Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Luke 6:35, 36
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Earlier today (or yesterday as I'm up late again), Oprah did an episode on plural families and it occured to me that it must be very difficult for men in these marriages to provide mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for more than one wife. I know, normally the emphasis is on how great this must be for men at the expense of the emotions of the women involved, but today I had an opposite thought of how difficult a burden this must put on a husband (and I'm referring to families where women have chosen this lifestyle as opposed to those forced into it a la Warren Jeff's style).
Mr. Free didn't watch the show, but he passed through during a commercial and I asked him if, personal opinions and beliefs aside, he thought he could adequately meet the needs of more than one wife to which his answer was a fast and very firm, "no".
For this reason (among others), as a woman, I don't think I could be happy in a plural marriage. I have high expectations on being nurtured by my husband and I just don't see where one man could meet similar expectations with multiple wives. However, I have met women who feel otherwise (though I've yet to meet a woman actually living this way, some think they could handle it rather well).
So, what do you think? Do you believe you could manage to live happily ever after in a plural marriage?
Monday, October 22, 2007
Both of these courageous offerings should serve as reminders to us that we are Messiah's Ambassadors (as detailed in 2 Corinthians 5:20) and we have no excuse not to share the Good News daily with all we meet. If his Ambassadors in China and Romania (and other countries where being Christian is a criminal act) are willing to risk limb and life to do so, we who reside in countries where our religion and speech is protected by law have absolutely no excuse.
As with any other good news, we should be excited to tell others...we should be constantly spreading it to our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family...we shouldn't keep it to ourselves and rest in the comfort that we know the truth sent through Messiah into the world, but we should be bursting at the seams to share it with others.
Now go read and be inspired to act according to His will and purpose in your life.
In His Service,
Ambassador Free ;)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
HalleluYah, Father's will has been done! She is not in any more pain...there is no more infection...no more surgeries...no more procedures...no more doctors...and no more suffering.
You may recall my last post entitled "Letting Go" where I was struggling with the anticipation of this day. Well, it's here and I'm fine. In fact, I'm good. I've spent the past couple of hours recalling all of the good memories and the precious lessons she taught me. She lived her life exactly as she pleased and I know she didn't want to linger on life support the way that she did. It's over now and I'm relieved.
Though I'm sorry that she had to suffer, I'm thankful that we were given nearly 4 months to adjust to life without her and the possibility that she may never be here with us, in the same way as usual, again. In fact, at 3a this morning, I especially thanked Him for this period of adjustment and told Him that I think we're ready now. A meeting was planned for today to decide whether it was time to stop life support or not. Our family was divided over what to do. Thankfully, the Father took that decision out of our hands. Oh, praise Him!
Now I pray for peace in my family and that we can all work together as we go through the final arrangements and help her friends find closure (my aunt was not only loved by family, but had a TON of friends who were very attached to her). Please pray with me that His peace and His wisdom prevails through the next several days...that He will heal every heart and fill it with joy and praise.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
(Click the buttons to listen for yourself)
I've been listening to The Bible Experience recording of the New Testament for the past couple of days. I actually bought it as a gift for Mr. Free, but have all but taken it over. I listen to it while I'm cleaning, cooking, relaxing, etc. It's an amazing recording that helps to bring the Word alive and you'll almost feel like you're literally there with Messiah and the apostles as their lives unfold before you from Matthew through Revelation.
The Old Testament project is due to premiere next month. You may want to wait until then to buy the entire bible cd set or do like I did and purchase the NT now and the OT once its released (and I receive no compensation for saying this, lol). You'll definitely want this in your library, though.
Also makes an excellent gift whether someone's read the bible before or whether they're brand new to its wisdom...they will certainly appreciate this format.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
It’s important to know that a married woman and wife are not necessarily synonymous. A woman is what we are by birth and, in our modern times, most are married by legal decree. We become real wives, however, through the development of our character. The Bible describes a wife as being a virtuous woman and in Proverbs 31:10 – 27 that point is further illustrated in that she is described as being trusted by her husband. She does good by him and does not seek to ever harm him. She is a willing and able worker who rises early to provide food for her household, is savvy in business, strong, knows how to turn a profit, works hard into the night, gives to the poor and serves her community by helping the needy. She handles her business well, despite her full plate, which apparently supports her husband in doing well in his business and she’s known especially for her strength and dignity. She is wise in speech and she teaches kindness through her example. She looks after her household and her family so well, in fact, that the word laziness can never be associated with her. Though I’ve paraphrased this scripture, today we would characterize this woman as being a superwoman, when in reality she’s just a good old-fashioned wife. Basically, this woman always seeks what’s best for her husband and family, works in and out of the home holding it all together, brings home the bacon and fries it up in a pan…early in the morning no less! She’s not sitting around waiting for her husband to take care of her. Actually, it really sounds like she’s taking care of him. Lest the gentlemen get any ideas here, it’s important to note that her husband is no slouch, is well known in their circle and is wise enough to be respected among the elders. So we know he is something to behold, but it sounds to me that he is all that he is because of the support he’s got in his background from his wife. Like the old adage goes, behind every good man is a good woman. In today’s description we’d say she’s got his back. A wife was a great gift in biblical times, suggesting that she was something special with attributes that not every woman possessed. Basically, she took it to another level. It’s because of this that a man found favour with Elohim. She was a help-mate. An asset and not a liability.
I regularly meet single women who say that the main reason they want a husband is so that they can stay at home without the thought of having to earn money and deal with worldly matters, but Proverbs 19:14 KJV says that House and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. Webster defines prudent as being marked by wisdom or judiciousness and being shrewd in the management of practical affairs. This hardly sounds like a woman who hides from the handling of worldly matters. Again, a woman like this is a gift from Yahweh.
Now if we add to this description of a wife, how we’ve learned to love in I Corinthians 13:4 – 7 NRSV, we’ve got quite a tall order to fill. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. See, once we know how to be a wife, learning to be a loving wife is learning to reach even higher.
Most of my life I grew up thinking that love was a feeling, but when I discovered it’s true meaning, I discovered that it’s not a feeling, but a choice; A discipline, if you will. After all, do you know how hard it is to be patient and kind? The mere state of being patient, which is a virtue loved by Elohim, means that we’re supposed to calmly endure trials without complaint or gripe. Now if we incorporate this scripture into our lives, we’re taught to be patient and kind. For some of us that’s impossible. We can’t even begin to fathom enduring trials in a relationship and being kind to one another at the same time. Add to that the directives to not be rude, not insist on our own way, not be irritable or resentful and bear all things and most of us have to admit that we’re not ready for this kind of relationship. At the very best, we’ll have to be honest in that we’ve got some work to do. See, it doesn’t say when things are going good we’re supposed to act in this way. The scripture says that we’re supposed to be this way when things aren’t so good. Why else would we need to be directed to be patient, kind and sacrificial if this scripture were speaking to the good times?
Considering all of this, I’ve personally concluded that women need to be prepared for marriage before the wedding day. Before women pray for husbands, they need to work on being wives... pray on building their character, their strength to endure and their work ethic both in and out of the home, because being a wife is all about partnership and burden bearing and less about being sheltered or hiding behind a husband. You may be single, you may be without a husband, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not a wife. If you’re working with the attributes described as wifely, then you may be a yet undiscovered wife. Know that it doesn’t take a marriage or a husband to validate this, but the passion to want to live your life in this way and the patience to wait on Yahweh to lead your husband to you. Remember, you are to be found. And let us not forget Jacob in Genesis 29 and how he worked for Rachel, so the burden of preparation is not all on wives, but be mindful that any man “finding” you needs to be ready to work to earn you. Being a wife is a gift, yes, but the value of a gifts is in equal proportion to the value placed on the one giving it. In this case, a wife is a gift from Elohim and should be valued accordingly. Therefore, any man hoping for such a gift, must live righteously and show himself worthy of and capable of treasuring such a gift.
While waiting on him though, spend your time in the Word, continuing your education, strengthening your character, aligning yourself with the will of Elohim and allowing Him to mold and prepare you for the ministry of marriage ahead of you (yes, I said ministry). Practice patience and flexibility. Learn to love by the sacrificial example Messiah Yahushua presents to us. Remember, while we were covered in sin, He sacrificed His life, so that we may be forgiven and live eternally with Him. He didn’t expect us to be perfect, nor did He wait on us to be saved before He gave us the best of Himself. Love is not about how high you soar with it, but how low will you go. That must be based on a decision to love and not a feeling mistaken for love. When the feeling fades or gets blurry in the rough times, there’s got to be a solid determination fueling you to go on. Messiah did it for us. To what depths will you travel to assure that the one that you love is on the right path? How many nights will you pray? How many days will you fast? How many times will you bite your tongue and model Christ-like behavior even when you're offended?
Practice being a biblically-inspired virtuous woman. And virtuous women, though you may be single now, continue in your calling and know that you are all wives yet undiscovered.
Loving you all,Free
Monday, October 8, 2007
The following are a couple of emails that Matthew and I have shared since then:
I apologize for just now being able to respond to the comment that you left on my web site, matthewhubbard.org in early August.
I did visit your blog and I did read various posts that you made and I was impressed by some of the religious logic that you placed into them, if a such thing exists. :)
First and foremost, thank you for visiting my website. I created it as a tool to vent about various things, and I am thankful that you found it. I hope that you will bookmark it because I will be updating regularly now.
Secondly, I would like to correct you. Marriage Licenses ARE required in the United States. The Government requires this due to laws of consent and incest. Getting “married” without the license to do so is completely unacceptable in the United States. I am a Christian and a former Youth Pastor. I know the Bible and I understand that marriage can have two different meanings as far as the Bible is concerned—but we as Christians make a huge mistake by taking the Bible literally. If we took it literally, we would still be stoning women for wearing pants and talking back to their husbands. While on this earth we must obey the laws of the land. And using your same logic, if there is a difference between Secular Marriage and Religious Marriage then advocates opposed to Same-Sex Marriage have no right to call “MARRIAGE” a religious ceremony.
MY REPLY:Hi Matthew,
Thank you for getting back to me. I really enjoyed your site and have bookmarked it.
With regards to a marriage license being required for consent, I've looked at this issue over and over again and, yes, consent laws exist and a license will not be issued in cases where both parties are unable to consent. Nor will one be provided in certain cases of incest. I specify "certain" because I do know of several people who are married to their own cousins. I'm checking on how this works, though, and will let you know what I find. Anyway, what is illegal here is not marriage without a license, but the relationships, themselves, are what is actually illegal. Thus (when requested) a license will not be granted in these instances. Yes, licensing helps to regulate this, but the law is a consent one, not a licensing one. Does this make sense? Ditto for people who've been legally married before and haven't failed to properly dissolve a previous marriage. However, I'd have to say that even this system isn't full proof as I do know of one person who legally married 3 consecutive people and never divorced a single one. In fact, in just now writing this, it occurs to me that I actually know of 2 people who've done so. Go figure!
On the other hand, if 2 consenting, non-related adults who are not married to other people choose to enter into a marriage covenant without the government's permission, they aren't breaking a single law. Exceptions to this exist in the states of , , , , , and where actual laws against this do exist. However, even in these states, the law is not enforced and critics of the law are working to have it repealed. There are several news stories on this very topic if you "anti-cohabitation laws".
I live in where our government is not bound to automatically legally recognize marriages without licenses, but no "law of the land" is being broken by those who don't require legal recognition or validation and marry without a license anyway, as no such law against doing so actually exists.
