Christmas Day Twenty and Five

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want all School Bus drivers to drive wisely, safely; to get their students to School on time, but safely; and I want other drivers on the road to be aware when they are approaching a School Bus with lights flashing to stop; for the safety of the children: let us do these things the rest of 2016; and then throughout the School years ahead.

Christmas Day One Hundred Three

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want parents to know and to realize that their children are not perfect; that any of them can be a trouble maker, or a bully, and will lie, cheat and deceive; and that though they are loved they can be trouble, cause trouble or be in trouble; I want them to know that though these things are true they are still loved, yet need correction many times; sometimes even after they are grown; that the only answer for raising kids is to give them to the Lord; and you be an example to them.

The Kingdom of God and Children

Children are special. It does not matter if they are “special needs” children, or just as bright and healthy as one of us would like them to be. They are special, and need adult guidance, care, supervision, leadership, and discipline. All of those things.

One day when Jesus was with His disciples some children were brought to Him so that He would touch them, and bless them. The disciples began rebuking the adults who brought them, and we read the Biblical text…

“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16 (KJV)

Jesus has also warned of “Offending” children (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:47), and these verses are also dealing with all who place their trust in Christ Jesus; adults as well as children.

Jesus’s point in the above verses is that those who come to Him must trust Him, even as a child is trusting of their earthly mother and father. When our children were young, even small; I had our youngest son jumping into my arms from the highest end of the front porch. He trusted me to catch him. Do you think I would ever pull my arms away, not catch him, and ruin that trust? No loving father would ever do that. Jesus “…took the children up in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them”.

God have mercy on any who would offend the children.

Trusting Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross is the only way into the kingdom; and we must trust that that is the only way. It is the way. He is the way, the truth and the Life (John 14:6). Trust Him.

Promoting the Damnation of your Children?

The following is a quote from a sermon preached by the late Jonathan Edwards.  I copied it from Kairos.

FROM KAIROS [family] “Promoting the Damnation of Your Children?—Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758)

In 1738, Jonathan Edwards published Discourses on Various Important Subjects, a collection of the sermons he preached during the Connecticut River Valley Awakening. One of these discourses, “The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners,” was described by Edwards as the most successful evangelistic sermon he ever preached.1 The sermon is startling in the preciseness of the preacher’s examination of human sin; he does not offer vague generalities but rather heart-piercing application. When he turns to parents the modern reader should still appreciate his solemn explanation of the dangers of parental neglect in spiritual matters.

“‘Consider how you have promoted others’ damnation. Many of you by the bad examples you have set, by corrupting the minds of others, by your sinful conversation, by leading them into sin, or strengthening them in sin, and by the mischief you have done in humane society other ways that might be mentioned, have been guilty of those things that have tended to others’ damnation. You have heretofore appeared on the side of sin and Satan . . .

There are many that contribute to their own children’s damnation, by neglecting their education and setting them bad examples, and bringing them up in sinful ways: they take care of their bodies, but take but little care of their poor souls; they provide for them bread to eat, but deny them the bread of life that their famishing souls stand in need of. And are there no such parents here that have thus treated their children? If their children be not gone to hell, ’tis no thanks to them; ’tis not because they have not done what has tended to their destruction. Seeing therefore you have had no more regard to others’ salvation, and have promoted their damnation, how justly might God leave you to perish yourself?”  Kairos [Family]

It would do our Country [USA] and the world much good to give heed to the advice of this man of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Matthew – 030911

Reading today from Matthew 17 – 19

Sometimes it is difficult deciding which of the verses Jesus spoke to write from.  I seek His direction, and it seems that it doesn’t matter; because it all from Him.

In chapter 18 Jesus says this about “…become as little children…” and that seems to confuse many.  Let’s take a look at that:

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  18:3

Let’s think about little children.  They are cute, lovable, forgiving, and would start wars at the drop of a hat, if some other child takes their stuff.  Jesus certainly did not intend us to be immature in our lives.

Jesus was, of course, speaking of the little child’s heart that is loving, forgiving, trusting.  Trusting is the key here.  Especially when it comes to trusting Him.  For the most part small children are dependent.  They are dependent upon their parents for their food, shelter, clothing, health, and every other need or want that you can think of.  They are unable to go out and defend themselves against intruders, thieves, killers and muggers, in most cases.

As adult believers; followers of Jesus Christ we need to be dependent upon our Lord for our needs.  We also need to be trusting Him for everything from salvation to finances, shelter, healthcare.

