This is an excerpt from a sermon by Samuel Davies, "The Sacred Import of the Christian Name"

I highly reccomend reading the whole sermon! It goes into much detail about the word\label "Christian", including that is a family name, a name of honor, and a name of obligation, showing that there is a big difference between the Christian world and the Christian religion.

"The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch." Acts 11:26

What is it to be a Christian?

1. To be a Christian--is to depart from iniquity.
2. To be a Christian--is to deny yourselves, take up the cross and follow Christ.
3. To be a Christian--is to be a follower or imitator of Christ.

"He left us an example--that we should follow His steps!" 1 Peter 2:21

Christ is the model for every Christian.

Paul tells us that believers will be conformed to His image, Romans 8:29; and that the same mind must be in us--which was also in Christ Jesus. Phil. 2:5.

Christ's heart glowed with love to His Father! He delighted in universal obedience to Him; it was His food and drink to do the Father's will, even in the most painful and self-denying instances! He abounded in devotion, in prayer, meditation and every pious duty.

He was also full of every grace and virtue towards mankind! He was meek and humble, kind and benevolent, just and charitable, merciful and compassionate towards all. Beneficence to the souls and bodies of men was the business of His life; for He went about doing good. Acts 10:38.

In regard to Himself--He was patient and resigned--and yet undaunted and brave under sufferings. He had all His appetites and passions under proper government. He was heavenly-minded; above this world in heart--while He dwelt in it.

This is an imperfect sketch of His amiable character; and in these things every one who deserves to be called after His name, does in some measure resemble and imitate Him. This is not only his earnest endeavor--but what he actually attains, though in a much inferior degree; and his imperfections are the grief of his heart.

This resemblance and imitation of Christ is essential to the very being of a Christian, and without it, all profession is a vain pretense!

Does your Christianity, my friends, stand this test? May one know that you belong to Christ--by your living like Him, and manifesting the same temper and spirit?

Are you familiar with Dr.Jay Adams?

If not, I beg you to get to know him. His ministry has blessed my life greatly! One simple yet very powerful truth I have gleaned from his ministry is that, the Lord has given every Christian the ministry of counseling...

2 Timothy 4:2-5
Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away frim the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.

Whether we intend to or not, we counsel everyday...either by what is said or not said and by what is done or not done. Everyday there is someone watching and\or listening to see how we (professing Christians) will deal with life's issues and it is our chief end to glorify God through them.

I pray that you will really consider honing your skills in the area of "edifying and building one another up". It will be a blessing to your soul and to those around you, but more importantly, it will be honoring to God.

You can find more information on the ministry of counseling through Dr.Adams at the
Institute For Nouthetic Studies.
Thomas Sherman, 1680

"Yet to all who received Him . . . He gave the right to become children of God" John 1:12

A whole Christ must be received--with the whole heart.

Some in their understanding, assent to the way of salvation--yet do not consent to it with their will. In judgment they are for Christ--but in affection they are for other things. There is only a part of their soul that is for Christ. Others would have the benefits that are from Christ--but have no love for the person of Christ.

Some would have Christ only as a Savior--but not as a Lord. They desire Him only as a Priest to offer a sacrifice for their sins--but not as a Prophet to instruct them, nor as a King to rule over them. So that it is but part of Christ, that they would receive.

But both of these courses are equally dangerous; for, if we would be saved, we must cleave to Christ with all the faculties of the soul--with will, judgment, affection, etc. And so, again, we must cleave to the whole of Christ--Christ in His natures, person, offices, etc. If, therefore, you would rightly receive Christ, see that your whole soul receives a whole Christ.
I enjoy and highly recommend receiving daily email devotionals from Grace Gems.
Here is a sample...

J.R.Miller ~ Our words and deeds are irrevocable

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken!" Matthew 12:36

We cannot recall any word we have spoken. It may be a false word or an unkind word--a word which will blast and burn! Instantly after it has been spoken--we may wish it back and may rush after it and try to stop it--but there is no power in the world that can unsay the hurtful word--or blot it out of our life!

It is just so with our acts. A moment after we have done a wicked thing, we may bitterly repent it. We may be willing to give all we have in the world to undo it, to make it as though it never had been. But in vain. A deed done takes its place in the universe as a fact--and never can be recalled.

