C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Atheist Proclaims Africa Needs God

Matthew Parris, of Times Online, describes his thoughts of returning after 45 years to his boyhood home in Africa. He shares that his current travels in Malawi has ‘renew[ed] [his] flagging faith in development charities,’ but also another belief he acknowledges having tried to remove completely from his life; for it ‘confounds [his] ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit [his] world view, and has embarrassed [his] growing belief that there is no God.’ He now confirms that he must confess, as ‘a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa.’

He freely admits, as Christianity has long affirmed, transformation will not come forth from ‘the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts’ alone. ‘Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.’ Though he denies the faith of salvation, he realizes ‘only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.’

What a way to end my blogging for 2008, but with a Times Online article entitled, ‘As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God.’ This reminds me of Paul’s witness to King Agrippa in Acts chapter 25.

Agrippa said unto Paul, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.’
And Paul said, ‘I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.’

Take a moment to read his article.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blessings from Singing Carols of Christ

This past Friday night, December 19th, around 6:30pm, a group of close to sixty persons met in one of the nearby neighborhoods to go Christmas caroling. One of our men in the church showed up with his mule and trailer, with blankets laid out for everyone to sit on. We had the trailer and a diesel truck loaded down with about twenty-five children, sixteen youth, along with sixteen college/career and adults. It was amazing to see how many persons (fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters – by blood and in Christ) came out.

We had a list of names of persons and families from our church that lived in this particular neighborhood, and our plan was to visit and sing at each home. We also sung the familiar tunes of Joy to the World, O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Harold Angels Sing, Silent Night, Away in the Manager, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a few more that escape my mind at the present while driving down the streets. To see the bright eyes and smiling faces of the singing children was beautiful, having their fathers and mothers along with their older brothers and sisters joining in chorus with them.

It is no stretch of the truth to proclaim that each and every visit was exciting and enjoyable to us all. From the singing to those persons we passed on the streets, to those snuggled in their homes who came out to see who sung, to the doors of our church members we knocked, to all did we gleefully give remembrance to the birth of Christ. For what greater love is there, than the love of God in sending His Son Jesus into this world, and in the Savior giving Himself to redeem fallen man? There is no greater!

One of the persons we visited and had the opportunity of singing was a dear soul who has seen this world through her eyes for a hundred years. We can scarcely imagine the changes she has witnessed during her lifetime. Whether it be of the world, of politics, of people, or the church, surely there is much insight and wisdom she has gleaned through the years. To sing the marvelous song of our Savior Jesus Christ and to have her and her family join in harmony with us was truly a blessing one is not often given in this world of instant everything.

On this night, God allowed us the privilege of presenting the good tidings of the birth of our great Savior Jesus Christ to a family none of us knew. As we drove down the street caroling we saw a home with children, young people, and adults standing outside. They seemed to walk out to listen, so we stopped to share the songs of our heart with them. One of the ladies walked over to us and asked if we could all come inside to sing to her father. He is terminally ill, and lay upon a hospital bed so very weak looking. It can hardly be written concerning the site of the home, the family, the father, and his weeping daughter who had asked us to come in to sing to him.

A couple of the good men we have, who had driven us so far, guided the children and us all into the home. The children could not have stood straighter or sung more beautiful. It would have been impossible for any person to have beheld such a sight without ones heart sending forth springs of compassion through their eyes. We were able to pray with the daughter and her father, for which she was so grateful we had given but a small measure of our time and talents. Truly we were unworthy to have had that very moment to share in song and the moving of the Holy Spirit in the midst of that home and persons.

I pray that the Blessings from Singing Carols of Christ will live forever in the hearts and minds of our dear children, young people, and adults who gave of themselves this night. I know they will stay with me.

I appreciate the young persons (our youth) and the college/career who gave great testimony to our children, that singing and witnessing Christ is not merely for little children but for all who proclaim to know Him as Lord and Savior. And to the parents and adults who not only promote the life of Christianity by mouth, but also by deed in their daily lives.

May God bless His children during this season, and may His Spirit continue to enlighten those who do not yet trust in Him.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Woe Unto Them That Call Evil Good

Well, those who oppose Biblical Truth to embrace the transgression thereof are at it again. It simply amazes me at the lengths some persons will go to in trying to justify their depravity. It is one thing to do what one will claiming Scripture holds no rule over them, but quite another for one to try to use God and Scripture to support their iniquity.

Lisa Miller of Newsweek has apparently written an article entitled, ‘Our Mutual Joy’, stating, ‘Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.’

R. Albert Mohler Jr. of Baptist Press gives a lengthy, but worthy rebuttal entitled, ‘Newsweek turns Bible on its head.’

Mrs. Miller is not the first to attempt such, for there have been others such as Ray Boltz, Peggy Campolo, President Elect Obama, the writers/authors of For the Bible Tells Me So, and even the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which have tried to justify the immorality of homosexuality by use of Scripture.

Yet, this misuse of Scripture to try and justify ones sin is not limited to just homosexuality, the same thing has been done regarding abortion also. It can also be found in ones desire to leave their family and turn their backs to their wedding vows even in the marriage of Christians.

Why must we as Christians or non try to corrupt the very Word of God to seemingly justify our degenerate minds and actions? This will in no way make us less guilty before the One True Holy God. Sin is sin, whether we accept it, repent, and receive forgiveness from it, or merely try to rationalize it, embrace it, and die lost in it.

Isaiah declared, ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, 2008

Just wanted to say, more than the food and the day off of work, ponder something that you are truly thankful for today. Share it with family and friends, share it with God, and remember it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Atheist Voice Against Christianity

'Yes my four year old daughter told me that the only person who would ever help her to be a good girl was Jesus Christ, because she could not do it on her own. I have never told her this. I would have thought this is too deep for a four year old to understand. That she was a sinner, she could not control her sinful nature. She wanted to be good but she could not, instead she did things that where wrong no matter how she tried to be good. Her theology is far deeper than that of many preachers today. I mean she gets it. It is only by the finished work of Christ on the cross that we can be delivered from sin.'

The above comes from the blog of a Christian mother doing her best to raise her four year old daughter with honest Biblical principles.

Sent to me by a friend, the reason I advertise this blog is for Christians to take a moment and read the responses by Atheists to this mother's post regarding the Christian faith and her child.

Pray for them, both the Atheist and the Agnostic, but please realize that the voice of that spirit of antichrist is making its way across American and this whole world.

There is already a boasting of 'Why believe in a god?' campaign coming this year. 'The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.'

Interestingly, at the same time unbelievers would have us (or like to) sensor our voice of praise and trust in Christ, so they don't have to hear it (and be convicted of sin?), their claim is '"We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you," said Fred Edwords.'

New Atheism, Antitheism, it is on the rise. Don't just sit there with your head in the sand Christian, 'Put on the whole armour of God' for the spiritual warfare is upon us more everyday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Racism Comes In All Colors

Sadly, a recently married couple was ‘found gagged, tied and shot in the head on Oct. 15 in the living room of their home in Winchester.’ With most of the talk about marriage these days seemingly centered around the press of homosexuals desiring to redefine the Biblical definition of such, there is still the difference of opinion regarding interracial relationships. Such a topic arises when speaking of slain, Jan Pawek Pietrzak and Quiana Faye Jenkins-Pietrzak.

I find it most interesting that some of the reports would have us believe ‘the motive was financial in nature,’ but the idea of the couple being interracial, that apparently two of the four men served with Pietrzak as Marines, and both of the couple’s mothers seem to believe there is more to the story than simply robbery…hmm…Even BlackVoices seem to believe the couple being interracial had something to do with the murders. Just how many robberies end with the persons ‘tortured before they were shot execution-style’ and other disturbing reports?

