Sunday, November 16, 2008
So how does a sheep survive? Can it survive by itself? Let's say that a sheep decides to try to survive by itself. Will it find water? I doubt it, at least not much, and if it does, it will soon wander away and become lost again. Then hunger and thirst will set in--the sheep will become very stressed. The sheep will have no idea which way to turn. I think that describes us 100% at times in our lives when we do not cast all our care upon the Shepherd. We try to do it our own way, we fail, we get lost, we become overwhelmed. And then, we give up wandering around on our own, and start bleating loudly. We call for our shepherd. And he is right there. He comes and brings us to water, feeds us, and directs where we should go. He cares for us...even us stupid sheep.
Not only is it stupid to wander around by ourselves, but it is dangerous. The devil is as a roaring lion--he walks about seeking sheep to devour. He preys on the weak, the young, and the wandering sheep. That is why it is so important to stay in the Word so you do not become weak. That is why it is so important to not let the young Christian be led astray and blown every-which-way by false doctrines. That is why it is so important not to wander away from the shepherd by yourself. Or in groups. Sheep do stupid things together as well.
So how do we as Christians resist the devil? James says (4:7) "God resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." This passage ties into 1 Peter 5 in the following fashion.
"6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
I think one can deduce from these passages that if we are humble, if we submit to God, if we obey Him, if we cast all our cares upon Him, that we will effectively be safe from the devil and his plots. If we don't...we are out there as possible prey and feel very lost and confused. The devil wants us to feel lost—God wants us to be confident in Him. No, we may not always be confident about our future in life, but we can rest assured in Him and His plans. “Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
You might say, "But I have no clue where God is taking me!" Hey, don't feel alone. The rest of the sheep don't either. (Including me =D) We are dumb as sheep compared to a man as we as humans are compared to God. We are all walking by faith with the Shepherd...or trying to find our own path...which totally doesn't work. We all have afflictions. "Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." We live in this world, this pasture with thorn bushes.
Just because we submit certain struggles to God does not mean they cease to become trials. We live in a fallen world. We can expect to be tempted and tried on every side. But if we're in the pasture, the Shepherd will protect me. If we wander out by myself, we're going to find trouble: stress, depression, lack of trust, less fellowship, more temptation, worry…on and on and on.
Why do we always try it our way first, and then go to God when it doesn't work? Isn't that counter-productive? It's human, for sure...but perhaps we can try harder not to blaze our own path into the thorns and then beg for help after we get stuck. Sure, the Shepherd will come get us, but why must we repeatedly commit our stupid actions? "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." It reminds me of Israel in the OT, especially the book of Judges. They repeatedly turned their back on God. God punished them, they cried out to Him, He saved them, they worshipped Him, they turned their back on Him again , and so on.
Note also that God loves us ever so much. Chapter 5 is mostly addressed to the plural you, "ya'll", as it is know in certain parts of the country. =) However, when Peter gets to verses 6 and 7, he switches to the singular "you". (Instead of "ye") This further emphasizes out personal relationship with God and His great love for each individual one of us.
We must praise God--be thankful--and we will fins peace with God when we surrender that all to the Lord.We are His sheep, we hear His voice, and we must follow Him. God didn’t say we could see where we were going. But He said we can hear the Shepherd’s voice. And that is all we need in order to follow and become “supersheep”.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
O brethren, I stand here among you today, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress it upon you, and induce you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with the death of Christ.
Man is fearful
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
The man speaking here is terrified of what is happening in his life and feels totally helpless. However, being a Christian, he realizes that God is available and that God will stay with him. Even so, this man seems fearful of what will happen. His prayer seems to be of the psalmist David “Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.” (Psalm 38:21)
Psa 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
Even if people betray you, God will still be with you. (Note I'm not picking on parents, it just happened to be the first one I found)
Isaiah 41:17 [When] the poor and needy seek water, and [there is] none, [and] their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
What comforts have you lost? Does it matter? God will always be there to comfort you.
We must trust God that He will keep His promises that He will never leave or forsake us, because God cannot lie.
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
But maybe we should ask ourselves the opposite question: What if we forsake God? What will happen then? When we forsake God, we get in big trouble. Look at Jeremiah for example. He uses the word “forsake (azab)” 23 times, more than any other book of the Bible. Read Jeremiah and you will see what happens to those who do not follow God but turn their back on Him. Now, I’m not saying a Christian will lose their salvation if they fall away, but God is not going to bless them; He will chastise them to bring them back, even to the point of death. Take for example, Jonah. He thought he could ignore and forsake God—he ran away! Or so he thought. It didn’t work out very well, because God came after him to straighten him out. That was one awesome prayer meeting in the belly of the fish. OK, back to Jonah. He ran away, or so he thought, but God brought him back. Lesson? Don’t run away from God, or He will send you a big fish (of some sort of trial)
The world is a vapor
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
The older you get, the faster life goes by…didn’t every year seem like an eternity when you were younger? And now…yesterday was your birthday! And the closer to God you get (which hopfully increases with age), the offereings of the world appeal to you less and less. Everything here on earth dies and rots away thanks to sin. Everything will change, rot, die…but God is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Who do you want as your closest friend? One that changes every year? Month? Week? Day? Or the One who is always the same and never breaks His promises? One that you can tell EVERYTHING and who will always listen. As the piece I’m listening to right now “My Soul, There Is a Country,” says: “Leave then thy foolish ranges, \ For none can thee secure, \ But One who never changes, \ Thy God, thy life, thy cure.
Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Proverbs 18:24 A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
How much do you talk to God?
Do you trust Him with the life He has for you?
What do you want to never change?
How much do your friends change?
1 Cor. 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.
1 Cor. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
One day we will no longer have to deal with all the death and decay and sadness here on earth. Don’t you look forward to that?! But, in the time being, serve God for as long and as much as you can while you have time.
Our friendship with Jesus
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
How often do we just offer a “hey” or a “whasup” as we pass a friend in the hall. What should our relationship with God be? Should we talk to Him perhaps…say two times a day? Three? Four? How often are we to pray? Always.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1 Thess. 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
Col. 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
How are we to pray?
Daniel 6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
Daniel 9 (look it up)
Matthew 6:7-13 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Notice, Jesus did not say “pray these exact words again and again” (didn’t He just condemn that practice as heathen?), but “in this manner.” The Lord’s Prayer is an outline for how we should pray, not a magic prayer we can all repeat again and again and expect to have God hear it because it’s in the Bible. Prayer comes from the heart. Yes, God already knows what we are going to say, but He wants to hear it from us.
To go back to where we started, we want a heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus; we need to be familiar with God, spend time in His Word, and listen to the Holy Spirit. God is patient and slow to anger, but if we ignore Him, He will have to do something to get out attention. Don’t be a Jonah. “Sojourn” means “a temporary stay.” Do we need a temporary stay with Jesus? No! Once you are saved, Jesus is always with you, every moment. And we need to (excuse the expression if it sounds disrespectful) “take advantage” of having Jesus with you always and talk to Him as a friend. But respectfully. (And you should talk to your friends respectfully as well.)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
God isn't concerned with how much wealth we have…it makes no difference to Him in terms of how we are seen in His eyes. However, He looks at men's hearts. For example, when Samuel went to anoint God's choice of king over Israel, God told him that He looked at the inside of man, the heart, and not the outside. (1 Samuel 16:7) How often do we choose our friends based on their outside appearance? Is it because of their good looks? Their accomplishments? Or should it be because of the inside of their heart, their attitude towards God and His work? The outside attitude of a man comes as a result of the inside, not the other way around. And if one is acting like a Christian when he is with other Christians or in church, but appears as a unbeliever in his/her everyday life, he/she needs to stop living a hypocritical life. Choose this day who you will serve. Will you follow Joshua's example? "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," or will you have to be told "But ye have nor obeyed my voice; why therefore have you done this? Wherefore as I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you." It is a choice of the heart, for out of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.Do you feel good sitting in your house feeling sorry for yourself? Get up, get out, and do something!!
1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.So, how did God take care of this situation? He asked him what he was doing. And then He told him to get off his tail-end and go get to work. He didn't say it would be easy. Oh! I almost forgot...God also said that there were 7,000 other Godly men in Israel. You aren't alone. But that should not be the main focus. Even if you were the only one, you would still have to go out there and do the work God wants you to do.
Monday, July 14, 2008
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Widely yet His mercy flows.
"Fatherlike He tends and spares us;"
Fathers should and do love their children. God is out Heavenly Father; He tends to our everyday needs (even though we usually don't even realize it--just think: where did your dinner come from? Your clothes?), spares us from evil, and protects us with His mighty hand. Our heavenly Father certainly loves and protects us. Just think what God gave to Job after his trial!! That is an amazing testimony of God's love towards us.
"And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." --Gen. 18:26
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." --John 14:23
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." --1 John 3:1
"Grace be with you, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." --2 John 1:3
"Well our feeble frame He knows."
God uses even the most feeble person to accomplish His will. For example, there is a woman in our church, Lorraine, who is very ill. She has been to death's door several times. Yet, she comes to church as often as she can, half dead, and often having to leave part-way through. She is a testimony to the rest of us of her love for God and His people.
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" --1 Cor. 1:27
"Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:" --1 Cor. 12:22
"In His hands He gently bears us,"
God always takes care of us when we are in hard situations or when we are going through life in general. He kept you safe driving in the car today, did He not?
"Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." --Isaiah 41:10
"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." --Matt. 10:31
"And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation." --Luke 1:50
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." --2 Titus 1:7
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." --1 John 4:18
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." --Rev. 19:5
"Rescues us from all our foes."
God will always keep us safe. That doesn't always mean we won't die, but we are kept eternally safe in His hands. No matter what happens, we can rest assured in His arms.
"Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." --Exodus 15:6
"He delivered me from my strong enemy, [and] from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me." --2 Samuel 22:18
I've already explained in past posts on this hymn.
"Widely yet His mercy flows."
Wide and deep is the river of God's mercy. One has just to skim the Bible to see how merciful God is towards us. It is in His great mercy that He chose and saved us. Just look below!
"Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." --1 Peter 2:10
"Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." --James 5:11
"Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," --1 Peter 1:3
"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;" --Titus 3:5
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."
Colosions 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
I don't need to explain those verses to you--they are clear enough. If Jesus was standing right next to you, would you have that conversation you had yesterday? Does what you say bring glory to God? If not, then you'd better just not say it. It's a heart matter, as Jesus says. So check to see if you are following God first. (hence the reason I had you read that sermon first). Do you use God's name in vain? Because if you are His child and you do so, He just turned around and said "Yes? What do you need?" And then you proceed to ignore Him.
Before you do somthing next time, think about how it will affect others. Who will you be friends with? Will you be called a "Friend of God" as Abraham was, or will you be called a "friend of the world"? According to James, he who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. Who are you right at this moment? A Friend of God? Or not? Why do you do what you do? Will you allow yourself to be influenced by others or will you influence others for God?
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
OK, enough politics for the moment...I need to put up a devotional. Hopefully in the next few days...maybe I'll do it on patience. *grin* In fact, I may drop politics from here altogether and do them on a different blog, just to keep this one on course. I'll have to think about it. And...I have.http://apoliticiansnightmare.blogspot.com/
Friday, June 27, 2008
Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban, Upholds Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms
High court strikes down gun ban
Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban, Upholds Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Australia's Gun Laws: Little Effect
Opions of the court
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount? So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now. Folks haven't been reading their Bible."
Yes, Mr. Obama, people need to read their Bibles more. You may want to read Galatians as well as the Gospels again. You seemed to have missed the point of both. Would you like to remove your foot from your mouth now? I should also mention two of my favorite sites. (Actually, I don't look at them often, but they are excellent.)
Is Barack Obama the Messiah?
Barack Obama the Antichrist?
No, I'm not saying I believe he is the Antichrist, but it says a good lot about him you may want to know. But, anyway. You MUST go look at these sites. Really. You'll get a big kick...or scare...looking at some of these pictures, especially on the first site.
To quote an article...
Barack Obama said Tuesday that evangelical leader James Dobson was "making stuff up" when he accused the presumed Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible.
Speaking to reporters on his campaign plane before landing in Los Angeles, Obama said the speech made the argument that people of faith, like himself, "try to translate some of our concerns in a universal language so that we can have an open and vigorous debate rather than having religion divide us."
Obama added, "I think you'll see that he was just making stuff up, maybe for his own purposes."
Asked about Dobson's assessment, Obama said "somebody would be pretty hard-pressed to make that argument" that he was distorting the Bible.
Obama supporters also responded to Dobson.
The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist pastor from Texas and longtime supporter of President Bush who has endorsed Obama, said Tuesday he belongs to a group of religious leaders who, working independently of Obama's campaign, launched a Web site to counter Dobson at http://www.jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com. The site highlights statements from Obama and Dobson and asks visitors to compare them.
Caldwell said he has great respect for Dobson's advocacy for families, but said the criticism of Obama was "a bit over the top" and "crossed the line."
"There has been a call for a higher level of politics and politicking," Caldwell said. "So to attack at this level is inappropriate and I think unacceptable and we at least want to hold everybody accountable."
I say, my friends...this has got to be the biggest joke.
And has anyone noticed how google spell-checker still doesn't recognize "Barack" or "Obama?"
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
2 Peter 3:7 "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
John 8:16 "And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."
Mark 6:11 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."
Psalm 33:12a "Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD;"
Proverbs 14:34 "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people."
Isaiah 1:4 "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Praise the Lord for those clerks who have refused to participate in such sin. "Gay marriage" doesn't exist. It just so happens that God defined it.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Monday, June 16, 2008
A man arrested for preaching on a public sidewalk too close to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia has been declared guilty of violating federal law. He was fined over $400 and put on probation, told not to go in Independence National Historical Park – or on its surrounding sidewalks – for a year.
NO. You can't preach the Gospel. (Article)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
And what's to say they won't arrest you for passing out tracks or preaching in your own hometown? They already arrest people on universities regularly for preaching, and that's no joke. Watch the video. But remember, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not." (Romans 12:14)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. (crowd laughing) I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours."
"What they'll say is, 'Well it costs too much money,' but you know what? It would cost, about... It -- it -- it would cost about the same as what we would spend... It... Over the course of 10 years it would cost what it would costs us... (nervous laugh) All right. Okay. We're going to... It... It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about -- hold on one second. I can't hear myself. But I'm glad you're fired up, though. I'm glad."
That's right. Your's truly, the Obama Messiah.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Music: Neumark, Georg Neumark, 1641
If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.
What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.
Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.
God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.
Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.
All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.
Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Another thought is if you find that you aren't really learning anything in your devotions, that God isn't showing you anything new, then maybe you need to check out what He has showed you. Maybe you need to take some action to apply or do that which He has showed you before you can grow further. Maybe He's waiting for you to follow through. Then the Lord will continue to lead us on the path to the final Jerusalem. But you need to stop your lunch break and get up and keep running. Isaiah describes this highway as such...
8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein .
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there :
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
And...I was hoping to write about something else, but nothing is coming. So, until next time...
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Out of date Hymn
Totally current Hymn
I Surrender All
I Surrender Some
There Shall Be Shower of Blessing
There Shall Be Sprinkles of Blessing
Fill My Cup, Lord
Fill My Spoon Lord
Oh, How I Love Jesus
Oh, How I Like Jesus
He's Everything To Me
He's Quite A Bit To Me
I Love To Tell The Story
I Love To Talk About Telling The Story
Take My Life And Let It Be
Take My Life And Then Let Me Be
It Is No Secret What God Can Do
It Is My Secret What God Can Do
There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today
There Is Scattered Cloudiness In My Soul Today
We Are One In The Spirit
We Are One In The Bond Of Our Denomination
Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward Christian Reserves
Where He Leads Me I Will Follow
Where He Leads Me I Will Consider Following
Just As I Am
Just As I Pretend To Be
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Stand Up, Stand Up (But Keep Your Arms Down)
When The Saints Go Marching In
When The Saints Go Sneaking In
And more thought matter...I quote...
