Friday, June 3, 2016

When am I a Mother?

~Erin Blair

Ah Mother’s Day….a day of giving flowers and jewelry and recognizing those of us women who are mothers. It is a nice day to get recognition for something that we do every day. But something happened to me on Mother’s Day this year that left me puzzled. After worship services Sunday morning, I told a sweet elderly lady in the congregation, “Happy Mother’s Day! Are there any plans your children have made for you this afternoon?” She told me about the lunch her son has prepared and such. But then she pated my ever-growing belly and says with the kindest smile on her face: “Well, we’ll get to tell you ‘happy Mother’s Day’ next year!” I was shocked. I just stood there in the foyer of the building speechless as I watched her walk to her car. I stood there silent as I felt my son rolling around and giving me a strong karate chop above my belly button. This made me think…….and wonder…when am I a mother?

“And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Gen. 3:20

This is the first time in scripture someone is given the title “mother.” But wait, at this point in time she had not given birth to a child yet. In fact, it isn’t until chapter 4 when we even are learn that Adam and Eve conceived a son. So she is given the title of “mother” before she gave birth.

“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” Luke 1:36

“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; …” Luke 1:41

“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” Luke 1:43-44

In these passages, we see that Elisabeth had not yet given birth to a son, who we know later to be John. Did this mean she has a child already even though that child was only six months along in development in the womb (v. 36)? I certainly think so! What about verse 43 where Elisabeth calls Mary “..the mother of my Lord…?” But wait, Mary hadn’t given birth yet. So was Elisabeth mistaken? Was Mary not a mother yet?

When we think of a mother, we think of a woman who provides for and takes care of her children (Prov. 31:15, 27, 28). She prays for her children and teaches them about God. What about in the womb? What about a child that is only a few weeks old from conception? Or a few days old after being conceived? Is that not a child?

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

I am sure we all agree that life begins at conception and becomes a living soul. When a child is in the womb, does the woman who carries that child not provide for that child? Doesn’t she protect that child and nurture him or her until it is time for that sweet baby to join the outside world? What about praying for the child in her belly and talking to the baby about God even before they take their first gulp of air?

I am so thankful for my amazing husband who made Mother’s Day a big to-do for me and acknowledging that I am a mother, but since our son can’t do much for me this year, “daddy will have to do it for him.” I am thankful for my sweet sisters-in-law who helped my husband cook lunch and prepare a nice Mother’s Day for me. I am thankful for the many family members who constantly pray for our son and my husband and I as we make our “game plan” to raise our son to be a man of God.

But as I stood there in the foyer and reflected on that comment, I began to think about how we, even in the church, view when motherhood begins, or what qualifies a woman as a “mother.” Are our views the same as God’s views? What qualifies a mother in our minds and when does that start? Does it start when, after that final push and we hear our child’s first cry and hold them in our arms? Or does it start when that baby is conceived and becomes a living soul?

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan and is awaiting the birth of their first child, Judah Rae Blair. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS.  She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc.  Life is never dull at her house. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Did you think you were God??

~Erin Blair

My husband and I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. They are different from the modern horror films that are more gore and hack-and-slash with no plot. We appreciate the Hitchcock films for “turning our wheels” and making us think, making our mind do the tricks for us. One of our favorites is the film “Rope” staring Jimmy Stewart. This probably isn’t considered a horror film like, say, Psycho, but the other day I was thinking of a wonderful point this film made.

Let me give a brief synopsis. Two college students decide to murder via strangulation another student because they determined he was intellectually inferior. They then stuffed his body in a trunk and served food off the same trunk later that day at a party they hosted in their apartment. One of the guests they invited was their college professor played by Jimmy Stewart. They thought that killing this “inferior” student would impress their professor. But Jimmy Stewart’s reaction, which in my opinion is one of the best speeches in movie history, has stuck with me:

“…Tonight you’ve made me ashamed of every concept I ever had of superior or inferior beings. And I thank you for that shame. Because now I know that we’re each of us a separate human being, Brandon, with the right to live and work and think as individuals, but with an obligation to the society we live in. By what right do you dare say that there’s a superior few to which you belong? By what right did you dare decide that that boy in there was inferior and therefore could be killed? Did you think you were God, Brandon? Is that what you thought when you choked the life out of him? Is that what you thought when you served food from his grave? …You’ve murdered! You’ve strangled the life out of a fellow human being who could live and love …

With all the politics swarming around us today involving rulings on abortion and “mercy” killings and ISIS, this snippet keeps echoing in my mind. What is the sanctity of life? Who determines who has the right to live or die?