Jesus goes on and says,

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”  18:6

Though Jesus is talking about those who would follow Him, trusting Him for and in all things; there is  a more than subtle word here to anyone who would abuse, misuse, mistreat, or harm a child in any way.  We hear in the news of people who abuse children, both sexual and beating, them till they die; and sometimes leaving them dead in their spirits.  Jesus says, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and drowned in the depth of the sea”.

As adults we should have respect for our children.  They can be contrary at times; however, I have seen a few adults who are contrary, evil, mean, and just downright ugly in demeanor and character.  We all can be at times.  We are still to treat one another with respect; and the children too.  When I use the word “respect”  I mean by that that we treat them as being a special human being in God’s eyes; and should be in our own as well.  We are to disciple children, teaching them and leading them toward God and His righteousness.

Determine to follow Jesus; trusting solely in Him, being dependent upon Him and no other.  Trust Him when everything seems to be falling apart; when your health is failing; when the checkbook is depleted; when you’re unemployed; when the house is being foreclosed on; the bank is coming for your car; when the hospital bills are running out your ears.  You can trust and know that He loves and cares for you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Mark Ten – Thirteen Through Sixteen

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”  Mark 10:13-16 (KJV)

Jesus loves children.  There is much adults could learn from children, if we would only listen and watch them.  We could learn to trust again.

Our area of the world collapses at times; friends forsake us by lying about us, betraying us, and our parents even can let us down at times.  As parents we get disappointed by our children’s behavior at times, and we need to discipline them to show them the right and correct way.  We can learn from them when we don’t see them as being in the way.

Little children are not without sin, because we are all born into sin.  One thing we can learn from children is “Trust”.  When a child trusts their parents, mother or father, they rely on them completely.  If a dad says to his son, “Come on now and jump off the end of the porch, and I will catch you.”;  most of the time the boy will jump into his daddy’s arms (unless daddy  has caused the son not to trust him).  That is the kind of trust we must put in our Heavenly Father, and the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  Children are dependent upon their parents.  They trust them to provide their food, shelter, clothing, and security.  Children are secure with their parents.  The only way this would not be so is, if the parent(s) are brutal, mean and abusing to their children.   I think it would be a bad parent who would teach a child not to trust anyone; even themselves.

When we become adults we often forget about trusting God.  Troubling things happen, and we can find no help in our own abilities, our own strength; like in a sickness, a debilitating accident, a major life changing event; something we had no control over.  When these things happen we need the “faith of a child”, and put our trust completely in the Lord.

“Receiving the kingdom of God as a little child” would be trusting so completely that they look no where else for security or any other need.  Is God able to supply our need for salvation?  Most assuredly.  Is He able to supply our “Daily bread” [our daily needs]; again, most assuredly.  Some of us get a little off on this latter thing, though.  We can believe that God is able to provide our salvation, but when it comes to meeting daily needs, we kind of tend to leave that in our own hands.  Is that the heart of a child.  These verses are not talking of remaining immature in faith, but having that unwavering trust in the Lord no matter what the case may be.

Without this kind of faith no one can enter the kingdom of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 02/06/09

A Challenge For A Cleaner Mouth

Language is a means of human communication. Men speak with one another to communicate about many things. Sports, family, work, and sometimes God. Sometimes men speak with a language that is not honoring to humanity, little lone to God, and even some women get into the bad language mode. It sometimes doesn’t even make sense. Either some of these people who speak this way never received an education or they just don’t care. It would be better that it be a matter of the former than the latter, but who am I to know. If you have an education use it.

Has anyone noticed how children are speaking language which would make a sailor blush? It used to be that cussing men would not cuss or swear around women and children, but now it doesn’t make any difference. They talk that way too. They talk as though they fell into the sewer and came up talking that way.

I am fairly certain that some of this came from television and movies which seems to have the license to speak vulgarity and anything they please, but this is not good for our society. There are some children who still endeavor and do speak in good English and do not bring shame to their name, their families name, nor to the name of God. To them I give my applause.

It did my heart good the weekend of January 24 to see a segment on FOX AND FRIENDS weekend where they spoke with [interviewed] a fifteen year old boy who had started a website, and a movement called NoCussing.com, and he has written a book about it. I quickly went on line and joined the group, which had reached 30,000 by that time.

I want to encourage adults and children of all ages to join this group and make a commitment to speaking right words which will fill hearts with light rather than darkness.

Go to Nocussing.com and become a committed member for free. Then learn the proper English language, or whatever language you speak, and speak it with the pride of accomplishment. This is one place we can clean up America and our homes. At least it will definitely sound better. Even those, such as me, who butcher the King’s English, can speak without vulgarity, swearing or cussing.

