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Friday, May 27, 2016

Marshmallow Christians, Voice of Reason, & Challenges

Within one week's time I've learned of two youth pastors and one pastor in Tennessee & in Virginia who were soliciting immoral relations with minors.  Sin promises pleasure, but its end is the way of death.

This should be a wake up call once again to those in the church.
In some cases people are unbelievers, but believers are not immune to the deceitfulness of sin.
We expect the world to wallow in sin, and we know they need the Gospel, but the church needs to be purified.  We should see a stark difference.

Sin's pleasure is passing and twists the gifts God offers, and temptation is common to mankind.
God does provide a way of escape.  First, we (Christians) should seek holiness and God's glory and kingdom, we should hate and fear the contamination of sin though we are tempted, we should flee sin, and when we cannot flee physically when it is our thoughts...we must fight and redirect our thoughts to God and His Word.

We are often too much like marshmallows that melt and wallow in weakness rather than soldiers who yield in obedience to God and fight our hearts and feelings that are prone to wander.
Whatever our temptations, they are like fishing lures that lead the fish to a hook and a fish fry.  Though saved by grace and not by works, the Christian life is not a picnic.  We focus too much on ourselves instead of Christ and others.

What are we feeding ourselves?  A steady diet of truth or idle pleasures?
What are we focusing on?  God's Kingdom and righteousness, or our "kingdom" or feelings or pleasures?

Voice of Reason - A couple of online friends of mine (Chris Hohnholz & Richard Story) have started a podcast together.  I used to hear them a lot on Cross Encounters Radio with another friend Tony Miano.
It's kind of sad that seasons change in people's lives, but I'm thankful that my friends are all seeking to please God and be used by Him.

Personal Note:  I'd really appreciate prayer by Christians for me and my family in the coming weeks.
I've been struggling a lot and feeling very low, and there are a number of challenges facing our family as well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Culture of Death, Messengers of Hope, Lyrics Languages

Culture of Death
I grew up listening to Christian music quite a bit, and there are some songs that have messages that transcend the time they were written.
The following song discusses the culture of death that still reigns today.

Messengers of Hope
Last Sunday night during the Grace Community Church live-stream, I heard a particular hymn for the first time that is found in the Hymns of Grace book.
(The hymn books have sold out, & are going to be put out by Moody Press in the future.)
 Near the end of the song I heard last Sunday, it talked about the call to be messengers of hope & to bid the nations to sing the praises of the Lord.
Some people are able to go in person, and that's great!
With my limitations, I'm thankful to be able to still use the internet. Maybe one day I won't be able to, but God still has His purposes.


Lyrics Languages
Sovereign Grace Music is now making some of their song lyrics available in multiple languages!
They have Chinese, French, Russian, Korean, Spanish, & Welsh.
The downloadable lyrics of one of the songs that I like are found on the left side of the following page (scroll down a little ways on it):
Behold Our God

Monday, May 16, 2016

Coffee Lovers - Fun Times

Lots of people love coffee, and many years ago now I used to listen to a little music feature on the radio called "Breakfast With Sinatra."
Yeah, since this is my personal blog, I can ignore all the advice people out there give for consistency in blogging.

Anyway, I enjoyed some of Sinatra's singing on a few old classic movies (though I'm not generally a jazz fan), and so I listened to the feature regularly for awhile.
One song that came up was new to me, but it was in no way a new song.
It is silly, and lively, and I think that some of my crazy (and I mean that in a fun way) online friends will get a kick out of it.
I hope it doesn't offend true Brazilians.
I even put it in as a request myself to the program, and they sent me a CD by someone else (Peggy Lee).   Go figure.

Now you know I'm strange, and no, I'm not endorsing Sinatra's character.
I read quite a bit about his life, and it was a mess.
It's so sad, because he was still blessed by talent.
People who try to run their lives their own way are actually practicing idolatry of self, and they need the Gospel and to be warned of the eternal consequences of sin just like everyone else.
It's too late for Frank Sinatra, but for anybody reading's not too late for you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Lesser of Judgments

In past elections, I have voted a number of times for the lesser of judgments.
I say the lesser of judgments, rather than the lesser of evils.
I think of David having to choose a judgment due to his sin (in 2 Samuel 24:13).
Will a vote have the likelihood to save lives or stand for some Biblical morality?

In the last Presidential election, I voted more for Paul Ryan's possible tie breaking vote (that a Vice President has in the U.S. Senate) than for Romney, only to see Paul Ryan turn around to be wrong on the marriage issue later.  Yet, he did have a better record than who is left in the current election.

It would be great if a true Christian ran for President, but that rarely happens.
Even a professing Christian is often not truly one, and many people claim faith.
It used to be popular to claim to be a Christian to win an election, and some still do it today as we have seen.
Even in history, when a supposed Christian King or Queen or other ruled, it was not a bed of roses.

As it is, many of us figuratively hold our noses and cast our votes for people who are not quite right on some issues, but we try to pick people who are the best to save lives and stand at least for some moral principles that are echoes of Biblical beliefs - though held by non-Christians.

