The only personal Beacon you will ever need.

 

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I have started a hosted website, but I still want to post to my wordpress community. The site is still powered by wordpess, but I am not sure how to combine the two, if it is possible Until then, here is a link to the latest blog on my website: It’s not just about a watch, read ans see……

Free Personal Beacon Transmitter

Private or Pubic School?

classroom

I have started a hosted website, but I still want to post to my wordpress community. The site is still powered by wordpess, but I am not sure how to combine the two, if it is possible. Until then, here is a link to the latest blog on my website:

Private School or Public School, Is there a difference?

Exaggerated Grace

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The self-esteem movement has taught us everybody’s great, everybody gets a trophy.  I’m not a murderer, I’m wonderful. We have created a culture where God’s law isn’t just physically taken down from the courthouse across the nation, but spiritually it has been removed from churches as well.

Everyone should know what exaggerate means. It is when you embellish, overstress, or make a mountain out of a molehill. I am sure that you have done some form of exaggeration in your life.

Seeing the title Exaggerated Grace, you might wonder how anyone could exaggerate God’s grace, the free and unmerited favor of God.  The Grace that is manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowal blessings can’t be exaggerated. That statement could not be further from the truth.  Today there is much controversy of the subject of law verse grace.

False teachers promote grace over obedience. The meaning of grace in the New Testament has nothing to do with eliminating God’s law. These teachers have a misunderstanding of the New Testament.  The Holy Spirit is needed to comprehend the truths the Bible teaches us.  (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Grace was put into place for those who have accepted Christ and want to change.  Not for someone who is looking for freedom from legalism and from God’s standards.

There is no doubt in my mind, that the new teaching of this “grace revolution” is highly exaggerated. Some of the new grace teachings are inflated, embellished, and sometimes un-biblical.  These teaching can be dangerous to the Body of Christ.

I do not believe that we are witnessing a new grace revolution. I believe we are witnessing the rise of a grace exaggeration.  It is a mix of the truth from the Bible and manmade embellishments. These false teachers are taking people down the wrong path.

Over the past few months I have studied the subject of grace.  Through prayer I used the Bible, and other recourses like conversations, messages and books from well known preachers and authors.  Next are a few things I came across and my take on them.

In one book I read from a well known preacher says, it is not necessary to confess our sins and that Paul’s epistles never give an example of a believer confessing sin. He says this because he believes all of our sins, both past and future, have already been forgiven and that we should just be honest with God and speak to Him about our failures. He says this is not the same as confession of sin for forgiveness.

How is talking to God about your failures not confessing sin?  The problem I have with this is we are taught to confess our sins in 1 John, James and Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians.

One preacher told me he believes totally in every teaching of Paul. Here is how our conversation went:

He said, “You should not minister, because you are woman and women should be quiet in the Church.”

I said, “So, you take everything Paul says and apply it to every situation right?

He replied, “Yes.”

I said, “Then you should have never left your wife, even though she cheated on you.”

He replied, “What are you talking about?”

I said, “Paul said to the Church of Corinth to stay with their spouse, even if they cheated.”

He replied, “ Mmmmm my momma, mmmmm my momma nnnnnnn never questioned my dad.”

I said, “Well, I’m not your mamma. You see the word quiet is translated many more times in the Bible a peaceful, God gave me a talent to teach and I’m going to use it!”

Many preachers take Paul’s teachings out of context.  I twisted his writings to come against that preacher. When Paul told the Church of Corinth to stay with their spouses even if they cheat, he said “thus saith I, not the Lord.”  Paul always had a reason, for making that kind of decision, it might have sounded like a contradiction to Jesus’ teaching but it wasn’t.  He looked at the whole situation of the Corinthian church, if he would have told them to divorce there would have been mass chaos in the church, because all of them were committing adultery.  He wanted them to have a relationship with God and change their lives.

I am a firm believer in Paul’s writings; I believe they are there to teach us how to be a good leaders. He made decisions based on the whole situation. God gave him that authority because of their relationship.  Paul didn’t have a “new revelation of Jesus’ teachings,” he taught everything Jesus did.  Paul said: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God”  (Acts 20:26-27)

These preachers need to preach the whole counsel of God, Genesis-Revelations.

This “grace revolution” teaches, that the Old Testament Law is not necessary anymore for the church, and that we don’t need moral law of God, the Ten Commandments.  They say they are getting this from Paul’s writings.  Jesus teaches us this will happen in Matthew 15. He also say in verse 14 “… they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

Well I know Paul wrote 1&2 Corinthians. Didn’t he say we needed the Old Testament so we would not set our hearts on evil and sin?  Yes he did, in 1 Corinthians 10. He warns us about Israel’s past and how that should be an example, so we don’t make the same mistakes.  I am beginning to wonder if these preachers even know what books of the Bible Paul wrote.

Moral law is needed, without it, what are you saved from? The “New Grace Revolution Christian” is saved from legalism!?!?!  They are still lost and empty inside. They have no moral standard for righteousness. They don’t have the relationship with God that he wants them to have.

Went Jesus gave His followers a new commandment to love one another (John 13:34), He was still using love as a law to obligate the church to a standard of living.   Paul repeated in Romans 13:8-10.Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”  When you love God that much you do not want to commit sin.

All law in the Bible was ordained by God. However, when Jesus died on the cross, we were not subjected to ceremonial law anymore, we are not supposed to be walking around slaying calves for our sins.  Paul refers to those ordinances as bondage.  The Ten Commandments is not the same as Ceremonial Law. (Exodus 21-23, Hebrew 9:10, Galatians 2:16)

If you see in scripture a law that speaks of observing days, months, seasons and years and or various offerings and bondage etc, we know it is speaking of the ceremonial law that ended at the cross. If the passage of scripture is centered on loving God or man, then we can be sure it is referring to the Ten Commandments.

The Christian Calling is based on grace. Jesus died on the cross for your sin, we were saved by grace through faith. Through grace God pardons your past sins, and expects you to “go and sin no more.”

A good example of Jesus’ teaching on grace and law is the story found in John 8.  There was an adulterous woman that was dragged before Him.  The scribes and Pharisees said, “Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned.” They wanted to see if he would declare the penalty upon her demanded by the law.  At first He was silent, while drawing something on the ground with His finger. They ask Him again, He lifted up His head and said “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first cast a stone at her.”

No one stepped forward, everyone that heard Him, was convicted by their own sin. The crowd slowly disappeared. There was no one left but Jesus, He is the only true one without sin. He told her “go and sin no more.”  Jesus pardoned the woman from death, even though she was guilty, because of God’s grace. That grace was given to her as a gift, not because she deserved it.  Jesus changed her life, and expected her not to do it again.

I do believe in grace, it was because of grace she did not get stoned.  It is because of grace that you past sin are forgiven.

By far of all the Bible stories I have read the best example of God’s grace is in the Prodigal Son story coming from the lips of Jesus found in Luke 15.  In this story you realize that it is about the relationship you have with God. There are two sons; the youngest takes his inheritance and says, “I’m going on my own way.”   Can you imagine what the father might have been thinking, “I hope to see him again someday.”  After wasting his fortune, he goes hungry during a famine.  He then realizes the enormity of his sin, he returns home with the intention of begging to be employed and renouncing his kinship to his father.  The father finds him on the road, immediately welcomes him back as his son and holds a feast to celebrate his return. He didn’t receive secondary status, his father didn’t make him a disfavored servant; instead his father had a party in his honor. The father celebrated his as his child.  Talk about undeserved grace, this takes the cake.

If you compare this story to other religious cultures, they would not have had grace like that. I have not found one other religion that would accept someone like the Prodigal Son and throw a party for them. He would have been disgraced, killed, or forced to work off his sin.  Only God offers the gift of grace. No matter how bad your past is, all you have to do is humble yourself. He will make you his son or daughter.  “Kill the fatted calf,” for you.  He will give you grace for you sins, but He expects a permanent change in your life. “Go and sin no more.” When you get saved the laws are written on your heart. (Hebrews 10)

Salvation is more than a social media status update. “Feeling good, got saved today. I’m changing my status to Christian.”  It is a personal relationship with Christ, where you talk to him every day, like he is right beside you. When you have that kind of relationship with God, when you fall in love with Him, you will want to abide by His Law. It will be in your heart.  You love Him so much it hurts you inside when you see someone walking down the wrong path.

I want to end with this Scripture,

(Jude 1:19-31)

“19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Thief caught on tape while teens sleep

Two teens home alone while thief is caught on home security camera. Watch Video to see what happens.

Like a thief in the night

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Matthew 24:42-44

This scripture is God is warning us how to be prepared.  Although, we do not know the day or the hour, the Bible does say there will be signs.  We know we are living in the end times.  Therefore, we need to be ready every day.  You should to live expecting the unexpected.

Think about it, this scripture uses example on a thief.  Normally, we do not look for thieves.  I have never heard of a thief that would let you know they were coming.  We take precautions by locking our doors and hiding our valuables.  Some of us go to the extreme and install alarms, outside lights, and cameras.

The Bible is trying to teach us to be vigilant, alert, awake, and always watching the things around us.  The reason is that the thief’s biggest weapon is surprise.  Even to the people that are aware of His coming it will still be unexpected.

In this recklessly world, we are caught up easily in our daily life and lose sight of our true purpose.  God is our purpose in life!  We are not on this earth for ourselves; we are here to make a difference in someone else’s life and worship Him.  Christians all have their own way of keeping their focus on God, because everyone’s needs are different.  The goal is to keep God first in our lives.

In order to keep God first in your life you have to surrender everything: needs, pains, worries, and even the good things.  Surrender your entire body, mind, and spirit.  Surrendering requires having faith in God and in His word.

It is not as hard as it may sound.  All you have to do is say, Jesus I believe in you, and that you died on the cross for my sins.  I admit I have not lived my life for you, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived.  I need your forgiveness.  Right now, I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord of my soul.  Jesus, transform my life so that I may be a light for you, bring glory and honor to you alone and not myself.

Amen

Who am I?

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By: Tonie Wright Stroup

In this day and time, you can Google “Who am I?” and websites with online quizzes show up.  They claim by asking you a few questions they form a visual DNA of your personality.  Of course, I was drawn by curiosity and had to take a quiz.  The results found that I am a optimist, thoughtful, relaxed, easy going, sociable, spontaneous, need help with organization, practical, traditional and have good taste.  All of that from a 5 minute quiz.  I believe there is a lot more to defining who I am than just taking a quiz.

Webster defines identity as the character to who a person is.  So, what defines your character?  Your character is defined, when you commit yourself to a set of standards that never change.

As a teen, I committed to everything my boyfriends or friends liked.  I really didn’t know who I was or even why I was on this earth.  The movie Runaway Bride is a good example; she didn’t even know what kind of eggs she liked.  She conformed her life to every person she was with.

I had been raised in Church my whole life and religion was not an option in my house.  At age 12, I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.  By the age 17, I put my running shoes on.  I didn’t seek God for direct.  One self-oriented decisions after another lead me to be married at 21.  After a marriage of eight and a half years and two children, I had to face my family with the news I was getting divorced.

Even with the pain and heartache of divorce, I still didn’t turn to God.  Instead, I started dating again, whomever I wanted to.  BIG MISTAKE!  Yet more and more years of my life gone!  I had no goals, nothing I wanted to do. I felt like I just existed for no reason.  It took one man to wake me up.  It was by one question he asked me.  “Have you ever wondered what our purpose is, why we are here?”  I answered, “I was always taught that if you put God first you know your purpose.”  He responded, “You put me first, so you have no purpose.”  I have never had anything hit me as hard as that statement did.  WOW!  God used that man to shake me up.  I don’t think I left my house for 2 days.  I sat on the couch in the window, cried and prayed.  My heart was so heavy.