Some may want to equate this to “Freedom of speech”. That is not freedom that is stupidity; that is bondage; that is doing what is popular; that is doing what is easy. Let’s take a challenge for a change, and become spokes people for a cleaner mouth. Now, for some that may be a real challenge. Don’t take the easy way. Take the challenge. Check out Nocussing.com and make a difference in your life, and those around you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Precious Life

It is my opinion that the value of human life is on a low scale among humans.  It comes across at times that the lives of animals – dogs, cats, horses, etc. – are of more value than the human being who may not be able to “contribute much to society…”  If they are going to be born with a medical problem many parents are now given the suggestion “Abort this baby.  He/she is not going to be able to contribute much to society” or something similar to that.

The following is a quote from the mother of a child with Down syndrome:

“I’d much prefer society eradicate prejudice than eradicate all babies with Down syndrome. I could go into all the ways our son has made our lives better — and certainly our hearts bigger. Our lives would not be better if, as we were advised even before we declined the recommended test, we never had him. But society won’t listen.”

The quote if from an article in Baptist Press by Andrea Higgins, titled, “Don’t Use The ‘R’ Word”.  If you would like to read the article you may by going to Baptist Press.  I think you will enjoy the article.

Another thing, back off of Sarah Palin.  She is a responsible mother, and the fact that her oldest daughter is having a child shows that our youth today have a problem.  No one’s young people are exempt, not even a Presidential or Vice Predential candidate.

The daughter has determined to keep the child, and raise him/her, with a husband and the father, themselves.  Applaud her, but don’t condemn her or her mother.  You better look at your own life before you condemn.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Scientist Playing God

It seems to me that in the 1940’s there was a man who was trying to perfect a certain race. According to him there were some people who were not worthy of living and thus, he proceeded to have 11,000,000 people murdered. Some were burned alive, some were gassed, and it seems that some may have been buried alive. There are people of our race [the human race] who want to deny these events ever happened, but what planet were they born on.?

Just recently I read the story of a British woman who selected a “cancer free” embryo, and destroyed the ones remaining. Are doctors and scientist playing like they are God now? Is this not what Hitler was trying to do as well. The only difference being it is being done earlier in the stage of human life.

Let me give you an excerpt from the article I read:

“A London woman is carrying Great Britain’s first baby guaranteed not to inherit breast cancer, but she had to eliminate several of her other embryonic offspring to do so.

Doctors used preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a controversial screening method, to determine which of the 11 embryos created by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF) had the gene that would have resulted in a female child having a 50 to 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer, according to The Times of London.

Six of the embryos tested positive for the gene and were rejected. Two embryos without the gene were implanted, producing a pregnancy of 14 weeks as of June 29, and two others were frozen, The Times reported.

The 27-year-old mother, who desires to remain unnamed, and her 28-year-old husband are fertile, but they chose IVF and PGD because of the prevalence of breast cancer on one side of the family. The husband had tested positive for the gene, known as BRCA-1.

“For the past three generations, every single woman in my husband’s family has had breast cancer, as early as 27 and 29,” the mother said, according to The Times. “We felt that, if there was a possibility of eliminating this for our children, then that was a route we had to go down.’”

If you would like to read the rest of the article you may go to Cancer free Child .

I can understand people not wanting to have children with diseases, but those things are out of our hands. Life and death are in God’s hands, and until we realize that and we continue on the path of selection for our children or others, this is going to lead to a destruction of human life far beyond that of the Jewish Holocaust. It already has through the abortion of the unborn babies of America and the rest of the world. Now, in the name of science and health, there will be another. Again, let’s stop playing God, and let God give the life and take the life, when He chooses.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Where Does Chocolate Milk Come From???

I thought the readers of Fire and Hammer might find this interesting.  I wrote the article over at Life on the Farm.

I was looking through the magazine published by the Missouri Farm Bureau, and found something that I found humorous and in my thinking almost unimaginable.

There is an imbedded article on page 26 of the July/August 2008 issue of SHOW ME Missouri Farm Bureau which asked the above title question.  Who Makes Chocolate Milk?  There is a picture in the corner which has three different colored cows – all considered to be milk production cows – a Jersey, Gernsey, and a Holstien; along with a Brahma bull, and then two small boys.

