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Monday, December 29, 2014

Are You One of The 15?


Well-known individuals who post and do things publicly should not expect to avoid scrutiny, questions or correction.   The Bible tells us that he who hates correction is stupid and better are the wounds of a friend than the kisses of an enemy. 

While I was not involved in the effort to get "Christian" stores to stop selling heresy, it has often bothered me that they are leading so many astray by the false teaching that they promulgate.
Christians need to stand up and address these issues just as the reformers stood up against heresy in their day.  The distinctions get blurry once people start to compromise.  Do those of us as Christians worship God or popular authors and teachers?  What did Jesus do when He saw the corruption of moneychangers in the temple?  Was He not angry?  There is such a thing as righteous anger, and those who lead people astray will not be ignored by God.
 I plan to not buy from "Christian" bookstores that intentionally sell heresy and profit from it anymore.  Lifeway & CBD (Christianbook.com) both sell these kinds of materials. I'd rather buy from a non-Christian company who doesn't pretend.  I'm hoping that people will come up with a list of offending bookstores.

"but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."
Matthew 18:6

I was recently disappointed to see a post by John Piper in which he compared Catholics to Christians in such a way as to blur distinctions.  While I tend to want to believe the best about people and would not question his being a Christian, he has allowed himself to be influenced by and befriended by people who are in error.  I realize that it is possible that Piper did not intend to give credence to Catholicism, but his recent tweet was upsetting and of great concern.  People already are forgetting the reasons for the Reformation and that Catholics are not brothers of Christians without saying this:
Since my first response was more indirect, I sent a direct tweet to John Piper yesterday.

Who are #the15?  Anybody who stands up for Biblical clarity and truth.  Anybody who dares to point out error, inconsistency, or even sin in a "Christian" business or pastor.
Yes, reproof and correction should be done in a spirit of gentleness, humility and love. 
The goal is not just to blast people out of the water but to restore those who are true believers.
We are to be angry and sin not.  Sometimes anger for the sake of the Gospel and truth is necessary such as Paul confronting Peter and Jesus confronting leaders.  Our zeal should be for God's glory...not to call names and be quarrelsome.  Hypocrisy and true heresy should not be ignored if we love God and His people.

You can find more about #the15 on Twitter by the hashtag or follow  there.
Tony Miano will have a discussion with J. D. Hall about "The 15" on Cross Encounters Radio this Saturday at 8 PM Eastern U.S. time / 5 PM Pacific.
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jubilant Christmas Music

Happy Christmas!
Jubilant Sykes has performed at Grace Community Church many times in the past where I first heard him, so it was fun to discover this video of him when he was younger singing with the Boston Pops.
Please read my Christmas greeting below the video.



May you have a wonderful Christmas where many people still choose to celebrate Christ Jesus' birth in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago.
May we remember that Jesus (born of a virgin who called Him God & her Savior) was fully God, that He humbled Himself to become a man (while still fully God) to live a perfect life on earth - demonstrating who He was by attesting miracles & the witness of God Himself.  He willingly died as the ultimate sacrifice Lamb to take the wrath of God the Father for sinners who were His enemies.  He took the place of all those who would believe & trust in Him & He rose again for their justification & to conquer death & it's sting, so that all who receive Him will live eternally with Him in Heaven - His chosen ones, His bride, His redeemed church, His adopted children.  Meanwhile He sent His Spirit to seal His redeemed on earth, to cause growth, to pray for us better than we can ourselves...
At the right hand of God there will be pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11).

Personal note:  I am now able to do some typing with both hands, although I still have much recovery to go after my surgery at the end of this past October.  I have tingling, pain, tightness & numbness, but I'm thankful to get this far!  We are still waiting for my family member to find out about the brain surgery.  Prayers appreciated by Christians around the world.
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Through The Eyes of Spurgeon & Free Evangelism Resource

Through The Eyes Of Spurgeon:
Today I watched a new biography of Charles Spurgeon that is much different than the one I shared through my blog in the past.
Did you know Spurgeon was baptized more than once in his life, or that he suffered depression and a time of doubting?  He also was involved in a number of controversies.  You can learn about what he thought was worth breaking fellowship over.
The biography is nearly 2 hours long, but if you check the time at the bottom you can break it up like I did.
Through The Eyes of Spurgeon


Free Duplication:  Did you know that you can duplicate Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort to give away to people?  See Living Waters' free duplication page Here.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grace Community Church Live-Streams Christmas Concert, Apologetics Store, A Service Dog for Matty, & Pro-life Resource

FREE Live-Stream Christmas Concert

Grace Community Church where John MacArthur is head pastor has Christmas concerts each year, and this year they will allow a live-stream of the December 21, 2014 at 6 PM Pacific Time / 9 PM Eastern / 8 PM Central U.S. / 2 AM In the U.K.  Christmas concert live online! 
Also, after the concerts are over they will loop the concert every couple of hours until New Years!
Concert Information Page
Church Live-Stream

Absolute Apologetics

Sye Ten Bruggencate has a new place online where you can get some great items.  I have gotten some of his Gospel tracts & How To Answer The Fool DVD / booklet sets, but he also has some cool looking t-shirts available (in limited sizes at the moment)!  You can take a look Here.

Autism

A 7 year old child named Matty Pangle has autism and has an opportunity to get a service dog, but his family needs help to get it.  The dog will be able to track him if he wanders off, and it is supposed to help keep him calm.  I became aware of Matty on an online radio program that I listen to weekly called Cross Encounters Radio.  His family lives in Virginia, and his parents are Christians.
You can learn more about Matty from the following:
Matty Pangle's Fundraising Page


Check Out Religion Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cross Encounters on BlogTalkRadio

 

Abortion

There is a good resource site on the subject of abortion that includes those who are considering one, those who have had one, Pastors and others who want to get involved.
It's A Child
While you are online children are being murdered.
Number of Abortions.


Personal note:  I am still in physical therapy after surgery and now a family member is facing a surgery for a more aggressive meningioma.  We would appreciate prayer from other Christians for these situation.  Thank you.

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson, Don't Quit, In His Steps

Many people are thinking about what happened with Michael Brown & Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, & the fact that the officer was not brought to trial.

People are quick to treat Officer Wilson as a racist or judge that he abused authority, but they never stop to think of the shoe being on the other foot. What if the officer was black & a young adult white man larger than he was fit the description of a suspect announced over the radio?
What if the evidence of the theft was in the young man's hand & he was showing no respect for authority?
What if the white young adult was high & came & attacked the black officer & struggled over his gun? 
What if the white guy came back at the officer looking as though he might attack again?
 Should this sad incident really be about color?
 Is this not a case where a teen made wrong choices, & a cop doing his job risked his life?
Too many people have a we / they mentality.

