Thursday, December 31, 2009

No Strange Thing, These Resolutions

"Resolution is no strange and extraordinary thing; it is one of the most common acts that belongs to us as we are men. But we do not ordinarily apply it to the best purposes. It is not so ordinary for men to resolve to be good as to resolve to be rich and great, not so common for men to resolve against sin as to resolve against poverty and suffering. It is not so ususal for men to resolve to keep a good conscience as to keep a good place."

(John Tilloston, 1630 - 1694)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Poor

“Let us beware of despising poverty in others, and of being ashamed of it if God lays it upon ourselves. The condition of life which Jesus voluntarily chose, ought always to be regarded with holy reverence. The common tendency of the day to bow down before rich men, and make an idol of money, ought to be carefully resisted and discouraged. The example of our Lord is a sufficient answer to a thousand groveling maxims about wealth, which pass current among men. ‘Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor.’” (2 Cor. 8:9.) (J.C. Ryle 1816 - 1900)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How To Think of the Incarnation

"How are we to think of the incarnation? The New Testament does not encourage us to puzzle our heads over the physical and psychological problems that it raises, but to worship God for the love that was shown in it." (J.I Packer, Knowing God)

"The New Testament knows nothing of an incarnation which can be defined apart from its relation to atonement . . . Not Bethlehem, but Calvary, is the focus of the revelation, and any construction of Christianity which ignores or denies this distorts Christianity by putting it out of focus." (James Denny, The Death of Christ)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Immaculate Conception Day (Argentina, Chile)

El amor de Dios"Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." (San Juan 3:16)

El plan de Dios(Cristo afirma) "Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia" (Una vida completa y con propósito). (San Juan 10:10b)

¿Por qué es que la mayoría de las personas no están experimentando esta "vida en abundancia"? Porque . . .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eid-Al-Adha

كما توجد مبادئ (نواميس) طبيعيّة تسيطر على العالم المادّي، كذلك توجد مبادئ روحيّة تسيطر على علاقتك بالله.

المبدأ الأوّل

إنّ الله يحبّك ولديه خطّة مدهشة لحياتك.

محبّة الله

"الله محبّة ومن يثبت في المحبّة يثبت في الله والله فيه". (1 يوحنا 4: 16)

خطّه الله

قال يسوع: "أتيت لتكون لهم حياة وليكون لهم أفضل" (حياة ممتلئة وذات هدف) (يوحنا 10:10)

لماذا لا يختبر معظم الناس هذه الحياة الفضلى؟

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Look Higher

"Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men" (Gen. 33:1)

Do not lift up your eyes and look for Esau’s. Those who look for troubles will not be long without finding trouble to look at. Lift them higher—to Him from whom our help cometh. Then you will be able to meet your troubles with an unperturbed spirit. Those who have seen the face of God need not fear the face of man that shall die. To have power with God is to have power over all the evils that threaten us.

(F. B. Meyer)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Republic Proclamation Day (Brazil)

O AMOR DE DEUS

" Pois Deus tanto amou o mundo que deu o seu Filho unigênito para que todo o que nele crer não pereça, mas tenha a vida eterna." (João 3:16)

O PLANO DE DEUS

Cristo afirma: "Eu vim para que tenham vida, e a tenham plenamente" (uma vida abundante e com propósito). (João 10:10)

Por que a maioria das pessoas não está experimentando essa "vida abundante"?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Reading and Understanding Wisdom Psalms (part 1)

“In church, question marks straighten out into exclamation points, the baffling day-by-day complexity of things becomes simple . . . ” (Robert & Helen Lynd, researchers of religion in America)

Wisdom Psalms provide a look into the thoughts of someone who has deeply contemplated the perplexities of life. In a previous post we noted how Wisdom Psalms could be defined as a guide for living, advice on how to live in the way God has intended for us to live, in righteousness. ORIENTATION to a God-pleasing life. Through wisdom psalms we can learn about life as seen in their strong "lifestyle" elements (some are practical, while others are technical), emphasizing the behavior of one in right relationship with God.

Wisdom Psalms could be subdivided into two categories:

1. Proverbial Wisdom, which consist of short, “pithy” sayings that state rules for personal happiness and welfare. Consider Psalm 34:13-14: "Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."

2. Speculative Wisdom. These are mostly monologues or dialogues that discuss problems such as the meaning of existence and the relationship between God and man, such as Psalm 8.

Again, the strong lifestyle elements emphasize the characteristics of one in right relationship with God. These Psalms are comparable with other wisdom literature, such as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, even Job. “Biblical wisdom is always associated with righteousness and humility and is never found apart from godliness and true holiness of life.” (A.W. Tozer)

There are certain characteristics of Wisdom psalms, such as their peculiar sound, or tone. They "sound" like someone is giving advice, or teaching. Many are acrostic and chaistic in structure (see previous post), but their instruction are addressed to the "now," living in the present. Often there is a contrast between the righteous and the wicked and a definite "Blessed" formula, reminding us of the blessedness of the obedient life. The wisdom is very clear.

"Blessed" (and it's variations) is a common word found in Wisdom Psalms, but there are two Hebrew words that the English translates as "blessed." The first is "baruch" and this word occurs about 323 times in OT, 74 of which are in Psalms. The basic meaning of "baruch" is “to kneel” and “to bless" as we see in Psalm 95:6 “Come let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."

How do “kneel” and “bless” relate to each other? Some say “it does not matter, they say same thing.” or “just translate it to one or the other, which other fits best gets used.” Folks, this is not good bibical scholaship. Others might suggest the act of blessing involves kneeling, which would be obvious if God was the recipient of the blessing, but to whom does God bow to recieve anything? To "baruch" or "bless God” means “to adore with bended knee" but also connotes to “bestow ability for success and prosperity." (Note the word "ability for" as in "potential")

If we were to set up a flow chart, we could show how "blessing" first flows from God to man, where man is the object of blessing for him to share, as in Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it.'” Secondly, "baruch" can also flow from man to man as a declaration for success, much like a common greeting. Lastly, "baruch" can also flow from man to God, as in Psalm 103, 104: “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” The point of "baruch" is this: God is the ultimate source and dispenser of blessing (2 Peter 1:2-3). The basic application is to understand that “to bless” here means to declare God as the bestower of success and prosperity to be shared. Ever say a “blessing” before a meal?

The other Hebrew word that we translate as "blessed" is "ashre" and has very special usage, as the word is conditional. Some scholars might emphasize that "blessed" is not a good translation as the English limits the scope of what it communicates. "Ashre" is uni-directional, from God to man and the condition is that a relationship is already established. Man must be submitted, or God-oriented to recieve "ashre." This term describes that which God gives personally and unlike "baruch" is not shared from one to another, horizontally (as it were). Think of it this way: Can you share a blessing ("baruch") that blesses everyone else ("baruch") without first being blessed ("ashre")?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Real estate (11/6/2009)

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Reading and Understanding the Psalms (part 4)

A Note Concerning Poetic Language in the Psalms

One feature that Hebrew poetry shares with Western poetry is the use of archaic words, or forms of words. This is a literary device used for effect. While emphasis is placed on words or phrases by means of structure, an additional emphasis can be made through the choice of words through the inspired writer. Understanding when these words occur takes a little bit of detective work, but the effort will be rewarding.

