Thursday, December 21, 2006

The War on Error - False Security

I've run across several Christian debates in blogland over whose doctrine is most biblical. The interesting thing is how many points of view there are, and the funny thing is that these same debates have been going on for centuries. There really is nothing new under the sun. The sad thing is that, much like a political debate, each side has a tendency to misrepresent the other side's stance. I don't think they do this intentionally, though it seems that some of them have such disdain for anyone who doesn't agree with their doctrine that they resort to name-calling and other immature tactics. From the sidelines, it often appears that they are really only arguing over semantics. More on that later.

What draws me to these blogs? It's a good thing to defend the faith, and I find it helpful to read others who are more discerning than myself. I've learned quite a lot since I began blogging, and here is where I will be sharing some of those things with you.

We'll start with "Once Saved Always Saved." I was brought up believing this and had never questioned it, until a few months ago, when I read an article claiming that it's a dangerous doctrine. So I did a little more research, and found that I agree with that assessment.

I did not say that I no longer believe it. I just said I agree that it can be dangerous, in that it must be handled with care.

There are those who say it isn't even biblical, and then they go on to say "Nowhere in the Bible does it say that!" I say that's a lame argument. You won't find the word "trinity" in the Bible either, but that doesn't mean it isn't biblical. Try again.

The real danger is in using the excuse of Eternal Security as a license to sin. This is a fatal error! Consider the following statements*:

Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy.

The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand.

You and I are not saved because we have enduring faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord.

Yes, there are people who believe these false teachings.

I am not one of them. I don't think Heaven will be populated with unbelievers.

2 Peter 2: 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

Your thoughts?

*Quotes from a book written by a well-known pastor who has twice been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like something

BooMama's Tour of Homes™ Christmas Edition is well under way, and I'm not ready for it. Maybe in the next day or two, or perhaps later tonight, I will have a few photos to post. That is if my cheap digital camera will work.

Unlike this family from my hometown, I'm not big on stringing lights "all over the where" as my brother used to say.

Their display grew so large (3 million lights, Barb) that neighbors started to complain. They now have 32 displays all over Arkansas, one at Graceland, and one at Disney World. Needless to say, I won't be keeping up with the Osbornes this year. Or . . . um . . . ever.

I've been known to wait until just a few days before Christmas to catch the excitement. Call me a late bloomer, a blooming idiot, or Scrooge even. I know. Bah Humbug.

I have, however, already managed to get most of my shopping done. In only 3 days. Yay me! My first actual purchase was the gift for my best friend and ex-wife-in-law. Y'all, she will be so surprised! I wish I could tell you what it is, but she reads my blog, so I'm not even going to give hints. And yesterday, my beloved helped me pick out gifts for my nieces and nephew and my brothers-in-law. Now he's cleaning the kitchen while I'm blogging about it. I love that man.

We decided not to to have a real tree this year, but the little pre-lit table-top tree I got for Lindsey's room last year will do fine. I just have to find some ornaments for it. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get busy.

Come back later, and I'll show you around.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Have Been Blessed

Last week, one of my favorite people in the blogosphere decided that I deserve an award "Just Because" I'm on her blogroll. Thank you, Grafted Branch! I am touched and honored. You are truly a blessing!

In other news. . .

Last Thursday after our handbell performance at one of our local hospitals, I had the privilege of fellowshipping with some of the other ringers (or ding-a-lings, as our worship leader affectionately calls us) at a world-renown coffee house. It was the first time I had ever been there. Now I'm not a coffee connoisseur, but one doesn't have to be to enjoy a good latte. Ahhh! The aroma! I ordered a peppermint mocha latte, and after just one sip, I knew that I would be returning to their establishment.

Saturday, Carl took me shopping for a new outfit for Sunday, and he even helped me pick it out. JC Penney was having a sale, and we got everything for less than half price. I love me some Penney's. We took the kids out for dinner afterwards, then we topped off the evening with a visit to the aforementioned coffee shop. I think I'm hooked. We may have started a new tradition.

Now here's a little tip for those of you whose husband would rather have scalding coffee spilled in his lap than accompany you to the mall: Bribe him with a trip to Starbucks!

In the works. . .

I'm pondering doing a serious discussion series on a couple of topics that have been on my mind a lot lately. Lord willing, "Doctrine Matters" and "The War on Error" will be coming soon.

Y'all have a fabulous week!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holiday Meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. With or without marshmallows. My grandma (dad's mom) made the best hot cocoa ever.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? That Santa is so unpredictable. Sometimes he wraps, but usually he doesn't.

3. Colored lights or white? I prefer white, but since my beloved does the honors, we always have colored lights. We don't do lights on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? If we have some we do, but it isn't necessary.

5. When do you decorate for Christmas? After we buy the tree. Usually a couple of weeks before Christmas. Never ever ever before December. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? I'm gonna say fruitcake. Since no one really likes it, it can't be considered dessert, can it? Really, it has to be chicken and dressing.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? The gifts we got every year from my great grandmother. We always got the same thing, all 3 of us girls, so we would open our presents all at once, knowing we'd have to hold them up and show them. Know what they were? Big ol' honkin' granny panties! Yeah, we hated it at the time, but looking back, it was the most hilarious thing ever. We were never able to wear them.

8. When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa? I was 9 or 10. One year in June, I decided to test a theory I had that Santa wasn't always watchin'. I wrote a letter and hid it inside the piano bench. He never found it. Why June? I didn't want to ruin Christmas. DUH!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? The kids get to open at least one. Sometimes they persuade us to let them open all of them.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Haphazardly. I always start out trying to be organized, but I always let the kids help. I do a little bit of rearranging afterwards, just to give it some balance. I like to have Mannheim Steamroller playing in the background while we decorate.

11. Snow. Love it or hate it? Love the real stuff. Hate the fake stuff.

12. Can you ice skate? As a native Arkansan, I have to say that depends on your definition of skate. If you mean glide gracefully across the ice, then no. If, on the other hand, you mean flail my arms wildly while stumbling without actually falling down, then I'm your girl.

13. Do you remember your favorite Christmas gift? Sarah was born 5 days before Christmas 1991.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Remembering the Reason for the season and being with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Cherry cheesecake.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Gee, the only thing we've ever done consistently is wrap presents on Christmas eve. No wait. Stuffing stockings after the kids have gone to bed. That's fun. Gathering around the TV to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" is a must. The best thing, though, and this should probably be up there with favorite childhood memory, is getting up early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, then going to Grandmother's (mom's mom) to watch Macy's Christmas Parade.

17. What tops your tree? A bow, I think. Or a blinking star. Whichever one we can get to stay up there.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? "...remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " Jesus said it, and I believe it. But even if He hadn't, I think I would rather give.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I love them all. The Little Drummer Boy is my all time favorite. Close behind, and in no particular order are Do You Hear What I Hear, O Holy Night, and What Child Is This.

20. Candy canes. Yuck or yum? Yum. And it's fun to suck the end to a fine point then poke your sister with it. Or so I hear. :o)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Calling all Homeschoolers

Okay, I've been looking around at all the options that are available, and I'm overwhelmed. I had no idea there were so many choices!

I need recommendations for curriculum for high school students. I keep coming back to Alpha and Omega, and I'm also wondering about Abeka. Anyone tried these or know someone who has? If not, what do you use and how did you decide? Anything you can tell me will be appreciated.