Friday, December 20, 2013

A Perfect Ransom for All Mankind

From the pages of the Enterprise Newspaper
By Loretta Thomas...

 The birth of a baby…a miraculous conception, who as an adult became King of Kings, and He was a Mighty God…the Son of Almighty God!  This man was Jesus Christ. How did God’s Son become a perfect ransom for all mankind?
  During the course of history, there have been people who sacrificed their lives so that fellow humans might continue to live a few more years. What these people did has been viewed as noble and praiseworthy. Among those, laying down their lives was one whose death accomplished far more than that of all the others combined. This man was Jesus Christ. But, why was such a costly ransom price needed? 

  His sacrificial death on an execution stake laid the basis for humans to gain, not just a few additional years of life, but unending life. (Acts 5:30-31 NI). That Jesus Christ death accomplished so much has not been easy for most people to understand. When people’s lives are threatened by fire, floods, and the likes, the need for action and the benefits resulting there can be readily seen. But, it has proved to be an entirely different matter with Jesus laying down His life. Many have allowed His sacrificial death to be an obstacle to their embracing Worship of the Living and True God.
  The ransom involved needed to be one that could balance matters. What did this entail? At the time, the first man Adam transgressed God’s law; he forfeited perfect human life with its rights and prospects. Adam as an imperfect man now could only father imperfect offspring; men and women who would be incapable of measuring up to the Creator’s perfect standards. As the Bible puts it, “One man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone”. – Romans 5:18 Jerusalem Bible.
 Such a ransom for humankind must result in a balancing on the scale of justice…of what was forfeited. Adam lost perfect human life! So, the ransom price for the human race would have to be a perfect human life. Only a perfect human life could balance the scale of perfect justice. Not one of Adams descendants could provide such a precious price for himself or for anyone else. The incapability of mankind is well described in Scripture at Psalms 49: 7-9 NI, “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him…the ransom for a life is costly; no payment is ever enough…that he should live on forever and not see decay.” 
  So, the Son of God lay down His perfect human life in sacrifice, thereby furnishing the valuable price needed for ransoming the human race Luke 1:35. He voluntarily stepped in and accepted the penalty that was meant for us. Notice what the apostle Peter wrote at 1 Peter 2:24 NI. In thus giving His soul, a ransom in exchange for many Jesus Christ brought the human race Matthew 20:28. 

  Thanks to our God for His boundless mercy in providing the ransom price needed for counterbalancing what was lost for us through Adam’s sin. Only the precious life of Jesus could meet the requirements of perfect justice. May God’s provisions move everyone to “want” to measure up to His requirements for having the sin atoning benefits of His Son’s sacrifice applied in their behalf. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Today's Moral Breakdown

At Home with Loretta...
From The Pages Of The Enterprise Newspaper...
             Today's Moral Breakdown

  I was trying to find a nice old movie to watch on television Sunday since LBP, public broadcasting station, has been fundraising. It was hard to find anything decent for my husband and me to watch together. I wince, yes cringe when some scenes come on the screen; and to think, children have access to the same basic cable channels.
  Yes, this breakdown is everywhere infecting every facet of society. Today, society seemingly is in a values vacuum. Reasoning of the majority seems to be: ‘each lifestyle is an acceptable alternative, be tolerant of mine and I’ll be tolerant of yours’. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. To each his own…there are many ways to go, and each is right; nothing is wrong! There is no sin anymore! Stand up for your rights. 

  Why whisper peacefully when you can turn up the volume with violence…it’s a form of free speech. Sex is open to expression with whomever you choose and in any way you want. Obscenity is art. Live and let live.’ Or, is it ‘die and let die’? Surely, you have heard some, if not all of these phrases. What was your reaction?

    People have very precise ideas about what’s right and wrong. What is moral and immoral; what’s honorable and dishonorable. The entire inventory of ideas about virtue, morality, honor, and ethics has been made to seem illogical, inhumane and unacceptable. 