One other feature about archaic words to consider: during the time of King James (1611) "prevent" did not have the same meaning it does today, so the wrong understanding of meaning even in English can be disasterous. Compare Psalm 21:3, 59:10 and 79:8 in various versions, starting with King James.

Once we are able to identify the kind of parallelism (if any, see previous post), we will appreciate the need for synonymns and/or archaic language in the text. One simply cannot use just "ordinary" language in poetry.

Emotions of the Psalms

Poetry touches emotion. Through this means, we are able to personally identify with the experiences of the psalmists: the triumph of his victories, the marvel at the activities of God, the cry of distress and lamenting in hard times, the rejoicing in the blessings of God. Note some examples of range of emotion:

  • Ps. 2:2-4 Contempt in the mocking of God’s enemies
  • Ps. 8:3-5 Awe at how wonderful God made man
  • Ps. 13:1-2 Despair and lamenting in a situation
  • Ps. 73:3-5 Doubt
  • Ps. 116:1 Love

Longman quotes Calvin: “What various and resplendent riches are contained in this treasury, it were difficult to find words to describe . . .. I have been wont to call this book not inappropriately, an anatomy of all parts of the soul; for there is not an emotion of which anyone can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror.” (p. 13)

(go to Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Reading and Understanding the Psalms (part 3)

Elements of Hebrew Poetry

We understand the book of Psalms to be "wisdom literature" and think of the collection as poetry, but have you noticed that no lines rhyme? This is where we get to think Hebrew, and not like a Westerner. The Hebrew language DOES have repetition and alliteration, but if there is rhyme in English, it is accidental--unless you are reading an old English Psalter, where all the psalms were re-written to be sung in rhyme.

The poetic language of Hebrew is loaded with "learning helps" as it is meant for the hearer (remember that most early audiences were illiterate). We will not see this in English, but in Psalm 23, the Hebrew word for "shepherd" and "evil" sound very similar ("ro-e", "ra-a") and to the untrained eye, look nearly identical. The English misses the implication of the poetry, which is this: while the LORD is my shepherd, fear is not.

A word about Old Testament poetry: it is not confined to poetic books. Most prophetic oracles are poetic. Consider Isaiah 5 for a moment. What clue do you see that tells you how to read the text? Better yet, what understanding do you gain if you don't merely read the text, but actually do what the text says? Sure, we don't know the tune, but the tune is not the point.
Now look at Exodus 15. What might you do different next time you read this text?

Hebrew poetry balances thought, not sound. This is called “Parallelism.” When we look at types of parallelism, we will consider the ways thoughts are balanced. The attitude of the Hebrew poets is simply, “why have one line when you can have two?”

1. Complete (or, synonymous) parallelism. This is where the writer is communicating one thought through two lines of text. Here, one line of text is completely balanced by another line. The second line repeats the same thought of the first line, but with different words. For example (I will off-set for emphasis):

19:1 “The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”

114:2 “Judah became His sanctuary,
Israel His dominion.”

2. Incomplete (or, antithetic) parallelism: same as above, only different because one line is missing. The second line may repeat a contrary thought or even take up a different or opposing issue, theme or point of reference to make a point:

1:5 “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.”

1:6 “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the ungodly will perish.”

3. Responsory parallelism shows a response to a statement. The best example here is Psalm 136, where the alternate verses are parallel. Without this parallelism, this might as well be a simple narrative! How much more exciting for a poet to tell his story, and for the listener to respond!

4. Alternate parallelism. This is where the fun really begins! Take a look at Psalm 103:11,12. The lines with reflective thought are labled as "A" and "B." Notice how the concepts begin to weave a pattern:
A For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
B So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
A As far as the east is from the west,
B So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

See how the "A" lines go together and the "B" lines go together?

5. "Climactic" ("synthetic") or "stair-step parallelism" is where statements are made three or four times, but one line builds on another, based on the content of the line before it. It takes the thought of one line and extends it through the second and third. Look at Psalm 29;1,2, 4,5.

"1Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in holy array.
3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD is over many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful,
The voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon"

Sure, the psalmist could have said, "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, the glory due His name, O sons of the mighty" or "The voice of the Lord is powerfully majestic to break the cedars" but this parallelism is climactic! It builds up!

6. There are other structures in Hebrew poetry, such as the Acrostic, or the Hebrew ABC’s. Psalm 119 is the most well-known, for every eight verses the reader finds a Hebrew letter: aleph, (or "a"), beth (or "b"), gimel (or "g"), etc. What the English reader does NOT see is that each set line in each of set of eight verses begins with the letter of that section; in other words, every line in Psalm 119:1-8 begins with a Hebrew word that starts with the letter "aleph" or "a." Verses 9-16 begin each line with a word that starts with the letter "beth" or "b," and so on.

A text like this would have actually been used to teach the aleph-beth (alphabet). We use "Apple" for "A" and "ball" for "B" while Hebrew children were memorizing Psalm 119 to learn their aleph-bet. Other Psalms that use the Acrostic are Psalm 9-10, 25, and 34. Still more passages of scripture use this devise too, such as Lamentations 3:19 ff. The passage that says, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" is nestled within a passage of "A,B,C's"--so easy a Hebrew child can remember the message!

Remember that I said Psalm 34 is my favorite and here is one reason among many: in the Hebrew every verse begins the next consecutive letter of the aleph-beth, starting at the beginning with "a." Why is this important? Go back to the superscript. When David appeared before Abimelech, it was not so much that he was pretending to be mad or crazy--it was that he was singing an "A,B,C" song of his trust in the LORD! He ran from one enemy into the arms of another--no wonder he sounded crazy--he was praising God for his protection through A,B,C's! Can you see Abimelech on his throne with David running around sounding like he overdosed on Sesame Street? Get that loon out of here! He must have been laughing like Elmo because of his trust in God!

7. Chaistic structures are the last we will cover here, and are a bit tougher. "Chaism" (not "chasm") is named after the Greek letter "X", or "chai." This means there is a crossing of ideas in the text which can be marked with the letter "A", "B", and "C"; for example take a look at Ps. 147:4 (clearer in Hebrew):

A He counts
B the number
C for the stars
C* for all of them
B* names
A* He calls out

Do you see it?

  • He counts/calls out
  • The number/names
  • For all of them/the stars
Look at Psalm 8:
A O Lord, our Lord, How Majestic is Thy name in all the earth (v. 1a)
B above heavens (v. 1b)
C in man (v. 2a)
D over enemies (v. 2b)
E work of fingers (v. 3a)
X man crowned with Glory/majesty (vv. 4-5)
E* work of hands (v. 6a)
D* “all things” (v. 6b)
C* in animals (v. 7)
B* in the sea (v. 8)
A* O Lord, our Lord, How Majestic is Thy name in all the earth (v. 9)

Do you see it?

  • O Lord, our Lord, How Majestic is Thy name in all the earth (it begins and ends the same way);
  • above the heavens/in the sea
  • in man/in animals
  • over enemies/"all things;"
  • works of hands/fingers'
  • man crowned with glory and majesty
Based on what you see here, what is the central idea of this psalm, and where is it seen?
What does this say about you?

