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Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Shall Again Praise Him

We've been going through times of testing physically in our family, and I feel like a worn out wet dish rag with my own poor physical health.
I'm concerned for the one family member who has to play nurse and cook for us as well.
I was encouraged today to remember to desire God's glory & will foremost over my own.
I have not been doing well.  My spring has sprung.

There are so many Christians suffering out there for their faith as well as physically.
I know that I'm not alone in suffering, and I admit that I keep heading back to Psalms instead of Job for encouragement and hope.
I get little glimpses of God's mercy by reminders that encourage me for short times.
I need frequent reminders.

Sunday is an extra blessing though I am not up to leaving home....again.
I miss the days when we were able to make it to church, but I'm blessed by Truth Community Church & Grace Community Church live-streams.
It's not the same I know, but it is refreshing when you have not been feeling well.
That seems to be most of the time for a long time.

Today, I was reminded again of verses about hoping in God with a song sung by an online acquaintance named Edward LaRow.
I'm thankful he shared it, as I'm very familiar with the verses.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Why We're Protestant - Hot Off The Press

Why We're Protestant
The author of Reviving New England (Nate Pickowicz - a pastor & church planter in New Hampshire) has another new book just released which examines the 5 Solas.
It looks like something my readers might want to check out!
I reviewed his first book HERE (part 1 of my review).

Friday, July 28, 2017

Transgenders In The Military • Medical Stories

Response To "Transgenders" In The Military

Recently someone on Facebook asked how to respond to friends with gentleness and respect ...basically when they are defending having "transgenders" in the military.

This was my response:

God created male and female, and so there is no such thing as a transgendered person. 
Wanting to be something you're not cannot change what God made you. 
Transgenderism is a deception, and it breeds distrust and may cause many relational problems. I also believe that men & women shouldn't be out there together as soldiers, and furthermore, as a Christian, I don't see women on the battlefield as being something God desires. 
Women were not made the same as men no matter how much they desire to be like men and no matter how capable they are in many ways. 
Soldiers shouldn't entangle themselves in the affairs of everyday life, and mixing genders and gender confusion is a distraction from the real goal of fighting the enemy. Sadly, many affairs go on in the military as it is, and putting someone created by God as a female in the midst of males...or a male in the midst of females....increases the danger of immoral relationships distracting from what people should be about.

(I borrowed from 2 Timothy 2:4.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medical Stories & Gospel Tracts

I've been in medical buildings quite a lot lately with pain.
There are so many others out there suffering.

In the ER, I heard a man describing how a lady got dragged by her car.

I listened outside a doctor's office to a lady who was suffering, but she didn't know what all was wrong.

I heard a man who came into the doctor's office who had part of his hospital care denied by Medicare.
He was an old man, and I felt so sorry for him.  He was getting bills for thousands of dollars, and he hadn't wanted to be kept at the hospital.  
A doctor had wanted him to stay.  It seems that he can't afford to pay the bill.
I wished I could help. He was talking to the ladies at the check-in.

When I was waiting at the lab for an x-ray, a worker came out and told a couple waiting that the lady of the couple needed to go to the ER.  
Apparently, earlier tests had come back and shown something.
All I could do was pray.

God knows all of these things are going on.
It is good that we have been reading a section of a book recently on Jesus being The Ruler Of The Waves.

I placed Gospel tracts at some places I went, and I watched as the lady my sister talked with began to read one.  
I hope & pray that others will read the tracts.
These people in trouble need the Gospel.

Update: The tract that the lady picked up and started to read has still been there when I've been back to that waiting room (more than once).  
I saw another person pick it up and start to read it the last time that
I was there!
I hope this encourages other Christians to find ways to spread the Gospel!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Go Where The Fish Are • Prayer Requests From Canada

Guest Post By Joshua Mills

He Shall Have Dominion Also From Sea To Sea” (Psalm 72:8)

I want to begin this article with a brief overview of Canadian history. 
In 1867, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, a Christian and founding Father of Confederation, was inspired by his biblical convictions to call Canada a “dominion”, after Psalm 72:8. 
The name, “Dominion of Canada”, was used to recognize the rule and reign of Jesus Christ over this great land from sea to sea.  
However, now one-hundred and fifty years later, things have progressively changed to our disliking.  Changes in policies, laws, and new curriculums have been established by the government to support their liberal agenda and world view.  But this does not worry me!  We have a firm confidence as Christians for the future.  We know that God is the Sovereign One reigning on His throne! 
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings”, all for his Sovereign purposes (Daniel 2:21).