We can all feel sad for the choices Michael Brown made that brought about this situation where he lost his life. Teens need to learn to respect authority & obey the laws, but more than that...the Michael Browns & Darren Wilsons of this world both need the Gospel of Christ. 
White, brown, black & all the beautiful shades God created...all people need to see their sin & what Christ did on the cross for the ungodly.  It isn't about skin.  It's about sin.  He died for sinners like you & me.
What is the Gospel? 
 

Don't quit. What do you think of when you hear these words?

The words sound simple, but what if not quitting means suffering, danger, or putting your life at risk? Whether you are going through physical or mental suffering that makes you want to end it all, or you are a police officer, a soldier, a fireman, a medic, a missionary, someone treating Ebola, a student, an athlete, or an out of work person waiting for a job you probably know that endurance is difficult.  Are we willing to suffer rejection, hatred, pain or to risk our lives for the sake of others?    Are we willing to suffer for those who might hate us? 
If you are a Christian, are you willing to suffer for Jesus' sake even though you may not see any apparent positive result?

Please listen to the following message beginning around 40 minutes in & hear how a life was saved literally, or listen to the individual "Don't Quit" message further down.

Check Out Religion Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cross Encounters on BlogTalkRadio

We have begun the In His Steps book as a family recently, & last night I rented the modern 2013 movie adaptation of the book. The movie was pretty good except I felt it may have over-emphasized works without pointing out the Gospel is foremost. But we should show compassion as Christians.
The acting could have been better, but I do like that it pointed out that faith without works is dead (although we are in no way saved by them...but unto them.)

UPDATE: I do not recommend the In His Steps book. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will You Find Peace & Refuge?

I have been reading All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon, and I found out you can read it online as well!
So, if you want to join me, this is a book for non-Christians & Christians alike!

"Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this—Will you be one of them?"
All of Grace by Charles H. Spurgeon

 I'm still unable to use my one arm much, so my blog posts will continue to be few for awhile.
At least my stitches are out!  I'm now working on trying to straighten my arm.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
 Psalm 46:1 NASB

The following song is one that came into my head as an encouragement some time back, and a family member found it online.  Just imagine Fernando Ortega singing it as I do.



 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tomorrow Will Care For Itself

I had my ulnar nerve transposition surgery on October 31, and I am typing one-handed right now.  My arm is in a splint and I struggle with claustrophobia and pain.  This surgery involves two long cuts in the arm, so that the nerve can be moved.  My other arm's ulnar nerve has a problem too.

I am thankful God helped me not be as stressed the morning of the surgery as I thought I might be.  After the surgery I had nausea and pain.  I did actually throw up once at home.  The pain pills were great for a day or two, but then I itched and my face turned redder than it already is.  I went into the ER on a Sunday to get something new for the pain.  They required giving them the old pills, so my sister offered to bring them.  Well, she ended up tripping on a bedspread and banging her head on a treadmill with her knee getting a little hurt and her foot in a trash bin.  It was not a very good day, but she did get to the ER with the medicine ... and they gave her ice for her head.

The new medicine didn't get used long, as I had two panic attacks in the early morning hours that I figured may have been brought on by the medicine (although I've had panic before in my life).  Family came to my room, and I prayed for God to help me.  Music was used to help calm me. Panic often drives me to focus on my desperate need to trust God more  One song I tried to sing I will share below along with one other I remember from years ago.  The singer (Fernando Ortega) led music at a church service We attended on Saturday nights many years ago in California.  I am taking over the counter pain pills and using ice packs for pain.  Just imagine the pain you feel after having an adult tooth pulled and add having a way too tight wrap with a little swelling along with a heavy weight and a few nerve throbs for good measure.  Yes, and a mummified arm that is bent at an angle that you can't straighten.  And....that's my dominant arm.

Thank you to the Christians who have prayed for me.  I hope for more arm freedom to move this Tuesday, even though physical therapy and recovery will be long and uncertain.  I hate to think about the other arm....
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:34 NASB

 
This is one of the songs that helped distract me from panic. 



Here is another encouraging and soothing song that has a good reminder for believers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Are You A Bad Imitator of God?

I finally finished a painting in anticipation of my surgery scheduled for Friday.
I will likely not be able to use my arm for awhile much, although I was told that using the hands and fingers would be a good thing.  Many people online though make it sound as though that will be a problem, and since I was having a better day than usual I went ahead and finally got the painting done with.
 
My painting is an imitation of a painting in a book which reminds me in a greater sense how Christians are to be imitators of God as beloved children.  I feel so far from being like Christ, and I sin so much.  I want to see His image reflected in my life as part of His church.   He is the one who sanctifies and cleanses by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present His church in all its glory having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing. (Ephesians 5).  
 
Even as a Christian whose sins are forgiven, I continually need to repent of my present sins.  It can be discouraging like looking at my artwork and then looking at the original and how pitiful it looks in comparison.  One day I will be perfected though, because He who promised is faithful even when I feel faithless.  So much grace is needed for a wretch like me.  I want to love Him more and reflect His love to others.  It's a good thing that my salvation isn't dependent on me.
 
 
While I may have to take a long break from posting (we shall see), I thought I'd share some links and messages that especially stood out to me recently.
 
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Condemned Pakistani Woman To Appeal To Supreme Court + Free Asia Bibi Song

Asia Bibi - Maybe you've seen her name lately on the internet. Asia is a Pakistani wife and mother who was accused of blasphemy against Mohammed due to a conversation with a couple of women co-workers, and she has been sentenced to hang.

What kind of conversation could wind up in these accusations? Reportedly the Muslim women talked of their beliefs and Asia was said to have told them about Christ and His death on the cross for sins. She asked them what Mohammed had done for them, and told them that Mohammed was dead and that Jesus is alive. To see more about the conversation and what happened afterward visit the Voice of the Martyrs site. Another report said she was accused of "blasphemy" over a cup of drinking water that the Muslim women considered unclean.  Also, reported is that a local cleric was involved in making the charges, although he was not there during the original conversation.  See report Here .

Asia has been imprisoned already for five years.  Some of this has been in solitary confinement. 
Her recent appeal was denied, and apparently the two witnesses against her were not even allowed to be cross-examined.  Their words were considered fact, even though one of them reportedly was not even there during the original conversation.  She plans to appeal to the Supreme Court there in Pakistan.  Read about it Here.
There is danger for her and her family even in the time of waiting. See ACLJ article Here .