God is the One who created life (Gen. 2:7, 22). He is the One who created man in His image (Gen. 1:26) and therefore made man a special being, different and superior to all the animals and plants. When God made man, He “made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.” (Eccl. 7:29) When man gets “puffed up” and thinks he is smarter or “hot stuff” than he should or really is, that’s when trouble begins (Rom. 12:3; Gal. 6:3). That’s when he starts thinking himself more knowledgeable than God or just throws God “out the window.”

Who are we as people to think we can determine what life is to be spared and which is to be “killed off” or is inferior? God has created man in His image! We are all deserving of life and none are more or less inferior in any way to another. As I sit here and type this, I can feel my son moving and kicking. Who dares determine if his life is less important than another? Who are we to judge life that God created? We need to learn to respect life, whether in the womb or in the nursing home, for all souls are important in the sight of God. Christ died for all mankind and that puts a very high importance on all human life!

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan and is awaiting the birth of their first child, Judah Rae Blair. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS.  She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc.  Life is never dull at her house. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Submitting to our Husbands

~Erin Blair

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:21-22

Have you ever really studied your husband? I mean REALLY studied him? Do you know what turns his cranks? What makes him encouraged, discouraged, what makes him feel like superman? What about his biggest fear or biggest success? Dreams, goals, worries?  Are we truly students of our husbands? I don’t mean students in the idea of him teaching us something, although that happens quite often (at least in my home!). I mean students more in the way that Thomas Edison was a student of science. He ate, breathed, lived science and was always trying to figure it out.  Do we have that kind of focus on our husbands?

First, let’s take verse 21 of Ephesians 5.  We are told to submit to one another. What does this mean? We are to “put ourselves under” others, “…not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Phil. 2:4)  We are to put other’s needs above and ahead of our own. We are to bless, love, and serve others above ourselves.  After all, servanthood is to be a key part of our lives just as it was Christ’s (Mark 10:45).  Submission is about laying down one’s life and serving others – even if there is nothing quite simple about that. It is something we need to do every day. It is an attitude of living to bless another person.

Wives are asked to be more specific – to submit to our own husbands. If you notice in the latter part of verse 22, it says, “…as unto the Lord.” How do we submit to the Lord? First we have to know who He is! We need to study God and learn about him in order to know how He wants us to submit, or serve, Him. It is the same way with our husbands, as the previous part of verse 22 states. While we may submit and serve everyone, we are commanded (yes, commanded) to specifically submit to our husbands. Sure, we may buy a cup of coffee for a friend, help out a co-worker with meeting a deadline, take food to those who are sick, and the list could go on and on. But we are commanded to intentional about serving our husbands. We are to be intentional in our service and submission to our husbands.

To me, this means making a plan. For those of you who know me even the slightest bit, you know I love making plans. I have to have a plan for the day, for the week, or for the weekend. I need things lined out and organized. But as I am looking at my goals or to-do’s for the week, one of the first things I am trying to train myself to ask, or plan for, is: “How can I be a help to Jordan this week?”  What does he have going this week that could be a stressor for him, and how can I help reduce his stress? What are his goals, and how can I help him meet them?

I admit, sometimes I don’t know what my sweet husband has on his plate this week, so I don’t know the answers to those questions. I really should, though. Of all the people on the face of this earth, the one I am called first and foremost to serve (after God of course) – before any children, before my boss, before my parents even – is my husband.

This, though, doesn’t mean we are just to be friends with our husband. Wait! That is all good and great, and I will be the first to admit my husband is my best friend and most favorite person on the planet. But what I mean is that being “friends” and laughing together and watching a movie together doesn’t mean you serve him.  We need to be proactive in our pursuit of our husbands. Again, like Thomas Edison, study them.  Pay attention to what is happening in his life.  Get excited about the things that excite him. Think actively about ways to help him and bless him and serve him.

We are to be our husband’s biggest cheerleaders and the “helpmeet” or ally to come alongside him and help him.  We can’t do that if we only get around to thinking about him once the kids are asleep, or the dishes are done, or the laundry is all folded and put away.  We need to pay attention to our husband.  This also means getting our eyes off ourselves and our own interests, and thinking about him. 

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan who preaches for the Lord's church. They are awaiting the birth of their first child, Judah Rae. Erin has always been involved with fortifying and broadening the borders of the Kingdom. She has taught all ages of Bibles classes, helped prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS. She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc. Life is never dull at her house!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

From one Naomi (Mother-in- law) to Another

~Tracy Frederick 

We were the parents of an only child. The Lord was good to us and blessed us with a sweetest, and headstrong little girl. The delivery was a breeze. But, I must admit that motherhood wasn’t so easy for me. I was nervous, afraid that I would be a failure and that I wouldn’t know what to do. So, we determined to follow our heavenly Father’s example. We figured it out and watched her grow into a godly young woman. But we knew that one day that day would come. You know…THAT day. That day when she would leave us to make her own home. So, in preparation, we taught her the godly priorities for choosing a mate. We knew that she would be the helpmeet for the rest of her life so it was imperative she choose a godly man, and we were fierce about it! But, nothing prepared me for when we realized THAT day was upon us. The day when she had found THAT man. We knew he would be a good spiritual leader of her home, as God intended. He was raised that way by a dear brother and sister in the faith and God was at the center of their home. We felt confident that he would never place our daughter above His God so it made THAT day easier. 

But, that meant I would be a mother-in-law. I had never been one before and I wanted to be a good one. So, again I was nervous. I remember immediately mentally thumbing through the Bible and trying to recall God’s instruction about: “How to be a Good Mother-in-law.” I drew a blank! I started noticing how mother-in-laws around me behaved. Some even offered me advice, but it didn’t make sense to me- not godly sense. So, I contacted some sisters in the faith and asked their advice. They all assured me that I would be fine, but I still needed help.

So, back to the word I went. I looked and looked…I read about Jethro in Exodus, Moses’ father-in-law, a great father-in-law, but he wasn’t a mother-in-law. I read about the terrible relationship that Rebekka had with her daughter-in- laws in Genesis 27. That made me more nervous. I became frustrated when it seemed to me that God was not offering me direction in His word as to how to be a good mother-in-law. The Bible is designed to offer instruction on everything (II Timothy 3:16), every part of our lives: how to worship…how to be good stewards of the gifts our Father has given us…how to be a good brother, parents, etc. So, where was the mother in law? Then it hit me--we focus primarily on how Ruth takes care of her mother in law, we talk about the relationship between Ruth and Boaz and we discuss the obligations that a daughter in law has to her mother in law, but I haven’t heard us teach about being a good mother in law…being a Naomi, the most famous mother-in-law in the Bible. It seems that we forget about Naomi’s role as a mother.

Notice Ruth chapter 2 verse 19-20: And her mother in law said unto her, Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be he that took notice of you. And she told her mother in law with whom she had worked, and said, The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz. And Naomi said to her, Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, This man is a relation of ours, one of our closest relatives.

And we probably all know the rest of the story- Ruth and Boaz married and Naomi became a mother-in-law….again. I realized that Ruth had been a daughter to her. She had cared for her and provided for her. She knew that by Ruth finding a mate that Ruth would have to put her husband, Boaz, above her. But, she rejoiced when Ruth became Boaz’s wife. Interesting isn’t it? It wasn’t about her.

So, I thought maybe I am looking at this in as a mother, or in the wrong way. So I went all the way back to the beginning and reread Genesis 2 verses 22-24 and I paid particular attention to the last part of verse 24, but this time I read it as a mother-in-law: “ a man shall leave his mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

I reread Ephesians 5:22-33 as if it is instruction for a mother-in-law. I saw that God is very clear about the marriage relationship and there isn’t one mention of a mother-in-law. Nothing in the Bible that reflected what I was seeing around me- mothers asking daughters to remain faithful to them, serve them, remain loyal to them…even over their husbands and families.

So, I came to the following conclusions regarding what God tells me is my role, or place in my daughter’s life as a mother-in-law:

First, God tells me in I Corinthians 11: 3 that my role is to teach my daughter to put her husband above me. It is my duty to my God, and to my daughter to support her husband as the head of her home.

Second, Colossians 3: 18-19 instructs me that my role is to be in subjection. The Lord authorized my son-in-law to be the head of my daughter’s home and when I am in his home I am in subjection to him as well as my husband.

It really wasn’t as complicated as I thought. I realized that the absence of instruction was my instruction.

