Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Is it Compromise?

Spiritual Lessons

Is it Compromise?

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Because I am interested in natural health I continually come across eastern medicine and also things like yoga, meditation and such therapies.

For the last few months I have been involved in many sessions of something called "I-Rest".  I decided to give it a try, being open minded and also seeking God's discernment of whether or not it was compromise.  This is what I felt I learned.  For many of you it may not have any bearing in your life since you are not interested in such practices.  But this is an issue that is given very little thought by open-minded Christians who seek to have a "non-legalistic" viewpoint.  And honestly, I believe we have a duty to "have an answer" to those who have found peace outside of God.

Some of you may say "Impossible!  There isn't peace outside of God!"  But with all respect, you're wrong.  I've seen people over and over and over find "peace" without any credence given to God.  People who have found real help.

What is I-Rest:

I-Rest is a discipline of mentally and emotionally supporting your healing process by guided meditation. It is not an emptying of the mind, as some would believe meditation, but simply taking the time to listen, to know, to face, and ultimately to welcome the unresolved issues in our lives. In our fast-paced world we rarely take the time to listen to the signals and messages our body tries to tell us. Someone asks us “How are you?” and we habitually reply that we are “good”, without the slightest notion how we really are. When is the last time we took notice? To know “where we are at”? We live in stress, or anxiety or fear or guilt (the list can go on and on) but we aren't even able to put a label on our unrest; it's just a hanging burden. A burden we get so accustomed to we forget it's there. But it's there; constantly wearing us down. We haven't taken the time to face “it” because we haven't even accepted “it's” existence. I-rest teaches how to stop for a moment and listen. To ask yourself where you're at in life. How are you? Really, how are you? And the stressor will come, the fear, the guilt, the trauma, it will come to you. I-Rest then gives you the chance to hold “it” in the light and view it for what it is. It's no longer a nameless, constant weight in the back of your mind. You can see it. You can face it. And you have the choice to either continue to ignore it, or to welcome it, accept it, feel it; instead of flee. And in that moment there is a liberty that comes with the courage of holding onto it without letting go.

Why Christians can use it:

I-Rest is a tool; not a religion. I-Rest actually promotes biblical principles. Instead of ignoring or running away from our negative emotions or circumstances, I-rest teaches that these can be embraced and accepted and learned from. As Christians, we know this to be true. The bible says “...count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Hardship works our our faith and teaches us patience and ultimately creates completeness. This is biblical. I-Rest teaches to embrace pain, to face it, to hold it along with joy, and to accept them both. I think of the hymn “More Love Oh Christ” and the verse “Let Sorrow do it's work, send grief and pain, sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain, when they can sing with me, more love oh Christ to thee...” This is in essence, I-Rest. I-Rest says, instead of fleeing from sorrow, why not let it do it's work? Allow yourself to feel grief instead of continually building a barrier to emotion. Instead of resisting, sing with them! C.S. Lewis, the renowned Christian author, practiced this discipline. When his wife died Lewis decided to “observe” his grief. He wrote about it. He held it. He wept. He felt it. It was a constant companion. And by observation he was able to heal. “Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.” - C.S. Lewis, 'A Grief Observed',59

The reason Christians would not use it:
Although I-Rest is suited to the Western world, it's roots are founded in Indian philosophy and Yoga Nidra. Modern Yoga Nidra is basically a relaxation technique that was derived from ancient tantra (Hindu ritual text dating to the 6th-13th centuries) by an Indian student of Yoga, Swami Satyananda in the 1970s. Although the intentions were to make Yoga Nidra available to every culture, regardless of religion, it's roots are undoubtedly connected to ancient Indian religion, including their god, Vishnu. I-Rest is an indirect adherence to the doctrines and principles of the tantra. Though I-rest is several steps removed from it's eastern religious background, it's roots lead directly to Indian rituals. This is something, that as a Christian we cannot be comfortable with, because we believe in one God.

Dueteronomy 6:4-5 “...The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might.”

Isaiah 45:5-7 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the LORD do all things.”

...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” 1 John 14:6

This is the “narrow mindedness” of Christianity. Truth is often “narrow minded”. There is a wrong way, and there is a right way to most things. There are absolutes.
For example: I have one biological father and will always, only have one, and there is no other way to have more than one. This may come across as narrow minded if you believed there was the possibility to many biological fathers, but it is actually an absolute truth. I know and believe I can only have one biological father. I am not narrow minded in believing this; I am believing in truth.

I also know I can only have one God, and one heavenly Father. I know Him personally and love Him. To deny this would be like denying the truth that I have one biological father, whom I personally know and love. I would never accept anyone claiming to be my biological father who wasn't. They would be false father. Just as I would never want to give allegiance to anyone that claimed to be my god, who was not. They would be a false god. By following yoga principles I could indirectly give credence to a false god.

Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14

I-Rest also encourages you to find your inner resource. I do believe that we ignore our God-given tools to recognize illness, to accept both the “negative” and “positive”, and to understand what our health options are. But we are not sufficient of ourselves.(2 Corinthians 3:5) We are all born with a need of God.

At least once in our lives we have done something to be ashamed of. We have lied, we have stolen, we have looked on someone in lust... the list goes on. Inherently we know we are wrong. God gives us a list of commandments (His law) to show us we have at least broken one of these. Even breaking one makes us a law breaker. God tells us in the Bible that there is eternal consequences for the immoral law breaker. It's called Hell, a place of everlasting fire and torment. One of those absolutes. But God is not willing that any should perish. We have broken God's law but Jesus paid the fine. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) We have a need, and He met it.

We have to be careful with the idea that we are complete without Him. That we can find every solution to life outside of Him. Nothing can replace Him, not even I-Rest.

I-Rest follows many biblical principles and therefore does help people. But for the unbeliever in Jesus it could become a mimic alternative to God. God has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15). No other peace is as complete as His peace.

My conclusion

Though I am convinced I-Rest is helpful and a legitimate benefit and even involves many biblical principles, it also stems from a religion and mind-set that I do not fully agree with, as a Christian. I am thankful for the things I have learned from I-Rest and even intend to continue practicing these principles. But I-Rest in and of itself is something I cannot completely stand behind.

Many Christians refuse to learn from things around them if they are not directly affiliated with their church, or their denomination. This is true narrow-mindedness and needs to be considered since it is a stereotype that we encourage by this behavior.
We Christians also need to realize that God is not a “fix-all” to our life. Life includes the good times and the hard circumstances. We are promised “fiery trials” (1 Peter 1:7). But God also tells us that these trials are the fire that purges us and makes our faith as precious gold. God did not promise us a life of ease as Christians. He is not our jinni that we go to when we are faced with dire circumstances. Prosperity has nothing to do with Christianity. Instead in Jesus' life we see compassion, which leads to service, we see unconditional love, which leads to vulnerability, we see obedience, which led to death. If we follow Him long enough we too will experience these things. Christian, just as I-Rest teaches, and also the Bible, you will have burdens. You will have struggles. You will have hardships.
The question is: Will you face it? Will you accept them? And will you give them to Someone far more capable of carrying them?

Integrative Restoration Institute's website.
King James Bible

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Quote of the Day

Image result for Praying hands"Why are many Christians so often defeated?  Because they pray so little.  What are many church-workers so often discouraged and disheartened?  Because  they pray so little.
Why do most men see so few brought "out of darkness to light" by their ministry?  Because they pray so little.
Why are not our churches simply on fire for God?  Because there is so little real prayer.

...Has it ever occurred to you that our Lord never gave an unnecessary or an optional command?  Do we really believe that our Lord never made a promise that He could not or would not fulfill?  Our Saviour's three great commands for definite action were:

Pray ye --
Do this --
Go ye--

Are we obeying Him?  How often His command, "Do this," is reiterated by our preachers today!  One might almost think it was His only command!  How seldom we are reminded of His bidding to "pray" and to "go."  Yet without obedience to the "pray ye," it is of little or no use at all either to "do this" or to "go.""

 -- An Unknown Christian, in A Kneeling Christian, 16

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Thai Chicken Soup

It's cold outside... what better day to make soup? This is a recipe that I found in Cook Illustrated cookbook. If you like mushrooms, spicy, and creamy'll love it! Especially good with homemade bread!

Thai Chicken Soup Recipe:

1 oil
2 TB fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
2-3 tsp Red chili paste
6 cups chicken stock
3 TB fish sauce
1 TB sugar
2 (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 Chicken breast
8 oz. Mushrooms
3 TB lime juice
Green onions

Saute` oil, green onions, and mushrooms (sliced) in a medium size pot. Add ginger, garlic, red chili paste, and fish sauce. Then add sugar, lime juice, and chicken stock. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add coconut milk and salt to taste. Add chicken (cut in small cubes). Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Garnish with cilantro. 

Lynea's notes: Because this is a somewhat thin soup...I doubled the mushrooms and chicken.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Burdens and the Three Options

Spiritual Lessons


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You have a burden. And if you're like most people on earth, you more than likely have multiple burdens.

A burden can be that 104th thing on your plate, it can be a relationship, it can be watching a sibling struggle, it could be depression, family politics, health...anything.