The singing of a hymn should be a great experience for Christians. A hymn can be a prayer, a testimony, praise, or an invitation to others. Many of us apparently don't take the words we sing very seriously.
We sing "Sweet Hour of Prayer' and pray only a few minutes each day.
We sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and wait to be drafted.
We sing "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" and don't use the ones we have to speak for Christ.
We sing "Blest Be the Tie" and let the slightest offense sever it.
We sing "I Love to Tell the Story" and seldom mention Jesus to anybody.
We sing "Serve the Lord with Gladness" and gripe about all we have to do.
We sing "Cast Thy Burden on the Lord" and then worry ourselves into a nervous breakdown.
We sing "The Whole Wide World for Jesus" and never invite our next-door neighbor to church.
>>> Hymns...songs...I love this... <<<
And to add to my last post...look at Job chapters 40-42. Put yourself in Job's shoes for a moment. Are you being a Job? Do you need to stop questioning God's plans?
Monday, May 26, 2008
A state of discontent breeds a distrust of God. When we are not satisfied with the things we have or the circumstances we are in, we are not trusting God that He knows what He is doing and that His way is better. We want our way--we want our plans--we want our way out of the situation we are in. But, our way doesn't work. God will either let you go on your merry little way until you fall into a pit, get hurt badly, and come running back to Him, or He will chastise you like He did to Jonah and bring you back. And if you go far enough away from Him and do enough damage, He might just kill you. All ways end up back at God eventually, but you get hurt all three ways, and in one case, you even die. It's not worth it. Ask Jonah. Why do you think God put that book in the Bible? So you would learn from history and not make the same mistake Jonah did. Don't make the same mistake as Jonah.
First, when we do not trust God, we are saying, "God, I know better than You do. I'm going to do it my way." We know better than God does? Isn't that putting ourselves above God? Is that not trusting in ourselves? Is that not idolatry?
1 Cor. 10:14 "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."
Prov. 29:25 "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."
Whoa. Cursed. God has some pretty strong stuff to say about trusting in man and ignoring Him. Jonah found it out the hard way. Which way will you find out? Are you going to make God carry out one of those three punishments, or are you going to stay on God's side?
The second reaction to not trusting God is to become fearful of your situation. But why fear? God is in control; He always has been and always will be. Man cannot thwart His plans. God commands us, He doesn't suggest, He commands us to not fear. The only one we are to fear is God Himself out of reverence and awe of Him and because He has the power of eternal life and death over us. Jesus Himself said, "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." (Luke 12:5)
1 Chron. 28:20 "And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD."
Joel 2:21 "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things."
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Trust in God. He knows best, even when you think He is doing a nutcase job of running your life. Perhaps, just perhaps, when you are thinking that----are you the nutcase? Yep.
Psa 118:8 "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Psa 146:3 "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."
Be Content. Don't have what you want? Don't get your way? That's right, for the way that seems right to us leads to destruction. Follow God's way, not your own.
Phil. 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Psalm 22:26 "The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever."
Proverbs 12:14 "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him."
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Deut. 11:27 "A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:"
Job 36:12 "But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge."
Proverbs 30:17 "The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
How is it that the wind and waves obey God, yet we, who are so much smarter than the waves, do not? Isn't that a little ironic?
Freedom also springs for trust. The more people trust you, the more freedom they will give you. Joseph was a trustworthy ruler in Egypt. Therefore, Pharaoh gave permission for his bones to be buried in Canaan.
Gen. 50:6 "And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear."
The longer you work at a job, the more freedom you will be given. For example, my boss and people over me at work trust me. I have the keys to the building and offices. I know the alarm code. I can access the database. I proved my trustworthiness, and I was given freedom. (No, I'm not telling you where I work =P) I'm not bragging, just using me as an example. I have plenty of other problems to deal with of my own. But with freedom comes responsibility. With a car comes the gas prices, the car insurance.
Luke 12:48b For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
We can earn freedom and pursue freedom, but only within God's boundaries. Psalm 31:8"And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room."
God has given us much freedom, but we can only earn it and use it to His glory if we obey Him and trust in Him. Even trusting in God brings us more freedom. When we trust Him more, when we believe He can do anything, we will be able to do so much more for God.
Mat. 19:26 "But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Mark 10:27 "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Luke 18:27 "And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Job 42:2 "I know that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be withholden from thee."
Christ has made us free. He has given us back the freedom that was taken from us when Adam and Eve sinned. We no longer have to always be worrying about animal sacrifices and coming to God through the priests, but we are free to come directly to the Father through Jesus the Son.
Hbr. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.
1 Corinthians 7
21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
We are servants to God. Our freedom is in our salvation as well as in doing God's will. When we were on our way to hell, under the burden of sin and death, Christ freed us with His sacrifice at Calvary. We are now free to serve Him and not ourselves and the world. Just look at what God will provide for us, if we follow His Word.