Therefore, for the remaining part of this article, I would like to highlight God’s work in Canada. 

For the past year or so I have had the privilege of establishing a local street outreach ministry birthed out of the local church.  
Growing up in Canada I have never received a tract in my hand from a stranger, nor have I ever heard the gospel proclaimed freely outside church walls. This is wrong! If unnumbered souls are dying and spending an eternity in Hell, then we must go where they are!  Case closed.  
We must go where the fish are! We must bring the Gospel to them. A Fishermen can only practice fishing in his own bath-tub for so long before he must go where the fish are.  
This parallels with the Christian!  We are commanded by Scripture to enter the Highways and byways, where the fish are, and compel people to come in (Luke 14:23).

Out of this burden to see the Gospel go forth in our Nation I entered the streets to find some fish. Soon enough, the Lord answered my prayers and connected me with a few brothers who had a weekly Saturday afternoon outreach downtown Toronto. 
For a few months, I regularly attended this outreach, but the commute was far. 
As time went on, I gained a greater burden for the souls in my City.  As far as I know, there has been zero gospel street ministry done in this city in the past. 
Therefore, it was time to get something started!  I found two young guys (fifteen and seventeen years of age) who were zealous to serve the Lord in evangelism.  We decided to try going downtown one night and see if we could spark up some conversations.  Providentially speaking, we bumped into two guys who have been handing out tracts downtown for about a year or so through their local church (one of them being an Elder at the church they attend). 
Thankfully the Lord brought us brothers who were faithful to the Word of God and shared the same Biblical convictions with us.  One of the brothers was trained in Biblical evangelism through The Cross Current ministries (they were trained through Ray Comfort and Paul Washer in Evangelism). Our American brothers and sisters have been a tremendous blessing to our ministry!

From this point on, the hearts of God’s people were stirred to see young men going out weekly to tell of Christ.  Each week we began to see a new people wanting to serve in this area. 
Currently, a year or so later, we now have on average 10-15 different people out with us weekly sharing the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ downtown Burlington. 
Through the ministry, The Cross Current, there has also been evangelism teams set up in Waterloo, London, and Ottawa, Ontario.  
These groups from local churches go out weekly and hand out tracts, converse, and preach the Word of God in the streets.  On average, we hand out about 200-300 tracts per week and have many Christ-Centred conversations. 
Though it is hard to see fruit in the ministry, since we most likely will not see these people again, we have had stories told of fruit produced by Gods grace through the Proclamation of His Word. 
Praise God!

It is a unique time to be a Canadian, and I am very excited for the future!  We have seen a huge geo-political shift in our country, but this movement was a movement done by the Sovereign hand of God! 
You may be asking, “what kind of people do we often come across when evangelizing?  
In many cases, we come across those who believe that they are “good enough” through their good works to go to Heaven.  Therefore, we must always preach the law to them and show them the Character of God, the depravity of man, and the hope of the Gospel. 
Additionally, most of these people are refugees from Islamic countries who are willing and eager to talk with us.  Numerous times we have talked for hours with Muslim friends, and they end up taking the Word of God (the Bible) home with them to read more. 

To conclude, on one hand, this nation seems like it is spinning down into destruction. But on the other hand, we have seen the hand of God stirring the souls of men. 
The church in Canada is being awakened to the urgent call of the Great Commission. The people of God are beginning to feel the urgency to go out to their neighbour and tell them of Christ, to go out onto the street and herald the gospel!  It is a unique time to be a Canadian. 
This is only a brief and insufficient highlight of what God is doing in Canada and globally for His glory!

Continue to pray for this work. 
Pray that God will be glorified primarily, and that souls will be won to Christ through evangelistic efforts across Canada and around the Globe! 
Pray specifically for more labourers in Canada for the Harvest field! 
It is my prayer and heart's desire to see a group of evangelists in every major city in Canada, heralding the Gospel on a weekly basis. 
We can not miss the opportunity ahead of us!

To God be the Glory,

Joshua

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Oregon Passes "Free" Abortions Murder Bill

Oregon is now willing to pay for the murder of children in their mothers' wombs at all costs.
They are willing to offer abortions on demand for free whether you are rich or poor or criminally in the country.
Yes, Oregon is proud of her evil behavior.
See story HERE.

God is not blind to this evil.  Those who live within her borders that are Christians must be horrified that once again Oregon is leading the way in aiding and abetting murder.
All intentional abortion is murder whether it is done by a "doctor" or by medicine intended to prevent a baby from being able to survive.
Oregon also led the way to a culture of death with assisted suicide...taking suffering and depressed people and allowing them to make a deadly murderous decision.