Truth be told, if this had been four white men there is very little doubt in my mind that the racism card would have been played by the media. Such is why I found it odd that a good number of the initial reports seemed to suppress the race of the suspects (not the article I have posted here obviously). Although the majority of race crimes which seem to get headlines are those committed by white persons, to be honest, ‘Racism Comes In All Colors.’

Genesis 9:6Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Regardless of race and regardless of the reason, this couple was robbed of life and their families of their presence, by the sin of murder (and possibly more also).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Romans 1: The Reprobate Mind

Please take a gander over at Right Michigan.

Apparently, there was that spirit of antichrist in their last church service:

On Sunday morning, amidst worshiping congregants and following unifying prayers that our President-elect be granted wisdom as he prepares to lead our nation through difficult global, social and economic challenges, the Michigan left declared open war on peaceful church goers.

They did it with banners, chants, blasphemy, by storming the pulpit, by vandalizing the church facility, by potentially defiling the building with lewd, public, sex acts and by intentionally forcing physical confrontations with worshipers.

Extremists Boast: Bash Back Lansing

Meanwhile, with the guards pre-occupied by the distraction, over a dozenqueers had put on their Sunday-best and infiltrated the church’scongregation.

A group stood up, declared themselves fags, and began screaming loudly.Upon hearing the loud interruption, other affinity groups went intoaction. A team that had been hiding under the pews in the closed-offbalcony dropped a banner and pulled back the curtains to reveal “IT’S OKAYTO BE GAY! BASH BACK!”.

In the words of an atheist blogger: 'Know them by their deeds.'

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Revisiting the mission field of La Ciudad, Mexico 2008

The initial trip of our church in 2006 was but a few people. Joining the missionary in Mexico, they prayed that God would lead them to a place we could share the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was then that La Ciudad was laid upon their hearts.

In July 2007 we returned, both with persons of our church and a sister church, with a total of twenty-two desiring to see how God could use us to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

My journal of our recent return to La Ciudad, Mexico, during the summer of 2008, is now available as a free PDF download or in book form.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Who Are You Voting For?

As we approach the day of election there is no doubt countless things are running through our minds. In fact, many of you may have already cast your vote by the time you get this letter. How can any of us remove ourselves from it when the billboards, television commercials, news channels, newspapers, magazines, basically everywhere we look, we are bombarded with the advertisement?

Both candidates have been around mankind long enough to know what draws a crowd, what will persuade minds, and how people will likely react to certain conditions and stimulants. They know the differences between the mindsets of both males and females, along with ethnic groups, and it appears that both parties are ready and willing to share their ideals with any who will listen.

Both candidates find their way into our homes and minds, as they ask for our time, money, families, and friends. There is no doubt that each of these persons desires us to put our faith in them, while we turn away from the other one. Daily do we yet hear their message at every turn. They need our money that their message may be furthered, our time so that we may speak to family and friends convincing persons to vote for them, and quite often we show our support by the advertisement of our clothing, stickers on our vehicles, signs in our yards, and by our daily conversations.

The truth of the matter is we have a liar, a cheat, a hypocrite, a conniver, and a deceiver, one who speaks enticing words into itching ears that will only lead us down a broad road of destruction on the left. While on the right, we have one who is wise, faithful, honest, and caring, who has suffered great for our freedom and will be there with us down the strait and narrow path that will lead to great blessings.

Now, when such diverse platforms can be run by two totally different persons, yet the minds and hearts of the people are continuously tossed back and forth as to who they should vote for, what is the problem? Is it the message or the hearts of the people?

Scripture declares, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,’ while it notes ‘John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’

Seriously, let us take a moment to consider how much time, energy, and money we give to listen to, to read and study to understand, and give to support a likely candidate that will serve four to eight years in this earthly life. Do we spend equal or greater amount of such (time, energy, and money) learning to know our Savior and turning away from the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil? Which of these candidates’ platforms did we follow today, and who do we most often vote for?

May it always be Christ.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Genesis 38, Judgment Upon Onan

Recently a commenter has become most infatuated with Genesis chapter 38 within the Scriptures, though they do not even believe in God and consider the Bible to be archaic. Not only have they created an entire post to it on their blog, they have repeatedly made reference to it on mine. *Christian reader be warned before visiting their blog*

The story concerns Judah and his children Er, Onan, and Shelah. Er, the eldest son, had taken Tamar to wife. Before Tamar could bear him a son, Er was slain by God because of his wickedness. The Scriptures do not tell us what Er did, but that he ‘was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.’

Some claim the firstborn, who here was Er, would receive two-thirds of the inheritance (which would have the siblings share the other third), whereas others claim they would be given a double portion over the other siblings. They were usually considered ‘the first of the strength’ of the father. Let it suffice to say that the first male child was held in the highest regard.

‘Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.’

Apparently, here at verse 9 is where the commenter has his problem with God and Scripture. Was Onan really slain because ‘he spilled it on the ground’ or was there something more? Onan directly rebelled against the voice of his father, for Onan knew if Tamar bore a son he would be heir to his brother Er and not himself. This assumingly would move the child into the greater inheritance being counted as the son of Er the firstborn, where Onan would then remain under him.

The judgment upon Onan deals more with his deceit and rebellion than the physical act in the account. He pretended to obey his father by going into his brother’s wife to bare his brother seed, yet did it not. As with all sin, it is a heart matter before it portrays itself in a physical action.

Though many would like to gloat over the mentioning of unsightly things recorded in the Scriptures, the inclusion of such within the Bible is to be an example for all of us as to the depravity of man and the repercussions of sin. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

Note: If any reader wishes to comment, please ensure the proper etiquette if you wish for your remarks to be posted. You do not have to agree, but they must be made in good taste and minus vulgarity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One More Sunset by Evelyn Huckaby

A friend of mine has just published her first book!

"One More Sunset" recounts the poignant and often humorous childhood and life of author Evelyn Huckaby. With true southern flavor, Ms. Huckaby paints a colorful portrait of life in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Here is a free preview.
ISBN: 978-0-615-25841-6

Monday, October 06, 2008


This past Friday night, some of us from church decided to go see Fireproof. I would recommend the movie to young people and couples, those whose marriages are fine and those which are not. I believe the principles laid out in the movie are good, even for those who may not believe their marriage needs God.

This is not just some silly ‘chick flick.’ There is both action and comedy, but the storyline is very much serious. But, if you are looking for some high definition special effects, you will easily miss the importance of the message. The purpose of this film is not merely to have one veg-out watching a meaningless movie, but to consider ones own lifestyle and marriage by the time they walk out the theater.

Before making the showing, I had heard some discontent that the movie did not have more of a church scene, meaning the couple attending church or finding help from a particular local church. Although, that may be the case, the plan of salvation and Christian testimonies from co-workers and family members were clearly displayed throughout. And, without giving much away, the end gives reference to attendance at a local church if one would pay close attention.

It was also noted that some had made mention that Kirk Cameron will not kiss anyone besides his wife, so she stood in for the kissing scenes at the end. If such is the case, I would highly commend Kirk Cameron, for why would a husband wish to make a movie about ‘fireproofing your marriage’ while kissing another woman on screen?

Overall I enjoyed the movie, and believe anyone that would take pleasure in watching a good clean movie would also enjoy it. I also believe any young person or couple could benefit from watching such a film.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How One May View Miracles

It has been a while since I have visited an atheist’s blog I used to stop by more frequently, but today I decided to venture over to see what was new at Atheist Revolution. Today’s post is entitled ‘How Miracles Work’.

