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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keep Your Eyes on the Saviour


In my studies on particular redemption (I'm preparing a study of the common "problem passages" that people throw in the faces of those who believe in particular redemption) I was reading Spurgeon's comments on John 1:29:



John 1:29 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


I thought this quote, while having nothing to do with my study topic per se, was worth sharing to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, may it be an encouragement to you...and an admonition if needed:


This quote is from Spurgeon's sermon entitled, "The Baptist's Message" preached on October 29, 1899:



Our great difficulty is to get men’s eyes off themselves, off their works, off their forms and ceremonies, off mere creed-religion, and to get them to look at the living Christ who is still among us bearing the sin of all who truly seek his face. O dear hearers, I know that I am, in this
respect, a faithful witness, wherever else I fail in my testimony, for my soul’s labor and travail, even unto anguish, is to get you away from depending even in the slightest degree upon anything else but what Christ has done. I would not wish you to have the shadow of a shade of a ghost
of a pretense of a confidence anywhere out of Christ. Jesus only is the one hope of sinners; let him be A to you, and Z, and all the letters between, the beginning and the end, and the middle, and everything else. Take your eyes off all ministers, and all books, and all feelings, and even all believings; do not even fix your gaze on your own faith. You know that the eye cannot see itself. Did you ever see your own eye! In a looking-glass, perhaps, you may have done so; but that was only the reflection of it; and you may, in like manner, see the evidence of your faith, but you cannot look at the faith itself. Faith looks away from itself to the object of faith, even to Christ; and this is what the true witness desires. He will, if he can, keep men from looking anywhere but on his Master. Some look at their repentance; but if you cannot keep your eye on Christ, then away with your repentance. Some are always looking to their faith; but if there be a faith that hides Christ, away with it! Some want feelings, and right feelings we may wish to have; but as for those feelings which come between us and Christ, away with them, it is not fit that they should live. Our one business is to get men off from anything, and from everything, however good it is, that they may look alone to Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

IS BLOGGING ILLEGAL?

For the past few days I have been following a story but have not posted anything about it. Today I have to let people know what is going on. Imagine you create a blog and you use your blog to examine and if needed criticise things that are happening in Christianity. Someone gets upset and threatens legal action against the company that host your blog site. You are contacted and told your blog will be deleted unless you remove certain content. Sounds crazy? You are thinking that could not happen the United States which believes in the freedom of speech! I thought the same thing until yesterday, when a blog because they had offended someone was shut down.

Here is the story:

The following was found at the Slice of Ladoceia blog:

Poof! Apprising Ministries Online is Now Dark
Jul 26

In Ingrid’s absence, I am updating readers on the Richard Abanes/Apprising Ministries situation. As of 5pm Central Standard Time, the Apprising Ministries website that featured hundreds of important articles on current Christian issues was deleted. Richard Abanes, Harvest House author and chief apologist for Rick Warren and his Purpose-Driven global campaigns, accomplished this by filing a complaint with the legal department of IPower, Apprising’s web hosting service. Due to Richard’s claims of slander and libel regarding a 2005 article written by Apprising Ministries head, Ken Silva, the web hosting service,which does not check out any of these claims to see if there is any merit to them, gave Ken 48 hours to conform to Richard’s ideas of what should be on his website. The choice was this: take down your piece or lose your website. Ken correctly did not give in to this kind of threat and the site is now down.

The implications for all bloggers, religious or otherwise, are clear. Anyone who has a complaint about your views can claim that you have engaged in slander and the ISP Terms of Service usually allow for the companies to remove your website if you don’t take the material in question down. The First Amendment means nothing in these cases. Reportedly, a press release is about to go out to national media about this incident because it provides a clear precedent that has grave and clear implications for all who value the right to express their views online, regardless of the subject matter.

Everyone who values the right to read and publish blogs on the Internet has a vested interested in this. There will be more on all of this shortly.
You can read and comment regarding this at Richard Abanes’ blog.
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

You Call This Worship?

The following was found at the, "A Little Leaven" blog.

One particularly poignant episode of South Park mocked the Christian music industry. In that episode the crass little creeps from South Park started a "Christian Band" by changing the lyrics to popular love songs. Every time the word 'baby' appeared in a song they replaced it with the word 'Jesus' and viola, the song was 'Christianized'.

