Saturday, November 12, 2005


Christian Ministry

 Teamwork in Ministry: Paul's Sense of Partnership in the Gospel

Author: Steve Singleton











In the pursuit of his Christian ministry, the Apostle Paul had a keen sense of teamwork, teamwork with God and with his brothers and sisters. This awareness he expresses by using compound Greek words that begin with the prepositional prefix, sun-. With an object in the dative case, sun means "together" or "with." This same prepositional prefix has carried over into English, occurring in such words as "symbiotic," "symphony," "synergy" (the Greek sun-, represented by sym- or syn-). What follows is a brief survey of the words Paul employed to express this sharing of ministry. You will discover that such sharing continues among 21st-century Christians.

Paul calls us "co-citizens" and "joint heirs" and says we will "co-reign." Because we are bound up with Christ, we share in His city, His inheritance, and His rule. But we also share the expectation of these future blessings with each other. Because of this, we "co-rejoice."

Meanwhile, the struggle continues, and we "suffer together." To endure such suffering, we "co-console" each other, and we live and die together.

But through it all, we are "co-workers." Paul says that he and his associates are "God's coworkers," an amazing testimony both to the condescension of God--willing to stoop so low to work with the likes of us--and the corresponding elevation of Christians.

Paul's letters yield for us an amazing number of men and women that Paul calls his "co-workers": Timothy, "everyone," the Corinthian Christians, Titus, Priscilla and Aquila, Urbanus, Epaphroditus, Clement and others, Mark and Aristarchus, Jesus Justus, Philemon, Demas and Luke. One brother Paul calls "my yoke-fellow," a term synonymous with coworker (though it could be the man's name).

Others Paul describes as if they are team members with him in an athletic competition--contending, striving, or struggling together. Two brothers Paul calls his "co-slaves." Two he names as his "co-soldiers." Because Paul considers himself a worker, a slave, a soldier, and an athlete for Christ, those who share the load with him also share these descriptions. This includes those of us who are laboring in the kingdom in modern times.

As a frequent prisoner for Christ, Paul appreciated those who ministered to him in prison, even if they themselves were free to come and go. Four he describes as "co-prisoners." It could be that at least some of these voluntarily served Paul so constantly that their imprisonment was self-imposed.

All of these first-century Christians, as well as Christians alive today, are "partakers" or "partners" in the work of the kingdom. We share, have fellowship with, participate with, and keep company with other believers. Paul uses several compound terms to describe Christian unity. He says we must be united, of one accord, literally, "co-souls." We are "conformed together" and "fitted together." We cooperate and assist one another. We are "built together" and made "co-members of the same body."

All of this togetherness, we must remember, is not a natural state--far from it! If left to ourselves, we human beings split apart at every seam, whether it is race, ethnicity, gender, or class. It is only Christ that binds us together. Only in Him can it be possible to say that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, neither barbarian or Scythian, male or female; all are one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 3:11).

Paul expresses the Christian's union with Christ using the prepositional phrase, together with Christ. He reinforces this by employing compound verbs in which sun- is added to the beginning of the verb. This occurs in several of the key passages in Paul's writings.

In Gal. 2:20, Paul uses "co-crucified" to describe how becoming united with Christ's death changes the believer. Compare Matt. 27:44, Mark 15:32, and John 19:32, where the same verb describes the literal crucifixion of the thieves who died with Jesus. Paul says that as a result of his union with Christ's death, he has died to the law, in order to live to God (v. 19). In the next verse he adds that he is no longer the one living, but Christ is living in him. True, he still lives "in flesh," but it is a life of trusting in the Son of God, who loved him and gave himself up in his behalf. Note that this happens for the individual, not just for believers as a group. Christ died, not for humanity, but for you and me and everyone else as individuals, and only as individuals can we respond to Him.

This concept of "co-crucified" recurs in Rom. 6:6. Paul says, "Having known this, that the old man was co-crucified." Although Christ goes unmentioned, the connection is definitely between the believer and Christ�He was the one crucified.

The consequence of this death of the old man is a burial, for Paul earlier says, we were buried together with Him" through baptism into death (v. 4). As a result of this union with Christ's crucifixion and his burial, we also share in the new life of His resurrection: "we believe that also we will live with him" (suzesomen, v. 8). Paul uses these same verbs in the parallel passage in Colossians (co-buried and co-raised, 2:12; co-made alive, 2:13; see also 3:1).

Because we belong to Christ, we belong to each other. Our union with Him unites us with every other person who is also united with Him in a grand and eternal fellowship.

* * *

Copyright 2005 Steve Singleton, All rights reserved.

Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.com for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."

...




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Friday, November 11, 2005


Christian Books

 Smith Wigglesworth on the Power of the Word of God

Author: Michael Bradley











You have all heard me talk about Smith Wigglesworth. He had a major healing ministry in the early to mid 1900's. In my opinion, he was one of the greatest eagles to have ever walked this earth. If God has a hall of fame, this man will definitely be in it. The only book he had ever read was the Bible.

One of the main secrets to his incredible healing ministry was his high level of faith. On a scale of 1-10, he had a perfect 10 - and that is why there were so many mighty miracles in his ministry. He was called the "APOSTLE OF FAITH" because of his high level of faith. He believed everything he read in the Bible and was not afraid to push the envelope with God. One of his favorite sayings was: "If the Spirit doesn�t move me, I�ll move Him."

I recently was reading one of my books on his life when I came upon a message he gave to some younger people. As soon as I read it, I felt it was a word from the Lord. I do not know if he himself was aware of it, but I believe he received a prophetic flow from the Holy Spirit on this message.

He is giving a message on the POWER of the word of God. I�m going to type this out for you because I would consider this a "classic statement" on how powerful the Bible and the individual Scripture verses really are. Here was the message.

The Message

"Fill your head and your heart with the Scriptures. Memorize passages from the Word, with the name of the book, the chapter, and the verse, so that you can quote the Scripture correctly in addresses or in open-air meetings.

As you do this, you are sowing in your heart seeds, which the Spirit of God can germinate. He can bring to your remembrance from time to time that which you have once memorized. You must be so soaked with the Word of God, you must be filled with it, that you yourself are a living epistle, known and read of all men.

Believers are strong only as the Word of God abides in them. The Word of God is spirit and life to those who receive it in simple faith, and it is a verifier of all who own its sway. Know your Book, live it, believe it, and obey it. Hide God�s word in your heart. It will save your soul, quicken your body, illumine your mind. The Word of God is full and final, infallible, reliable, and up-to-date, and our attitude towards it must be one of unquestioned obedience.

If a thing is in the Bible, it is so; it is not even to be prayed about; it is to be received and acted upon. Inactivity of faith is a robber, which steals blessing. Increase comes by action, by using what we have and what we know. Your life must be one of going from faith to faith."

Conclusion


He had 3 other "pet sayings" which I feel are really catchy. These are true words of knowledge and wisdom.

"Great faith is the product of great fights."
"Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests."
"Great triumphs can only come out of great trials."

The Bible is referred to as the seed of God. Like he says, when you read the Bible, the individual Scripture verses are going into you like seeds. The Holy Spirit will then take the knowledge that is in those verses (seeds) and start what he calls the germination process.

In other words, the Holy Spirit will start to produce fruit and Godly change into your personality and life. But the Holy Spirit always needs knowledge to work with and the individual Scripture verses give Him the knowledge in which He can start the molding and transforming process within you. It�s the Word and the Spirit working together that will start the transformation and sanctification process within each person.

For those who would like to read a good book on this man, there is a small 157 page paperback book titled "Smith Wigglesworth - Apostle of Faith." The author is Stanley Howard Frodsham. You can click on the link and order it from Parable.com Christian bookstore online. It talks about all of his "secrets" and a lot of the unbelievable healings that he had in his ministry.