The author references the incident in Florida of the tractor-trailer which rear-ended a school bus carrying 21 children, where Frances M. Schee, age 13, was tragically killed.

The author (atheist) states: ‘Evidently, this is how miracles work. An innocent child dies and others survive.’

The Christian (Jim Yancey) states: ‘This was a tragedy, but it's also a miracle…We're lucky one person got out of there alive.’

So, How One May View Miracles seems to be the old half-full/half-empty glass of water thought. It is comparative in our nature to believe it was indeed a miracle of God, because ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive,’ but seemingly just as easy to discount it as a miracle of God because ‘An innocent child dies and others survive.’

The author does ask a valid question, ‘What do you think the parents of the dead 13-year-old girl thought when they read your quote in the local paper, Superintendent?’ But only the parents themselves can answer that.

Now, according to the article and Atheist Revolution, the superintendent’s quotes were, ‘This was a tragedy, but it's also a miracle’ and ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive.’

I don’t know the parents of Frances M. Schee personally, but I fail to see how they would have a problem with what Jim Yancey said. It was indeed a tragedy for the loss of Frances M. Schee, yet clearly a miracle that the other children were rescued.

I would also question the use of the quote ‘But not to save the sweet, innocent, 13-year-old little girl who died. God must have put her near the flames for a reason just like he made the truck driver use his cell phone at the perfect moment’ assumingly credited to James Horton by the writer of The Stubborn Curmudgeon. I searched, but could not find such a quote or reference to ‘(CITRA, Fla.) TSC Newswire’ where the quote apparently is sited from. Possibly the writer of the blog is making a point, and it is not actually the words of James Horton.

To discount the rescue to dwell on the loss seems overly trying to make a point that doesn’t hold water. I’ll return to my thought: It is comparative in our nature to believe it was indeed a miracle of God, because ‘We're lucky one person got out of there alive,’ but seemingly just as easy to discount it as a miracle of God because ‘An innocent child dies and others survive.’

It is quite normal for the spiritual to see the miracle and the natural to discount it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does Scripture Hinder a Woman from Political Office?

After reading my posts entitled, Gospel Today Gets Adult Magazine Treatment, covering the topic of women pastors, a friend of mine then asked me the following:

‘I haven't seen any blog posts from you on whether or not it's good to have a woman running for Vice President. Do you have an opinion?’

I am not sure if I have made up my mind on a definite answer as of yet, but let’s consider the following…

Woman: Creation
Eve, the first woman, was created by God from the rib of the first man, Adam. The precedence of marriage was set forth here with God bringing Eve unto Adam. Thus it was written, ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Woman: The Fall
Adam and Eve decided to taste the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, of which God had commanded against. Because of their disobedience, each received punishment from God. Eve’s judgment was, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Woman: Marriage and the Home
By the account of Creation we see the man is to cleave unto his wife, and by the account of The Fall we see the man is to rule over his wife. We also see at creation, woman was created for ‘the man’ and was to be a ‘help meet’ for ‘him’. The younger women are asked to ‘marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully,’ and the ‘aged women’ are to ‘teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.’ We further find the idea of marriage, having the man love the wife and the wife submitting to the man, found in the similitude of Christ and the church.

Woman: Church
Most probably know the verses which say, ‘Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.’ We also find such scriptures as, ‘Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection’ and ‘I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ My second post to this blog was concerning women in the church, and there was some good discussion concerning the topic. It would probably be better if one were interested to visit that posting than for me to try and explain the entire discussion here.

Woman: Political Office
There are plenty more scripture we could visit, but this should suffice for the present. We must remember in such a discussion we are not deciding whether a woman is inferior or worth less than a man, for what we find are the roles of men and women here in scripture. Our roles have been set forth by God based on his choice, not on our worth, for He indeed called woman a ‘help meet’ for the man, not a lesser. From what I gather, I am not sure the scriptures directly reject the serving of a woman in a political office over men in the secular world, though I believe it does speak clearly as to whether that should be her goal or desire.

From scripture, it would appear that a woman’s first desire after serving God should be her husband, then her children and her home. It is also clear from scripture that the woman is not to rebel against her husband. Something which is so important that scripture says, ‘ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.’ We also find that a woman is not to usurp authority over a man, which could be reference to just within the church, but would this even be wise in the secular world?

So, from the above, we can conclude, that a woman is not to be over the man, but in subjection to, when it comes to the home and the church for sure. This would seem to include both material and spiritual matters of both. We don’t need to take this to the legalistic extreme, but we do need to remember our example is Christ and the church. Notice the woman is able to care for the home and the children, for the man does trust her to do what is wise, though it is the man who is required to make the final decision if both are not agreed.

Therefore, I assume we are left with the following questions:

If a woman’s desire is to God, husband, child(ren), and home, would she have time left to care for the worries of political office? I mean, the man is called upon to support the family not the wife, and President or Vice President is not the same as a part-time or 9 to 5 job. I am not here advocating that a woman cannot work outside of the home, and this post has become rather lengthy already to tackle that avenue here.

If a woman is not to rule over man in the home or in the church, is it wise for a woman to seek or man to give woman an office which will put her in authority over men? She would not be usurping authority, but men would then be in subjection to her. Again, we are not discussing whether a woman can do the job, but whether it is wise or right for one to do so, according to scripture.

Possibly it all comes down to a heart issue as do all things. Why does the woman seek the office, and why does man desire to have her lead?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gospel Today Gets Adult Magazine Treatment

Apparently making reference to Hillary’s cracks and Palin’s shattering of a glass ceiling, the Gospel Today hits stores with headlines such as ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling.’ Included in such a headline is the topic ‘Female Pastors’ and such is why the magazine has found its way from the store front to under the counter. Like those ‘adult’ magazines that are usually out-of-sight and should be out-of-mind, this issue of Gospel Today has seemingly been pulled from the shelves and either removed or must be asked for hidden behind the counter.

The problem is not with the individuals themselves (meaning the 5 women), but Scripture and the office they claim to hold in the church. The magazine could have chosen any other women who also consider themselves pastors to place on the cover, and the results of Southern Baptists would have been the same. So, it is not the individual, but the claim.

When considering the idea of whether or not a woman should run for public office, etc. that is somewhat different from that of one claiming to desire the office of pastor of a church. There are some who believe a woman should never hold an office giving them authority over a man, whereas some believe it is in church where the woman cannot hold certain offices but can hold offices outside of the church such as political, etc. Though, I will not be considering these at present, for the article is based on women holding the office of pastor in a church and whether such is biblically or unbiblically founded.

We must also realize that we are not saying that God cannot or does not use women to further the gospel or minister to people, nor are we saying women are lower and less important than men. What we must understand is that when it comes to Scripture and the local churches made of those who profess Christ, the Scripture must be our guide and any variance leads us to sin.

Scripture declares full well the qualifications for both a bishop (pastor) and a deacon. Both in respect are given clear meaning that each is to be a man, for they are to be ‘the husband of one wife’. Regardless of ones conviction to the meaning of ‘the husband of one wife’ there is a surety that no woman can ever be ‘the husband of one wife.’

It is quite spiritually immature on the part of any Christian to claim men that still hold to Scripture on this issue are being sexist or unfair to women. There are no biblical grounds whereby these qualifications maybe dismissed or overruled to allow such corruption to work its way into the local church or Church body as a whole.

Such references to Chloe and Deborah do show God using women, but fails to give any creditability that Scripture allows a woman to hold the office of a pastor or deacon. There is no reason to get into a debate over the word ‘servant’ and such in the Greek, because no matter what conclusion one may choose, we are still left with the Scripture declaring in Acts 6, 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1 such offices must be filled by men.