I was sadly disappointed to learn recently that Asia wrote letters which would demonstrate that she is actually a Roman Catholic rather than a Christian.  One was to the Pope and the other to her family mentioned going to the arms of the "Virgin Mary" as well as "Our Lord" when she died.   While a lot of Roman Catholics may seem to know a lot of the right words at first, they should not be assumed to be Christians.  I wish that news sites and organizations would not keep calling Roman Catholics by the name of Christian confusing us.

Please, if you are confused why I say there is a difference, look at these sites:

A Prayer For Roman Catholics - Tony Miano

Is Roman Catholicism a Christian denomination? (Roman Catholicism)

The Gospel

So, what can Christians & others in America and around the world do to help Asia Bibi?

1.  Pray.  Those of us who are truly Christians can pray that Asia will turn away from looking to Mary and the Pope and look to Christ alone.   We can also pray that her sentence will be overturned, and that there will be more freedom in Pakistan if it is God's will.  We can pray that the true Gospel will be proclaimed in Pakistan by courageous Christians willing to risk their lives, and that people will not be deceived by counterfeits.

2.  Sign the ACLJ petition Here .

3.  Petition Pakistani Officials.

The following is a song done by a British band named Ooberfuse.  I have not heard of them before, so I cannot endorse the singers.
The tune is memorable though, and if you like it and want a free download click Here.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Seeing God's Providence In The Little Things

Sometimes acts of kindness from strangers surprise us.  
When we were seeing my brother off at the airport, my Dad was pushing me in a wheelchair from a parking lot trying to find my family.  It felt like it was quite a distance, and we went through one building and into another parking lot not knowing for sure how far to go.  He was getting tired out from walking and pushing, and my legs were tired of trying to help propel myself along with his pushing.

My Dad finally asked some people for directions, and a man came and pushed me back into the building and even went up the elevator with us.  He wasn't wearing a uniform, and I'm not sure if he was some kind of worker or what.  I gave him a Thank You Gospel tract, but then I wondered if I should have tipped him.  I didn't know.

Later at a creamery, after I bought some ice cream and was trying to get back between tables to where my Mom was, some man with a beard (that had pink on either the beard or his hair in a strange way) offered to make sure that I got through.  I was so intent on getting through and feeling badly that I was making someone's table move that I didn't turn back.  I'm not sure what happened to him, but I don't remember if I thanked him like I should have.  You really can't judge by appearances.

I'll admit that I really don't like strangers coming behind and pushing me.  Part of that is because I feel disadvantaged, or in some cases I feel capable of taking care of myself.  The other part is I feel a healthy sense of danger from strangers (no matter how they look).  Still, I appreciate that there are those who really are generous enough to want to help someone.  There have been others who have done nice things for me in my life.  I'm sure you've likely met people like that.  Maybe you are one of those who has done things like that.

There are other times when little blessings come into our lives.  Meeting someone who is familiar with some of the same people you are and shares common beliefs, or when at just the right time you read something that encourages you either in Scripture or something written by another Christian that is a reminder of God's providences at just the right time.  Sometimes, we get so caught up in our goals and feelings and all the bad things going on in the world that we dismiss from our minds the seemingly random acts of kindness or the blessings that come our way.

As a Christian, I know that God is sovereign even over the little things, and I should be more thankful for these.  Even the bad things that happen in this world have purpose.  It is so easy for me to grumble about things or be discouraged and depressed. 

There is a Biblical precedence for reminding ourselves of the goodness and power of God in the past. This can help us through the difficulties of the present to remind ourselves that He is trustworthy.
Even when I'm down,  I need to remember to give thanks and to look forward to seeing what God will do through my trying times.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (fr. Psalm 46:1 NASB)

Do all things without grumbling or disputing;  Philippians 2:14 NASB

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  Romans 15:4 NASB

always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;  Ephesians 5:20 NASB
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Remembering God's Grace

I've been reading a book by Charles Spurgeon called All of Grace.
After I posted my previous post, I read chapter 7 which really pinpointed an area I've been having struggle with.
It's focus is on the grace of God and how faith is just a conduit of that grace.
My focus has been too much on whether I feel faith which could be leading towards making an idol out of "faith" itself rather than focusing on God's grace and Christ Himself.

The fountain of God's grace is like a heart pump sending blood through the blood vessel of faith to me (my soul) from God.

Spurgeon says,
  "The peace within the soul is not derived from contemplation of our own faith.  It comes to us from Him who is our peace - the hem of whose garment faith touches - and virtue comes out of Him into the soul..
  See, then, that the weakness of your faith will not destroy you.  A trembling hand may receive a golden gift."

Spurgeon also says,
  "The power lies in the grace of God and not in our faith.  Great messages can be sent along slender wires.  The peace-giving witness of the Holy Spirit can reach the heart by means of a threadlike faith which seems almost unable to sustain its own weight."

My focus then needs to be on Jesus, and also on His grace which saves.

Spurgeon says,
  "Yet, the power is not in the faith but in the God in whom faith relies."

My Dad has also recommended the book The Valley of Vision from which the song I shared came from (a CD that Sovereign Grace Music did based on that book).
I also read my Bible with some of the study Bible notes (as I have been doing), but God can also encourage through fellow Christians who can help me to understand and apply the Scriptures as fellow strugglers who have gone before me on this journey have done.  Even those of us who have been Christians for years go through valleys, but He doesn't let us walk alone.

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
Psalm 43:5

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Only Hope Is Christ

There are times when my feelings lie to me.  My doubts depress me.  I want God to do whatever it takes to make me to fully trust in Him, but then afterwards I beg for mercy as I'm tired of suffering physically. 

It is not my own weak faith that my salvation rests on as though it came from me.  I remind myself that God won't let me go.  Why do I doubt my salvation at times (although not all the time)?  Isn't God trustworthy?  I know He is.  If only I would stop listening to my feelings.  There are times when I love reading the Bible.  Why do I have such a mixture of rebellion with a cold heart and also a strong desire to love and trust God more?  I'm tired of my sinful heart.  I don't want to be in the state of having lost my first love of Christ as in Revelation 2:5.

