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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Views of Missions and Missionary Work

There are two ways to view missions and missionary work:

We could be like the old-time shoe salesman who, upon finding that in his new territory no one wore shoes, wrote back to his company and said, "Don't send any shoes because nobody here wears them."

Or . . .

We could be like the other shoe salesman who came to the same territory and wrote the company saying, "Send all the shoes you've got because nobody here has any!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Honor to God

“I do not go to heaven to be advanced but to give honor to God. It is no matter where I shall be stationed in heaven, whether I have a high or low seat there, but to live and please and glorify God . . . My heaven is to please God and glorify Him, and give all to Him, and to be wholly devoted to His glory."

(David Brainard, 1718 - 1747)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taming Ye Olde Nag; Or, A Word To Complainers.

"A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike." (Proverbs 27:15)

"Harping on the same string is an imposition on another person’s time and ears. The identical tune gets monotonous, and in time will vex the most patient listener. There is no quicker way to cause the welcome mat to shrink. The squeak of the hinges on the man’s door as you exit is sweeter to him than your onestring harping. Enough is enough. And the kindest thing we can say is that it is a plentiful lack of good judgment. That others may enjoy you, learn to play more than one tune." (Leroy Brownlow, 1914 - 2002)

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Creation

Becoming a Christian is very much like becoming a citizen of another country. The old government could conscript or try to levy taxes, but there are no longer any obligations. One still may retain his or her accent, but the citizenship has changed.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places} in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:1-7)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stand Firm

The way in which we need to stand in the face of opposition is aptly described by a word the British use, “steady.” To illustrate this word’s meaning, picture a British commander in the 19th century as he and his regiment were being approached by a horde of Bedouins brandishing swords. As he examines his past experience, his present capability, and meditates on the future sense of accomplishment, being confident of victory, he remains “steady.”

As believers, we need to realize we can rely upon the testimony of God’s past accomplishments, His present work in our lives, and His promise of ultimate victory, and remain steady in the face of opposition.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might . . . Stand firm therefore . . . be on the alert with all perseverance and petition." (Ephesians 6:10, 14, 18)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Need to Know Info

One of our local papers here in Columbia published the following in the Crime Blotter:

"A March 1 complaint on behalf of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said someone purposely struck a lamppost near a Greene Street sidewalk, causing about $500 in damage. OK, so how do they know if someone did it on purpose or it was an accident? And are we talking a car hitting it, or a person? Because, you know, if the Hulk is running around smashing lampposts that’s need-to-know info."

Thought you would be interested.
Just in case . . .

Just don't steal, ok?

A few of weeks ago I made a post that included a reference to John Cage's "musical" work, "4'33"" (a composition of silence, not music). As if it could get it any weirder, read this bizarre case of a man who was sued for stealing Cage's work, which of course he did not because Cage's piece was for piano--this piece was for clarinet . . .

Speaking of stealing, here's a guy who tried to sue magicians David Blaine and David Copperfield for stealing his "godlike" powers . . .

And to top it off, here's a guy "who claimed he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested filed a $5 million lawsuit against himself . . ."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Always morning

After a long run of battle through the night, a trembling voice was heard to say, "Things look pretty dark, don't they?"

Came the reply, "But the king says there's hope, sir! 'Tis always morning somewhere in the world."

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"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. " (Psalm 43:5)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Teaching value

If a child gets $1.00 for the offering plate and $7.00 for the movies, what set of values will he keep for the rest of his life?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Under Pressure?

Oil, gas, and diamonds are precious commodities today but without tremendous pressure of earth on organic matter and time to develop, there would be just organic matter.

So it is with the man of God as he responds with trust in God; He uses the daily pressures of life to mold quality into the man of God.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Philosophy of . . .

A young man was talking with an astronomer when the conversation touched on spiritual matters. The astronomer said, “Do you want to hear my philosophy of Christianity?”

The young man said, “Yes!”

“My philosophy," said the astronomer, "is the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you, and God will treat you all right.”

The young man responded, “Would you like to hear my philosophy of astronomy? Twinkle, twinkle little star!”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Universe Is Not Perfect By Design?

Someone wrote to a friend: "If the universe was designed perfectly our sun would not be set to nova and wipe out our entire solar system in 23 million years. And even if we could escape our solar system (which would take 4 lifetimes at the fastest we can travel currently) the Andromada galaxy is expected to colide with ours in about 20 billion years. Humans are destined for extiction if not by our own means then ether the nova or andromeda colosion, or comet. Would a universe created for us by a loving god be destined to exterminate us along with every other living thing this planet has harboured? I would hope he's a better designer than that. I suppose the rapture will happen long before any of this occurs though right? And the faithfull will be saved?"

When God created everything, He said repeatedly it was good. Stars going nova does not mean that the universe is imperfect, or that God is not loving if ours does the same. The universe is doing exactly what He made it to do--glorify Him.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This means that God is offering you eternal life in Christ Jesus. Part of that blessing includes being delivered from the wrath to come (pertaining to sin) and from the destruction to come--God will make a new heaven and new earth--this must first be destroyed by fire (as He promised He would not do it with water).

Assuming the universe is imperfect implies you have an answer to these questions about the earth alone:

  • Where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid?
  • Who set it's measurements? Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
  • What is the foundation of the earth?
  • Where did water come from and why does it go some places and not others (shorelines)?
  • Can you "command the morning?"
  • Have you walked in the depths of the sea?
  • What do you know about the gates of death?
  • Where does light come from, and where does it go? And darkness?
You must know because you were born then and the number of your days is great!

  • Have you been to the places where snow and hail come from?
  • How is light divided?
  • Where and how does the east wind scatter on the earth?
  • Can you direct lightning?
  • Can you make it rain, or make a desert? Can you make a cloud?
  • Can you make water into ice down to the depths of the sea.
  • Can you gather the Pliedes or make an Orion?

  • Can you make the constellations go around in their seasons?
  • Do you know how space works?
  • Who put wisdom and understanding in the mind?
  • Take an inventory of clouds, of sand, of stars.
  • Why does dust become mud? How does it hold together?
  • Which came first: food, or hunger? What kept the first babies from starving?
  • Why do animals give birth when and the way they do? Why are they free and fearless in the open wild, but run away from the cities?
  • Why must animals be trained?
  • Why can't an ostrich fly and why don't they care for their young with more attention?
  • What makes a horse strong and why does he act the way he does?
  • Does a hawk soar because you understand it?
  • Did you command the eagle to build its nest so high? How does it see so well to hunt?

Are you able to find fault with God and contend with the Almighty?

The Meaning of Baptism

Baptism is like a wedding ring: they both symbolize transactions. A wedding ring symbolizes marriage, just as baptism symbolizes salvation. A ring does not make you married, nor does baptism save you. And is a person doesn’t have a ring, you can almost assume that they are not married. In NT times, if a person was not baptized, you could almost assume that they were not believers. And so baptism is a symbol of salvation and should not be taken for granted.

Ray Stedman tells how a pastor once related t0 him the occasion of preparing to baptize a young girl in a beach-front gathering. He told of how he wanted to make certain she understood what baptism meant. As he questioned and talked, he noticed that his hand cast a shadow on the sand.

He said to the girl, "Do you see the shadow of my hand on the sand? That is not my hand, but the shadow of my hand. The hand is the real thing. When you came to Jesus, when you turned from your sin and believed in Jesus, that was the real baptism. You were joined to Him, and what happened to Him, happened to you. Jesus was alive; then He died, was buried, and then He rose from the dead. And that is what happened to you when you believed in Him.”

He pointed to the shadow on the sand and said, “When you go down in the water and are raised up again, that is a picture of what has already happened.”