There are many, many passages of scripture that contain "chaistic structures" and in one case, it may be argued that the entire book of Jude is chaistic:

A (Jude 1-2) Assurance for the Christian

B (Jude 3) The Beliver and the Faith

C (Jude 4) Apostates described

D (Jude 5-8) Apostasy in Old Testament History

E (Jude 9-10) Apostasy in the Supernatural Realm

X (Jude 11) Ancient Trio of Apostates

E* (Jude 12-13) Apostasy in the Natural Realm

D* (Jude 14-16) Apostasy in Old Testament Prophecy

C* (Jude 17-19) Apostasy Described

B* (Jude 20-23) The Beliver and the Faith

A* (Jude 24-25) Assurance for the Christian

(go to Part 2 or Part 4)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Reading and Understanding the Psalms (part 2)

Special Concerns of Psalms

Most Psalms are identified by what is called the "superscript," a fancy word for the “above writings” that help identify the psalm. For example, take a look at Psalm 3, just above verse 1 where it should read, "A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absolom his son." This is not the editor’s title, but is actually part of the psalm itself, giving information about the psalm. The superscript gives us certain information, such as who wrote the psalms, who the psalm belongs to or why the psalm was written (see Psalm 18, for example). We may also find what kind of psalm this is, such as Psalm 142. There may also be some sort of musical instruction found in the superscript, such as Psalm 54.

Some argue the superscript is not part of the inspired text. There is proof that some superscripts were placed during or after the exile (Ezra); nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the Hebrew Bible actually counts what we call the "superscript" as the first verse, no matter when the superscript was placed. This means that when a superscript is present, what we count as verse 1 in our Bible is really verse 2 in the Hebrew Bible! Psalm 23 does not begin, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want" but "mizmor la David," or "A Psalm of David!"

Let my underscore here that without the superscript, we may interpret a passage wrongly. Consider Psalm 34: what information does the superscript give that helps you read, understand and apply the content of the psalm? We will visit this psalm later because there is much more here than one may realize (this is one of my favorites, by the way).

One thing that is true about the Psalms is they are to be sung and if they are to be sung, if they are to be sung, there must have been instruments! Scholars can only guess as to what many of the instruments were, but we know there were at least string, wind and percussion instruments as Psalm 150 calls to mind.

Generally we think of the Psalms as “Psalms of David,” but just because his name appears often up to Psalm 72 does not mean he was the principle writer or compiler. By the time of David, there were already a small collection of psalms and the collection certainly grew with help from David. Only about 2/3 of all psalms have a proper name in the superscript. Here is a list of authors or collectors and the number of psalms associated with their name:

  • David (73x)
  • Asaph, appointed by David to build the temple (12)
  • Sons of Korah (10)
  • Solomon (2)—wisdom psalms
  • Heman, appointed worship leader by David (1)
  • Ethan (1)
  • Moses (1)
    And there are 50 “orphan” psalms, with unknown authors.

Some would argue that the Psalms may be divided up depending on how one may want to study them. This may do more harm than good because there are different genre of Psalms (kinds, or types). Without a consideration of genre, there may be more harm done to intepretation than good. Understanding genre may also help with understanding the purpose of the psalms. C.S. Lewis said that “psalms are poems, intended to be sung: not doctrinal treatises, nor even sermons . . . [to be] read as lyrics, with all the licenses and all the formalities, the hyerboles, the emotional rather than logical connections, which are proper to lyric poetry.” This is not wholly true, for while they may not have the “form” of doctrinal treatise or sermon, their content is highly theological, and the genre helps us understand how to "do" theology. A general survey of superscripts (including musical instruction), reveals the following:

  • 57 psalms are called mizmor, or “psalms”;
  • 27 psalms are called shir, or “songs”;
  • 5 psalms are labeled tepillah, “a prayer”;
  • 2 are called tehillah, “songs of praise”;
  • 6 are miktham, or “atonement” psalms;
  • 13 are maskil, which basically means they are contemplative in nature;
  • 1 is a shiggaion, or "irregular"
  • and 39 are unmarked.

Considering the content and/or purpose of the Psalms, we can divide the Psalms into the following seven categories. These are our genre (and few share more than one):

  1. Messianic/Royal Psalms emphasize kingship, especially the relationship between God and the Human king. These reflect the relationship necessary for a godly life orientation;
  2. Wisdom Psalms provide advice on how to live in the way that pleases God; or, guidelines for a godly life orientation;
  3. Lamentations, or Lament Psalms, are impassioned appeals to God for help out of great distress; or, disorientation.
  4. Trust, or Confidence Psalms, are assertions of trust in God though enemies or other threats are present. These reflect the orientation of submission, obedience with a love-motive;
  5. Thanksgiving Psalms, provide an instructive reminder that when God has done something, such as answering prayer, we should respond in praise and thanksgiving. These become testimony that encourage others to praise God as well! Reorientation.
  6. Hymns, are psalms whose primary purpose is Praise to God, reflecting a life of godly orientation.

Now, reflect for a moment back on what you know about the kinds of psalm that opens books 1-5. What lesson can be learned from they way these psalms are presented in this pattern?

I look forward to your thoughts and/or discussion.

(go to Part 1 or Part 3)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Reading and Understanding the Psalms (part 1)

Noticing patterns is one important aspect to understand the psalms. As poetry, words and phrases intertwine to communicate in ways that prose cannot. While a general overview of the psalter may seem a dry excercise, if we keep "patterns" in mind, we may discover how this favored book of the Bible draws the reader study and is very much alive! Interestingly, some of the same patterns we find in the Psalter also surface in other places in scripture, such as the Prophets and in other poetic passages, so studying the Psalms can inform our study of other passages as well.

The name "Psalms" comes from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew scripture), as "psalmoi" and suggests the idea of "songs." The Hebrew name for the book, tehillim, connotes the idea of "praises" or "songs of praises."

The Psalter as a whole is a collection of 5 books and the editor of your Bible may have already noted these collections:

  • Book 1: Psalm 1-41
  • Book 2: Psalm 42-72
  • Book 3: Psalm 73-89
  • Book 4: Psalm 90-106
  • Book 5: Psalm 107-150

In future studies (Lord willing), we will define and understand more about the genre (types, or kinds) of psalms; however, let us already observe there is a pattern developing in the kinds of Psalms that begin each book:

  • Book 1 begins with a Wisdom Psalm (Psalm 1);
  • Book 2 begins with a Lament (Psalm 42);
  • Book 3 begins with a Wisdom Psalm (Psalm 73);
  • Book 4 begins with a Lament (Psalm 90); and,
  • Book 5 begins with a Psalm of Thanksgiving (107).

Do you see it? Wisdom; lament; wisdom; lament; followed by a rapture of thanksgiving!

Each book, regardless of how it begins, ends with a doxology,or outburst of praise:

  • Book 1, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen." (41:13);
  • Book 2, "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen." (72:18-19);
  • Book 3, "Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen." (89:52);
  • Book 4, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, 'Amen.' Praise the LORD!" (106:48);
  • Book 5, well, just read Psalm 150.

    One more thing: have you noticed that despite the popularity of the book throughout time, with the exception of Psalm 23 and a handful of others, most people spend more time in last half of the book? Think about it: when you are feeling down spiritually and you find yourself thumbing through the Psalter, where do you find the most encouragement? In the last portion of the book? Right away the reader should note there is another kind of pattern developing: increasing praise governs the content of the entire book.