The thing is that I know that I have believed, but my doubts and rebellious thoughts and wavering feelings of love for God make me question how much I really believe.  I remind myself what Spurgeon said about looking unto Christ and living.  If only I could shake myself of listening to my wavering feelings.  We are born from above by God's grace as Christians. I know it isn't dependent on me.  It is good for people to examine themselves, but it is bad when I get to the point that I examine myself and look inward too much.  I begin to doubt, and like Peter walking toward Jesus on the water I start to feel I am sinking and lost. I must step forward and obey God and stop trusting my feelings.  Feelings come and go, but I must believe God is faithful in spite of my sinful weakness.  Feelings will likely come again if I do what I have done when I did feel more love. 
There have been times when I have felt so close to God and a lot of joy.  He truly is faithful even when we're not.  He will keep His sheep. 
Truly my only hope is Christ. 

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Questions for Muslims, Prayer Group, Confrontation & Forgiveness & Upcoming Surgery

Questions to ask Muslims - Do you run across Muslims in your community, at you work or during your travels?  CARM has a set of questions that are thought-provoking and can be used as a springboard for sharing the Gospel of Christ.  http://carm.org/questions-muslims

There is a new closed group on Facebook that I have started that is called "Praying for Christian Ministries, Pastors, Persecuted & Unreached Peoples."
I'm not sure if I'm biting off more than I can chew so-to-speak with this, so I may end up limiting it more.  If you are a friend of someone in the group or want to request to join it individually click HERE.

I have enjoyed the following video in recent times especially when the topic of forgiveness has come up.  My only disclaimer is that I believe the man singing this is not qualified as a pastor from my understanding of the Bible, but he is certainly a Christian brother.  I have enjoyed his music for many years, went to a number of his concerts, and met him in person once at a church.  His lyrics are generally excellent.  There are times when communications with Christians break down, and online it's especially difficult to work things out unless people are willing to communicate and show Christian love.  Confrontation needs to take place, but some people hold things against people without communicating with the person they have something against.  Then they gossip and slander the person without ascertaining the facts.  Don't get me wrong....there are many false teachers that need to be warned against, but there are those that look for evil or jump on  personality flaws. 
Would we withstand the test that we put on others?



What with celebrating family anniversaries, upcoming surgery, pain, & having an infection that has made me extra dizzy & nauseated, I have not come up with much for my blog recently.  The surgery may greatly limit me for some time to come after my surgery at the end of this month.
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NEW Christmas Music & Movies Addressing Christmas & Homosexuality

Kirk Cameron has a new film entitled Saving Christmas which is coming out for a limited engagement in theaters on November 14th this year.   I have only seen the trailer, so I cannot give too much of an opinion on it yet.   What is an added bonus is that I am familiar with one of the actor's work with Crown Rights Media  (which has produced films on apologetics, abortion, Islam, etc.).



Peter Furler has a new Christmas album coming out this year to be released October 7th.
You can hear samples:
http://www.peterfurler.com/peter-furler-Christmas

Sovereign Grace Music has a new Christmas album Prepare Him Room coming out September 29, 2014 as well:  http://www.worshipmatters.com/2014/09/09/prepare-him-room-a-video-preview/

Remember "180" Movie & how it took off & influenced many people on the subject of abortion?
Well, Ray Comfort of Living Waters is involved in a new movie project that has professional actors & a storyline which will address the subject of homosexuality in a Biblical way with love & the Gospel.
The movie is called Audacity.  Find out more information Here.
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Days That Make You Laugh or Cry - You Decide

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:2 NASB

Do you have days when you feel like a klutz?

Today has been one of those days so far for me.
The milk on my collar was no biggie, but then I had the ice bag fall out of it's cloth holder & splash water on the floor.  Thankfully I had the same towel handy that cleaned up the collar.

Next I set things on a walker to go down the hall & naturally my weekly pill holder & something else went flying.  I went to retrieve those things and proceeded to have water spilling out on the floor from my large cup. So.... yep, back to that handy dandy towel that cleaned up the first two messes.
By the time I was done sorting things out I was feeling dizzy and needed to sit back down.

Afternoon came & I decided to look for something in a wooden cupboard above my toilet.
You probably guessed it!  Down fell the sunblock kerplop into the toilet!  I quickly reached in with my bare hands & grabbed it out. Naturally I washed my hands.
So, did I give up?  Nope.  I decided to look for what I wanted on the upper shelf, and .... uh oh!  I'm not sure if it was a face mask or an ice pack holder from a hospital, but it went plummeting toward the toilet too!  Quickly I grabbed it before it fully sank in.  Unfortunately, while doing that, some sort of empty toothbrush holder fell in!  I fished that out too.  Of course, I washed my hands again!
I was yelling out as each item fell & then yelled something like, "Does everything have to fall into the toilet!"  Did someone come running to my rescue?  They did NOT!
I yelled out to whoever might be listening that they could stop laughing.
I was rather fearful to try anything else, but so far all else I did was knock a plastic bottle onto the floor.  The day isn't over yet!

Well, all this might amuse you, but it pales in comparison to someone in my family the other day misreading the Bible to say people smirked (instead of shrinking back or whatever)  at something that would be embarrassing & humiliating.  I laughed so hard at that I cried.
Of course, I was feeling depressed then and thought this verse was fitting.

Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief.  Proverbs 14:13 NASB

I haven't been feeling as down most of today though, and I hope that this post has brought a smile to someone's face.  Maybe you had to have been there, but then again maybe you wouldn't want to. 
It might be dangerous to get near me!

Sometimes little accidents may be really God's providences to help us lighten up a little.
I put this with some slight apprehension not knowing what will happen next, but God knows.
One day all the sorrows of His children will be turned to joy.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,

Psalm 30:11 NASB

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reaching Muslims with the Gospel & Learning How To Interpret The Bible

Four Resources for Christians in responding to Muslims:

Reaching Muslims with the Gospel of Peace by Tony Miano:


Answering Muslims - site by David Wood

Worldview Tracts - including for Muslims - presuppositional apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate was a contributor to these tracts.

Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (also known as CARM) has a lot of information on Islam including videos you can share with Muslims online.
Islam

Recently I watched a hermeneutics overview DVD that was excellent.  Hermeneutics is basically the science of interpreting texts - especially in this case of the Bible.  So many people do not know the truth and how to study the Bible well enough.  Even those who do can take things out of context and misapply verses to their own situations or special interests at times.  I think most of us have done this before without realizing it.   We need to study and understand the truth from the Bible before we examine the false beliefs of others. If we know the Bible well, then we will not get too confused when people lie to us about what is in it.  It is much more important to study the truth than a lie, because many are deceived and devastated.
Check out the DVD "Herman Who?"  by Todd Friel

There is another class on Biblical Hermeneutics that you can find online done by Pastor Andrew Rappaport.  It is good for a more extensive study.
School of Biblical Hermeneutics

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Reminder of Future Joy in the Midst of Depression

I have been feeling depressed lately, but during this time my mind has had some reminders that give me some encouragement. 
One of these is remembering things from Scripture.
This is what I need to be doing:

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2 NASB)

 It's good to remind myself of future joy. Jesus suffered more than I ever have. His disciples abandoned Him, He suffered physically, and... He suffered for my sins & all the sins of all who ever believe. He took God's wrath for sin & even came to the point of asking the Father why He had forsaken Him when He was on the cross. 
 
He suffered more than any of us have & He did it for the joy set before Him. Part of His joy I believe is His relationship with the church...His bride. If our own human suffering whether it be from persecution or physical suffering  or emotional suffering without persecution is light compared to the joys of Heaven with Christ, then the joy there must be beyond words & our finite minds. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
 
So, if I trust God & His sovereignty, then I need to believe God can still use me.  He sees me as righteous in Christ. He uses fallen, frail, fragile human beings that others reject.
He understands my humanness.  While others may reject me & my weakness, He not only still has a purpose for me & can use me...He is my perfect example as well as Savior.  He also uses suffering to cause my dependence to be on Him & to make me more like Him.
He will never leave me or forsake me. 
 
As a Christian, I'm part of the bride of Christ that He has cleansed.  He is going to present Christians as having no spot or wrinkle - as holy & blameless.  (Ephesians 5:27)
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Should Married Christian Women Work Outside the Home?

Recently I was troubled to read of a woman who was offered a job which would take her and her husband to another state. This was not because he had a job in that state, but yet they were seriously considering moving for her to take that job as though it could be God's will.

Now in this modern world, many Christians would accept a decision like that without question or qualms.

That is why I believe caution must be applied & the Bible studied on this issue.

What are some Biblical principles women can apply?

I will give some thoughts and conclusions I have come to on the issue of married women, and then share links to some articles I found on the subject authored by pastors. I do not agree 100% with one of them, but I do think they offer some additional good insight.

Ephesians 5 talks about a wife being subject to her own husband (as wells as 1 Peter 3:1 in the case of the unbelieving husband),

Titus 2:4-5 talks about women are to be workers in the home (young widows were to remarry and have children and do this).

The Proverbs 31 woman worked in her home making things, and she took her goods out to be sold to tradesmen (nowhere does it say she was employed by another man not her husband). She made other household decisions like buying a field.

Woman was created to be a helper to her husband (Genesis 2:18).

Women often helped in church ministry and with support in the Bible. Older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands and their children (Titus 2:4).

Those are some of the Biblical views I find of married women.
In a practical sense, we know there can be temptations in the workplace when people are under someone not their spouse.  Husbands and wives are cemented / glued together and that relationship reflects Christ's relationship with the church.  It is something that is not held as sacredly in a world that mocks the marriage relationship in many ways.

We know that the married woman is going to be subject to another person in most employment situations outside the home (unless there is a family business, ministry or an independent job). If that boss is a man other than the husband, then there can be a conflict of who the leader of that woman is when we look in the Bible at how people are to treat their employers or masters.


Men are to be the head of their wives and the main providers. It troubles me to see men who subject themselves to their wife's career, because it seems to fly in the face of their role as leaders and providers.

1 Tim. 5:8 says that someone who does not provide for his own is worse than an infidel (note that it is his own).

Ephesians 5:23 says that husbands are the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church.

Ephesians 5:29 indicates men are to nourish and cherish their wives.

Men leading, nourishing & cherishing their wives I believe includes leading in finances.

The married Christian woman's priority is to be her home & husband.
The dangers and risks are high for women working in employment outside the home - not only falling into temptation (which can also happen online) but neglecting Biblical priorities.

Married women with children cannot fulfill their Biblical role properly when they neglect their primary responsibilities to their family. I strongly believe there are Biblical principles that apply here. Most people are following cultural Christian norms reflecting the secular world & not applying the Bible to this area of their lives. Many Christians follow the world and not the Word in their everyday decision making and practice. It should not be the norm for married Christian women to be working for a man not her husband in an employment situation.

That is my strong conviction & yes I realize that this post will be stepping on many toes.

Unless a man is disabled, his job is foremost. I personally do not believe married women should work outside the home except from the home as her headquarters or "office" under the leadership & care of her husband.

I realize some disabled men may not be able to work at all, and there may be some other unusual circumstances, but we are talking norms here.
 

I'm not judging anybody else's salvation here on this topic.
We are all on different levels of spiritual growth & Biblical knowledge and convictions.
I truly do not believe women should subject her husband to her having a career where her husband has to follow her around.
I would encourage all women to study the Bible more. and get their wisdom from it.

Women and Work Outside The Home

Leadership in the Home - A Godly Man Provides


Ephesians 5:22-24 NASB

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Colossians 3:18

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:4-5

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored

1 Tim 5:14

Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;
 
 
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Illegal Immigration - Mercy Is Not A Right

What would you say if I told you about someone breaking into a house, taking up residence there, and then complaining when someone points it out?
What if it was a house that you own, and they are using your utilities and using a stolen identity?

Millions of people have crossed the U.S. border in much the same way, but they don't want to be called "illegals."  They have committed a crime to get into the country and compounded their crime by using the U.S. healthcare system, welfare and stolen identities.

Some people are suffering hardship where they came from you may say.
Yes, but in most cases there are other options that are legal.  A crime is not made right by motive.
There are cases where mercy is shown out of compassion, but mercy is not a right.

In much the same way people presume that God will love and forgive them when they sin against Him without repenting and confessing Jesus as Lord.
They try to rationalize based on presumption, but God is not the idol that they have created in their minds.  People can presume their way right into hell.
Then others use rationalism suppressing the truth and denying the knowledge that God gave them to deny the God they know exists (stealing the Christian worldview to do it).

The cheating housebreaker or squatter, the trespasser who cheats by illegally entering the country or overstaying his or her visa, the presumptuous person who creates a god in his own image, and the blasphemous rationalist who denies God are all guilty before God and deserving of punishment.

Breaking into or trespassing into someone's house is serious.  Breaking into a country is also sinning and very serious.  Sinning against the righteous and holy God is the most serious offense of all and the punishment is eternity in the fires of hell where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Thieves, liars, greedy and covetous people, immoral people, idolaters, and those who hate or are impure do not have a place in the Kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5).

