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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Hilarious TN Video Ad, Strange Fire Q & A

Happy Thanksgiving week to those who are in the U.S.!

In spite of how I've been feeling, I have much to be thankful for.  I made it through two MRIs this week, we got reservations for a cheaper price on a hotel for tentative appointments next year, and
snow is predicted for the day before Thanksgiving which should be fun to watch.
God has blessed our family with all of our needs and more.
We had friends send home a great Thanksgiving meal recently for those of us who couldn't go to their home, and we will likely have some more special food on the day itself!

One of the funniest ads I've seen here in Tennessee.

One of the reasons it is so funny is because there are people who actually resemble these workers. No, not everybody here is like this!
 
 
John MacArthur answers his critics in a Q & A session with Phil Johnson regarding the Strange Fire conference:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When Trials Come - Faith Produces Endurance

This has been a difficult week for us.  There are times when it feels like our house is a convalescent hospital, but where most everyone is a patient!  Thankfully things are improving a little at a time on that score.

Nights are very difficult for me, as my conditions make it difficult for me to sleep.  I don't think you can know what I feel like unless you have been there.  Head shrieking, nausea, burning fire, blood pooling, circulation feeling strange & a fast pulse, pains, dizziness, faintness, etc.  Then I have other symptoms at times that are related to another issue I won't name.  Yes, I do struggle with anxiety and sometimes panic, but thankfully that is not always an issue.  I often need to remind myself to trust God. 

It's so easy for us to play down others conditions without realizing what they are like.  Perhaps that is why it is good when doctors do simulations to at least attempt to understand some of their patients.  That cannot be done for every condition though.

I am so blessed to have family who live with me who are able to help with my care and love me and understand to a degree how I feel.  I have a God who loves me and is patient with me. 
I know He is testing my faith and producing endurance.
What might be a difficult test or trial for you might not seem like a lot to me, and vice versa. 
If I stomp on someone and act uncaring toward suffering, you can remind me of this post.
I want to encourage people and not hurt them.

Yesterday I learned I have yet another medical test coming that I didn't have any idea would happen.
I felt a little sad and stressed, but thankfully I didn't panic.  In fact we started laughing on the way home.  My life and days are in God's hands.

I thought of a line from a song, and while I'm not sure which song it came from I found the following  video that has the words that came to mind. 
I put the link to the words below the video, because I found it a little difficult to fully understand the lyrics with my imperfect hearing.

This song is encouraging, and I hope that it is a blessing to you as well.



When Trials Come Lyrics

Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan - How We Can Help

Typhoon Haiyan also known as Yolanda hit the Philippines this past weekend with such enormity that it is uncertain of the death toll.  It has been reported that possibly 10,000 or more people could be dead.

Bodies float with nobody to remove them.  The needs are humongous in the worst hit areas.  Even the evacuation buildings did not survive the storms from the hurricane. 

People there are desperate for help.  The U.S. Marines have already started to bring in some aid, but so much more is needed.  The city of Tacloban is devastated.

What can we do for the people who have survived this storm?

As a Christian, the first thing that I think of is praying. God doesn't always prevent storms from affecting people, but I know He is sovereign in and through them.

The second thing that I thought of was giving to help the people of the Philippines.  They need love and care, and I do care.  Not everybody can afford to give a lot, but I'm sure that the lives of these people are more important than buying music or DVDs or other things that entertain us.
It took some time, but I finally came up with a list of some places that I felt were worth considering to give aid through:

Children's Hunger Fund sent out a Tweet saying, "PLEASE HELP the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Text 'HOPE' to 80888 to $10 now thru 11/23"
You can also go to the following page on their website: https://chf.giftfold.com/philippines-typhoon-relief

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA has missionaries in the Philippines and a man who has offered to fly things in.
https://www.gracechurch.org/support/

Sovereign Grace Church in Pasadena, CA is raising money to help clean up and rebuild in the wake of the typhoon.  They are connected up with Sovereign Grace Ministries churches.
http://sovgracepasadena.org/home/2013/10/philippines-update/

The Southern Baptists are also taking donations:  https://gobgr.org/donate/product-detail/disaster-response

While I haven't seen anything yet about how ACTION International might help out, I am sharing a link to the blog of some missionaries that came to a church we went to many years ago (where their son went). http://jeffmaryann.blogspot.com/
UPDATE: Here is ACTION's information about how they are helping out:
http://news.actioninternational.org/philippinesrelief/

While helping physical needs is great, I also pray that the Gospel will go forth along with the assistance and that God will make Himself known and use even this devastation to bring about salvation for His chosen and that He will bring about His purposes in this.  His mercy sometimes comes through His children, and hopefully these sites I gave you will honor the Lord and His Gospel.
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tough Questions About Strange Fire, Altar Calls, Seduction of Self -Jovan MacKenzy, Christians Called To Evangelize

  • Tim Challies asked John MacArthur some challenging questions from people about the Strange Fire Conference.  If you or someone you know are skeptical about Strange Fire or wondering why non-cessationists did not speak at the conference or are wondering if MacArthur considers all charismatics unbelievers, you will find some good answers on this blog post (which is just a part one): http://www.challies.com/interviews/john-macarthur-answers-his-critics

  • Altar calls - I recently saw a blog post explaining why altar calls at churches can do more harm than good.  I'm not familiar with the book or curriculum this guy shares, but his explanation of why he doesn't do altar calls is worth reading:  http://www.9marks.org/blog/evangelism-without-altar-call

  • Sunday night on Cross Encounters Radio I heard a couple of new Christian rap songs by Jovan MacKenzy.  The two songs really focus on examining ourselves and our sin and unfaithfulness to Christ.  We are prone to worship idols that we may not even realize are idols.  God's love and grace are amazing and unconditional, and these songs are a reminder of the putting to death the deeds of the flesh and living according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:12-14).  You can get the entire album including "Hosea's Love" and "Amazing Grace"  (the two songs which I have listened to a few times already).  "Mountains" with IV Conerly is an encouragement to trust God.  While I'm not a big time rap fan, I can listen now and then to some rap songs that either cross over with music or have lyrics that are worthwhile.  (This does not mean that I will listen to all of the songs over and over ... but if you like rap you may love all of it!)  http://jovanmackenzy.com/seduction-of-self-released/
 Here is a sample:

  • Are all Christians called to Evangelize?  Tony Miano did a video for CARM that is under 6 minutes that points out that we do what we care about!  He also gives some helpful hints: