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Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Christian" Idolatry

We are seeing more and more people who are professed Christians who have been so influenced by the world that they ignore Scripture under the guise of "love."

Sadly, many well-known individuals have no solid grounding in the Scripture or sound Theology - which leaves them open to being tossed here and there by every wind and wave of "doctrine" as well as feel-good lies.

Even those who might seem to start well have let what others think - or their own desires -  guide their beliefs (rather than the Scripture).
What is worse is that these individuals have many followers that they are leading away from the truth.
They have the appearance of being reasonable and spiritual to those who have not been immersed in Scripture, but they actually are devoid of Biblical truth.
It's even more frightening when they speak a lot of truth at first, but error - like poisonous gangrene  -begins to fester.

Recently, I've seen people posting about Nichole Nordeman & Jen Hatmaker.
If someone tells you that LBGTQ  is acceptable to God, then they have rejected what the Scripture says as their authority.
Romans 1:21-32 & 1 Corinthian 1:6-11 make it clear that these kinds of behavior are not what should be practiced by Christians.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  
Ephesians 5:6 NASB

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  
Ephesians 5:11

In a culture where people seek after fame (which is often a form of self-idolatry) and where people are desirous to have heroes to look up to (which can turn into idolatry when people blindly follow others), we need to be more like the noble-minded Bereans who examine the Scriptures to see if those we are following are actually leading us toward Christ or away from Christ and Scripture.

Even the apostle Paul's goal was not to seek glory from men.  We, as Christians, must seek to be holy...not like the Pharisees... but seeking after genuine holiness.

For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness—
nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.
1 Thessalonians 2:5-6 NASB

Galatians 1:6-10 serves as a warning to us as Christians to make sure that those we are listening to don't corrupt the Gospel.  Timothy was even warned to avoid opposing arguments which are falsely called "knowledge" ( 1 Timothy 6:20-21).

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.  Colossians 2:8 NASB

I want to obey Christ and follow His Word.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reformation & Revival

Reformation- TMS Chapel: October 25th, 2016. Speaker: Dr. Nathan Busenitz 
The link above is to a video which was live-streamed from The Master's Seminary.
I watched the last portion live and the first portion dead?  No, not really.
I watched most of the first half with the music and introduction in video form.
I highly recommend watching this....especially for those of you who haven't heard him before!
It has an important admonition at the end.

Men who rocked the world - Steven Lawson 
A long time after what was known as the Reformation, the churches were growing cold and were in need of spiritual revival.
Not long ago, Steve Lawson did a series where he talked about George Whitefield & Jonathan Edwards.
They were in the time of Great Awakening.
I've only barely started in the series myself, but I have great expectations!

Reviving New England by Nathan Pickowicz is now available on Kindle.
I didn't want to leave this newer book out of my post about Reformation and Revival, and those of you who like screen reading can now be happy!
I've read 4 chapters so far in my paperback version, and it's worth your time!
It deals not only with historical facts and a great desire to see revival in New England (which has again grown cold), but it goes through what a Biblical church should look like.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reviving New England • Book Review • Part 2

God can use a few good men to set the world on fire for Him!

First of all, people need the right Gospel, and the church both individually and corporately needs to be purified.

I have been continuing to read Reviving New England  a little bit both yesterday and today, although dizziness issues have been plaguing me.
Chapter 3 has a clear presentation of the Gospel.
I didn't notice the virgin birth being mentioned, but other great truths of the Gospel were clearly emphasized.

Fighting sin, pursuing holiness,  true repentance, and sanctification were delved into quite a bit.
I really found the chapter helpful for me personally as a reinforced encouragement in my battle against sin.

 I even underlined a little bit in pencil.

One thing I underlined was this:
"Our warfare is that of aggression against the impulses of our hearts that rebel against God and hijack our efforts to live for Him ...."  - Nate Pickowicz
There were a couple of aspects that I would have liked to have had clarified personally:

1. I believe that while in general confession to God of individual sins is good, there can be a problem of rehashing individual thoughts.
In such cases, I believe that a more generalized confession may be a better option.