But....there is good news that you should know about. 
Please visit one of the following sites:

Good News

For the professed atheist or agnostic:
Proof That God Exists
En Espanol:
La Prueba De Que Dios Existe

How can sinners get a right standing with God?

There is an eternal hell for unrepentant sinners and an eternal Heaven for believers. 
Heaven will be full of joy and pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11).
What will Heaven be like?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Forgiveness Without End

As a follow-up to my previous post, I am sharing two songs that are a great reminder of just how total God's forgiveness is for those who are His children. It doesn't stop once we are Christians even though we also know that we are not to sin that grace may abound.
I want to encourage those Christians who battle sin every day and wonder if God still forgives them. Please keep seeking after God and read His word and keep praying.
Please keep resisting sin with God's help, but it's good for me at least to be reminded that God forgives me. He forgave Peter who denied Him three times. He loves His children, and we are no longer His enemies.


 


 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trusting God's Forgiveness

Do we trust God to continually forgive us as Christians? Do we hesitate to go to God, because we feel we are not worthy for forgiveness?

While many people who are not genuine Christians continue in their sin believing God forgives them because they prayed a prayer sometime in their life even though they ignore God now, some of us who are genuine Christians still struggle with sinful thoughts & attitudes every day. Although we may distain our sin & are sorry & plead for forgiveness, sometimes it can be difficult to believe God actually does forgive us when we sin sooo much. I can beat myself up feeling like I should spend more time sorrowing over the sin, as though God won't forgive me if I don't. The sins of thought can be the most burdensome to battle. In years past, I would wallow a little more in my wrongdoing, since I already needed forgiving. That was a wrong attitude, & I learned to fight against the sin by prayer & Bible verses as soon as possible when the thoughts began.

If you also struggle with weakness, & trusting God to forgive you, the video below may be an encouragement to you. It is something that I need to keep reminding myself of ... God does forgive & I must trust His forgiveness. I can't make Him forgive me more by spending more time punishing myself with guilt. I have to remind myself that God will keep me.  He will not let me go....even when I struggle with the sin of doubt.  This doesn't mean I want to sin without conscience or without battling or without confessing to Him.  It means that I need to believe that God has forgiven me & will keep forgiving me no matter how guilty I feel or how much I have sinned. 

While it is good to test oneself to see if one is in the faith like the Bible says, I do believe that some people need to be careful that they don't destroy true Christians by keeping them in continual doubt about their salvation.  Not everyone who struggles with sin is a false convert.
Salvation isn't about our goodness.  It's about looking to Jesus the Author & Finisher of our faith. 
Salvation is by faith through grace, & we aren't going to finish it ourselves by doing good works or meeting an ideal of perfection here on earth.  There will be fruit in a Christian's life, but Christians do go through seasons in their life where they need to be encouraged & not judged by other Christians as tares instead of weak wheat.


Are you a Christian? Please follow this link: Are you sure?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seventh Day Adventism Cult & Courage In Evangelism

Recently I had to make a decision about whether it was right to pray with a Seventh Day Adventist doctor or not.  Many Christians have likely not studied up much on what Adventists believe & how they began.
After questioning & research, I concluded that much of Seventh Day Adventism is a cult.

False Teacher Ellen G. White - Tim Challies
What Does Seventh Day Adventism Teach? - CARM
Is Hell Really Endless? - GTY
A Biblical Understanding of Hell - CARM

False teachers are abundant.  Tim Challies did a recent blog series you might want to check out on that subject:
Lessons I've Learned From False Teachers - Challies

Suffice it to say, that I decided not to pray with the Adventist doctor & gave him a Gospel tract and papers on just a couple of the issues where their views are decidedly not Biblical.  I let him know I didn't think we shared the same beliefs and that he could look at what I gave him and compare.

I was so nervous, but I didn't even have to say much. 
If you also struggle with giving the Gospel or even handing someone a tract,  I found the following blog post very helpful & encouraging:

Evangelism At Ease
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Is Obama a Pawn In The Hands of Jihadists? - The History of Islam

Sometimes topics for a blog post seem to fall right in my lap.  This is one of those times.
It is about Islam and Jihad - its history and behavior.

If you are a Muslim, please follow this LINK.

Most people have heard the news about how Iraq is in turmoil with militant jihadists storming the country.
Critics here and abroad: Obama lacks will to fight terrorism - See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/national-security/2014/06/25/critics-here-and-abroad-obama-lacks-will-to-fight-terrorism

You may also have heard the news about Meriam Ibrahim and her imprisonment and release, re-arrest with her family, and the reported re-release:
Sudanese Christian Woman Freed Again

Also, you are likely familiar with American Pastor Saeed Abedini imprisoned in Iran:
American pastor imprisoned without notice of charges while visiting family in Iran

That is just a small sampling of what happens to people who profess faith in Christ in an Islamic country.

People like President Obama proclaim Islam as a religion of tolerance or peace.
What is Islam historically and is it really peaceful?
The following video will give you a better understanding of the real methodology of Islam, and at the end you will hear that not all American Muslims have fully understood Islam.
 

It really is telling that President Barack Obama called the Qur'an "holy."

So, how do Muslim beliefs differ from Christianity?
CARM Comparison Chart

For those who may charge that what God did in the OT was merciless and no better than the Muslims, please check out the following:
Is the God of the Old Testament a Merciless Monster?

 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Judging Judgers, Writing Persecuted Christians, & The Burden of the Disabled

Have you ever been guilty of assuming someone thinks the worst about you?
That is so much the way I am....even though I know that that can also be a form of pride.
I just read an article by R.C. Sproul, Jr. that expresses a form of judging that Christians do to each other and may not realize how unfair it is. 

Judging We Are Judged

Have you ever thought about writing to a Christian imprisoned in another country?
They need encouragement just like any of us would.  I don't even want to imagine too much being in their shoes.  Some are even tortured and in danger of losing their lives.
I learned of a couple of places that assist you in being able to have certain phrases and verses translated to send to these individuals.  I can't vouch for all that these people hold to, but it seems to me it would be great to pray for and write to professing Christians who have been imprisoned for their Christian beliefs.

You can visit the following links:

Prisoner Alert

Write To Persecuted Christians

Hebrews 13:3 NASB  "Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

Are you disabled in some way?   If not, have you ever wondered how you should treat someone who is? 
I have been on both sides of this, because I didn't become disabled until I was an adult...and then it was a gradual worsening until a couple years ago when things really went downhill.
I appreciated a blog post I read that gives advice both to disabled people and those who meet them.
It is difficult to be patient with those who don't understand my disability (and I find it difficult to explain some of it myself...since not all has been fully diagnosed), and it can be embarrassing both for the disabled and the people who meet them.  Kids shy away more from me now ... when they used to be more friendly, It is also true that people don't know when you need help or not.  I feel like a burden, and in many ways this can be true. 

