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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christian Encouragement & A Court Appeal - Mike Stockwell Speaks

Mike Stockwell was arrested along with other evangelists in Bristol, England in July of 2016.
The court basically considers the Scripture to be an offense, and Mike Stockwell and Mike Overd were convicted.
On June 28th, 2017, once again these men are scheduled to be back in court.
Christians, please pray not only that the convictions will be overturned (which included a fine & restrictions), but that these men will be able to glorify God no matter the outcome.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB

Mike Stockwell explained in a recent message how we can rest in our sufferings & have peace in our trials.
The first 10 minutes or so of the following message gives an explanation of what the men went through in the U.K. (and there were 4 of them who were originally arrested).
If you are going through any kind of suffering - whether persecution, physical suffering or losing a loved one, I believe this message can be helpful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All Saints - Another Movie To Skip

This week I saw that there is a movie coming out this summer that is by Affirm Films (which is under Sony) called All Saints.

I was very concerned when the preview had the guy claiming he thought God told him something, though later a guy talked about being sure the voice they heard was God and not their own. 
After looking up the story, I wouldn't be surprised if the guy decided that the message really was from God.

I'm not a continuationist, and anything that someone claims to be from God should be questioned. 
When someone claims God told them things that aren't found in Scripture I cringe.
The Scripture is complete.

The following are some links that explain well why we should be careful about saying "God told me..." and the like:

"Follow God’s Will (and Never Mind the Mystery)" by Travis Allen 

Please Stop Saying — 'God Told Me' by Josh Buice

"Are Mental impressions Divine Revelation?" by John MacArthur 

I was also suspicious at first that the movie might be Roman Catholic due to the title of it, and the preview had the "pastor" wearing a white collar.
I researched some more about what kind of church this movie was about, and I saw that the church is in Smyrna, Tennessee.
It turned out that All Saints is an Episcopal church, and the "priest" talked about has recently moved to another church (of the same type).
Funny how the movie tries to use the term "Pastor"  or "Reverend" disguising what kind of church this really is.
The Episcopal Church has compromised the truth in various ways, and they also have accepted immorality in the U.S. not only in their congregations but in their leadership,
It is really another branch of the Anglican Church in England which most solid Christians have left.
I was not pleased.
This Is An Episcopal Position.
The Episcopals also follow some Roman Catholic-like traditions...the Eucharist, Lent, etc.

Sadly, "Fireproof The Movie" has a Facebook page that shared about the All Saints movie, and my reply to the movie's trailer I saw on my social media feed was this:

"We need not look for extrabiblical revelation from God.  People looking for God to speak outside of His Word is what leads churches like the Episcopalian church to accept homosexuals as part of the church and into leadership. This goes against Scripture.  The Bible is God's Word, and we need to obey it.  It is sufficient and inerrant.  Our feelings & impressions can lie to us, but Scripture never does."

I plan to skip watching this movie.  
We need to show some discernment, and we shouldn't assume everything that might label itself Christian truly is Christian.

Friday, June 9, 2017

God Moves In A Mysterious Way - Cowper Lyrics With A New Tune

William Cowper knew what it was like to feel very low, and he wrote some very encouraging words that I want to share with you.
It is sad the way his life ended, but if you are feeling low (and I get that way more in recent times) and are a Christian....remind yourself that God does have His purposes.  Don't give up.
No matter what you are feeling, look to the Lord for hope and endurance.
He won't give up on His children, and we must not give up on trusting His purposes.
He knows what it is like to suffer.  No matter what our circumstances, we should not tell God we know better than Him by giving up fighting our spiritual battles.
Dear suffering Christian, God does care.
You may have a bad attitude like I get, and you may struggle constantly.
Thankfully God is patient.
Don't give up though your faith seems fragile.
Pray that God will increase your faith and help you to endure.
That is what I must do, and I hope you will be encouraged to continue to fight to draw near to God.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Radical Prayer Message • Hank Hanegraaff & Eastern Orthodoxy • Uplifting Worship Music

A Radical Message On Prayer

This past Sunday my family heard a message on prayer that was different than many others heard in the past.
No, this doesn't mean that it was unscriptural just because it was different than what a lot of people teach.
So many people focus on the amount of time spent in prayer, style, or having self-imposed regulations to improve prayer life.

The fundamental problem with our approach to prayer is not that we're not doing enough ...but that we need to think differently about it.  DG

I would encourage others to take the time to listen to the sermon!
This message on prayer may radically change your thinking!

Prayer: An Invitation To Intimacy

Coming This Sunday Night

I was excited to see this message announced on the Grace Community Facebook page:

"The Bible's Answer to Hank Hanegraaff and Eastern Orthodoxy"
Nathan Busenitz
Selected Scriptures

This is something that John MacArthur has addressed a bit before (as well as some other people have addressed it), but I believe that a lot of us have not learned much about what Eastern Orthodoxy is.
More of us know why Roman Catholicism doesn't line up with Scripture, although sadly many have not been taught well even about that!

Please watch it if you can!
Live-streaming should be Sunday, June 4th, 2017 at 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern.

Worship Music: 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In Need of Prayer

There are so many people out there going through suffering and pain and trials of various kinds.
Today I want to share a short list of some people that have been on my mind in recent times.

I would like to encourage Christians to pray.

Ben is in the hospital.  He has had a serious infection issue.  

Jordyn has suffered excruciating pain.  It has put off her being able to go to college.

Abby who had a pole go through the car windshield into her head while driving late last year.
She has been working hard to improve.

Mike Stockwell & Mike Overd are street preachers convicted in the U.K. for proclaiming the truth.  They are appealing their convictions.
I think that this may take place in June, although I'm not sure whether the timing will stay as planned.

Just so you know:
I'm going through my own health trials.  Thank you to any fellow Christians who pray for me & my family.
Over the years, things have gone downhill.

May God work in us to grow us closer to Him through these trials.
He has His plans.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Reformation Still Needed

Many are celebrating 500 years since Martin Luther posted (nailed to a door) a calling out of the non-Biblical practices of the Roman Catholic church with his 95 theses.
Sadly, many are still being deceived by Roman Catholics.
They still have another "gospel."

The churches of today now have additional deceptions that are equally dangerous.
Linked below are a few examples.

Prosperity preaching 

The heresy of Bill Johnson of Bethel Church 
(NAR - an example of false teaching, practice, & prophecy)

Acceptance of Immorality - What Is God's Plan? (GTY)

Mysticism, women taking leadership in the church, and contextualization are all wreaking havoc on the church.