Laments occupy the first of the Psalter, then decrease as one moves toward the midpoint. Contrary-wise, there are few praises at the beginning and increase past the mid-point to the end of the book. The book moves the reader toward higher and higher praise!

(go to Part 2)

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Find Out If You Are Going To Die

http://www.deathbeth.com/

DeathBeth Knows.

happy halloween

"God and War: What the Bible Says About the Just War Principle"

" . . . many people claim that God is simply a warmonger picking fights with those that oppose him. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Only under extreme conditions was a war ever sanctioned and not after many years of warnings (Jeremiah 26:4-6). In fact, even the mighty King David himself was not allowed to build a temple for God because he was a warrior and had shed blood in wars (1 Chronicles 28:3).

God, it seems, does not like the death of anyone."

Read the full article here where you will find the topics:

  • The Root Cause of War
  • Our Attitude Toward War
  • God's View of War
  • Lord of War
  • The Just War

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell? :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

"The person who rejects God does not know the real horrors of hell. This may be because he does not believe hell exists, or it may be because he convinces himself that it would be tolerably preferable to heaven.

But whatever he believes or does not believe, when he chooses against God, he is wrong about God and about hell. He is not, at that point, preferring the real hell over the real God. He is blind to both. He does not perceive the true glories of God, and he does not perceive the true horrors of hell."

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell? :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stop Playing Games About Prayer

“Am I the only one who gets embarrassed when religious leaders in America talk about having prayer in public schools? We don’t have even that much prayer in many churches! Out of humility, you would think we would keep quiet on that particular subject until we practice what we preach in our own congregations.

I am sure that the Roman emperors didn’t have prayer to God in their schools. But then, the early Christians didn’t seem to care what Caligula or Claudius or Nero did. How could any emperor stop God? How, in fact, could the demons of hell make headway when God’s people prayed and called upon his name? Impossible!

In the New Testament we don’t see Peter or John wringing their hands and saving, 'Oh, what are we going to do? Caligula’s bisexual . . . he wants to appoint his horse to the Roman Senate . . . what a terrible model of leadership! How are we going to respond to this outrage?'

Let’s not play games with ourselves. Let’s not divert attention away from the weak prayer life of our own churches. In Acts 4, when the apostles were unjustly arrested, imprisoned, and threatened, they didn’t call for a protest; they didn’t reach for some political leverage. Instead, they headed to a prayer meeting. Soon the place was vibrating with the power of the Holy Spirit (vv. 23—31).

The apostles had this instinct: When in trouble, pray. When intimidated, pray. When challenged, pray. When persecuted, pray.”
Cymbala, Jim. “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Psychological Manipulation of the "Invitation" (Paul Washer)

"The evidence of true conversion is not simply that one time in your life you made a decision and you beleived you were sincere . . . the profession of faith: has it continued on?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama and Immorality

Holy Mary's Day (Brazil)

O AMOR DE DEUS

" Pois Deus tanto amou o mundo que deu o seu Filho unigênito para que todo o que nele crer não pereça, mas tenha a vida eterna." (João 3:16)

O PLANO DE DEUS

Cristo afirma: "Eu vim para que tenham vida, e a tenham plenamente" (uma vida abundante e com propósito). (João 10:10)

Por que a maioria das pessoas não está experimentando essa "vida abundante"?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Church in the World

"A church that is alive, a church that is one proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ is going to become an issue in the community. Jesus said, 'Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.' The church in the world must always be at opposite poles because light and darkness have no fellowship . . .

A church that is a real living vital church is a church that is in the business of taking dead people and communicating to them the gospel that alone can make them alive. That's the mission of the church. There is no way biblically under the sun that the church can ever court the world. The church must be the conscience of the world. The church must be so well defined that it becomes the antagonist of the world. For those outside of Jesus Christ, this church I trust, I pray, this church will be the most uncomfortable seat in the world because we present a gospel that divides."

Read the full message, "How To Play Church."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Leadership

"Leadership in the church is not built on an individual’s natural abilities, education, common sense, or human wisdom. It is built on his knowledge and understanding of Scripture, his allegiance to it, and his submission to the Holy Spirit’s applying the truths of God’s Word in his heart and life. A man who is not clinging to God’s Word and committed to live it is not prepared to preach it or teach it. The truth of the Word must be woven into the very fabric of his thinking and living. Only then does the power of the leader’s integrity make an impact on those to whom he ministers.

Those who fail to be loyal to Scripture are largely responsible for the superficial, self-elevating preaching and teaching in many evangelical churches. That failure is the real culprit that has led so many to be converted to what they consider relevancy and therefore to preach a pampering psychology or a diluted gospel.

But the faithful pastor, like Ezra, will “set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances” (Ezra 7:10). He knows that the Bible is not a resource for truth but is the divinely revealed source of truth. It is not a supplementary text but the only text. Its truths are not optional but mandatory. The pastor’s purpose is not to make Scripture relevant to his people but to enable them to understand doctrine, which becomes the foundation of their spiritual living. "

MacArthur, John. "The Power of Integrity: Building A Life Without Compromise." Wheaton: Crossway, 1997.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Healthcare, Heaven or Hell?

I took my Mother to the grocery store the other night and on the way in, I stopped off by a pickup truck where three very rough-looking men were talking while holding on to the leashes of three very well-fed bulldogs. Each man was wearing an off-center baseball cap, an oversized tee-shirt with graffitti art, and plenty of bling. Two were holding cell phones to their ear, but apparently not talking with anyone. As I approached, they each seemed incredulous that I would even approach them; nevertheless, I offered each one of my Obama Million Dollar Bills. "Didja get one of these bills, with the President on it? It's not everyday you get something like this." Two men took a bill each and the other larger man (standing closer to me) told me to watch out, or get bit by a dog. I still offered him a Million Dollar bill and he took it.

One of the other men was looking the bill over and began asking questions--"what's this all about?" Before I could answer, the man closer to me said a very firm, "thank you" and pulled his dog a little closer to toward us. The curious man wanted to know what the bill was about. The man closer to me said a little more forcefully, "THANK YOU" with wider eyes. I understood. I said, "You are welcome" and stepped back (showing I "got" the message) and told them to read the important message on the back.

I caught up to Mom and was escorting her through the store. We had not reached the end of the first aisle when the curious man from outside came around the corner--he was looking for me and wanted some answers to his questions. First, he apologized for his "uncle's" behaviour. Now, he wanted to know why I was giving out Million Dollar Bills with President Obama on it. What was I trying to say? I told him it was a gospel tract, had he read the back? He only read half of it, but did not think he was "good enough" to keep reading. He was not satisfied. Was I poking fun at the President? I assured him I was not, but was using the bill as a talking point for us (it worked, didn't it?)--"like I said, it's not every day you will see our current President on a bill, especially on this big." He looked at it again and laughed a small laugh. He thought it was sort of funny. He stuck out his hand to shake, and again apologized for his "uncle."

Since we were talking, I had a question for him: did he think that all this fuss over government Health Care was going to change the matters in the gospel tract? In other words, whether we have government imposed health care or a plan we could choose ourselves, would it change the fact that we are all going to die and stand before God on judgment day? He stopped, thinking about what I just asked, then his jaw dropped open. He scratched his head and said, "You know, health care don't change a thing when it come to that! Aw, Man!" He stomped, threw his arms down and looked around, astounded at the realization. I pointed out that it does matter what one thinks of the President, Health Care, or where the Olympics are held--we are going to die and stand before God on judgment day.

At this point, one of the other men from outside came up carrying a case of beer. My new friend had some more thinking to do. I reminded him that by his own admission he did not think of himself as a "good person" and to also think of how God sees his heart. When he dies, will he go to heaven or hell? The beer carrying man wanted to go, but froze in his tracts--was I "that guy" from outside? I said I was, he switched the beer case into the other hand and stuck his hand out to shake, thanking me for giving him a bill, too.

Just as quickly, the conversation was over. They had to go. I told them to think about what I was saying and to read the entire gospel tract.
I pray they repent.

About the time they left, a lady was coming toward me down the aisle, looking for something (I don't know why, but every time I go in the grocery store, people think I work there). I noticed she was wearing an Obama '08 tee shirt. I reached in my pocket, pulled out an Obama Million Dollar Bill and said, "Betcha don't have one of these!" She nearly screamed with excitement. This drew some attention from a mother with two kids who wanted one--each. Then two more women and two more children got Obama Bills.

More importantly, they got the gospel. And it all started with three guys in the parking lot and gospel tracts burning a hole in my pocket.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Password Scam Widens To Google, Yahoo - Cybersecurity - FOXNews.com

Time to change your passwords!

Password Scam Widens To Google, Yahoo - Cybersecurity - FOXNews.com

Posted using ShareThis

A new book, "Putting Together the Puzzle of the New Testament," by Columbia International University President Bill Jones will help you piece together the New Testament. It's a ministry tool that traces the events that occur in each of the eight historical periods of the New Testament, and follows the same format as its prequel, “Putting Together the Puzzle of the Old Testament.” The book answers six investigative questions for each period: What, How, When, Where, Who and Why? The “Why?” sections highlight God’s heart for the nations which climaxes in the book of Revelation when one future day in heaven representatives from every tribe, tongue and nation will worship our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The book is published by Authentic Media.


For more information, contact the CIU bookstore at (800) 777-2227, ext. 5263 or Bookstore@ciu.edu.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Book Burning?

Please watch this video and leave your comments. I would personally like to know your thoughts. Thanks.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Feeling the weight

"Once while bathing in the river Sutlej I sank deep into the water. Above my head were tons of water and yet I did not feel the burden at all. When I camed back to the bank, I lifted a pot filled with water and found it very heavy. As long as I was in the water I did not feel the weight.

Similarly a sinner does not feel that he is a sinner as long as he lives in sin."

(Sadhu Sundar Singh, 1889-1929)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What do you say about sin?

To say, "I have not sinned" is to make God a liar (1 John 1:10);
To say, "I must sin," is to deny the gospel (Jude 24; Galatians 2:20);
To say, "I must not sin," is to conform to the gospel (Colossians 3:17);
To say, "I need not sin," is to state my priviledge (Ephesians 1:4);
To say, "By the grace of God I will not sin," is to live the gospel (Galatians 5:25).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Skunked

Didja hear the one about the man who came upon a skunk with its' head stuck in a small fruit jar? It was evident that the skunk would smother and die if the jar was not removed, but every attempt to remove the jar was met by the skunk raising his tail in defense. The skunk was unaware that he was not only in a dangerous situation, but that the man was trying to help him.

God offers salvation to the sinner who is smothering, dying in the guilt of his own sins. Only when he trusts Lord Jesus Christ, who through his death, burial and resurrection paid the penalty for sin, will he be free from the power of sin! God in Christ Jesus alone can remove the "jar" called sin whose reward is death.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inherited Sin Nature

Once when takling about man's nature, Watchman Nee remarked, "we have all sinned in Adam." A man who was listening exclaimed he did not understand what this meant. Nee explained, "If you great-grandfather had died at the age of three, where would you be? You would have died in him! Your experience is bound up with his! And just in the same way your experience is bound up with that of Adam's."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Timber-errrrr!

Anyone who has witnessed
the felling of a tall tree is left
with the definitive feeling of sadness.

As the saw rips through the heart of the giant,
it begins to sag down
on the side where the wound is gaping.

The tree begins to lean
away from the cutters,
but they continue their work--just a moment longer.

Then come the sounds:
the crack, crack, cracking of the wood fibers
in front of the saw teeth.

Another pass of the saw,
and the popping noise increases!
Those sounds! More rapid, then a continuous roar!

If you were standing nearby
you suddenly realize that everything above
is coming to earth.

The great mass starts to topple,
the popping and crackling and exploding sounds
burst from the base until with a fearful momentum,

the whole tree comes sprawling down.

Sometimes, we see a man come down like that.
He had stood out, so apparently strong before the entire world,
but the sappers were at his heart.

The supports were cut from under him
until he came crashing down
to the ground.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grumbling

Faultfinding has got to be the easiest job in the world. It requires no talent, no character, and no brains.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Excuses

A farmer asked his neighbor if he might borrow a rope. "Sorry," said the neighbor, "I'm using my rope to tie up my milk."

"Rope can't tie up milk!" replied the surprised farmer.

"I know," said the neighbor, "but when a man doesn't want to do something, one reason is as good as another."

Radicals &Their Worldviews Ruling America From The Grave

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Item #1

The Radicals and Their Worldviews Ruling America From The Grave
By Brannon Howse
In the end, Fabian Socialists don't really want to own it if they can control it, and all they need to control it is a financial crisis that allows them to change laws, inflate the currency, and buy stock in corporations. Whether you call it nationalizing an industry or corporate fascism, the result is the same-the death of freedom and private property rights.

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Saturday Night, September 12, 2009
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To read these stories look under our national and international news section at:
http://www.worldviewtimes.com/news


• Sunstein: Obama, not courts, should interpret law • Commercial Real Estate Is Next Bubble to Burst: Tishman
• F.D.I.C. May Borrow Funds From Banks • U.S. to push for new economic world order at G20
• Did Ayers Help Obama Get Into Harvard? • Death talk for seniors
• "The Case for Killing Granny" • Roger Hedgecock exposes Obama's plan to give amnesty to illegals



Item #2

Obama File 87 Obama's Socialist Appointees-Where is the Spotlight?
By Trevor Loudon
I have written here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here ,here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, and here about Barack Obama's long term association with Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

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by Dr. David Noebel

Eight Steps For Thinking Biblically
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Returning to the Word of God
by Dr. Michael Youssef

Understanding the Perilous Times and a Biblical Response
by Brannon Howse

50 Reasons Why We Are Living in the End Times
by Dr. David Reagan

Psalm 2: The King is Coming!
by Dr. David Reagan

Iran, Israel and the Nuclear Crisis: An Evangelical Christian Perspective
by Joel Rosenberg

The Big, Untold Story in the Middle East: How the Media is Missing The Most Dramatic Spiritual Awakening in Human History
by Joel Rosenberg

Standing Firm in the Last Days
By Kay Arthur

When a Nation Does Not Listen to God
By Kay Arthur
Branson 2009 Six DVD Set

Item #3

The Bigger Scandal: Catholic Church Funding of ACORN
By Cliff Kincaid
Federal funding of ACORN is not just a Democratic Party or Obama Administration problem. As a chart (PDF) produced by House Republican Leader John Boehner shows, most of the federal money going to the organization was provided under President George W. Bush. This is not something that most Republicans want to talk about, especially now that they can use ACORN funding as a weapon against Obama and the Democrats. To Boehner's credit, however, he had sent a letter to Bush asking him to block all federal funding of ACORN. The Bush Administration did not comply.