The girl immediately caught on and said, “Yes, that is what I want to do because Jesus has come into my life!" So water baptism is a picture, a symbol worked out for us, to teach us what has happened to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Homosexuality

“Coincident with the rise of the gay rights movement in recent years has been an increasing focus on the biblical statements regarding homosexuality or sodomy. As part of this focus, the meaning of the term rsenokotai (arsenokoitai, "homosexuals"), used twice by the apostle Paul (1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10), has received vigorous scrutiny.” (DeYoung, James. “The Source and NT Meaning of ἀρσενοκοίτη [arsenokoitai], with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry.”)

“American is entangled in the most heated battle of the culture wars to date. Many consider it a Waterloo. State supreme courts and city governments, senators and congressmen, community leaders, celebrities, and even clergy all have mounted a powerful offensive in support of gay "marriage." What follows is a point-by-point reply to those who are demanding this revision of civilization.” (Koukl, Greg. “Same-sex Marriage Challenges and Responses.”)

“For the past fifteen years, homosexual activists have staked their political strategy on claims that homosexuality is an inherited trait, like left-handedness, for a significant minority of human beings.” (Mohler, Al. “What About the 'Gay Gene'? An Honest Look at the Evidence.”)

“Advocates of same-sex marriage insist that their purpose is to see homosexual couples receive the same rights and privileges as married couples, and to experience the same set of satisfactions and responsibilities. Without debating their argument, at least for now, we can already see that their stated purpose does not represent the real energy behind their demand for same-sex marriage.” (Mohler, Al. “Same-Sex Marriage and the Integrity of Language.”)

“The battle over gay marriage is not just about marriage. We are witnessing the clash of two diametrically opposed worldviews--two absolutely different ways of understanding the world.” (Mohler, Al. “What's the Battle Over Gay Marriage Really About?” cf. Shorto, Russell. “What's Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage?”)

“There's no such thing as a homosexual in a technical sense...there are just people who choose to do homosexual sins. And some supposed new report came out and said, "Well, we now believe it's something you're born with." That's right. You're born with a wretched rotten sin nature. And because of certain temptations and certain problems, some people go that way into that kind of sin. But it is a perversion of God's design. It is not some thing that's a result of your genetic structure, it's not something you can't help, it's not the fault of your dominating mother or your passive father, although they may contribute to the temptation problem, it's a choice you make. And you choose to do it and you choose to keep on doing it or you choose to be changed. And you know what's so wonderful, when you realize that it isn't something you're born with but it's a sin. Then you realize you can be delivered from it like any other sin.” (MacArthur, John. “What the Bible Teaches About Homosexuality.”)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Whole Truth

"The contemporary church has the idea that salvation is only the granting of eternal life, not necessarily the liberation of a sinner from the bondage of his iniquity. We tell people that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives, but that is only half the truth. God also hates sin and will punish unrepentant sinners with eternal torment. No gospel presentation is complete if it avoids or conceals those facts. Any message that fails to define and confront the severity of personal sin is a deficient gospel. And any 'salvation' that does not alter a lifestyle of sin and transform the heart of the sinner is not the salvation God's Word speaks of."

MacArthur, John. "He Recieves Sinners But Refuses The Righteous." The Gospel According To Jesus. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2008. p. 73-74

Monday, March 16, 2009

What are you looking for?

Lately I've been spending more time surfing websites representative of various world views. One cannot help but notice how so many are thriving on enmity against others while simultaneously striving for unity amongst the like-minded. Each group at bottom presents in various ways one common desire: unity. As to what that unity is, who it includes, how it is achieved, why it is necessary, etc. is of widespread opinion; however, a closer look at each cause reveals that unity is not really the goal, but reconciliation.

Mankind is ultimately hard at work in the context of discord, stress, anxiety. Relationships are strained inidividually, ethnically, nationally, politically, religiously; yet, people are invariably desiring to reach a resolution, bridge a gap, inaugurate change, repair the breach, compose harmony. But what is the adversary? Man and (blank) are at odds.