Reformation is still needed, but then the Biblical Gospel is also needed.
If you don't have the Bible as your ultimate source of authority as the Word of God (and not just a self-help guidebook that can be interpreted by your own worldview), and if you don't accept Christ as the head of His will have a mess.
The Bible must be rightly divided!

Shocking Bible verses that many who are being led astray do not seem to know. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Faithful Witness • A Prayer Request

Week after week a faithful witness makes his way to an abortuary in Mission Hills in southern California.
He declares the Gospel and pleads for the lives of babies.
He faithfully witnesses even to the man who is performing the heinous acts (Jack Dym) in hopes that he too might repent and turn to Christ and find forgiveness and peace with God.
Others have joined this Gospel warrior in evangelizing on a difficult mission field.

Some of the people who need the Gospel at the "clinic" are actually others who are there desiring to save the lives of babies.
This man who is proclaiming the Gospel knows where some of them are coming from.
He also was once a Roman Catholic, but God's grace and mercy led him to the true Gospel found in God's Word.
All true Christians are meant to be missionaries, and not all will receive any notice or reward on earth for faithful service.
The Christian doesn't gain salvation by obedience, and the accolades of man aren't what we should be seeking.
Yet, some who do labor diligently in hard places where not all can or will go still need encouragement and the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ.
Don is one such man.
Please pray for God to use him and that other Christians will continue to join him.
Please pray that souls will be saved by the power of God through the Gospel of Christ and that the lives of the little babies will be saved.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Are We Justified By Faith Or Works Or Both?

Roman Catholics & the Eastern Orthodox church believe that works are a part of justification.
The Eastern Orthodox church says that justification is by faith & works.
Roman Catholics believe same.
Both have a false gospel.
The Bible says that those who teach a false gospel are to be cursed (Galatians 1:9).
This is serious.

Here are just a couple of the sources where the EOC & Roman Catholics get it wrong:

Eastern Orthodox
Decree 13

We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which works through love, that is to say, through faith and works.  But [the idea] that faith can fulfill the function of a hand that lays hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and can then apply it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy.  For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false.  But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifies through works, with Christ.  But we regard works not as witnesses certifying our calling, but as being fruits in themselves, through which faith becomes efficacious, and as in themselves meriting, through the Divine promises {cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10} that each of the Faithful may receive what is done through his own body, whether it be good or bad.
Roman Catholics
Council of Trent, Canons on Justification
CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.

Many Roman Catholics cite James 2:24 as their authority for their view - regardless that the Bible has so many passages and individual verses that show that their understanding of that passage is incorrect. The overwhelming evidence of justification by faith alone could make a head swim by finding them all.

I realize that it can be confusing as to what James meant, because at first, it may seem to contradict so many other portions of Scripture.

I have been reading through the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle, and something he said really stood out to me.
"We are frequently told that a man is "justified by faith, without the works of the law," by Paul.  But not once are we told that we are "sanctified by faith, without the deeds of the law."  On the contrary, we are expressly told by James, that the faith whereby we are visibly and demonstratively justified before man, is a faith which "if it has not works is dead, being alone." (James 2:17.)  I may be told, in reply, that no one of course means to disparage "works" as an essential part of a holy life. It would be well, however, to make this more plain than many seem to make it in these days."  - J.C. Ryle
James 2:24 is in a context that is demonstrating that a living faith will produce works that prove to men that our faith is a real faith and not a said faith.
That particular verse in James is speaking of a different kind of justification that is before man & not the being declared righteous by faith kind of justification before God.
Many many verses make it clear that we cannot be justified before God by our works.
Romans 4, Romans 5:1, Ephesian 2:8-10, & Romans 3:28 are examples.
Plus, Galatians warns against those who were trying to add the works of the law back in.
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?  Galatians 3:3 NASB

Works are the fruit of a living faith, but they don't make the faith efficacious.
Faith is a gift of God - not of works.
Forgiveness of sins is not a result of our works either.
Unlike what the EOC teaches, works are witnesses to a living faith & have to do with sanctification.
Works can't add a thing to what Christ did on the cross...not physical baptism, church, or communion, etc.
Works are evidence of a life being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
We don't keep ourselves saved or help make ourselves declared righteous by works.
Justification and sanctification go together, but they are also distinct.
A true Christian is given the desire to obey Christ and to fight against sinful desires.
"The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another — even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord.
His work, and not our work — is our only title to Heaven.
This is a truth which we should be ready to die to maintain."
- J.C. Ryle

"Justification is the reckoning and counting a man to be righteous for the sake of another, even Jesus Christ the Lord.
Sanctification is the actual making a man inwardly righteous, though it may be in a very feeble degree."   - J.C. Ryle
Justification is the act of God for us and is not easily discerned by others.
Sanctification is the work of God within us and cannot be hidden in its outward manifestation from the eyes of men.   - J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle quotes are from:

Added Food For Thought For Christians: 
Created For Good Works - Voice of Reason Podcast

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Response To Criticism of The Police

While police are sinners like the rest of us, God has placed them in authority. 

Rudeness by an officer doesn't excuse disobedience. 
Jesus was reviled, and yet He didn't revile in return. 

Have you ever had only seconds to make a decision that could save a life? 
The police have to make these decisions.
God has placed people in authority...even those that aren't believers. 
Sometimes they mess up, but we should be careful about how readily we judge guilt.

There are Christian police officers out there as well.

You know what is rude? Today a young child was told by his dad that a Christian cop was "the bad people."
How do you think that makes him feel?

These guys often are willing to put their lives in danger for you, but how much thanks do they get?

Bible on submission:
1 Peter 2:13-20
Romans 13
We are to pray for leaders:
1 Timothy 2:1-2

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics - Are Any of These Christian Groups?

I have had quite a bit of discussion with Roman Catholics this past week, but in recent times the Eastern Orthodox Church has also been mentioned due to Hank Hanegraaff's joining one.
I used to listen to him many years ago.  He was off in some areas back then, but now the truth has been made evident of where he now stands by his joinng the EOC.
In addition, violent attacks on Coptic churches have brought them into the news and to the public's attention in recent times as well.

Are any of them really part of the true church as Scripture defines it?
They would all claim to be, but....

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic churches all require works in addition to faith in order to be truly saved.  
This is not the Gospel found in Scripture. 