2. I would like clarification on the corporate confession of social injustice quote.   In this day and age, many people make general accusations of social injustice.  This is not always a fair accusation, and I believe it would be good to define what is truly social injustice.
I do see in my reading of Scripture that our light should expose darkness (so pointing out that things are sins against God as John the Baptist did I can see), but I also believe that our primary goal should be evangelistic with those outside the church.
I'm wondering what exactly we need to confess about those outside the church except maybe our own apathy and lack of evangelism?

Within the church I see this:
If someone is letting rich people (or it could be people of certain shade of skin) have preference in the church, then yes, that would be not only a social would be disobedience to God.
Giving care to one group of individuals over another would be personal favoritism, which I find as clearly against Scripture.
On the other hand, I see some people (even Christians) undermining the whole justice system to fit their own sense of justice.
It can bring people to disrespect and endanger authority that God has placed over us.
Even Nero was to be submitted to in what didn't clearly direct disobedience to Christ.
I hope this won't be considered as an attack....just the sharing of my own thoughts and questions about what I've read.

That being said, Chapter 3 was still excellent.
 At this point, I am thinking a study guide might be helpful for people like me.
I would like to see all of the key words with their definitions that I could review easily, and I would like to see all the practical application in study guide form to fill out and review.

Is anybody else with me?

I've started reading Chapter 4 already, so there may possibly be more to come!

Thanks again Pastor Nate for sharing this book.

People can get the book on Amazon or by going HERE.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reviving New England - Book Review • Part 1

A Pastor friend of mine by the name of Nate Pickowicz (who previously wrote THIS Article for me)  has recently had a book published, and naturally I was interested to see what he had to say.
He was kind enough to include me to receive a copy of the new book.
Although it was never said to be required of me, I had it in my mind to do a book review.
I saw some glowing praise for the book before it arrived, so my excitement mounted.

The following were some of the early comments I saw:

So, I've now begun to read the book for myself.
I'm not nearly as fast of a reader as my online friends, but I've read two chapters so far along with Steve Lawson's excellent forward and the introduction.

Here are my first thoughts and summaries of what I've read:

Much of the first chapter is a historical account which talks about revival, the need for revival, the Great Awakenings, and the spiritual slide that has happened in the northeastern area of America,
Clearly, Pastor Nate Pickowicz has a heart and passion for his native New England.

He not only traces the history of Christianity in New England and its influence on the nation and the world, he makes it clear that he longs to see this happen again.
He is laying out a strategy in this book based on the Bible and history.
Certainly, the book's emphasis is especially on the preaching from the pulpit..which is great!

The major spiritual decline is lamented, and the percentage of actual Christian believers left is extremely low.
This is sad but not surprising to me, as I see the northeastern U.S. as very liberal - which manifests itself politically, as well as morally (though they are not alone), and spiritually.
I digress.

Anyway, near the end of the chapter, it begins to be more encouraging with more optimistic hope instilled.
I found myself leaping in my mind beyond even the necessity for Biblical preaching from the pulpits, but it also reminded me of the need for evangelism there in New England (as I'm aware that some are involved in that by things like street preaching and tract distribution - and one on one conversations - on college campuses and at abortion clinics).

On to Chapter 2.
After tracing the history of revivals from the Bible onward, Pastor Nate begins to describe what preaching should and shouldn't be like.
As I read the descriptions of what preaching should not be like, I knew that I had heard some of these methods.
I wish that many pastors would read and pay attention to what he's saying on this.
If you want to know fully what I'm talking about, you'll just have to read it for yourself.

