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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

No thanks, I'm good.

I ran across this photo today when I hopped on Pinterest for a minute to possibly gain some creative juices for a project that Jodi will be starting soon.  My Pinterest search didn't result in any good ideas, but displayed some messages like this one.  Which, got me thinking.  And, as you know, I like to think out loud.

This button is being sold on etsy.com.  And, i think to myself, it's sad that anyone should feel this way so strongly that they would purchase and wear this out in public.  Though, I suspect that there are a growing number of people who not only feel this way but also feel emboldened enough and secure enough to declare it in writing on their person.

A few months ago, I watched a video on YouTube entitled 180Movie.  It was put together by Ray Comfort, who I believe is a preacher somewhere.  It prompted me to look him up and I was able to download a 45-minute message of his called Hell's Best Kept Secret.

In this sermon, he points out that while churches in the US truthfully claim thousands of salvations every year, they can only account for a small percentage of that number as new members of churches.  I think that it was around 10%.  So, even though people are getting saved, they are either not finding a church home or they are finding one but then falling away from regular attendance.

I believe that Ray hit the nail on the head, when he attributes this phenomenon to the fact that more and more churches these days are failing to properly deliver the gospel.  Many churches and individuals simply leave out or fail to go into detail about the law and the penalty of sin.  And no wonder, it's a more popular message when you're only sharing the positive side of the gospel (Jesus loves you, He died for you, He wants to give you salvation, you'll get to go to heaven, God is love, etc.)

What is not getting communicated enough (or at all, in some cases) is that if you have sinned even once you are a sinner.  You have no righteousness.  And, you must pay the penalty of death.  One sin separates you from a perfect and holy God.  Yes, He is loving.  But, He is also just.  A loving God lacking justice would not really be loving at all.  His holiness does not allow Him to overlook or ignore sin.

Perhaps, comparatively speaking, we may be pretty good people.  However, the only comparable that this loving, just, and holy God uses is Jesus who was perfect.  He doesn't use other people as comparables.  And, compared to Jesus, we are ALL filthy sinners.

Thank God, He sent His son to live a perfect life and then die the worst possible death so that He could freely give to us His own righteousness.  But, God created us in His image.  Which is to say, that we are eternal and have free will to choose Him or to deny Him.  There is no third option.  And, He will honor our decision and give us what we have chosen, whether that be eternity with Him or eternity apart from Him.

I see hell as an eternity separated from Him.  But, think about that.  We are told in much detail that God is love, patience, peace, light, joy, hope, etc.  Imagine an eternal life where there was no love, no patience, no peace, complete darkness, no joy, no hope, etc.  Imagine that none of these things were possible.  I believe that the fact that we can experience these things here on earth is because God is all around us showing us evidence of Himself.  But, that's the only reason that we can experience them.  If we were separated from Him, these experiences would be impossible.  So, instead of an eternal life it would be more aptly named an eternal death.

It's this fact that is getting overlooked and understated with new Christians.  Because of this, they either never get involved in a church or they quickly fall away from "the faith".  Because, while they did make "the decision" to accept God's gift, they never fully understood WHY they needed it in the first place.

Too many churches are telling people that to experience love, joy, peace, etc. they need to accept Jesus as their lord and savior.  And, while a close relationship with Jesus does, in fact, provide these things in increasingly greater amounts, it's actually not necessary to have a relationship with Jesus to experience them.  God is all around us showing evidence of Himself which means that we can experience His attributes even while we are denying Him.  An atheist can fall in love and experience joy.  However, if we all die.  And, if at that point we have still denied Him, we will certainly never experience His attributes ever again.  We'll only experience what existence is like without Him.

The church, trying to step away from the "fire and brimstone" paradigm, has made the failure of excluding this part of the message.  God's grace IS that He saved us when we haven't deserved to be saved.  BUT, He saved us FROM something.

This button reminded me of all that.  It simply states that the wearer isn't in need of salvation.  But, since ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ALL are condemned.  Our righteousness is like filthy rags.  We ALL need His righteousness.

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