Please financially support the Worldview Weekend Foundation as we seek to bring Biblical worldview training to thousands through this fall's Worldview Weekend Rallies. We are holding 22 free rallies in 22 cities and need your support to train thousands with a Biblical worldview. America's only hope is a strong church rooted in a Biblical worldview. Will you please help us raise up Christian leaders of all ages that will lead the American church at this dangerous hour?

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Brannon Howse's New Book
The People & Worldviews Destroying America From The Grave

Brannon Howse reveals how the worldviews of 21 dead people are still influencing every aspect of American life and vying for the hearts and minds of adults and students. Whether we are discussing, law, science, economics, history, family, social issues, education or religion, the people and worldviews seeking to further their agenda in these disciplines are almost always connected back to four major forces. Brannon reveals the connection between occultism/pagan spirituality, the apostate church, the educational establishment and government/corporations.

Through this book you will come to understand the oppositions worldview, heroes, goals, strategies, masking terms, networks and targets. Those who share the worldviews of these 21 enemies of our constitutional republic and Biblical worldview do not want their agenda and its consequences to be revealed to the American people. Above all, they do not want us to equip and train our children and grandchildren with a Biblical worldview by which to recognize, reject, and fight against their seductive and destructive lies. This book will equip you to do just that as Brannon gives specific and pro-active responses you can take to make this the finest hour for the American church.

Here is the list of twenty-one for which Brannon has dug up worldview facts you must know and prepare to oppose:

Saul Alinsky, Karl Marx, John Dewey, John Maynard Keynes, Aldous Huxley, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Margaret Sanger, William James, Alice Bailey, Helen Schucman, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, Benjamin Bloom, B.F. Skinner, The Frankfurt School, Soren Kierkegaard, Julius Wellhausen, Christopher Columbus Langdell, Betty Friedan and Roger Baldwin

Item #4

Calling Muslims to the Capitol?
By David Barton
As nations such as Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands (and many others in Europe) have become more secular, they have demonstrated a willingness to embrace virtually anything – anything except their traditional Christian foundations. In fact, they now regularly repudiate those foundations, promoting abortion, legalizing homosexual marriage, and changing their traditional legal codes. And accepting the falsehood that all beliefs are equal and that truth is relative, they have even been willing to incorporate Islamic Sharia law into their legal codes in order to protect the special practices of some Muslims living among them. This has energized many Muslims in those countries and they are displaying a new boldness that is vocal, visible, and demonstrably assertive.

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Jan Markell
Brad O'Leary has become a national spokesman on the pending "Fairness Doctrine." He sounds an alarm that America will change and we will not recognize it if the government takes control of the air waves.

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Item #6

Is Time Running Out?
By Jan Markell
How can a world filled with secular humanists, atheists, and just plain God-haters be pondering the end of the world? They are embracing what is found in the mystical Mayan calendar that has the world ending on December 21, 2012. And has the media taken notice! The History Channel, Fox News, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News, USA Today, and more are talking or writing about it. Books on the topic are flying off the shelves.

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Media Corruption and the Two Party System
By Cliff Kincaid
This was one of the major cover-ups of the political campaign, and the cover-up continues.

Christian Worldview For Students
Christian Worldview For Children
Building a Christian Worldview Verse by Verse
Christian Worldview For Students Vol. II

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This issues Theme: The Worldviews and People Destroying America From the Grave and a Christian Response

Our last magazine was distributed to nearly 100,000 in just sixteen weeks until the magazine went out of print. Don't delay get your order in today.

Brannon includes articles on the Worldviews and People Destroying America From The Grave. This is a revealing look at the public policy and horrendous, perverted, and tragic personal lives of individuals like John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Margaret Sanger and others. How have the worldviews of these individuals been implemented into America's economy, education, sociology, and other areas of American life? The point is made that worldviews matter and have consequences. To understand America's spiritual battle for survival, we must understand the destructive worldviews working in the background and foreground. These articles were birthed out of the overwhelming amount of requests our office received for written materials based on what Brannon was talking about on his radio program and on numerous national radio programs on which he was a guest.

Item #8

Who Lied?
By Phyllis Schlafly
The sanctimonious shock at Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) calling out "You lie" when Barack Obama said the health care bill will not insure illegal aliens reminds me of the Casablanca police chief saying he was "shocked, shocked" to learn that gambling was taking place in the saloon. Barack Obama's congressional pals had defeated the Republican amendment to require proof of legal residency in order to be covered by the health care bill, and the American people know that illegals are now getting free health care at emergency rooms.

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Angels: Extra Terrestrial Beings
By Ray Comfort
I was speaking with two men in their mid 20's on a plane recently, as we flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Georgia. Mike and Jeff were tech guys who installed computer programs in the homes of the rich, so that they could control an entire home at the touch of a button. Amazingly, they could program the music, the AC, and other appliances in someone's home back in Los Angeles, from a laptop 20,000 feet in the air as we flew over Texas.

7 DVDs, 14 presentations, 4 books and 14 free worksheets for each DVD.
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Item #10

Senate Leadership Pushes for Sleazy Maneuver to Pass Anti-Gun ObamaCare Database
By Larry Pratt
Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported yesterday about the Senate Democratic leadership's latest sleazy maneuver to pass the anti-gun health care bill. And this is contemptible even by their admittedly low standards:

Order Now! 2009 Branson Worldview Weekend Family Reunion
Six Worldviews That Rule The World
by Dr. David Noebel

Eight Steps For Thinking Biblically
by David Barton

Returning to the Word of God
by Dr. Michael Youssef

Understanding the Perilous Times and a Biblical Response
by Brannon Howse

50 Reasons Why We Are Living in the End Times
by Dr. David Reagan

Psalm 2: The King is Coming!
by Dr. David Reagan

Iran, Israel and the Nuclear Crisis: An Evangelical Christian Perspective
by Joel Rosenberg

The Big, Untold Story in the Middle East: How the Media is Missing The Most Dramatic Spiritual Awakening in Human History
by Joel Rosenberg

Standing Firm in the Last Days
By Kay Arthur

When a Nation Does Not Listen to God
By Kay Arthur
Branson 2009 Six DVD Set









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Friday, September 18, 2009

Unsurpassed Value

One of our children had taken a keen interest in meteorology and at one point, was very careful to spend an exceptional amount of time each day watching the Weather Channel. A recent conversation touched down on the subject of tornadoes and warning systems, in which our brilliant child made the point that if a quick escape from the house were necessary, an extra pair of underwear would be the most important item to take along. One of our other children quickly demanded to know the reason for the choice, to which came the reply, "because if a tornado were to come close enough for me to leave, I would need to change my pants."