They presented this or a similar picture to “8000 elementary students at a Farm Fest in a large city” and asked the students to select from “a solid brown cow, a black and white cow, a brown and white cow, a cream colored Brahma bull, a boy, and a girl holding a chocolate milk carton”.

Out of these 8000 elementary students only one child selected a human as the correct answer to the question.  This just seems obvious to a country boy, but it is a real problem to know that many children do not realize where food comes from.  To think that children could think that a cow produces chocolate milk is beyond me, but I do understand the plight of knowledge concerning farming, and the farmer.

Cows produce white milk.  There are no chocolate milk producing cows.  Chocolate comes from a tree and its fruit called cacao, and is from the tropics.  That is where our chocolate comes from.

Understand, I do not mean to lay blame on these children.  There may be some adults, the parents of these children even, who don’t know that cows don’t produce chocolate milk, or even where milk comes from.  There is nothing wrong with being ignorant of some things, which I am, but, it is foolish to remain ignorant.  I pray these 8000 students learned much on this day of the Farm Fest.

God is the giver of all good things; and some things not.

-Tim A. Blankenship

One Smart Kindergartner

On Sunday March 23, 2008 my brother in law was telling me the story of one of his grandsons, who would be my grand-nephew.  This brother-in-law is my sister’s husband.  Their daughter Tammy is a Kindergarten teacher in the same School for which I drive a School Bus.  Both her boys attend School there as well.

The youngest of the two boys is Kel, and the teacher of their class, not his mom, is having them bring something to class each day according to the alphabet, and the other day was the day for “J”.  Kel had decided to take his jet to school, and he had forgotten to do so, and his mom had forgotten to remind him too.  At the end of the day when mom was taking them home, she asked Kel, “What did you do for the “J” since you forgot your jet?”  Kel said to mom, “I always have Jesus with me; so I told them about Jesus”.

Tammy, said she went to his teacher the next day and asked her about it.  That teacher said, “I just thought that you probably had told him that.”  Tammy, however, didn’t know he had did that until he told her himself.

Now isn’t that a great kid to be proud of.  And, his grandparents were; as were we all.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Children and Your Marriage

There are many Christian couples who were married and expected to have children and found out after a few years or so that they were unable to have children.  The children are often seen as a blessing to the marriage and children making a house a home.  To those married couples who have longed to have children, but cannot, I can only say one thing, and that is the blessing of children is from the Lord, and He must have something different in mind for you.  I do not mean that to be a cold or harsh statement, but He may have a different blessing for you, so that you can bless children who need help or parents.

My intention is not to deal with having children in marriage, but that in most marriages children do come along as God’s blessing on us.  Most people who have children will realize this some time as the child or children grow, and that is this; these children will put your marriage to the test.  It is for that purpose I write this, and to encourage every young couple to be sure to devote time to their marriage.

Some young couples with children will probably be angered by what I am about to tell you, but it needs to be said.  When that boy or girl gets to two years or so they will start testing your marriage.  Couples need to nourish that marriage at every opportunity they have.  Your marriage made strong through your commitment to one another, your devotion to one another, your love for one another is the greatest thing, other than Jesus and the gospel, that you can give that child. 

By the time a child is five years or so, they will begin to realize that they can cause Mom and Dad a little trouble by dividing them, in matters of discipline, or guidance.  That is why before you have children you need to be sure that you agree on the matters of discipline and direction for your child.  If you have not, and that child sees Mom disagreeing with Dad in a matter of discipline, then that child will know how to get his/her way.  Do not disagree over disciplinary issues in the presence of your children.

In one of the churches God gave me the joy of serving as pastor, there was a woman who told of an event in their home where their daughter tried to divide her Mom and Dad over an issue of discipline.  The daughter did not like the way Dad had disciplined her, and went to her Mom, and said, “Aren’t you going to take my side on this?”, to which Mom said, “I have know him longer than I have you”.  That made an excellent point. 

The home is built around a strong, solid, Biblical marriage with Jesus Christ at its center.  If the marriage is not built according to Biblical principles and on the couples love for Christ Jesus and one another, that is a home that will not stand.  Our children will grow up and leave home.  That is how it should be.  That is how it is supposed to be.  If you do not have a strong marriage while the children are at home, then you are going to have problems after they are gone.

The best thing you as a man can give your children is letting them see you love their mother, and that nothing they say or do is going to divide you. 

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…”  Ephesians 5:25.

“Nevertheless let each one of you in  particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33 (NKJV)

Husbands and wives must both work at nourishing that marriage, even in the midst of a housefull of children.  If your home is built around the children, that marriage is most certainly doomed for failure.