Thursday, February 11, 2016

Is This Faith?

I came across the above image (minus the question mark overlay) on facebook today. This kind of message really bothers me because it's so prevalent in Christian circles today. So, I decided to take it apart and see if I can't pinpoint the truth.

Let's start with simple definitions. has the following to say about believing vs. knowing:
Believe: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.
Know: to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty.
These terms sound pretty similar to me. The only difference is that Believing in something involves a lack of "absolute proof", while knowing may or may not be based on such proof.

So that means the difference must be in "He can" vs "He will", right?

Well, not if you count the account of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace as a story of real faith. Remember, after all, they told Nebuchadnezzar that "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king" (Dan 3:17). This seems to fit the idea in the image above, but not if you look at the following verse: "But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up" (Dan 3:18). In other words, we believe He is able and He will save us, but we acknowledge that He may choose not to.

And they stepped into the fire.

Because even if God did not act in the way that they hoped He would, the way they believed He could, they still had faith that His way is the best way, and they still would rather die in flames than bow down before a false god.

If that's not faith, I don't know what is.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Winner of the Giveaway

Looks like the winner is Jill Buckland of Jill's Joy Ministries. Congrats Jill! I will be sending you your unlock code as soon as I receive it from the manufacturer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Giveaway: My Memories Software Suite

Recently, I was contacted by the kind folks who make the "My Memories" digital scrapbooking program. They wanted to know if I'd be willing to host a giveaway of their software. After thinking long and hard about it (for all of about five minutes) I agreed to review their product here and give one away to one of my readers.

So, first things first. My Memories is a program designed for laying out scrapbook pages, but it also can be used to do so much more. Since my husband and I just started a Bible Study on the Old Testament, and I needed a cover for my workbook binder, I decided to see if it was up for the task. I pulled several appropriate pictures from Wikimedia Commons, and went to work. In about half an hour this is what I came up with.  

Not too bad!

I also decided to do something a little more traditional. I pulled some pics of my dogs that I took a few months ago and made a scrapbook page. I decided for this project to go ahead and browse the add-ons available on the My Memories website to add to the collection that comes with the software. I was happy to see that in addition to some very reasonably-priced kits, there are also lots of free kits available to download. I snagged the Rescue Me Extras kit and created this page:

Fair disclosure: The names added to Masha and Donovan were done outside of the My Memories suite, back when I posted those shots to facebook. The names on the other two, and all other effects, were done with the My Memories software.

All in all, I think the suite is a good, easy-to-learn tool for any number of projects. While there's not really much I can do with it that I couldn't also do with other programs, it streamlines the process nicely and at just $40 it's a great value!

So now comes the good part: the giveaway! If you'd like to receive a free copy of My Memories Suite Scrapbook software, go to their site and browse their add-on kits. Then, just leave a comment on this post with the name of the kit you like most and a way of contacting you, and you're entered to win the software suite! Easy, huh? Well, what are you waiting for? All submissions must be received by midnight central time, Sunday March 25th. I'll choose a winner at random on the 26th.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Just had to share this...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Redistributing the Wealth

I follow the RSS feed for Dave Ramsay's Radio Show (blog). I don't listen to every post, only the ones that are interesting to me. Today, I saw one that was about the concept of wealth redistribution and decided to see what Dave had to say on this. He entitled the post, "This Isn't a Fixed Pie." I couldn't agree more. I had simply never heard it said that way before.

Now, before I begin to explain my position, allow me to start by saying, I am NOT one of the 11,000 families at the top. Within the past couple of years alone my husband has lost his job three times, our house has been up for foreclosure auction, and we've had to sell off some personal items just to be able to afford groceries. However, had someone come to me at any time during that and said, "Tell you what, we're going to go take some money from someone else and give it to you so you can pay your bills," I would have told them "No thanks!"

This is not an issue of pride. I have no problem accepting help freely given (and in fact, I did just that a couple of times). But I don't for one moment think it ought to be mandatory, and I think taking someone's money without their consent is still stealing, no matter if you do it yourself or if you elect leaders to do it for you.

So, do I think poor people should be poor and the wealthy should be wealthy and that's that? Not exactly. As Dave said in his talk show, the problem here is we're assuming this is a fixed pie. To put it another way, we've got a recipe in our hands for making pie, and we're fighting over how to divide a single pie once it's made. Why shouldn't we just MAKE MORE PIE?

To be clear, I'm not talking about printing more money. I won't even start to get into the idiocy of that concept.

What I'm talking about is teaching people how to make money. You don't have to take wealth from the rich to do this. People can make their own wealth without stealing it from others. Lots of people have done it.

Many of you may have seen Dani Johnson on ABC's Secret Millionaire a few weeks ago. (If you didn't, I highly recommend you catch an episode or two. Her episode is still available to view here.) Here's a woman who understands what I'm talking about. She was homeless. She started a business out of the trunk of her car. She is now a millionaire.

But the wealth doesn't stop there. Folks tend to forget when they're discussing this kind of thing, that those people who make all that money are doing good for more than just themselves. How many people do you figure someone like Dani Johnson or Dave Ramsey employ? Even more than that, these two millionaires in particular are in the business of teaching other people to do what they've done and get to where they are.

I should add a disclaimer here. I have never read any of Dani's books or watched any of her videos (other than the Secret Millionaire episode mentioned above), so I can't really say whether I would agree with her methods or not. On the other hand, I have read some of Dave's books and my husband and I took his FPU class and are working through his "baby steps" on the way to our own financial peace.

So, getting back to the issue at hand, what then should be done for the poor? I think the first basic thing is we need to teach people how to handle money. Is this a perfect method? Absolutely not. Is it a good one? I think so. The fact is that most people who have made a mess of their finances have done it because they either didn't know what they were doing or they didn't have the drive, discipline, or sense of personal responsibility to make the most of what they had. Handing these people money won't keep this from happening to them again. If anything, it will perpetuate the problem by teaching them that someone else will bail them out if they screw up.

If we can get as many as possible to be self-sufficient and take care of their own finances and build their own wealth, then the charity of those of us who enjoy helping others should be more than enough to help those special cases where more is needed.

That's how I see it anyway.

Verse of the Day