About three years ago or so, we did have to leave our house under threat of a tornado. Since we were living in a mobile home, we felt that was the best choice. Years before while living in another state, a tornado touched down about a mile behind us and we saw first-hand what happens to homes and trees. When we were under the threat again, we did not think twice, but loaded everyone up in the car and drove about a mile to a local shelter. While the rain blew upside down in the middle of that black night, lightning flashing everywhere, I stood outside arguing with a security guard (no, we couldn't talk inside) who didn't think we needed the shelter. Reason? Nobody else was there. We heard the weather reports and had first-hand experience of what was coming toward our house. He had not turned on the radio and really did not care to. He changed his mind just as I was about to toss a few thunderbolts of own when other people eventually showed up seeking shelter.

I rememeber when I left the house that night I made certain that I at least had on my jeans, with my wallet and ever-present Bible in the pocket. Other than that, I was focused on getting everyone else out of the house, into the car and out of harm's way. Nothing else seemed important at the time. I do distinctly remember the tension I felt about getting everyone to the shelter. That was all that mattered to me. We all became instantly prepared to let everything go--all our personal belongings. Everything. Nothing else mattered but getting everyone to safety. My people matter to me, not my stuff.

Return to the incident of the storm raging, my concern for safety and other man's indifference. Neither of us could change the storm or its affects. In the same way, dialogue, rhetoric or debate has no bearing on the inevitable. One learns at lightning speed during life and death situations that tradition bears no weight. Neither does ethnicity, clan or family. Education does not matter when the rain falls upside down and the wind howls. Talents, abilities, desires and dreams cannot abate a flood.

What really matters when there is an eternity just on the other side of this thing called "life?" Oswald Chambers shares his thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount:

"'Take no thought for your life' (Matt. 6:25). These words of our Lord are the most revolutionary of statements. We argue in exactly the opposite way, even the most spiritual of us--'I must live, I must make so much money, I must be clothed and fed.' That is how it begins; the great concern of the life is not God, but how we are going to fit ourselves to live. Jesus Christ says, 'Reverse the order, get rightly related to Me first, see that you maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concentration of your care on the other things.'"

Paul was a success story in his own right, and to top it all off, he had all the credentials for works-based righteousness. He was "circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless." (Philippians 3:5-6). But when it came to matters eternal, he realized that he was bankrupt. What he needed was not religious righteousness, but the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ! He was brought to the point where he realized that he had a pile of useless garbage. The apostle Paul said it plainly. "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:7-8).

Paul once highly valued himself as a person and all he accomplished. Then he met the Lord Jesus Christ who, like a storm that has stripped everything away, left Paul with an understanding of what was most important: knowing Christ. Charles Spurgeon explained that intellectual knowledge is the personal apprehension of Jesus as God who has revealed Himself in time and space; but a ton of head learning is not the ounce of heart knowledge. Affectionate knowledge is loving Him. Satisfying knowledge is content with Him, "that which my spirit panted after" as the bread of life that satisfies all hunger, living water that slakes all thirst. There is an exciting knowledge of Him. "The more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more." Then there is the "happy" knowledge; that is, the sustaining knowledge of Christ that "bears me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows."

What are your assets? Compared to your Lord Jesus Christ, they are liabilities. How can one tell? Simply put them to the test: which produces righteousness before God?

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Earthquake Within Us

"Repentance is but a kind of table-talk, till we see so much of the deformity of our inward nature as to be in some degree frighted and terrified at the sight of it. There must be some kind of an earthquake within us, something that must rend and shake us to the bottom, before we can be enough sensible either of the state of death we are in or enough desirous of that Savior who alone can raise us from it." (William Law, 1686-1761)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dr. Warren Larson, On A Muslim View of 9-11 and a Christian Response

Dr. Warren Larson, the director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University is often sought out by the media for a biblical view on Muslim-Christian relations. As Americans commemorate the anniversary of the 9-11 attack on the United States, Larson recorded an interview with the nationally broadcast radio show "Prime Time America" on the Moody Radio Network. In the interview, Larson is asked how Muslims view 9-11, and how Christians should be responding to them. You can hear Larson's comments on the Sept. 11th broadcast of "Prime Time America," beginning at 4:00 p.m. Central Time. Log on to listen.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What do you think?

Adoniron Judson is the source of the following quote. I would like to hear your thoughts about what he said.

"It is a mistake to suppose that a dull and second-rate man is enough for the heathen. The worst-off need the very best we have. God gave His best, even His only begotten Son, in order to redeerm a lost world. The most darkened and degraded souls need the best thinking."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Independence Day (Brazil)

O AMOR DE DEUS

" Pois Deus tanto amou o mundo que deu o seu Filho unigênito para que todo o que nele crer não pereça, mas tenha a vida eterna." (João 3:16)

O PLANO DE DEUS

Cristo afirma: "Eu vim para que tenham vida, e a tenham plenamente" (uma vida abundante e com propósito). (João 10:10)

Por que a maioria das pessoas não está experimentando essa "vida abundante"?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Subtlety of Depravity

"Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is. If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me ill-tempered, it ony shows me what an ill-tempered man I am."

(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Friday, September 04, 2009

What Einstein Thought

"With the discovery of the atom, everything changed, except for man's thinking. Because of this, we drift toward unparalleled catastophe."

"The true problem lies in the hearts and thoughts of men. It is not a physical but an ethical one . . . . What terrifies us is not the explosive force of the atomic bomb, but the power of the wickedness of the human heart."

(Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel -- And Why So Many Christians Think It Is

Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel -- And Why So Many Christians Think It Is

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Busted

A tightwad went shopping to find an inexpensive gift for a friend. In one shop, he spotted a vase which had been broken. He bought the broken vase (next to nothing in price) and asked the store to send it to his friend, who would assume the vase had been broken in transit.

A few days later, a note arrived from the friend. "Many thanks for the vase," the note read, "and it was so thoughtful of you to wrap each piece separately!"

Numbers 32:23 "you may be sure that your sin will find you out."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Imposter

Two gripping thoughts on Hypocrisy by G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936):

"LET it never be forgotten that a hypocrite is a very unhappy man; he is a man who has devoted himself to a most delicate and arduous intellectual art in which he may achieve masterpieces which he must keep secret, fight thrilling battles and win hair-breadth victories for which he cannot have a whisper of praise. A really accomplished impostor is the most wretched of geniuses: he is a Napoleon on a desert island." ("Browning.")

"We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity. We ought to be interested in that darkest and most real part of a manin which dwell not the vices that he does not display, but the virtuesthat he cannot. And the more we approach the problems of human history with this keen and piercing charity, the smaller and smaller space we shall allow to pure hypocrisy of any kind. The hypocrites shall not deceive us into thinking them saints; but neither shall they deceive us into thinking them hypocrites. And an increasing number of cases will crowd into our field of inquiry, cases in which there is really no question of hypocrisy at all, cases in which people were so ingenuous that they seemed absurd, and so absurd that they seemed disingenuous." ("H. G. Wells and the Giants." Heretics)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hypocrisy

When Howard Carter and his associates found the tomb of King Tutenkhamen, they opened up his casket and found another within it. They opened up the second, which was covered with gold leaf, and found a third. Inside the third casket was a fourth made of pure gold. The pharoahs body was in the fourth, wrapped in gold cloth with a gold face mask. But when the body was unwrapped, it was leathery and shriveled.

Monday, August 31, 2009

On: Change

"Everyone things of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself." (Leo Tolstoy, 1828 - 1910)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Occupation: Evangelism

"The major preoccupation of any man's life is his daily employment. But if Jesus Christ has no part in that major occupation of your life, then he is Lord only of the margins. The spare time. The left-overs!