The Pharisees & Judaizers fell under the same type of error.  
The Pharisees added traditions of men and legalism.  
The Judaizers much like the groups I'm writing about were a faith plus works group, and Paul opposed Peter when he gave into that sort of thing.
Galatians 5:4 talks about people trying to be perfected by law.
While Catholics think that trying to add good deeds to being saved & adding the law are different, I now ask how so?  
Salvation is not as a result of works...of any kind!

The Bible demonstrates we are saved by faith apart from the works of the Law.
Galatians 2:21; Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16; Romans 11:6; Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:5-6; Philippians. 3:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Romans 5:1

The Bible teaches we are saved by faith which produces works. 
(See Philippians 2:13 & Ephesians 2:10.)
God prepared works for the believer, but we don't add one smidgeon to the work Christ has done.
There is an eternal difference between trusting in faith plus works & trusting in Christ's work alone.

Lest you think that I believe that a person can have faith without works, I do believe that faith without works is dead.
When James 2:21 talks about justification, he is talking about the justification (the visible evidence of a living faith) before man.
Otherwise, the Bible would contradict itself (which it never does).
Faith is demonstrable to other people by seeing the fruit of faith.
True faith is obedient.
Works will be judged, but it won't be for the purpose of gaining entrance to Heaven or time off from a mythological place called Purgatory. 

Sanctification is something that starts at conversion, and sanctification is a process nd a work of the Spirit.
Holiness is something that Christians grow in, but we can't manufacture it.

You cannot distinguish truth from error without Scripture  (2 Timothy 3:16; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Monday, April 24, 2017

Introduction To Jeff & Why You Should Care

It was a number of years ago I first saw a video of Jeff Rose preaching.
I think it was while watching Living Waters' "On The Box" program.
I remember at some point in the past number of years looking up about Jeremiah Cry Ministries for the first time.
Since then, I learned that Jeremiah Cry was leading evangelism conferences for street preachers and other believers who might support street evangelism (as well as going out to evangelize themselves).
Some of my online buddies were or are friends with Jeff, so I have some clue as to what he is about.

Recently, I've also been made aware that the church Jeff & his family moved to be under in Texas folded, and they are in need of a new church to support them (and funds to help them).
I know what it's like to have a church not last or even split, and I know what it's like to be dependent on donations to live.
God always has provided for us one way or another, even if my faith has been weak.
I would request believers to pray that God will provide for the Rose family.

Hearing Jeff's testimony has given me an additional piece of the puzzle about who he is - showing where he came from.
I've never met Jeff personally, although one person in my family did get a brief chance to meet him.
I have heard his preaching a little bit online, however, and he has joined up with others whom I have gotten acquainted with online over the years.
Open Air preaching began in the Old Testament into the New  It continued with people like George Whitefield, etc. in later times. God does use it.  It's not the only form of evangelism, but it is an important one - going out into the highways and byways.

Here is Jeff's testimony.


If you want to learn more about Jeremiah Cry go HERE.

If you want to see the fundraiser about them, go HERE.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thrown Against The Rock Of Ages

Sometimes I find things that surprise me. They probably shouldn't, but they do.
Today I searched and found some songs by an acquaintance I met online.
I was impressed not only with her talent, but I was impressed by the song lyrics.

I've decided to share one song that is from a quote of Charles Spurgeon.
It has lyrics that remind us that we should welcome even the trials that God brings into our lives, because they are His tools to bring us to Him.
He is our hope!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Modesty Revisited

How should Christian women dress?
Is it okay to wear whatever one likes regardless of how it affects others?

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 
1 Timothy 2:9 ESV 

The Bible tells Christians women to have proper clothing.
Other translations say "respectable" or "modest".
It also says "modestly and discreetly".
Other translations say "with shamefacedness and sobriety" or "with modesty and self-control".

Clearly, Christian women are not to be showing off their wealth or themselves by what they wear. They are to be known for doing good deeds (1 Timothy 2:10).

In Proverbs 7 there is warning about an adulterous woman, and guess how she is dressed?

And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 
Proverbs 7:10 ESV 

Yes, there is such a thing as dressing in a seductive way.
In this case, the woman is intentionally trying to seduce the man.

Are there cases where women can be dressed seductively without trying to get a man to commit adultery?
Yes, but sadly many Christian women want to abdicate responsibility for dressing in a way that draws the wrong kind of attention to themselves.
Surely men do need to grow spiritually, but does that mean that Christian women have no responsibility?

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
Proverbs 11:22 NASB

Let me tell you, men's eyes are drawn to where lines are.
When you have a top that shows just a little...yes, they notice.
When your shirt doesn't meet your lower clothing...they notice.
When your clothes are snug and reveal your figure...they notice.
Yes, godly men will want to look away, but you are putting temptation in their path.

If Bathsheba had gone out to take a bath intentionally for David to see her, she would be responsible for her part in being a temptation.
(Let that be a lesson to ladies to be careful.)
Christian men can be tempted.
They should look away and flee like Joseph did with Potiphar's wife, but that doesn't excuse Christian women to dress inappropriately.
Women, if you are on a diet, do you want your friends to intentionally put boxes of chocolate or your favorite food right in front of you?
Would that be sacrificial love?

Men need to pursue Christ, to flee youthful lusts, to love the Lord, to make no provision for the flesh, to be satisfied and content, but ladies ...
When Christian men tell you that certain clothing entices lust, don't callously tell them, "That's your problem!"

We are responsible to not be stumbling blocks to other believers.
We are responsible to love our brothers.
Christian women are responsible to dress modestly and discreetly.
God made men to naturally be attracted to women (which should bring about a marriage and faithfulness and possibly children), and Christian women should be the last ones to dress or act in ways which cause a man to have to battle sinful desires for a woman who is not their spouse (or entice them to lust when they are not married).
Christian men should also not dress or act in ways to sinfully entice women to sin either.

The following 1-day poll I did is not scientific, but I hope that it will give some Christian women (who actually care) a heads up on this issue.

Friday, April 14, 2017

My Argument Against "Natural Theology"

Our own human reasoning will never bring us to salvation. 
God created our minds, but our reasoning is naturally fallen and darkened by sin. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. 
God makes us able to know things, and the only way to be saved is by special revelation found in God's Word. 

God has made Himself clearly known as God through what has been made.
The natural mind suppresses what truth we have been given, and hearts are darkened.
What we see is filtered through wrong worldviews.
If people are already without excuse (Romans 1:20), why do we try to argue someone into believing what God has already made known to them (and they have suppressed it)? 
God doesn't need a lawyer to prove to the sinner that He exists. 
If God has already made His divine nature and eternal power known, we don't need to act like He didn't.  We do that too often.

When a Christian gives the Gospel, they should declare the truth of God's special revelation found in His Word.   
It is enough.
In Acts 17, Paul didn't try to argue people into believing that God exists. 
He declared God - proclaiming Him for who He is!
Salvation comes by grace through faith as a gift from God...not through our own human wisdom or intellect. 
People can get into all kinds of false views by using their own reason instead of Scripture.
God uses the Gospel found in His Word to save people (Romans 10:13-15; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18).

I'm not saying that God doesn't use our minds to learn about Him.
He is the necessary pre-condition for our being able to really understanding anything!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tie-Breaking Vote By Mike Pence

Late last month, Vice-President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote undoing former President Obama's terrible attempt to attempt to make states fund Planned "Parenthood."

Sadly, two GOP Senators voted against overturning Obama's appalling decision (which actually was overstepping his role as President I believe).
One Senator who voted to overturn Obama's decision came back to vote after having had back surgery.
See One News Now article.
We can celebrate this small victory, but babies continue to be murdered.

The fact that murder is legal in many countries such as ours is an appalling fact.
This kind of evil is not new.
Whether it's Christians, the Jews, the aged, the infirmed, or in the case of preborn babies or infants...the unwanted by some, people have determined that murder is okay by their own standards rather than God's.
Their hearts are darkened as they have suppressed the truth and elevated idolatry.
They have been given over to wickedness.
Planned Murderhood is a symptom of a sick fallen world that calls evil good and good evil.
They are not the only ones who participate in the murder of preborn human babies, though I would rejoice if they were completely defunded.
Yes, I am able to rejoice in small victories, even though I can still be unhappy that any murder still is legal.

I would love to see abortion criminalized, and yet we can see from history that evil keeps popping up its ugly head.
Sin is celebrated and treated as though it's a right anymore in the U.S.
I know this is not just true in America.

We can participate in crafting legislation and voting for life, but Christians must also trust in God's sovereignty.  He judges nations.  We must warn of judgment for those who do not repent.
We must proclaim the Gospel.  We must grow in holiness and faithfulness to God and His Word.
We must pray.
One place the Gospel can be proclaimed is near abortion clinics, but it isn't the only place.
Sometimes God is at work saving souls and even lives, and we must not despair.

One day justice will be done.  The nations will be judged, but God uses His redeemed to proclaim His truth to the unsaved.  There will be some who are saved.
Tears will be wiped away.  There will be no more sin, and His people will rejoice forever.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Only One Way To God

A lot of people who went to church when they were young eventually drift away.
They become calloused and seemingly inoculated against the truth of Scripture.
Some of these individuals decide to completely deny God exists rather than believe the Gospel.
You may have met some of these people online or in person.
Some turn to false religions, while some create their own hybrid religion.
They'd rather believe in a works-based religion, or make up a religion where there are no expectations of them.
They are serving a created idol.
Some who once actually professed faith in Christ never truly heard or understood the Biblical Gospel at church.
Still, others heard and understood the true Gospel, yet they chose to love sin.

People are all about feeling comfortable and good about themselves, but the problem for them is that absolute truth exists whether or not they like it.
Satan wants people comfortable on the way to Hell.
There is only one way to be saved from God's wrath, and that is through Jesus Christ.
People can't create another way no matter how hard they try. Christ is the door.
There is only one way to God, and that way is narrow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Master's Fellowship, Women & Holiness, Animated Luther Trailer

The Master's Fellowship
There is an exciting opportunity coming up where pastors and churches can connect with the ministries of John MacArthur and get some good teaching resources!
Learn more HERE.

Christian Women Reading Holiness Together
During the first week of April, Lord-willing some of us will be starting to read the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle.   It will be my second time.  I'm inviting Christian ladies to request to join my Facebook group.
You can join in the reading at any point during the weeks we are going through it.
You don't have to buy anything.
Imputationists - Encouragement.

LUTHER Documentary Reminder
The new documentary about Martin Luther is scheduled to be released April 21, 2017. Here is the animated trailer.
Click HERE if you missed the official trailer.

LUTHER: Animated Trailer from Patrol on Vimeo.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Christian Women And Gossip

Gossip is something that many of us struggle with even without intending to do it.
When we have troubles with individuals that are hard to get along with or that seem to not to like us very much, what do we do?
Do we bear up, or do we take our woes to other people?
Do we continue to love those who are hard to get along with?

The video I'm sharing today specifically addresses women.
Ina is someone I met online years ago from having watched a Living Waters program.
I believe we both used to watch it live-streaming while being in the chat room.
She's pretty impressive, and this is convicting!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fighting Bitterness

It doesn't matter how long we have been Christians, bitterness can be a temptation when we feel let down by other Christians.
Lately, I have been reminded how sinful I am, and that I need to be more patient toward others at different stages in their walk with Christ.
I need to speak the truth, but I need to love people more.
I have been discouraged so often, that I have become self-protective.
Sometimes my attitude can make me want to pull away from friends.
This isn't good.
God is patient with me, so why am I so impatient and easily annoyed at others?

Bitter Spirited Christians? • Spurgeon • Grace Gems

The older I get, the more I see how far I have yet to go in spiritual growth.
This doesn't mean that I should be tolerant of error or heresy or be friends with those who propagate it.
It does mean that I should be patient,  seeking and hoping the best for people, and not react in anger.
When seeing the hypocrisy and bad judgment in others, I must remember that my sins are just as bad in God's sight.
If He can forgive me and is patient with me, why do I have so little love and patience with others?
Christian friends, please pray for me to both endure health issues and to demonstrate love toward others.
If there is something that I can pray for you about, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Have You Heard?

All of us will one day face God.
The Triune God created mankind in His image.  
Because mankind sinned (and all of us sin), the world is under God's judgment. 
God will judge the world, and the standard by which He will judge is His own perfect character.
The only way to be saved from the wrath we deserve is to trust in Jesus alone.

God knows our thoughts and deeds.

Lying, lusting, coveting, stealing, adultery, hating each other, gossiping, & not loving and worshiping God for Who He is are sins deserving eternal punishment in Hell. 

There is none righteous (Romans 3:10-12).

We can never get to Heaven by our good works. Cease trying. (Psalm 49:8; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:2-3)

We all deserve Hell.