What is the (blank)?

The Epicureans (in their various forms today) teach that which brings the most pleasure is that which is good. Hedonism is an end in itself. The individual is free to do as he or she pleases, as long as nobody else gets hurt. There is nothing to fear, and subsequently, nothing to hope for. Whatever happens happens by chance, luck.

Stoics, on the other hand, hold to the idea that nature is directed by an impersonal force. All is god (pantheism). One must simply accept circumstances as they are. We are at the mercy of blind chance.

Briefly put, there seems to be only two options for mankind:
1) The Universe is fluke, nobody loves you, have a nice life;
2) Impersonal forces at work, accept your fate. It is your destiny, young Skywalker.

Truth be told, both systems have not explained why they seek deliverance from pain, from the futility of life. Why else would one seek to work on his karma? Why else would one hope that he did enough right to be reincarnated on a higher plane?

One might conclude that reconciliation must occur on another level--man must be reconciled to life itself. As one lives he spends his time and energy making adjustments to find peace. Do men really desire to be at peace with cold, stress-filled, brief, hard, disaster-ridden life? If this were the case, then what was done against "life" that men should seek peace with it?

Perhaps one might conclude that reconciliation must occur with things, The Universe (all things seen and unseen, known and unknown in contrast against "the universe" which is all we currently know). To master The Universe, one must gain control over sources. One must harness and direct and to do this requires absolute knowledge. Has science ever triumphed over nature? Only if we have finished playing the "oh, THAT's how it works," game. If man is to be reconciled to the Universe, what was done against the Universe that man should seek peace with it?

How can one bridge a gap with the intangible? Is life tangible?
How can one repair what is broken between an individual and the Universe?

Reconciliation is more than repairing what is broken. Reconciliation requires something that never ends--a relationship, for better or worse. Impersonal relationships have never begun, so there is nothing that needs be reconciled; however, reconciliation leads to true life and it is there one finds all creation groaning, waiting for man's redemption to be complete through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God and man are at enmity because of sin. The moral law-giver has been offended by individual lack of love for Him, by individual reshaping of who He is into one's own image, by misrepresentation of His name, by failure to worship, by disregarding instruction, by hatred which amounts to murder, by lust, by theft and mismanagment of all we do not own, by mishandling truth, by downright selfishness. Man is separated from God, the Creator, by sin. God has repaired the breach, if only one will admit how God sees his or her heart. If His work in Christ Jesus is rejected, then God must let justice take its course and one is left with eternal punishment.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What Does It Cost You?

"Paul never glamorized the gospel! It is not success, but sacrifice! It's not a glamorous gospel, but a bloody gospel, a gory gospel, and a sacrificial gospel! 5 minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more!!! Wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more!!!"

--Leonard Ravenhill

"OH HOW LITTLE we want to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Yet many will be deprived of food, sleep and comforts for mere carnal toys, pleasures and sports. Paul suffered much for a eternal crown, an eternal prize, he realized what was at stake. Thank God for the witness of Scriptures showing us the early Christian’s attitude to these things.

We read in the book of Hebrews at the tenth chapter: “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” These believers realized that possessions in their earth were passing, fleeting and momentary. And when they suffered the loss of their belongings and homes they let them go “joyfully!” Perhaps that is the true test of where our heart is!

We read Scripture so many times without looking at the reality of what we are reading. It is a dream to us! Christ is just a Name in a book! There is no reality in it! How can we read Hebrews 11 and not weep? “they were stoned” Yes, it happened, is happing in the world and will happen again; perhaps even to you or me! “they were sawn asunder” Meditate on this! Consider what these prophets of God went through and what still many persecuted saints go through in the world. “were tempted, were slain with the sword” They were murdered for the testimony of God in them! Do you have such a testimony in your heart?