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you , and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so
persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Use the freedom God has given you and He will give you more. Use it all and always for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
1 Peter 2:16 "As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."
I know, that was a little bare-bones, but I don't have much time right now. I may expand on this topic later, but I wanted to get part of it out now, at least. In fact, I do want to expand on a few different areas and also include freedom in this country. It would have been nice to post it today because of Memorial Day, but that's not working out.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Praise Him for His grace and favor
To His people in distress.
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Glorious in His faithfulness.
"Praise Him for His grace and favor To His people in distress."
We already went over what praise means. So let's apply it to what we are praising Him for. God's grace and God's favor. What is grace? According to Webster ...
"The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor."
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." --Rom.11:6
"My grace is sufficicnt for thee." --2 Cor. 12:9
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." --Rom. 5:20
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." --Rom. 5:2
We deserve to die and suffer eternal punishment for our sins. God's perfectly just nature demands it. But in His Grace, He showed us His mercy and sent Jesus, His Son, the Son of God, to die on the cross for us to atone for our sins. He pardoned us, although we didn't deserve it, and hereby has he showed forth His grace unto us. We should rejoice in His grace and praise Him, for it is by grace we are saved through faith; "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:8) God also give grace to those who are suffering--God's grace is always sufficient for us to hold to when we go through trials in life and we are in deep distress.
"Praise Him still the same as ever"
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
God does not change. He is always the same and only all-powerful God.
"Slow to chide, and swift to bless"
Psalm 103:8 "The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."
Psalm 145:8 "The LORD [is] gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."
That pretty much covers it. Aren't you glad God doesn't get mad fast!! We'd all be dead by now if He had a quick temper. Bu He chooses to bless us in spite of our sinful selves. What an amazing God we serve!
--has been covered in last post
"Glorious in His faithfulness."
Deut. 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
1Cor. 1:9 "God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
1Thess. 5:24 "Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it]."
Rev 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
Psalm 111:3 "His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever."
Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"
All that God is and does is glorious, and that includes His faithfulness. He is the most faithful one that you will ever know. He is faithful to all generations and His glory is displayed in the Creation as well as in the Christian's life and world events.
God never changes, He is faithful, and will keep us forever. He cannot lie. His attributes are eternal and always present. Praise Ye the Lord!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Praise the everlasting King.
The word "praise" occurs 248 times in the Bible (KJV)
I quote: "The word comes from the Latin pretium, "price," or "value," and may be defined generally as an ascription of value or worth. Praise may be bestowed upon unworthy objects or from improper motives, but true praise consists in a sincere acknowledgment of a real conviction of worth. Its type may be seen in the representation given in the Apocalypse of the adoration of God and of the Lamb, which is inspired by a sense of their worthiness to be adored."
4:11 "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
5:12 "Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
"Soul"--I think the meaning here in this hymn is using this word to refer to your innermost being--that part of you that never dies--what we call your soul. We need to praise God, not just and only with our earthly bodies, but in a deeper sense, in that part of us that never dies, and is connected to Him with a cord that cannot be broken.
"King of Heaven"
Revelation 19:16 "And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Jesus is king of all that was, is, and is to come. He is all-powerful and all knowing.
"To His feet thy tribute bring"
We are to give God what we owe Him. All we have belongs and came from Him. Should we not give back to Him what He deserves?
Matthew 22:21b "Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."
We are ransomed by the blood of Christ. He died in our place. It's not that God was forced to provide Satan a sacrifice, but in that God requires blood for sin, because He cannot allow sin into heaven. Since He wanted His creation of the human race to be able to go to heaven to be with Him to glorify Him forever more, He had to provide a way for that to happen. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to take our place.
God often uses the evil as a ransom for the righteous. Achan was stoned as a ransom for the camp of Israel, and the seven sons of Saul's family were hanged as a ransom for the kingdom of David.
11:8 "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead."
21:18 "The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright."
In our case, God used His Son, Jesus Christ, to be evil for us. The Father placed all tour sins, present, past, and future on His Son all at the same time as Hew hung upon the cross. And that is why God the Father had to turn away from Jesus on the cross. He could not look at sin.
Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
1 Titus 2:6 "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
We were dead in our trespasses and sins and on our way to hell. We had the deadly wound of sin. But the blood of Christ healed us, and now we are able to enter God's Presence.
Jeremiah 30:17 "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, [saying], This [is] Zion, whom no man seeketh after."
We, the human race, were punished because of sin--we reaped the punishment of eternal separation from God. But God provided a way of restoration--through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we have life eternal!
We were at enmity with God. Our relationship with Him was broken. We had no fellowship with Him; we were not His children. See the above verse again. God has restored us partially back to the human race's original perfect state. We will never get to that point on earth, but we are constantly working on that goal of perfection. And Christ will help us in that, for we cannot attain it of ourselves.
Hebrews 13:21 "Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."
--through Christ, not ourselves
Hebrews 12:1-2 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2)Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
--and again, Jesus is the author as well as the finisher of our faith. We cannot attain perfection by ourselves. Neither can we grow in perfection as Christians when we leave God out of the picture. It doesn't work.
"Evermore His praises sing"
Psalm 30:12 "To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."
We should never stop praising God. In heaven, we will spend eternity praising Him, so we'd better get used to it and start practicing now.
