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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trusting God, Hurt Feelings, & False Unity

Trusting God in Trying Times - Not too long ago, Pastor Don Green did a conference at Truth Community Church where he pastors in Ohio, and I heard the first two messages and part of the last while they were being live-streamed.  
I'm pleased that the messages are now online to be able to listen to!

If you are a Christian going through difficult times and wondering how you can trust God (though you know you should), this should be very helpful.
I'm looking forward to hearing the part I missed.  
The lectures are found HERE or HERE.

Love & the Hurt-Feelings Bookkeeper - Eric Davis wrote a blog article for The Cripplegate on not keeping a record of wrongs against us.  
It is very convicting. 

I do believe some of us are tender by nature, and because of this we need to work harder on putting the past of hurt feelings and the sins of others behind us. It is so hard to forget - not just about what others have done, but even my own wrongs. 
Even when I feel like I have forgiven someone, it is difficult to not have the hurt pop up once in awhile (or to not feel like there is a barrier).  Now, please don't all assume that I'm holding something against you!
You can read what Eric has to say HERE.

Together Against Ecumenism - Jeremiah Johnson wrote for the Grace To You Blog warning against a false kind of unity.  Christians need to be very careful not to compromise truth for the sake of what we might think is a common goal.   
Please see what he has to say HERE.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Target & The Myth of Self-Identity

Last week, Target made a decision to allow people to go in the restroom of their choice basically.
That means men who claim to identify as a female can go into the ladies' room, and women can go into the men's restroom claiming to identify as male.

Female restroom stalls in many big stores have spaces where people can peek through, as well as lots of open space down below near the feet.
Target's decision is an open invitation to predators, and it invades the privacy of all who don't want to be seen by the opposite gender.
While pandering to the few, they have taken away the privacy and safety of others.

This is a world gone crazy, where people think they can create their own reality.
 Absolute truth is tossed out the window, as people suppress truth, and they turn to worship self and pleasure.  Anything and everything goes.  It's like a Disney movie where people are told they can be whatever they want to be.

A friend of mine (Tony Miano) decided to see what would happen if someone self-identified as a Target employee.
Some people have criticized him for it, but he was polite and made his point without a big fuss.
Better than that, the video has an even more important message that everyone needs to hear.

I shared about the video with someone who was doing a medical test on me last week.  
I asked her later if she wanted to hear what happened, and I wrote out enough information on the back of a 180 Movie card for her to find it for herself.  I hope she did.

If you have not watched already, hear what happened for yourself.
Please watch it all the way through.



God created people male and female.  We don't choose our gender.  God does.
Self-identity is a myth, and love speaks the truth.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Message That May Leave You Saying,"Wow!"

Not too long ago, I listened to a live-streaming message that John MacArthur gave at a conference in a neighboring state here in the U.S..
It was really good!

Nathan Busenitz, a professor at The Master's Seminary,  also recommended MacArthur's message, and explained how it was two messages blended into one.
If you can listen to it, please do.

Since I have a number of friends who also like to listen to live conferences and church services, it might not be your first time hearing it.
I may even listen again!

Before we can expect a nation to repent, the church has to repent..so that it can be used for His glory. (This is something I got from the following message.)

 
"Christ's Call to Reformation. Revelation 1-3." — John MacArthur (T4G 2016) from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.


Friday, April 22, 2016

The Gospel In Spanish - El evangelio en español

I'm excited to share with you the Gospel (originally for Twitter) translated into Spanish!
¿Estás listo para la eternidad? Cuando uno se muere, usted va a estar delante de Dios y dar cuenta de su vida. 1 of 10

Debido a que Dios es bueno, Él te va a juzgar de acuerdo con la norma perfecta, moral de su ley. 2 of 10 

Si alguna vez has mentido, robado, tomado su nombre en vano, o pecado de cualquier otro modo, Él te encontrará culpable de quebrantar su ley. 3 of 10 

Debido a que Dios es bueno, Él debe castigar el pecado; el castigo por el pecado contra Dios es una eternidad en el infierno. 4 of 10 

Mientras que Dios es recto y justo, Él es misericordioso, amoroso y Clemente en que Él proporcionó una manera de escapar del castigo 5 of 10 

... Y que fue a través del regalo de su Hijo Jesucristo a nosotros. El Jesucristo: completamente Dios y completamente Hombre, sin pecado. 6 of 10

Jesucristo Murio en la cruz una muerte que no merecía, tomando sobre sí mismo el castigo que nosotros mereciamos, por los pecados cometidos contra Dios. 7 of 10 

Tres días después, Jesús Vencio el pecado para siempre y la muerte cuando se levantó de la tumba, y Él hoy está vivo. 8 of 10 