“They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.” And imagine the parallel of our designer clothing and caring so much over what we wear! They had so little, we have so much. They had little money but much power with God, we have much money and are paupers spiritually. God is still in the business of adding Names to Hebrews 11. We do not see these Names in our Bibles right now but they are being written in heaven. “Being destitute, afflicted, tormented” We will meet hosts of saints at the Judgment seat of Christ who will have such a testimony but all we will be able to bear witness to is perhaps a missed meal or burnt toast or some trivial matter!

What is your Christianity costing you? Are you taking easy street? Why are we afraid to suffer for the Gospel? The angels weep over this!"

--Greg Gordon, Editor, The Old Paths Magazine #10

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Prayer of a Man After God's Heart

"Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet--not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, 0 God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ . . . . And now, 0 Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven."

A.W. Tozer, "God Tells the Man Who Cares."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ministers of a Corrupted Gospel

"Some years ago I read a magazine interview of a certain well-known pastor. The gist of his statement was:

'I decided that the pulpit was no longer to be a teaching platform but an instrument of spiritual therapy. I no longer preach sermons; I create experiences. I don’t have time to write a systematic theology to give a solid theological basis for what I intuitively know. What I intuitively believe is right. Every sermon has to begin with the heart. If you ever hear me preaching a sermon against adultery, you’ll know what my problem is. If you ever hear me preaching a sermon about the coming of Jesus Christ, you’ll know that’s where I am heart wise. It so happens I’m not hung up on either of those areas so I’ve never preached a sermon on either one. I could not in print or in public deny the virgin birth of Christ or the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ or the return of Christ. But when I have something I can’t comprehend, I just don’t deal with it.'

That is the description of a totally corrupted and perverted ministry. Those who listen to that man are not hearing all God has to say. Rather than bringing men to God, he is standing between men and God."

Dr. John MacArthur, "True Servants of Christ."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Forgiveness

“Doesn’t everyone know what forgiveness is? Why, when someone has wronged me, I expect him to come and apologize. Then I tell him, ‘That’s OK.’ That’s forgiveness isn’t it?” (Adams, Jay. “What Is Forgiveness?”)

“How may I, a sinner, draw near to God in whom there is no sin, and look upon His face in peace? This is the great question which, at some time or other, every one of us has asked. This is one of the awful problems which man in all ages has been attempting to solve.” (Bonar, Horatius. “How Shall A Man Be Right With God?”)

“Blessed are they whose iniquity is forgiven. This exclamation springs from the fervent affection of the Psalmist's heart as well as from serious consideration. Since almost the whole world turning away their thoughts from God's judgment, bring upon themselves a fatal forgetfulness, and intoxicate themselves with deceitful pleasures; David, as if he had been stricken with the fear of God's wrath, that he might betake himself to Divine mercy, awakens others also to the same exercise, by declaring distinctly and loudly that those only are blessed to whom God is reconciled, so as to acknowledge those for his children whom he might justly treat as his enemies.” (Calvin, Jean. “Blessed Are They Whose Iniquity Is Forgiven.”)

“Self-actualized people (those who are complete and happy in themselves with no external approval needed) supposedly have risen above the Biblical analogy of a son seeking to please his father. We are to be whole, complete and fulfilled people without reference to our behavior or other people's (or God's) expectations and hopes about our actions and attitudes toward them. “Accept me as I am, or take a hike” many brazenly declare.” (Dewaay, Bob. “Forgiveness, God’s Remedy for Human Failure.” )

“Pop psychology promotes self-forgiveness so that people will feel better about themselves emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Yet it does not matter how good one feels toward oneself, if God does not share the same feelings!” (Holdridge, Donald. “Is Self-forgiveness Biblical Forgiveness?”)

“The curse which Christ bore upon the cross was not a curse that wrongly rested upon Him; it was not a curse pronounced upon Him by some wicked human law. No, it was the curse of God's law; it was a curse, therefore, — we tremble as we say it, but the Scripture compels us to say it — it was a curse that rightly rested upon Him. But if that be so, there can be no doubt but that the substitutionary atonement is taught in Scripture. “ (Machen, J. Gresham. “The Atonement.”)