In addition to the healing ministry that he had, he also was a powerful evangelist and won many souls to the Kingdom of God. He traveled throughout most of Europe and the United States.

In all my research this man, in my opinion, may have been one of the greatest eagles to have ever walked this earth. He truly tapped into the real power of God and God used him mightily in getting people saved, healed and delivered.

The funny thing about him is that most Christians have never heard of him. He was non-denominational. He did not belong to any one Church or denomination and he went wherever the Holy Spirit would lead him. He perfectly followed the leadings he received from the Holy Spirit on a daily basis as to where he should go, what he should do, who he should see, etc.

They say his second secret, besides his high level of faith that was responsible for all of his success, was his ability to mesh with and follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis - and that is what being a real eagle for God is all about.
Eagles have to learn to fly on strong wind thermals in order to be able to fly to heights that no other bird can - and Eagles of God have to be able to mesh with and follow the leadings and directions of the Holy Spirit if they want to accomplish great things for God.
That is why I call this man a True Eagle of God - because he was able to master the skill of being able to read and move with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Notes - "Smith Wigglesworth - Apostle of Faith" by Stanley Frodsham, Page 111.

About the Author

Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible Knowledge, articles, commentary and teaching. Copyright 2004


Smith Wigglesworth on the Power of the Word of God
can be printed out on
their website.

...




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Thursday, November 10, 2005


Christian Books

 Smith Wigglesworth on the Power of the Word

Author: Mike Bradley











You have all heard me talk about Smith Wigglesworth. He had a major healing ministry in the early to mid 1900's. In my opinion, he was one of the greatest eagles to have ever walked this earth. If God has a hall of fame, this man will definitely be in it. The only book he had ever read was the Bible.

One of the main secrets to his incredible healing ministry was his high level of faith. On a scale of 1-10, he had a perfect 10 - and that is why there were so many mighty miracles in his ministry. He was called the "APOSTLE OF FAITH" because of his high level of faith. He believed everything he read in the Bible and was not afraid to push the envelope with God. One of his favorite sayings was: "If the Spirit doesn�t move me, I�ll move Him."

I recently was reading one of my books on his life when I came upon a message he gave to some younger people. As soon as I read it, I felt it was a word from the Lord. I do not know if he himself was aware of it, but I believe he received a prophetic flow from the Holy Spirit on this message.

He is giving a message on the POWER of the word of God. I�m going to type this out for you because I would consider this a "classic statement" on how powerful the Bible and the individual Scripture verses really are. Here was the message.

The Message

"Fill your head and your heart with the Scriptures. Memorize passages from the Word, with the name of the book, the chapter, and the verse, so that you can quote the Scripture correctly in addresses or in open-air meetings.

As you do this, you are sowing in your heart seeds, which the Spirit of God can germinate. He can bring to your remembrance from time to time that which you have once memorized. You must be so soaked with the Word of God, you must be filled with it, that you yourself are a living epistle, known and read of all men.

Believers are strong only as the Word of God abides in them. The Word of God is spirit and life to those who receive it in simple faith, and it is a verifier of all who own its sway. Know your Book, live it, believe it, and obey it. Hide God�s word in your heart. It will save your soul, quicken your body, illumine your mind. The Word of God is full and final, infallible, reliable, and up-to-date, and our attitude towards it must be one of unquestioned obedience.

If a thing is in the Bible, it is so; it is not even to be prayed about; it is to be received and acted upon. Inactivity of faith is a robber, which steals blessing. Increase comes by action, by using what we have and what we know. Your life must be one of going from faith to faith."

Conclusion

He had 3 other "pet sayings" which I feel are really catchy. These are true words of knowledge and wisdom.

"Great faith is the product of great fights." "Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests." "Great triumphs can only come out of great trials."