As to your point on same sex marriages, I don't speak much on this on my blog because I don't support homosexuality and definitely don't support same-sex marriages, therefore I don't want my words to be used in support of either of these. However, looking at it from a legal point of view, there is nothing that I've found in my research which would preclude homosexuals being able to marry. Secular marriage is not a religious institution in any way, shape or form and it definitely is not a Christian institution. If it were, atheists, satanists, buddhists, agnostics or any other non-religious, non-Christian couples would all be denied marriage licenses. Yahweh Elohim (the Lord, God) is not mentioned anywhere on a marriage license or a marriage certificate and He does not exist in marriagae as far as the state is concerned. So, for the state to deny homosexuals marriage based on any sort of religious pretext is hypocritical at best. This is another reason why I steer clear of legal marriage as I'm almost positive that states will begin granting secular marriage licenses to homosexual couples very soon. They legally have to. To not do so is discriminatory and like slavery, a woman's right to vote, etc. it cannot stand for much longer.
As for the Christian opposition to homosexual marriage, again I don't speak on this much publicly, but it's equally hypocritical, in my opinion. I don't know many Christians who publicly protest homosexuals dating, having sex or living together. Sure, they don't like gays doing so, but they take a live and let live approach most of the time and certainly don't push for laws prohibiting these. If one advocates that homosexuals cannot legally marry because it's wrong, then it's also logical to believe that they shouldn't be able to date, have sex, live together, show affection publicly, adopt children, etc. and that actual laws should exist against this. After all, if it's wrong, it's wrong across the board, right? So my personal thoughts are if you'll allow it to exist in society at large in these ways, why then protest a government document that purposely doesn't legally even recognize our Elohim (God) as the head of marriage in the first place (the state only recognizes itself as the head of marriage which is another problem I have with secular marriage). Personally, while I do see homosexual lifestyle as wrong (because the bible says so), I see it as wrong across the board. But if I haven't protested it at its core as a social practice which is legally protected, why now protest its legality in secular marriage? Will not allowing gays to marry stop homosexuality? Will it stop them from being able to live together? Fornicate? Raise children or do any of the things that married people do?
I could go on and on with this topic all day, but I'm sure you have better things to do. lol I don't know how much you read on my blog, but if you'd like to read more I highly recommend the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_view_of_marriage (which I believe is the closest to the original intent)
http://www.mercyseat.net/BROCHURES/marriagelicense.htm (NOTE: I don't agree with Pastor Trewhalla on much, but I believe he's on the right track here)
Lastly, as for taking the bible literally, I feel you to a certain extent. We cannot stone our lazy children any more than we can stone women or anyone else. However, marriage was instituted in Genesis and hasn't changed one iota since then. Never was any power to ordain or legalize marriage given to men (officiants) or governments. Government can't rule over that which it didn't create without the permission of those willing to put certain, pre-existing institutions in their hands. Our government did not create marriage...marriage existed eons before our current government ever did...and some of us don't choose to give the government permission to preside over our marriages. For us, we believe we are quite capable of entering into this highly personal covenant ourselves and letting the Most High be our head in this regard.
In parting, I'm completely open to learning of any laws which exist (outside of the 7 states I mentioned before) which are applicable to consensual adults (who aren't already married to others or who aren't related) marrying without a license. In fact I've been looking for these laws, so if you can give me their reference numbers (either federal or state), I'd sincerely appreciate it. Also, I'm interested in any scriptures which give government power over marriage, specifically. Or, for that matter, any scriptures in which a marriage ceremony is performed or where any man is given the power to pronounce two people "husband and wife" are also appreciated. I'm familiar with scriptures stating we must obey government, but my studies say that we must obey A.) when government's laws do not conflict with Yahweh's laws and B.) when government creates ordinances (regarding to the institutions they've created, which doesn't apply to marriage since government didn't create it...but did create their own, separate version void of any religion which not all choose to partake of).
I'm also going to post your question (anonymously, unless you don't mind being identified) on my blog along with my reply.
Thanks, Matthew, and I look forward to any additional thoughts you wish to share.