“God provided in Christ what God demanded from us in the law. But today this good news that Christ is not only our pardon but also our perfection is under serious attack. Here I hope to show not only that the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's righteousness is biblical but why we should defend it.” (Piper, John and Taylor, Justin. “What God Requires, Christ Provides.”)

“Granting for a moment that you want pardon and forgiveness, what ought you to do? Whither will you go? Which way will you turn?” Ryle, J.C. “Forgiveness.” (part 1, part 2)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Riverfront Park, Saturday, March 7, 2008

Glider, or Bomber?

“To preach a social gospel without the redemptive background of the individual salvation from sin of the individual sinner is like launching a glider instead of a high— powered plane. A glider may soar for a while on the fickle currents of the wind, and climb high on some sudden up-draft, but it is the four whirl-wind motors that will carry a bomber to the stratosphere and jet-propulsion and rockets that will take a plane beyond the speed of sound."

Donald G. Barnhouse, "Man’s Ruin" (Wheaton, 1952), p. 161—162.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Maulid Nabi (Indonesia)

Hai Kawan! Saya akan mengajukan pertanyaan yang paling penting di dalam kehidupan ini. Kebahagiaan dan kesusahan Anda dari sekarang sampai selama-lamanya akan bergantung pada jawaban Anda. Pertanyaannya adalah: Apakah Anda sudah diselamatkan? Ini bukan pertanyaan tentang perbuatan baik Anda, bukan juga apakah Anda anggota gereja, tetapi apakah Anda sudah diselamatkan? Apakah Anda yakin akan masuk surga setelah meninggal dunia. Allah mengatakan bahwa untuk dapat masuk ke surga, Anda harus dilahirkan kembali. Dalam Yohanes 3:7, Yesus berkata kepada Nikodemus, "Kamu harus dilahirkan kembali." Dalam Alkitab, Allah memberikan rencana bagaimana caranya untuk dapat dilahirkan kembali yang berarti diselamatkan. Rencana-Nya sangat sederhana! Anda dapat diselamatkan hari ini juga. Bagaimana caranya? Pertama-tama kawanku, Anda harus sadar bahwa Anda adalah orang berdosa. "Karena semua orang telah berbuat dosa dan telah kehilangan kemuliaan Allah" (Roma 3:23). Karena Anda adalah orang berdosa, Anda dipastikan akan mengalami maut. "Sebab upah dosa ialah maut" (Roma 6:23).

Follow this link for an English translation.

RENCANA KESELAMATAN ALLAH YANG SEDERHANA

Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Women's Day (Russia, Ukrain)

Друг мой! Позвольте задать вам самый важный вопрос на свете, от ответа на который зависит чем будет полна для вас вечность - радостью или тоской. Этот вопрос - получили ли вы спасение? Речь идет не о том, хороший ли вы человек и принадлежите ли вы к какой-нибудь церкви, а о том, получили ли вы спасение? Уверены ли вы, что попадете после смерти на небеса?

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Дорогий мій друже! Дозволь поставити тобі таке питання, яке перевищує всі цінності твого життя. Від правильної розв'язки цього питання залежить твій стан у вічності: чи буде він щасливий чи сумний?
Говорячи коротко, питання зводиться до того: "Чи спасенний ти?"
Зрозумій це питання! Бо справа не в тім, що ти, може, є членом якоїсь церкви. Це річ зовнішнього порядку. Але сутність питання полягає в тім: Чи спасена твоя душа?

