Life with the Armstrongs

Life with the Armstrongs

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Colossians 2:8-14

Colossians 2:8-14 (Part One)
“8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
We must guard our minds and hearts with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
As Paul writes to the Colossian church he is dealing with heresy. Heresy is false teaching. There were some who were teaching that faith in Christ was not sufficient for salvation. The heresy Paul is writing against involves two main components; false Greek philosophy, and Judaistic legalism and ceremonialism. The Greeks denied the sufficiency of Christ through teaching that Christ alone was not adequate. They taught that salvation involved both Christ plus knowledge. This knowledge came through visions in which they were given deeper insights into the divine mysteries. The Jews denied the sufficiency of Christ by teaching all or some of these beliefs: that circumcision was necessary for salvation, asceticism (rigid self denial or harsh treatment of the body), and an emphasis on keeping the Jewish dietary laws and observing holy days.
Though these teachings might seem to have some physical or seemingly spiritual value, they are in addition to Christ. Therefore they are not of Christ. Anything that takes away or adds to the person and work of Christ is considered to be non-Christian. Therefore Paul writes to instruct and encourage them to focus their hearts and minds on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We in today’s church are not exempt from the attacks of the evil one. We too must guard against anything that does not found itself on and proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ. We must guard ourselves both in the world and in the church. We too are susceptible to the ploys and the strategies of the enemy that slowly and deliberately carry us away from the truth of Christ.
The sufficiency of the person and work of Jesus Christ
The sufficiency of Christ is established in the person of Jesus Christ and the work of Jesus Christ.
The person of Jesus Christ
John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” The sufficiency of the person of Jesus Christ is found in the fullness of God in flesh. Jesus Christ is fully God and has always been and always will be fully God. Jesus Christ is not a lesser God or an ascended man as the Colossian heretics claim.
Paul establishes the deity of Christ in Colosians 1:15-19,” He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him”
  • As a member of the godhead Christ is head of all rule and authority.” Scripture consistently teaches of the fullness of Christ’s deity, in 1 Peter 3:22 it speaks of Christ saying, “who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” Philippians 2:9-11, says “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And Ephesians 1:20-23 says “which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
  • Jesus Christ is Lord and ruler of all, the promised Son of God. The sufficiency of His work on the cross for salvation is the result of who he is.
The work of Jesus Christ
Because of who Christ is, we as His people are made complete in Him. As we read in Ephesians 1:23, the church is Christ body, and his fullness fills the church. His fullness is imparted to us by faith through grace. We who have been separate from God are now one with God. Those who have been incomplete as a result of sin are now complete through the work of the Savior. This is only possible because of who Christ is. The redemptive work of Christ has brought about complete salvation and the complete forgiveness of sins. There is no need for anyone or anything else for the salvation of men.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the question

So many times we ask ourselves, "How could a loving God be so judgmental towards sinners? How could you show such punishment and wrath and judgment to us in our sin?" We are so man-centered!

Instead we should be asking, "How can God be completely holy and completely just, and yet forgive us and show mercy to us when we rebel against Him? How can God satisfy His character and save our souls at the same time?"

The Gospel is the answer. It's only by His blood. His blood covers us. His wrath is satisfied on the cross. Look at the cross. This is the beauty of the Gospel. See the beauty of the cross?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! He is merciful towards us as sinners - He substitutes Himself in our place!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally caught up!!!

I've posted a ton today, so if you're actually interested in seeing what we've been up to over the past year, make sure you look at the last several posts. They go all the way back to last summer!

Getting ready to go swimming in the hotel

At the park on her third birthday

Loving the trampoline
Easter Sunday

Getting hugs from Mammaw Barrett
on the tractor with Daddy

Fall and Winter 2009/2010

Finally catching up

Sooooo, I'm way behind. As in, so far behind that it's ridiculous! But at least I'm catching up, right??? Anyway, here are pics from our trip to the beach (LAST) summer. Yep, a year ago.

Oh well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seek First

"For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matt. 6:32b-34

Father, how busy my mind is today - in planning so many things and trying to keep up with all of the details of this life. How easily I am distracted from Your Word and Truth and from You! Oh, that I would ever be focused on You alone! That I would not worry myself over silly things that do not matter. That we would use our wealth and excess of time, energy, and resources in ways that are pleasing to You! Let me seek You first - always first and above all things. My heart desires to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness above all else! Oh, that our hearts would be stayed on you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I know it's been forever since I've posted any pictures.  I'm just so behind at this point that it'll take hours when I finally update everything.  So, for tonight, pictures will have to wait!

