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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wise Behavior & Wise Speech - Take Heed Social Media World!

The Master's University has been holding the Truth & Life Conference again this year, and the first two messages that I have been able to stream have been so excellent that I want to share them with you!
These messages were given at a college, but what is being taught from Scripture is very applicable and needed by all Christians.
It is something that those of us on social media need to consider often, although it is true for all of life.
I would like to see myself living and speaking with more wisdom.

The first message live-streamed was given by John MacArthur.
He shared Scripture comparing fools with the wise, and at one point he simply read straight from Proverbs!  
Wisdom is found in God!

Steve Lawson gave a message about the tongue being a fountain of life.
He shared from Proverbs about the kinds of things we should & shouldn't say as believers.
It will likely be convicting to you!
Sometimes we need to confront people, but there are many times we should restrain our words.
It starts a little over 4 minutes in.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

30 Influential Evangelicals In My Life

Who have been some of the top influential evangelicals in my life?

1 & 2.  My parents - I heard the Gospel and gained an interest in missions and learned that God provides needs especially from them as well as my siblings. 

3.  John MacArthur - I learned sound doctrine & gained more of a desire to hear it from him.

4.  Dewey Bertollini - I learned some good principles for life from him.

5-9.  Other Sunday School & church youth leaders.

10.  Scott Ardavanis  -  Back to basics.

11.  Donald McDougall - He set an example in his response to attacks & demonstrated joy in the midst of trials (and taught us well too).

12.  Ray Comfort - He gave me an excitement for evangelism.

13-17.  Other evangelists/street preachers.  - They encourage me to keep distributing tracts, pray for outreaches and are a reminder of one of the big reasons why we are still here.

18.  Sye Ten Bruggencate - Biblical Apologetics.

19.  Nathan Busenitz - He gave me more of an appreciation for church history.

20.  Steve Lawson -  He has given me a continuation of seeing how people in history can be an influence on us, as well as including Gospel proclamation.

21.  Don Green - Not only does he deliver convicting Biblical messages, but he exudes compassionate pastoral care even without having personally met him.

22.   David Forsyth - He gave a pretty good series on being chosen by God years ago that was helpful (sadly I think they took it from the archives from online).  I appreciated being able to sit under his teaching for awhile before moving from CA.

23-27.  Christian Musicians - Yes, they can be an influence, even though over the years I have found I can't wholeheartedly recommend the majority.  There actually have been some songs that had spiritual messages over the years - beyond the overly repetitive and treating Jesus like a romantic figure.  I did learn some from them.

28.  Nate Pickowicz -  It is an encouragement to see how a small church planting pastor can have a passion for Biblical truth, discipleship, etc., and his enthusiasm rubs off - including through his books.   My hope is that there will be more pastors like him even in my small town.

29.  Mike Riccardi - He appears to have a desire to evangelize, teach well, write well, and serve the church well including teaching seminary.  I only hope he doesn't burn out!  

30.  Doris "Granny" Weaver - She went on to Heaven, but she was an example of love for others in a small church that I went to many years ago now.  She encouraged me, and she encouraged many others in the church.  She showed genuine care for many of us, and we would all do well to be more like her.

There are some people who have influenced my life that I am not going to list.
And for my friends reading this, some of you have had a positive influence in my life as well.
Be encouraged.
It isn't just the pastors and the well-known people that influence people.
The servants, the persevering persecuted and suffering, the caring, the truth warriors, the patient, and others who are examples, all can be a godly influence. 
We may not see the impact until we reach Heaven.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Across The Sea

On December 26, 2016, a short video was released that was based on some children's books written by Andrew Peterson.
Andrew is also known for being a Christian singer.
I'm not giving a review of the film or the books (which I have not read), but that is the background of something interesting which I discovered recently.
I found a couple of versions of a song that seems to be connected with The Wingfeather Saga where Skye Peterson sings with her father.
Some of you may have already heard it in the past, but it was new to me.
I was impressed!

The best live version that I found with Skye playing the accordion I will share a link to HERE (as the person who posted it really doesn't want it embedded).
I will share this earlier rendition from 2014 for those who don't want to go to another link.

An Irish Hymn
Something about the song I shared above (especially the accordion rendition) reminds me of Ireland.
There is an old Irish hymn that still is sung today even in the U..S. which has prayerful lyrics, and churches that don't mix in some of the old hymns along with newer hymns and spiritual songs are really losing out. 
There are newer songs with excellent lyrics, although sadly a lot less than there should be.
Someone shared with me how the following hymn sounds when it is sung in the native tongue, and it is really pretty.
I don't know the singer, so I'm not making any endorsement on that.
You can also hear the English version of the song sung by men from The Master's Seminary HERE.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Is Paul's Message The Word of God?

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 
1 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB

There are some who would question whether the word of God that is perfect and inspired by God in our Scriptures is only about the Old Testament.
One person I had interaction with recently wanted to insist that the Word was Jesus alone.
Jesus is the Word, but some people strangely try to divorce Christ from Scripture as the inspired word.
Jesus' title is the Word of God, but that doesn't exclude that the messages God has given which were written down for us are not His message (word) to us given through those whom He chose to do so at particular times.
I recommend doing a search of the text of Scripture and see how many times it talks about the word of God & oracle of the Lord.
Also, I notice there are warnings against those who falsely claim oracles or messages from the Lord as opposed to genuine ones.

Many (if not all) Roman Catholics falsely think that they determined the canon of Scripture.
Many false religions try to come up with added sources that they treat as equal to - or nearly equal to - or greater than Scripture, but those sources are false (including the Book of Mormon, Ellen G. White, the Qur'an, etc.) 
The Roman Catholics decided at the Council of Trent to include the Apocrypha which has error & gnostic leanings in it in their text.  
They did this despite the fact that Jesus and the true apostles never included it as Scripture.
They also elevate their "sacred" tradition to the level of Scripture for their authority.
The Catholics seem to treat their church as infallible, and yet, they treat their fables about Mary being forever a virgin, purgatory, praying to dead saints, Peter's being a pope, etc., etc., as though it is as true as Scripture).
Like Judaizers, they have added works back in as being able to keep oneself saved.   
They have a twist in their heresy in that they use good deeds instead of the Law as their means to keep themselves justified (instead of deeds being a part of sanctification and fruit and evidence of a real faith).
Grace to them is like something they can purchase.  
They have twisted things around.
Churches aren't infallible, as we can see even in Scripture.
I digress.

The verse I have shared today not only makes it clear that the message Paul gave is the word of God (and the message - tradition - he taught orally is the same as what we see in the letters that Peter alludes to as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:15-16), but it also lets me know that the word of God is what is used to change hearts and lives.
It is truly living and active (Hebrews 4:12).  God uses it in many ways in the lives of believers.
Paul's letters that we read today are part of the word of God!
So, I want to encourage people to read the 66 books of Scripture!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

R.C. Sproul Memorial Service, Grace Community Church Christmas Concert, & A Memorable Song

Who Was The Child Born In Bethlehem?

I have a song stuck in my head that I heard more than once this past Sunday!
Although I certainly don't believe we literally can crown the Lord, I realize that it can be taken to mean us adorning the Lord in a figurative way rather than a literal crowning.
Other than that, I really like the rest of the lyrics of the following song which not only remembers Christ's birth, but it goes beyond it to the rest of the story - His death & resurrection & His reign from His throne!

Grace Community Church's 2017 Concert 

The concerts are over, but soon they will be putting the concert up for those who missed going in person or watching the live-stream (or for those who want to see it again). 
I thought the concert built up as it went along. 
The music is high class and superb! 
I must admit to feeling a personal connection, as I not only went to the church for a time when I was younger, but I watch live-streaming on top of going to a local church. 
This means that I get to hear some of these people when there is no concert! 
The Gospel message that John MacArthur gave was the most important part, and hopefully, everything will be online shortly!
Grace Community Church Concert 2017
Update - It is currently available to watch at the link above!

R. C. Sproul Memorial Service

Tomorrow at 2 PM EST (11 AM PST & 7 PM GMT) a memorial service for R. C. Sproul is supposed to be streamed.
While I'm not a Presbyterian, I know that God used R. C. in the lives of many people 
It went far beyond the walls of the church he pastored.  
While I only had outside glimpses, it is likely that the Biblical truths he taught have permeated through to me through other people (not that they couldn't have been learned straight from God's Word as well).
If you want to watch, go to the following link. 
Update  - You can watch the replay HERE.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Music From Christmas Past

I grew up hearing music, so I have a lot of memories of various songs throughout the years.
One of the songs I heard was Evie singing about the birth of Christ.
I found a talented girl online singing a cover of it, so I'm going to share that as well as the original.  It's not really a deep song, but I can appreciate things from the past while not neglecting the things I've learned throughout the years.
Take it for what it's worth.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Medical Story

From the amusing to the horrific, many people have their own medical stories.
I decided to share this little story with you.

The other week when they were getting me prepared to be put under for removing a couple of my wisdom teeth, the lady who was supposed to put the IV port in kept wiping my arm and hand with alcohol wipes (or whatever they use) and patting different places on my hand and arm. 
She wasn't finding any vein that she was willing to try using.
She even tried slapping at one point. 
Finally, she decided to try the other arm. 
Again, she wiped and patted for awhile. 
This was taking way too long.
She reached for the needle and ouch! 
She stuck herself with the needle! 
Needless to say, I was feeling nervous about her capabilities. 
I hoped she wouldn't try putting that needle into me!
I was preparing mentally to try to shield myself or maybe to combat her arm....something like that...if she tried. 
Thankfully, she did as she should and went to dispose of that needle. 
She came back to try again.  Oh, no!

Another lady there offered to try if the first lady wanted her to.
The lady accepted.
Whew! I was hopeful that this other lady would be more experienced than the first!
Well,  this woman really went for it quickly, and she shoved it further into my hand after the initial entry.  Ouch!  She warned me I'd have a bruise.

Once they started to put something through the tube I was saying, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" 
Yes, I owed my way to sleep, and when they gave me anti-nausea medicine through the port after I was awake, there were more exclamations of "Ow!"
Apparently, the vein was small or something, and that's why it was so painful.
I don't know, but I think they need some retraining done at that place.

I've had worse bruising than I got from that painful experience, but there is still a yellowish tint to my hand right now.