I would also like to ponder the thought of Chris Turner’s (a spokesman for Lifeway Resources) comment ‘It is contrary to what we believe.’ If that be the case and reason for pulling the magazine from the shelves of Lifeway book stores, then surely they have created a ‘committee’ (pun intended) to search all the literature and rid the stores of all non Southern Baptist teachings.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Appeasing the Monkey

Is this article for real?

Is the Church of England, according to Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, apologizing to Darwin, 126 years after his death, basically stating that the church was incorrect to trust the Bible over Darwin’s misconceptions of creation?

Oh my, how far man has bowed to appease the monkey.

note: 'monkey' is not a reference to Darwin himself.

Ray Boltz: ‘tired of living a lie’

I was recently shown an article by the Washington Blade Online, and was somewhat disappointed by the content. I am saddened for a few reasons:

First, there is never any joy (or shouldn’t be) in hearing the stories of Christians who falter from the faith (i.e. Scripture), for whatever reason. All of Christianity is made of men and women, along with boys and girls, who claim to profess Christ as their Lord and Savior, yet are not perfect. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and working of God, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are to strive to do that which is right according to Scripture even in the face of opposition, emotion, and/or personal preference that may be contrary to such.

Second, when a person sins in private, the repentance usually remains in private. When a person sins in public, it may require public confession and repentance. When the sin of a Christian of prominence comes to the light, it often (if not always) draws even the attention of those that find no fault with such.

Christianity is usually dealt blows from without, though it is not the fault of Christianity, but of the one whom chooses to act outside of the wisdom of Scripture. Christianity holds to a certain set of convictions (though some men have confounded and twisted the Truth), and when one chooses to step out of the narrow way, it is not Christianity which fails, but the one whom chooses to drift from it. One is forgiven when we come back to Christianity (God and His Word), not by dwelling in sin, refusing to depart such, demanding God accept us while we live rejecting all that He says and is.

Third, it simply amazes me at the ease that many Christians are seemingly able to accuse and blame God for their sins, even when their choices go contrary to the very Word of God. Adam did the same thing in the Garden of Eden. When confronted with his sin of eating of the forbidden tree, Adam contended, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ True, God had given Adam the woman. True, Eve had given Adam the fruit. Though both of these were true, Adam’s guilt lay completely within his choice to disobey God and eat that which was forbidden.

Why do we as Christians desire justification of our sin, by trying to find ways around Scripture, by blaming others, or receiving so-called ‘pardon’ by those also opposing such Scripture (whatever the sin), rather than repentance of our sin where the fellowship with God may not be hindered but increased, and our faith in walking with the Lord strengthened? Why are we worried about our acceptance by man more so than by God? Do we not know that our approval by man does not justify us before God, especially if we are found to be embracing sin over His Word?

It is true that one can live a lie; one can be a hypocrite, claiming to profess Christ as Lord and Savior, while neither loving nor serving Him with their heart, soul, mind, and strength. But, one can also live a lie by claiming God will accept them in their sin; for a Holy God will not, but has called us to repentance that we may be forgiven.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who Art Thou, Oh Son of Perdition

In 2 Thessalonians 2 we have Paul speaking of the time of the expected return of Jesus Christ. Paul mentions that such will not come ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.’ Many believe this is the Antichrist to come.

Some have found the use of ‘the son of perdition’ by Paul in his description of such a one somewhat interesting. Paul says here in 2 Thessalonians 2 that this Wicked is ‘the son of perdition’ ‘whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.’

In Revelation 17, Scripture speaks of a beast, one which ‘was, and is not, and yet is.’ This beast, the Antichrist, ‘shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.’ Notice it is declared unto John, this beast was in the past, is not in the present, yet will be in the future. So, apparently, this one which is to come has been beforetime, yet is not presently on the earth. But, we know with a surety this is not Christ Jesus, for this one cometh from ‘the bottomless pit’ ‘whose coming is after the working of Satan’ ‘to make war with the saints.’

Interestingly, the description ‘son of perdition’ is only used concerning one other person in Scripture. In John 17:12, Christ Himself declares, ‘While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.’

The one of whom Christ spoke was Judas Iscariot, the very betrayer, of whom Christ also declared was ‘a devil’ [John 6]. Interestingly, when Christ spoke to the Pharisees [John 8], He proclaimed ‘Ye are of your father the devil,’ but for Judas He claimed was a devil himself.

Revelation says this one ‘shall ascend out of the bottomless pit.’ We know from Scripture that this pit, hell, must have compartments. Debatable maybe by some the story of the rich man and Lazarus, along with Christ’s descending to the heart of the earth, but we also have mentioned the fallen angels bound by chains in 2 Peter 2 and Jude, and of Christ preaching to the spirits in prison in 1 Peter 3.

Noteworthy, when it comes to Judas Iscariot, Scripture says he went to ‘his own place.’ In fact, it says, ‘Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ [Acts 1]

Satan used Judas once before, is it possible that he may use Judas once again?

I am not claiming I know Judas Iscariot will ascend from his own place, from the bottomless bit, by the power of Satan to take the form of the Antichrist, but I sure do find some of these things quite interesting.

I believe Clarence Larkin makes mention of some of these things in his book on Revelation.

What say ye?

Clarence Larkin's thoughts, here.
AW Pink's thoughts, here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Big Bucks - Big Guesses - Big Bang Machine

Apparently, 'At 12:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, scientists on the Franco-Swiss border will flip the switch on the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile underground ring where subatomic particles will be accelerated to astonishing speeds and then smashed into each other.' [article]

I couldn’t help but think of the following clip from Men in Black, when I read this article:

Do they hope to create a little universe within this machine, so they can play as a god? I sure hope it doesn’t 'create a black hole or strange self-replicating particle that will gobble up the Earth.' But, just maybe, 'we should expect visitors from the future to arrive soon after it goes into operation.'



Update: 9/22

Ooops, a few problems... http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,425669,00.html

'It then causes the protons to collide, revealing how the tiniest particles were first created after the "big bang," which many theorize was the massive explosion that formed the stars, planets and everything.'

Really? I think they forgot to write 'revealing how [some believe] the tiniest particles were first created...'

Purity: A Virtuous Choice

Apparently, according to this article, at the MTV Music Video Awards, Russell Brand thought it would be somewhat cute to make fun of those persons that would rather keep their virginity for their future spouse, than to lose their purity by taking part in promiscuous sin.

I believe those who make the choice to flee youthful lusts, whether they wear a purity ring or not, should be commended as showing a desire to keep themselves pure. So, I am glad to see that others, such as Jordin Sparks also at the MTV Music Video Awards, voiced, in her own words, not everyone wishes to dwell in fornication.

I find it interesting that there are some, apparently even in the ‘professional’ field, which not only wish to discredit and shutdown abstinence classes, but also wish to talk down of those that have personally chosen to make virginity pledges. Almost seemingly claiming, ‘Ah, they want last.’

How has the human mind become so perverted that they have come to believe that ‘safe sex’ is better that virginity? Any virgin can lose their purity at anytime, but those in fornication can never regain their virgin purity. Does such make them jealous, and therefore lash out at those who were able to control themselves more so that they?

The fact is, if persons would hold dear their virginity until marriage, there would be no out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The problem is not, ‘does abstinence work,’ for it does. The problem is with boys and girls, men and women not staying true to purity, but giving themselves over to the lustful thoughts of their hearts.

And let it be noted, that those who have aforetime lost their virginity, this does not mean they cannot now live a life of purity till or in marriage. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but there is forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Don’t look to the darkness of your past, but to the brightness of your future!