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Follow this link for an English translation.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Obama's British 'Gift Gaffe' Not Reported By U.S. Media


The Obamas, Barack and Michelle both, pretty much diplomatically botched the recent visit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife. Oddly enough, the U.S. Old Media seems uninterested in the story that is a hot topic in England, a story that's left many Brits a bit miffed.
As the visit of the national leader of our closest ally began, the President informed the Brits that he wouldn't be attending the joint press conference that was planned to be held once PM Brown's plane touched down. This threw the visiting delegation into a tizzy leaving them scrambling to explain the sudden change in plans to the folks back home. Still, meetings were had and things smoothed out. Eventually the visit seemed to right itself... then came the Obama's gift gaffes.
Here is the full article.

The Highest Sense

“If we are honest about what we are, proud of what we do and unwilling to disapprove of the actions and attitudes of others no matter how offensive they are, we have arrived at modern society's highest sense of goodness and value.”

--Bob Dewaay, at Twin City Fellowship

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Joy Of Liberty

The joy in excercising my liberty of loving my brother is infinitely superior to the joy in excercising my liberty of hurting him.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Take or Cast

"Either take Christ into your lives or cast Him out of your lips. Either be what thou seemest, or be what thou art."

William Dyer (1611-1660)

Survival of the Fittest?

If evolution is true, then what heart specialists have noticed about the common sports spectator should stand as a warning: body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and trigycerides go up. Vital capacity, oxygen consumption, flexibilty, stamina and strength go down.

Oh, those things that make you go, "hmmmmmmmm . . ."

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A blog post on wall posts

Down in the children's center of our local library, there is an activity area where, among other things, children can make works of art and post them.


Two pieces caught my eye:

The red rectangle in the middle says, "Jesus Loves You."

This one says, "I love Jesus and you should love Him too!" Law and Gospel from the hands of children!
I would shake the hands of their parents . . .


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Creationists, "Intelligent Design" Proponents, Neo-Darwinists, Scientism and . . .

A certain individual shares his thoughts:

"A friend asked me to reflect on some controversy over the public statements emerging from The Vatican on the subject of evolution and Christian Faith. This is certainly not authoritative information from the Catholic Church, but personal reflections and observations from one who finds his home within that Church.

My father was probably the most devout man I knew. His piety and faith were both inspiring and a stumbling block to me. The inspiration is obvious, a man of such easy intelligence who never discarded the depths of faith in God and belief in Jesus as His Son, our Savior. The stumbling block may be tougher to understand, unless you are a boy, trying to be like Dad. I felt I could never achieve such heights, nor such certainty and sure knowledge as he possessed.

Dad was a man of science.He had a PhD and a constantly challenging inquisitive mind which made him both a font of knowledge to me and a goad, encouraging and tasking me to aspire to learn, to study, to explore. There was always a book at hand, somewhere to make a point. Even as a child, if the time arose where I could cite a source to back my opinion, and provide evidence, than Dad would acknowledge the accuracy of my statement, even as it might refute something I had previously been taught, even if by himself.

As I grew and learned, I discovered, as most sons will, that Dad did not know everything, and he was beset by the same doubts and frailties and weaknesses which afflict most men. We had occasional conversations on various matters, as breezy as football and dating, as deep as science and faith. I recall one conversation, which has always lingered in my memories. My father revealed to me that early in his career, in the early 1960’s that he was often challenged on two sides. One would challenge his bona fides as a ‘true scientist’ as he was a devout Roman Catholic. From the other side he would be questioned on the verity of his faith, as he worked in the field of science, which challenged religious faith and dogma. He maintained relentlessy that there was, and could not be a conflict. Science and Faith were equally important, and need not contradicted each other."

Read the rest of this reflective article here.

On Preaching

“Cursed be every preacher who aims at lofty topics in the church, looking for his own glory and selfishly desiring to please one individual or another. When I preach I adapt myself to the circumstances of the common people. I don’t look at the doctors and masters . . . but at the young people and children. It is to them that I devote myself. Take pains to be simple and direct.”

