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Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Once A Year" - A New Josh Wilson Christmas Song Featuring Andrew Peterson

Yesterday, my new Josh Wilson CD Noel arrived in the mail.
I had previously reviewed the album from the lengthy samples I had heard, and I still enjoy the newest songs the most.  "Christmas Changes Everything," "Almost Christmas," "Once a Year," and last year's song "Jesus is Alive" are the ones I recommend the most.

He posted one of those songs yesterday online, so now I can share it with you as well!
It's about giving and loving, and it focuses on that it doesn't have to be only at Christmas.  Andrew Peterson is featured on this song, and there is one part especially where you get a flavor of his music style in this video.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Free Will vs. Predestination

 Recently I got involved in an online discussion with another woman on the the subject of free will vs. predestination.  I have edited and reordered some of my responses to share with people here.  I hope that people will understand that if you disagree that I do not hate you.  It is more for the purpose of persuasion and showing verses that support what I say.  If this seems too much like teaching and you are a man, you do not need to read further.  Also, this particular post is meant for Christians. 

Do you believe that faith is something that we do to gain salvation or that it is a gift of God given to us by His grace? 

Ephesians 2:8-10 not only points out that faith is a gift of God and not of works, but it also points out that God even prepared the good works Christians will do beforehand that we should walk in them. Even with vs. 5 of Ephesians 2 you can see that we were dead in our transgressions and God made us alive. A dead person cannot choose anything without God first making him alive.  He makes us alive and changes our will. 
 
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),    Ephesians 2:5 NASB


Here are some more verses that point out God's sovereignty and choosing:

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37

And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." John 6:65 (all in NASB)

The "whoever" that believe or call upon the name of the Lord are the ones that in love He predestined to be adopted. ( Ephesians 1:4-6 )  All that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him. When we say otherwise, we are questioning God's power / sovereignty. People do choose to sin ... that is all they can do apart from God's doing ... and they are happy to do so, but God in His love and mercy chose to save some ... not on the basis of what they have done. 
 
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5


What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Romans 9:14-18 NASB
 

 Before Jacob and Esau were born God had already chosen one over the other ... before they had done good or bad.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  Romans 9:19-22 NASB


Here are some links that I would recommend reading through:

http://monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/piper/piper_atonement.html 

http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A167/gods-absolute-sovereignty


Friday, November 23, 2012

Mary Did You Know - Cover By Hannah Coulombe

Thanksgiving Day has passed, but I still have much to be thankful for.
Although Christmas originally was meant to be a replacement for a pagan holiday, I still find it to be a great way to remember God's coming to earth in the form of a man.  I know He was 100% God and 100% man, and it's an amazing thing to think about.

I know that Jesus came to live the perfect life and die for the sins of all who would repent and put their trust in Him, and that He rose from the dead (which without that I would have no hope).   Not only that, I know that He fulfilled all of the prophecy that was given regarding the Messiah in the Old Testament.  Isaiah 53 is one of the passages that can be really amazingly clear for me to see that. 

The video I'm sharing today contemplates whether Mary understood all that Jesus would do and that He would be her Savior as well.  Well, we know that she did not fully understand everything or know all that Jesus would do, but she did know that she was a bondslave (Luke 1:48) and that she needed a Savior.

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. Luke 1:47

I shared another video with Hannah Coulombe in the past, and I thought you might enjoy hearing her cover of this song.  The words are by Mark Lowry and the music by Buddy Greene.

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Where Are The Other Nine?

Our pastor gave a good message Sunday on thankfulness that was based on the the Biblical account of Jesus and the 10 lepers.

First of all the lepers had to go by faith to do what Jesus told them before they were cleansed.  
Out of the 10 lepers, only the Samaritan praised God and came back and worshiped Jesus as King.

As someone who has been a Christian a long time, I realize that I myself often take my salvation for granted when I shouldn't.

I was reminded of this song that I used to hear many years ago sung by Geoff Moore. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you ever feel like you want to crawl under a blanket and shut everything out?
When stress gets high and the world is sinking down, my only hope and Rock of refuge is Jesus.
There are times when I need to pull back for awhile when I am feeling overwhelmed.  I need to refocus on God, and cast my anxieties on Him.  He is my refuge and strength.  I am thankful for His promises.  He is faithful and will not let me go. 

Psalm 91:2
Psalm 56:3-4
Psalm 55:22
1 Peter 5:7
Psalm 61:1-4

This video sums up how I feel at times...whether it's stress dealing with people, situations, pain, or because the weather is cold!  ☺   Still, I must remember God's promises and press on after praying and being reminded of His promises.  He will never leave me or forsake me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pascal's Bad Bet, Categorical Mistake "Atheists" Make, Problems with Niceness, Being Slow To Speak

Once again I am sharing some articles / posts that I believe are noteworthy:

Pascal's Wager is a Bad Bet - Sye Ten Bruggencate  

This article deals with God's character and certainty over probability.

