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Messages from Heart In Home Ministries New Entry  

You May Try To Redefine Marriage But You Can’t Redesign Marriage
by pastorellard on 

There is a lot of rhetoric going on today regarding the hot topic of “redefining marriage”. States are divided and much of the country has an opinion about it one way or the other. As Christians we contend for the definition of “one man + one woman = marriage.” We make our stands as the homosexual community endeavors to find some resemblance of a natural relationship by trying to title their unions as a marriage. They try to find a fulfillment for the void of acceptance and approval deep within themselves and society by mimicking what “traditional” couples have done through the millennia. In my personal opinion the multiple marriages (individuals who marry several times) within the heterosexual community has done more to redefine marriage than the homosexual crowd has with terms such as “ex-wife” or “ex-husband”. It is just as common in our day to have children who have had several “mothers” or “fathers” or “grandparents” due to the volatile way in which marriages are built. As I listen to the rhetoric as a Christian, husband, father, and Pastor I examine where this will lead and what it will do to the “family” dynamic in the future.

     What does it mean to “redefine” marriage? The word “define” means, “to determine or describe the end or limit.” To redefine marriage is to reset the limits from one man + one woman, to one man + whatever, or one woman + whatever. We see the issue of polygamy (the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, especially wife, at one time.) that has endeavored to redefine the marriage relationship by introducing several wives into the marriage. In 2010 TLC introduced a reality television show “Sister wives” which “introduces you to Kody Brown, his four wives and their 16 combined children as they attempt to navigate life.” Having never watched the program I cannot tell you what the show consists of, however, the fact that they would put it on television asserts to me they want to find some type of acceptance or approval for how they structure their relationships beyond the “defined” boundries of one man+ one woman. Mr. Kody Brown now has a lawsuit pending to challenge Utah’s anti-polygamy law. Cheryl Wetzstein in her column in the “Washington Times” entitled “Gay-marriage foes cite polygamy suit” states, “Reality – TV star Kody Brown and his “sister wives” may not intend to be an example of the “slippery slope” in the gay-marriage debate, but their new lawsuit against Utah’s anti-polygamy laws bolsters the argument that legalizing marriage for same-sex couples could open the door to recognition of other kinds of marriage” Under the photo of Mr. Kody Brown and his four wives the caption reads, “Attorneys for Kody Brown and his wives…Utah’s anti-polygamy laws trample on ‘the rights of consenting adults to create a family environment of their choosing.’ Their argument is similar to many gay-marriage lawsuits. (TLC via Associated Press)” So where will this take us? Who will be next to challenge the traditional definition of marriage? Yahoo! News ran an article headlined “Seattle woman ‘marries’ building to protest its demolition” by Eric Pfeiffer. The woman Babylonia Aivaz referred to the union as a gay-marriage which caused some controversy with her statement because two protesters showed up to protest the event “objecting to her use of the term ‘gay-marriage’ because it weakens the fight to legal same-sex marriage in the state.” In other words don’t redefine same sex marriage because it will not allow us to be legitimized in the eyes of the state. Phoenix Lopez told KOMO, “With the delicate nature of Washington State and the attempt to legalize gay marriage, I find her saying “it’s a gay marriage “disrespectful.” As a defender of traditional marriage, his words seem to be a double standard to me. They desire to redefine traditional marriage, but do not try to redefine gay marriage. Again, where will it end?

    Something that has been “defined” has to have a design and origin. Those that are pushing to redefine marriage need to accept the truth that the institution of marriage was specific in its original intent and is just as much spiritual as it is physical. Marriage did not originate in the heart and mind of man. Marriage came from the heart and mind of God and He was specific in the details of the structure. This can be seen in God’s original intent outlined literally from the beginning, Genesis 2:21-24 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.   Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” THIS is marriage by Divine design! Anything else is a counterfeit and holds no authenticity with God. It holds such a spiritual significance that when a couple (man and women) are married it is God that puts them together as they submit to His design, Matthew 19:4-6 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” When my wife and I got married almost 19 years ago we did not set out to redefine what marriage was, instead, we submitted to the design for marriage that God had already established. 

    The first mention of the word “married” in the Bible asserts who is involved Gen 19:14 “Genesis 19:14 “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” The first mention of the word “marry” in Genesis 38:8 asserts a man and women. The first mention of the word “marriage” in Exodus 21:10 expresses the same truth that the other verses do “Him and Her.”

    In a society that has become so secular and sinful I do not foresee any adherence to the design of God in the future. There will continue to be the devilish attack on the institution of marriage and the home in an endeavor to destroy the very foundation of our society. What I want to encourage God’s people to do is establish your home, pray like you never have before, teach, love, and train your children to submit to the Word of God and the principles of God. Regardless of what a piece of legislation may say-- marriage has been designed by God to be one man + one woman.  
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Revival
by Heart In Home Ministries on 

II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 

    What a tremendous promise from our wonderful Saviour regarding revival. We have claimed, preached, taught, and drilled this verse into the heart of God’s people tirelessly in an endeavor to stir them to a heart of revival. As I have pondered revival and the reality that we need revival in our homes, churches, and nation I lean much on this verse and its promise. However, as I have studied this verse and the chapter and verses that precede it I find an interesting fact. The recipe and terms for revival were not outlined by God. God did not come to us with the terms mentioned in II Chronicles 7:14. This verse is God’s response to terms that were outlined by a man (Solomon). He set the terms with God, and God, agreeing to the terms gave us II Chronicles 7:14 and the verses surrounding it as a response and promise.

 

    In The sixth chapter of II Chronicles Solomon outlines in a very articulate way the terms for which he desires God to deal with His people Israel. These terms are found in Solomon’s prayer of dedication in II Chronicles 6:12-42. We see His:

 

1.      Position in Prayer – verses v. 12-13

2.      Petition in Prayer – verses v. 14-42

3.      Preeminence of God in Prayer – v. 14

4.      Promises of God in Prayer – v. 15

5.      Plea in Prayer – v. 19

6.      Purpose of his Prayer – v. 20-21

     As you read these verses you begin to see the passion of Solomon and his realization that God’s blessings and works in Israel are based upon Israel’s actions and obedience to God. Solomon  asserts in verses 20 and 21, “That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.  Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.” Solomon is imploring the mercy and forgiveness of God if they meet certain obligations on their part. It goes something like this; if we as your people sin…and take action to get right…will you hear?

 

    V. 22-23 “If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this houseThen hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.”

 

    V. 24-25 “And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;   Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.”

 

    V. 26-27 “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict themThen hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.”

 

    V. 28-30, 31 “If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there beThen what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house:   Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)” Verse 31 “That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.”

 

    V. 32- 33 “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this houseThen hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.”

 

    V. 34-35 “If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

 

    V. 36-39 “If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or nearYet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;  If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.

 

    In each of these verses you see where Solomon recognizes that God's people will Sin. However, when they sin and repent he asks God to grant forgiveness and healing in the Land. God accepts Solomon's terms the he requested.

 

    God validates the supplication of Solomon by filling the House of God with his glory! II Chronicles 7:1-2 “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.

 

    He appears to Solomon and gives the promise of or our text. II Chronicles 7:12-15 “And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

    

    Revival is not a problem with God! God agreed with Solomon that if man met the criteria and standard that he had set for himself God would indeed send revival. God appreciated the fact that man would motivate himself to confess and repent of their sin once the realization of sin was manifested. God loves to send revival! The problem lies in the fact that we as God’s people are no longer willing to meet the criteria or standard that we set up with God. We are like Israel and their endless departure from the Lord and right, but we want what he has to offer contrary to the terms that were established. God accepted the terms of man because the terms were based upon righteousness and obedience to him. The failure was not God’s.

 

    In fact God dealt with Israel in Micah 6:1-8 on their failure. Micah 6:2-3 “Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.” God looked at a rebellious people and asserted his controversy with them. He brought them to a place of remembrance in verses 4-5. He expressed his displeasure with their sacrifices in verse 7. His desire was that His people meet their obligation to Him that they established centuries before. Verse 8 says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

 

    Revival in not a difficult truth to understand “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 

By Pastor Rob Ellard

   

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What is the purpose for Heart in Home Ministries?
by pastorellard on 

        What another ministry? You’re going to do what? Don’t you have enough to do as a pastor? Are you out of your mind? Well, the answer to the last question is, yes. At least I feel at times as though I am out of my mind. There have been so many questions that have come my way and I am always glad to answer. The answer to their questions on the surface seems simple and easy, “the Lord has led us to do it”.  How do you put into words or express in one blog the purpose for something that God has placed upon your heart and led you to bring to life? I would say unless you have carried the burden, prayed the prayers, toiled with the details, dealt with personal emotions, and sat through the countless hours of personal learning and training that God allows you to go through while listening to individuals bear their soul, express their mistakes, and failures to you. One can never fully understand why God would motivate a rural preacher and his wonderful wife to endeavor to bring an awakening and focus back to the home. Why do we need another one? Well, I look at our churches and see the dynamics of the “Christian home” and ask, how many more ministries can we start just like it? 

        The theme for Heart in Home Ministry is “Focusing on the Fundamentals of the Home.” This would put into one sentence the point for the ministry that God has led us to start. It is not taking the place of any ministry in our life, yet it is going to be an important part of our life. We desire to help families and the home. This desire has come to my wife and I as we have served the people of the First Baptist Church. As we continue to serve them, we trust this aspect of the ministry will be a help to our folks whom we deeply love.

        We have found that the Word of God is tried and true and contains the answers for the family today. So with the heart of cavaliers, we propel ourselves forward with an excitement and desire to allow God to use us in yet another ministry. We pray that you will be blessed by our labor.

 
Pastor Rob
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