Monday, February 28, 2011

A Unique Unity

I didn't grow up in a Christian family, so God was never first in their lives, but my parents were married for 45 yrs before Dad died. Don't get me wrong, God is VERY important!!!! But Christian homes are wrecked by divorce at almost the same rate as non-Christian... there's more in the element of staying together when non-Christians are able to succeed at marriage too.

That element is commitment, and even ungodly people are able to make lifelong commitments to one another. The hindrance to commitment is selfishness, when people become selfish they cease to be self-giving and marriage takes a lot of self-giving.

Marriage is not based on the needs and desires of one, marriage is a process of blending the hearts of two into the desire of us - a unique unity of us as one. Divorce is the result of the process of self-thinking, instead of us-thinking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Understanding Biblical Submission

written by:   Jane M. Coley, Missionary Wife                 Date:  February 3, 2011

Goal:  To help build stronger families through understanding God’s design of submission.
Scripture Reference: Colossians 3:12-17 and 18-24; Ephesians 5:21-33
Introduction: While speaking at a ladies fellowship, here in Kenya, I (Jane Coley) was asked this question, “How far, with this submission thing, is a woman to take it?”.  I asked for an explanation to better understand the question and the woman said, “I have a friend who is a very godly woman and her husband often beats her. When I asked her why she puts up with it, she said it was because the Bible teaches that she is to submit to her husband.”.
   This is the same question I want to answer for you today... How far are we, as women, to take this submission thing?

 (This is Part 1 of a 2 part session.  Part 2 - Help Meet)
I. Understanding What Submission Is Not.
     A. Submission is not grievous.
     B. Submission is not bondage, as in making you feel like you are a slave to the wishes and wants of someone else.     
     C. Submission is not a punishment on women.  God is not punishing women because Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
     D. Submission is not restricted to the marriage relationship and a wife’s behaviour with her husband.

II. Understanding What Submission Is.
     A. Submission is a godly character trait that every Christian is to emulate (copy). Colossians 3:12-17
     B. Submission is an authority order, a chain of command.
          1. Submission is not restricted to the relationship of the wife with the husband, submission covers a list of other relationships as well, from the servant with his master, to Christ with God. I Corinthians 15:28; Hebrews 5:8; John 4:34; 6:38; Philippians 2:8
          2. It is interesting to note that every portion of scripture that speaks about a wife’s submission to her husband, is found within “a list”. Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1, 5 (look for “the list”)
      C. Submission is an accountability to God.  Hebrews 13:17
      D. Submission is a place of protection and provision.  Those to whom we are to submit to, are responsible for taking care of us.
            1.  The example set forth is that a husband is to love and care for his wife in the same manner as Christ loves and cares for His Church. Ephesians 5:21-33
                  a. Christ’s death on the cross was to protect the unsaved from hell by providing salvation to those who would believe.  John 3:16
                  b. Christ suffered physical to prove his love and care for us. Romans 5:6-8
           2. A husband is to be concerned for his wife, and he needs to be willing to assist her with her burdens just as we, as Christian, are able to expect assistance from Christ. - Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

III. Understanding the Purpose of Submission.
      A. God’s purpose of submission is for it to balance ALL our relationships. Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting one to another in the fear of God.”
Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
I Peter 5:5b “...Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
      B. The purpose of submission is for all things to be done decently and in order.
             1. God is not the author of confusion and there is nothing more confusing than to not know who the leader is; the one responsible and accountable. I Corinthians 14:33, 40
            2. Therefore, God designed this chain of command - servants submit to masters, children submit to parents, wife submits to husband, husband submits to Christ, Christ submits to God.  (The Church submits to Christ.) Ephesians 5:21-33
      C. The purpose of submission is to serve the Lord Christ through serving others. Colossians 3:17-18, 23-24 (see the verses posted earlier)
            1. Even the Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself to serve others.
                  a. With His death on the cross. - Philippians 2:3-8
                  b. By washing the disciples’ feet. - John 13:3-15 Vs. 14 - “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
            2. The teaching of Jesus Christ, by example, is clear, the greatest among us is a servant to ALL.
Matthew 20:27  “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:”
Matthew 23:11  “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Mark 9:35  “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”
Mark 10:44, 45  “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Banana-skinned Christian?

Four Types of “Fruity” Christians

By Jane M. Coley

Are you sometimes a banana-skinned Christian, easily bruised, allowing the things others say and do to easily offend you? Or maybe you’re sometimes like another type of fruit...  I’ve learned that when I start to let my emotions get the best of me, it’s evidence of my lack of how near I have drawn myself to God.  Be aware, Christian friend, what it takes to offend you is the reflection of your quiet-time with God. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...” James 4:8

 1.)  Thin skinned / soft fruit - such as - Grapes, Kiwi, Peaches, Plums.

These fruits are usually expensive because they take so much special care. They can be damaged so easily. Their skin is thin and it doesn’t protect the soft fruit from damage, it's only enough to keep the fruit from getting dirty.

 *These Christians are high-maintenance people and they are offended often and easily. You have to watch what you say around them because they are so sensitive, it's like walking on egg shells. They are the type of Christian who struggles with being faithful to church because they are somewhere else nursing another emotional injury waiting for someone to “pet” on them.

 2.)  Thin skinned / hard fruit - such as - Apples.

The appearance of this fruit can be deceiving because this fruit often rots from the inside out. It also bruises easily.

 *This Christian has become emotionally hard in order to protect themselves. But all the while, they are rotting away on the inside from all the bitterness they are harboring. They are not joyful Christians, their pleasure is in  the calamities of others.

 3.)  Thick skinned / soft fruit - such as - Bananas, Oranges, Grapefruits.

The skin of these fruits seem to be able to hold up to normal bumping around, but it’s not until you open them up that you find the fruit inside has been bruised.

 *These Christians are easily crossed or offended but will usually keep quiet until they find their moment to lash out, and, like their fruit counterpart, they can be very acidic with others - hurting others because they have been hurt. They also like to gossip.

 4.)  Tough skinned / soft fruit - such as - Passion Fruit.

The skin of this fruit is almost like a shell protecting the delicate fruit inside. This fruit does not have to be handled cautiously, it can take some stress while the inside fruit is still soft, almost liquidity, and delicious.

 *This is the type of Christian we need to be. Strong enough on the outside to take the offenses of this world, while still tender enough on the inside to have compassion for others.    

Be aware, Christians, what it takes to offend you is a reflection of how much quiet-time (personal devotion) you have with God.
 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalms 119:165. “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” - Proverbs 3:1, 2.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who I Am

My name is Jane and my husband is Bill. We have been living in Nairobi, Kenya since March of 1998.  We are missionaries with the Baptist Bible Fellowship and our sending church is Faith Baptist in Florida.

I want to say, from the beginning, I throughly enjoy reading the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.  Every time I read other versions of the Bible I find the translation weak, at best, and wrong at their worst.

I also have separation standards that I live by.  For example - I don’t wear pants, I wear dresses and skirts.

I thought I would initiate my blog with this personal information, just to set the record straight on who I am.  I’m not out to start an argument, I have wonderful sisters in Christ, and four beautiful Christian daughters who have different opinions and have made other choices.  But as for me and my personal choice, this is where I stand.

Now, for those of you who seek sincere answers to questions, on these two particular topics, I will be happy to give you the biblical foundation for my standards, but I will not argue with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
God bless.

My First Blog

This is my first blog... so right now I'm not posting a comment... just trying things out. Hello... is anyone out there? I know you're out there. :)