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Friday, August 30, 2019

Testimony of a Pastor & Lordship Salvation Explained

Testimony of a Pastor

The following is the testimony of Nate Pickowicz who was kind enough to write a blog post for me a few years back.

I've also read a couple of books he's written (Reviving New England & Why We're Protestant).
 (I don't know the people who did the video.)

Lordship Salvation Explained

In recent times, I've come across people online who are against "Lordship Salvation."
This video interview of Phil Johnson about it should be helpful to those who do not truly understand what it is and what it is not.
I've not listened to this podcast before, but this episode was worth hearing.
I recommend starting about 5 minutes in:

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Strange Journey (Personal)

Early this week, we got a ride from my brother to a town less than an hour away.
We had appointments for two of us in my family, and we were to spend the night for our miserable backs to recover for the trip back.

The first thing that went wrong was that our GPS navigation device kept trying to send us to a street that was not where we were attempting to go at all.  After a while, it was finally discovered that somehow it had changed to assimilated driving or some such nonsense.  How?  I do not know.

Later a light was blinking.  It's possible it was due to having too much in the back, but I'm not sure if anything was really open.

Well, we made it to a place to eat before the first appointment.  Everyone else had gotten their food and I was feeling like fainting without any.  Then they let us know my soup wasn't ready, and it would be 10-15 more minutes.  They brought me a croissant.  When the soup came, it was lukewarm.  I ate it that way anyway.

When we left the place, the back of our vehicle wouldn't open at first. 
We tried to discover what was wrong.  I thought maybe something inside was keeping it closed.  Anyway, eventually we got it open to be able to have the wheelchair & walker stored in it.

After two people were dropped off at the hotel, I had to go along for the ride to the first appointment (since we didn't know how long it would be).  My back was miserable sitting in a wheelchair though I did try to elevate my feet for awhile at one point.  Thankfully, we got out in time to make it to my early check in at the next place.

On to my appointment.  We had to wait quite awhile for that (past the appointment time).  It was one of those nerve conduction tests where they shock & prick you which left me with a couple of bleeding spots that were bandaged.

We picked up food (I stayed reclining in the vehicle) and went back to the hotel.  Well, one of the fast food places had forgotten to fill part of the order, so a couple of people went back to get that.

Here is the last bit I'll share.  Two people were planning to sleep on a sofa bed. 
After they were laying there for a bit, we heard calls for help. 
The foot of the bed was rising up like it was trying to shut back up (though it had been fully opened).  A people eating sofa bed? 
It reminded me of an old comedy movie!

Yesterday something started happening on my face that scared me and set me into tears..tears for what was happening and tears for our situation. 
My Dad encouraged me, though our situation hasn't changed.

I'd appreciate prayer for that I will not be anxious and depressed and also that God will help us through and provide help (and healing if it's His will).

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

William Cowper's Struggles (Plus Some of His Poetry Set to Music)

I was looking for hymns by William Cowper yesterday, and I ended up by reading more about his life.
"There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" and "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" are some of the lyrics you may be familiar with of the hymns he wrote.

I had heard some about Cowper's life in the past, but I didn't remember a lot of it.
His mother reportedly died when he was 6.
He made it through schooling to be a lawyer, and he fell in love with his cousin whom he was not allowed to marry.

The stress of trying to get a clerkship position in the House of Lords broke him.
He made three attempts on his life. 
He ended up in a "Insanorum" where he reportedly converted to Evangelicalism (which means he became a Christian).

He had the influence of some good friends in his life, and he seemed to improve for awhile and be encouraged spiritually.
He also sat under the teaching of John Newton and collaborated with him in the writing of hymns.
One online biography tried to make it sound as though what they call Newton's "despondence" was a bad atmosphere for Cowper, but something else I read makes it pretty clear that claim on that biography was utter nonsense.
Some of the critics are likely anti-Calvinist (as though Newton's Calvinism caused Cowper to have further mental problems).
Cowper was reportedly Calvinistic before meeting Newton, and some things that he wrote make it sound like Newton was just the opposite of a bad influence on him.
He was really an encouragement.
I too believe in the Biblical doctrines which many label "Calvinism."

One site mentioned that William's brother died a year before he lapsed into another time of mental instability.
That bout seemed to have ended the idea of his marrying the widow (Mary Unwin) who nursed him.  He was living with her family before she was a widow and continued in her care until she needed care herself.

 He had fears that he was going to go to Hell and had nightmares and delusionally thought God had commanded him to kill himself.
He improved and was encouraged by Mary to write as well as another widow encouraged his writing.

Mary became ill and paralyzed (this is what I read anyway) and died, and Cowper became despondent again after that until he died of dropsy.
I read that his nephew reported that shortly before he passed on that his sad face took on " a look of wonder and inexpressible delight."  

I found a poem of William Cowper's set to music in my searching.
Perhaps some of the most encouraging people may be the ones who need the most comfort from God.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A Shocked Nation

The rapidity of the recent mass shootings in the U.S. has shocked many (in California, Texas, and Ohio).
Many think new laws are the answer to murder.
California has strict gun control laws, and one of the three recent shootings was there.
People will always find ways to kill.
Criminals don't care about gun laws or any other laws you throw at them.
They will find ways around them or create their own weapons.
The problems in this world are not caused by weapons but by the sin reigning in the hearts of sinful people.
No particular group of people has a corner on the market of sin.

Many nations, including the U.S., slaughter innocent babies in the womb or even after birth.
Yes, some allow infanticide (and even sometimes forced abortion).
Some allow for assisted suicide (which is just as sinful).
Some allow murder by intentionally denying water and food to helpless individuals speeding up their death by murder.
And that is just in the countries where people think they are civilized.

There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,

A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB

Everyone comes into this world a sinner, and all kinds of sinfulness is exalted in this world...not just murder.

God turns people over to sin when they rebel against Him (Romans 1). 
Increased violence is a symptom of what's in the hearts of mankind.

The only thing that changes hearts is a right relationship with God.
We as humans cannot fix things.  We need to turn to the God who created us.
You might think, "I've never killed anyone."   
Have you ever hated anyone?
Do you love & worship the God who made you?  
Have you ever lied, lusted, wanted something that you couldn't have, or stolen anything?  
Have you had physical relations that was not within the relationship of a Scriptural marriage?
Have you loved anything or anyone more than God?

Please visit the following post on my blog: