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Monday, July 30, 2018

Steadfast Conference on Creation, Free Hebrew or Greek Bible, Ladies' Bible Studies, & Music for Your Day

Steadfast Conference -  Creation: The Truth of The Beginning
This conference is scheduled for October 12-13, 2018. 
If you are able to be in Bakersfield, California on those dates, there will be a speaker from Answers in Genesis and one from The Master's University as well as Dr. Steve Schwarz who is a pastor.

(This is not to be used for the purpose of selling it.  It is for personal use.)

This is a site for ladies that you may want to look at by Lisa Hughes (wife of Pastor Jack Hughes) which includes Bible Studies and devotionals. 
Scripture Paths
We visited a church where her husband was a pastor many years ago when they were in California.
Jack was one of the few pastors who actually was bold enough to speak on modesty (which is sorely needed these days). 
He was a TMS graduate.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Looking For Exceptions In The Bible

Are we reading the Bible looking for exceptions?
Are we reading the Bible looking through the lens of what the world is teaching us?

The world tells us that the earth is very very old.
Many people in churches then try to triage the Bible to fit what "scientists" tell them.
The Bible says that there was evening and morning during the days of Creation.
Some in the church want to allegorize that to fit what the world says instead of the very clear account of Scripture.
The Bible additionally gives us a lot of genealogies which leaves us with solid clues that the earth is not remotely millions of years old.

A literal 6 day Creation is what God teaches me in His Word. 
I believe Him.
People can argue about it, but it's a fact.
So, God can make the earth and trees and animals and people as mature (trees with fruit & man with intelligence to name things, etc.), yet they were newly created.
Why should that surprise us? 
 Scientists have often gotten things wrong in their ignorance (just watch the news and you'll see how they change their minds on things), and they get it even more wrong when they try to explain things without acknowledging the God who rules over the universe.


The world tells us that women should be able to do whatever a man can.
The Bible teaches us that men and women are different and have different roles and that wives are to submit to their husbands (if they have one) and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
Many people in churches then look at where the Bible talks about women not being permitted to teach or exercise authority over a man and they again try to triage the Bible to fit in with what they world has taught them and their own desire to exercise authority over men because they feel gifted.

Even those who partially accept what Scripture says about the qualification for elder often put women in authority in mixed adult Sunday School classes and find ways to get them leading the men in pastoral type roles in church.

Some believe that women can be leaders in a body that helps to choose missionaries (which does affect church planting), or they encourage women to preach outside the church walls.

God teaches in His Word that elders are to be men and that women aren't to teach or exercise authority over men by reason of the order of Creation. 
 While Aquila was with her husband and explained the way more accurately to a man along with him, she was not teaching up front and there wasn't even any hint that there was a long formal instruction time. I wish people would read the context.
Even Deborah's being a judge was more of a judgment (and that wasn't being a church type leader).
1 Corinthians 14 fits in with 1 Timothy 2 & 3 and Titus 1.
Why is it that those even in churches that claim to believe Scripture want to find a way to get around what Scripture says?
I get frustrated when people teach women the lie that 1 Timothy 2 and the like were only based on a particular situation in history while ignoring that it is based on the order of Creation.

The world teaches us to view our world through the lens of victimhood or our perceived identities.
Many people in church then try to interpret Scripture and the idea of justice through the lens of the world's views on equality.
This thinking actually can lead to a twisting of what the Gospel is, and it can separate brothers and sisters which is the opposite of unity. 
 It can also eventually lead to acceptance of immoral behaviors and sin.
It leads to demands that the Scriptures don't teach us to make on each other.
It can encourage bitterness.
If you have actually been sinned against by one person or a few people, it's easy to project that on others with similarities to the perpetrator.
We get hurt, but our first reaction which might be righteous indignation can easily turn to sin (if it's not sinful to start with).
If you are able to restore a relationship with someone who hurt you, that is good.

As Christians, we must avoid turning our hurt into vendettas and bitterness and judgment on all people including those who haven't sinned against us.
It is hard to love our enemies, but when we don't obey God we can end up sinning and treating others like enemies who are not our enemies.
It's especially sad to see Christians not focusing on unity around the truth of Scripture and instead some are even distorting the Gospel.

As far as people claiming victimhood in other cases where people don't accept immoral behavior or lust or deception, we can't accept sinful lust and coveting or lies about who people are as okay in the church.
The Bible teaches us to confess and forsake sin...not to coddle it as something that we can't help.

Christians do struggle with sin, but we shouldn't make ourselves comfortable with it.
We need to examine ourselves if we try to excuse our sin (that which Scripture calls sin) and get others to as well.
It isn't loving to tell someone that sin is okay (like lust, coveting, or deception about our identity that God gave us).

Too much of the time the church is willing to believe the world and follow it's fashions and fads and ideas of what is right and wrong and justice and injustice.
We can be like Eve listening to the Serpent asking us if God really said what He said and then when the truth is twisted being deceived by the lie.