God So Loved The World That He Sent His Son To Redeem Sinners.

Jesus Christ - fully God and fully man - was born of a virgin. 
He lived a perfect sinless life and performed miracles as signs of Who He is.

Though innocent, He willingly and intentionally died on a cross to take the punishment for guilty sinners.

Jesus was buried, but He rose from the grave conquering death!

Those who are His will also have bodies resurrected to life, and they will have eternal joy being with Christ forever in Heaven.

Turn from sin and to Christ. 
Believe the Gospel. 
You will be before God as though you had lived Christ's perfect life, and Christ had lived yours.
You will be clean and forgiven!  Read the Bible. It is God's Word to us!

1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:6-21; John 3:16; Isaiah 53

Monday, March 13, 2017

Shepherds' Conference Videos, TMAI Symposium Audio, Pastor Highlight: Don Green

Shepherds' Conference videos from 2017 are now being posted!
I'm excited to share this with you!

2017 TMAI International Symposium audio is up as well.  
I have not listened yet, but this happened before the Shepherds' Conference with some of the same speakers and more!

Pastor Highlight:  Pastor Don Green is an example of the type of pastor that I would like to have locally.   
He not only has excellent teaching, but he seems to have a compassionate caring about his flock.  
I'm not saying that isn't true about some of my other pastor friends!  
I have seem some of their caring even long distance.
I just want to share some messages that I think will demonstrate why I believe this man is a blessing.

From Anger To Peace - Don Green - I warn you that this one is convicting!

Trusting God In Trying Times Conference - I'm sharing this again, because if you know a Christian who is going through hard times...maybe the death of a loved one...this is helpful.
I was moved to tears to learn that God used my sharing this in the lives of a couple who had lost a loved one last year.  
I hope it will help others as well.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Church Model Of Abortion Clinic Evangelism Ministry

The best type of ministry at abortion clinics is evangelism.
While I don't support every advisory board affiliation of the ministry this church is doing, this model seems to be a good example of working within churches to help them get started.
It is not a group coming from without to condemn, but it helps churches to get involved from within.
It has much to be commended.

The Lord Goes Before Us from Speak for the Unborn on Vimeo.
efore Us from Speak for the Unborn on Vimeo.

The video below is an example of an individual church that does evangelism at abortion clinics - as well as other places.
Sadly, a group called AHA (please see a warning about that group HERE) went to the Shepherds' Conference to call out pastors (who are from around the world) to repent (as though they don't do enough about abortion).
They judged the people by doing this, and yet some of the men from that very conference (and someone from the host church) already had plans to go out to proclaim the Gospel at a clinic that very weekend...and did.
A number of men also went to Hollywood to evangelize.
Evangelism isn't limited to abortion clinics.

There are many churches doing evangelism and going to abortion clinics, and there are those who are involved in evangelizing and / or helping out mothers at pregnancy resource centers.
Then, there are also those of us who cannot go.
We can pray for evangelistic outreaches, and perhaps give money if we are able.
Let's be an encouragement without being factious,  and let us not lose heart.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Shepherds' Conference 2017 & An Upcoming Martin Luther Documentary Release

Shepherds' Conference Summit
This week is The Shepherds' Conference Summit at Grace Community Church in California!
They plan to live-stream it once again.
Tuesday kicks off the conference - with John MacArthur at 10 AM Pacific (which is 1 PM Eastern in the U.S.).
The rest of the schedule can be found HERE.
I will have to miss a part of it, but I'm very excited to hear most of it!

Update: Shepherds' Conference Videos are being uploaded.

Shepherds' Conference AUDIO

Luther Documentary
On April 21, 2017, the Luther documentary is finally set to be released!
This is directed by the person who put out the excellent documentary on Charles Spurgeon.
They have announced that it can now be pre-ordered.
LUTHER: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Three Men On Trial This Week For Proclaiming The Gospel - Prayer Request

UPDATE on the men arrested last year while they were proclaiming the Gospel in the U.K.
The trial has begun, and the case may be decided next week.
There were four arrested, but one of them had the charge dropped against him.
One of the men, Mike Stockwell, is a mutual friend of a number of my online acquaintances.
I have been impressed by what I have seen of him.
Please pray.

See the back stories on this:

Four Men Arrested For Proclaiming The Gospel

Mike Overd tells his story.

UPDATE • February 24, 2017 •  Adrian Clark has had the case against him dismissed.
The cases against the two Mikes are still going forward.

UPDATE • February 28, 2017 •   American Mike Stockwell & British Mike Overd ruled "guilty" of "religiously aggravated public disorder."  This is a miscarriage of justice.  They are already having the verdict appealed.  Christians, please pray for these men & the U.K.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Incrementalism vs. Abolishing Abortion

Many of us would agree that we want to see abortion stopped in the U.S.

MacArthur on abortion. (I don't have his certainty about babies going to Heaven.) 

Some people are discouraged regarding the idea of being able to end abortion, and they promote incrementalism.
After all, the courts and governors stop bills that would abolish abortion. 

Some people say that incrementalism shouldn't be accepted or doesn't really stop abortion. 
Yes, it is true that some people just use pills instead of the surgical abortion, and some people travel to another area. 
Incrementalism certainly isn't what we should strive for, as it doesn't save all babies (and some bills need to be cautiously read lest you deny the personhood of the preborn child).

Then there are some people who think that Christians should take over the government.
That can be based on their eschatological view.
I believe that these people are confused in their understanding of Scripture.
That kind of thing did happen in history (in England, for example), but it wasn't a perfect utopia either.

Seeking for an end to abortion is not a bad thing, but there are important things to consider.
Making murder illegal (since murder is a sin against God) is a good thing, but it won't change hearts rebellious toward God.
This means that all our striving may be futile unless people are changed by God (not us).

Our primary goal then, as Christians, should be to evangelize the lost. This can happen at abortion clinics and elsewhere.
We can pray for changed hearts, and for God to cause things to change.
He is sovereign even over evil nations.

Christians should not attack other Christian brothers and sisters who may not have the same zeal as others for going to abortion clinics.
The body of Christ has many different parts, and while encouraging evangelism is good...attacking other Christians for not being militant is wrong. 

Why I would stay away from AHA  ◄ Please listen to the audio.
This is a group that many people who want to abolish abortion have turned to, but it has had issues since its inception.
The audio I've linked should be a red flag to those who support them.
Numerous pastors have called Pastor Ramos (of in Texas about AHA.  