I want to encourage you that you have three options on how to deal with them, and only three.

1: You can leave them. Mentally, physically, emotionally. Burdens are frightening. They are overwhelming. They are painful. They are more than you can handle. So you can turn away from them and think on something else, do something else, ignore that burden. It's sometimes easier to stop trying. To stop caring. Leave. Run away. This is option number one.

2: Man up! Take them on, full charge. You're tired of the guilt of apathetically ignoring the situation, and no-one else is doing anything about it. As a good, strong daughter you take it upon your shoulders to face the problem. If so-and-so can't: you will. You rush in and give relief. Nevermind the fact that you're crumbling. Nevermind you're hurts. You will give aid, even if it kills you. This is option number two.

3: You pick up the burden. It hurts. You allow yourself to feel the grief and the pain or the stress and you stretch out your arms, holding it up for God to take it from you if it's His will. You admit you aren't strong enough. Some of these burdens aren't your responsibility. You hand them over to Someone who can take charge. Some of them are fears that must be faced or they will always shadow your steps. Some of them are people who only need someone to listen, not to fix them. You choose not to ignore or to take charge, but to silently bear the grief and let God deal with it. It still hurts, but there is no apathy, no responsibility, no fear, no pride; you are simply a channel for God to move thorough. He in you is strong enough to hear someone out. To face the frightening relationship. To live another day with illness. To know whether to say no, or to continue on. To carry a secret grief. To love the unloveable. To be secure in the midst of family turmoil. He through you carries burdens. It hurts to have Him rend your heart in order to reach out of you for someone else, but ultimately, it is Him that does the carrying. You're just the little box He chooses to live inside. The vessel.

There is no question whether you have burdens. 
 The question is how are you going to deal with them?  

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Monday, December 14, 2015


"Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."  Hebrews 13:3

Her Husband’s Killers Are Hunting Her

Her Husband's Killers Are Hunting Her

"In 2007, Luz and her husband were pastoring a small church in a remote Colombian jungle and joyfully anticipating the birth of twins. One day, her husband left to buy supplies and never came back. He was stalked and assassinated for his faith.

VOM immediately relocated the pregnant Luz and her young daughter, and the hit man was arrested and sent to prison.

Eight years later, the man was released from prison, and now the rebels are hunting Luz. Again, VOM immediately relocated her to a safe place."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Some murmur if their sky is clear,
And wholly bright to view,
If one small speck of dark appear
In their great heaven of blue:
And some with thankful love are filled,
If but one streak of light,
One ray of God's good mercy, gild
The darkness of their night."

(R.C. Trench, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 290)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Important Role of Sibling

Spiritual Lessons 

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I am the eldest of seven. I have never experienced the trials and triumphs of being a younger sibling, much less “the baby”. In a recent conversation that I had with my younger sister I marveled at the perspective of a younger sibling and wondered if all younger siblings felt this way.

I decided to ask you, my readers, your thoughts on sibling hood. With the Results of Poll and many conversations, I have some thoughts to share with siblings.

To the Eldest and Middle child:

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I might be “the hardest” on the eldest, simply because I am the eldest. But this is for all older siblings:

Our younger siblings grow up. Novel, I know. But seriously, we will always view our younger siblings as “young”, because we are so many years ahead of them. But I have found in my conversations with siblings, that the eldest , or even middle children, will forget that their little sister is a young woman, or that their baby brother has actually turned into a young man, and we, older, maturer, wiser ones, forget to treat them as such.
Did you realize that younger siblings are born with an innate desire to please their older siblings? It's true. There is an “awe” given to younger siblings for their “big sister” or “big brother”. We older siblings can take it for granted, or not recognize it. This is an opportunity to influence our siblings for good, and yet it is often squandered.

It's easy to get caught up in life. Honestly, between schooling, our job, our hobbies, our friends and just life in general, it's easy to overlook some of the greatest blessings: our siblings.
According to the poll, and to many personal friends, I've learned that younger siblings struggle with feeling lonely or forgotten. They yearn for quality time. They desire to be treated as young women or men, not babies.