Purity is a virtuous choice, one that must be decided before we find ourselves in a situation, and one that must be strengthened by the power of God working in and through us. Don’t let lust take your purity, save it for your future spouse; whereby, you may give unto them a treasure you have kept just for them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

All Tangled Up In Hair

I couldn’t help but find this hilarious when I read it:

“It’s about 20 years out of date,” said Boston stylist Mario Russo of the Alaska governor’s ’do. “Which goes to show how off she might be on current events.”

This whole article from the Boston Herald regarding Alaska governor Sarah Palin makes no sense whatsoever. So, if one doesn’t submit their hair color, style, type to the stylist Mario Russo they might not be up to date on current events? Maybe they just aren’t tossed to and fro with every new fade that pops up its little head, here today gone tomorrow, in our society.

Interestingly, another says, “It gives me the impression that she just washed her hair, pays attention to the front and throws up the back in a bun,” said Belmont stylist Leon De Magistris. Yeah, but we know if she spent hours fixing her hair, one would be able to find those that claims she would be too vain and spend too much time on herself and not the country.

Good grief people, if one is going to look at what is important in candidates for President and Vice President, I say give yourself a make-over and worry about other issues when it comes to the people on the ballot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So Long Hurricane Gustav...

...I just got power back at my house a few minutes ago (9/2, 10pm).

Central is pretty dark with most of the people without power, unless you have a generator. Also, we must have lost some cell towers because it is hit and miss trying to call someone with my cell phone; although I can text and my internet on my iPhone worked when I did get a signal. Some of the land lines are having trouble calling out and reaching them too. I heard BR got it worse, but I haven't been back to work yet. The power is still out so it may be Thursday before I go back. Also, the schools are closed till next Monday.

At first glance, in my neighborhood it didn't look too bad, but after driving around it is a lot worse that we saw with Katrina here, not sure about NO and such. Some of us from church went to help an elderly couple move their furniture to higherground, apparently the Comite is rising and it will flood their neighborhood; and in the past they have gotten up to 32 inches of water inside of their home.

A friend of mine in Alexandria said they were getting it pretty bad and they were helping tranlsate Spanish at the hospital at Tall Timbers, but I haven't been able to text or call them last night or today.

Heard there are a couple of more storms out there, so I guess we better stay prepared.

Have I changed my mine about the 'prophecy' of the last post? No.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is Such Hurricane Gustav Prophecy Of God?

As you may know, we currently have Hurricane Gustav moving toward the Texas to Florida coastline. With the memory of Hurricane Katrina, people in New Orleans and elsewhere are watching Gustav closely.

Yesterday, I was given the following (in part):

Concerning the prophecy the Lord God spoke about the 7 spirits, the 7 witches and the 7 hurricanes: The foundation of these hurricanes have been laid. The 7th hurricane began as a tropical storm named Gustav on August 25th 2008 at 2:00 pm EST. Gustav means "staff of God ". August 17th 2008 Kathy and I were on the mountain praying when I had an open vision. I saw the staff of God striking the earth. In this vision I saw the "staff of God", which looked like a pillar of fire, coming out the heavens like one huge mighty staff as it struck America. As this staff struck it exploded into a huge pillar of fire and looked like a nuclear explosion. This staff continued to strike America and the earth several times (it seemed like 7 times). Every time it struck there was a massive explosion. (In 1998 the Lord God gave me the prophecy of Katrina hitting Louisiana and as I spoke it out they mocked God's word which was sent through His prophets. God spoke to me in November 2007 and said He would send judgment which will be 10 times greater than Katrina. Could Gustav be what the Lord God is speaking about? Woe unto you Louisiana and the Gulf Coast!)

After the vision and as I pondered what I had seen I sensed the Lord speak to me and say "Gustav will be a sign to America and to the nations as it is the 7th hurricane and there are many more devastating hurricanes to come behind this one. As Gustav develops it will be a sign of the striking blow to America, for the Lord God is about to strike America with His staff, His power and authority beyond anything America has ever seen". Tell my people to repent and get ready for we have 1/2 hour left. "I will cause America and the church of America to make them see my mighty arm of judgments. Remember, you must be tried through the fire; purified and made white. Just as America will be made to drink the cup of my wrath so shall I make the church drink the cup of my judgment? I will rain my judgments down upon the righteous and the wicked. My prophets will proclaim my judgments and they will strike the earth as often as they want, according to my will and my word.

I will be honest and say that I am not one to eagerly embrace any new modern day prophecy as such, but because of the people who presented it to me I did go and search out the links. First, I found that the quote appears on a questionable site, in my opinion, and can be viewed here. You will have to scroll down to see that it was posted by one going by the name Anonymous Coward. So, why not by Matthew Stephen, the author?

What I also find odd is even if you visit (at least yesterday and today) Matthew Stephen’s website (here) the link to this supposed prophecy is unreachable. Under Urgent: The Eight Letters, items 6 through 8 cannot be found. Why?

A couple of things I would like to note in just the above two paragraphs:

The author apparently claims the name Gustav means ‘staff of God’, but according to Wikipedia.com it means ‘staff of the gods’, and ThinkBabyNames.com seem to agree; whereas BabyNameCollection.com claims Gustava (female, notice extra ‘a’) means ‘staff of the gods’ where Gustav (male) means ‘royal staff’.

Notice the author poses the threat ‘God spoke to me in November 2007 and said He would send judgment which will be 10 times greater than Katrina,’ then turns right around asking us ‘Could Gustav be what the Lord God is speaking about?’ Surely the prophet must know the prophecy he claims to be foretelling from God.

The author mentions that ‘you must be tried through the fire; purified and made white. Just as America will be made to drink the cup of my wrath so shall I make the church drink the cup of my judgment? I will rain my judgments down upon the righteous and the wicked.’ A quick search will return Zechariah 13:9 and 1 Peter 1:7 speaking of God’s people being ‘tried by fire’, though both of these speak of God’s grace of bringing His saints through such things not beating them down with such. We also know by Scripture that we are not purified and made white by our own works, but by the blood of the Lamb (the works of Christ). We also find in Revelation it is those who oppose God that must drink the cup of [his] judgment’ not the saints (i.e. His church), though He does chastise us. Is there not a difference between discipline and wrath?

Now, I will admit, there is some ‘truth’ in what the author has written (in the full article not posted above), but that alone does not make it prophecy of/from God in part or in full. Most will admit that hurricanes can be devastating, destroying many things in their paths. Some will give credit to nature, others to God, but there is no doubt that they can cause many people to perish or to lose homes and possessions. Even causing America to weep and be generous with their help to others, so what in this prophecy could one find that would prove it is prophetic by the very source of God and not merely generic thoughts that could come to pass with any hurricane at any time?

At the end of the author’s words, we find Christ supposedly calling unto his Bride (which Scripture declares is the church). Again, I find odd, where this prophet claims the church is to ‘seek wisdom, discernment and love’ he yet claims they shall be made to ‘drink the cup of [his] judgment’. Who shall they receive love from if not the Bridegroom?

Indeed the storm cometh and we may have to endure the storm’s wrath, but as for this prophecy I am just not convinced Matthew Stephen is a prophet of God. But, you are free to draw your on conclusions. Just remember in who and where your faith needs to be placed, in Christ Jesus alone.