The Bible is referred to as the seed of God. Like he says, when you read the Bible, the individual Scripture verses are going into you like seeds. The Holy Spirit will then take the knowledge that is in those verses (seeds) and start what he calls the germination process.

In other words, the Holy Spirit will start to produce fruit and Godly change into your personality and life. But the Holy Spirit always needs knowledge to work with and the individual Scripture verses give Him the knowledge in which He can start the molding and transforming process within you. It�s the Word and the Spirit working together that will start the transformation and sanctification process within each person.

For those who would like to read a good book on this man, there is a small 157 page paperback book titled "Smith Wigglesworth - Apostle of Faith." The author is Stanley Howard Frodsham. You can click on the link and order it from Parable.com Christian bookstore online. It talks about all of his "secrets" and a lot of the unbelievable healings that he had in his ministry.

In addition to the healing ministry that he had, he also was a powerful evangelist and won many souls to the Kingdom of God. He traveled throughout most of Europe and the United States.

In all my research this man, in my opinion, may have been one of the greatest eagles to have ever walked this earth. He truly tapped into the real power of God and God used him mightily in getting people saved, healed and delivered.

The funny thing about him is that most Christians have never heard of him. He was non-denominational. He did not belong to any one Church or denomination and he went wherever the Holy Spirit would lead him. He perfectly followed the leadings he received from the Holy Spirit on a daily basis as to where he should go, what he should do, who he should see, etc.

They say his second secret, besides his high level of faith that was responsible for all of his success, was his ability to mesh with and follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis - and that is what being a real eagle for God is all about. Eagles have to learn to fly on strong wind thermals in order to be able to fly to heights that no other bird can - and Eagles of God have to be able to mesh with and follow the leadings and directions of the Holy Spirit if they want to accomplish great things for God. That is why I call this man a True Eagle of God - because he was able to master the skill of being able to read and move with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Notes - "Smith Wigglesworth - Apostle of Faith" by Stanley Frodsham, Page 111.

Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible Knowledge, articles, commentary and teaching. Smith Wigglesworth on the Power of the Word of God can be printed out on their website.

...




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Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Christian Gifts

 ROMANCE 101�How to turn Your Relationship into a Great Romance!

Author: Gina Woods











OK...Let's talk about romance! The #1 most important thing
you need to turn your relationship into a great romance is
DESIRE. You have to WANT great romance in your life. Well,
who wouldn't want that? But it won't just happen...it will
take some effort. But it will be well worth it!

When asking couples why they think the romance has escaped
their relationships, the most common excuse is TIME. It's
sooooooo hard to find time and energy to devote to your
relationships. But think for a moment back to your
courtship. What was different then? Didn't you have a job
then? Didn't you have other responsibilities then? Of course
you did...maybe not to the extent that you do now, but you
still had a schedule to keep, whether it was attending
college, studying, playing sports, attending club meetings,
keeping a job, etc. But somehow you found the time to "woo"
your partner, right? You found time to date, right? Why?
Because you WANTED TO! You planned it into your schedule and
did it! And why were those times together so special?
Because that specific amount of time was set aside and
reserved for one reason...ROMANCE! And during those "dates"
you gave 100% of your attention to each other, right? That's
what made it special.

Now I want you to think about the last time you and your
partner went out to dinner. What did you talk about? Maybe
it was the family finances, or difficulties at work,
or...the KIDS. Wow, what a romantic dinner, huh? That's the
problem. You have to learn to create romantic situations
that focus 100% on each other. Save the "problem solving"
for another time. I can't tell you how many times in the
past my husband and I went out to dinner and whenever we got
home, I didn't even feel like we went out! Why? Because the
whole time we were out, we were busy doing that "problem
solving" stuff instead of enjoying what little time we had
together. So, that's the second most important thing you
need to turn your relationship into a great
romance...PRIORITY. Make it a priority to spend quality,
FOCUSED time with your partner. These special times should
be set aside JUST for the two of you to enjoy each others
company...nothing else...PERIOD.

Okay...So now we have established that creating great
romance will require DESIRE, and making it a PRIORITY. The
next thing we need is a PLAN! You may have heard the saying,
"You didn't plan to fail, you just failed to plan!" Anything
worth doing requires a good plan. It can be as simple as
scheduling one evening per week as "date night," or
promising to spend "x" amount of time doing something
romantic for your partner each week. There are plenty of
books, magazines, web sites, newsletters, etc. that will
give you lots of ideas to use for your romantic "dates." Use
your imagination & be creative! The most important thing is
to make a plan and then stick to it...no matter what.

After that, all that's left to do is sit back and watch the
magic of romance do it's thing! Oh, I'm not saying that this
is going to be easy...it WILL take a little work. But it
will be FUN work!

About the Author

Gina M. Woods is an artist, graphic designer, wife, and mother of three children. Please visit her web site at www.spiritwithindesigns.com for a variety of Christian gifts created from her artwork. She is also involved in affiliate marketing. Join her marketing team FREE at http://mpamads.com?u=1506492&l=4510. Get FREE step-by-step lessons & earn a steady income online. Questions and/or are welcome at ginawoods@alltel.net.

...




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http://christianlivingnet.com
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Christian Gifts

 ROMANCE 101�How to turn Your Relationship into a Great Romance!

Author: Gina Woods











OK...Let's talk about romance! The #1 most important thing
you need to turn your relationship into a great romance is
DESIRE. You have to WANT great romance in your life. Well,
who wouldn't want that? But it won't just happen...it will
take some effort. But it will be well worth it!

When asking couples why they think the romance has escaped
their relationships, the most common excuse is TIME. It's
sooooooo hard to find time and energy to devote to your
relationships. But think for a moment back to your
courtship. What was different then? Didn't you have a job
then? Didn't you have other responsibilities then? Of course
you did...maybe not to the extent that you do now, but you
still had a schedule to keep, whether it was attending
college, studying, playing sports, attending club meetings,
keeping a job, etc. But somehow you found the time to "woo"
your partner, right? You found time to date, right? Why?
Because you WANTED TO! You planned it into your schedule and
did it! And why were those times together so special?
Because that specific amount of time was set aside and
reserved for one reason...ROMANCE! And during those "dates"
you gave 100% of your attention to each other, right? That's
what made it special.

Now I want you to think about the last time you and your
partner went out to dinner. What did you talk about? Maybe
it was the family finances, or difficulties at work,
or...the KIDS. Wow, what a romantic dinner, huh? That's the
problem. You have to learn to create romantic situations
that focus 100% on each other. Save the "problem solving"
for another time. I can't tell you how many times in the
past my husband and I went out to dinner and whenever we got
home, I didn't even feel like we went out! Why? Because the
whole time we were out, we were busy doing that "problem
solving" stuff instead of enjoying what little time we had
together. So, that's the second most important thing you
need to turn your relationship into a great
romance...PRIORITY. Make it a priority to spend quality,
FOCUSED time with your partner. These special times should
be set aside JUST for the two of you to enjoy each others
company...nothing else...PERIOD.

Okay...So now we have established that creating great
romance will require DESIRE, and making it a PRIORITY. The
next thing we need is a PLAN! You may have heard the saying,
"You didn't plan to fail, you just failed to plan!" Anything
worth doing requires a good plan. It can be as simple as
scheduling one evening per week as "date night," or
promising to spend "x" amount of time doing something
romantic for your partner each week. There are plenty of
books, magazines, web sites, newsletters, etc. that will
give you lots of ideas to use for your romantic "dates." Use
your imagination & be creative! The most important thing is
to make a plan and then stick to it...no matter what.

After that, all that's left to do is sit back and watch the
magic of romance do it's thing! Oh, I'm not saying that this
is going to be easy...it WILL take a little work. But it
will be FUN work!