Please read the post linked:

What do those with disabilities owe those without?

I don't believe disabled people should be celebrated just because they are disabled, but neither should people look down on us as inferior - lacking any intelligence.  You never know....one day it may be you.  It happened to me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

UPDATE: All Charges Dropped Against Street Preacher Tony Miano

I am so excited to report that the charges against street preacher Tony Miano have been dropped by the police in Scotland.

Tony Miano was for many years an L.A. Deputy Sheriff & has been involved in ministry for a number of years in various ways.  He worked with Ray Comfort of Living Waters for a few years, & due to the economy was released to serve God in doing Cross Encounters ministry including a weekly online  Cross Encounters Radio program, street preaching & abortion clinic evangelizing, teaching & mentoring people to serve as evangelists.


In 2013 he was arrested and released without charges in England, and early in 2014 he was arrested and charged in Scotland.  Why?  Because he included homosexuality in a list of sins and this makes people angry.  America is already far along in turning against a Biblical understanding of marriage, so we should not be surprised when Christians start getting arrested here in the U.S.

The authorities in Scotland finally viewed the footage from Tony's camera (which they confiscated) after months of incompetence of supposedly not being able to get it working.
The film proved out that the allegations were false by the accuser, and that his preaching should not have been called hate speech.

Scotland Drops Charges - Tony Miano Newsletter

For those of you who did not follow the story of his arrest earlier,  I will post the links to my previous blog posts about that:

http://ktundergrace.blogspot.com/2014/01/tony-miano-arrested-for-gospel-again.html

http://ktundergrace.blogspot.com/2014/04/update-on-street-preacher-arrested-in.html

http://ktundergrace.blogspot.com/2014/01/street-preacher-tony-mianos-testimony.html

Please visit the following links on the Cross Encounters Ministry website

Are You Sure?

Cross Encounters Ministry

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Infallibility of Scripture & The Matt Dillahunty vs. Sye Ten Bruggencate Debate

(Let me begin by disclosing that I’m a Christian female.)

All Scripture is inspired by God.

The Bible itself claims to be infallible (Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 33:4; Proverbs 30:5-6; Mark 13:31; Revelation 22:18-19), inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), & men moved by the Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:21). People try to convince themselves that God is not real by suppressing the truth, but everyone will face Him one day either in judgment or as Savior.

Everything that God does is just & good, & the one who rejects God's Word is not qualified to interpret or comprehend it. They have no infallible foundational authority in themselves to determine truth or what is moral, right & good. Even appealing to what is commonly accepted behavior is useless.  Man is fallible. All idols are false having no authority.  Sometimes an idol is reason, comfort, pleasure, covetousness, self, immorality, a false religious system, nature, etc.

People love their sin & idolize pleasure, but the hollow pleasures of taking what God created to rebel against Him cannot even compare to the real pleasures that can be found in Him in an eternity in Heaven.
Life here is fleeting & so are its lusts.
Philosophy that is based on rejecting the absolute Source of truth is empty. Jesus said He is the only way. People may choose to reject Him, but that doesn't make Him less true or humans less accountable to Him.

When people who call themselves "atheists" or "agnostic" attack Christians, Christians need to remember that God is the One they are truly enemies of & hate, but for those who repent & put their trust in Christ there is forgiveness of sins & love & an eternity in Heaven as children of God.

Many people who reject God seem to think they are an authority on God & attack His character based on their perception of Old Testament events. They blasphemously try to judge God by their standards...which have no authoritative foundation. God is the Judge, & they are not God's judge. He is so holy & perfect that He would be just in destroying all of rebellious mankind. It is because He is merciful & loving & gracious that He saves some.
Who are we to answer back to God?

I pray for those who heard & will hear the Gospel that my online friend Sye Ten Bruggencate presented at the Refining Reason debate with Matt Dillahunty in Memphis, TN, because faith is a gift from God & those who have ears to hear will hear, because God will make them able.
(You can find the Sye Ten Bruggencate / Matt Dillahunty debate online-but I recommend waiting for the Crown Rights Media film which should be better produced & hopefully minus any bad language),

Below are some favorite quotes I shared via Twitter & Facebook from the recent debate:

Sye's response about those who bring up whether the Quran & Islam can be true:

What does the Quran say about the Bible?
The Quran says the Bible is the previous revelation of God (of Allah), and it says it is true.
What does your Quran say about whether the words of God can be corrupted? And they say, "No, they can't."
That's the problem. If the Quran is true the Bible is true, and because the Bible is true, the Quran is false.



(My short tweet version of that was: The Quran says the words of God can't be corrupted. If the Quran is true the Bible is true, & because the Bible is true the Quran is false.)

Sin is not a measure of how bad you are. It's a measure of how good you're not - Sye Ten Bruggencate

It's not absolutes - therefore God. It's God - therefore absolutes. – Sye


For those who have struggled with doubting:
You can't make sense of truth, knowledge, logic , reason without God - so doubt presupposes God – Sye

Logical absolutes reflect the thinking of God – Sye

Matt was wanting Sye to play the devil's advocate, but I loved Sye's quick wit!

"You seem to be able to only see this from your worldview." - Matt Dillahunty
"Of course! So do you!" - Sye Ten Bruggencate



Matt Dillahunty would prefer to say he believes things rather than knows them for certain, because he does not want to admit what he does know but suppresses.  The knowledge he & every human being has is enough to convict them as guilty before God (Romans 1:18-20)

Please visit on of the following sites:

Are You Sure?

Proof That God Exists

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This Is My Father's World Personal Music Video

If you have ever watched "The Lord of the Rings" (not the animated version), one of our favorite things about it is the music. 
The movie also makes one think of the struggles between good & evil in the world and the temptations we deal with in our own lives.  
The series is very violent, so I often turn my head or close my eyes.

Have you ever noticed that the main theme music of the first movie in the series sounds like an old hymn?
It would appear that they used the same tune that "This Is My Father's World" was based on.

I was listening to the Piano Guys rendition covering the theme music, and I thought of doing a video with pictures of nature.  It took some effort to figure out a video program that wasn't quite the same as I was used to, but with some pain & effort it is completed.