We should be sure before we speak a word or do an act--that it is right, that we shall never desire to have it recalled--for when once we have opened our lips, or lifted our hand--there will be no unsaying or undoing possible.

Our words and deeds are irrevocable. We cannot recall anything we have done, neither can we change it. But by other words and deeds, we may in some measure modify the effect of that which we cannot blot out. Paul could not undo his persecutions of Christians--but by a life to devotion to Christ's cause--he could in a sense make reparation for the terrible harm he had done.

Just so, we cannot undo the wrong things we have done--but we should strive to set in motion other influences which may at least compensate in some sense for the harm they have wrought. We cannot unsay the sharp word which wounds our friend's heart--but we can by kindness and loyal devotion--yet bring good and blessing to his life.
I'm so sorry to have been gone this long! Sometimes life takes you on a little detour and you just have to go with the know what I mean? Priorities...priorities...priorities :)
Anyways, I thought I'd just give you a quick 3 month update...

We had a wonderful time at the Stone's Christmas\New Year's Party....

I had a terrible mishap with my thyroid medication and lost half my hair! Huge lesson in humility :) and that you should NEVER take the generic brand of thyroid medication.

**Sorry, no pictures of this event!**

We traveled to Panama City to bury my 98 year old great-grandmother. She was a lovely Christian woman and I have many fond memories of growing up with her. She is who I was named after. Her full name was Iola Lillie Dee Vandores Hood Strickland. Whew! Things were a lot different back then! Here's a picture of her younger years...

Lane became more and more involved in his 4-H Archery Club and starting winning several competitions...

And we began some of our "Homesteading & Self-sufficiency" projects...starting with the animals... we built hog pens...Lane is showing one in the Flagler County Fair this April and we have one we are raising for our freezer...Leah is raising chickens to show in the Fair but not to sell, these will be be for eggs and meat...and Lacy is raising rabbits for rabbit stew...I'll post more pics on all that later... :)


Jamey was forced to start Paramedic school, which he wasn't very happy about since the previous year he had quit a very high paying job to take a very low paying job in order to be home with his family more to pursue some "family entrepreneurship" BUT we are trusting the Lord has a reason and a plan that will be for His glory and our good :) The grueling schedule hasn't been easy (roughly 2-3 days off a month and will soon only be 1 day!!!) so we would covet your prayers. Lane and I are filling in the gaps as much as we can and we've learned to treat every moment with dad as extra special!

Lacy celebrated her 4th Birthday...

Lane won more Archery competitions...1st place in Pre-State and 2nd in State! Then he went on to Nationals in Kentucky!!!

We had another great visit at the Stone's...maybe I'll try to do a post of just party pics??

Started an organic vegetable garden, that is quite pics of that yet...
As well as many many other things...
April and May are approaching fast and they will be very busy too...
More ministering to dad...
Leah's 8th Birthday...
Lane's 16th Birthday...whoo hoo!!! Big Party????
The Flagler County which YOU ARE ALL INVITED...April 15-17
And the end of another "school year"...just to name a few...

I don't know how often I'll be able to post but I hope to squeeze it in somehow!
..........Would love to hear from everyone.........
Don Whitney:

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we're going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.
11. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who do you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What's the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

30. What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

For more Don Whitney resources please visit:
The Art of Divine Contentment: An Exposition of Philippians 4:11

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Highlights" from Chapter 15 Consolation to the Contented Christian...

To the contented Christian, I shall say two things for a farewell. 1) God is exceedingly taken with such a frame of heart. If you would please God, and be men of his heart, be contented. God hates a froward spirit. 2) The contented Christian shall be no loser. What lost Job by his patience? God gave him twice as much as before. What lost Abraham by his contentment? God made a covenant with him that he would be his God, that he would be the father of many nations; God makes his seed as the stars of heaven; nay, honors him with this title, "the father of the faithful". God will be sure to reward the contented Christian. As our Saviour said to Nathaniel, "you shall see greater things than these:" (Jn.1:50) so I say, art thou contented (O Christian) with little? thou shalt see greater things than these.


That concludes this 'Book Highlight'. I hope that you have been encouraged, edified, and spurred towards a closer walk with the Lord. It is my earnest prayer that we all glorify Him more with our lives as we "learn to be content in whatever state we are in". Thanks for following along. I hope to see you again next time.
If there are any specific book requests you have, just let me know, and I'll see what I can do!
Thanks again, and may God bless you!
The Art of Divine Contentment: An Exposition of Philippians 4:11

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Highlights" from Chapter 14 Rules About Contentment...

Rule 1. Advance faith. All our disquiets do issue immediately from unbelief.

Rule 2. Labour for assurance. Labor to say "my God" and "I know whom I have believed".

Rule 3. Get a humble spirit. The humble man studies his own unworthiness and cries out with Paul, that he is the chief of sinners.

Rule 4. Keep a clear conscience. O take heed of indulging any sin!

Rule 5. Learn to deny yourselves. Look well to your affections, bridle them in. Do two things: mortify your desires and moderate your delights.
1) Get a right judgment of the things here below.
2) Often seriously meditate of mortality.

Rule 6. Get much of heaven into your heart. Fly aloft in your affections, thirst after the graces and comforts of the Spirit; the eagle that flies above in the air, fears not the stinging of the serpent; the serpent creeps on his belly, and stings only such creatures as go upon the earth.

Rule 7. Look not so much on the dark side of your condition, as on the light. Do not pore upon your losses but ponder your mercies.
Thou art not fully sanctified in this life, how then thinkest thou be fully satisfied? *Never look for perfection of contentment till there be perfection of grace.*

Rule 8. Consider in what posture we stand in the world.
We are in a military position; we are soldiers.
We are in a peregrine condition; we are pilgrims and travelers.
We are in a mendicant condition; we are beggars.

Rule 9. Let not your hope depend upon outward things. O never place your felicity in these dull and beggarly things here below! Say with thyself, "if friends leave me, if riches take wings, yet I have that within which comforts me, an heavenly treasure; I still have an interest in God, and that interest cannot be broken off."

Rule 10. Let us often compare our condition. Make this fivefold comparison.
1) Let us compare our condition and our desert together; if we have not what we desire, we still have more than we deserve.
2) Let us compare our condition with others; are you in prison? are you in the lion's den? are you wondering in sheep's skins? art thou tormented with stone or gout? Some Christians who have been in a lower condition, have looked better, been more patient, and more contented than we who enjoy abundance. Can you take up their cross and walk cheerfully under it? or will you murmur under even lighter crosses?
3) Let us compare our condition with Christ's upon the earth. He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor (2Cor.8:9). Jesus Christ was in a low condition, he was never high, but when he was lifted up upon the cross, and that was his humility:he was content to live poor, and die cursed.
4) Let us compare our condition to what it once was. It was a Christless and hopeless condition: but now God hath cut off the entail of hell and damnation; he hath taken you out of the wild olive of nature, and ingrafted you into Christ, making you living branches of that living vine; he hath not only caused the light to shine upon you, but into you, and hath interested you in all the privileges of sonship; is not here that which may make the soul content.
5) Let us compare our condition with what it shall be shortly. God may presently seal a warrant for death to apprehend us; and when we die, we cannot carry estate with us; honor and riches descend not into the grave, why then are we troubled at our outward condition? O lay up a stock of grace! Be rich in faith and in good works, these riches will follow us.

Rule 11. Bring not your condition to mind, but bring your mind to your condition. One man has a whole manor and is discontent; another is satisfied with a few acres of land; what is the difference? The one studies to satisfy curiosity, the other necessity; the one thinks what he may have, the other what he may spare.

Rule 12. Study the vanity of the creature. It matters not whether we have less or more of these things, they have vanity written all over them; the world is like a shadow that declineth; it is delightful, but deceitful; it promiseth more than we find, and it fails us when we need it most. All the world rings changes, and is constant only in its disappointments: what then, if we have less of that which is vanity?

Rule 13. Get fancy regulated. What is the reason one tulip is worth five pounds, and another not worth one shilling? Fancy raiseth the price; the difference is rather imaginary than real; so, why it should be better to have thousands than hundreds, is, because men fancy it so; if we could fancy a lower condition better, as having less care in it, and less account, it would be far more eligible.

Rule 14. Consider how little will suffice nature. Christ hath taught us to pray for our daily bread...not to thirst and not to starve is enough; and the apostle saith, "having food and raiment let us be content." The stomach is sooner filled than the eye; how quickly would a man be content, if he would study rather to satisfy his hunger than his humour.

