejudge them OR show them other words... treat them fairly all round. Don't let someone get away with sin just because you like them, and don't treat someone worse because you don't happen to care for them all that much. BE FAIR!

Don't let someone become a leader too quickly. Do not participate in the sin of others. Keep yourself pure.

Know that not all sins are so easily seen...keep that in mind. It will help you to stay fair. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Honour and Respect for Elders

Today we finish off Chapter 5 of 1 Timothy.
17Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." 19Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
wow...have to admit, I didn't expect Paul to start talking about Elders again, he's been talking about how to care for fellow church members and widows in this chapter. I suppose though, that this section on how to care for your elders fits in this chapter.

First Paul says:
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
Treat them well, consider them worthy of your respect. Let's think about that for a bit. Do you respect those in authority over you who rule well? Those men who labour in teaching you? Who labour in presenting God's word clearly to you? Those elders who teach your bible study ... do you respect them? Your pastor who studies the word of God to clearly present it to you, do you give him honour?

How do you show it?

Do you thank him for the message given?
Do you ask good questions that show you've been thinking about what you've been taught?
Do you prepare for your bible study lesson?
Do you prepare your hearts to learn of God before you come to church or bible study or Sunday school?
Do you expect him to "do it all"?
Just how do you show your honour and respect for these called men of God who are doing their job well?

I have to admit, I don't always do this as well as I aught. I fail to say ______, thank you for how you live your life, and how you teach God's word. It means much.
I have failed in the past to say Pastor, thank you. You've taught me things of God, thank you. How may I help you do your job better? I have failed to do that to MY shame. It doesn't show God's glory for me to fail to respect and honour those put in authority over me.

Have you ever said or thought the following:
  • The pastor didn't come out and visit me this week.
  • The elders didn't even call and I haven't been to church for three weeks!
  • The pastor didn't call when I had that storm on my farm.
  • Gee...he only works two hours a week so why can't he do up the church bulletins?
  • The church isn't growing, why isn't the pastor doing something about that?
  • Ahh...Forgot to prepare for bible study, that's okay... I can just sit and listen tonight.
  • What? He wants to go away on study leave? Doesn't he know enough already? And why should we have to pay for anyways?
  • Have you ever grumbled over the pastor's wages, and what does he mean he needs time off?
  • _____________?????
These things are STUPID, wrong, SINFUL! That's not being respectful or honouring.

I've been there. I still am there sometimes. It's not okay folks. It's not what we are called of God to do. We need to respect and honour those who are ruling well and who are teaching us more about the God that we all serve. We need to show them love and concern and when we don't ... we need to confess that sin before God.

How will you (I) show that we respect and honour our teaching and preaching elders this week?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Handy Monthly Guide for Men

This made Jim laugh, so he sent it to me.

Handy Monthly Guide for Men. :)

Continuing with Widow Care

9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

This is the next paragraph from I Timothy 5.
Here Paul goes on to say which widows should be focused on, who should be cared for by the church.
Older women, 60 years plus, who have been married to one man. A woman who has a good reputation, who raised her children, has shown hospitality, has cared for the saints and the afflicted, and has devoted herself to good work. In other words, a woman who has a servant's heart and has lived a life caring for others. This woman should be cared for by the church when she is widowed.

BUT younger women should not be enrolled, or totally cared for physically by the church.
Why? So they don't grow lazy. So they don't lose their passion for Christ should they choose to marry again and have other strong interests. Paul says it important that younger widows marry again, have children, raise them up, manage their households well and give Satan no occasion to attack the church.

If we as women have female family members that are widowed, we should add them to our list of people to care for. If we do so, we will not increase the burden on the church. The church should care for those who are truly widowed -- the women who have been left completely alone.