Well, it appears that the makers of South Park knew what they were mocking. Here is video of what is passing for worship now a days. The "worship" leader is Rick Pino and the "praise song" being sung is a popular song from the 80's called You Spin Me Right Round and only one word was changed in order to Christianize it. (Ironically, the word 'baby' was changed to 'Jesus')

Here are my comments:

Before I post the video let me say this. If a christian wants to listen to the original version of the song that is fine. The song is not a christian song and it should not be used in worship. Taking your socks and spinning them around in the air is not worship! It is dumb, silly and just plain cheesy! If I was an unbeliever I would laugh at the utter stupidity of this and think how lame!

Watch for yourself what Christians are calling worship today:

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Todd Bentley Now An Apostle

As of June 23 2008 people are now claiming that Todd Bentley is an apostle!

I will provide links to all the informaiton I can find as of right now and will try to post more later:

Apostle


Todd Bentleys Commissioning Lakeland Revival 6.23.08 - 1/4

Todd Bentley's Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 2/4

Todd Bentley's Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 3/4

Todd Bentleys Commissioning Lakeland Revival 6.23.08 - 4/4

Here is the link to the YouTube page that has many videos of this event:
Tube
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Todd Bentley - NOT ONE CONFIRMED HEALING

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kent Hovind on the KJV: Reply Part 3

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Kent Hovind on the KJV: Reply Part 2

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Kent Hovind on the KJV: Reply Part 1

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Ergun Caner vs. James White on Calvinism

This is the first episode of Radio Free Geneva that has been put on Youtube. The purpose of RFG is to dispel the many caricatures, straw men, and misrepresentations that those who are opposed to Reformed Theology (ie. Calvinism) normally make when critiquing the other side. Lord willing, there will be more in the future that deal with different subjects.

Ergun Caner delivered a sermon a few years ago called "Why I am Predestined Not to be a Hyper-Calvinist." However, many Reformed folk thought the sermon would have been more aptly titled "Why I am Not Predestined to Represent the Side I am Critiquing Accurately." In this episode of Radio Free Geneva, James White deals with the many straw men and mischaracterizations that Ergun Caner promoted during this sermon and rectifies them. This episode is especially helpful because many of the arguments Caner brought up are many of the same that are brought up regularly by opponents of the doctrines of grace.


Here is the link to where you can buy the mp3 of this program for $1.73:
http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_...


Here are links to where you can find out more information about how the debate that was supposed to be didn't occur. Start with 10/6/06 "Regarding the Lynchburg Situation" and work your way up.:
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php...


Here is some written correspondance between Ergun Caner and James White:
http://vintage.aomin.org/ErgunCaner1....



Tom Ascol, who was going to be James White's debate partner in this debate commented on it on Founder's Blog, as well:
http://www.founders.org/blog/2006/05/...


http://www.founders.org/blog/2006/06/...



Here, Ascol comments on the sermon presented in this edition of RFG.:
http://www.founders.org/blog/2006/06/...


Finally, here's a link that discusses logical fallacies. I figured it would be very helpful considering the nature of this video.:
http://www.logicalfallacies.info/


The Alpha and Omega graphics used in this video were made by Micah Burke (klockheed on Youtube). Great job, Micah!

http://www.aomin.org



http://www.lanechaplin.com










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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight
















Unless you are living on Mars you know that the new Batman movie is in theaters. People are lining up to see this movie in amazing numbers:

LOS ANGELES -

Batman's joust with the Joker has set another box office record. Stoked by fan fever over the manic performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, "The Dark Knight" set a one-day box office record with $66.4 million on opening day, Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman said Saturday. Here is the link to the entire report: Batman


$66.4 million in one day! That is unbelievable!


Should a Christian see this movie?

That is a good question but honestly most Christians don't care what is in a movie,they are going to see what they want. They may scream and condemn any music that has a beat but they are going to watch their TV shows and their movies. For the Christians that are concerned with the content of a movie let me see if I can provide any information that may help you decide what to do.

The Dark Knight is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.

The Christan sites that offer reviews are usually not very accurate. For example, when Batman begins came to theaters a few years ago, I read reviews that said there was no obscenity used in the movie. I went to see the movie and ended up counting something like 30 obscenities.

When Iron Man hit the theaters I read a review on a Christian site that stated, "there is nothing in this movie that would offend the most conservative church goer." Before the movie was over I had heard 14 obscenities.


We have learned that it is really hard to determine if a movie is appropriate or not.


From Christian Answers:

Whether you are an avid fan of the Batman franchise, a casual summer moviegoer , or someone curious about the performance of a young actor gone far too soon, rest assured, you will not leave the theater disappointed. You will, however, likely leave the theater mesmerized by a film, and a performance, that will be talked about for a very long time to come.

The content of 'The Dark Knight' is far darker than the already bleak 'Batman Begins', and Christian parents should use caution in whether or not to allow children or younger, impressionable teenagers to see the film. The violence is heavy handed, and far more ruthless than in the original. Frankly, The Joker makes The Scarecrow from 'Batman Begins' look like a Saturday morning amateur. The Joker maims and kills without remorse, and one of the very first scenes features a 'disappearing pencil' trick that is stunning in its quick brutality. The mood is dreary, which we expect from Batman movies, but Harvey Dent explains to us 'It's always darkest before the dawn.' Well, the rising sun is still a long way off for Gotham, and caution is urged for parents wondering whether to expose their children to that darkness. There is very little profanity in the film, much less than the first film, and practically no sexual content (some women are seen lounging in their bathing suits on Bruce's boat, but the camera is on them for a minuscule amount of time), but the violence more than makes up for what other content is left out.


The film hits on all sorts of different spiritual topics, and I could probably write a dissertation on them all. I won't get in to everything here, for the simple fact that doing so will reveal specific plot twists and developments that I don't intend to spoil. Suffice it to say, themes of sacrifice, redemption, fear, selfishness, revenge, and the basic sinfulness of man all present themselves in the film, along with a various host of other. Characters are forced to choose who lives and dies, while others are forced to decide whether to continue fighting evil when it seems like nothing will work, or simply giving in and joining the forces of evil. Each character has their own world cave in around them, and each must persevere, or be sucked into the maelstrom.


You can read the entire review at this link:
Batman

This is going to be a movie that your teenager will want to see. They will not be able to escape the hype and the fact that teenagers everywhere are going to be talking about the film.

My 13 year old daughter who loves acting wants to see the performance of
Heath Ledger as the joker. So at this time I am thinking about going to see the movie with my daughter this evening. We will probably be attending the 6:00pm showing at the Century Theater in Abilene, TX.

The rule in my home is very simple. No matter what we watch, TV show or a movie, we discuss the philosophy and message when it is done.
This forces them to think and confront the philosophy they are viewing. It also allows for good discussion and time well spent with my children.

If we do attend the movie I will post a review as soon as I can.
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"That's Entertainment!"

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BEWARE OF THE SHACK

Yesterday I told everyone about the book, The Shack. After I completed the post I begin to contact certain ministries and let them know about the book as well. David Cloud of Way Of Life Ministries told me that he warned everyone on 9 May 2008! Wow, he has to be the first to begin warning people. He did a great job on being so fast to learn about this and to warn people.

Here is what he posted on the Way of Life Literature site:

BEWARE OF THE SHACK (Friday Church News Notes, May 9, 2008, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) -

The following is excerpted from “The Shack:

Father-goddess Rising,” Lighthouse Trails Research, April 23, 2008: “Many are crediting The Shack, the novel by William P. Young, with revolutionizing their faith. With themes of overcoming loss, working through anger, and restored relationship between man and God, Young’s novel has excited many within the Body of Christ. Young has appeared on CBN, and has garnered fans across the country. The Shack, continues to sell briskly. Yet, in the midst of such enthusiasm, does The Shack glorify Jesus Christ--or contradict the Bible with a false image of the Lord our God? The novel’s main character, Mack Philips, has lost his daughter. She has been murdered, her bloodied dress found in an isolated shack. Four years later Mack receives an invitation from God to spend time with the Trinity in the very shack where the dress was found. Nowhere in the Bible do Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously assume physical forms on earth. The Shack, however, portrays Jesus as a carpenter, the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman, and God the Father as a large black woman named ... Papa. ... At one point the book’s version of Jesus praises the fictional Father-goddess, exclaiming, ‘Isn’t she great?’ In the entire Bible there is not one single reference to Father, Son, or Holy Spirit--or to any of His angels--as female. ... There is an apparent dismissal of the importance of Scripture, which is reflected in slippery theology found throughout the novel. Young writes, ‘Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?’ ... The Father-goddess of The Shack, it seems, is never about guilt or punishment. She benignly informs Mack, ‘I don’t need to punish people for sin.’ ... An excellent writer, Young plays to emotion and touches on legitimate hurts and concerns. The author excels at imbuing his deity with attributes of love, forgiveness, and mercy, and this is what many people have responded to. Increasingly in novels and movies the Lord is blithely used as one of the characters and given words from the mouth of man.”


