On April 10, I heard a message by Pastor and Faculty member Andre Rogers called, "Go The Extra Mile" during chapel on the campus of Columbia International Univeristy. I got to thinking . . .
The law establishes a standard principle for retribution that is just, “an eye for an eye.” But the point of Jesus’ teaching is that the Christian has an option—he does not have to carry out the law but is in a perfect position to share the gospel. I present my thoughts in the semi-Socratic, or in catechistic form:
Q: What is the point of Jesus’ teaching?
A: Jesus teaches first that a Christian should not resist the evil-doer.
Q: Who is the evil-doer?
A: The one who would lay his hand (literally or figuratively) on another with the intent on doing harm.
Q: Who is able to raise his hand against another?
A: Anyone who seeks to commit an evil act against another. This is one way to tell a professing Christian from who is truly born again.
Q: What should the warning be for the Christian?
A: Striking another implies hatred, and hatred is equated with murder. “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
Q: What are the rights of the Christian in this case?
A: You have the right to turn the other cheek.
Q: Is doing evil limited to actually “laying hands” on a person?
A: What did Jesus already teach in Matthew 5:21-26 but that the one who hates his brother is committing murder and not merely liable to the court but hell-bound.
Q: Why is this?
A: Because man is made in God’s image and to strike, breathe threats against or even murder another is to demean another who stands as God’s representative on earth. These actions betray a low view of one’s creator and an attempt to dominate over another who actually shares the same position.
Q: What is the benefit does turning the other cheek?
A: Turning the other cheek confirms your place as a heavenly citizen and his place as one doomed to hell.
Q: Does this mean a Christian is not to defend himself?
A: No, rather if one is wearing the helmet of salvation and is carrying the shield of faith, he is already well-defended. The counter of the Christian is to offer forgiveness, whether it is received or not. Remember, the doom of the attacker is already sealed unless he repents.
Q: What is someone wants to sue?
A: First, one may consider how closely this follows that of striking another. Should the evil-doer feel he did not do enough damage in striking (with hand or tongue), he attempts to damage in another way.
Q: What are the rights of the Christian in this case?
A: The Christian has the right to be sued and give more than was asked. You have the right to be wronged.
Q: What is the purpose of giving more than is asked?
A: Giving more than asked again confirms who you are and who he is. A citizen of heaven knows all he has is from above (seeking first the kingdom and His righteousness). He is at no loss if the flowers are more arrayed than Solomon. A citizen of hell is confirmed by his covetousness. When he dies, the evil-doer looses all he has gained around him and takes with him all he has amassed of himself. In other words, when he dies, the evil-doer will have gained the whole world and lost his soul.
Q: We are so familiar with the Roman demand, that anyone asked must bear his burden one mile and Jewish practice was to do this grudgingly, dropping the load at exactly the mile-mark. What does “going the extra mile” really mean for us today?
A: Going the extra mile means you have the right to serve. If you take anything into your own hands, it is going to be the burden of someone who asks of you.
Q: Is it that simple?
A: No. You have your own burden to carry as well. The point of your service is to not merely demonstrate the injustice of evil-doers but to show the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ through service.
Q: What is the difference between giving what is asked of you and what you give in being sued?
A: The evil-doer is demanding of you with the intent to harm in suing, as well as to salve his seared conscience with false comforts. Suddenly he may find himself in real need and does indeed require the ministry of lending. Where is he to go, but to the one who has stood in obedience to God against him? The same God who we trust for our own daily bread is using our hand to dispense what is in it to those who look for daily bread also. Our ministry is to point back to Him. If we cannot help, we are in no position to put him down, lest we do an act of evil.
Q: What should we make of the difference between “giving” and “lending?”
A: Jesus obviously thinks of these as equals. Though generosity marks the obedient Christian, lending challenges the dishonest. Lending holds justice to the liar, the thief, the coveter and puts him in a gospel position to be rescued from hell.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
On April 10, I heard a message by Pastor and Faculty member Andre Rogers called, "Go The Extra Mile" during chapel on the campus of Columbia International Univeristy. I got to thinking . . .
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Now perhaps this sounds confusing to you. But, dear friend, if you will take the time to seriously consider what the Bible has to say to you, you will be able to understand clearly what is meant by these statements.
Salvation is not based on one's belief of the Bible, but rather is based on one's faith and trust in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:39,40; 8:24). Abraham of old has a very prominent place throughout the whole Bible, but the supreme testimony given to him in the Bible is that he believed God and God accounted this to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6). That is what God wants you to do--believe Him.
God says to you that you have sinned and come short of His glory (Romans 3:23). Take your Bible and read the terrible indictment that God has declared to be true of you in the book of Romans, chapter 3, verses 9 through 23. God would have you and me and everyone else to realize and acknowledge and confess to Him that this is our true condition. Oh! don't look back into your life and try to pick out what you consider to be good deeds and good practices and labor under the false delusion that they will fit you for God's eternal presence. Face this issue truthfully, sincerely and fairly, realizing that God knows you from the inside out. Then confess your awful condition to Him, and cry out to Him for mercy. If you have done this, you are now in the right condition to receive God's salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The truth of salvation comes home to a repentant sinner's heart through belief of Scripture which tells of the Lord Jesus Christ as being the only Saviour. There are many such verses in the Bible, but I would ask you to consider seriously and prayerfully Romans 10:9: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Consider the second part of this verse first and answer these questions in your heart. Do you believe that Jesus Christ lived on this earth, that He died on Calvary's cross for your sins, that He was buried and that God raised Him from the dead? If you believe this with all your heart, then do what the first part of the verse says and tell someone else about it!
Just think! No more doubts, no more uncertainties, no more misgivings as to your eternal destiny. Trust the Lord Jesus as your Saviour with all your heart, confess Him as your Lord, and know on the authority of God's unchanging Word that you are saved. Then you can say with full assurance, "I believe the Bible and I am saved!" --B.M.D.
If you have questions about who Jesus is or what He has done for you, we urge you to pick up your Bible and read the Gospel of John in the New Testament. It may look like a lot of reading, but you can probably finish it in just as much time as it would take to watch a movie.
(reprinted by permission of Moments With The Book)
Monday, April 28, 2008
- Billy Sunday
Friday, April 25, 2008
“Christ will do.”
This is my peace.
“Christ will do,”
Makes vain toils cease.
“Christ will do;”
Is covering fleece.
“Christ will do.”
Is His increase.
“Christ will do,”
His blood for me.
“Christ will do”
My cleansing be.
“Christ will do,”
And all will see
How “Christ will do”
To set men free.
Say, “Christ will do,”
Till all have heard.
For “Christ will do,”
Is life’s watchword.
When “Christ will do,”
Dead hearts are stirred,
That “Christ will do,”
Is grace conferred.
“Christ will do,”
Thus ends the war.
“Christ will do.”
He is the door.
“Christ will do.”
Makes praises soar.
“Christ will do.”
There is no more.
(copyright James K. Wilson, Jr. April 23, 2008.)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
CIU Graduate is the Writer of “Indescribable”
Christian singer and songwriter Laura Story recently returned to her alma mater, Columbia International University. Story is best known as the writer of the worship song “Indescribable” made popular by Christian recording artist Chris Tomlin. She was in Columbia for a concert and to lead worship during a chapel service.
Story took a moment on a beautiful spring day to chat with CIU Communications Coordinator Bob Holmes. Sitting on a bench outside Shortess Chapel, Story talked about her days at CIU, and the success of “Indescribable.” Click here to view the interview.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
“In all unbelief there are these two things, - a good opinion of one's self, and a bad opinion of God. So long as these two things exist, it is impossible for an inquirer to find rest. His good opinion of himself makes him think it quite impossible to win God's favor by his own religious performances; and his bad opinion of God makes him unwilling and afraid to put his case wholly into his hands.” ("God's Way Of Peace. A Book For The Anxious." by the Rev. Horatius Bonar)
"There is one thing that mars all the pleasures of my life. I'm afraid the Bible is true. If I could only know for a certainty that death is an eternal sleep, I should be happy. But here is what pierces my soul--if the Bible is true, I am lost forever!" (Anon.)
Objection: "I’m doing fine. I don’t need God."
Answer: "Many people feel this way because of the modern gospel message. It says that Jesus will help their marriage, remove their drug problem, fill the emptiness in their heart, give them peace and joy, etc. In doing so, it restricts the gospel’s field of influence. If the message of the cross is for people who have bad marriages, are lonely, and have problems, those who are happy won’t see their need for the Savior.
In truth, the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ if for people with bad marriages and people with good marriages. It is for the happy and the sad. It is for people with problems and for those without problems. It is for those who are miserable in their sins, and for those who are enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Those who think they are doing fine need to be confronted with a holy Law that they have violated a multitude of times. Then they will see themselves through the eyes of the Judge of the Universe and will flee to the Savior." (From The Evidence Bible)
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” (George Orwell)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It's here! And just in time for Mother's Day!
"Am I enough, Lord? Can I trust you, Lord? Can I be free from the past? Can I trust? Do I trust? Am I enough? AM I WORTHY? In Freedom from Myself: One Woman’s Diary of Gods Unceasing Love, author Fay Barlow shares her deepest hurts in the process of discovering the truth about her worth in Christ. Full of raw emotions and issues that most women are afraid to admit that they feel, Freedom from Myself reveals healing through biblical counsel and scripture in an entertaining but brutally honest manner. Laugh a little, cry a little, and heal a little as you delve into the heart and mind of one woman on a quest for meaning."
Visit Fay's website here.Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Buy this book at:
Barnes and Noble
Monday, April 21, 2008
Dressed in an earthy brown burqa with a white hijab, the African-American woman glided into the library and sat down with her book on Public Policy and a note pad. Flipping through the book, she took notes and read. My family was scattered throughout the stacks and I was having a conversation with a couple of other people.
As it neared time for us to leave, we gathered our things and my family made their way to the circulation desk. I stopped by the woman’s table. “Excuse me,” trying to time my interruption with her page-flipping. She gave me her undivided attention. Closing her book, she smiled and said in a pleasant voice, “Yes, what can I do for you?”
“Would you mind if I asked you a question, please?” I inquired. “I was reading in the Qur’an and found this passage that intrigued me. It is Surah 10:94 (and I quoted to the best of my ability), ‘if you have any doubts, read the Holy books that came before this one.’” Her eyes widened and her smile grew even bigger.
“My question is,” I continued, “I was wondering if you would be interested in studying the Holy books with me and my family?”
She folded her hands across her book and said, “I would love to, only I have three children, I work and am working on my Master’s Degree.”
I delighted her response back, “How wonderful! We have 5 children and I am in higher education. What Master’s are you working on?” She told me and we discussed briefly the joys of parenting, working and education. Then she asked, “Have you really read the Qur’an?”
“Yes,” I replied. “And my attention was directed back to Surah 10:94, which is why I ask the question, ‘would you like to study the Holy Books with me and my family?’”
Continuing to beam, she replied, “that just sounds wonderful, and I am embarrassed to ask, which Holy Books you have in mind?”
I got squatted down by the table to get at eye level and said, “The Taurat and Injil,” I tried to remember the Zabbur [Psalms] but the name escaped me, so I said, “there are other books too.”
“What was that passage again?” she asked, taking up her pencil. I repeated the reference and she jotted it down. “Hmmmmm,” I thought to myself. It was about this point the librarian asked if I had given “something to read” to another patron and was told that literature distribution was not allowed in the library (I just love saying that). As the librarian left, the Muslim woman shook her head and said, “What a shame. We should be allowed to talk about God and His Word [note to self: “His Word”] in public.” I came a hairs’ breadth from saying “Amen,” and nodded in agreement with her. She asked in a pleasant tone, “What religion are you?”
“I am Christian.”
“And you’ve really read the Qur’an?” She asked again.
I replied to the affirmative then asked, “Have you ever read the Taurat or Injil?”
I could see the embarrassment flooding into her face as she looked down and asked, “I’ve only been Muslim for 15 years. Forgive me, but what is,” and she struggled to say, “’Taurat’ and ‘Injil’?”
Joy actually flooded my soul as I told her the Taurat is the Torah, or first five of the Holy Books, and the Injil is the “Gospels,” the life of Jesus.
“No,” she admitted. “I’ve never read them.” Then she asked a question I never saw coming. She said, “Truthfully. I want your honest answer here. You say you’ve read the Qur’an. What do you think of it? Do you find it valuable, interesting, a bunch of hog-wash Tell me what you think.” Then she waited while I thought
How was I going to uphold the veracity of scripture and provide an uncompromised Christian witness? I prayed quickly, then the answer came just as quickly—something like this: “Obviously the Qur’an is very important to you. I could not help but remember how Surah 10:64 read, ‘No change can there be in the Words of Allâh, this is indeed the supreme success.’ If God’s Word never changes, and we are instructed to read the Holy Books, why would I read anything else? God does not change and neither does He (what kind of God would He be if He changed or if He could not protect His Word). I would be skeptical about anything else.”
She nodded, listening, processing what I was saying. Then curiosity got the best of me. “You mentioned you’ve only been Muslim for 15 years. May I inquire as to your religious background?”
“Certainly,” and she began to tell me how she grew up Methodist and went to Sunday School and how her family was always in church. But now she was under the strict regulations of finding favor with God by converting to Islam.
“And you’ve never read the Bible?” I asked.
“No,” she hung her head again with no smile to be seen. Then she ended our conversation with, “I am so glad you are reading the Qur’an. May you be blessed as you continue on your journey toward God.”
I rose back to my feet and said, “I look forward to seeing you again.”
“Yes,” came her reply.
And we parted.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I had a very good conversation with a 19 year-old patron who was patiently waiting for an open computer for internet access using the “Character Survey.” Shortly afterwards I engaged a young African-American father waiting for an open computer. He was a rather large fellow, wearing black jeans, a red tee-shirt and his head was covered with a black stocking. I approached and asked, “Excuse me, sir. I am taking a survey and was wondering if you would be willing to help me with some information through a brief interview.”
“Sure,” he said, “No problem.” And he graciously invited me to sit. I pulled up a chair.
Thanking him, I gave him a brief run-down of what will transpire the next few minutes. “I am working on a project involved in the study of personal character. All the questions I will ask you will touch on the subject.”
“That’s fine,” he said with a smile.
“Thank you,” I began. “My first question is ‘Who is one person you find yourself looking up to, perhaps even imitating?’”
He gave a small laugh, looked away, and thought for a moment. “Huey Newton.” He answered matter-of-factly.
“Who is Huey Newton? Why do you look up to him or be like him,” I asked.
He gave another small laugh and looked at me sideways. For some reason, I did not like that look. He hemmed and hawed for a minute and said, “I dunno. I just like him.”
“Well,” I prodded, “what did Huey do that drew your attention to him? What do you like about Huey Newton?”
“He’s . . . a . . .” he searched for an answer. “Huey’s a leader in the black empowerment movement.” The truth of the matter is that Huey Newton is the founder of the Black Panther Movement. Here is a short video of Huey P. Newton being interviewed from jail in the mid-1960’s:
He shifted in his chair and looked around, smiling as he thought. Stroking his chin, my interviewee said, “I really can’t think of anything . . .”
“Alright, that’s ok,” I said. “Over the years, our Presidents seem to be implicated with scandal, yet maintain high approval ratings. Why do you think that is?”
“You know, that’s a very good question I would like to have an answer to as well!” We both laughed at the absurdity of the realization.
“Why do you think President Clinton kept such a high approval rating?” I wanted to know.
“He was likeable,” came the reply.
“Is that true of President Bush,” I inquired?
“No. Not at all,” he said.
“So,” I clarified, “’likeability’ dictates whether a person is approved or not, regardless of what he did wrong?”
“Yep,” he said. “If somebody is likable, it does not matter what they did. If you don’t like a person, then it does matter.”
“Do you think that Americans value moral character?” I asked.
“That’s another good question!” he replied, “I don’t know. I don’t think so. No.” Then he said, changing his answer, “It depends. It depends on the situation.”
“So situational ethics determine the value of moral character?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said, satisfied with the answer.
“With the elections coming up,” I moved on, “what character qualities do you look for in a candidate? In other words, what in your opinion, makes a person of good character? What do you look for?”
He sat and he thought. He thought and looked around, smiling. “I never thought of that before.” He thought some more.
“What do you think of people who lie? Would you vote for a liar?”
“Well, everyone lies,” he said.
“That’s true, but if he is known to lie would that matter?”
“Not really,” he said.
“What about a thief, would you have a thief in office?” He laughed, shaking his head, “no, no, no, no!” We laughed together.
“What character qualities would you look for in a leader,” I pressed.
“Charisma, strength . . .” he thought some more.
“Likeability?” I volunteered . . . he laughed.
“What is your opinion about our schools today? Are there are courses, activities or rules that contribute to the development of good character in students?” I asked.
“Oh, No!” he emphasized the “No.” He repeated himself, “Oh, no, no, no, no! Definitely not.” I asked if he was in school, and discovered he was a Computer Science major at a local college. I asked the question again, applying it to his school to discover if there were any steps to character development of their college students. He repeated his answer just as before to the negative.
“Where do you feel you learned the most about character,” I asked.
After thinking for a moment, he answered, “My father. Yes, definitely my father. And the home.”
“On the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), how would you rate your character?”
“7 . . . 7 ½.”
“How did you come to that number? What standard did you use to compare yourself?”
He looked away again, thinking. “I’m not sure,” he admitting, laughing lightly. “I just know I’m better than average, but not perfect. I suppose it depends on the situation. Situational ethics drive the moral standard.” He finalized.
“Let me ask the question again from a slightly different angle, ok? Would you consider yourself to be a good person. It’s a simple ‘yes’/’no’ answer.”
“Yeah, I suppose so,” he replied.
“Do you think you’ve kept the Ten Commandments?” I inquired.
“Definitely not,” he admitted quickly, laughing again at the confession.
“Which ones did you break? You answered fairly quickly. Do you know what they are?”
“Just a few,” and he tried to list them but only got out “Thou shalt not lie” and “Thou shalt not . . . do something with thy neighbor’s something-or-other.”
“Ok, let’s start there, with #9. Have you ever told a lie?”
He looked at me sideways again, “yeah. We all have.”
“I won’t argue with you there. But have you ever thought of what that makes you, when you tell a lie?”
“What,” he asked, defenses rising.
“Well, what would you call me if I told a lie?”
“You’re a liar, man.” He said.
I agreed. “Yes, people who tell lies are liars. Let’s move on to the next point you made. I believe you were talking about coveting what belonged to your neighbor. Have you ever done that?” I couldn’t help but notice that as I asked that question a car drove by outside with a boom-box thumping so loud it could be heard from where we were sitting. His head turned the direction the music came from and he smirked, “yeah. I guess.”