Rule 15. Believe the present condition is best for us. Flesh and blood is not competent to judge. O what a strange creature man would be, if he were what he could wish himself! A wise Christian hath his will melted into God' will, and thinks it best to be at his finding.

Rule 16. Do not too much indulge the flesh. We have taken an oath in baptism to forsake the flesh. The flesh is a worse enemy than the devil; an enemy within is worst. The flesh puts us upon the immoderate pursuit of the world; it consults for ease and plenty, and if it be not satisfied, then discontent begins to arise. O let it not have the reins! Martyr the flesh!

Rule 17. Meditate much on the glory which shall be revealed. It is but a while and we shall be with Christ, bathing ourselves in the fountain of his love; we shall never complain of wants and injuries anymore. O eternity, eternity! Think often of the kingdom prepared. This is an excellent means to bring the heart to contentment.

Rule 18. Be much in prayer. It is not our strong resolutions, but our strong request to God, which must give the heart ease in trouble; by prayer the strength of Christ comes into the soul, and where that is, a man is able to go through any condition.
The Art of Divine Contentment: An Exposition of Philippians 4:11

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Highlights" from Chapter 13 How a Christian May Know Whether He Hath Learned This Divine Art...

1st.Character: A contented spirit is a silent spirit.

"I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for You are the one who has done this." Psalm 39:9

"Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him." Lam.3:28

There is a sinful silence; when God is dishonoured, His truth wounded, and men hold their peace, this silence is loud sin; and there is a holy silence, when the soul sits down quiet and content with its condition.

2nd.Character: A contented spirit is a cheerful spirit.

Contentment denotes more than patience; for patience only denotes submission, contentment denotes cheerfulness.

Contentment looks upon God as a wise God; and whatever He does, though it be not willingly, yet sensibly, it is in order to a cure.

Contentment not only submits to God's dealings, but rejoices in them; he does not only say, "just is the Lord" but "good is the Lord".

3rd.Character: A contented spirit is a thankful spirit.

Thankfulness is a degree above cheerfulness.
Some will bless God for prosperity, while the contented Christian will bless Him for affliction..."in everything give thanks." 1Thes.5:18

A contented Christian in the greatest of straits hath his heart enlarged and dilated with thankfulness; he often contemplates God's love in election; he sees that he is a monument of mercy, therefore desires to be a pattern of praise.

4th.Character: No condition comes amiss to him; "in whatever state I am in."

Paul knew how to manage every state; if he were in prosperity, he knew how to be thankful; if in adversity, he knew how to be patient; he was neither lifted up with the one, nor cast down with the other. A contented Christian doth not choose his cross, but leaves God to choose for him; he is content both for the kind and the duration.

5th.Character: The contented Christian will not turn to sin in order to rid himself of his troubles.

With reverence, the contented Christian says, God hath cast me into this condition; and though it be sad, and troublesome, yet I will not stir, till God fetch me out.
The Art of Divine Contentment: An Exposition of Philippians 4:11

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Highlights from Chapter 12 Three Estates in which we must NOT be contented...

1) "We must NOT be content in our natural estate." (IE. content to be without Christ)
"For a man to be in debt, body and soul; in fear every hour to be arrested and carried prisoner to hell, shall he be content? O get out of this condition! The smell of brimstone and fire is upon you!"

"The longer a man stays in his sin, the more sin strengthens. Therefore it is mercy when we are disquieted about sin."

"It is one of the worst sights to see a bad conscience quiet. I wonder to see a man in his natural estate content. What! content to go to hell?

2) "We must NOT be content where God is apparently dishonored."
"If a man's trade be such that he must trespass a command, better to knock off and divert, better to lose some of his gain, so he may lessen some of his guilt."

"Or, if a man live where the name of God is not called upon, unless when it is taken in vain, he is not to content himself with such a place, but rather come out of the tents of these sinners; for there is double danger in living among the profane...
2 Dangers:
1) Lest we come to be infected with the poison of their ill example. O how prone we are to suck in example; men take in deeper impressions by the eye than the ear!
2) We are liable to incur their punishment."

3) "We are NOT to be contented with our growth in grace."
"It is not enough that there be life, but there must be fruit."

"O covet more grace! "press on toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Phil.3:13-14."

"The hypocrite brings forth only sour grapes; the godly man grows in love, faith, and humility which cast a fragrancy and perfume."

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness." 2 Peter 1:5-6