  The ideas that became dominant exalted individuality, asserted the views of each to live according to self-determined goals. Now the acceptable mores are to be tolerated. Unfortunately, in this new philosophy, it is forbidden to forbid! The disastrous consequences of this philosophy have continued to escalate.

   Everyday newspapers, magazines, newscast, movies and television programs reflect the decline in traditional values. The barrage of this is so steady and unrelenting people have become numb to it! They are no longer scandalized by scandals as we were during our times. People are no longer outraged by news of the things happening in the world today that were shocking to older ones during our times.

  A good example is today’s music…it generates contempt for parents, for older generations, race and social institutions that oppose their lifestyle. Their goal is to offend, shock and grab attention with lyric that are outpourings of crude, uncouth, vile and loathsome gutter filth, crammed full of brutal abuse and degradation of women; sex, violence, drug use, violent rapes. There is no limit to the gross obscenities glorified. What a dying, decaying society we find ourselves living in today!
  Sadly, pretending it doesn't touch us is irrational…it is all around us! We need stabilizing limits and guidelines. We need desperately to work in the direction of human dignity. We need to return to the original source of true morals and values. Is it even possible in all this degradation that is permeating our world today?  

Submitted By: Loretta Thomas                                                                          

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

   Another Article from the pages of The Mansfield Enterprise...                                             
At Home with Loretta... 
It Never Stops…Hurting...Domestic Violence

   Some women go through abuse to protect their children, to save their lives or the lives of other family members. They pray no one ever knows... however, something always tells them everyone does. Somehow, they get through the madness, through the brutal beatings, through the heartless humiliation done to them and against them. They know they are not doing this alone because daily they pray fervently for help!

  However, sometimes when you pray for deliverance seemingly, it doesn't come..."How Lord can I take anymore beatings," you plead. Then, you find yourself praying death will end it all. You quickly block this thought from your mind as you think about the girls...what will happen to them? Will he beat them? Will be assault them too? "Oh Lord, please let me endure this abuse for the sake of my girls. I have to live...I want to live...Please don't let me leave them Lord...please don't let me die!"
  Hello, you know my name from blogging these few years...but what you don't know is... I was a victim of domestic violence!

  God answered my prayers! Somehow I made it through the years; even though the abuser is no longer here, I still live traumatized. Dreams and reminders are vividly persistent. 
  Screams leave my lips with sounds that are unfamiliar even to me as I awaken in the night terrified and in a cold sweat. It’s still very real in my mind and especially my dreams when I wake screaming for mercy only to realize it’s just a dream. 
 The profanity, the hurtful degrading words and degrading actions against my body and the bloody beatings  the name-calling all are indelible in my memory.

   The brutal beatings have left my body weakened with pain from broken bones that have obviously healed improperly. Doctor visits…unheard of for fear my secret will come out. And, if I did muster up courage to go...doors, falls, foreign objects and my clumsiness were the fists and feet that assaulted me.

  The disfigurements, especially the ones you can’t hide vulgarly stares back at you from mirrors. The diseases, others filth visited upon you make the affliction unbearable to live with. And when the depression set in, you pray this most foul existence ends.

                Children living in the home of an abuser

  You are even more horrified when your child grows up to use this same violence and abuse he’s witnessed against you. You pray it hasn't rubbed off on him, but in your heart, you know its true…inescapably so! 

am so thankful that I have God in my life and I am living my life and walking in His way. Yes, I was a victim of domestic violence when I was younger. 

But, walking in the way of the Lord and having a husband like James has taught us both how He intend couples to live in harmony together. Now, I am a Survivor!

  This secret behind closed doors and shuttered windows is the worst against families in the history of its arrangement. Lives are shattered. It affects us all. It leaves its mark on innocent babies, children, teens, and adults. Abuse always hurt! 
  It is a pattern of behavior that’s used to establish power and control over one who is intimated by their abuser with threats, and acts of violence. Yes, domestic abuse knows no boundaries; it affects persons of all cultures, ages, education, religions, and nationality.