On some occasions, neither of the major candidates is trustworthy on the most important issues.
One may say they support what is right, but when their whole public record shows that they actually support what is wrong.  What then?
This is when I look for someone else to vote for.

When Governor Gray Davis of California was being voted out by a recall election, we had to choose between Arnold Schwarzenegger and others to replace him.
Before the election, Arnold Schwarzenegger had said that he would go with what the people wanted (in opposition to homosexual "marriage"). but he indicated that when the people were ready for it -he'd support it.
So, with that information, I could not vote for him, and I voted for a candidate who did not win. Guess what?  When someone illegally performed "weddings" in California, Governor Schwarzenneger's true colors came out in supporting the immoral "weddings."

This is why I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, and I certainly can't vote for the Democrat candidate.  Trump has proven to be dishonest, and I have every reason to believe that he will not fight to save the lives of the unborn or stand for Biblical morality.  
People need a proven track record, because Mr. Trump's public track record (not just what he's said, but what he's done) has been very poor.

I have yet to decide who I shall vote for, but it seems it will probably have to be a write-in.  I don't know that anyone else has qualifed in this state (Tennessee) for the election.   Even if they have, I don't know if they would be better.
We shall see.

Elections are very polarizing, and many of us feel very strongly.
Some of my friends will not vote at all, and some may compromise hoping for the best.
We will be disappointed in people, but each Christian must deal with their own conscience.
We need to be careful about judging and treating each other harshly in these cases.
God is the judge of motives.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Gospel In Dutch • Het Evangelie

Some friends online have been helping me to get the Gospel translated into different languages.
This one is in Dutch. The original text in English is by Tony Miano of Cross Encounters Ministries, and it can be found HERE.
(If any of my friends see any translation corrections that they feel are needed, please contact me with them.)

Ben je klaar voor de Eeuwigheid? Als je dood gaat zal je voor God staan en zal je over je leven verantwoording af moeten leggen. 

Omdat God goed is zal Hij je beoordelen aan de hand van de perfecte, morele standaard van Zijn wet. 

Als je ooit hebt gelogen, gestolen, Zijn naam hebt misbruikt of gezondigd op wat voor manier dan ook, zal Hij je schuldig bevinden voor het breken van Zijn wet. 

Omdat God goed is, moet Hij je straffen voor je zonden; de straf voor alle zonden tegen God is voor de eeuwigheid in de hel. 

God is niet alleen rechtvaardig en goed, Hij is ook barmhartig, liefhebbend en welwillend aangezien Hij je een mogelijkheid geeft om de straf te ontlopen... 

dit dankzij de gift van Zijn Zoon, Jezus Christus. Jezus Christus volwaardig God en volwaardig Mens zonder zonde. 

Hij stierf aan het kruis een dood die Hij niet verdiende, zo nam Hij de straf op Zich die wij verdienen voor onze zonden tegen God. 

Drie dagen later overwon Jezus de zonde en de dood toen Hij uit het graf opstond, en Hij leeft vandaag nog steeds. 

Wat God van je verlangt is dat je berouw toont en afstand doet van je zonde en je richt tot God. 

...en alleen door het geloof ontvang je Jezus Christus als je Heer en Redder. Toon berouw, geloof in het evangelie in de tijd die God jou gegeven heeft.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Gospel in Italian • Vangelo in italiano

Someone online has kindly asked her friends to help translate the Gospel into their languages.
This one is in Italian. The original text in English is by Tony Miano of Cross Encounters Ministries, and it can be found HERE.
(If any of my friends can make any translation corrections that they feel are needed, please contact me with them.)

Sei pronto per l’eternità? Quando muori, dovrai stare davanti a Dio per rendere conto della tua vita.

Ma poiché Dio è buono, Egli ti giudicherà secondo il perfetto standard morale della Sua legge.

Sei hai mai mentito, rubato, pronunciato il Suo nome in vano, o peccato in qualsiasi altro modo, Lui ti vedrà colpevole di aver infranto la Sua legge.

Ma poiché Dio è buono, Egli dovrà punire il tuo peccato; la punizione per tutti i peccati contro Dio è un’eternità all’inferno.

Dio è giusto, ma è anche misericordioso, amorevole e gentile in quanto Egli fornisce un modo per sfuggire a quella punizione…

..e questo modo è avvenuto attraverso il dono di Suo figlio Gesù Cristo. Gesù Cristo: pienamente Dio e pienamente Uomo, senza peccato.

Egli è morto sulla croce che non meritava, prendendo su di Sè la punizione che tu meriti, per i tuoi peccati contro Dio.

Tre giorni dopo, per sempre sconfitto dal peccato e dalla morte, Gesù risorse dalla tomba, ed Egli è vivo anche oggi.

Ciò che Dio ti chiede è di pentirti (allontanati dal peccato e girati verso Dio)

…e per sola fede, ricevi Gesù Cristo come tuo Signore e Salvatore. Pentitevi e credete nel Vangelo, mentre Dio vi ha dato questo tempo.