God brought back to my memory everything He had done for me.  Starting when I was 17, I got in that bad wreck.  Well I was in the hospital for 14 days and eight of those days I spent in intensive care to a teenager that’s a long time. I had broken seven vertebrates in my back and ruptured my spleen, the doctor said that I was only ¼ inch away from severing my spinal cord.  On day seven, they pulled my parents in to a little room and told them they thought I had phenomenon and without a spleen, I would not make it.  Anyway, they planned to do the CAT scan the next morning to see how bad the phenomenon was and all this time no one told me what was going on.  My family called everyone they knew to pray for me.  My mom came in the room it was in for the last visiting of the day and I remember she didn’t have to say a word and I knew something was wrong by the look on her face.  I started crying because I knew they were keeping something from me.  The nurses came in and made her leave because she upset me.  They put a tube in my nose that went to my stomach, which put a die in there so they could do the scan.  I still remember feeling that tube in the back of my throat.  I was on so much medication I couldn’t think straight much less pray.  I managed to pull the tube out of my nose three time that night until the tied my arms down on the bed.  I just knew that I didn’t want to be there anymore.  I remember looking out window and seeing a brick wall on the wall I saw a image, That I will never forget it was Jesus’ face and I felt a piece in my heart right there at that moment and I knew I was going to be ok.  The next morning the nurse checked all my vitals and everything was back to normal they didn’t understand how.  I didn’t go for a scan that morning instead they took me out of intensive care and gave me a private room.  To this day, I feel like God spared my life for a reason.

God let me know that even though I left Him that He never left me.  “I am with you always” Matthew 28:30.  God knew what I needed, He always did I just had to surrender and stop trying to fight my battles alone.  God is my purpose in life!  We are not on this earth for ourselves; we are here to make a difference in someone else’s life.  The only regret is that it took me so long to get it.  It is never too late to redirect your character. After fasting and prayer for direction, I enrolled at Lee University, where I graduated Magna Cum Laude, not to bad for a single mom.  It is amazing the things you can do in your life if you just put God first.  I can guaranty if you surrender your life to God, you will find out who you are.  Don’t settle for just existing.

Since that day on the couch, He has taught me so many things.  Let me tell how God showed me that he controls everything on the earth.  I bought the book “The purpose driven life” I felt like God wanted me to give it to my friend, the one that told me I have no purpose.  Our kids attended the same school; I was sitting in carline arguing with God.  I told God I didn’t want to give him that book.  I don’t want to talk to that man.  I feel stupid doing this.  My heart was so heavy.  The feeling wasn’t going away.  Picture a big school with 400 parents picking their kids up at one time.  They have to circle the parking lot and there is only one place in the line that you past the traffic coming in, it is after you get your kids and you are headed out.  I still didn’t want to give him that book.  I said ok God, If he is at the spot where we pass each other, I will hand him this book.  In my mind I was thinking, he would never be there, he’s always late and I won’t have to give him this book.  I greeted my girls, they shut the doors, and I began to pull forward.   Setting right in the curve was the man, now my heart was in my stomach! I rolled down my window, said here a book for you, and took off!  My emotions were about to come unglued, I could not hold back the tears.  God, I guess I forgot how big you are.  Think about this, that man had a 20-minute drive to the school.  There were 400 cars coming through that carline.  There was only one spot that we would cross paths.  Every stoplight, every car on that 20-minute drive had to be perfect to put him in that spot at that exact time.  I could not tell you if that man ever read the book, I just know that God was trying to show me that He is in control of everything on this earth.  That a stoplight doesn’t change without Him knowing.

If you feel lost and that you don’t know why you are here, the first thing you need to do is pray.  I talk to God as if He is my best friend.  He’s always been there right beside you.  It’s your choice to talk to Him.  It doesn’t matter what you have done in your past. If you read the Bible you will see that most of the disciples, were not always good people, before they met Jesus.  Think about Paul, he was killing Christians before he got saved.  Look at everything he done after that.  It is not too late, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks.

God gives everyone a choice just like Jonah had.  Just because you are moving forward does not mean you are moving in the right direction.  In Proverbs 19 God teaches us that we have many ideas nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, is the only way to find the right path.  If you have bought a ticket to the wrong city like Jonah, tear up that ticket before a whale swallows you.  Take it from me, I have been swallowed, and spit back out a few times.  Don’t be hardheaded!!!   Let go of that life and let God take over.