People who support abortion claim they want every child to be wanted.  You don't make every child wanted by murdering those that exist already in the womb.  You are just letting everybody know that you don't want the child that is already being formed and made in the image of God.   Trying to do everything you can to avoid the responsibility that comes with intimacy is not something that should be lauded.  Denying the baby in the womb his or her humanity doesn't cut it.  
Denial doesn't undo the fact that a human life is at stake.

Sadly the rebelliousness and hard-heartedness of Oregon is only a reflection of the evil that is in the hearts of men who want no part of the God who created them.
I'm thankful that there are some in Oregon like Pastor Chuck O'Neal (and others) who are willing to go to the gates of evil and proclaim the Gospel in hopes that God will rescue and save souls and lives.

People who rush to have their babies killed or whatever other licentious acts they involve themselves in are blind in their sin, and they need the light of the Gospel of Christ.
They need the Spirit to convict them and they need to hear the law of God to see their need for the Gospel.

There is a conference in Oregon in August of this year (2017) where people can go to learn about how to witness the Gospel to cults as well as going out to an abortion clinic and other places to proclaim the Gospel.
To learn more about the conference (Reformation Fire) go HERE.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Remember The Prisoners" • Prayer Request

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. 
Hebrews 13:2 NASB

In 2007 Alimujiang Yimiti had his business shut down, and in 2008 he was arrested.
He is a former Muslim who had professed faith in Christ and wanted others to know Christ.
His heart apparently was to reach the Uyghur in China with the Gospel, and this was not acceptable to some.  Sadly, he was then charged with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign nationals.”
He received a 15-year sentence, yet it would seem that it really was all due to his desiring to see others have faith in Christ.
See more info. HERE

This man has been in jail many years now.
Christians, please pray for the family as well as this man, and pray that the government will overturn this sentence and set him free early.
Please pray that God will continue to strengthen this family and that God will bring good out of this wrong.

Please watch the following videos.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Don't Host The Wolves & Careful Companionships

What does the Bible say about hospitality to false teachers and giving people a platform to speak their false religion to believers?

Based on 2 John 10:7-11, we can see that those who come with a wrong teaching of who Christ is should not be given a greeting. This was written to a lady whose house hosted a church.

John MacArthur interprets this to mean not letting them into the house (see about halfway down). Declaring & Defending The Deity of Christ

On the other side, we see Paul and the other apostles taking the Gospel to synagogues and other public places (like Mars Hill) not within a church. Paul reasoned with people whom he was brought before. I don't see believers ever encouraged to bring false teachers into a church of believers to allow them to share what they believe up front (even with the motive of evangelizing the false teacher or to educate the Christians).

In the Old Testament, I see how the prophets of Baal were treated in 1 Kings 18.
Elijah mocked them. 
Yes, people who served idols were not treated like those who genuinely listen to hear the truth proclaimed. 
They were shown up as false to the people who were already being deceived by them.

Letting a wolf into a church (who we know has the motive to steal and influence weak flock members) is not wise.
Yes, I know that people can be confused and influenced by false religions.
On the other side, an evangelist or preacher going to speak to a primarily pagan audience to proclaim the Gospel is a different matter altogether.
This series by Nathan Busenitz is an example of how you can educate Christians how to evangelize and to spot false teachers.

We are to love our enemies, yet we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. We are to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples, but our intimate friends should be those who will help us grow and sharpen us in the faith. We don't want intimate friends who will encourage us to love the world, but we are to be lights in the world and imitate Christ.

Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."
1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 13:20 NASB

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. 
Psalm 1:1-2 NASB

Discretion will guard you, 
Understanding will watch over you, 
To deliver you from the way of evil, 
From the man who speaks perverse things; 
From those who leave the paths of uprightness 
To walk in the ways of darkness; 
Who delight in doing evil 
And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 
Proverbs 2:11-14 NASB

Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
2 Corinthians 6:17 ESV

Additional sermons on being equally yoked (by Mike Riccardi)

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.



UPDATE!  On June 29, 2017, Mike Stockwell (of the U.S.A.) and Mike Overd (of the U.K.) were acquitted in court in Bristol, United Kingdom! Christian Concern's Facebook Update

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 church...you 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:
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness1.htm
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness3.htm

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?
No!

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!
SHEPHERDS' CONFERENCE

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 Redgracemedia.com) 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)
- GTY


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.