"Alleluia" is the Greek form of the Hebrew "Hallelujah" which means "Praise ye Jehovah." Jehovah is the actual name of God. The Jews would not even pronounce it out of reverence for God Almighty.
"Praise the everlasting King"
Again, we are to praise God, and He is King. But this time, the hymn-writer threw in "everlasting." Our King is everlasting.
Psalm 93:2 "Thy throne [is] established of old: thou [art] from everlasting. "
Romans 16:26 "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"
Psalm 41:13 "Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen."
--Our God is everlasting.
2 Peter 1:11 "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
--Jesus' Kingdom and Kingship is forever and ever.
Revelation 14:6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, "
--the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will last forever.
Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
--And because of the Resurrection of the Son of God, we have eternal and everlasting life. Amen and Amen!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
John 10:10 says "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
But how are we to have that abundant life? We cannot have that life unless we are fully surrendered to Christ. Are we singing:
Some to Jesus, I surrender;
Some to Him I grudgingly give;
I will mostly love and trust Him,
In His presence every-other-day live.
That is not right. We must fully surrender to God. We must give Him all the keys to our life. Even that one you think He doesn't want or care about--hand it over. He's got to have them all.
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Romans 12:1
Until you give your entire life over to Christ, you will never live the life Christ intends you to live. You will never be able to sing:
All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
This song explains this topic very well--take a minute to read through it.
You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.
Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.
O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.
Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.
Friday, April 11, 2008
2. Sermon blog is being worked upon.
3. Here's something for now . . .
Proverbs 3:5-6, 9-10
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; . . ."
--Not with some of your heart. All of it. Trust Him with the everyday things in your life, not just the hard things.
" . . . and lean not unto thine own understanding."
--We do not always understand our circumstances or how God works. But we cannot base our decisions on what we think of the situation.
"In all thy ways acknowledge him, . . ."
--In all thy ways. That means everything. The job, school, competition, college decision, when you're praying, and in the grocery store.
" . . . and he shall direct thy paths."
--Then God will place your feet on solid ground and you will know what the Will of God is for your life to the extent that God lets you know. He will give you discernment.
"Honour the LORD with thy substance . . ."
--We ought to use our money and material belongings the Lord has given us in a Christ-honouring way.
" . . . and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:"
--In fact, we ought to give God all the firstfruits of all we earn. Our best in all our work, and that also means . . . Before taxes . . .Yep.
"So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, . . ."
--Then the Lord will supply us with all we need.
" . . .and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
--And sometimes God will give us things we didn't even ask for.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Just Because I Wrote It Doesn't Mean I READ It...
You know, babies are punishments . . . *coughing fit*
Barack Obama's Little Bundle of Punishment
--which I may have more to say on later.
Disclaimer: I do not necessarily endorse everything on the blog these link to.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
St. Thomas Church on 5th Ave in NYC is well known for its music. In fact, it may contain the world's best choir today. Although the theology is iffy, the music is wonderful. I DARE you to listen to this. You won't regret it. These are some of the highlights of the service. If you don't have time to listen to all of these, I suggest at least listening to the stared ones. I've rated my favorites by the number of stars.
The audio "file" from the morning service:
**0:00 Fantasy on ‘O Sons and Daughters’
8:25 Poème Héroïque, Op. 33; it gets very spirited shortly after 15:00 (about)
16:45 Four Bach Choral Preludes Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 625
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 626
Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ, BWV 628
Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag, BWV 629
I've played some of them before--the old Easter German chorals are actually quite nice. (*Cough*--why aren't they used more widely today?!)
***31:35 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!
36:37 The Day of Resurrection!
*~40:20 Choir (Gloria In Excelsis Deo)
48:30 Choir (Psalm 118:14-17, 22-24 Confitemini Domino)
~50:00 Come, Ye Faithful, raise the Strain
**58:45 (Christus Vincit)
1:21:10 Choir (Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.)--Edward C. Bairstow
***1:33:00 (Choir) (SHORT segment) Talk about hitting a high note. They do it in tune ALL the time--the opposite of most choirs.
*1:58:35 He Is Risen, He Is Risen!
**Postlude: Grand Choer Dialogué---Eugene Gigout
***33:08 The strife is o’er, the battle done
***1:18:20 Choir (“The Song of Moses”--George Frideric Handel)
***1:26:30 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today! Possibly even better than the morning service.(Organ only . . . this timing mark is where he throws on the big trumpet for a moment and nears the end. Go back a little and you'll find the start.)
******Immediately following is a WONDERFUL and TOTALLY joyous postlude. Totally!! Just TRIMUMPHAT!! 100%! (But the "slightly-musically-challenged-people?" started clapping too soon at the end . . .*cough*)
Ok, I need to calm down. Yes, I get that excited over that music.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Matthew 28:5 "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
1 Corinthians 15:55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today (all 10 verses)
Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God’s right hand He stands,
And brings us life from Heaven.
Wherefore let us joyful be,
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of Alleluia! Alleluia!
No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thralldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage. Alleluia!
But Jesus Christ, God’s only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,
His sting is lost forever. Alleluia!
It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life;
The reign of death was ended.
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
An empty form alone remains
Death’s sting is lost forever! Alleluia!
Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree—
So strong His love!—to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes over,
And Satan cannot harm us. Alleluia!
So let us keep the festival
Where to the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended! Alleluia!
Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true Bread of Heaven;
The Word of grace hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
He is our Meat and Drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Besmeared with dust, and sweat, and blood,
See there, the King of Glory see!
Sinks and expires the Son of God.
Who, who, my Savior, this hath done?
Who could Thy sacred body wound?
No guilt Thy spotless heart hath known,
No guile hath in Thy lips been found.
I, I alone, have done the deed!
’Tis I Thy sacred flesh have torn;
My sins have caused Thee, Lord, to bleed,
Pointed the nail, and fixed the thorn.
The burden, for me to sustain
Too great, on Thee, my Lord, was laid;
To heal me, Thou hast borne my pain;
To bless me, Thou a curse wast made.
In the devouring lion’s teeth,
Torn, and forsook of all, I lay;
Thou sprang’st into the jaws of death,
From death to save the helpless prey.
Savior, how shall I proclaim?
How pay the mighty debt I owe?
Let all I have, and all I am,
Ceaseless to all Thy glory show.
Too much to Thee I cannot give;
Too much I cannot do for Thee;
Let all Thy love, and all Thy grief,
Graven on my heart for ever be!
The meek, the still, the lowly mind,
O may I learn from Thee, my God,
And love, with softest pity joined,
For those that trample on Thy blood!
Still let Thy tears, Thy groans, Thy sighs,
O’erflow my eyes, and heave my breast,
Till loose from flesh and earth I rise,
And ever in Thy bosom rest.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
’Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.
Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.
“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.” -- Sen. Barack Obama, on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Disclaimer: I don't agree with everything this man writes and says. But he gets it on this issue.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Today's main feature is the story of Jesus and the man who made excuses.
John Chapter 5
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case , he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. [Are you kidding!! He has been here 38 years and still doesn't understand the process that happens every year?! It seems that he should know enough to be at the water's edge and plan ahead if no-one is available to help him. Can't you just hear him whining?!]
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. [Again, an excuse. "Somebody made me do it!"]
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. [Notice the man was not a believer, for he did not know who Jesus even was.]
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. [So what does this man do? He goes and sins some more. He tattles to the Jews about who the guy that had broken the law was. He was probably whining the whole time.]
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
So, a person does not have to be a believer to have God heal him. It may seem unfair when God heals an unbeliever, but lets one of His best servants lie in bed with an incurable disease. But God can do whatever He wants to. Maybe that unbeliever will come to know Christ as their saviour as a result of being healed. Maybe they won't, and will be an example to others of what not to do, such as the man in John's gospel. (At least, the Bible never seems to say he believed. Maybe he did later on.) Maybe that Christian needs to be a testimony in the hospital or an example of strong faith to fellow believers. Although slightly out of context, I think this verse still applies. Romans 9:20 "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" Be content with how God has made you.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Also, I am going to mention about Obama, because people are starting to have blind faith in him—people are almost, if not, worshiping him and putting their complete trust in him. This has been in several editorials, as well as having been confirmed by a woman I know who is a liberal Christian democrat. (She realizes this fact, she does not worship him herself.)
Finally, I think a passage in Mark as well as another pastor post will pop up soon. Anyway, I’m traveling right now, but these should be up soon. Maybe I can get a lot of writing done in the car. :)
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
We have in Genesis 1:11-12, 14, 21, 24-25, a direct blow to the evolutionist’s ideas. The words “after his kind” are repeatedly used. Not, “ The fish reproduced gradually to an ape.”
Another devastating whack at Darwin’s theory comes from Romans 1:20-25. Note: Romans 1 is a very useful passage of Scripture. It goes much deeper than the casual surface reading. It is useful for refuting many false teachings prevalent today. (2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:") Science would have us to believe that there is no God. Their best way of accomplishing this is to remove the Creator and make everything come from chance. By doing this, they worship the creature (man, who has supposedly come from animals, and therefore is little more than an intelligent animal himself), who has invented science to study everything under and above the sun, and turn truth (the Bible, the story of creation) into a lie. (Evolution)
Christians should avoid false science. (1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”) I would say that the Bible explicitly condemns evolution as a false doctrine. For here we have scientists “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ( 2 Timothy 3:7) Yet here we as Christians stand, fools to the world, yet wise in the eyes of our Maker. (1 Corinthians 3:18-19) “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”
Mormonism is a rapidly growing group today. However, several main doctrines are condemned in the Bible. Mormons always claim that Joseph Smith was visited by an angel. I myself can believe that. Maybe he was! And it was probably an angel of light as they say. (2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.") I would even daresay that verse 13, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”
Mormonism is more complicated than Christianity. It has many more rules and works that must be done to secure salvation and be in good standing with the church and God. The gospel given by the apostle Paul, who received it from Jesus Christ, is simple. (2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.")
We no longer need an earthly temple building. Christians are the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.")
The LDS church also retains extensive geological record for the purpose if baptism for the dead. (Sounds like indulgences, to me) (1 Timothy 1:4 "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.") Shall we spend our time looking at genealogies to supposedly save people or present the Gospel of Christ Jesus, God?
Galatians gives a strong warning against Mormonism: (Gal. 1:6-9 "(6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (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.") Whoa!! Paul wasn’t just giving a little warning—he repeated himself in the very next verse! ANY other gospel = Let that preacher be accursed.