I get distressed by my own sinfulness and rebellion toward God.
As a believer, I need to submit to the Scriptures and believe its truthfulness no matter what the world says.
Sin wants to reign, but if we are Christ's we need to call our sins out for what they are.
We can't listen to our sinful desires or the world's ideas of right or wrong.
We need to call them out for what they are...liars.
We need to draw near to God.
This is my desire, but I'm weak.

I am thankful for those who care enough to pray for me, and I would like to pray for those who ask for it as well.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lesson From A Cereal Box

When I was about 9 or 10 years old I learned a valuable lesson.
We used to get cereal boxes that came with some interesting things for kids in them.
One time we got a cereal box that had a tattoo in it that you could apply to yourself.
Yes, a tattoo.
That seems a very strange thing to give out to kids, and the design wasn't really all that thrilling.
Being a gullible child, I decided to use it.
I think I applied it on the top of my hand like when you get a stamp on the back of your hand at an amusement park.
Then I began to worry.
Was it permanent?
You see, I was ignorant about the difference between a temporary tattoo and one that is permanent.
I think I eventually tried means to scrub it off.
What seemed like fun for a short while became a stress and likely an embarrassment.
It was on there for long enough for me to learn that real tattoos might seem fun for a time, but I didn't want something that would be permanent.
The lesson that I learned then was a starting point of awareness.
I believe that people who get tattoos are acting like gullible children or rebellious teens.
They aren't looking at the long term effects.
Tattoos put people off.  Not everybody is going to be excited about your tattoos even if you are.
When you get old and wrinkled, you aren't going to look very attractive.
Tattoos are costly to try to remove and they may affect your career if you have one.
Some jobs do not want people to have visible tattoos on their workers.  It is not professional.
If you have a tattoo put somewhere invisible, what is the purpose?
If you are married or hope to be, what does/will your spouse think to have to look at that long term?

You might point out that a lot of people color their hair interesting colors at different times in their lives.
Some women paint their nails with art or have others do it for them, and many people can wear interesting fashions (Christians should be decent though) and try new hairdos.
Those things can fairly easily be changed, and when you mature, your tastes hopefully will change and mature.

A tattoo is something that might appeal to you greatly now, but in 30 years it might not suit your new tastes and fashion interests.
It doesn't matter if the design is a cross or something else.
Does that make it so much more spiritually mature, or is that an insult or immature view to the seriousness of spiritual things?

If a man desires to be a pastor or elder, or if a woman wants to set an example for younger women and teach them what is good, what are people going to emulate with that example?

For some of us, seeing people with tattoos makes us a little fearful.
You wonder if the person was/is in a gang or is a thug or worldly or just has had an immature past.
If someone has not already had a permanent tattoo put on them, I hope they will look beyond their own desires and current fashion tastes.
I realize that tattoos are only an outward thing, but often they can reflect what is internal.
The internal cleansing from sin by Christ is what is most important, and we should love those who have outer marks and blemishes.
This is just a matter of wisdom and showing mature judgment.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 
Titus 2:3-5 NASB

Let no one despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  
1 Timothy 4:12 NASB

What do you want to be known for?
I would encourage those who don't have tattoos to think about this.
The lesson I learned from the fear of permanency of that temporary tattoo was a good thing...a lesson that came out of a cereal box.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Encouragement For Widows • Surrendering To The Text • From Death To Life Wrap-Up

Erika is a fairly young widow that I believe can be an encouragement to other young widows and mothers going through a similar trial in their lives.
Please check out her blog.  This Thorny Rose

Do we look for loopholes to what Scripture says or do we dig deep into it and surrender to what it says?
The following article explains what that means.
Do Your Hermeneutics Hold to Sola Scriptura?
 by Abner Chou

A quick wrap-up of my review of  the book From Death To Life: How Salvation Works by Allen Nelson IV.
Chapters 9 &10  in the book encourage evangelism, and the conclusion of the book also deals with baptism and being careful about pronouncing people saved.
The final parts of the book deal with problems with the Sinner's Prayer, the necessity for church discipline, etc.
One of the things that gave me pause is the church covenant section.
I'm very cautious about making promises while being supportive of spiritual growth and a desire for holiness.
Holiness can't be manufactured by the making of promises.
It is good to have doctrines you can affirm and to encourage people to grow.
On the whole, the rest of the book is pretty good, and I am thankful for the opportunity to read and review it honestly.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Introduction To A Fellow Slave of Christ

I enjoy discovering good things about some of the people I run across online.
Some people that I follow are singers, podcasters, evangelists, at least one artist, some pastors, a presup. apologist, book or blog writers, and I've even had a few who have either been so kind as to write an article for me or who have translated the Gospel for me!
God's sheep are interesting and what is best is to see God using people for His good purposes.

Darren Wiebe is someone that I was introduced to on social media due to his ability to sing (and possibly to teach as well).
Interestingly enough, he went to The Master's Seminary (and I love to watch their chapels and even some lectures online). 
I would like a pastor from TMS to come to my town.


This is probably the song that I first heard that was shared with me.