I asked if he’d ever stolen anything. He had.
I asked if he’d ever committed adultery. He had—and I did not have to clarify that Jesus said if one looks with lust adultery has been committed.
“Now we’ve only looked at four of the 10 Commandments.” At this point his wife joined us, smiling. ”You admitted to being a liar, a coveter, a thief and adulterer. When God judges you by the 10 Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty?” The smile disappeared from her face . . . and his.
“Guilty . . .” he said, looking up at her. She glared at me. I reminded myself of the danger of walking in on the tail end of conversation, but said nothing. She was getting mad, I could tell. I thought I was going to lose them both.
“Would you go to heaven or hell?” I asked.
He fought me. He tried to tell me that the Bible could not be trusted because it was written by men. I asked why this was a problem as everyone else doesn’t have problem reading books written by men (I motioned to the shelves). He tried to justify his guilt by saying that someone capitalized on the fears of men by writing a book and making people believe out of fear.
I pointed out that though the Bible had been written by a variety of authors from different places in different times in different situations, why do they all agree with the same message? Besides, God’s judgment is still the same from start to finish—liars, thieves, adulterers, etc. will be judged and punished for sin. Sin brings death and the final destruction is hell.
The wife spoke up. “What about repentance and forgiveness? We are forgiven of our sin.” She scowled. He looked at her and looked at me.
I smiled. “What about it? What is repentance?” I asked. She explained that repentance is being sorry for sin.
“What is forgiveness?” I asked. All she could say was, “being forgiven.” She knew she could not explain it.
I forced the matter nicely. “How do you put repentance and forgiveness together? What do they have to do with each other?” They could not explain. They looked at each other, and looked at me. It sure got warm in there.
I helped them out by explaining how Jesus paid the penalty for sin by His death, burial and resurrection. I showed them from scripture how the cross satisfies payment and God desires that none should perish but all come to repentance. I explained forgiveness and cleansing from sin. They both remained rigid.
I gave them both a Gospel of John and encouraged them to read it, and think about what I said. I showed them the “One Verse” diagram in the front and encouraged them once more to think about how the cross satisfies payment and the need to repent. They thanked me for the Gospels and I graciously shook hands and thanked the father for the interview. We smiled, and parted.
15 minutes later, I was talking with a Muslim woman when a librarian approached me. “Excuse me,” she said interrupting our conversation. “Did you give something to some people? Something to read?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“You cannot pass out things in the library. The library does not allow literature distribution.” I got the message. No literature in the library.
What’s American coming to?
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This is the fountain at Five Points.
These are the bikers who got Gospels and tracts and heard the good news at the Fountain at Five Points.
These are the team-members who pray and give Gospels and tracts and share the good news at the Fountain in Five Points.
This is the team with the Fountain of Life who go with Gospels and tracts to share the good news with people at the Fountain in Five Points.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Today is Prayer Day on the campus of Columbia International University. This is a day we set aside our daily routine to focus on the Lord through worship and prayer. What follow is my prayer guide for the day. Feel free to set aside time to join us:
You formed my inward parts;
You wove me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
And my soul knows it full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in secret
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my embryo,
And all the days ordained for me
Were written in Your book
Before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13–16)
Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.
I return to the Lord my God,
For I have stumbled because of my iniquity.
I take words with me and return to the Lord,
Saying, “Take away all iniquity and receive me graciously,
That I may offer the fruit of my lips.” (Hosea 14:1–2)
Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
May God grant me, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And may I, being rooted and grounded in love, be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that I may be filled to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16–19)
May I be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)
Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.
I was once darkness, but now I am light in the Lord. May I walk as a child of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), learning what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8–10)
Growth in Christ
Greater desire to know and please Him.
Greater love and commitment to Him.
Grace to practice His presence.
Grace to glorify Him in my life.
My activities for this day.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
Churches and Ministries
My local church
Evangelism and discipleship ministries
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, they have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We are the true circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26–27)
Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.
I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. (Genesis 32:10)
You are the God who answered me in the day of my distress and have been with me wherever I have gone. (Genesis 35:3)
The Almighty is my shepherd, the Rock of Israel, who helps me and blesses me with blessings of the heavens above. (Genesis 49:24–25)
Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.
The Lord is the great God,
The great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth,
And the summits of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
He is our God and we are the people of His pasture
And the sheep under His care. (Psalm 95:3–5, 7)
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
The Lord, He is God.
It is He who made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:1–3)
(Boa, Kenneth. “Part One: Day 15.” Handbook to Prayer. Atlanta: Trinity House, 1993.)
Monday, April 14, 2008
What is a person doing when using profane language? Do children know what is being said? Other than demonstrating how one has no knowledge or control over the way one uses the mouth, does one realize when he curses the doom he pronounces to a soul that never dies? “The tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell." (James 3:6).
Do you know why they are called, “curse words”? The one who curses is actually praying:
• That God should curse instead of forgive;
• To put in prison instead of set free;
• To cast away instead of deliver;
• That God should use His power to punish instead of bless or have mercy;
• To be guilty instead of pardoned;
• Strip all happiness from body and soul in this world and in eternity;
• Shut out of heaven and cast into hell.
The horrible sentence man pronounces upon himself is indescribable, and can only be continued when one is sold to and is under the control of Satan.
Have you used God’s name as a curse word? That’s called blasphemy, and you’ve broken the 3rd Commandment. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him without guilt who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7).
“But,” you say, “I’ve would not dare use God’s name like that!”
Then I ask, have you called yourself by God’s name, as one of His children, taking His name upon yourself, calling yourself a “Christian”? If so, have you always represented Him properly to the entire world? If not, then you’ve taken His name in vain. Listen, professing Christian: “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” (Ephesians 5:3-4)
The tongue, unless the heart of man is cleansed by the Holy Spirit, remains an unruly evil in one way or another, even though man may possibly stop from grosser sins such as profanity and other evils: nevertheless, out of the heart the mouth speaks! The Bible says: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth the good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth the evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45).
Today there is still pardon for our sins if you will repent (turn from your sin) and come to the Lord Jesus Christ, who made a payment for our sins through His shed blood on the cross. "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18).
"And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness, and true holiness . . . let no corrupt communication proceed our of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may give grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:24,29).
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Quickly and distinctly came back the answer, "Dip it up!" It seemed like a mockery, but they obeyed. The water was fresh! They had been drifting for days within the mouth of the Amazon where the ocean meets the fresh water. They had been dying of thirst while surrounded by fresh water on every side!
"You remember," he said, "your visit to me last Friday, and the three chapters you told me to read in Romans? Well, after pondering for a long time the different things you had told me, I read those Scriptures over and over again. With each reading I got more miserable. I felt as if I must surely perish. The words, 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23) pierced my conscience.
"How blind I had been! Until this morning, my eyes were altogether turned inward--to what I must do. I always thought that Christ has done His part, and I must do mine to be saved. What my part was, however, I never could get anyone to tell me with certainty. I was told I must repent, and earnestly and prayerfully I went at it, but never had the assurance I had fully satisfied God. I was told by many to be very earnest in prayer; and I agonized with God until I could but cry out, 'Lord, if I must go to hell, I will go there praying.' I tried every way told to me, but freedom did not come. But this morning, as I saw my salvation finished--yes, finished by the Lord Jesus--as I saw I was justified freely by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24), an indescribable peace took hold of me. I saw I now had the key to the Scriptures--the key to heaven itself."
--P.J.L. (Posted with permission of Moments With The Book)
Friday, April 11, 2008
Tribune wire reports
12:24 PM CDT, April 8, 2008
SAINI SUNPURA, India - A baby with two faces was born in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday.The baby, Lali, apparently has an extremely rare condition known as craniofacial duplication, where a single head has two faces. All of Lali's facial features are duplicated except for her ears--she has two. Otherwise, she has two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes.
Read the rest here, then go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Firefighters for Christ (a ministry of Calvary Chapel) has 72 of Alistair Begg’s best messages available for free download for the month of April.
Just visit their Message of the Month page, scroll down to “The Best of Alistair Begg”, click on the icon and be blessed!
Coming April 22, 2008
"Am I enough, Lord? Can I trust you, Lord? Can I be free from the past? Can I trust? Do I trust? Am I enough? AM I WORTHY?
In Freedom from Myself: One Woman’s Diary of Gods Unceasing Love, author Fay Barlow shares her deepest hurts in the process of discovering the truth about her worth in Christ. Full of raw emotions and issues that most women are afraid to admit that they feel, Freedom from Myself reveals healing through biblical counsel and scripture in an entertaining but brutally honest manner. Laugh a little, cry a little, and heal a little as you delve into the heart and mind of one woman on a quest for meaning."
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Buy this book at:
Barnes and Noble
When: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 12:00 am through Thursday, October 23, 2008
Where: Lilburn, Georgia
Will God send another great awakening? Can revival still change nations? There are over 10,000 conferences that happen every year. The 'Revival Conference' is not to be just another conference but a honest, sincere, earnest plea for the desperate need of revival.
There is no cost to attend the event. No materials will be sold. There will be no big bands. The conference will have the chief object to be God-glorifying. The speakers will come on their own accord trusting God for provision. There will be no emphasis on money during the event. The event will be a simple, apostolic, yearning for a genuine biblical revival in our day. The conference is hosted by the ministry of sermonindex.net and is a inter-denominational event.