Pray for the Family of David Glynn Case

A friend of mine from our Sunday school class at church passed away this past Sunday morning. Here is his obituary:

David Glynn Case
Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one the chain will link again. David entered this world on Aug. 25, 1965, and departed to be with his Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ, on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008, at age 42. Visitation at Seale Funeral Home, Denham Springs, on Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitation resumes in the funeral home chapel on Thursday from 9 a.m. until service at 10 a.m., conducted by the Rev. Gerald Martin. Burial in Evergreen Memorial Park, Denham Springs. David attended Fellowship Baptist Church and was a member of the Harmony Sunday school class. He was the collections manager with E-Federal Credit Union. David was an avid sports fan and loved playing golf. He always rooted for his teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners. David's loving and giving spirit continues to live on through his desire to help others by being an organ donor. David is survived by his wife, Nancy Matthias Case, who he lovingly called "Sunshine"; his two precious sons, Dillon and Brice; their mother, Shannon Voss; his parents, James and Linda Case; maternal grandfather, M.E. "Bud" Smith; an uncle and aunt, Mike and Judy Case; and two cousins, Chad and Alan Case. David was preceded in death by his brother, Paul Earl Case; paternal grandparents, Morris and Doris Case, who were of Brookhaven, Miss.; and maternal grandmother, Dorothy Smith. Pallbearers will be Chad Case, Alan Case, Randy LeBouef, Thomas Miller, Mike Smith and Jeff Lea. Memorial donations may be made to Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, 4441 N. I-10 Service Road West, Metairie, LA 70006.

David professed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and we know all who put their faith in Christ go to be with Him forevermore when their time on earth is done. But as he embraces eternal life, I can’t help but think of the family who must continue steadfast in their daily walk with God and responsibilities of this life. Their life is not over and I am sure they are and will be faced with many questions and choices, where decisions will still need to be made, maybe even requiring them to do so, while things most likely seem at their worst.

I can’t imagine bearing the loss of my two children, expecting as a parent to pass away long before they should ever enter eternity. How does one grieve the loss of a son or daughter, and stay faithful to God and able to carry on, I scarily wish to consider.

Even now I must admit the loss of my father or mother would be a sadness that would cause my heart to hurt, but how much more so for two young boys who find comfort in the protection their father offered them at such young ages. Sure Nancy will love and comfort them, but children need that special way each parent shares their love differently with each child.

And what of Nancy, the loving wife who just days ago had one who she could confide in, rely on, love, hold and be held, finding security and companionship in David, but may now feel alone though in the very company of family and friends?

By the grace of God may we each be able to endure that which touches our lives, and be ready always to comfort those who carry such weights now. We have a security in Scripture that Christ is willing and able to save all who call upon His name, by putting faith in Him we may hope in the promise of eternal life whereby we may once again see our loved ones who have gone on before us in the name of the Lord.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Two: Daegsteorra - Completion

As some of you may know, last year I finished book one, entitled Ekleipsis, of my In the Land of Erde series. It was my first time to actually complete a fictional book of which I had started, though I have written a few other things.

I would like to say since my introduction of book two, Daegsteorra, I have decided to change the cover art. The book has been returned from my editor, and although it is already available for purchase, I have ordered myself a proof copy so that I may read through it once more in its entirety.

A brief summary of book two:
Behold the Daegsteorra cometh, while the Darkness, even Jagare who now dwelleth in Temeto (once named Kirche), doth yet bathe in their sin and seeming triumphant victory over Erde. Pride has kept them from the truth, as they serve it willingly of heart, fighting yet against King Salvare and the very Creator of Heaven. Do they not yet know that the created cannot overthrow their Creator, nor shall evil overcome good?

You will find an introduction to book two, Daegsteorra, and spoiler of book one, Ekleipsis here.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whatever You're Doing - Sanctus Real

I realize that this is a contemporary style of Christian music, which some may not agree with. Such is why I chose this alternate accoustic version; for, I posted it more for the words than the instruments. Are we surrendering ourselves to God, while He yet works inside of us?

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

Original Sanctus Real here.

Don't Think Your Bible Is Enough...

...could be that you get to take a closer look at the Dead Sea Scrolls within the next few years on-line.

“The project began as a conservation necessity,” Ms. Shor explained. “We wanted to monitor the deterioration of the scrolls and realized we needed to take precise photographs to watch the process. That’s when we decided to do a comprehensive set of photos, both in color and infrared, to monitor selectively what is happening. We realized then that we could make the entire set of pictures available online to everyone, meaning that anyone will be able to see the scrolls in the kind of detail that no one has until now.”


Friday, August 22, 2008

The Struggle of Sorrows

When my heart so full of sorrows, has no words to say
There I find you by my side, here with me all the way
Though sometimes silent yet I feel, you appear to me
As one who does not really care, my hurt do you not see
I cry out to you for answers, with my tears I call on you
To take the pain and sorrow, to let me start anew
Why can I not revisit the past, to change what I have chose
Redo a choice and make another, go down a different road
Could not I save myself from such, such difficulties now
Escorted by my present wisdom, I surely would know how
I know our lives we live here, are entwined with one another
But why must smiles be granted them, while I myself do suffer
It seems they have their desires met, though mine do fade away
As quickly as the sun appears, the clouds block out its ray
Moments here and moments there, bits of hope seem to appear
Only to be found once more, tossed alone in darkness drear
I grasp at you to pull you close, to drag you in my direction
Why must I bear all my troubles, I beg for your protection
My spirit’s weak, my body’s worn, my mind so full of doubt
I desire to run from all I know, I simply just want out
I turn to you for one last glimpse, with nothing left inside
I feel as though I should fall away, but you pull me to your side
You carry me from whence I am, yet not to where I’ve been
Through my sorrows gently walk, to a place for me to mend
Why did I not look to you, was it for the tears within my eyes
Why could I not hear your voice, was it for my deafening cries
The depths of sorrow, oh my soul, I did let draw me away
My only savior through the vale, he now leads me on my way
I know the path will not be easy, for I have to take it slow
I must trust him in my sorrows, and follow where I should go
Just above the mountains, I can see the bright sun break
Through the darkness of the valley, I shall again one day partake
Then shall what my sorrows be, but a moment of my past
Of lessons learned and wisdom got, from pain that did not last
For through it do I pray to come, by faith and hope and love
Not by my own strength for sure, but by the one sent from above

August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scriptures in China: The Word Within And Without

According to a news article, apparently the ministry Vision Beyond Borders had about 300 Bibles confiscated by customs at the airport in Kunming. It appears that the organization was hoping to distribute the Bibles to those of this city in China.

According to the China Daily, here, Amity Printing factory (located in Nanjing, Jiangsu) is ‘China's biggest Bible producer, [and] has made over 5 million Bibles for Chinese churches in the past two years and exported about 5 million copies in roughly 75 languages.’ This agency claimed to have printed 30,000 copies of the New Testament (one picture shows English Standard Version) to distributed free during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Though, according to this report, China controls the printing of the Bible and only allows them to be used in government authorized churches and the larger hotels which accommodate tourists.

Just at a glance, this does cause one to ponder why such the fuss. If indeed, China has authorized the freely giving out of 30,000 copies of the Word within their country, why would they deny the entry of a mere 300 more copies of the Word for the same purpose? Version perhaps?

According to Vision Beyond Borders’ website, they acknowledge:

In China and other countries closed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Bible has been valued over life in some instances. Knowing they need God’s Word in order to be spiritually free, people endure imprisonment, beatings, and loss of life to keep God’s word alive in their country. Hundreds of people may share the same Bible, spending countless hours hand copying it.

It appears that Klein is no stranger to the spiritual warfare surrounding the spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through the written Scripture since he has been involved in missions for over twenty years according to the website testimony, and his Vision Beyond Borders’ ministry began in 1994 (though originally under the name Asian Vision).