Lo que Dios requiere de ti es que te arrepientas (abandones  tu pecado y vuelvas hacia Dios) ... 9, de 10 

... Es sólo por fe que puedes recibir a Jesucristo como tu Señor y Salvador. Arrepientete y Cree en el Evangelio, mientras Dios te ha dado tiempo. 10 of 10
The English version is by Tony Miano of Cross Encounters Ministries, and it has been translated for you. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Discernment Blogging, J.C. Ryle Tracts, & High Class Music

DISCERNMENT, LOVE, & CHURCH DISCIPLINE

It is difficult to know when church discipline applies when error is taught outside of the church.
I have been confused on this myself at times, because there are some people outside of my church who compromise truth.
I am very concerned about friends who are or may be influenced by them.

To read a blog post that I found helpful, please go HERE.

I believe that discernment blogs can be helpful, although sometimes people can go overboard.
Some do point out genuine problems, and people do need to be warned.
Sometimes pastors need to name names and confront, but they have a lot to do within their own congregations.   Some people are off of their radar screens, so to speak.

There are plenty of bad apple "discernment" blogs out there.
I've seen some that are absolutely poisonous.
Then there are some people who try to be Biblical, and they are unfairly attacked for calling the church to doctrinal purity by pointing out where people are drifting off.

My blog is not what I would call a discernment blog, though I have done some posts like that.
I have my own struggles, though I have been blessed with some sound Biblical teaching over the years.

Sometimes I feel like I'm falling apart, which keeps me more focused on my own spiritual and physical state.
I appreciate the prayers of Christian friends.  

I believe that we need to remind ourselves to pray for the people who are in error or even outright heretics.   Love is to point out truth and avoid error (as well as to help others avoid it), and it's also to be concerned about the restoration of or salvation of those who teach things that are wrong.

Finding a balance is hard.

There are genuine Christians who get things wrong, and God really can change hearts.
It's easy to get discouraged.  If God doesn't give up working on me, then why do I give up hope for others?
   
In some cases, I am not sure whether someone is a fellow Christian or not.
Either way, I should pray.


TRACTS BY J.C. RYLE

I hadn't realized that J.C. Ryle wrote a bunch of tracts during his life.
Some of these tracts by J.C. Ryle can actually be downloaded HERE.  
The "Are You Ready" title jumped out at me due to my friend Tony Miano also using that title (which is good).


HIGH CLASS MUSIC

Beautiful music for your day.
Part of this tune is similar to When Johnny Comes Marching Home. 
I hope that doesn't ruin it for you!
The lyrics on this one are Biblically based. (Worthy Is The Lamb...put out by Ligonier Ministries.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Gospel In Norwegian

It is my hope to be able to have a Biblical Gospel translation in different languages posted onto my blog.  Other than Living Waters tracts, it is difficult for English speakers to know if a tract is good without first seeing it in English!

The following translation was kindly done for me by an online friend in Norway, Ina Bækkedal .

Are you ready for Eternity? When you die, you are going to stand before God and give an account for your life. 1 of 10

=Er du klar for evigheten? Når du dør må du svare for livet ditt foran Gud. 1 av 10.

Because God is good, He is going to judge you according to the perfect, moral standard of His law. 2 of 10

=Siden Gud er god vil Han dømme deg etter Hans feilfrie, moralske lov. 2 av 10.

If you’ve ever lied, stolen, taken His name in vain, or sinned in any other way, He will find you guilty of breaking His law. 3 of 10

=Om du noen gang har løyet, stjålet, misbrukt navnet Hans eller syndet på noen som helst måte vil du ha brutt denne loven. 3 av 10.

Because God is good, He must punish your sin; the punishment for all sin against God is an eternity in Hell. 4 of 10

=Siden Gud er god vil Han straffe synden din; straffen for å synde mot Gud er å tilbringe evigheten i Helvete. 4 av 10.

While God is righteous and just, He is also merciful, loving, and kind in that He provided one way to escape that punishment… 5 of 10

=Gud er retterferdig, men han er også full av nåde, kjærlighet og godhet fordi han har tilbudt deg en utvei fra denne straffen... 5 av 10.

…and that was through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ: fully-God and fully-Man, without sin. 6 of 10

=...og denne utveien finnes i Hans sønn, Jesus Kristus. Jesus Kristus: både Gud og menneske, men uten synd. 6 av 10.

He died on the cross a death He did not deserve, taking upon Himself the punishment you rightly deserve, for your sins against God. 7 of 10

=Han døde en ufortjent død på korset hvor han tok den straffen du fortjener for synden du har begått mot Gud. 7 av 10.