About the Author

Gina M. Woods is an artist, graphic designer, wife, and mother of three children. Please visit her web site at www.spiritwithindesigns.com for a variety of Christian gifts created from her artwork. She is also involved in affiliate marketing. Join her marketing team FREE at http://mpamads.com?u=1506492&l=4510. Get FREE step-by-step lessons & earn a steady income online. Questions and/or are welcome at ginawoods@alltel.net.

...




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http://christianlivingnet.com
.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Christian Living

 Open Your Mouth And Keep Saying It!

Author: John Tyler












She had seen all the best doctors. She had spent all her money. And she was still sick.

But Jesus was in town, and she had a believing heart working in conjunction with a sanctified mouth.

That�s always bad news for the devil.

And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse. She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and suddenly she felt in her body that she was healed of her
distressing ailment (Mark 5: 25-29).
We�ve all read this story before, and we�ve marveled at her tenacity, her faith and the compassion of Jesus.

I want to focus on something very interesting that led up to her healing in this portion of scripture. I want to take a close look at what she said.

Twelve years is a long time to put up with anything undesirable, especially when you�ve poured everything you have into fixing the problem. You know this woman wanted to throw in the towel. In fact, she probably had given up years ago.

However, once she had Jesus in her sights, she didn�t worry about what her circumstances dictated. She could care less what the others in the crowd thought. Something was welling up within her. Somewhere, deep inside, a mustard-seed-sized faith was exploding, and where that type of faith leads, your words will follow.

There was no doubt in her mind�if she didn�t grab hold of his garment, she would suffer with this ailment until she died. But as she fought through the crowds to touch Christ, she knew exactly how to align her mouth with her faith. She hadn�t even touched him yet, but she was already claiming her victory.

�For she kept saying, �If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.��
Notice that she kept saying it. She said it once. She said it twice. She said it over and over because her faith was taking her to a place 12 years of suffering and frustration couldn�t take her. Jesus was going to make her whole, and her mouth was in line with the confidence God had placed in her heart.

That�s the kind of life we should live! Our words should reflect our trust in a God who delights in keeping his word. Since �out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks� (Matt. 12: 34b), our words should be a direct reflection of our trust in God�s unshakable ability � and desire � to make good on the promises he made to his children.

Paul said it this way to the Corinthians: �It is written: �I believed; therefore I have spoken.� With the same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak� (2 Cor. 4: 13).

Can you worry about your sickness and praise God for your healing at the same time? It�s time to choose one or the other.

Can you thank God for your child�s salvation at the same time you�re worrying about the friends they�ve chosen? Nope, can�t pull that one off either!

Can you stress out about your financial situation while praising God for supplying all your needs? Those two feelings can�t co-exist, can they?

Similarly, this woman was on the verge of the greatest miracle of her life, and her words reflected that. While she was probably battling that stubborn voice of doubt inside that told her to go back home and get in bed, she had a faith that told her to press on through the crowd and declare God�s goodness no matter what doubt and fear said.

So today, no matter what you�re facing, you have a choice.

Will you chose to believe the lies assigned to keep you in a rut of mediocrity, lack or sickness? Will you give in to the thoughts that keep your God from moving in the area of your deepest need? Or, will you declare out loud, just like this woman did, that one touch of the Master will change your situation in a heartbeat.

Grab hold of his unchanging truth today. Ignore doubt and fear.

Open your mouth, and keep saying it!


About the Author

John Tyler, a Houston-based writer and public relations professional,
publishes an online column on Christian living. Be Transformed!
Visit http://www.JohnTylerMinistries.com

...