Have a blessed one In Him,
P.S. I just received info on my question about married cousins. In certain Middle-Eastern cultures they are married outside of the country, because it's not legal to do so here. They are then granted recognition here because the U.S. doesn't know they're related. Many don't have the same last name and, for those who do, it's assumed that it's a common last name like Smith or Jones and is never questioned. Now, I don't advocate this...it's pretty much lying and IS breaking the law...but it happens and these marriages are legally recognized.
Thanks, Matthew, for your permission to post our conversation, along with your name. ;)Respect,
Sunday, October 7, 2007
You'll see, above, that I've posted a scripture from the Cotton Patch NT Version written by Clarence Jordon in the hopes that readers in Southern states would more easily identify with its language and places (Corinth is Atlanta, Rome is Washington, etc.). When you have time, please take a look at some of his writings and share your thoughts.
Is this version, with all of its changes, offensive to you? Can translations go too far?
Or, does it not matter to you if people are willing to read it and learn the biblical lessons behind it?
Saturday, October 6, 2007
"...Let's not waste our time in things that do not profit. Remember that any works that are not eternal are waste and void...they WILL NOT profit us in Yahweh's kingdom..."
Read the rest of the message on spiritual growth here:
It is sure to bless you as it has me.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
I'm just lying here thinking about the deception that masquerades as religion these days. I don't want to list the individual names of folk involved in this deception, nor the MAJOR denominations out there who all claim to be true, yet (from what I can tell) are doing nothing more than controlling their congregants and leading them away from the truth.
I don't assume to know all there is to know about Elohim or even the bible, but I know manipulation when I see it and I trust that, while some of what's being put forth is truth, the method of control in the groups I'm speaking of is all lies.
I've spent the last couple of hours before hitting the sack reading a debate between members of a certain religious group and former members of this same group. The stories shared by the ex-members were almost identical to stories I've heard from former members in other places too, so I tend to believe there's some truth to what they say woke them up and drew them out. Anyway, I'm not up blogging on my mobile to get into the individual tellings. What has me troubled is how many people feel they must have a relationship with Yahweh "through" an organization! It breaks my heart to see people so self-conscious of doing everything the organization tells them to do (or not do) in order to be in Yahweh's good graces.
This also leads me to pray for men. No, not mankind only, but specifically for men. For husbands and fathers to assume the proper role as priests in their homes...for men to study their bibles and instruct and lead their households as they should. To pray over and with their families. There's nothing wrong with being a part of an assembly or church (of course), but far too many are falling into the clutches of false prophets and charlatan churches simply because they have no leadership at home. No one has taught them to pray, to study or been there to answer questions or doubts.
This, of course, isn't saying that the Holy Spirit won't lead people to truth. And I'm not saying that it takes a "man" to teach it to women and children who are capable of praying and studying themselves. But I only wish that men...heads of households.. would be in position, armed and ready with the truth, to rescue their households from the lies that are leading so many young people astray. That they will be more involved in the Spiritual training of their home and not merely leave it up to mothers to teach and lead in these matters. We all know families where mom is the one who teaches the children to pray and herds them off to church each week as dad isn't into that sort of thing. This is what I'm talking about. While the enemy is attacking families with Spiritual falsehoods, many men are in the background paying no mind because their energy is focused on the world and Spiritual matters they haven't the time for. Many are missing in action while the enemy circles.
And, of course, I understand that a lot of men are equally taken in by false prophets and organizations, but I seriously believe its a whole lot harder for them to get their hands on a sincere, prayerful, bible studying/believing man than it is for them to mislead one who isn't in this category.
Messiah showed us how we can have relationship with the Father. He instilled in us that the Father loves us and He paid for our sins with His own life so that we wouldn't be held in bondage, controlled by guilt, judged by men and made to feel we have to run from Elohim. Yet so many man-made, tradition-filled, condemning church organizations preach everything but His goodness, grace and mercy!
I could rant on this all night, but this keyboard's too small, my fingers are tired and my eyelids are heavy. Instead I'll just pray that we all honor Him with our hearts and with our relationship...a relationship through His Son and not a 501(c)3 corporation!