  Violence begins in the heart and mind. James 1:14,15 explains the way one act begins with how one thinks. So, the abuser needs to transform his way of thinking Romans 12:2.   God’s word has the power to change a person. It says, “So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh Ephesians 5: 28, 29 (A part is quoted here). 1 Peter 3:7 tell husbands to assign his wife “honor as a weaker vessel”. 

  Our Creator purposed families to live in love and peace, not violence and smiling behind fear and pain. Men, husbands, fathers, “Use your “hands” and “hearts” to help and love your families, not to hurt them!

  Click on the chart above to see the signs Of domestic violence. Don't suffer in abuse! Domestic Violence is against the LAW REPORT IT TODAY!!
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Brought Our Savoir To Tears

From the Pages of our hometown paper
the column...                                              
                           At Home with Loretta Thomas 

                               Jesus weeping 

   When a loved one dies, we naturally shed tears because we will miss him/her. Though Jesus had affection for Lazarus, he did not give way to tears because Lazarus died, rather he shed tears out of compassion for the bereaved, as indicated by the context of John’s account. (John 11:36)
  When our Lord Jesus first heard that Lazarus was sick he did not rush to Lazarus’ bedside to cure him. The account says: “When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, then he actually remained two day in the place where he was.” (John 11:6) You are no doubt wondering, just as I, why did Jesus delay going to him? Well, he had a purpose in doing so. Notice what Jesus said in John 11:4. Now, can you see why Jesus waited to see Lazarus? 

  Let’s explain it a bit further. Death was not the “object” or end result of Lazarus’ sickness. Jesus intended to use Lazarus’ death “for the glory of God.” How? Jesus was about to perform a spectacular miracle by raising his dear friend from the grave! 
  In his discussion with his disciples on this occasion Jesus compared death to a sleeplike state. That is why he told them he was “journeying there to awaken Lazarus from sleep.” (John 11:11) To Jesus, raising Lazarus from the dead would be like a parent waking his child from a nap. So there was no reason for him to be pained over Lazarus’ death itself.
  What, then, moved Jesus to give way to tears? Again, the context provides the answer. When Jesus met Lazarus’ sister Mary and saw her and others weeping, he ‘groaned in the spirit.’ That was why “Jesus gave way to tears.” It greatly saddened Jesus to see his beloved friends stricken with grief. (John 11: 33, 35)
  This account demonstrates that Jesus has the power and ability to bring our loved ones back to life and health in the coming new world. It also helps us to appreciate that Jesus has fellow feelings for those who have lost loved ones to Adamic death. Another lesson we can learn from this account is that we should have compassion for those who are grieving over the death of their loved ones. 

   Jesus knew that he was going to resurrect Lazarus. Still, he gave way to tears, moved by his deep love and compassion for his friend. Likewise, our empathy may move us to “weep with people who weep.” (Romans 12:15) How appropriate, then, that Jesus set an example of showing sympathy for the bereaved by sincerely shedding tears even though he was about to raise Lazarus. 

  Too, what a wonderful promise from The Grand Creator… resurrecting our loved ones…Jesus demonstrated what the resurrection will mean for mankind in general…He will raise them from sleeping in death just as he did Lazarus to the possibility of an everlasting perfect life in a righteous new world! What a thrilling prospect for all who chose to live according to His way...    

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The World As We Know It

Taken from the pages of the 
Mansfield Enterprise Newspaper By Loretta

Living in Today’s World

   Living in this world and in these times today are brutal…have you noticed? “In these last days it’s going to be hard to be a Christian.” Scripture tells us from 2 Timothy 3:1 LBV.