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Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Christian Living

 Let Her Be Covered Part Four

Author: B. White











Again, let�s call attention to our text: �Let her be covered.�

One more question: �Why?�

Well, I hope that some answers have already gotten through to you. To all that, I would add this: Wear the headcovering because you know God wants you to! I cannot supply you with a more valid reason for the performance of any deed than simply to know that God wants you to do it. Can you? Can you think of a more valid reason to motivate any action? For every pliable saint, what God has written right here should be enough to settle the matter.

It is here made apparent that God wants to preserve an awareness of His divinely established order. That is urgently needed in today�s society. Furthermore, he wants YOU to have a part in that, not only the sisters, but also the brethren. He wants both Christian men and Christian women to give visible evidence of their pledge to abide by that order. For the man, that visible witness is given by the non-wearing of a religiously significant covering. For the woman that witness is given by the wearing of a religiously significant covering. The God-supplied long hair will not suffice for this because it is not a personally supplied witness. It doesn�t necessarily reflect a personal endorsement of God�s arrangement. It doesn�t convey the clear signal that �I�m voluntarily submitting to man�s leadership.� The humanly supplied covering should be worn to convey that signal. To all who see it, it proclaims this message: �I will not attempt to dominate, I will not attempt to manipulate my head. I submit to God�s plan.�

Now, to all of this, the response of the critic might be: �So what? There is no salvation in it!� That is as much beside the point as to say that there�s no salvation in baptism or in any other of the ordinances. We don�t keep the ordinances to become saved, rather being saved we gladly keep those commandments. �He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.�

It�s very obvious that some portions of this passage have not been touched on in this message. Perhaps they can be touched on some other occasion.

Before I close, I wish to add some remarks bearing on the more practical side of this practice. We as church leaders try to monitor changes in covering styles and covering sizes, but changes can be made so gradually that we may not always be abreast of what is happening. Little by little, you can make your covering smaller and smaller, and you may suppose that no one else notices it, but God knows it, and you know it, and very likely more people take notice of that than you realize. You may never know. If you take that course, you may never know how many other sisters are influenced to do likewise. Now you may take that course if you choose, but that will not build the kind of church life that I think you want. It will not build the kind of church life that you want for your children.

I�m glad for the healthy signs among us. It�s a healthy sign when daughters appear with coverings as large as their mother�s. That�s something to rejoice over and thank God for. Really, anything less than that will lead in the wrong direction. If, in successive generations, the daughter�s covering every time is just a little smaller than the mother�s, it will only be a few generations until the covering is lost. I don�t think you want that to happen here, so I plead with you to help to keep it from happening.

Shall we come before the Lord in prayer? For those that have read all four articles I trust they were enlightning and helpful to you. If you still think that I do not know what I am talking about visit www.successmagnet.org

Should you like to more about Christian living please write: Living Waters For thirsty Souls, 40 Wood Corner Road, Ephrata, PA, USA, 17522

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Sunday, October 30, 2005


Christian Schools

 Learning my Child's Way

Author: Christine Nicholls











Home schooling. What is it? What does it mean to you? How do you home school? These were just some of the questions I had when we started thinking about home schooling our children.

While our daughter was a baby, I started reading articles in the paper about the local schools. Our school district was in financial trouble. They were cutting services and staff over and over again. The elementary schools were eliminating librarians, day time janitors, band, and the parents were fund raising for a crossing guard. That�s when I realized that the local public school would not be anything like the school I went to.

Our first step was checking out the private school options. There are three Montessori schools within a 20 minute drive, a variety of Christian schools, and a Waldorf school about 45 minutes away. As I went and sat in classrooms, I realized that I didn�t want my daughter spending most of her childhood in those classrooms. Nothing seemed to fit what I saw as her needs for education.

It didn�t take me long to realize that home learning could be the best choice for Katherine. She is an intelligent child who does things in her own time. She didn�t start talking until she was about 2.5 years old. About a year latter, we went through a speech assessment to find out if there were any long term problems. She could say all of the sounds of a 2 year old, less than half of the sounds of three and four year olds and almost all the sounds of five and six year olds! The final assessment was that her speech development did not fit the norm, but was OK. What if they hadn�t tested her for the more advanced sounds? The results would have been very different.