This was just too cute and I had to make sure I got it written down so that I'll remember it:

Tonight as we were praying, Hannah asked God to help her with a couple of things that were personal - her mouth was hurting (new teeth coming in) and her head was hurting (not sure what that's about, sometimes she pretends that she hit it and will pretend to put ice on it like they do at school, so it could've not been true...)  The great thing about this was that she actually asked God to help those things.  Normally she just thanks God for random objects and people and then she's done.  We've been talking a lot lately about different stories where Jesus healed people of their sickness or made the lame to walk again, etc., and I think she's really getting it!  

It just made my heart smile that she understood it and transferred it over to herself.  Her mouth was hurting her and her first thought was "I'll ask Jesus, 'cause He can make it all better!"


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Last night we had a meeting with a leadership team at our church and talked about what we can do to reach people with the Gospel, We talked about what we can do to reach out to the people in our neighborhoods. In the time of discussion we mentioned so many great characteristics about our church and our staff. All of which I hope are true. But, there seems to be a disconnect between our efforts and results. Results is a dangerous word in the world of church because people have so many different ideas in their heads when they hear the word results. But, there seemed to be a consenus last night that we are not seeing the kingdom results that we are praying for. Sitting at my desk this morning and replaying last nights conversation I am finding a phrase that is missing.

In all of our conversation and effort in my 3 years at FBC Jackson, I cannot remember us saying "God has told us to do _________" I sat in a room full of some of the most earnest and sincere Christians I have ever met. These are men and women who have a hunger in their gut to see Christ exalted in our fellowship and in our city. So, maybe it is time that we ask God this question: "Lord, what do you want us to do?" I understand that it may take some time for us to hear and comprehend His answer for our church. So, to steal some advice a friend of mine recently received and shared... "What was the last thing God told us to do?" I think that it is time that we earnestly seek the face of God, and in line with the sermon our interim pastor preached this past Sunday, we need to learn to "knock" and persevere in our prayer as well as our faith. I believe that God will answer our request, I believe that God enjoys the conversation with us as well. So, we need to remember what the last thing God told our church to do and do it, while we pray for God to give us fresh direction and vision as to what we should do next. This has direct application even to the individuals in our fellowship. If each of us asked the Lord what He wants us to do in every aspect of our lives, and then did it, we would be in line with the picture of following Christ that is seen throughout the scriptures. I am confident that Christ will finish His work in my life, my family, in other people's lives, and in His church! Because of that I am asking Him what is it that He wants me to do?

I must warn those reading this that asking this question may radically alter the landscape of your life. If you choose to obey and follow Christ as Lord, then what you do with your stuff is no longer your decision. Which house you live in, what car you drive, what you spend your money on, etc. Asking God what he wants us to do applies to every aspect of our being, and thus transfers to the fellowship of believers. It is an awesome place to be when we are trusting on His will and plan for our every move, and it is often a worldly difficult place to be as well. He may want us to look very different than we do now. He may have plans to showcase His glory in ways that we cannot fathom, but when He is magnified we are not. It is in our weakness that He is strong. So, go ahead and ask God what He wants for you to do. Ask knowing that in being obedient to Him you will find the greatest satisfaction of your soul and He will receive the greatest glory through your life!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogging from camp

Well, we're here at Student Life Camp with Hannah for the 3rd year (yep, that's right, I'm a crazy woman and took my 2 month old to camp!)  We are at Shocco Springs in Talladega, AL, and despite the 97 degrees and 100% humidity, we are having a great time!  We're sweaty, but havin' fun!!

The great thing about camp is that Hannah is able to do almost everything that the kids are doing (not participate, but she can be present without messing anything up.)  For example, the band is loud and fun, so she can dance and clap along with the students and nobody is concerned about a 2 year old being in the room.  And our students are doing rec tracks this year, so we get to walk around and see all of them, which Hannah loves!  Basically the only thing we miss out on is worship at night and first thing in the morning.  But, they have a playground here, so we do that in the morning, and then we head back to the room for a bath and bedtime after supper.  It's really working out well, and I'm really glad that we are able to do this as a family.  I really appreciate that Student Life is so accommodating to people who want to bring their children.

I've taken some pictures, but Rob has the camera with him tonight in worship, so I'll have to load those later!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer has officially arrived!!

We got back from Gulf Shores late Sunday night, so we took some time to regroup and get ourselves settled back into life on Monday.  This included 'fun' things like going to the bank and getting groceries and doing laundry.  So, to reward ourselves, and just to have some relaxing time at home, we decided to grill out Monday night.  It was sooo good to be home and just rest some!  We pulled out Hannah's pool and let her play in it too.  She was so excited about swimming!

Filling up her "aldergator" pool all by herself.

Please ignore the crazy bumpy hair in this pic and just focus on the cute grin on the sweet girl!
Sliding down...
Oooooh! That's kinda cold!!
Getting braver and laying on her stomach in the water.

Deep Sea Fishing 2