I've definitely heard the "Springboard" preaching method where a pastor takes a text, and then they spend half or more of their sermon completely off topic or putting their own theme into the text (which might be mixing in the hobby horse method or just plain inserting some other topic into the mix).
This 2nd chapter in Reviving New England reminds me of how I felt when reading the book Pulpit Crimes by James White, and my mind assents a big Amen to what Nate is saying.
Self-centered pastors think the church revolves around them, but Bible-centered pastors believe that all of life revolves around God. -  Nate Pickowicz
Again,  as to his describing what preaching should be like....Amen!
And again, you'll have to read the book to know what he says it should be like!

Pastor Nate includes a lot of quotes from other sources, so this is a helpful compilation all in one place (although I can't vouch for every source...though some I do know are good).
I've enjoyed a bit of the review of history and how it all is fitting together.

It's not only New England that needs revival.  It's needed all over.   Revival comes through the Spirit convicting and working in the hearts of individuals, and while faithful pastors - as in the faithful prophets of old - are not able to manufacture change in the hearts of individual people, God definitely uses the faithful and passionate preaching and reading of the Word for His purposes and glory.

I would love to have a pastor like Nate Pickowicz down here where I live, so that our family wouldn't have to "settle" for some compromise in doctrine & practice - or to be stuck at home with live-streaming trying to figure out what to do next (though my physical issues can make me feel not up to going places at times anyway).
Christians, please pray for a church plant to be started where I live where we could actually even become members.
We love the plus of excellent live-streaming (and I would hope to continue), but we want a church home.
I'm thankful for some fellowship at times where we've been, and that not all of the teaching has been unbiblical.

Also, please pray for New England, and for the Word of God to be preached faithfully and accurately by men who love and live out the truth of Scripture!

You can find Reviving New England on Amazon directly or by going through the Entreating Favor webpage HERE.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Is Gun Ownership Right For You?

Is it right to own a gun? 

If it is legal to own a gun, then we should be very careful about telling people whether they should own a gun or not.
Unless someone tells me that their purpose is to aggressively go out and kill someone, I have no business to tell someone not to legally buy a gun.
Yes, there is a key word there ....legally.
Sometimes people are able to buy a gun, but they are not legally qualified by law to own one.

Now, I can tell people that murder is wrong, but the Bible makes it clear that defending innocent life was accepted in Biblical times.
If the law allows you (even as an individual home or business owner) to defend innocent life, then it is up to your own conscience and ability about gun ownership.
Some people use guns to do target practice or to hunt for food to eat, and it's all within the law.

Clearly, I can see that the government is there to attempt to bring about justice and defense to the broader community.
Individuals are not called upon to run around looking for trouble to play cop or soldier.
That's obviously a government thing, and I can see in Romans 13 that it is actually a God-ordained role for government.
So, I have to obey the people that God has placed over us as long as they aren't commanding us to disobey God.
The government bears the sword for a reason, and that is pretty clear.
Now, if the government tells someone to aggressively, intentionally, & knowingly slaughter the innocent...that would be wrong.
I couldn't do that as a Christian.

So, basically, if the law allows people to self defense, and you are using a gun for purposes within that law - then it is God's to judge your attitudes and motives and not mine.

A person is just as guilty before God for hate and unrighteous anger with or without a gun.
Owning a gun legally isn't what God judges. He sees our hearts and knows our minds.
Yeah, I think we all are guilty of sinful anger and hate at times.
I could say that if you are full of hate, that there could be greater danger in owning or carrying a gun.

It's a matter of your own conscience, and we should listen to that.

What is most important though is our relationship with God....whether one is a Christian or a non-Christian.
The problem with all of the evil that is being done with guns in this nation isn't about the guns.
The problem is the sinfulness of mankind.
The conscience must be properly informed by what God says, and this applies in all areas.

I would request that you watch the video below, because it's message is of utmost importance to all of us.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Amazing Miracles - Real Prophets

Note to readers:  Since I'm a female writer, I want to disclose that before you read this.
I in no way want to be taking a role I shouldn't, and these are just my thoughts from reading in the Bible.