When I began my journey as a mother-in-law almost six years ago and I was nervous. I knew the reputation of meddlesome mother-in-laws and I knew THAT wasn’t God’s plan. I wonder how we got there and think that maybe some of us mother-in-laws may not be looking at our role in the same way that God does. I think that many of us may see ourselves still as mothers first and you know, we’re not THAT kind of mother any longer. That part of our job is over. Our role is different, just as important, but different. Titus 2: 3-5 helps us understand that. You see, our sweet little girl was raised to follow God and His design for marriage and I see that my job is to do the same…because in God’s eyes, she is no longer “our daughter”. God sees her as my sweet sister in Christ first and next He sees her as Mrs. Blair, my sweet son-in-law’s wife. And me? Well, I get to be his mother-in-law. It is that simple…and that wonderful.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Modesty in an Immodest World

~Erin Blair

“7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” – Genesis 3:7-10

When we read about the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, we automatically think of and talk about the sin of disobedience. Absolutely they sinned via disobeying God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. But what about the second sin that was committed? I’m sure you are thinking, “Whoa! Wait a minute! Second sin? What second sin? Where are you getting that?”

So, what was the second sin? Look closely at the text from Genesis 3. It was immodesty.

Soon after they ate of the tree that they were told not to, they knew they were naked and used, or tried to use rather, leaves to cover themselves. Well, we all know leaves are not the best items to use for clothing. They are thin, sometimes transparent, don’t knit well together so they gape, and quite frankly, depending on the leaf, you would have to use a lot of delicate leaves to patch together anything resembling clothes. Yet, for all their efforts, when God came into the garden, they still thought they were naked and hid in shame. They felt guilt from being immodestly dressed and they knew that it was wrong.

My how things have changed!

Take a look around. The world we live in is covered, or rather uncovered, in immodesty! Immodesty dominates much of what is watched on TV, seen on the streets, in schools and even in the workplace. What’s more is our nation has an entire industry devoted to immodesty – the porn industry. So, with all the immodesty around us, how can we remain modest in a world that glorifies the bikini, shorts that aren’t much longer than underwear, men walking around shirtless, and see-through sundresses?

We need to know God’s standard for modest dress! After God cursed Adam and Eve, he made “coats” for them (Gen. 3:21). Why did God do this? He deemed the clothing they made for themselves was not sufficient and thus better, more dignified clothing was needed. The word “coat” in this passage, kthoneth, indicates that they were covered from their shoulders on down. So therefore, logically, we can infer that this includes the upper and lower portions of the torso.

God also made sure that the Israelites understood what needed to be covered. “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.” Exodus 20:26. “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty. 41 So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests. 42 And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.” Exodus 28:40-41. God made sure they were covered to the degree that their nakedness was not exposed. What the priests wore was what we would call a robe, or a dress/skirt. God commanded them to have undergarments worn that covered them “from the waist to the thighs.” I think of basketball-type shorts (or something similar) when I read this description. Could this be applied to today’s fashion? What about those skirts or dresses that are see-through and you can see everything up to where no one but the woman’s husband should see? Or skirts or shorts that are so short that they expose the majority of the thigh? Or expose your backside when you bend over?

Basic morality has not changed from the Old Testament to the New. After all, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Christians are all priests of God (1 Peter 2:9). We have no right to serve God immodestly today than the priests under the old law. What’s more is, women are commanded to be modest! “…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing.” (1 Tim. 2:9) The point Paul is making here is that women are not to draw attention to themselves by their attire, whether from lack of clothing or excessive clothing and jewelry. If a woman walks in clothes from neck to feet, but has 5 rings on each finger, 3 gold necklaces, huge jeweled earrings, jewel pins, etc., are you eyes not drawn to her automatically? It is no different if a woman walks in in skimpy shorts and a skin-tight top that looks painted on, leaving nothing to the imagination, but screams “look at my body!” Both scream “look at me!” God’s standard for modesty, as we can see, is to cover ourselves, our most private places that are meant for our husband only (the places from the shoulders to the knee – breasts, hips, back, thighs, and vagina/crotch area) and to cover ourselves in a way that won’t draw unnecessary attention to ourselves.

After all, if we are dressed immodestly, whether via over-excessive “bling” or exposed legs and cleavage or skin tight clothing, while trying to study with a man in a Bible class, are we not possibly tempting him? (Matt. 5:28) We need to remember Matthew 18:6 “Whosoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” I don’t think any of us would want to be the cause of someone else’s sin! Especially if there is something we can do to prevent it!

As Christians we are to reflect Christ. What are we reflecting if we dress in a way that promotes our bodies in a sexual manner? We need, rather, to dress in a way that is blameless and harmless and draws attention to God rather than ourselves. (Phil. 2:15).