I am not here to promoted Patrick Klein, for I do not personally know him or his ministry, but I am happy to hear that such a ministry exist in the reaching the world with the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. I am also happy to hear that even inside China, there is being Bibles produced and distributed. Even if they are not as freely and available as we would like, every copy of the Word opens the door to unfathomable potential that can be used by the Holy Spirit inside of China.

May we be mindful of the spiritual battles that constantly take place in the material realm, putting our faith in Christ, obeying the moving of the Holy Spirit, trusting God will have His will and way in all matters. Though it sometimes seems the evil one may have his way over us, be of good cheer, for we know our great King has overcome him at Calvary. True, our lives and ministries are not empty of set backs, but may we press on finding hope in Christ and not in ourselves, knowing that souls in this world need the message of the Savior.

So, whether it is the printed Word within China, or the Word printed from without China making its way in, may the Spirit of God grant it safe passage to the hearts of those who desperately need Christ.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Church: May Reach Out To The Homosexual, But Cannot Embrace Homosexuality

To me, it appears that Peggy Campolo wishes to move the church into acceptance of homosexuality, not simply witnessing to the homosexual. The church cannot and should not embrace homosexuality, especially those that practice such, just like Paul rebuke the Corinthians for the fornication they had in their church. In fact, he tells them ‘to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh’ which sounds pretty tough judgment to me.

She writes, ‘Dr. Gushee is right on the mark when he states that the problems of gay Christians cannot be properly addressed without the church clearly defining the meaning of sex and marriage, and I think he would agree with me that those who reduce marriage to "plumbing and baby-making" are the ones who demean marriage’ but ‘sex and marriage’ is already clearly defined in Scripture and surely in most churches. It appears she is actually calling for a redefining of such, which would be unbiblical and unchristian.

She further states, ‘The current problems of *straight* people, as well as those facing God's gaychildren, cannot be solved until the church of Jesus Christ clearly defines for its people the meaning of celibacy, sex, marriage and what constitutes a family’ and although sin is sin, homosexuality is a sin that Scripture claims God turns ones over to a reprobate mind, and again ‘the meaning of celibacy, sex, marriage and what constitutes a family’ is pretty clear in Scripture already. We need no redefining. Notice the use of [*straight* people] versus [God’s gay children].

She notes, ‘Those children of God, those who do not happen to be straight, are the reason that I, and so many others who love Jesus and believe in the Bible's message of grace, demand justice for them NOW,’ but does she really want ‘justice’? Do any of us want righteous justice for our sin? And ‘who do not happen to be straight’, how about choose not to be straight. Sure we can argue all day whether some are born with homosexual tendencies, but this writing seems to be speaking of practicing homosexuals, which is a choice just like every other sin.

I hate to hear that there are those which are committing suicide because they feel rejected while living in homosexuality, but we are commanded to repent, believe on Christ, and live.

Yes, I have heard the claims that we hate some sins and ‘accept’ others, but this does not mean we ‘accept’ the other sins also, we merely need to repent of ‘accepting’ the some.

Just my thoughts and I am sure some may disagree.

Note: This is not saying that I believe we should hate homosexuals or not allow them to visit our churches. I am saying that practicing homosexuality is a sin, and should be viewed and treated as sin within the church just as we should other sins. Sin needs to be repented of, and faith needs to be put in the finished work of Christ that He will continue to help us grow away from sin and closer to righteousness.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prayer For The Learning And Wisdom Of Our Children...

As we walk through the month of August, our elementary to college family and friends will begin a new year of studies. They will hopefully be given a learning of knowledge and wisdom by their teachers that will be important to both their further education and future opportunities. Though secular understanding is not all they need.

Along with parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors, seasoned Christians should also have a wealth of wisdom from both experience and meditation in the Scriptures through their life of serving God. We must ensure that we give these students godly examples concerning our Christian walk, to help them prove what is right from the Word of God. For, surely they will see a variety of morality and lifestyles in their fellow students, and possibly their teachers, this year.

May we all join in praying for each and every soul, that God would protect them from the evil of this world. Let us not dismiss the idea that from the youngest child to the mature college student, they do in fact face similar types of intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual warfare as we all do. By this, I mean the intellectual battle of their minds to believe or discount the things of God, the emotional battle of peer pressure and fitting in that may often go unknown to us, the physical battle of temptations along with protection from the desire of others to hurt fellow students, and the spiritual battle of doing that which is right even when it isn’t easy. All of these are extremely real, even though they may not be brought to our attention very often.

Should not our desire be that these may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord, bypassing many of the sins and pitfalls we have found ourselves in, that they may have a better Christian testimony and joyous life than we? May it be so.

Let us be mindful and prayerful of one another.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wife, Co-pastor, Christian Draws Diversity of Thought

Removing myself momentarily from the discrepancies of their doctrines, I would like to make note of an interesting point in this article concerning Victoria Osteen. Victoria is the wife of Joel Osteen, but more importantly here she professes Christianity and is the co-pastor of Lakewood Church.

It is no secret that when those in the spot-light are seen doing something ‘wrong’, whether the whole world is guilty of the same, they are immediately brought before the judgment seat of the media and those who watch such. This is why those of us who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior must be mindful of our actions regardless of the situation and our emotions that tend to lead us astray into sin.

I found it interesting that when polling for jurors, the article mentions a couple of types. We have those that [1] ‘had been to Lakewood Church and acknowledged holding the Osteens in high regard and being star-struck by them’ and then those that claim they [2] ‘didn't like preachers or televangelists and that ministers can lie.’ So, before the court proceedings can even begin, it would appear that there are those which are ‘for’ and those which are ‘against’ the Osteens (professing Christians) from the get-go.

Regardless of whether Victoria is guilty or innocent of the charges, this article simply shows the stigma that some have brought upon ‘religious beliefs, celebrity and the public's perception of preachers and televangelists’ by choices professing Christians in notable arenas have made. This does not free us that are not in the media light from guilt if we should cause others to ‘worship us’ by our pride or turn away from God by our sinful deeds, but merely means we should all be mindful of ourselves, our intentions, and our honest walk with God; for we may all fall at any time we take our eyes off the Son.

I just found the diversity of thought concerning the jurors over this one incident interesting. How does this story affect you? Have you also judged by whether you worship or despise them and their ministry, or has it caused you to take a moment to observe yourself to see if you too have such a sin as has been claimed to have happened here?

Friday, August 01, 2008

John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

What a marvelous work did I happen upon in picking up John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. From the onset he describes his wretched soul, as we all as sinners have been. He tells of the dreams and warnings of the Lord which came while he was yet a child, which caused his heart to ponder such things of heaven and hell, though they soon faded as he continued in sin. He shares of finding a religious experience, which both intrigued him and shallowly gave him comfort, but in his sin was he yet still. We find that even through the rebuke of the lost to one another can change one in the flesh, yet their spirit may remain dead in trespasses and sin. Yet, through it all, the God of Heaven shares mercy and grace to a sinner who, blinded by the flesh and the devil, falls to the depth of believing there is no hope for them, for they are too much of a sinner to find forgiveness in Christ. Oh, how great a change may be shown by the religious and the hypocrite, yet merely skin deep, the heart and soul never truly knows of the conversion whereby we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. Trusting not in Christ for forgiveness, though His very Words were nigh even upon his lips and fingertips, he did strive to obey the law to earn that which may only be given: salvation. Though asking God for forgiveness, it was misplaced by mere thoughts of the flesh saying ‘I can do better’ instead of putting faith in His Son’s sinless life and taking our place upon the cross. Praise be to God that dear John Bunyan indeed found salvation by grace through faith, by the mercy of God he found it, and so may every sinner that turns in faith, at the moving of the Holy Spirit, away from themselves and toward the sinless Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.