 Everything is and has changed so much we live in a morally depleted world! People just don’t have natural affection for others anymore. You know, feelings of empathy, because apathy rules! Lying, stealing cheating are all normal occurrences. They have no self-control; they are fierce brutal against their fellow man. 
  Look at the recent crime perpetrated against another right here among us, and how the victim’s remains were hidden. How an eight year old took his 90 year old's life after watching a game. Who can forget the young singer Miley C vulgar performance on national TV? Gyrating sexual suggestive moves in a flesh colored skimpy attire that made even other entertainers react shocked. How degrading…an enormous insult against all women’s dignity, and decency! What was your reaction? And, the male singer with his vulgar words that are beeped to a song…appalling!   
  Lastly, the horrific crime of using chemicals in Syria against women and children…how inhumane! This merciless brutal atrocity was shown on television…Oh the suffering and their pain was too hard to watch! All because of man’s hatred…they supposedly have a form of Godly devotion but, are proving false to its power. The True God would never approve such carnage in the name of Worship! Instead of following in the footsteps of Christ, they are blindly following men to their end. Jeremiah 10:23. 
  Besides this crime and violence…there are home invasions, kidnappings, and now we have to protect our precious pets from being snatched also. What’s next? You and I well know there isn’t anything or anyone here on earth that will/can change the scene of this world. There has to be a higher power just as it was back in Noah’s day and all other times when our God intervened. Would you agree man will never be able to put an end to what’s happening in the world today?

 People have changes…their views, morals, personalities and the world has too. Language is another area that has drastically changes. One noted celebrity Katie C commented, “Others around her are quite comfortable with today’s language…since when is cursing in public okay?” What has happened to standards? That F*** word is so disgusting to me! However, most have no problems with hearing or using it! It rolls of their tongues with the greatest of ease. Isn't it obvious…the more curse words that are used the less shocking it is hearing them to most. With some, every other word form their mouth is a curse word. You see and hear them everywhere…TV, internet, social medias. 
  The casual use of cursing is a prominent sign of the changes we are living with in this old world. The way we interact with one another is indicative of how we treat and respect each other. 

  Don’t expect respect from others…if you don’t have respect for yourself! Does this make sense? Yes, changes are good even beneficial but, cursing/profanity is not. 
Read Ephesians 5: 1-3 & Colossians 3: 8 both in the NIV. 

  Go to: my hometown newspaper to see what's happening in our small town and meet our town folk...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Funny Quotes & Sayings

I've always believed the old saying, "If you can't beat 'em join 'em"! I needed a little laughter in my day and I went out searching for a source...rather poor source, but got the job done!
  Join me as I read these funny quotes and sayings...I'm sure they will bring a little hilarity to your day too. Let's begin...

I know just seeing if you're paying attention!

I love these things, and believe me...if I don't get a laugh from them they sure will put a big smile on my face! 
  Hope you enjoyed them... come on back to visit, maybe we'll have some more! Until then stay happy and be happy... laughter is good for what ails ya!" 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Country Household Hints

Taken from  the Mansfield Enterprise, my hometown newspaper written by columnist Loretta Thomas                                      

   For generations country folk like us passed down straightforward approach's to life. Back then we made do with whatever material and resources we had  on hand to take care of home. You remember…a little of this and a dollop of down-home ingenuity with a good bit of old-fashioned elbow grease. 
  It was good commonsense practical and a frugal way of life…not always easy but, a good hard working and rewarding life. 
  This week we are concentrating on hints about laundry…while we don’t need to return to the days of hand-washing every piece of clothing or scrubbing grime and stains out with a washboard (although, I have one that comes in handy for a number of stubborn stains and such) taking advantage of some old-fashioned low cost tried-n-true laundry tips may end up turning your wash day into much less a chore. 


  These tips-n-hints are not orderly by any means…I’m writing them as they come to me starting with your detergent…

1. To boost the cleaning and deodorizing powers of your usual detergent, add ½ cup borax to each load. You can find it in the laundry aisle in your stores.
2. Your dedicates can be safely and effectively laundered in warm water and add a small amount of mild dish liquid (not the fancy antibacterial brand.) 