“If I profess with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little portion which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle of truth rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proven.” (Martin Luther, 1483 - 1546)

“Even sermon making, incessant and taxing as an art, as a duty, as a work, or as a pleasure, will harden and estrange the heart by neglect of prayer from God. The scientist loses God in nature. The preacher may lose God in his sermon.” (E. M. Bounds)

“Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.” (A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God [1948])

“Where Christians live together the time must ultimately come when in some crisis one person will have to declare Gods Word and will to another. It is inconceivable that the things that are of utmost importance to each individual should not be spoken by one to another. It is unchristian consciously to deprive another of the one decisive service we can render to him . . . The more we learn to allow others to speak the Word to us, to accept humbly and gratefully even severe reproaches and admonitions, the more free and objective will we be in speaking ourselves. The humble person will stick to truth and love. He will stick to the Word of God and let it lead him to his brother . . . Reproof is unavoidable. Gods Word demands it when a brother falls into open sin. Where defection from God’s Word in doctrine or life imperils the fellowship. . . , the word of admonition and rebuke must be ventured. Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin. It is a ministry of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine fellowship, when we allow nothing but God’s Word to stand between us, judging and succoring.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together)

“We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within--or from above. This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear. take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.” (A.W. Tozer, 1897 – 1963, Of God and Men)

“I preached as never to preach again; as a dying man to dying men.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)

“When I study a passage, I do not ever study a passage to make a sermon. Never! You know what I do when I study that passage? I study it so that I will get what it’s teaching. I’m very selfish, I just want to know. I’ll go on and on and my wife will say to me, “Why do you keep studying that same passage? You’ve got more material than you could ever give in a sermon.” But that isn’t the point. The point is that I want to know everything that’s there and when I’m fed, and when I’m fat, and when I’m loaded with the good things that are there, it will spill out on you on Sunday. It’s out of the overflow of my own life. I’m the guy out there harvesting the first fruits. You see? Leadership has to be that way. Any ministry of leadership you have, has to be feeding your life or you’re not going to do it for others. You’re not going to be any good at it unless there’s something there you’re feeding on.” (John MacArthur)

While discussing the need for clarity in writing and speaking, C.S. Lewis spoke about hearing a young parson preach. Very much in earnest, the young man ended his sermon like this, “And now, my friends, if you do not believe these truths, there may be for you grave eschatological consequences.” Dr. Lewis reports: “I went to him afterwards and asked, ‘Did you mean that they would be in danger of hell?’’Why, yes’, the parson said. ‘Then why in the world didn’t you say so?’” Lewis replied.

“The true function of a preacher is to disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed.” (Chad Walsh, “Campus Gods on Trial,” 1963)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Truth never needs updating.

A music teacher was visited by an old friend who greeted him with, “So . . . what’s the good news today?”

Taking a tuning fork out of his shirt pocket, the teacher walked across the room, and struck the fork. As the note sounded out across the room he said, “That is the sound of an ‘A.’ It is ‘A’ today; it was ‘A’ five thousand years ago, and it will be ‘A’ a thousand years from now. The soprano upstairs sings off-key. The tenor across the hall falls flat on high notes, and the piano downstairs is out of tune.”

He struck the fork again and said, “That is ‘A’, my friend, and that’s the good news for today.”

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, "Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Independence Day (三一節) (Korea)

하나님은 당신을 사랑하시며, 당신을 위한 놀라운 계획을 가지고 계십니다하나님의 사랑

"하나님이 세상을 이처럼 사랑하사 독생자(예수 그리스도)를 주셨으니 이는 저를 믿는 자마다 멸망치 않고 영생을 얻게 하려 하심이니라"고 했습니다. (요한복음 3장 16절)

하나님의 계획

예수 그리스도께서 말씀하시기를 "내가 온 것은 양(당신)으로 생명을 얻게 하고 더 풍성히 얻게 하려는 것이다"고 하셨습니다. (요한복음 10장 10절) 그런데, 왜 많은 사람들이 이 풍성한 삶을 누리지 못하고 있을까요?

그 이유는...

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