Now of course I have to wonder...what if a woman who is widowed doesn't fit all the categories above. What if she didn't have any children, or if she was too busy managing her household to care for the afflicted. Would that disqualify her? I know that people in their frailty and sin would find reasons to not help widows in need. So I do think that some care needs to be taken to meet the needs of believing widows, to help them out truly if they need it, even if they don' t meet ALL the requirements set out here by Paul. Find those widows with a servant's heart and passion for God, and help them. That's what Paul is saying here, just help them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Caring for widows, widows can Pray I am up early enough and clear minded enough to do my devotions. Funny how having an extra dog about the place throws everything off for me.

Anyways, we continue with 1 Timothy 5 today.
3Honor widows who are truly widows. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Have to admit, haven't really thought about the difference between widows and true widows. A true widow is a woman who has no one left to her. No husband, no children. These women need to be cared for.

But the widows who have children...the children need to care for them. In this way they (the children) show godliness toward their own households. If they refuse to care for their parents, then one would need to question their faith commitments. If you refuse to take care of your physical family you are denying your faith, and Paul says, you are worse then an unbeliever. (probably because you aught to know better!).

Does that mean that widows with children can be ignored by the church? Of course not, but if they have children, their children should be encouraged to step up to the plate, to help out their family members. As a body of believers in Christ we should look after the widows among us, making sure that they are okay, just as we would for anyone else in the church.

Widows who are left all alone can set all their hope on God, and be faithful prayer warriors. Those who focus only on themselves are dead already... they have no hope. know I read those words and I think of some older folks I know who say they are too old and too tired to do anything and that therefore there is no reason to put forth any effort...and I always think to myself, you are never too old and too tired to do anything. Look at the example here....these single widows who are focused on their hope in God and what they do is PRAY.

I don't care how old you are, what I want to know is what do you do with your faith?
It doesn't matter if you are single with no children, where is your hope? And if your hope is on God, then pray. You can always pray. Prayer can move mountains. You never know what can happen if you are faithful in prayer.

Care for your widows. (and widowers I think by reference).
And widows.. where your hope lies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our week contains this.....

Water, water, glorious water. This is fun!

This was what was our running conversation.....
"watch'a doing Justin?"
"Fishing for what Justin?"
"fishing for my train!" (also insert cars, bowl, etc.)

Sassy says "come on, throw the ball already. The boys' distracted with playing in the water...come on mom! See the ball...throw the ball."

Okay, huh? I don't get it. What's with the whole ball thing? And water...that just makes you wet! Who wants to get wet? This is Brutis, not the sharpest tool in the shed, but very good with children. He's visiting us this week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Prayer Request - update dad and uncle dick

My Uncle Dick has passed away. Tante Willy is tired and mourning. Please keep the family in your prayers. One boy (married) three girls (two married, one single), trying to think how many grandkids....10 or 11 I think. Dick was a man with a heart to help people in physical ways. Liked to do mission trips. Worked the church camp for years as a volunteer. As far as I knew he was a man who loved God, he certainly helped raise his children to do so. :) Visitation is today in their town, funeral is at their church on Saturday.

My Dad. He apparently does not need plastic surgery. The surgeon said that the emergency department did such a good job on him that they just want to let it heal up as it is. They want him to come back on Monday for x-rays to see how the bones are doing. Mom says he has no additional pain. It is a bit hard for him though, he's not allowed to put any pressure on it....and this is the hand he uses for his cane. Makes getting around difficult. Please pray for dad to find ways to get rid of excess energy in a safe manner. That he learns to walk safely using his wrong hand for his cane and that while his hand heals that his bad leg stabilizes a bit more. (not sure how to word all that, but argh!!!!!!!! To not be able to get around well because your hand is sore and your bum leg needs more support. to me that would just be ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

As Dad says.....his hand trumps my hand right now. :) My hand incidentally is healing well. Remains a bit sensitive to heat, doesn't like pressure applied to it. I have to use my winter gloves to do many things, but I have good winter gloves that help me do many things, so who cares if my hand gets hot and itchy! :) I can still do stuff (as long as I'm smart about it). :) Praise to God that it is going so well.