I have asked Jason and Jim to read the book and post their reviews as soon as they are done. Keep checking back for more information on this subject.

Have a great Saturday.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

TODD BENTLEY

"Claims of revival must always be made in the light of Scripture so that we can determine whether this is a true movement of the Holy Spirit that points to Christ, or if it's a counterfeit."


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The Shack
















Have you heard of the book, "The Shack?"


If you have not you need to take some time to make yourself familiar with it.


In the world of publishing, some of the hottest real estate is The Shack, an unheralded novel from an unknown publisher that may have sold more than 1 million copies.


Described as "a guy-meets-God story," The Shack has rivaled the appeal of the first Left Behind novels - and it has spread largely on word of mouth from fans.

For the week of July 6, The Shack is No. 1 on The New York Times' trade paperback best-seller list, holding the top spot for the fifth week in a row.

Many bookstores, according to the Times, report receiving bulk orders.
Those sales are especially amazing, book sellers report, because The Shack was released last year with almost no publicity or advertising.


Instead of a New York publisher, the novel by William P. Young was released by Windblown Media, a small company founded by two California ministers for the expressed purpose of getting The Shack to the public.


You can read the entire news report at this link:
Shack



The book is being sold on Christianbook.com



So of course this book has to be a great book for everyone to read and of course is biblical in it's theology! Well, not so much!


The following was found at this link: Truth

The Shack is being advertised as THE book that will help you "see God as you never seen him before". (that's an understatement!)





In The Shack 'god' the father is an African American WOMAN called Papa (a goddess!), 'god' the son is a plain looking Middle Eastern man with a big nose and 'god' the spirit is a small, delicate little Asian girl (another goddess!). The Shack also teaches the heresy of modalism and is chock full of other serious doctrinal errors.

Sadly, Christians are buying this book in droves and claiming that it's changed their lives or opened their mind to new ideas about God. But, this book teaches false doctrine, false theology and a false triune godhead and the author has publicly rejected the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.


This is not the one True God of the Bible and Christians should not read this book in their quest for finding spiritual truths because the false teaching is so bad and so dangerous that this book can only be classified as 'spiritual poison'.

Heed the warnings of scripture.
2Th. 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


Tim Challies Review of The Shack











more to come...
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

PENTECOSTAL EVANGELIST’S HEALINGS NOT VERIFIABLE

The following was found at the Way Of Life Literature website:

PENTECOSTAL EVANGELIST’S HEALINGS NOT VERIFIABLE
(Friday Church News Notes, July 18, 2008, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) -

Todd Bentley, who is at the head of a Pentecostal healing “revival” in Lakeland, Florida, claims that multitudes have been healed and some raised from the dead. He slams people on the forehead, shoves them, and has even kicked an elderly lady in the face and banged a crippled woman’s legs on the platform. “Holy laughter,” spiritual drunkenness, violent shaking, and “falling under the power” are an integral part of the “revival.” The meeting has a sideshow feel with raucous music blaring and Bentley, who is covered with tattoos, crying out, “Come and get some,” and “[Miracles are] popping like popcorn.” He claims to know what is happening in the audience, calling out things like, “Someone’s getting a new spinal cord tonight.” The crusade began in April at Ignite Church and the crowds keep coming. Bentley’s healing claims have been spectacular, with one man even saying he can now see out of a glass eye. The Associated Press tried to follow up on a list of 15 names that were given by Bentley’s ministry that is supposed to represent healings that can be medically verified. “Yet two phone numbers given out by the ministry were wrong, six people did not return telephone messages and only two of the remainder, when reached by The Associated Press, said they had medical records as proof of their miracle cure. However, one woman would not make her physician available to confirm the findings, and the other’s doctor did not return calls despite the patient’s authorization” (“Controversial Revivals Draw Even Pentecostal Critics,” Christian Post, July 13, 2008).

It seems to me that the ability to see out of a glass eye could be easily verified. Bentley could send the guy for an eye examination, and that would be that, but don’t hold your breath. Bentley claims to be following in the footsteps of the apostles and exhibiting “kingdom power,” but he is doing no such thing. The apostles did not conduct healing meetings. They didn’t call out psychic healings. They didn’t shake and laugh hysterically and stagger around like drunks and flop around on the floor. We believe in divine healing for today, but we don’t believe in Pentecostal showmen (see “I Believe in Miracles” http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/ibelievein-miracles.html).