We are to love our brothers and sisters, encourage them, and realize that God may be using them in ways that are just as important.
 Just as important???
 Yes.  Let's say the person is a pastor who teaches the Bible.
 God uses pastors to make the truth about God and the Gospel known (by their teaching of the Bible), and people become Christians.
Eternal souls are saved, and people are growing spiritually. 
Yes, some pastors do go out and preach at clinics, but that doesn't make those who don't less spiritual. 
 What if the person is not a pastor, but they have a family that they are responsible for (which keeps them from going out)?
God gives them responsibilities to their family, and maybe they are being used to minister to others in ways that you can't see.
There are some things that we should not separate over.

Maybe a person voted for Trump, and you don't think they are pro-life enough.
Maybe a person didn't vote for Trump, and you don't think they are pro-life enough.
Maybe you don't even like the term "pro-life" (as you feel they don't do enough).
Yet, your motives may actually be the same.  Neither of you are for killing babies. 
In some cases, a person may vote for an incremental bill. 
They may hope to save some lives.
You may decide that person is wicked, because some babies are still being murdered.
Your goals may be the same as that person.  You both may want all lives to be saved.
Remember who you used to be, and be careful of self-righteousness in who you've become.
You may be in great danger of straying from Biblical behavior.
We should not separate ourselves from each other.
We need each other!

Christians, please let us love one another!
Love is from God.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why Don't I Hear God's Voice?

God has spoken through His Word. We are not called to look for God's voice outside of His written Word.
We don't need to seek emotional highs.

It is easy to get disappointed when your expectations are up due to people telling you about hearing God speak to them - apart from Scripture.
Yet, they are creating false expectations.

Two articles are very good explanations on this subject.
I may have shared one of them with you in the past.

Please Stop Saying - God Told Me - Josh Buice

Follow God's Will (and never mind the mystery)

Good news! God is at work in the lives of those who who trust Him.

Look at the example of Ruth. The doctrine of providence was at work in her life.
She didn't get some extra-Biblical revelation, yet God directed the events of her life.
Her background and the death of her first husband wasn't an easy beginning, but then those who turn to faith in God aren't called to an easy life.

Joseph is another example.
He suffered great injustice at the hands of his brothers and due to Potiphar's wife... first being sold into slavery & then imprisoned.
God's hand was in that as well.

Miracles in history were unusual events (as we see recorded in the Bible) that came with lengthy spaces between them.
We no longer need them to validate God's Word and messengers to us (as they did then). 
We now have God's salvation plan recorded for us!

I would encourage people to read the Bible daily (and not a paraphrase)....the NASB, ESV, NKJV, or even the KJV are good examples of versions to choose from.
Knowing the truth can help us discern what is false.
When you read the Bible, you will find that God is not silent.
You don't have to hear a sound, but His words to us are there.
He is listening to the prayers of His sheep, and His hand is at work though we don't hear a noise.

I'd recommend the book Reviving New England by Pastor Nate Pickowicz, as it will help you see what a healthy church should look like.
It's not just for those in New England.
We need to get back to basics!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Discernment - Truth Offends

There are many people wittingly or unwittingly bringing error and heresy into the church.
Some of them have conferences that people are encouraged to attend or stream into the church.
There are times when a lot of truth is taught, and yet a little poison can do much damage.
They can be men or women.

Christians need to be discerning, and we need to know the Scriptures to be able to examine what we hear to see - whether these things are so.
Sometimes some thing may sound wise or even Scriptural when you look at a verse or two, but then we still need to look at ALL of the Scriptures.
It is easy to be fooled, and some people teach in ambiguous terminology that can even confuse me as to their meaning.

There are some people who call people heretics when the people accused are teaching Biblical truth, so how do we know who is telling the truth?
We need to know essential Bible doctrines.

People can be at different levels of spiritual growth, so we should try to show grace to those who may truly be Christians while still warning of the error.
Even then, people may shun us or block us on social media.
It should be the truth that offends rather than our rudeness.
We need to remember that we did not always have as much Biblical knowledge as we might now, and we still have plenty of room for spiritual growth and Biblical study.

I'm concerned that some of my best online friends might shun me for often being unable to make it to church anymore (due to different health issues) ... and not having a local church that I feel I can join even for the times I do make it.
I get discouraged about these things, because I want to obey God.
I want to be able to go to church, and it makes me cry sometimes when I'm not feeling up to even going to any church.
When I do go, I have been struggling to even make it through the service.
I am blessed with streaming Biblical churches online, but it is hard to not have more.
I am blessed by online fellowship, since I'm unable to get much in person.
So, we need to be careful before making blanket statements about individuals.

Three articles on discernment that I recommend:

1.   Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis  - GTY

2.   False Teachers & Deadly Doctrines - Tim Challies

3.   7 False Teachers In The Church Today - Tim Challies

"Satan’s greatest ambassadors are not pimps, politicians, or power-brokers, but pastors" .- Tim Challies

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Message For You To Share

I spent much of my day working on a project that presented many obstacles to complete!
It not only shares some of the paintings I've done, but more importantly it shares a message I wanted to spread .
Please share it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When Doubts Arise - MacArthur's Encouraging Q & A Response

John MacArthur did a Q &A that we heard when it was live-streaming.
I honestly can relate to the struggles this woman has.
Many people have thoughts that torment them (and that they hate having), and I believe Satan uses them to make us less effective.

I hope that this will encourage some of you as it does me, and it's good to keep reminding ourselves of the truth.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lordship Salvation Controversy - With A Twist

Sometimes I have trouble coming up with things to post on my blog, but then a conversation I have online brings up issues that I think are worth sharing.

This is one of those times.

There are still those out there who try to condemn Lordship salvation, although many have shifted away from that.

I remember way back when I was 17 and at a missionary school (that I dropped out of after a few weeks).
The evangelism leader did not want us to bring up Lordship when we were going to go out and evangelize on a college campus.
I spoke up for Lordship, because I didn't feel that I could do that (not talk about Lordship).
Yes,  I didn't feel I did well when I did actually go out that one time in actually saying a lot (we didn't stay that long and I'm normally shy).
Still, in the group, I opened my mouth and rambled about the two kinds of Lordship.

I remember hearing people discussing Lordship with each other after the group meeting....not with me.

Well, today, someone brought up this issue again, only this time it's calling MacArthur a synergist.

I'm sorry that it's hard to read, but I can't figure out how to change the color with the embedded comment.