Craving Attention
Craving attention leads to many things. Did you know your little sister craves male attention. Even your 9 year old sister. As she grows older she suddenly is aware of young men near her age. At 14-15 your sister is also noticed by boys. They get “the look” are whistled at...etc. For the last four years they've felt kinda ignored. At this age they are super sensitive and emotional.
I remember the first time I was whistled at. It was in a parking lot as I was walking back to the car with my mom. I wasn't quite fourteen. It was a rather embarrassing moment, but I later recounted it in my diary – I was shocked. And it was kind of pleasant. I later felt convicted, and got rid of the outfit I was wearing! But the point is, these are real feelings going on in the heart of your “baby” sister. You are busy with “important” things and never dream your sister yearns for your attention. As a brother you have an incredible opportunity of guarding your sister's heart. I don't just mean physical protection, although that is obviously imperative. It's also a message to your sister that you care – that you believe her to be cherish-able. That she's worth something. And when you are worth something, you'll think twice before giving your heart away. BUT, your sister also craves attention. Not just protection. I still immensely enjoy little notes from my brothers. Or a hug. Or even a reprimand. Or going on a walk. Or driving together one-on-one. These actions prove I'm loved. Your little sister, no mater if she's 4, or 24, needs this. As a teen she might just go looking for it somewhere else. Of course your inaction is no excuse to her bad behavior. But you do have an opportunity. Even possibly a duty. And I don't necessarily mean your sister might go onto an online dating site, or run off, or something that extreme. Although it's happened, over and over again in the most conservative Christian families. But she might take up romance novels and day-dream her life away. She might take up flirting. She might saturate her heart in things less than innocent. We older sisters can also encourage in this area, but I have found that brothers have an amazing open door into their little sisters hearts like no-one else.

Young brothers also need attention. At a young age their hearts are tender and impressionable. They respect their older sisters. The desire, even at a young age, to be chivalrous, to be protective, to be manly. We can encourage this, or snuff out theses admirable feelings. Do we take our little brothers seriously? Do we allow them to be chivalrous? Do we treat them like inconvenient brats, or like knights in training? How we treat them does influence their self-image. How do we speak to them? In what tone? Are we belittling? In conversation to others, or in patronizing actions? Men desire respect (no matter what age). We can either fulfill the world's stereotype of sister-brother relationship, or we can influence them to be godly men. We have that choice.

Middle children often feel ignored or overlooked. The eldest is given many responsibilities, the youngest is spoiled, and the middle is left high and dry. Sometimes they are told to “act like your older sibling” and they are resentful. We must keep this in mind.  In the poll there was a percentage of siblings that never felt pursued as a friend by their older sibling.  This is heart-breaking to say the least.  28% never feel included in their siblings lives or activities. 62% of siblings wished their siblings would communicate more.  60% of siblings said that quality time with their older siblings affected them emotionally and spiritually. 

Control Freaks
As older siblings we have the tendency of “taking over”. Of orchestrating. I recently did a post on this. (A Post for Martha). With this tendency comes the negative occurrence of the younger sibling having very little responsibility in the home. She has little opportunity of taking pride in managing housewifely tasks. She struggles to learn basic homemaking skills. She is given the left-over tasks. They are the helper, never in charge. They can grow resentful, or even bored. Which both lead to negative outcomes. Older sister, we can include our younger sister in our responsibilities. Sure it takes more time. But our little sister needs to learn how to bake too. We make baking cookies fun now, and she will appreciate making meals later on. Ask your little sister to not only help but ask if she'd like to take over a task for you. You know, if it's not done exactly “your way” the world won't end? I remember Corrie ten Boom sharing how she always did the housework, while her older sister always managed the shop. One day they decided to trade chores, and they found that Corrie was much better suited for the shop work, and her sister immensely enjoyed the very same housework Corrie found to be drudgery. Consider asking your little sister if she'd like to trade chores.
Also with this attitude of “taking over” our young men are encouraged to “step aside”. We encourage the instinctive feminist flame every time we “take charge”, when really it's the men's responsibility.  We affect our brothers.
Recently it has occurred to me that maybe the men in our lives would speak up if we would pause to take a breath and be still.  Maybe the men would step up if we didn't consider ourselves the “fix-all” to every circumstance. Maybe the men would take charge if we stopped assuming we're the only candidate for getting the job done. Maybe men would be leaders if we stopped treating them like “baby brother”. It is possible to rob our men of the opportunity to be leaders, protectors, and men. Do our men trust us? Are we working on making our men “known in the gates” as righteous leaders, or do we verbally accuse them and put them down? How we treat our men now is a good indication of how we will treat our man later. 

I'd like to encourage you, older sibling, that you have an amazing opportunity to influence your siblings. Your attitude greatly effects them (especially your attitude towards your parents). They often follow your lead.
Younger siblings also desire to share their heart, they just aren't sure how to approach their distracted busy older sibling. You will be amazed, if you take the time, what your sibling will share with you. Especially if you aren't critical or their “fix-all”. But simply and sincerely a listener. Communication is sometimes a sacrifice. But it's also something God admonishes us to do.

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:16. 

 Your sibling doesn't need condemnation. They get that from many other places. They don't need a nit-picker. They need unconditional love and someone who communicates. They actually can teach you a lot if you give them the chance. And they will be a lot more apt to listen to your advice later on if they know you're a friend, not just a “big sister” or “big brother”. They desire to be included in your life. Faith shared with me how, as a little girl, and even not so little, how important and loved she felt when we older kids asked her opinion. Go ahead and ask! They want to share. They desire to be accepted. We cannot change our siblings. Our criticism is not helpful. Hold no expectations but simply be a friend.

To the Baby and Younger Siblings:

Image result for eldest siblingI would like to encourage you little sister or brother that you are important to the family role. You will always have the “special spot” in everyone's heart, as the “baby”.
With this comes some hard tasks. I have heard from many “babies” of the family that they struggle with selfishness. They were spoiled, and it is hard not to take things for granted.
The little sibling can be a blessing or a great hindrance to their older siblings. You are capable of making the older siblings life complicated or sweet.

Young lady, I want you to know you can boost the confidence of your older brother. If you cherish his protection you can encourage chivalry in his heart. Sisters often prepare their brothers for their future marriage. You can either habituate them to tantrums and ungratefulness, or your can make their job a pleasure.
Sometimes younger siblings will belittle their older siblings to lift themselves up. You don't seem naive, or childish if you are rebuking your older sibling, criticizing their mistakes or telling them what to do. Babies of the family can be really bossy. This does not benefit anyone. It usually stirs up that older sibling to be more strict, or it can actually make some cow to your wishes (depending on personalities).
It is possible to be meek and humble without being naïve or childish. In fact, your obedience or humility will prove your maturity and even convict your older siblings to greater heights.

You may have to work hard at communicating with your older siblings. You might have to let them know you desire their attention. You might have to initiate. This is a sacrifice, but it's worth it! You might expect your older sibling to be the encourager, the mature one – when in fact, God has planned for you to step up and encourage. Older siblings are human. We need you as much as you need us. Little notes from my younger siblings makes my day. We can be lonely too, you know? We can crave attention. Sometimes we older siblings forget to communicate how thankful we are for you younger siblings. This morning while doing devotions one of my younger siblings woke up and I could hear him singing as he got out of bed. It blessed my heart to hear him so cheerful. If I do not let him know, he may never realize his attitude effects me (his older sister). Day by day you might be being cheerful for your family's sake. You might be the peacemaker. The encourager. And it is easy to become discouraged after continuous days of giving, and no-one seems to notice. Dear friend, your efforts are not in vain! They are noticed. They are helpful. Even if no-one thanks you. God is using your service. Your attitude effects your older siblings. Your attitude effect those who have authority over you. God asks that you obey them and submit yourself. This is profitable to you.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:7

Taking Control
You also might have to take the initiative to learn lessons not expected of you. You might have to outgrow your parents or older siblings little expectation and take on responsibilities. Often older siblings are shouldered with tasks out of necessity. You aren't expected to help with the cooking. You aren't expected to get a job. You never were asked to do the laundry or clean the house. To drive your mom to her appointment. Maybe your older siblings are burnt out? Overtaxed. And you simply never noticed how you could be a help, because no-one expected you to.

You have the opportunity to either be a taker or a giver. A blessing or a hindrance. Also remember, even if you are the “baby” in your family, there are usually younger “siblings in Christ” that are watching you. You are a testimony of what the baby of the family should be. You are an influence. God specifically put you in your family, exactly where you're at on the totem pole, for a specific purpose. It's your calling to be the baby. Be faithful friend, He will use you.  


Say not you cannot gladden, elevate, and set free; that you have nothing of the grace of influence, that all you have to give is at most only common bread and water. Give yourself to your Lord for the service of men with what you have. Cannot He change water into wine? Cannot He make stammering words to be instinct with saving power? Cannot He change trembling efforts to help into deeds of strength? Cannot He still, as of old, enable you in all your personal poverty “to make you rich?” God has need of thee for the service of thy fellow men. He has a work for thee to do... 'Whatever He saith unto you, do it.'” George Body, Daily Strength for Daily Needs, p.110

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Quote of the Day

"You are seeking your own will, my daughter. You are seeking some good other than the law you are bound to obey. But how will you find good? It is not a thing of choice; it is a river that flows from the foot of the Invisible Throne, and flows by the path of obedience. I say again, man cannot choose his duties. You may choose to forsake your duties, and choose not to have the sorrow they bring. But you will go forth, and what will you find, my daughter? Sorrow without duty- bitter herbs, and no bread with them."

(George Eliot, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 297)