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband Jordan as they await the birth of their first child, Judah. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS.  She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc.  Life is never dull at her house. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gross out Your Kids!!

~Erin Blair

For those of you who do not know, I am pregnant with our first child who is due in August. This was unplanned for as many of you know, we are planning to adopt. But nevertheless, we are excited to welcome this new blessing into our lives and couldn’t be happier. But, as we plan and prepare and discuss how to raise this child, there is something we keep coming back to: we plan to “gross out” our children.
It’s a cute, funny scene whenever mommy and daddy hug or give a quick peck on the lips, the kids immediately exclaim: “Ewwwww! That’s gross!” And oftentimes, it seems to me at least, parents shy away from PDA in front of the kids because they don’t want to gross them out, make them uncomfortable, or “scar” them. This lack of PDA then can lead to a lack of affection even in private.
When we show affection towards our husbands in front of the kids (and of course I’m talking PG rated affection), we illustrate Song of Solomon 1:2, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For your love is better than wine.” We show our kids how important their father is to us and how much we love him. There is deep security in children knowing their mommy and daddy love each other deeply, especially in an age where divorce is commonplace. I remember when I was a child and all my friend’s parents were divorced; I was scared mine would. But, when I saw my parents hug or kiss, or my dad take care to pull a splinter of glass out of my mom’s foot, it assured me that they would not because they loved each other. 

We also need to remember 1 Corinthians 7:5, “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Do not deprive yourselves in front of your kids! Show them that mommy and daddy delight in one another (Song of Solomon 4) and still show their love physically. It will also show your children how a marriage should be – loving, caring and fun! They will remember how their mom and dad kissed, hugged and held one another when it is time for them to find a spouse. If it grosses them out when they are three, they’ll get over it by the time they are six because that is the norm! That’s what mommy and daddy’s do! 

So, be great parents, gross out your kids! Show them what a good, healthy, rock-solid, fun Christian marriage is! They will have precious memories of their parents love when they are older and realize it wasn’t really so gross.

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS.  She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc.  Life is never dull at her house. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Climbing Onto the Alter

~Erin Blair

Imagine this scene: you are in a crowded courtyard in ancient Israel. You are bringing your animal [a dove or a lamb or bull based on your financial status] to be sacrificed by the priests. The animal you are leading is pulling against its lead, wild-eyed and not wanting to be led to the scary looking mound of stones that smell and drip with blood of previous sacrifices. You finally are able to drag the animal up to the priest who wrestles the beast onto the stone alter, holding it down while slitting its throat, sacrificing it to Jehovah. The animal kicks and thrashes as its lifeblood is spilling, and then finally stills.

Thankfully we live in the Christian dispensation where we do not have to offer animal sacrifices for our sins. But yet we are not completely free of this idea. 

We read in Romans 12:1, “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Anyone who has dealt with animals, any animal whether it be a dog or a large animal like a horse or cow, if they don’t want to go somewhere, or are scared to, it can be difficult to “persuade” them. They pull and strain against your lead, even fighting against going where you want to take them. As Romans 12:1 we are to be living sacrifices. What does this mean?

If you try to make an animal stay put in a place they are scared of, or uncomfortable and they don’t respect or submit to you. They aren’t going to stand still, and are more likely to move away or run off. Let me give an illustration. My husband and I own two Labrador retrievers. The very first thing we did when training them was getting them to submit to us. Now that they respect and submit to our authority, they do whatever we command them to do. If we tell our female lab (our inside dog) to lay down and be completely still, she will not move a muscle until we give her the command that she can get up and move. Even if a fly lands on her nose, she won’t move. It is the same concept with us Christians.

Just as our dogs are to submit to our commands, we are to submit to God and do what He says. We are to be living sacrifices. This means we are to climb onto the alter ourselves-willingly- and stay there. It won’t be easy. We, like those animals of the Old Testament, may be scared of the possible pain and discomfort. But, that is what God demands of us; to be ready to sacrifice ourselves willingly and without complaint. We shouldn’t act like those animals who had to be held down to be sacrificed. We need to have the attitude like Christ, who in Luke 22:42 said, “…not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Are we sacrifices who wiggle and squirm and fight all the way up to the “alter,” unwilling to do what God commands? Or do we climb up onto the “alter” and pour ourselves out?

2 Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS. She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc. Life is never dull at her house.