One of my responses (edited only for typing mistakes) to Tim Irvin (after he also shared a video with snippets & some preaching that someone had put together to refute John MacArthur):

I used to go to Grace Community Church, and MacArthur is sound Biblically.
Anybody can try to twist what someone says by snippets.

And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 NASB

John MacArthur doesn't believe in salvation by works. Trust me on this. He believes salvation is from above. The rich young ruler did not obey, because he did not have true faith. True faith will obey & submit to God. If a person does not submit, then it is evidence that they don't have faith.

“And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46 NASB

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 NASB

MacArthur is not Roman Catholic.
He believers in imputation, and he does NOT believe works are meritorious for salvation.

This is from one of MacArthur's books: "Both James and Paul view good works as the proof of faith—not the path to salvation."
I hope people will read it.


Another comment I made in response to the synergism accusation:
The new birth is also a monergistic operation, which means God’s Spirit alone accomplishes it (as opposed to synergistic, which means that human effort participates in the process). - John MacArthur
Sin & The Work of The Spirit
I also shared separate links that you may want to read.

An Introduction To Lordship Salvation - GTY

Justification and Sanctification How do they Differ? by J.C. Ryle

Fruits of Repentance - GTY

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 3:23-24 ESV

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wages Earned Or A Free Gift?

Many people in the world today believe that salvation is by grace, but then they think that their own works somehow keep them saved or helps in the saving of them.
They take certain passages of Scripture to support their views, but they ignore Ephesians 2:8-9 & Romans 3 and many other passages which refute their understanding.

Today I was reading Romans 6, and the more I read the more sola fide jumped out at me.
It's been 500 years since the commonly accepted beginning of the Reformation (although it really started before that).
Much like the Judaizers and Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church put burdens and rules on people that were not found in Scripture.

Today, Romans 3:23 really struck me in a different way than usual.
I thought about how it relates to the rest of what I've been reading, and I also related it to the conversations I've had online.
The difference between what they hold to and what the Bible says is striking.  
So is the difference between how the unbeliever and believer receives their eternal outcome.

Death is earned by the unbeliever.  All of us are slaves being born into sin, but we also earn death as sinners ourselves...all of us.
We are all born that way.
There is none who seeks after God.  All sin.
God's justice and wrath against sin is justly deserved by all.
The believer does not earn eternal life at all.  It is a FREE gift.
It is not a wage of good deeds.  It is not earned at all.  It is all of grace.

So, why the confusion?  Well, a believer will serve Christ as a freed person...freed to be a slave to Christ.
This is not freedom to earn favor with God to somehow help save ourselves.
It is because God has gifted the believer with a faith that desires to obey.
It all starts with the faith and freedom given by Christ.
So, the living working faith that justifies, is not something that we can muster up to help ourselves be saved.
As said before, it is a gift of God.  The believer is born from above.
Someone who is dead in sin will not seek God apart from God's Spirit.
Even as a believer, it is God who is at work in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

God prepared good works for the believer to walk in,  and a Christian will be known by the fruit he or she bears through the power of the Spirit.  God uses His Word and trials to change us.
It is by His Spirit that we can obey, and it is the work of God that saves.
A living faith is demonstrated by an obedient life, but the Christian is Christ's workmanship...not our own (Ephesians 2:10).

This doesn't mean that a believer can or will achieve a sinless life here on earth, but Christ's righteousness is imputed (2 Corinthians 5:21; to the believer entirely apart from works.
We cannot add to the death of Christ (Hebrews 10:10), and we cannot add to the life He gives.
Yet, if there is no change in us when we have claimed to believe, then it may be that we are not genuine.
So, as a Christian, I'm positionally righteous, while I still must fight the good fight of faith.
I can't lose salvation, because genuine faith is a gift and work of God entirely.
Good deeds should never be an attempt to keep myself in the faith.
They should be an outworking of what God is doing in me.

It's like this....
You can't make fools gold into gold by trying to refine it.
You can wash it or paint it.  You can put it in a fancy setting to dress it up.
It will be a waste of time, but it might look good for a time.
Like doing good works to earn favor with God, if it isn't genuine faith to start with...  your good works will be a waste of time.
If you think any of it is of you, then you are wasting your time.
Only God can take a worthless stone and change it into gold.

Read more about the FREE GIFT Here.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Romans 3:28 NASB

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hymns, Theology, & Conferences • Excitement Building

Want to hear some "Calvinistic" hymns?
How about hymns sung at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA?

Are you waiting for the systematic Theology book on doctrine that MacArthur had a part in writing? 
It's scheduled to be released on Amazon on January 31, 2017. 
Reportedly it's already available for those who live close to the church.
Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

The Character of Godly Contentment ...this message given by Mike Riccardi was exceptional.
If only I would love and value Christ more!

Are you waiting to hear the G3 Sessions?  I watched a number of sessions live-streaming.
They are making them available on Apps first.
G3 Apps Announcement 
UPDATE:  You can find the G3 Conference videos HERE.

Lastly, don't forget the Shepherds' Conference is coming up!  
I hope to be able to live-stream it again this year.  
A number of my Twitter friends will be there.
Also, there are those of us who watch and tweet together online.  
Don't miss out!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Coming Home - Prayer Request Update

On December 24th, 2016 my Dad went into the hospital.
This morning, January 25th, 2017, he is supposed to come home from a nursing facility.
He still has a life vest, and he needs pureed food.
He will need home health care.
He has been able to walk with a walker at times, but he has low blood pressure with exercise.
We are nervous and excited, and I'm not sure that we are prepared enough!
It has been a long stressful time - what with us first having the flu, and now a cold virus is in the house (which came from the nursing home).
I've also been having other issues going on for me and other family members, so it's really been tough.
I wish that I would trust God enough to be at peace, but I'm thankful that God has mercy and grace for those of us who are weak.
I continue to cry out to Him when I feel I can't endure.

I am thankful for the prayers of the saints.
There will be hurdles and difficulties, so I hope that you will continue to pray!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Message For Strangers

You never know who you might end up communicating with on social media.
Some people may think that it is not worth your time to engage in conversations on social media.
There are many hardened people you will find online, and they are more blatant in their depravity.
Some think that the internet is just a virtual world, yet they do not realize that behind bold personas, there are often genuine people who may be lost sheep.  God is not limited to your view of the internet.

