Posted in theology

“How do you share the gospel?”

By Elizabeth Prata

I was asked by a reader how I share the Gospel. I know the angst. I often ask myself if I’m doing it right…if I’m doing enough…if I’m bold enough… I admire street preachers SO much! Anyway, I’ve shared in 3 ways:

1. Share the straight Gospel. If someone brings up religion say, at work, then that is an opening. The rule in my work is, if they ask or bring it up, we can answer. Sooo…I try to create an atmosphere where that happens, like, wearing a cross necklace, mentioning religious words, etc. Be sure to know the rules at your work and work within their limits but balance that with conscience. Continue reading ““How do you share the gospel?””

Posted in theology

Prata Potpourri: Christian streaming services, Cowboy Museum, more

By Elizabeth Prata

I hope where you are, you are enjoying a change in weather. I live in the American South, so this time of year is my favorite because the oppressive heat has broken and the days are fresh and clear. I also love Fall in the South because the season lasts a while. In Maine where I lived for most of my adult life, fall lasts but a few weeks. The word ‘fleeting’ doesn’t cover it. In Maine also, fall was hard to enjoy despite the beautiful foliage, because the harsh winter was coming. It was a busy time of year, buying, delivering, and stacking the winter’s firewood, laying hay around the foundation for insulation, checking the roof, getting the snow tires on the car, and a myriad of other tasks to prepare for surviving winter. The fall leaves were mainly a harbinger of what was coming.

Cooler weather also means more indoor activities. These first two links are for your entertainment enjoyment. RedeemTV is a free, donor supported Christian streaming service with lots of Christian media to watch: Redeem TV. I’ve seen some good shows and movies on there.

This next one is a new Christian streaming service, AGtv. Costi Hinn is on the Board and he wrote recently,

“It’s a new era for the “American Gospel.” If false teachers can pound the airwaves and invade screens around the world, so can we. Couldn’t endorse this enough and thankful to be on the board of AGtv.”

On the false teacher front, Beth Moore is still pumping out false teaching, polluting the faith with her brand of harmful education. She has a new “teaching” series coming out alleging to go through Galatians, so I thought I’d do my best to remind and warn again to stay away from her. I missed this essay when it came out last year: 5 Sins Beth Moore is guilty of.

And still on the Beth Moore front, I missed this when it came out last month: Beth Moore goes full Marxist- Never go full Marxist

I love the encouraging reports from HeartCry Missionary Society of missionaries’ work around the world. The missionaries and pastors abroad post short weekly updates. They don’t gloss over the difficulties but they also focus on the victories. Here is one, it is about Sister Paula

Did you know there is a National Cowboy Museum? It is a great place, from what I can see of its social media posts. This week they launched a new series. The letters back home from men and women pioneering the west are read aloud. The Museum blurb goes:

“Today we’re launching a new blog series called “Voices from the West,” featuring audio recordings of historical documents from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center. Our goal is to show that history is more than a timeline. At its core, it’s about people. And not just the famous and infamous, but the everyday and ordinary. Mothers and daughters, fathers and husbands, brothers and sisters, family and friends. The Dickinson Research Center preserves and shares these stories, revealing the American West one photograph, one diary and one voice at a time. Voices from the West: Lula Briscoe“.

Pretty neat! I also think sites like this are important. With all the historical revisionism happening in our country now, and with the astounding lack of knowledge in our young people of our past, America’s history is all the more important to know and teach. I plan to listen to the letter about Lula this afternoon after work when I get home and settle in with a cup of tea

Last, we can all use extra measures of grace and patience. I think the lockdown and freedom restrictions are starting to wear on us all. My emotions are riding higher and my temper is nearer the surface. I think others’ are too. Let’s keep praying, and pray even more. Let’s stick with our spiritual disciplines, sticking with them even more. The one thing I took from the HeartCry missives is the missionaries’ and pastors’ relentless focus on Jesus and His victories and graces. So taking their cue, Jesus won! Jesus is King! Jesus reigns! Jesus loves His own!

Have a nice weekend everyone. 🙂

Posted in theology

You’ve heard that reading to your children is important, how much more so the Bible?

By Elizabeth prata

Reading with children
“Engaging children in reading experiences presents infinite opportunities for developing language and emergent literacy skills,” says this education site in Victoria, Australia. Other sites around the world find the same research outcomes. Further, “The frequency of reading to children at a young age has a direct causal effect on their
schooling outcomes regardless of their family background and home environment.”

As an educator myself, I’ve seen the same results. In 1998 I participated in creating and implementing a longitudinal study called Project Story Boost, where at-risk young elementary children were paired with an older student and read with/to once per week for an extended period, with friendly discussions afterward. We found that that reading aloud using an interactive style improved children’s early literacy skills, comprehension, and story vocabulary. The experience highlighted the fact that both the quality of book reading experiences and the frequency of book reading are critical. Engagement and motivation for reading increased. It was all good.

The project has been replicated in the United States and as far afield as Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

It sounds simple, but the results and longevity of the impact on children in reading startled even us, who expected such results.

