ABCs of Faith – Yes Faith

ABCs of Faith – Yes Faith

Encouragment
People swear by the strangest things. There is the pinky swear. Or “I swear on my mother’s grave” - regardless of whether she’s in it or not. “Scout’s honor,” can be heard occasionally even if the person was never a Boy or Girl Scout. Another old staple is, “I swear on a stack of Bibles.” Sometimes, we may simply hear someone say “I swear.” The point of all this swearing (we’re not talking about cussing or cursing - that’s a different thing altogether) is to add credibility to someone's testimony or promise. Sometimes we even punctuate our promises and requests when talking to God.  Matthew records Jesus teaching, “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by
ABCs of Faith – Xtreme Faith

ABCs of Faith – Xtreme Faith

Encouragment
The pinnacle of extreme sports is the annual X-Games. The X-Games are somewhat styled after the Olympics but have an edgier and more dangerous feel. These are extreme sports that are not only judged on speed or precision but also on style. Its search for the edge has brought us amazing spectacles like a double end over end flip on a motorcycle. The kinds of things that make you wonder how in the world did they pull that off without breaking their neck. We borrow their stylized moniker of Xtreme for our next ABC of faith.Yep, I fudged it a bit. There just weren’t any “X” words that connected with faith. I think however that as we explore some examples of faith we’ll have the same sit-down, jaw-dropping, how in the world did they do that reaction.In the scriptures, there are two men
ABCs of Faith – Walk of Faith

ABCs of Faith – Walk of Faith

Encouragment
From Dale - Please welcome today's guest author Ellen Benefield to the pages of Lambchow for our next ABC of Faith.Lydia’s bright smile, beautiful tan, and dark curling hair bewitched most people into underestimating her age by a decade or more. Lydia had made good money at an insurance company before she felt a surprising call on her life. She quit her job and moved to Mazatlán, Mexico to become a full-time missionary. That’s where I met her and was inspired by her walk of faith.The missionary finance office required that Lydia spend long hours sorting through crumpled receipts and badgering other missionaries for long-forgotten spending reports. On her days off, instead of relaxing with a cool drink in the shade, she stomped through a long, sparsely populated peninsula. The a
ABCs of Faith – Victorious Faith

ABCs of Faith – Victorious Faith

Encouragment
Some of you may remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports. A Saturday afternoon TV staple hosted by Jim McKay that ran from 1961 until 1998. The show was a compilation of various sporting events from earlier in the week. To this day I can still hear Jim McKay’s opening promise of “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” as a ski jumper completely misses the ramp. I always felt bad for that guy having his failure replayed week after week. The Bible also talks about victory and defeat.Here is a link to the opening sequence from ABC's Wide World of Sports https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7frGJf77AAThe apostle John wrote, “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Now, to be honest I plucked that gem from its setting. The statement is true but to understand it a
ABCs of Faith – United Faith

ABCs of Faith – United Faith

Encouragment
Dale - This morning as I prepare Kerry's article for publication my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, family, friends, and community of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs Texas.By Kerry RohmanLast week as I was teaching at a local homeschool co-op I asked a group of kindergarteners what war we were learning about.  One 5-year-old boy proudly and quickly replied: “the silver war”.  I chuckled at his response and said “That’s right! The Civil War” (emphasizing “civil” to gently correct his mispronunciation).  Okay, next question.  “Who was the president during the CIVIL war?” “Oh!! I know!! I know!!”, they shouted. “Abraham Lincoln! Abraham Lincoln!!” What a smart class! They must have a good teacher!If I had to pick my favorite President of the United States eve
Joy Revealed

Joy Revealed

Encouragment
There’s just something about a mountain stream that lightens the heart. Something joyful as the water tumbles, bubbles, and dances along its rock-strewn path. The way the light sparkles as it dances against a stone. And the sounds - like laughter that ranges from a gentle giggle to a mighty roar as it splashes from stone to stone. It’s as if the stream is sharing a secret with us if we’ll only stop long enough to hear it. It’s a secret also revealed in God’s Word.Psalms 126 was written for a specific time. For many long years, the Israelites were held captive in Babylon. For years they sowed in tears, grieving over the loss of their homes and longing to return again. It was during those years that we read of Nebuchadnezzar's challenges to their faith, the desire of Haman to kill them,