Just folks....if you read this blog...pray for my dad, pray for uncle Dick's family.

How We should Act

Today we start in1 Timothy 5. In the ESV this chapter is all one section, but that's too big for me to do in one sitting, so I'll be breaking it down a bit.
1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Four age groups are mentioned in these two verses. Old men, younger men, older women, younger women.

Treat all these age groups like family.
All older men as if they were your father - to be encouraged.
Younger men like your brother.
Older women like your mother.
Younger women like your sister, with all purity.

Treat them like family.
How do you treat your family?
Have you learned the respect, the give and take, the love and enjoyment of each other?
As a man, can you interact with younger women in a morally pure manner?
Of course to me I a woman, can I interact with younger men in a morally pure manner as well?

Hmmm...reading these verses puts up lots of questions in my brain.

How do people read this who don't have family, or who grew up in families that were very dysfunctional? How do people read this who have learned that brothers and sisters aren't really the nicest people in the world? That perhaps their parents could be cruel or unthinking? How do we show such people that what being part of a family really means?

How easy is it for us to dismiss the seniors in our congregation? How do we encourage them?

Does this also mean the seniors should see all the younger folks as sons and daughters? If so, would this change anything in how we all interact?

When people read these verses do they look at what they are doing that might violate, or hinder others in treating them this way? For and women who like to flirt -- are they helping or hindering others in treating them like brothers and sisters in a pure manner? Young women who come to church dressed to the nines...with more showing than they aught, how are they helping young men treat them with purity as sisters?

How do people learn how to treat others with purity and respect if they haven't grown up with it in their own physical families? How do people learn to do this?

I think having good examples help.
Knowing the bible and being open to God is the biggest help.
Praying for each other is a huge boon....if you pray for someone I find it often opens my eyes to ways that I can just show love to them.

What do you think?

Joke - Which Came First

Which Came First

A computer scientist, a surgeon, and a civil engineer were gathered at the pub. The surgeon boasts, Surgery is the oldest technology in the world. It's in the Bible. God removed Adam's rib while he slept. This is clear evidence that surgery pre-dates all other technological endevors.

Without so much as a beat, the civil engineer says that before that, God formed the Earth, the stars, and everything from nothing but chaos. He created rivers, mountians and oceans. This was clear evidence that civil engineering pre-dates all other technological endevors.

No to be outdone, the computer scientist points out, "Yes, but where do you think the Chaos came from?"

hmm...a new pet sport??

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Being a Pastor

Okay, got up late this morning, set Blue's Clues up for Justin to watch so that I can take a moment with God. :) I may get a little distracted, but have my 15-30 minutes this day would be good. Finishing off today that last bit of Chapter Four in 1 Timothy.
11Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Timothy was, in essence, the pastor of the Ephesian church. Paul commands him to teach the truth of God, despite his age, despite the proliferation of false teachings, despite all that stuff going on around him. As a pastor, as the leader of the church he was commanded to teach the truth of God. But not only that.... he was also to be an example to them.
An example
  • in speech
  • in conduct
  • in love
  • in faith
  • in purity
He was devote himself to
  • the public reading of Scripture
  • to exhortation
  • to teaching
He was not to neglect the gift that he had, given to him by prophecy when the elders laid hands on him. He was to practice them all. To immerse himself in them. As he did so, he would save himself and all his listeners.

Can you imagine if your pastor did all these things?
Imagine the difference it would make in his life.
Can you imagine the difference it would make in your life?

Do you see the example that your pastor is? What does he do that causes you to want to be more like Christ? Does he read the Scripture out-loud? Does he teach what it written in it? Does he lead you by example and word?