I'm reading 2 Kings again, and I find it quite amazing that things jump out at me that I had forgotten about.   We think about Moses being used in the parting of waters, but how many of us think about Elijah or Elisha also having waters parted for them?

I know that Jesus raised the dead, but Elijah (in 1 Kings), and Elisha (in 2 Kings) also had the dead raised by the power of God.  They prayed, and God answered.  Isn't that an amazing thought?
God worked special miracles through them.

Sometimes I forget to think about some of the similarities between what the Lord Jesus did on earth (and His apostles), and what the prophets of old were given to do.
Actually, I guess it just shows that the same God did similar miracles at different times in history.  
I know Elijah and Elisha were prophets only (thought that was a special calling), and Jesus was God the Son (which is beyond any other prophet).

Still, there were many miracles done through Elisha and others.
There was the birth of a baby to a barren woman, the resurrection of that young man later, the provision of oil to keep a lady from having her 2 sons go into slavery, the miracle of poisonous stew being rendered safe, and there was even a miracle of seemingly not enough food be multiplied with doesn't that sound familiar?
That is in 2 Kings chapter 4 where I read today!

There are so many types and shadows in the Old Testament of what was to come, it's amazing, isn't it?  
There is so much demonstration of God's justice, mercy, and compassion in the Bible.

Sometimes I focus so much on God's justice (and His justice is good), that I start to lose sight of His compassion and mercy (which I'm desperately in need of).

I hope that my thoughts on what I've been reading are of some benefit to someone, but please remember that I'm just a blogger!
Maybe this will even encourage someone to read what I'm reading!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Spurgeon, Suffering, Solace & Soothing

"Every Man Is Born A Pharisee" ←This section of a sermon by Charles Spurgeon highlights how salvation is not by works.
 It's worth reading!      

"He takes the crown from off the head of man in all respects, and gives all glory to the grace of God." - Charles Spurgeon

Christian, Are You Suffering? - Yeah, that's me too.
This message is an encouragement for Christians who are suffering.
It's called Benefits From Suffering by Rick McLean
Links: Benefits From Suffering or Suffering - MP3 

The Role of Women in the Church   - Sometimes it seems like it is rare for people to take 1 Timothy 2 & 1 Corinthians 14 seriously when it comes to women in the church, and I lamented that fact recently on my blog.
It can be pretty discouraging what with that and other compromises in churches.
The article on No Compromise (NoCo) Radio's site linked above is an encouragement that while not all agree 100%, there are those who do desire to stand strong on Scripture on this point at least.
Little by little people seem to find ways to worm around the Scripture.

Soothing Music- Simple music with an encouraging message.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bible Study Helps & My Song Choice of The Day

Bible Study Resource Links: Nathan Busenitz is a seminary teacher, and I highly recommend his lectures on Historical Theology Parts 1 &; 2. ....good not just for pastors. 
Well, HERE is his list of recommendations for online Bible study that you may want to check out!

The Best Bible Translation - So many people are using paraphrase "Bibles" which can be deceptive, but thankfully there are still some reliable and pretty accurate translations of the Bible out there.
I prefer NASB myself, but I do have an audio version of the ESV as well.
The GTY website has this to say....
Which Bible Translation is Best?

A Song For Your Day:

I shared this song once before, but this version is a new track coming out on a new Sovereign Grace Music album  scheduled to be released on October 21, 2016.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Help For Those Affected By Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has greatly affected many people.  
I am concerned that people caught up in discussions about the Presidential debate and other things may quickly be distracted away from people who are still in desperate straits. 

In Haiti, hundreds of people are dead, and a lot of people have lost their homes and are in need of basic things and shelter.   