ABCs of Faith – Tolerant Faith

Encouragment
From Dale - This entry for our ABC’s of Faith touches on a topic that makes folks uncomfortable. It challenges our status quo and feelings about what is normal or acceptable. For that reason, we offer two looks at what it means to have a tolerant faith. Two voices, two generations, looking at two different aspects of tolerant faith. The first entry by Ben Hoerr looks at tolerance within the church, The second entry by Kyle Benefield looks at tolerance towards all others. Both challenge us to leave the echo chamber of false unity and see people through God’s eyes.By Ben HoerrWhen we take a look around the world today, it’s obvious that humans have demonstrated the consistent ability to divide over everything: politics, religion, race, gender, our perspectives on the environment, fo
ABCs of Faith – Sincere Faith

ABCs of Faith – Sincere Faith

Encouragment
Children love to pretend. One moment they’re a pirate protecting their proud vessel, which happens to be the backyard swingset, from the attacks of those “scurvy dogs” played by a younger brother or sister. Later, they could be cops and robbers or cowboys or soldiers or firemen. Or they may play dress-up and have tea parties.  While fun, it’s all pretend and make-believe.  Our next ABC of Faith is sincere faith. By literal definition “sincere” means not play acting. There are three verses that touch on sincere faith. Let’s take each one in turn. Hebrews 10:22 The writer of Hebrews says,  “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22, NASB95)  In the preced
ABCs of Faith – Rooted Faith

ABCs of Faith – Rooted Faith

Encouragment
By guest author Ben Hoerr - Lead Pastor at Vineyard Church PeoriaOne pleasure of living in the Midwestern United States during fall is experiencing the beauty of the leaves turning colors. Whether it’s a brilliant yellow ginko, a fiery orange black gum, or a burnt red maple, the colors inspire and move us. But we seldom stop to consider the lowly roots of all those trees. Every single tree – and woody ornamental, or evergreen, or shrub for that matter – depends on its roots to survive and thrive.Unseen and largely forgotten, the root system is actually what performs many of the trees vital and life-giving functions. Roots absorb and transport water, oxygen, and essential minerals from the soil to the rest of the tree. Roots provide an anchor for the portion of the tree above groun
ABCs of Faith – Quiet Faith

ABCs of Faith – Quiet Faith

Encouragment
Quiet faith is not silent faith. Neither is it voiceless faith or violent faith. Quiet faith seems like a loser in a world where the loudest voices appear to win the day instead of the truest and wisest argument. Quiet faith isn’t about noise levels at all. There is quiet faith in the decibels of loud worship as well our silent moments alone with God. Volume is not the issue although some have used loudness to cover up a lack of faith; shouting at the heavens as if God is hard of hearing. Quiet faith is an unshakable foundation that absorbs rather than amplifies the turmoil around it.There isn’t one verse that directly describes quiet faith. We do however find it hidden like a foundation stone in a passage Paul wrote to Timothy. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
ABCs of Faith – Persevering Faith

ABCs of Faith – Persevering Faith

Encouragment
Please welcome today's guest author Kerry Rohman.The season of detasseling has come and gone. If you live in the Corn Belt (midwestern part of the United States), you’ve at least heard the term. The youngsters that take on this feat describe it as “hard work”, “hot”, “early mornings” and  “lots of walking”. Pretty descriptive, right?For those who don’t know about detasseling. This seasonal job entails removing the tassel (the pollen-producing flower) from the top of the corn as pollination control for seed corn.  If you’ve ever seen a cornfield, you know there are lots of rows! Throughout the 3-4 week detasseling season thousands of acres are walked row by row in the July heat.If detasseling was easy, there would be lines of youngsters signing up for this summer job and the
Dale’s Rules for Life – Of Steaks and Seafood

Dale’s Rules for Life – Of Steaks and Seafood

Encouragment
Over the years I’ve collected a set of rules for living life. Some are born from walking with Jesus, others stem from my own fears and failures. While they’re in a numbered list there is no ranking, well, for the most part. There are a few, like number 22, that trump all others. Neither are they recorded chronologically by discovery or even alphabetically. The order isn’t important. So, while this particular rule is marked as number one it is not primary, it’s simply the first on the list.The rule is -- Never order seafood at a steakhouse or steak at a seafood restaurant (unless it’s surf and turf). Sounds flippant, perhaps a bit on the silly side. However, every time I violate this rule I come away disappointed. Especially that one time when I ordered lobster at an Italian restaurant.