How much more important is it to read the Bible with your children? It is never too early to read God’s word to them. Even as a baby, the comfort they feel of being held by mom or dad, hearing the soothing cadence of the voice as the story is read, the closeness of the experience, all will embed in their body. The words of truth embed in their soul.

The Spirit takes the words from His inspired Bible and circulates them in the child’s brain and spirit. As they grow and begin to understand language, the words will come to mean even more. The intimate experience of sharing the most important thing: God’s word, will create an atmosphere of love and trust like no other.

If random strangers forging a relationship over texts with children in a busy elementary school impact children so dramatically, the daily encounter between parents and their own children at home forging truth via God’s word will not only impact, not only show dramatic results, but will have eternal consequences.

Read the Bible with your children. Discuss. Answer their questions. It is the thread of life.

Posted in theology

Cultural decline and righteous perseverance

By Elizabeth Prata

Prophecy says that as we near the very end days, the culture will worsen. (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 24:11-12,) and that the body of believers will grow less effective in the battle against satan, less of an example to a dark and dying world and less approved by God (1 Timothy 4:1, Jude 1:8, Revelation 2:4, Revelation 3:16). We see this now.

Before the first global judgment of the flood, we read that demons were rampant in the world. The fallen angels had mated with human women, all that they chose, (Genesis 6:1-2) and the resulting situation was chaos. All the people on the earth were thinking of only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5-6). Continue reading “Cultural decline and righteous perseverance”

Posted in theology

RIP?

By Elizabeth Prata

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this week. As with any notable death, a flood of condolences and grief-laced remarks emerge in the news and on social media. The most common is “Rest in Peace”. I read that phrase a lot this week, and it always saddened me.

It’s too late for peace. If the person is not saved by grace, having repented of their sin and confessed to Jesus the High Priest, and if He had not pardoned the person upon hearing that confession, there will be no peace for that person, forever. Continue reading “RIP?”

Posted in theology

The heart emblem/Kroger lawsuit: I think it’s a mistake

By Elizabeth Prata

Two women in Arkansas sued Kroger Grocery stores recently because they said they were denied an accommodation to their religion that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows for, and were subsequently harassed then fired from their work because of their religious complaint, which the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids. This Arkansas newspaper article outlines the main issue:

Continue reading “The heart emblem/Kroger lawsuit: I think it’s a mistake”
Posted in theology

Ten years: Work, Work, Work

By Elizabeth Prata

I passed the ten-year mark at school. I have worked in the same school for the same boss for all 10 years, with mainly the same core staff. For an autistic person, this is an achievement.

I give praise to my Lord for getting me this job, with this boss, and for sustaining me all these years. I love working with children. Seeing them grow in education and knowledge and social skills is satisfying. I love being a part of that as a teacher’s aide.

Continue reading “Ten years: Work, Work, Work”
Posted in theology

Journaling … again

By Elizabeth Prata

DebbieLynne Kespert re-posted a great essay from 2018 yesterday in her blog feature Flashback Friday. I always like when people do this because it either brings forward great content I’ve missed, or it reminds me of great content I can read again.

Her essay was about journaling. After I re-read it, I began thinking about journaling once more. Now, there’s journaling and there’s journaling.

In Christian journaling, we’re treated to headlines like the “How-To” articles that make great promises:

Continue reading “Journaling … again”
Posted in theology

Insanity

By Elizabeth Prata

The news is always bad. That is the nature of news. But it seems lately (2020) the news has been relentlessly troubling, perplexing, and dismaying.

The virus scare that began in March 2020 caused people to do a spiritual inventory. This is because the new virus was supposed to be a rampant killer, and we Americans, as well as citizens in other nations, were told that lots of people were going to die from the virus. We weren’t going to have capacity to handle the thousands predicted to need hospital rooms, ventilators, and other life-saving equipment. Death was coming for us, they said. Fear became the prevailing atmosphere of 2020.

The saved are secure about our eternal destiny. The unsaved are scared out of their minds.

Continue reading “Insanity”
Posted in theology

Giving grace

By Elizabeth Prata

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29).

In this verse we have a juxtaposition: corruption/grace. The NASB uses the word ‘unwholesome’, so, unwholesome/grace. Strong’s Lexicon defines corrupting as “rotten, putrid, figuratively over-ripe; expresses what is of poor quality, unfit for use.” We know what kind of talk that is. The Bible is negative on unwholesome of talk, which is- slander, gossip, lies, whispering, murmuring, dishonesty, busybodies… (Proverbs 16:28, Romans 1:29, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:13 etc).

In the Ephesians verse, the word grace means, “grace, extension-toward. Both refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.”

When we speak wholesomely, He is near to us, blesses us, and reaches toward us.

So the next time you’re (I’m) tempted to gossip or say anything corrupting, picture rotten fruit coming out of the mouth, vomiting putridness all over the person. Alternately, picture the talk as flowers of grace reaching for the person, the very Lord Himself among the blooms reaching forward and extending Himself to them. Give grace.

This goes for social media, too.

In these days of hate and upset and negativity, imagine the freshness of graceful talk. I need to remember, and I hope others do too, that we need to give grace as well as receive it.