The devil is just as much in the business of religion today as God, and the only way we can discern the difference is by comparing all teaching and practice to the Bible. In The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements: The History and the Error, we document the phoniness that has characterized the ministries of Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple McPherson, William Branham, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, Oral Roberts, Derek Prince, Charles Price, John Wimber, Charles and Frances Hunter, Benny Hinn, and many others.
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Charismatic Inconsistency

Everyday I find myself becoming more and more fed up with the Charismatic movement and all that it teaches. Charismatic leaders and teachers can say anything and make all kinds of claims and it seems that no one in the movement will hold them accountable. Today I came across two things that I want people to take the time to consider:

First, let's look at some Charismatic teaching:

From the Assemblies of God web-site:

WE BELIEVE...Divine Healing of the Sick is a Privilege for Christians Today and is provided for in Christ's atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
Here is the link to the statement: Healing


The Charismatic teaching on this is very clear. Jesus did not only provide spiritual healing on the cross but also physical healing for Christians now. That means if a christian is sick or hurt they can be healed now!


Now let's Look at some claims made by Charismatics:

Charismatics claim that people are being raised from the dead today!

Consider this video from Todd Bentley





Now while these claims are bing made, the following news was reported. This was found on the Charisma Magazine website:

The news of a car crash that left the Rev. Timothy Wright critically injured and claimed the lives of his wife and grandson has sparked a nationwide prayer vigil for the famed gospel singer and Pentecostal pastor. Here is the link to the orignal story:


Ok charismatics, raise them from the dead! Healing is a guarantee according to your doctrine. Heal the pastor from all of his injuries! I am waiting ... do it! Come on, stop talking and making all kinds of wild claims and actually do it!
The wife and grandson of this pastor are still dead! Come on what's wrong? You guys don't have enough faith? Ohh I know what's wrong, the Rev. Wright doesn't have enough faith! So I am sure you charismatics are writing him very nice letters letting him know that if he would just believe his wife would be raised and he would be healed! It can't be God's fault. I mean he dies on the cross to guarantee healing according to your doctrine, so whose fault is it?

Yes, I am sick of the charismatic lies and false teaching!
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Sermon Review

Part 1




Part 2

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Thursday Thoughts

Good morning everyone,

Many of you have read articles by Jason Mcfadden and Jim Leavenworth but have never heard them teach or preach. Now you have your chance, Last Sunday Jason taught from the puritan catechism on the subject, Christ as Prophet. You can listen to his message at this link:


Jim Leavenworth preached a message on Hebrews 6 and how many use this section of scripture to prove a person can loose their salvation. You can listen to his message at this link:

I preached Sunday evening on what God's Word Accomplishes. You may be surprised to find out some of the things God's Word brings about.
You can listen to my message at this link:


On the Music with a Message blog I posted information on a great new artist named, Brook Fraser. Consider the following lyrics:

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary
Then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared

CHORUS
Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan
As I wait for hope to come for me
Am I lost or just less found,On the straight or on the round
about of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me,Is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
‘Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth
Of who I was born to become

CHORUS

Bridge
For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath
So we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live
I was made to love
I was made to know you

Hope is coming for me

You can check out more information about this amazing new artist at this link:


Have a great day.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brokeback Auto?















Do you remember the movie Brokeback Mountain?

Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic-drama film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983.

The American Car blog has recently posted the article, "Brokeback Auto" which is about how GM is having many financial problems however, they seem to have money to support the homosexual movement. Take the time to check out the article at this link:

American Car


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Distracted
















As Christians we strive to study God's word, spend time in prayer, and seek to serve and help others. At the same time, we live in a world that offers so many distractions that at times we find ourselves focused on everything else but God and His word. These distractions are now affecting the church. Many pastors include movie clips to be shown to the congregation during the sermon. The argument is that this will help the people understand God's word. It seems to me to simply prove the fact that we are so distracted with movies and TV that we cannot even sit through a sermon without seeing a clip from a movie or TV show. Many churches even cancel services for the Superbowl! Think back a few years and remember how things were:

There was a time when you had 3 channels on the TV and they all went off the air around midnight! You did not have a DVR or a VCR so you had to watch what was on when it was on. There were times when there was nothing on TV that you wanted to watch. Time marched on and it was not long until most people had Cable TV. You now had 40-50 channels to choose from and they were on 24 hours a day! Then the VCR was introduced and nothing would ever be the same. You could record TV shows if you were going to be gone so you could watch them later. You could go to the local video store and choose from hundreds of movies to rent. Today we have DVDs and hundreds of channels to choose from.