Did you ever notice that the important figures of the Bibles are not the monks and priests? They are shepherds and fishermen and tax gatherers and soldiers and politicians and tentmakers and physicians and carpenters. These are the ones who occupty the center of the stage. You can tell good news about God's actions among men at a water cooler in an office or over a lunch bucket. you can heal a hurt in a car while you are driving home. You can teach the truth that frees and enlightens anywhere."

Ray Stedman, from his sermon on Ephesians 4:11-12, "The Contemporary Christ."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Natural Revelation

"My biological work convinced me that the One who was declared dead by Nietzsche, and silent by Sartre, actually is very much alive and speaking to us through all things." (Dutch biologist, C.J. Briejer)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shattering False Icons: Reforming Biology Teaching

By Chuck ColsonPublished Date: February 02, 2001

"False facts," wrote Charles Darwin, "are highly injurious to the progress of science." There's an old American saying that makes the same point. It says, "It's not what people don't know that's so dangerous; it's what they know that just ain't so."

Well, I've got some good news and some bad news for you. Generations of students have been taught facts about biology that just ain't so -- they're false facts. For decades, our kids have been soaking up untrustworthy, unreliable information, and their minds (not to mention science itself) have been injured in the process.

That's the bad news.

Read the good news and the rest of the article on the BreakPoint website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Astrologers, please comment

How would astrology address the different natures of persons, namely twins?

"Esau and Jacob were born of the same father and mother, at the same time, and under the same planets, but their nature was wholly different. You would pursuade me that astrology is a true science!" (Martin Luther, to Melanchthon)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Value of Art

"Art, if it is to be reckoned as one the great values of life, must teach men humility, tolerance, wisdom and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action." (W. Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Art and Science, A Perspective

"‘Tis the very difference between the artistic mind and the mathematical, that the former sees things as they are in a picture, some nearer and larger some smaller and farther away while to the mathematical mind everything, every inch in a million, every fact in a cosmos, must be of equal value. That is why mathematicians go mad, and poets scarcely ever do. A man may have as wide a view of life as he likes, the wider the better: a distant view, a birds-eye view, but still a view and not a map. The one thing he cannot attempt in his version of the universe is to draw things to scale." (G.K. Chesterton, 1874-1936)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Usurped!

"The fall was simply this: that some creature--that is, something which is not God--took his place with man, and man, trusting the creature more than God, walked in its light--or darkness--rather thatn in fellowship with God." (Andrew Jukes, 1815 - 1901)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Faculty of Taste

"Sometimes during sickness the faculty of taste in the tongue is interfered with, and during that time, however tasty the food given to the sick person may be, it has an ill taste to him. In just the same way sin interferes with the taste for spiritual things. Under such circumstances [saith the Lord] My Word and service and My presence lost their attraction to the sinner, and instead of profiting by them he begins to argue about and criticize them."

(Sadhu Sundar Singh, "At the Master's Feet," 1922)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fundamental Ingredient for Life Discovered in Comet - Science News | Science

This is like saying, "The discovery of chocolate in Kroger supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of desserts are prevalent in grocery stores, and strengthens the argument that chocolate chip cookies may be common rather than rare."

Fundamental Ingredient for Life Discovered in Comet - Science News Science & Technology Technology News - FOXNews.com

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Monday, August 17, 2009

San Martin Day (Argentina)

El amor de Dios"Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." (San Juan 3:16)

El plan de Dios(Cristo afirma) "Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia" (Una vida completa y con propósito). (San Juan 10:10b)

¿Por qué es que la mayoría de las personas no están experimentando esta "vida en abundancia"? Porque . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Assumption of Mary (Belguim, Chile)

El amor de Dios

"Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." (San Juan 3:16)

El plan de Dios(Cristo afirma)

"Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia" (Una vida completa y con propósito). (San Juan 10:10b)

¿Por qué es que la mayoría de las personas no están experimentando esta "vida en abundancia"? Porque . . .

************
Dieu nous aime et nous a créés pour que nous le connaissions personnellement.

Dieu nous aime."Car Dieu a tant aimé le monde qu'il a donné son Fils unique, afin que quiconque croit en lui ne périsse pas, mais qu'il ait la vie éternelle." Jean 3:16

Dieu désire que nous le connaissions. (Jésus priant le Père:) "Or la vie éternelle, c'est qu'ils te connaissent toi le seul vrai Dieu et celui que tu as envoyé, Jésus-Christ." Jean 17:3

Il nous offre une vie nouvelle, une vie en abondance."Si quelqu'un est en Christ, il est une nouvelle créature." II Corinthiens 5:17(Jésus dit):"Moi, je suis venu, afin que les hommes aient la vie et qu'ils l'aient en abondance." Jean 10:10

Pourquoi tant de gens ne connaissent-ils pas cette vie en abondance, cette relation avec Dieu?

************

GOD HEEFT U LIEF EN HEEFT EEN PLAN MET UW LEVEN.(De aangehaalde teksten uit de Bijbel kunt u het best nog eens in hun verband nalezen.)

GODS LIEFDE"Want alzo lief heeft God de wereld gehad, dat Hij Zijn eniggeboren Zoon gegeven heeft, opdat een ieder, die in Hem gelooft, niet verloren ga, maar eeuwig leven hebbe"(Johannes 3:16).

GODS PLANJezus zei: "Ik ben gekomen, opdat zij leven hebben en overvloed " (een leven met inhoud en doel) (Johannes 10:10).

Hoe komt het dat de meeste mensen dit leven in overvloed niet kennen?

************
Gott LIEBT Sie und hat einen PLAN fur Ihr Leben. (Die hier angegebenen Bibelstellen sollten möglichst in ihrem Zusammenhang gelesen werden.)

Gottes Liebe

"Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, daß er seinen eingeborenen Sohn gab, auf daß alle, die an ihn glauben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige Leben haben"(Johannes 3,16).

Gottes Plan Christus spricht:

"Ich bin gekommen, um das Leben in seiner ganzen Fülle zu bringen" (ein inhaltsreiches und sinnerfülltes Leben) (Johannes 10,10).

Warum ist dieses Leben den meisten Menschen als Realität nicht greifbar?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Statement from the American College of Surgeons Regarding Recent Comments from President Obama

CHICAGO—The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.

Read the full article on their website.

Dr. Larry Dixon, on "When Temptation Strikes"

Dr. Larry Dixon, resident faculty of Systematic Theology in the Seminary and School of Missions of Columbia International University, was interviewed this past weekend on Canadian television. Enjoy!

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:

On: Intellect

"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."

(Albert Einstein )

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What matters in Religion

"In religion, the things about which men agree are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight."

(J. Gresham Machen, 1881-1937)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And Really Bad Eggs

"No clever arrangement of bad eggs will ever make a good omelette." (C.S. Lewis)

Nothing comes out of a man's physical body which is either pleasing to look at or pleasing to smell. Likewise, there is nothing that comes out of a man's heart which is pleasing to God for salvation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"I don't feel bad, guilty or ashamed about sin."

And a fish doesn't feel wet either, because it is immersed.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rumours

"Rumor is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it."

(Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Act 2).

"But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh." (James 3:8-12)

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