Yes, I believe that God can use social media just as well as in person communication.
After all, Paul wrote a lot of letters inspired by God.  What I write is not inspired by God (unless I'm quoting actual Scripture that has already been handed down), but I do believe the written or typed word is just as valid as the spoken word.

Lately, I had the opportunity to communicate the Gospel to someone supporting abortion, and today to someone who it seems is a homosexual.
In times past, I've had opportunities to communicate with Muslims, and the list could go on.
I'm a nobody, but if God could give me opportunities...He could give many others opportunities to attempt to give the Gospel to those we might never have the opportunity to meet in person!
Please don't limit your world to face to face only.
For those of us with disabilities, it may be that we know people best through online communication.
Yes, there are positive aspects to "in person" meetings and relationships, but we shouldn't discount those we bump into or get to know online.  Sure, they could be a fake.  I've experienced those, but for all the phonies, there are those who actually are no different than those you will meet face to face.

Here is an example of a recent response I gave...slightly someone on Facebook..  
I hope that it might motivate you to reach out in whatever sphere God has given you!

Only Christ was without sin. Everyone born today is a sinner by nature. It is because mankind had rebelled against God that they have been given over to all kinds of sins. One of those sins happens to be having unnatural relationships with people burning in desire for those of the same gender. Physically it is not natural, and it is not healthy either physically or emotionally as well as spiritually. There are many types of sin, and we are all guilty before God deserving eternal judgment in Hell. Yet, God in His mercy, sent His Son to die for those who were yet enemies, so that they could be reconciled to God as adopted children. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life that we could not. He willingly went to the cross to die a death He didn't deserve...taking God's wrath for sins He didn't commit, in order that those who repent & trust in Him would be forgiven and have eternal life. He rose from the grave in 3 days, and He is now with the Father. He sent His Spirit to indwell those who believe on His name. I urge you to repent and turn to Christ for eternal life.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Don't Assume

How we act shouldn't be determined by what we think that others are thinking.

Hate is not simply a white issue. It's a human sin issue. 
Sometimes I think that people are aiding the prejudices of non-white people by excusing their prejudice and anger as being justified. 
We-they mentalities are not good no matter what shade you are...white, black, brown, and other variations of melanin pigmentation.
Cultural differences do exist, but we don't have to be clones.

Sadly, police officers have been thrown under the bus by many "Christian" leaders and others.
In their haste to be understanding, they are actually encouraging sinful attitudes.
Christians, of all people, should understand that all people are created in God's image.
We are taught to love even our enemies.
The police are no worse than others, and we as Christians are to respect authority.

So, maybe you've had some bad experiences with someone in a uniform or with a different shade of skin. Yeah,  those can happen.
It takes time to get over those, but we must still remember to not assume that everyone is the same (though I know it can be hard). 
Remember that it wasn't everybody of that shade of skin or that particular uniform that did something wrong or seemed rude or mean to you. 
People are responsible for their own sins or bad judgment, and it could just as well have been someone with the same shade of skin as you or without any uniform. 
It could also be that your preconceived ideas perceived malice that was not actually there.
The police are taught not to voice their feelings or sympathy, but that doesn't mean that they don't care.
We can't read minds as well as we think we can!

You who do not like it when people assume the worst about you, do you do the same to others?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Free Reformation Course, Conferences, & Church Resource

The Master's Seminary is allowing people to watch a series by Dr. Carl Trueman on the Reformation which is scheduled to be live-streaming for free January 10-14, 2017!

Time: 11 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern / 8 AM to 1:30 PM Pacific - Tuesday through Saturday - January 10-14.

There is an interesting resource for the church coming out soon.
I can't vouch for the whole thing - not having seen it yet, but you might want to check into it!

More Upcoming Conferences!
What with the G3 Conference & The Shepherds' Conference coming up, I think that people are going to have a lot to listen to in the coming months!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Though The Darkness Comes, He Is Faithful

Why the silence?
This may not be a complete narrative, but it will give you an idea what we've been going through during this pause between blog posts.
On December 24th, my Dad was trying to walk down the hall.
He was miserably sick, and he was trying to use a walker.
He couldn't keep up with it with his legs, and so eventually ended up on the floor.
The advice nurse was called and then 911.
The men who came thought we only wanted him off the ground, but we knew he needed to go to the hospital (though he didn't want to go).  He had tried to get up.
He was in ICU (with a positive flu test), and then he was sent down to lower care which was not that good.
He ended up back in ICU, and we learned that his numbers indicated a heart attack (after midnight one night). He was having trouble breathing, and his heart was racing.
They asked my Mom if she wanted them to continue.
What a question!  Of course, she did.
We all were sick with the flu.
We barely could get ourselves soup and other food.  I was in survival mode.
It was like a nightmare.  I did get help from reading and listening to music some.
I wrote down times we needed to take medicine to keep the fever down.
I had set up baggies of pills for each of us before I had gotten the worst of it.

The heart doctor took a number of days to get information about my Dad's heart for us.
They said his heart attack was before he came there.  His heart output is not what they want.
Well, people were improving enough to visit him finally, and now he is back at the lower level of care (though he has pneumonia and congestive heart failure).
His flu is gone.
He probably needs a stent, but they are giving him a new kind of heart medicine that has been helping.
They want him to have a life vest, and they want him to go to a skilled nursing place to build up strength.  
If that works out, perhaps they will do an angiogram and a stent.

So far, the places we wanted him to go have not worked out, so we must trust God to work things out.
My Dad is coughing a lot and having trouble swallowing, but he has been improving some in other ways little by little.  He was able to walk a short distance with a walker today he said.

I myself have been having fevers continuing, but today I learned that the flu isn't there for me now.
I have something else going on that is making me feel crummy.
This has been a very hard time for us, and there have been times I have felt I couldn't endure.
Yet, I keep looking to God to be my help.
My own body seems to be falling apart, and I have difficulty thinking at times.
Still, I know God is trustworthy, and He doesn't lie in His Word.
He does love us.  He is faithful.  He will never leave us.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and we can hide under the shadow of His wings.
Thank you to those who have prayed, and we would appreciate continued prayer through this stressful time.
I'm not strong, and we don't have a lot of support here.
Still, God is making sure that we depend on Him.  We have no other option!

God has been at work through His Word, through songs He has used, through a Spurgeon devotional, through a message I heard live-streaming Sunday (and listened to part of it again tonight).
He is working through the prayers of His saints, and He is working even through my Dad.
My Dad has even been praying for us.

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
Psalm 37:24 NASB