3. I learned this one when I was getting my certification as Executive Housekeeper. To remove spots of blood from clothing, bedding, etc., use 3% hydrogen peroxide (the kind you find in the first-aid section) 
  Soak the stain with the peroxide, the blood will bubble or boil and loosen, if it doesn't completely gently scrape to help take the blood away with your fingernail or a flat knife. (Of course, I would not do this unless I was geared up safely and the knives used can be thrown out…safety first!) Then, rinse it again with peroxide. It would be much easier if you would do this procedure immediately after it happen before the blood dries and set. (Peroxide has a bleaching effect…test your fabrics.)

4. The best scent ever for your laundered sheets…try hanging them outside if you have a place. I guarantee you will have the best night of sleep ever…those sheets will have a soothing scent that will rock your care away and you’ll sleep like a baby! 
5. Speaking of bedding…oily stains on pillowcases can be removed with plain shampoo. Just pour some on the stained area, rub it in, rinse thoroughly and launder the pillowcases as usual.

6. Oh, I almost forgot…to help make the fabric of new pillowcases more resistant to stains from natural skin oils and oily products, starch the pillowcases lightly before use. I love them ironed!

7. Lift a fresh grease spot from fabric by sprinkling the spot with cornstarch. Allow this to soak up the grease for a few minutes, and then brush it away.

8. Speaking of your iron…if it clogs pour white vinegar into it and let it steam for 5 minutes. Unplug and let it cool, then empty the vinegar out and rinse the iron thoroughly by pouring clean water in and out. 
  Sure hope you can use these tips-n-hints and if you have them, this article will be a written reminder for your future reference. 
  You can view The Mansfield Enterprise online at: mansfield  &  Like us on facebook: Mansfield Enterprise Newspaper.

Best Wishes,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Has God Left Us...

Inspirational Sunday                                                  

 I've often written about the times we live in today, however, a mere glance at news reports corroborate that we live “in times of distress.” And when tragedy hits home…when we personally are affected by crime, a serious accident, or the death of a loved one…we might well ask, does God see? Is He even there? Does He care?

  Nevertheless, have you considered the possibility that our expectation of God could be based on a faulty premise? To illustrate: Imagine a small child crying because he misses his dad and wishes he can come home, knowing he has gone to work. He feels abandoned, and repeatedly asks, “Where is Daddy?” Can you detect the flaw in the child’s thinking? After all, he well knows his dad is working to provide for the entire family. Could our thinking be similarly flawed when we cry out, “where is God?”
For example, some might wish for God to be an executioner whose primary function is to bring swift punishment on the perpetrator of some wrong. Others view God as little more than a celestial Santa Claus, whose role is to bestow gifts…a job, a spouse, or even a winning lottery ticket. Both of those views assume that if God does not bring justice immediately or if He does not grant the favor asked for then, He must be insensitive to our suffering and unaware of our needs. Why, I might ask, is this assumption many conclude? Nothing could be further from the truth!  

 He is working to provide for the entire human family, yet not in a way that many are asking. We need to look back to the beginning of human history, when man’s relationship with God was severely damaged…but not beyond repair.

  The first sin caused damaging effects. Imagine a house that had been in good condition, but after many years is now a shamble. The roof is caved in, the doors have fallen off their hinges, and the exterior vandalized. Considering the extent of the damage, restoration will be no small task; and it will not happen overnight. Now consider the damage that occurred to mankind some 6,000 years ago when an unseen spirit induced Adam and Eve to rebel against God.
Prior to that event, the first human couple enjoyed perfect health with the prospect of living forever along with future generations of their offspring. (Genesis 1:28) When they sinned, however, it was as if Adam and Eve vandalized the human family yet to be born. Do not underestimate the damaging effects of that rebellion. 
Notice what Romans 5:12 tells us. Besides bringing death, sin has impaired our relationship with our Creator and has affected us physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a result, our condition is similar to that of a run-down house. The righteous man Job realistically summed up our situation when he described man as being “short of days and full of trouble.” Job 4:1, Holman Christian Standard Bible.
We can take comfort in knowing God has not left us, in fact, from then until now, He has been working in behalf of the human family (Romans 16:20; 1 John 3:8) And, giving all the opportune time to come to Him willingly proving Satan a liar. 

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