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By Dean Scott,
Our friend Dean, owner of SGS, asked us to write a testimonial for the new site! SGS was a real blessing to my wife and me, so we are happy to share a little about us and offer up words that will, hopefully, encourage others!
For brevity’s sake, here’s a quick overview of how we met. In the June/July 2014 timeframe, she caught my eye with both her active forum posting and how she rightly handled Scripture in her posts. On August 3, 2014, I messaged her, using a quote from one of her recent posts to open the door. And then I waited…and waited. Two long days later, she responded.
Both Giselle and I had been previously married, and both of us had children. Our initial messages revolved around our divorce and family, though we were guarded in what we shared. On top of that, my family lived in Alabama, while hers was in the Dominican Republic. Thus, we simply messaged one another, then moved to personal emails, then WhatsApp, and finally, Skype.
On December 31, 2014, we met in person in North Carolina at her sister’s house. While it was an amazing time together, we already felt as if we had known one another for a long time, given all the time we had already spent talking. The Lord truly blessed our time together, and we began courting on January 12, 2015.
We were able to meet in person three more times, including one extended period where our children spent a lot of time interacting with one another. Blended families have multiple challenges, so this time gave us all greater insight into how we as a family would function. Throughout it all, the Lord continued to bless us richly.
Finally, on 22 December 2015, we were married! Now, over four years later, we continue to receive such amazing blessings from the Lord! While we are not perfect, God’s grace has continued to work mightily in our lives! He has blessed Giselle with a wonderful husband (just kidding, my love!). He has blessed my daughters with a God-fearing and God-honoring wife and mother to model for and love upon them. He has blessed Giselle’s daughter and son with a stepfather who attempts to model Christ to them. And He has blessed me with a woman I am very thankful for. Sorry everyone--many women have done excellently, but my wife surpasses them all.
Ric and Giselle Crooks
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By Guest William,
Note, we are a "fenced" community: SGS' Free Public Protestant Forum is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church.
We are an orthodox Protestant community whose members espouse the Apostolic doctrines in the Biblical theologies set forth by Augustine, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and John Knox etc. We do not "argue" with nor do we solicit the membership of people who espouse secular or cultic ideologies. We believe that our conversations are to be faith building and posts that advance heretical or apostate thinking will be immediately deleted and the poster permanently banned from the forum. This is a Christian community for people to explore the traditional theologies of Classical Protestantism. Those who would challenge the peace and harmony that we enjoy here as fellow believers are directed to another website.
Enjoy your fellowship:
In order to understand the importance of Christian fellowship, we must first understand what Christian fellowship is and what it isn’t. The Greek words translated “fellowship” in the New Testament mean essentially a partnership to the mutual benefit of those involved. Christian fellowship, then, is the mutually beneficial relationship between Christians, who can’t have the identical relationship with those outside the faith.
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Godliness is founded on truth. A test of truth is its power to promote holiness according to our Savior's rule, "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). No opinion can be more pernicious or more absurd than that which brings truth and falsehood upon the same level. On the contrary, there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty; otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth or to embrace it. While under the conviction of the above principle, it is necessary to make effective provision that all who are admitted as teachers be sound in the faith, there are truths and forms with respect to which men of good character and principles may differ. In all these it is the duty both of private Christians and societies to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other." Above all, operate with Paul's command, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2) well in mind.
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Continuing with the above does not mean the most important thing on the Board is whether we can all get along in a milquetoast tolerance where every opinion is as valid as every other one. We certainly do not espouse Pilate's dictum, "What is truth?" It is well documented that Calvin, Luther and others used harsh language at times. But it is also probably true that your internet post about the latest book is not of the same significance for the Church as Luther's Bondage of the Will or Calvin's Reply to Sodoleto.
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It's as necessary as "breeeeeathing", isn't it? Like spiritual "oxygen", amen? As Peter said to Jesus, where else can we go or to whom else can we go to?
He IS the ONLY HELP for us, in ANY circumstance or dilemma or inexplicable quandry, isn't He?
I am sure that all of the one of you who read this blog are asking yourself, "Do we really need to keep God at the center of our celebration of any holiday?" Well, here is a holiday that will allow us to explore that in a bit more detail.
"Valentine's Day" (February 14th), or otherwise known as, "Saint Valentine's Day". This holiday, it should be noted, started as yet another Feast Day. Though, this is a rare occurrence where more than one person was celebrated on the day in question. There were possibly two or three different individuals that were remembered on this day. This is also a rare occurrence that all of the individuals celebrated on this day were neither born nor died on this day. However, there is very little historical record to rely on to know specifically who is being remembered.
Regardless, the day eventually became what we know it as today. An arguably more secular holiday where we celebrate romantic love. The origin of which really dates back to Geoffrey Chaucer in the "High Middle Ages". Though, it is also important to mention a legend that involves at least one of the Saint Valentines the day was set aside for, where during the 3rd or 4th century AD the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, had decreed that none of the young soldiers in his army were permitted to marry under the belief that they made better soldiers than their married counterparts. Saint Valentine took it upon himself to secretly perform wedding ceremonies for those young soldiers who wished to be married. The Emperor eventually found out, of course, and had Saint Valentine thrown in prison.
But should we as Christians celebrate a holiday that has become much more secular than spiritual? Well, that depends. Are we able to bring God back into the holiday in a way where, even though we have couples celebrating their love for each other, we can still bring the glory back to Him? Of course it is quite possible. It simply depends on where your focus is when you are celebrating.
It is important to note, however, that what is being celebrated is romantic love, which, biblically, should only be reserved for married couples. Otherwise you are venturing into a perversion of this kind of affection. Also, even though it may seem innocent enough, should children really be participating in the celebration of this holiday? What this really raises the issue of is dating and whether or not it is biblically appropriate. Of course in today's society it is perfectly acceptable, even for children as young as ten years of age, to have a girlfriend or boyfriend. But was this something that was intended by God, and as Christians should we be endorsing it, even when considering something as seemingly benign as the celebration of a holiday? There is, arguably, no biblical support for dating, though many Christians do participate in it and in its more formal counterpart, courting.
This all really comes down to personal preference, but should we really do anything if there is no biblical support for it? Personally, I see no reason to allow a child, even in their teens, to participate if, as a parent, you are not going to allow them to date since it would only incite confusion.
Coming back to the main point, there is certainly nothing in the bible that speaks against celebrating the love between two people whom God has brought together and joined in holy matrimony, as long as we keep that in mind in our celebration and give God the deserved glory.