Many people in the U.S. had power outages which might sound minor, but there has been quite a bit of flooding and wind damage in some areas which is a lot harder to deal with than people might think.
Thankfully the death toll in the U.S. was very low. 
Help is needed in both locations, and times like these can bring greater opportunities for Christians to give the Gospel out as well as to provide physical aid as they are able.
We ought to have some love for our neighbors close by and around the world.
Some people are already active in trying to help, but I'm sure more is needed.

Here are a couple of places that are helping:

Children's Hunger Fund has people who volunteer from GCC.

Hurricane Matthew Giving through World Orphans
 ( You can check out World Orphans' Website)
I heard about World Orphans through a church that I listen to sometimes.

Christians,  I would ask you to pray for the people even if you can't do anything else to help.
Some of us are on very limited funds, but we still care about those in need.
God is Sovereign over all.
I pray not only for physical help, but that the Biblical Gospel will be heard, and that God will open spiritual eyes and ears and hearts.  
I have one friend online who has reported Gospel opportunities in Florida.
People can pray for his family as they seek to help others as well.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Are we the only ones?

First of all, I'll state that we believe in the doctrines of grace. 
That is rare in these parts, but even where some may privately agree on that there can be other issues that make me feel we are aliens.

Are we the only ones left who believe women shouldn't preach?

Okay...maybe we are not completely alone on that one, but it is becoming an increasing rarity.

Are we the only ones left who don't believe women should teach men in Sunday School classes?

The list of those who agree is narrowing.

Are we the only ones left who feel women shouldn't lead the congregation in prayer?

Now I'm even more of a rarity. I just saw a lady writing for 9 Marks whose church thinks it's okay, and I've been to churches that allowed it (which I disagreed with). 
The lady posting on 9 Marks' site was writing under the guise of supporting complementarianism of all things!
This really disappointed me to see 9 Marks posting this. 
Their next article that I saw by a woman seemed to be rather instructive to pastors which only exacerbated me in my disappointment.

Are we the only ones who don't believe women should read the Scripture for the church service?

Okay, I know some probably agree on that one, but the number is becoming increasingly small.

Are we the only ones who don't believe a woman should be the main worship leader to lead the congregation?

So many churches want to push the envelope to see how far they can go in putting women in places of authority in the church.

Does anybody care about 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 or 1 Timothy 2:11-15 anymore? 

This is just one of the issues that I have been dealing with lately that has left me discouraged, but I remind myself that others have gone before us who have stood seemingly alone on many Biblically based issues. 
Each generation of believers must hold fast to the Word of God and sound doctrine based on the truth therein.
We may seem like a dying breed, but the truth never can die out. 
While there are many true Christians who give a little here and there, we shouldn't have to go that route. 
I don't want to have to compromise on any truth, yet I want to obey God and assemble with believers. 
It seems we would have to compromise on some doctrine to do this.
This is our dilemma....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Have You Seen JMac Rap?

I was looking to find a music video by a person who sang at Grace Community Church this past Sunday, and  in the process I came across a hilarious video that is a few years old.
It was done by people from The Master's College which is now The Master's University.

I decided not to resist sharing this crazy "rap", even though I am wondering how my friends will react!
I hope you have a sense of humor!
(John MacArthur makes an appearance near the end of the video.)


This is completely meant to be funny.
So, these are my disclaimers:
Christians should want to be like Christ foremost, of course, and not idolize anyone.
So, we should only follow examples in the way they follow Christ.
People generally don't faint when they see John MacArthur either.
I sure didn't when I used to see him around, though with my physical issues these days I do feel faint at times.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Why Trials? • Foreign Language Gospel Resource

Why do Christians have trials?
I found this video when searching for something to encourage someone else, and it is helpful for me and any other Christian going through difficult times!

Foreign Language Gospel Resource:
I have shared other Gospel links in the past, but not long ago I came across another source right on a church website!  
I should have seen it before, right?
It's very exciting to me to have more and more choices available.
Our freedom to openly share may not last forever, so we need to make the most of our opportunities....redeeming the time!
LinkGospel Presentations in multiple languages