Of course, being married to a pastor I also think this.... how do you encourage him to do this? Are you like Paul and able to command him to devote himself to the right things...not the visiting of the shut-ins, not the making sure the "stuff" of the church is done which are all good things.... but can you encourage him further to the immerse himself in the word of God, to being a good example in how he talks and does things? Do you encourage him to immerse himself in God, and if you do so, can you see his growth? Can you see how he encourages you to do the same?

This is being a pastor.
This is being part of the visible church of God.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Prayer Request - Dad

Got a phone call from Mom tonight at 9 p.m.

While she was away shopping in Kitchener my dad thought it behooved him to make another birdhouse.

The Skilsaw thought it behooved it to attack my father's hand!

He ended up not appreciating the skilsaw. But it happened so fast it could have accidentally made a wrong decision. :)

It removed a chunk from his thumb (a piece of flesh). Mangled his index and middle finger and took the first digit off the ring finger. Has stitches in middle finger.

They gave him intravenous pain meds, sent him home with a prescription for Tylenol Three which he hates taking, told him to come back in the morning.

They are hoping to get him in with a plastic surgeon.

He sounds okay. YEAH!

Now for my mom...she's still a bit AHHH!!!!
Here she came home from Kitchener, ready to say hi to dad, no dad to be found. Drops of blood on the dad. Go to neighbours on both dad, and they know nothing.
Okay...where could dad be?????
Call the hospital... Was uncle Dick okay? Yep, dad's not there.
Call the emerg....was Dad perhaps there? YES, he's still there.
Relief...mingled with worry. She got there 5ish, they left 8ish.
Dad apparently called the ambulance to come help. YEAH for clear-mindedness. :)
It took them a while to control the bleeding. Happened around 2 p.m.

So, the adrenaline has to stop flowing for mom. Dad seems okay, but the pain meds haven't worn off yet. They'll see how it all goes.

But he's okay.

What to pray for:
1. No infection to set in.
2. No need for plastic surgery (unless can use local anesthetic).
3. Praise that it wasn't any worse.
4. That pain levels remain at a manageable level.

Thank you.

Train in Godliness

Continuing, on this rainy day, to study 1 Timothy 4.
6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
In these verses Paul talks with Timothy about how good it is to train yourself in godliness.

That just as a person trains their body, one must train themselves in Godliness and doing so will stand a person in better stead. Why? Because training yourself in godliness not only benefits you in this life, but it also benefits you in the life to come.

Just as when a person is in physical training there are things they must avoid, so too with training in godliness. When training in the latter one must avoid all types of silly myths and false teachings. One must look for good doctrine and sound teaching.

Because our hope as believers is set on God. God who is the Saviour of the world, particularly for those who believe.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why pray before meals?

I was thinking a bit more yesterday about these verses I read in that first section of 1 Timothy 4
4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
I even talked about them a bit with Jim yesterday.

Sometimes it pains me with how much I can dismiss things as being unimportant. Or that if I don't do them, it's no biggie. I grew up in a Christian home, it was expected that we do certain things, such as pray before meals. It was just an expected thing, I don't recall it being explained WHY we do it, just that we do it because that's what Christians do. We pray before meals.

Yesterday when I read those two verses it was like a lightbulb moment...OH>>> so that's why praying before meals is a good idea.
  1. means that I can thank God for the food he's given me
  2. means that I can live a more holy life since if I pray for his blessing upon my meal, that it's being made holy, and by extrapolation I would think that eating holy food is a good thing :)
  3. means I'm showing him my dependence upon him
  4. means that I am recognizing that all that the Lord God made is a good thing
I went to e-sword this morning as well to see if the commentators there would shed any additional light on these verses.

Vincent's word studies pointed this out to me:
Not declared holy, but made holy. The declaration confirms the last clause of 1Ti_4:4. Thanksgiving to God has a sanctifying effect. The food in itself has no moral quality (Rom_14:14), but acquires a holy quality by its consecration to God; by being acknowledged as God's gift, and partaken of as nourishing the life for God's service.
Prayer has a sanctifying affect on that which is prayed for. neat huh? :)

As I've considered this I've also be drawn to remember how Jesus prayed before the meals with fish and bread, and how Paul prayed in Acts with the seamen before their meal and so forth. Prayer before meals is shown in the bible, and now I know why it's important. :)

Things we learn and think about. (even if re-reading this I feel a bit ...duh!...but that's okay, we all have our duh! moments) :)

Means that as I teach Justin about prayer, that now I can teach him WHY we pray as well. Right now that would be fairly simplistic, but as he gets older hopefully I can teach him that NOT praying before meals actually means something too so that hopefully he will (as a believer) continue to show his dependence upon God too, in this real tangible manner. (probably didn't phrase that all right, but I'm sure you get the gist).

Monday, April 07, 2008

Just Trust God

Today we get to delve into 1 Timothy 4. We'll start with these verses:
1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
In the latter days a sad thing will happen. Some will leave the faith.
Why? They will devote themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.
Why? Because they will believe the lies of people with bad consciences, who forbid marriage, and require abstinence from certain foods.

WHY? Because they will believe liars over the word of God.
They will leave God because they don't believe him. That's what this all comes down to. They would rather believe someone else than God's own word.

This is something that as a believer that I find so frustrating and saddening at the same time.
People who should know better CHOOSE to not know better. They make a decision that they don't like something in God's word, so they choose to listen to someone who says it the way they want to here it. I find it so true in talks with people on issues such as abortion and women in office. They don't like what God's words says so they find some way to discount it.

People so easily forget this:
4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Now here God is talking (through Paul) about food.
God made all food, if we receive it from him as food, then we don't need to reject it, or have nothing to do with it. We just need to receive it with thanksgiving from him...for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

Wow...Just read those last few words...that's a real good reason to pray before meals isn't it? Makes what we eat holy, and not just something we stick in our faces.

But consider this....God is the one who makes everything.
He makes the rules, the food, the world we live in....So why can't we just trust him? Why do we have to reject him to make up our own stuff? If we believe in him, we should just believe in him, not say, well I don't like that so I'll reject that...thereby opening the doors in our lives to those liars who KNOW THEY ARE LYING to come in and move us away from God.

How do I know they are lying? God's word says that their consciences are seared. So they KNOW they lying...if they didn't, their consciences wouldn't be seared would they?

Let's just trust God folks. Don't become one of those statistics of people who leave in these final days. Please...just don't do it. It just saddens and frustrates the church of God and doesn't bring glory to God at all.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

a bit different than his normal viewing

Want to watch it one more time!

Joke - Might as Well Go Fishing

Might as Well Go Fishing

A young guy from Texas moves to California and goes to one of those big "everything under one roof" stores looking for a job. The manager asked, "Do you have any sales experience?"

The kid said, "Sure, I was a salesman back home in Texas."

The boss liked the kid so he gave him the job. "You start tomorrow. I’ll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down to see how things went.

"How many sales did you make today?"

The young man replied without hesitating, "One."

The boss said, "Just one? Our sales people average 20 or 30 sales a day. How much was the sale for?"

The kid said, "$101,237.64."

The boss said, "$101,237.64?! What the hell did you sell?!"

the kid said, "First I sold him a small fish hook. Then I sold him a medium fish hook. Then I sold him a larger fish hook. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down at the coast, so I told him he was gonna need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him that twin-engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn’t think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4x4 Blazer."

Amazed, the boss said, "A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a boat and a truck?"

"No, he came here to buy a box of necessaries for his wife and I said, 'Well, your weekend’s shot, you might as well go fishing.'

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Mystery We Hold to

It's been a busy couple of days, combined with some sleeping today I have a chance to do my devotions. Continuing in 1 Timothy 3 we finish off this chapter today.
14I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,

seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,

taken up in glory.
The last two readings, elders and deacons, helped us understand what qualities are needed in the leadership of the church, and the reasoning behind it. Hard things to understand sometimes. Today's reading talks about why Paul wrote these things and speaks to the mystery of godliness.