Three days later Jesus forever defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave, and He is alive today. 8 of 10

=Tre dager senere bekjempet Jesus synd og død, for alltid, da har sto opp fra graven, og Han lever i dag. 8 av 10.

What God requires of you is that you repent (turn from your sin and turn toward God)… 9 of 10

=Det Gud krever av deg er at du omvender deg (vender ryggen til synd, vendt mot Gud)... 9 av 10.

…and by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Repent and believe the gospel, while God has given you time. 10 of 10

=...og at du ved tro alene, erkjenner Jesus Kristus som din Herre og Frelser. Omvend deg og tro på evangeliet, nå som du fortsatt har mulighet. 10 av 10.


The original English text for the following is by evangelist Tony Miano found on his Cross Encounters Ministries website HERE.
He was gracious to permit me to have the Gospel texts translated as long as I properly source them.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

How To Love Your Pre-Born & Your Pregnant Neighbors

Speaking the truth about abortion and those who have their babies murdered doesn't negate love and the forgiveness found in Christ for truly repentant sinners.

Yet, at abortion clinics, women need to be confronted with the reality of the murder they are about to commit and the consequences of their sin.  They need to be called to turn from sin and to Christ.  

God is a God of justice as well as love and mercy.  
As Christians, we know that repentant sinners are made clean in God's sight.  We don't hate repentant sinners who have sorrowed over sin and been forgiven by Christ.  We love them.  Christians love unrepentant sinners too, and they show this by calling them to repentance. .   Christians have to be willing to warn unrepentant sinners that Hell awaits them unless they repent and turn to Christ.  Not every sinner is forgiven...only those who have repented and trusted Christ as Lord and Savior.   Please read the Gospel HERE. Only, as I've mentioned before, we mustn't sin presumptuously.

A huge problem is that abortion is treated as a lesser evil than any other murder, and some people want to act like mothers who willingly commit murder of their pre-born children are somehow not guilty or less guilty and deserving of punishment than those who murder (or hire someone to murder) them after they are born.

People also seem to think that God's forgiveness means no consequences.  David was repentant, and yet God took his child's life.  Sin is serious before God, and we can't just decide to pretend that women haven't made choices and have no or little responsibility as a rule

We shouldn't just be content to make abortion more sanitary or pain free.  We should love our pre-born neighbors by holding elected officials accountable.  We should stand strong to define abortion as murder, and we should let them know that it should be criminalized.

Listening to last night's End Abortion Now Live-Stream,  it was also pointed out how Roe vs. Wade is not really law.    Only Congress can make laws.  As a Christian, I know that even when man's law does allow for murder, it is wrong.   A country that approves sin is accountable to God, and He is judging our nation for rejecting and rebelling against Him.

This nation needs the Biblical Gospel (and faithful preachers and churches) foremost, but secondly, we should do what we can for the thousands slaughtered every day.  We can start by praying,  some should go proclaim the truth and the Gospel at abortion clinics and hold up signs if possible,  or help by supporting those who do.  People can help support those who do ultrasounds, and provide needs for mothers who choose to keep their babies.

Politically, we can start by not using the terminology of the abortion supporters, then also begin supporting those who want abortion actually outlawed, and also try to get lower branches of government to stand up against the overreach of the Supreme Court.  The  U.S. Supreme Court has been rejecting the Constitution it was meant to uphold when it denied pre-born babies the right to life and redefined marriage by completely distorting something to mean something that the writers didn't intend.

Our hope is not in our government, but we must be faithful to speak the truth and do what we can to save lives.  If we can't at least try to love our baby neighbors by sticking up for them,  who will we stand up for?

Let's stand for the Word of God and the Gospel, and then I hope that we can love our little neighbors as well as our big ones.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Telling The Truth About Gender & The Criminalization of Abortion

This world is in deep rebellion toward God.  People reject the absolutes, and they want to do what is right in their own eyes.  What God made is good.  When people reject the gender that He assigned and created them with genetically and then desire that others accept and celebrate it, they are in flagrant rebellion.  Anyone who refuses to tell the truth to them is not actually loving them as they might imagine they are doing.

If you had a child that started habitually lying to you, and they seemed to begin to believe their lies, would it be loving to tell them that it was okay?  Would you tell them that whatever they feel like saying is their reality, and that you will celebrate it?  I hope not!   Absolute truth exists, and God doesn't lie.   When you placate sin, it only brings more pain to a person.  People need to understand what God says about them.   We don't get to choose our own reality.

Another way that even Christians are failing is on the issue of criminalizing abortion.
Many Christians believe that abortion is murder, but they don't want justice to apply to the mothers choosing to have their babies killed.

The children are being created in God's image, and they are human no matter what stage they are at.  Women who go to get abortions know they are pregnant.  Very few people haven't seen or heard about ultrasounds (some ultrasounds are even really superb).

Some suppress the truth about their babies, and they want to hear lies about their baby's humanity to assuage their convicting conscience that God gave them.  Some will reconsider when people remind them of the truth, or have them get an ultrasound where they can't continue to deceive themselves.  Others don't even try to deny that they know what they are doing, and they boast and joke about killing their babies.  Some also flagrantly rebel against God by saying that God will forgive them (before they even go into the abortion clinic).
Some may have heard truth before and claim to be saved, but their deliberate disobedience and presumption puts that in serious doubt.

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,     Hebrews 10:26

So, what is this leading to?  
A woman who hires a hit man to kill someone is guilty of murder before God.   Many Christians would like to see the government laws reflect that truth.
While some women may be pressured by people to kill their babies,  in America they are rarely literally forced.   There might be reason to argue for victimhood only if a minor girl  or someone is dragged in unwillingly.
Pressure and force are not the same thing.
Nevertheless, everybody involved in murder has some responsibility including the Supreme Court and Congress and voters.
Abortionists are not the only culprits in this crime, although they should be held guilty too.   Abortionists wouldn't exist without people who wanted to kill their babies before they can see the light of day.
Mothers are often the last defense for their child, but sadly many are denying their child protection in what should be a safe haven.

Some Christians are afraid to admit that justice should be done to mothers that have their babies killed.   I understand the desire to want to be compassionate, and we know that God forgives women when they truly repent of sin.  Still,  which of these lives are not worthy of justice?
It is not wrong to want our laws to reflect God's character and the value that He places on human life.

Women need to hear about God's law and to hear the Gospel.
I hope that many will repent and trust in Christ's death for forgiveness of sin and His resurrection resulting in eternal life.
Still, we should not be opposed to earthly justice on behalf of the babies, and we shouldn't call murderers "victims" when it comes to their choosing to have an abortion.
Sometimes people pointing out the truth at the clinics...proclaiming God's law and the Gospel...saves lives (and hopefully some may become Christians).
All Christians should care enough to speak truth firmly on this subject demonstrating true love.

 A friend did a video on this subject.  Please watch it if you have time.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spiritual Leaders & Discernment

Thoughts About Spiritual Leaders

I have been reading 1 Corinthians again, and I have looked at some of the commentary notes as well.
I'm not the best about real study at all, but things stand out to me at different times that provoke thought.
The following is the result of some of my reading and thoughts.
(Note: I'm a female, and thus not qualified to instruct men.  I hope that this can be edifying, and maybe it will encourage both my readers and myself to dig in further and meditate in a Biblical sense).

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 3:21-22

Roman Catholics try to place a supreme importance on Peter, but 1 Corinthians 3 demonstrates that this should not be.  Heresy often begins with a wrong interpretation of Scripture, or the placing of anything above or equal to Scripture.

The foundation of the church is Christ. He is the only foundation to be laid...not Peter (1 Corinthians 3:11).
We learn truth from the Word of God, and anything that contradicts should be avoided.

Church planters and waterers are servants with great responsibility, but it is God who is to be extolled rather than the workers
(1 Corinthians 3:7).
Paul laid the foundation (of Christ) for many churches, but it was all of God's grace.
The church belongs to Christ.

It's kind of fun to think of all the Biblical pastors & evangelists out there as belonging to me (1 Corinthians 3:22).  I guess that could mean ones from the past too!   I certainly have learned from a lot of  people.  
Pastors, teachers, and evangelists don't have a special "in" with God that I don't, though some have been a lot more diligent in their prayer and Bible study than I am.
Every Christian can have that kind of relationship with God, though many of us do not have the responsibility that leaders do.

While we can have affection for our teachers, we should not make idols out of them or boast in them.  One pastor who teaches the Word isn't to be considered higher than another teacher of the Word who may have a different way of speaking, and all true believers are one in Christ.  Men do disappoint us.  God will test their hearts and work as well as our own.  We can imitate them, but only insofar as they are Christlike and faithful.

It's good to think about that all things belong to Christians (and it will be even better in the future), and we are Christ's.  He is in us, because we are in Him.


Discernment:  The article HERE by Grace To You is superb (except the quoting of C.S. Lewis, which I know would have been better left out...especially considering the topic).

The following are just a couple of quotes of John MacArthur from a position article "Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis.":

"Some say that doctrine divides.  That's true!  If you set aside biblical truth and remain silent for fear of offending people, opposition will disappear, but so will some other things like truth, holiness, and God Himself."

"Confronting sin effectively puts a wall of division between the world and the church by separating those who obey the Lord from those who don't.  It's essential that believers draw the line between right and wrong."