May God be glorified in it!


Friday, May 16, 2014

When Confrontation Becomes Sin

Lately I've been seeing some conflict online that troubles me.  This is conflict between Christians, and it's not really about heresy.

Confronting sin is important when someone is actually sinning, but the Bible does tell us how to do this in Matthew 18:15-18.

I realize that there are times when sin is public and needs to be addressed publicly.  
The purpose of confronting a fellow believer is not to smear his or her name.  It's to restore the person - to turn him or her back. (James 5:19-20)  The other purpose would be to protect other believers from error. 
James 4:11-12  lets us know that we should not speak against a brother (as a judge of the law).  So, confronting is right, but attacking is not - from what I can see.
Galatians 5:15 says, " But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another."
Galatians 5:26 talks about not being boastful and challenging one another.
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 points out that Christians should have someone wise in the body of Christ decide matters between believers rather than a secular judge, and I can't help but wonder if Christians aren't getting a bad reputation by publicly sharing about minor disputes.

As Christians, instead of just attacking each other over minor faults, shouldn't we be seeking after each others' good?  (1 Thes. 5:14)
I also find in Romans 16:17 that we are to keep an eye on but turn away from those who cause dissension & hindrances contrary to the teaching (that we find in the Bible).

Christians need encouragement (1 Thes 5:11) from each other, from God & His Word.  We need to bear one another's burdens.  In the Bible, I find that people were sent to be an encouragement to other Christians & to strengthen them (1 Thes 3:2).  People need to be built up into the truth.
Sometimes this means confronting, but only in love and with the right motives - without beam in the eye of the confronter.

I do believe that Christians should try to reconcile relationships & try to be patient when wronged even when falsely accused (if it's possible).  It seems that when people have relationships online that they often forget that there are real people on the other end with real feelings. 


 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Divorce, Bitterness, & Immorality

Many Christian couples today are separating & divorcing & getting remarried just like their non-Christian friends.  They may get counseling for their marriage, but they seem to forget what marriage is a picture of.  They forget God's faithfulness & patience with them.
 


Is there anybody that you are unwilling to forgive?  Are you sure you are a Christian? 
Whatever your answer, I highly recommend the message linked below.

Battling The Unbelief of Bitterness - John Piper

We as Christians need to call sin what it is, but show love - looking to our own lives to not be hypocrites.  Righteous hatred of sin is tempered by the fact we need to hate the sin in our own lives.
Whether it's sexual sin / lust, covetousness, untruthfulness, unrighteous anger, racism, unwillingness  to forgive - we need to stand strong in our battle against sin - without pride & remembering the love & mercy of God toward us.  Saving faith will become evident to us when we & others see the fruit in our own lives. 
Then Christians must stand strong as a light to the lost world & proclaim the Gospel with a clear conscience.  I'm not saying we will be sinless, but if we don't battle our own sins then we are a bad testimony of Christ to others.
(2 John 1:8-9; Galatians 6:1; 2 Corinthians 13:5)

What We Need - Kevin DeYoung

 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ukrainian Conflict & The Christian

Russia & the Ukraine have been going through a lot of conflict in recent times as most people already are aware of.

Vladimir Putin has effected a land grab of the Crimea, & pro-Russian groups have been trying to take over the eastern part of the Ukraine for Russia.   This is something that should make every country in that region keep on the alert & be ready.  This may not be the end.

When I was young I had some Christian Russian acquaintances who immigrated to the U.S.  during the time of “Glasnost” & my parents help support a family of a guy who is doing seminary training of people in the Ukraine.  I believe there are many wonderful Christians both in Russia & the Ukraine.  There are Ukrainians in Russia & Russians in the Ukraine.

It seems like Putin is wanting an old Soviet style control & many people have forgotten what happens when they give up their freedom for imaginary comforts.   This is true of the Russians in Russia itself & not just the Ukraine.  It reminds me of a song Sara Groves did about “Painting Pictures of Egypt.”  It is so like Israel remembering the comforts of Egypt & forgetting the slavery & lack of freedom & hardships.  The KGB may have a new name, but it has resurfaced.  Is this what Russians & Ukrainians really want? 

Also, just because some  people speak the same language or have a shared history does not mean they have to join the two nations together.  Canada & the U.S. have relatives & much in common, but that doesn’t mean one has to “annex” part of the other.  There are many section of the U.S. that have people who came from other countries, but that doesn’t mean those countries should then take over those parts of the U.S. (although some might like to).  Not all of the Ukrainians in Crimea or Eastern Ukraine were Russian born.  The “vote” that “annexed” Crimea was not even considered legal or fair by many.

Already in the Crimea, Christians are having to fear for their safety.  One News Now is reporting a pastor who has said bank accounts, property & church lists have been seized.  (See article here.)  Baptists were requested to “annex” their churches in Crimea.  This is surely a sign that Russia was trying to control the outcome from day one & the world stood by and watched.  This is how tyranny begins no matter how pleased some may be.

In the eastern part of the Ukraine there has been effects on Christians safety, although Christians will continue to persevere.  (See this article.) 

What is most important for Christians no matter if we lose our freedoms in Russia, the Ukraine, the U.K.,  the U.S.  -- or places like China, Central Asia, etc. which have already lost  much freedom … is still obeying God’s Word over man’s law & proclaiming the true Gospel everywhere.  We cannot trust in man.  Governments come & go, & I believe we can do what we can to effect change in them so long as we don’t disobey God to do it.  However, it is not the highest priority we Christians have during our time here on earth.

“We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.   John 9:4

The Gospel in Russian

Ukrainian: Бо коли ти устами своїми визнаватимеш Ісуса за Господа, і будеш вірувати в своїм серці, що Бог воскресив Його з мертвих, то спасешся,  бо серцем віруємо для праведности, а устами ісповідуємо для спасіння. Romans 10:9-10

The Gospel in English  

(If you want the Gospel in a different language, please let me know & I will try to find something online for you.)
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Celebrating The Resurrection of Jesus

Every Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but I believe it is a good thing to have a special celebration to give another opportunity to share with the world why we as Christians have hope.
Please check out the following article link explaining why the resurrection of Christ is so important,  & also enjoy the music video below:
Don't Forget The Resurrection



(Note To Christians: In sharing this video of a song written by Chris Eaton & performed by Cliff Richard I am not endorsing Cliff’s errant positions on Catholicism or homosexuality, etc.   I do enjoy his singing voice & this is a beautiful song that I believe goes well with Resurrection Sunday & being reminded of God’s faithfulness.)