The LDS church also teaches that marriage is eternal. Well, Jesus debunked that idea in Matthew 22:23-32. It’s too long to put all of it here, but go look it up. “(29) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (30) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Now we are directly ignoring the teachings of Jesus Christ, God! Are we going to ignore God Almighty Himself?!!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Not only is it good for us to trust in God, but God commands us to trust Him. When we put our trust in Him, He blesses us and our life is much more easy. No longer do we apt to stumble along, taking this path and that path, trying to figure out where to go next in life; when we trust Him, He leads us and shows us the work He has for us to do. The book of Psalms has much to say about trusting in God and what happens when we put our trust in other things.
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Neither should we be ashamed of being a Christian, trusting in God, or witnessing. God will not let us down when we are in trouble--He will protect us. We may be killed for His sake or as a result of our own stupid actions, but our soul is safe in God's care. The next time you have to tell someone the Gospel, do not be ashamed or fear--the Devil is the one making you fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power! God is with you and will help you--you will not make a fool of yourself in God's eyes. The world may think you a fool, but that is because God has let the Devil blind the eyes of the lost.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Psalm 25:2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Psalm 25:20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
Psalm 31:1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
When others attack our faith, we can trust in God and His Word to help us. If we try to explain our faith to people based solely on our own reasoning, we will not be able to be as effective in the Lord's work as if we had trusted and used God's Word. The Bible has a passage to refute every argument that can be made against God and His Word.
Psalm 71:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Psalm 119:42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
When we are afraid, what should we do? Well, first of all, if we had trusted God to begin with, we would not be afraid.
Numbers 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Psalm 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
But, since we are human, and all of us, at one point or another are going to fail to trust God, what should we do? Well, that's a easy one--just turn around and trust Him! He will still help us, even when we fail to trust Him in the first place.
Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Whether you are going through the death of a loved one, a financial crisis, a serious illness, or worrying about your future, fully trusting in God will always bring peace to you. Our life may not become peaceful, but you will rest assured that God has your life in His hands and will not let you down.
What do we hear so often today? "Just trust yourself." "Believe in yourself." Are these sayings Christian? I don't think so. Are we able to do anything by ourselves? No.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The Bible says we cannot trust ourselves. Our hearts are wicked; we cannot place our trust in man. Notice, I'm not saying we can't trust other Christians in earthly matters, like lending them a tool to use for a week--but we will all fail at one time or another. We cannot place the trust of our life or our spiritual destination in man's hands. Man will always break his promises. But God never breaks His--past, present, or future. Shall we entrust our eternal life into man's hands as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons? God forbid. Look what has happened to them. They have become deceived beyond imagination. What happened to Jim Jones' followers who put their trust in him? http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/mass/jonestown/index_1.html Right before the mass suicide/massacre, Jim Jones is supposedly quoted as saying, "I have twelve hundred people's lives in my hands, and I certainly don't want your life in my hands. I'm going to tell you, Christine, without me, life has no meaning. (Applause.) I'm the best thing you'll ever have. . . . Don't, don't fail to follow my advice. You'll be sorry. You'll be sorry. If we do it, than that they do it. Have trust. You have to step across." People had entrusted their lives in his hands, and with detrimental results. Man is wicked and cannot save himself. We can put our trust only in God, who will never fail us.
2 Kings 18:21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
Trusting in riches is just as bad an idea as trusting in man. It is a mockery towards God because it shows that you think more highly of money than of your Creator. If you trust your money, you are making your savings your idol, your god.
Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
This man thought the rest of his life would be a wonderful time of peaceful relaxation; his barns were full of his crops, his servants attended to his every need. But, no--his life was cut short. All his treasures did him no good--he went to his damnation because he did not trust in God, but in his treasures on earth.
1 Titus 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
But the Lord would have us trust Him, not in our savings. What if your bank failed tomorrow? What would you do? Would you trust the Lord? What if the economy crashed tomorrow? Would you lean on the Lord for strength and guidance?
Should we put our trust in our military? It does no good to trust in our own might, power, and the newest weapon technology if we do not place our trust in God. He is the one that will keep us safe from harm according to His will.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
1 Chronicles 5:20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.
In fact, God says "Woe to them . . ." that put their trust in their might and not in the Lord!
Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!
Shall we put our faith in the number of men we have? The newness of our weapons? It seems reasonable to believe that, but without God, it is fruitless. You may still win, but oh . . . how much easier when God is with you.
Let us then put our whole trust in the Lord, and lean not on our own understanding, mankind, riches, or weapons. His ways are above our ways, and our understanding of the future is not complete. We know not what tomorrow may bring. Therefore, cast all your cares upon Him--He already knows your struggles. Whether your uncertainty revolves around a finding a new job, building a family, finding a spouse, affording college, worrying about money, dealing with a disaster, or finding a church, God already knows and has a plan for that circumstance. Place your trust in Him and He will guide and bless you beyond measure. Life is always easier when we trust God. After all, He gave us our life to use for Him! And after we accepted Christ, we need to give our lives back to Him for His glory.
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
Many hymns have been written about trusting in the Lord. Here are some of my favorites.
If thou but suffer God to guide thee (Winkworth’s original translation) http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/f/ifyouwil.htm
Put thou thy trust in God