Today the average adult male watches 29 hours per week, and the adult female watches 34 hours per week of TV.

There are no statistics that clearly prove Christians watch less!

Everyone needs to understand that things are not going to get any better. In fact, a new invention is about to make it worse!











The little box above does not seem that much of a threat but wait until you find out what this thing can do!


Consider:
Over 10,000 movies & TV episodes
No advertisements or trailers to sit through
Movies start in as little as 30 seconds
Fast-forward, rewind and pause or watch again and again
Near DVD picture quality


That little box hooks to your TV and gives you access to over 10,,000 movies and TV shows immediately! You browse find what you want to watch and click a button and it begins! The box only cost $99.00












You can read all about at this link:
TV

How are you doing with the distraction of this life?

How is your family doing?

Have you ever stopped and actually considered how much time you are spending on certain activities?

How much time do you actually spend with the things of God?

Things are not going to get easier. In fact, as technology continues to develop, we are going to have more things available!

As Christians we may have to make some difficult choices to get rid of some things.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spiritual Depression















Many people experience times of depression even Christians, and many struggle with it for years. Grace Baptist Church is currently doing a series on Spiritual Depression. I strongly recommend the series:

Spiritual Depression 1: The Basics

Spiritual Depression #2: False Guilt

Spiritual Depression #3: Guilt

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Ancient Heresies in the Modern Church

I recommend a lot of sermons for people to listen to, and I realize that most of the time people who read this blog never take the time to do so.
Today however, I want to recommend two sermons and challenge people to actually take the time to listen.

Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Porter, TX is having their 2008 John Bunyan Conference . From that conference I want to recommend two sermons:

Ancient Heresies in the Modern Church, Part 1

Ancient Heresies in the Modern Church, Part 2
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Scripture Readings

Here are the scripture readings for today:

Isaiah 1:10-17
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 10:34- 11:1

Related Sermons:

Unacceptable Worship: Isaiah 1:1-15

Loyalty To Christ Above All Else: Matthew 10:34-39

Psalm 50
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'World's oldest blogger' dies in Australia

The following is from Yahoo News:

SYDNEY (AFP) -
An Australian woman described as the world's oldest Internet blogger has died at the age of 108 after posting a final message about singing "a happy song" in her nursing home.

Olive Riley "passed away peacefully on July 12 and will be mourned by thousands of Internet friends and hundreds of descendants and other relatives," a note on her website said.

Riley had posted more than 70 entries on her blog from Woy Woy on the east coast since February last year, sharing her thoughts on modern life and her experiences living through the entire 20th century.

Born in the outback town of Broken Hill on October 20 1899, she lived through two world wars and raised three children while doing various jobs, including ranch cook and barmaid.

In her final post on June 26, she wrote: "I can't believe I've been here in this nursing home for more than a week.

"How the days have flown, even though I've been in bed most of the time. I still feel weak, and can't shake off that bad cough.

"Penny, who's in the next bed to mine, had a visit one day this week from her daughter, who's a professional singer. Guess what happened! She and I sang a happy song, as I do every day, and before long we were joined by several nurses, who sang along too. It was quite a concert!"

Riley's blog, initially on http://www.allaboutolive.com.au and more recently at http://worldsoldestblogger.blogspot.com/, was "mind-blowing to her," her great grandson Darren Stone said.

"She had people communicating with her from as far away as Russia and America on a continual basis, not just once in a while," he told the national AAP news agency.

"She enjoyed the notoriety -- it kept her mind fresh."


When I read that story I thought wow, I hope if I live to be 108 I am still blogging and still seeking to use the Internet and other technologies to share God's truth. If someome who is 108 can blog then so can you!
I had one last thought, what will by my final post?
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

TULIP











A tulip is a beautiful flower and it is an acronym used to describe a very important system of theology:

TULIP is an acronym used to remember the "Five Points of Calvinism," which is specifically related to soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation.
While the theological school of Calvinism is broader than the points of TULIP, it is commonly associated with its distinctives. The five points of TULIP are often referred to as the Calvinistic "Doctrines of Grace."
Source: Theopedia


The Five Points of Calvinism in acrostic form
T - Total depravity
U - Unconditional election
L - Limited atonement
I - Irresistible grace
P - Perseverance of the saints

Here is a series of audio messages on each point:

Tulip-Total Depravity

Tulip-A Study Of Election

TULIP-A Study Of Limited Atonement

TULIP: A Study Of Irresistable Grace

TULIP - Perseverance Of The Saints


No matter your theological perspective it would be wise to actually take the time to study these very important issues.