This test echoed the developmental patterns we had seen with Katherine from the beginning. Any time I tried to compare her to a chart, she was fine at the levels below, had some of the skills at her current level, but quite a few from the level above. While I think she might like all the kids in the classroom, I am afraid that she will be labelled as �below average� because she doesn�t fit their standard tests. I do not want her public schools. Home learning was no longer a choice, but a very firm decision.

Fortunately, we live in a popular home learning area with some of the best legislation for home learners in Canada. I had never planned to home school, and wasn�t quite sure what it meant. I did know people whose children learned at home, and it seemed to work for their families. I subscribed to one of the two local newsletters and started listening to conversations about learning at home.

I liked what I read, saw and thought about. Most of my remaining doubts were about me as a teacher. I love my children, our 6 year-old daughter Katherine, now has a 3 year-old brother Duncan. I feel priveledged to be spending their childhoods with them. However I do get impatient, need my own space some times, and don�t have a teaching background. Could we home learn? We would try and see what happened.

An experienced home learning parent had told me about a great activity they did tracing coins and learning about money. Although Katherine was only 4y at the time, she loved coins and it sounded perfect for us. I picked a time when she and I wouldn�t get interrupted, gathered the materials, and sat down to teach her about money. ( Experienced home learning parents are probably having a great laugh at this point. )

We started to trace the coins on paper to show how five pennies make a nickel, and two nickels make a dime. Much to my surprise, Katherine was not enjoying herself. She refused to count the number of pennies with me, wouldn�t help trace circles, and became generally difficult. Finally I was so annoyed I just put everything away. She came up and hugged me and said �I still love you Mommy�. My heart melted, but the doubts in my abilities remained.

A week latter, Katherine was watching TV and told me which three shows which shows were listed on the screen. She had never even watched one of the shows. I sat in stunned silence. She was right. Was it a good guess? Had she memorized them or could she read? I hadn�t planned to �teach� her how to read until she was 7 or 8. We hadn�t even started any language lessons. What was going on? This event was not part of the plans I had been making for her home schooling education.

Truthfully, I don�t think she could read that day, but I�m not certain about that statement. She is quite capable of selectively answering our questions when it suits her. We knew she could sing the alphabet song, and recognize some letters. I have been able to discover that she knows what all the letters look like, and can correctly tell us which letter starts most words (�My grandmother�s name is Margery, what letter does Margery start with?�), even when she has never seen or heard the word before.

My husband and I have talked about this situation a few times. When she choses to answer our questions, we find out she knows way more than either one of us thought she did. She has correctly found a show she would like to watch listed in the TV Guide, much to my amazement since the look of the words in the TV Guide is very different from the logo with the show�s name on TV. It�s not just sight recognition. We don�t know where or how she has learned these skills.

What has become clear is that Katherine doesn�t need me to �teach� her or have a master plan for her education. I do have to provide a good learning environment, answer her questions, help when she asks, and watch her learn.

I knew she would learn to walk, talk, and all those hundreds of other things babies are suppose to learn in their first few years. There is no reason to create an artificial line between life learning and academic learning. For me, that was one of the reasons I thought home learning was great. Yet I still fell into the trap of trying to artificially set-up a teaching situation. No wonder Katherine wanted nothing to do with my planned lesson.

I have to remember to trust her. She loves learning in her own way, at her own pace. Now if I can just stay out of her way, she will to a great job all by herself. I am looking forward to having a wonderful time watching her grow and learn in the coming years. I just hope I can remember what I learned from our first home lesson.

Christine Nicholls loves being mommy to Katherine who is now 9y and Duncan who is 6y. Her business, Creative Kids at Home (http://www.ckah.com) lets her combine her skills and business background with full-time parenting, and is a lot of fun for her kids.

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