Henry Blackaby - Dr. Henry Blackaby, founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, provides consultative leadership worldwide in the life of the Christian community. Today, Dr. Blackaby sends an urgent call for revival in America and Christian leadership focused on God-centered integrity.
Paul Washer - Paul ministered as a missionary in Peru for 10 years, during which time he founded the HeartCry Missionary Society to support Peruvian Church planters. HeartCry's work now supports over 80 indigenous missionaries in 15 different countries throughout the world.
Denny Kenaston - saved in 1972 out of the "Hippy culture." The Lord Jesus delivered them from drugs, drinking, and many other things that go along with that life style. Helped to form the Charity Christian Fellowship church where he serves as an elder. He also travels extensively in a church planting, and preaching ministry. (visit Home Fires Publishers)
Al Whittinghill - The Late Dr. Leonard Ravenhill said of Al: "My friend and brother Al Whittinghill has been touched with a live coal. He truly points the way and also leads the way. A man whose heart the Lord has touched (1 Sam.10:26). Hear him." He is in itinerant preaching ministry with the Ambassadors For Christ organization and has a burden for prayer and genuine revival in our day. (read "Revival Can Save A Nation.")
Bill McLeod - Former pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where the Canadian Revival begain in 1971. Powerful Word-centred preaching God has greatly blessed on several continents. Holds revival crusades, ministers at Bible colleges, pastors' retreats, camp meetings, prayer rallies, etc. (visit his website here)
Roger Ellsworth - has been pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton, Ill., since 1988. He is a former president of Illinois Baptist State Association and a former trustee at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. Author of book "Come, Down Lord" an exposition on Isaiah relating to revival. (visit his website here)
Ralph Sutera - One of the human instruments God used in the Canadian Revival of 1971, which resulted in the founding of Canadian Revival Fellowship. Out of his ministry the HeartCry for Revival, U.S.A. Conference was born. He continues in itinerant revival crusades with his twin brother and teaching sessions on revival. He also has written various articles, booklets, and study materials relating to the subject.
Don Currin - Don has a balanced ministry challenging believers with solid Biblical preaching while reaching out to the lost. He has conducted hundreds of evangelistic and revival meetings, men's retreats, camp ministries, and sponsoring life-issues related conferences. He is also a desired conference and Bible college speaker. (visit his website here)
Brent Williamson - Brent Williamson has been a pastor in the Church of God in Ohio and Indiana. Mr. Williamson has preached and served for revival in the Church at large spanning many states across denominational lines. He has been a student of historical accounts of revival for many years. Currently Mr. Williamson is not pastoring but feels called to the Church abroad to see genuine revival.
Dean Taylor - is the current editor of the "Heartbeat of the Remnant" magazine which is distributed throughout the world through the Charity Gospel Ministries outreach. Dean has a burden and passion for revival and desires to see the Church be all that God intends it to be. He is the associate pastor of Living Hope Christian Fellowship, in Terre Hill, PA.
Ron Owens - Born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Reared in eastern Canada and Switzerland. Music studies and language diplomas from Europe. Music and theology degrees, USA. He has ministered with and traveled with many men of Revival such as: Leonard Ravenhill, Henry Blackaby, etc. He ministers in song and has a tremendous heart for genuine revival to occur.
Alan Martin - Alan Martin lives in Southeast Missouri. Their six children were all born at home and schooled at home. Their goal as a family is to encourage other believers in the faith, and further the kingdom of God in the earth. Alan's passion is to see believers furthered in their faith into a perfect man, the fulness of the stature of Christ. (an archive of messages here)
Gareth Evans - is an itinerant pastor/teacher with a burden to minister to the hurting church. Formerly a Physics teacher in the UK and Canada, he became a pastor with the Christian And Missionary Alliance in Canada in 1979. Gareth has traveled to many countries, encouraging pastors and missionaries. (visit his website here)
Don Courville - Started pastoring thirty two years ago. In 1985 he was involved in a wide-spread community revival in western Nebraska known as the 'Ranchers Revival' the effects of this revival spread around the state and neighboring states for over two years. He is currently pastoring Maranatha Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, MO.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Our youngest son asked me the other night, “Why do people talk about four corners of the earth? The earth is round. How can it have corners?”
As I answered, I realized I also had the answer to a so-called problem often posed by so-called atheists in their attempts to disprove the existence of God. The problem is, “Can God make a square circle?”
“After all,” they will say, “logic dictates that two discrete sets defined with mutually exclusive definitions have no elements in common; in other words, no ‘square’ could ever be made into a ‘circle.’”