So why did Paul write about church leadership?
He wrote about it, so that just in case he was held up somewhere, these folks under the care of Timothy would know how to behave in the household of God.

Consider this. It's the church. It's not the larger world. One would expect God to have different rules for his church as it's the one place that is focused on HIM! Not on what we want or how we want it or what we can do. It's to be focused on him and the things of him. It makes sense that he'd have some rules for the running of HIS place. He's not absent, he's an active part of his body. He is our pillar and the buttress of the truth.

That word buttress...what does that mean? tells me that a buttress is " Something that serves to support, prop, or reinforce". So what that tells me is that God is our support. In God, with God, leaning on God we learn what the truth is.

It's one of the things that I struggle with in today's church. People expect the church to mirror the world. We have to have this program and that program, we have to allow women into all offices of the church because that's what is there outside of the church. We can have it all, do it all, and so forth. It's not the world's the church! It's God's place.

And yes, God is in control of everything, he is part of, and active in the world around us, BUT the church itself is special. It's a place where we go to worship and glorify God and to enjoy him. It is SO very God-centred, why would we want to take away from that? Makes no sense to me.

It is where we learn more about the mystery of Godliness. Here again is how Paul put it:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,

seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,

taken up in glory.
God (through his son Christ), became flesh (Mary had a baby born in Bethleham), freed from any question of guilt by the Spirit (died for us), he was seen by angels, proclaimed by the nations (Christians scattered throughout the word), believed on in the world, and was taken up in glory (rose again).

This is the mystery to which we hold. This is what we live for. Not for ourselves, but for God. We live for God. That's it. That's what we hold to. Let us then live out the mystery of godliness in our lives. Let me then show the world what Christ means to me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


The other day we learned about the qualifications for the spiritual leadership of the church for those whom one would call the pastor and elders. Today we will learn about deacons. We read from 1 Timothy 3 these verses:
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Do you see that word Likewise? Just as elders and pastors must have certain qualities to handle their positions well, so do deacons. A person who is called to a deacon must be
  • dignified
  • not double-tongued
  • not an alcoholic
  • not greedy for dishonest gain
  • a person of faith
  • willing to be tested
  • a person with a likewise good spouse who is sober-minded and faithful in all things
  • a person with ONE spouse
  • able to run their own household well
For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
If churches were set up in such a way that elders AND deacons did not run the church. For instance, if deacons were solely responsible for encouraging good stewardship with material possessions, with ability to foster evangelism and the gifts of encouragement and helps, then anyone can be a deacon. The bible even talks about deaconnesses.

But in the churches that I am familiar with the deacons help to run the church as well. Deacons are often thought of as mini-elders. If they handle being a deacon well, well then, lets make them an elder. WRONG thinking. It would be good if this could be changed. Different giftings, different callings and they should be recognized as such.

Deacons have a different calling on their lives than an elder does. Elders and pastors (because really pastors are teaching elders) are called to the spiritual leadership of the church, to help people understand correct doctrine, to encourage people to grow in their knowledge of mystery of the faith.

Deacons are called to look after the poor, to help those in need, to encourage people to engage in acts of mercy, to handle the physical needs of the church.

It is to the elders we turn if we have spiritual needs of education and understanding, it is to the deacons we turn if we need help putting food on the table, if we want to engage in a mission outreach and so forth.

BUT the person called to be a deacon has to be a person of good character. Can you imagine having a deacon counting your money donated to the church who has a problem with greed? Or having a deacon who had a problem with drugs or alcohol, who was also known for being less than truthful? If they would reach out to people in such a state ... for the Lord...what would folk think? They would tend to suspect the worst wouldn't they? So as to not impunge the name of Christ or of his church, a deacon also must be a person of good repute. And thus lead the church, by their good example and encouragement to better the name of Christ.