I have just started this work, but would recommend this to any sinner desiring to know more about Christ, the new convert who has come to know Christ, and to the believer that he may remember the day they met Christ.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twisted Inside, Heart Against Mind

Twisted inside, heart against mind
Emotional turmoil, where fear does dine
Knowledge and wisdom, right and wrong
The mind rejects, the heart’s love song
Struggling, do they yet fight
As choices and costs, come to the light

Tears in the shadows, cries in the night
Hidden from other, people’s sight
Pain grips the soul, smothering breath
With a worn body, that finds no rest
Fighting the will, a desire to hold on
Afraid to let go, of being alone

The eyes see no other, the senses die
The season changes, now winter resides
Where the warmth, of spring once dwelt
Now covered in snow, with no sun to melt
The heart quivers, alone in the cold
Rebuked by the mind, for being so bold

How may one, just let love go
Stand there still, and let it flow
From the veins, of your very heart
As it pulls and tares, your whole being apart
How do you stop love, and survive the woe
While a part of the heart dies, as you let go

Tomorrow will come, and so will the next
Day after day, though the spirit still vexed
Consumed by sickness, some claim is benign
Learn to go on, a moment at a time
Seal up the heart, for the wounds to heal
Hide away forever, never again to reveal

For the anguish torments, deep down inside
In the void of silence, where joy did reside
Knowledge it’s gone, yet denial remains
The heart holds to hope, while the mind refrains
Logic and reason, strap the heart in submission
As love fades away, vanishing into remission

July 27, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Call To Serve God More...

I pray this letter finds you all doing well serving the Lord. I pray that we will all be mindful of the opportunities the Spirit may lead us to, but also of our adversaries, namely the world, the flesh, and the devil, of whom we contend against.

Serving with fellow church members, of who are my brothers and sisters in Christ, in Mexico for a week stirs my senses to be more aware of the spiritual warfare that surrounds each and every one of us on a daily basis. Not only do we contend with a world system made of unsaved souls who desire not to serve the risen Saviour, we must rely on being obedient to the Spirit of God to make us mindful of Satan’s devices, not putting confidence in our sinful flesh which all too often leads us astray from the things of God.

Dear friends, we must be willing to place our faith in Christ and serve Him with our whole hearts. Too often I find myself wasting precious time that could be used getting to know my God and strengthening my faith. We cannot contend for the faith if we are unwilling to talk with our King (prayer), mediate upon his Word (Scripture), and put into action that which His Spirit shows us. We cannot allow temporal things to cloud our judgments, hindering us from receiving the wisdom of God that gives us strength and power in spiritual battles.

Our paying lip service to the things of God serves no purpose with man nor with God, for we are but one that neither believes nor cares for even that which we say. For, if we truly loved God, our family and friends, and desired not that one should taste the torments of eternal condemnation, would not our faith move us to witness that which we claim to believe?

You, my friend, may find yourselves doing just that, serving God to your fullest, and to that I say praise God, may you continue steadfast. But, for us (yes, me included) that are not completely using our time wisely, and all to often appear to get sidetracked by the woes and cares of this world, we need to repent (turn away from) those things which may not be sin, but yet hinder us from heading head strong into service for God, putting His will above our own.

Do you desire to know God? Do you desire to serve God? Do you desire to share His Word with others? These are questions that we all need to ask ourselves, being honest with ourselves and God with our answers. If yes, then we must then ask ourselves as to what are we presently doing for the cause of Christ. If no, we must purge ourselves of sin by repentance, seeking the forgiveness of Christ, then moving forth in obedience to the pressing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Do we not know ‘every one of us shall give account of himself to God?’ [Romans 14:12] May we all live a testimony well pleasing in His sight!

God Bless,

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Little More Expounding on 1 Corinthians 3:1-15

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

According to verses 1-4, when we have not progressed in our spiritual walk, but continue with envy, strife, and divisions we are being carnally minded.

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Ephesians 5 speaks of the relationship of the husband and the wife, as the relationship of Christ and the church. As the church, we are to submit ourselves to Christ because He loves us and gave Himself for us. His desire is to present us without blemish, cleansing us by ‘the washing of water by the word.’ Just as we are to grow closer to our spouse by taking time to intimately know them, so must we desire to ‘grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ to ‘beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.’ [2 Peter 3:17-18] A marital relationship can’t simply stay at the same stage as when two people first met, and neither can our relationship with Jesus Christ remain the same as the day we were saved. We must mature in our love and knowledge of the things of God through the study and meditation of His Word.

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

We have to guard ourselves from becoming –ites. It is okay to say ‘my pastor is Bro. Martin’ and that ‘I attend Fellowship Baptist Church’ but we must remember the gospel message of Jesus Christ is about His death, burial, and resurrection, not about our pastor and our church. When we witness, we are to share with persons the Word of God, not try to convert them to be Southern Baptist on their door step. We should support our pastor and our church, but we must guard against simply becoming a follower of a man (any man). We are to be followers of Christ, but testing all things against the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

As Christians we are to be about witnessing and spreading the gospel message to those around us. As the parable of the sewer (or the seed) [Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8] the seed may indeed fall upon various grounds, but how then shall the seed find the good ground unless we are willing to plant and water with the abilities God has given us? We shouldn’t choose by outward appearance to where or whom to plant and water, but obey the moving of the Holy Spirit.

7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

As Christians we must be conscious that we do not allow pride to have us see ourselves as higher than all other Christians and better than all sinners, for we will become self Pharisaical making ourselves of no profitable use to the cause of Christ. We must remember that by grace through faith we have been converted – by God – ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ [Titus 3:5-7] For it is Christ who is the ‘author and finisher of our faith’ knowing He which hath begun the a good work in us continues to work in us to do His good pleasure. We have not made ourselves saved, nor can we make someone else saved. We must present the gospel, pray, and trust the Spirit of God will move in the hearts of people.

This also does not mean our service to God means nothing, for Romans 10 shows God uses men to further the gospel in that it ask ‘how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?’ And here in 1 Corinthians 3 and verse 13 it declares, ‘Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is,’ and so shall there be reward and loss based on our honest deeds toward God and the spreading of His gospel message. Honest deeds means our heart also, not just what we see each other do on the outside, for the Pharisees appear good on the outside but were corrupt within. [Matthew 23:27]

What this does mean is that we are not the focal point, nor is it us or our ideas which save the lost. God and His gospel of Jesus Christ is the focal point, and He is the one who saves sinners. I mean, what is it that we plant and water? We must choose to plant and water that which God has provided, for if not, we will sin in planting and watering with man-made ideas and quick ‘easy believism’ schemes which may show numbers, but not truly converted hearts.

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

The only way that we can be ‘labourers together with God’ is to preach and teach the same gospel message He has already declared through Jesus Christ. Paul declares unto us the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15, but also elsewhere throughout Scripture. Verse 11 states, ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ Paul says in Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Just as 2 Timothy 2:16 following telling us to study the Word in verse 15, says ‘shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.’ How are we to witness to others and avoid deceit unless we grow from being babes in Christ and keep ourselves from being carnally minded?

We must humbly submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to work through us, using that which He has given us through Scripture, so that we will grow as Christians, souls will be saved, lives changed, and God receives all of the glory. We do not glory in ourselves when a soul comes to Christ, but glory in the One who has opened our eyes to see and our ears to hear, the One who has given us the seed and the water and works in us to plant and water wherever His Spirit shall lead us, that others may come to know Him also.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.