Atheists err when asking for material evidence to prove God's existence  - Matt Slick

 "Atheists" make a mistake when they try to put God in the same class as the material world.

Smilingly Leading You To Hell - Tim Challies

Niceness is not always a good thing.

Give Others the Gift of Being Slow To Speak - Jon Bloom

"Listen  Wait  Respond"  This is something that I have been trying to work on more...at least online, but I realize I still am a long way off from where I want to be.  In person it is even tougher!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Death of a Nation as We Once Knew It - The U.S.A.

The U.S. election results from this week saddened many Christians.  We prayed for mercy and some of us cast our votes for the lesser judgment.  More and more Americans have drifted from acknowledging God and turned to worship self or things or other people.  They no longer observe the facade of believing what they have rejected.   We are living in a time when Romans 1 is being lived out in America.  God is giving the nation over to all kinds of sin and degrading passions.  America has been destroying hundreds of thousands of  babies every year for a long time now by abortion.  No, we aren’t the only nation participating in these behaviors...murder and immorality.  It is just sad to see the death of a nation.

Many of our churches teach false doctrine or keep the flock at baby level.  Then when teenagers leave the church and turn away from God the people wonder why.  What was the Gospel message that they heard?  Did they hear that all sins that they commit...such as lying, lusting, hate, stealing, worshiping idols or self are sins against a perfect Holy Righteous Judge that they will one day face? The just punishment for those sins is eternal punishment in Hell.
Works will not save anyone from hell.  The only thing that will save is faith in Jesus who took the punishment for all who truly confess and turn from their sins and turn to God (repent) and trust in Jesus' death on the cross for their sins and believe that He bodily rose from the dead.

The people who try to claim that they don’t believe in God or can’t know anything actually do know that God exists, but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.   Doing so helps make them feel more comfortable about their sin and keeps them from acknowledging that they will be held accountable one day.  Yet many of these people would admit there are some things that they personally feel is wrong.

Apart from God, nobody can have a basis to claim anything as right or wrong. If someone came to the door of someone they loved and wanted to kill them, on what basis could anybody claim that their decision was morally wrong if there was no absolute truth?   But there is absolute Truth, and the people of this nation need to hear the Gospel and repent. 

If you are a Christian, when is the last time you made some effort to get the Gospel out? 
What have we done to encourage others to give the Gospel out? 
Beyond the Gospel, what can be done to get churches out of their un-Biblical practices and encourage them to teach the Word of God and evangelize?  I will leave that to godly Christian men, but sometimes it is so frustrating in a place where there are numerous churches and many of them not following Scripture.  There are many false converts out there lost and thinking they are saved as well.  I am so blessed to have a good church even though it is quite a ways to go and we don’t always make it.  I listened to one of the messages that I missed in person, and it was really good!  



Monday, November 5, 2012

Fantastic Rendition of How Deep The Father's Love For Us

The church I attend uses old and modern hymns for the singing part of the worship service. 
Not too long ago I was searching for a video of one of the songs we have sung there entitled "How Deep The Father's Love For Us.".
I remember we sang this song at at least one other church in the past...perhaps more than one!

There are so many different videos, but I wanted to find something that was unique and yet did not annoy me with the photos or sound.  I found something unique for sure!  The song is sung in English, but I have no idea what is being said when talking is going on.  Still, it is wonderful to see that good songs can aid in worship around the world!  I know that worship is not just about music, but it can be an overflow of our thanksgiving and praise to the God who is worthy of our worship.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Striving for Eternity Academy, Abortion & Adoption Awareness

In recent weeks I was introduced to an online class that is taught by a guy named Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity.  

This past Monday the storm Sandy prevented the show from airing live, because the internet and electricity was lost on his end.  So far he has covered the attributes and names of God, and I look forward to continuing to audit the class and enjoy chatting in the chat room as well.
You can also choose to be a paid student with a lot of extra perks.
If you would like to join in, it normally airs Mondays at 8 PM Eastern time here in the U.S.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/striving-for-eternity

If you are interested to know what the statement of belief is for Striving for Eternity, click here.


Is the church responsible for the continuation of abortion here in the U.S.?  R.C. Sproul, Jr. did a thought provoking blog post on this recently that you can check out:

http://highlandsministriesonline.org/kingdom-notes/talkin-bout-my-generation/


November is Adoption Awareness Month.  Grace Community Church has a site that is called Hands for Hope that focuses on adoption.  John MacArthur highlights adoption in the video below.  http://www.gracechurch.org/ministries/about.aspx?MinistryID=138




Pastor MacArthur on Adoption from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.