My favorite song sung by him though is the one that has very poor sound quality (in case you haven't seen it already).
It has a calming effect.

And, last, but not least, the following is the first message by him that I have heard online (given at a Sunday School class).
It actually is a convicting message.  If you have time, it's worth hearing.
Handling Life’s Challenges - Faithfulness (Part 2) September 17, 2017 | Darren Wiebe

Thursday, July 5, 2018

From Death To Life - A Book Review - Part 3

Today I'm continuing my chapter by chapter review (or summary) of Allen Nelson IV's book, From Death To Life: How Salvation Works.
I'm not giving away everything that is in the book.
This book would be good for a group of people new to a church, for professing believers not yet grounded in Biblical doctrine, or as a reminder for Christians who need to get back to foundational teaching.
Part 1
Part 2

Chapter 6 -  This was a solid chapter on justification.  Justification is by faith alone.  Christians are accepted by God in Christ and clothed in His righteousness.
"The worst that I am isn't beyond the blood of Jesus.  The best that I am isn't beyond the blood of Jesus."  - Allen Nelson IV
Chapter 7 - This chapter dealt with sanctification.   True Christians will grow.  They will desire Christ.  There will be spiritual fruit, and we should see a pattern of repentance.  Those who have no fruit should not be assured they are saved, but those who are believers will endure to the end.

Chapter 8  - This chapter talks about how God opens the eyes of the blind and they are awakened from a  bed of "counterfeit comfort".
"Little do sinners realize that their slumber is not a place of solace but a cell in which they are imprisoned." - Allen Nelson IV
Sinners do not desire Christ on their own.

This chapter also discusses that deeds are a fruit of salvation and not the root.
"When repentance is real, reformation follows: Reformation in thought, reformation in desires, and reformation in life."  - Allen Nelson IV

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Story of Isla • A Short Story

Isla had done it.  She had seen the beautiful necklace in the house that she was helping to paint, and she took it when nobody was looking.
The next day when she was asked about it, her palms sweated and her heart beat fast, but she lied and she got away with it.
She was 13 years old.

This was only the beginning.
She was a beautiful girl, but she became proficient at deceit as time went by.

A few months later she was out with friends at a park (in disobedience to her parents), and she ran across a kind stranger in the park.
When she got home, she blamed the stranger for detaining her and scaring her and hurting her.
The story of a predator in the park was broadcast on the news that night.
The man was found and prosecuted.  She lied on the stand.

At age 17, Isla ran away from home.  She stole and she hung out with other thieves.
One day the gang beat up a local pastor while stealing from a church and still she wasn't caught. 
She didn't stay pure either. She met up with many abusive men, and her face and attitude hardened.

She finally started working when she was 18 and no longer afraid of her parents being able to try to make her go home.
She actually did pretty well, and she was able to work her way up to styling the hair of well-known people...and then...

Isla saw him.  He was a politician running for governor.  She didn't like him or his politics. 
She played up to him, and then she began to make accusations online.
She had an abortion around that time, and she accused him of being the father.
His was the house that she had once stolen a necklace from, and she still had the necklace.
She then used the necklace as evidence that the candidate had been grooming her as a child.
The man was annihilated by the media. He lost the election.

One day Isla heard a street preacher as she was walking down the street. 
He made her angry. 
She spit at him and gave him a hard time. He was the pastor her gang had once beat up.
He was back the next day.   He pointed out how lying and stealing and murder were sins against God. She continued to spew out venom.

The next day she went back to hear him again. She heard a little more. 
 She heard about the Triune God.  
God the Father in love sent His sinless righteous Son fully God and fully man to be born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and to live a perfect life that she couldn't live.  
His Son Christ Jesus took the punishment for sinners so that they could be forgiven.  She heard that He rose from the dead on the 3rd day. 
She was told that she must repent and trust in Christ alone to save her from her sins. 
She was still angry, but she thought about it.

Then one day she was caught. The necklace and church items she had stolen were confiscated. 
She was hauled off to jail, and she awaited her trial.
The jury found her guilty. The judge was going to sentence her. 
Then suddenly the bailiff spoke to the judge quietly.

Then the judge spoke up.  The pastor has paid for the church items and the necklace you stole. The charges are dropped. He has interceded for you.  He is my son.
Tears streamed down Isla's face. 
She felt the weight of all of her sins against God, and silently she cried out to God for mercy.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Corrupt Speech, Doubts & Fear (Hymn Writer), & Shane's Testimony

The article linked below is worth reading. 
We really do need reminding about what kinds of speech are sinful.
There are so many opportunities to sin. 
Just Stop it, Part 5: How To Repent Of Corrupting Talk by Clint Archer 
(See also HOW TO REPENT.)
There are articles on anger, lying, and stealing as well.

I discovered an author of hymns (John Kent) who interested me due to the lyrics that I have read by him so far, and I would love to hear the words I've read set to newer tunes.
The following song has lyrics that I need to think about. 
Please have a look.
When Overwhelmed with Doubts and Fear
To hear the old tune go HERE.

The following is a video of someone that I follow on social media.