The question intends to discredit God with semantics, an attempt to base His existence on a misunderstanding of His Omnipotence. The intent is to shoot at God while He is seemingly trapped in the corner of basic geometry. What does strength have to do with existence? You exist, though you can’t arm-wrestle yourself . . .
I used to answer this question with something like, “What does this have to do with the fact that you will stand before Him on Judgment Day?” Now I have to change my answer.
As I answered my son, I found I need to adjust my answer to the square-circle question with this:
“You are right. The laws of logic do dictate that ‘two discreet sets defined with mutually exclusive definitions have no elements in common’; however, God did much more than make a square circle. Instead He made a circle square; better yet, He cubed a globe. You are standing on His proof and depend on His geometry every time you get in your car and hit the interstate. Besides, what does that have to do with the fact that you will stand before Him on Judgment Day?”
Can God make a square circle? That’s not a hard question. That’s not even a good question. Give Him something really challenging!
Psalm 19 says, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. . . . Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. . . ."
I realized that God did not merely indulge the question as it stands (about making square circles); rather, it almost seems as if He is mocking those who reject Him as He answers when the objector looks at his compass.
Let's consider something else, and to do so, we will need to go on a journey to Northumberland, England (just one place out of so many). Look out the window. What do you see?
Do you see those cliffs rising above the plain? At what angle would you say those cliffs rise? It does not take a genius to see right angles. You don't see them? You know that they are there even in the tiniest of crevices. This view caused me to remember that a "square" is not merely a polygon of four sides (a rhombus, kite, parallelogram and trapezoid have four sides). In non-euclidean geometry a square is particularly defined by each angle being at right angles . . .
But there are other kinds of geometry:
In spherical geometry, a square is a polygon whose edges are a great circle of arcs of equal distance, which meet at equal angles. Unlike the square of plane geometry, the angles of such a square are larger than a right angle.
In hyperbolic geometry, squares with right angles do not exist. Rather, squares in hyperbolic geometry have angles of less than right angles. Larger squares have smaller angles.
Confused? Me too, but it's only because I do not speak math-eneze. All I know is that when I consider all the crystal structures, cliffs, mountains and whatnot that cover this planet, and when I look at those angles from God's perspective (from space) I see a circle (I can't see all sides at once, but I really know it's a ball) that will cut with it's sharp edges!
"Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His anointed, saying, 'Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!' He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them." (Psalm 2:1-4)
“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20)
“By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.” (Proverbs 3:19)
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
"If we look carefully within ourselves, we shall find that there are certain limits beyond which we refuse to go in offering ourselves to God. We hover around these reservations, making believe not to see them, for fear of self reproach. The more we shrink from giving up any such reserved point, the more certain it is that it needs to be given up. If we were not fast bound by it, we should not make so many efforts to persuade ourselves that we are free. ”
Henry Drummond (1851-1897), author of “The Greatest Thing In The World.”
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Leonard Ravenhill, quoted in the April/May 2008 Old Paths Newsletter
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
"ALLEGAN, Mich. — Is fifth-grader Kenton Stufflebeam smarter than the Smithsonian? On a winter break trip with his family to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, the 11-year-old southwestern Michigan boy noticed that a notation, in bold lettering, mistakenly identified the Precambrian as an era."
the other mistakes the rest here.
[DID YOU KNOW that the most "evidence" for evolution is found on the plaques on the walls and not in the displays themselves?]
Rose was blind for fifty years. “I just can’t believe it,” she gasped, after finally undergoing delicate surgery in an Ontario hospital. For the first time in her life she saw a beautiful world of form and color.
Here’s the stunning part of the story: twenty years of her blindness had been unnecessary. The surgical techniques used could have given her vision when she was thirty; the operation had already been perfected by then. The doctor said, “she just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition.”
Why did Rose live twenty years assuming her situation was hopeless? Probably she was not looking for a remedy, had given up hope, or perhaps those who knew of the operation just never told her about it.
Millions of people walk in spiritual blindness needlessly, for there is a remedy. Why do they continue groping in darkness? Two reasons: the first is that some have quit searching, assuming their condition is hopeless. But don’t give up! God has provided what you need, so don’t live another twenty minutes in spiritual blindness! Repent and believe the gospel!
The other reason others stumble in spiritual darkness is because no one has shared the light with them. “The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; the LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.” (Psalm 146:8)
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Needlessly blind! What a terrible thought!
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Scripture gives us insight:
1) Pride keeps one from seeking God. Any admittance of guilt is a blow to the pride of the human heart;
“For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’ His ways prosper at all times; Your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his adversaries, he snorts at them. He says to himself, ‘I will not be moved; throughout all generations I will not be in adversity.’ . . . He says to himself, ‘God has forgotten; He has hidden His face; He will never see it.’ . . . Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, ‘You will not require it.’” (Psalm 10:3-6,11,13).
(from The Evidence Bible)
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