Have a great day.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

On the Incarnation - by Athanasius
















Ask most Christians who Athanasius was and most people will give you a blank stare as if they have no idea what you are talking about. This is because sadly most churches don't bother to teach any church history. I have taught on Athanasius a number of times at my church so I was glad to discover the book, St. Athanasius- On The Incarnation.

I found a review of the book and would like to share some of it here:


On the Incarnation - by Athanasius
Book Review by Tom Wood


A mere 71 pages in length (approachable for non-readers and
readers alike), On the Incarnation of the Word of God is worth going
through slowly, pencil in hand.



Interestingly, this book was written by Athanasius before either the Arian
heresy or the Council of Nicea were
even heard of. The fact that it is such a
clear articulation of the divinity of Christ
and His pre-eminence as the creator of
all things speaks to the importance of
being saturated with Biblical thinking
before storms arise.

I would like to add my comment at this point: Anyone who has studied Church history and understands how many people twist church history to teach or deny truth will understand why that point is so important!

You can read the entire review at this link:
Incarnation


If you would like to order the book follow this link:
Book

As always feel free to purchase me a copy of the book as well :)


Have a great Saturday.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Ordo Salutis -- The Order of Salvation of God

I just came across a sermon series that I think everyone should take the time to listen to:

Ordo Salutis -- Understanding the Order of Salvation of God
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
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Adventures of a Bi-Vocational Pastor
















It is almost 4 pm in the afternoon on Friday. I should be getting ready to go home from work and start studying for my sermons for Sunday, but this weekend is going to be different.

I had to wake up at 7:00 am today and go to work. I got home sometime after 10am. I was told that I needed to come back at 11:00pm tonight to work. I came home and tried to get some sleep. The phone rang and I was then told that I need to report at 3:00am! So at this point I have no idea when I should try to go to sleep. There is some good news to report. This Sunday I will have some help. Jason McFadden one of the Preaching Today team members will teach during the bible study hour. He will be teaching from the Puritan Catechism. Jim Leavenworth, also a preaching today team member will be preaching during the morning worship service. He has to work all night Saturday so it is not going to be easy for him either. He will be preaching from Hebrews 6. I will be preaching the evening service. In times past when I had to work some crazy shift like this I taught and preached for every service. Having men who are qualified and trained to teach and preach is a great blessing! I will go to work at 3:00 am and I am not sure when I will go home. I will return to work Saturday night at 11:00pm and work until Sunday Morning at 7:00am. Preparing to preach is going to be difficult but I should be able to accomplish it. Please pray for all of us as we prepare to teach and preach Sunday. Teaching God's word is a great responsibility and it must be done carefully and we must ensure the text is taught correctly. I may post some thoughts through out tonight so people will know how things are going.


Here are the scripture readings for Sunday


Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 65:10-14
Romans 8:18-23
Matthew 13:1-23


Have a great weekend.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Polycarp















Yesterday, the devotional my church uses mentioned Polycarp. In the devotional we read,
"Polycarp was a personal friend of the apostle John, and as a young man he had been discipled by the apostle."

I thought I would take some time tonight to point people to more information bout Polycarp.


Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 69 – ca. 155) was a second century bishop of Smyrna. He died a martyr when he was stabbed after an attempt to burn him at the stake failed. Polycarp is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.
Source:Wikipedia


Our chief sources of information concerning St. Polycarp are: (1) the Epistles of St. Ignatius; (2) St. Polycarp's own Epistle to the Philippians; (3) sundry passages in St. Irenæus; (4) the Letter of the Smyrnaeans recounting the martyrdom of St. Polycarp.
Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia



Here is the link to the excellent article on Polycarp found at Theopedia.com
Polycarp



If you would like to read Polycarp's letter to the Philippians you can do so at this link:
Philippians
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The Gospel According to Pelagius

The White Horse Inn is one of the best programs on radio or on the Internet. I listen to every week thanks to my I-Pod and pod casting. This past week they did a great program on Pelagianism! I believe pelagianism is a heresy that is present in Churches all across America and the sad thing is most Christians have no idea what it is!

I challenge everyone to take the time ti listen to this very important program.

Here are the details:

The Gospel According to Pelagius
Who was Pelagius and what did he teach about sin, grace and the gospel? Why have his views stayed with us through the centuries? On this edition of the White Horse Inn the hosts will discuss the history and influence of Pelagianism, as they continue their series Christless Christianity.


Here is the link to the program:
White horse Inn


RELATED ARTICLES
Pelagianism, by Michael Horton
The Gospel According to Pelagius, by Gerald Bray


RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Anti-Pelgagian Writings, by St. Augustine
Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, by Michael Horton
The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Scripture Readings For The Day

Here are the scripture readings for today. Many times the readings have a common theme or they are connected in some way. See if you can find a connection between the readings for today.

Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Psalm 105:2-7
Matthew 10:1-7
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Joel Hemphill Denies the Deity of Christ and the Trinity

I just saw the following post on Dr. James White's blog and thought everyone should read it:

Though I have never been much of a "fan" of the music of the Hemphills, I am aware of the name and their influence in "Christian music." Joel Hemphill was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame last year; the Hemphills as a family have recorded 27 albums and received eight Dove Awards. To say they are well known "down South" is an understatement.

But Joel Hemphill stands firmly with...the Muslims in his denial of the deity of Christ and the Trinity. He has even put his Arianism in print here. Read a few of the linked articles and you will find the very same arguments you hear at your front door on a Saturday morning, or down at the mosque, being repeated by an 8-time Dove Award winner. And what's more, they are still singing in ostensibly "Trinitarian" churches, as seen here. Just like Phillips, Craig and Dean, likewise non-Trinitarian in their theology, continue to sing in Trinitarian churches (even a Baptist church next month, August 18th), the Hemphills, simply due to their name recognition, have access to Christian churches as well. Sadly, many churches exercise not a wit of discernment when it comes to such matters.

When you look into the church affiliation of Joel Hemphill, you discover the source of his false teaching. Some of my readers may recall that I have mentioned the name of Anthony Buzzard on The Dividing Line. Buzzard is an anti-Trinitarian and, evidently, is a part of the same denomination giving rise to Hemphill's teachings, the Church of God General Conference.


So be warned. Wolves don't have to snarl. Sometimes they sing.
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Cotton Mather













Cotton Mather (1663-1728)

(b. Feb. 12, 1663, Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony [U.S.]—d. Feb. 13, 1728, Boston), "American Congregational minister and author, supporter of the old order of the ruling clergy, who became the most celebrated of all New England Puritans. He combined a [supposedly -WC] mystical strain (he believed in the existence of witchcraft) with a modern scientific interest (he supported smallpox inoculation).

The son of Increase Mather and the grandson of John Cotton and Richard Mather, Cotton Mather lived all his life in Boston. He entered Harvard at the age of 12, easily passing entrance requirements to read and write Latin and to "decline the Greek nouns and verbs." He devoted himself unremittingly to study and prayer. At 18 he received his M.A. degree from the hands of his father, who was president of the college.

He preached his first sermon in his father's church in August 1680 and
in October another from his grandfather John Cotton's pulpit. He was formally ordained in 1685 and became his father's colleague.

He devoted his life to praying, preaching, writing, and publishing and still followed his main purpose in life of doing good. His book, Bonifacius, or Essays to Do Good (1710), instructs others in humanitarian acts, some ideas being far ahead of his time: the schoolmaster to reward instead of punish his students, the physician to study the state of mind of his patient as a probable cause of illness. He established societies for community projects.

He joined his father in cautioning judges against the use of "spectre evidence" (testimony of a victim of witchcraft that he had been attacked by a spectre bearing the appearance of someone he knew) in the witchcraft trials and in working for the ouster of Sir Edmund Andros as governor of Massachusetts. He was also a leader in the fight for inoculation against smallpox, incurring popular disapproval. When Cotton inoculated his own son, who almost died from it, the whole community was wrathful, and a bomb was thrown through his chamber window. Satan seemed on the side of his enemies; various members of his family became ill, and some died. Worst of all, his son Increase was arrested for rioting.

Mather's interest in science and particularly in various American phenomena—published in his Curiosa Americana (1712-24)—won him membership in the Royal Society of London. His account of the inoculation episode was published in the society's transactions. He corresponded extensively with notable scientists, such as Robert Boyle. His Christian Philosopher (1721) recognizes God in the wonders of the earth and the universe beyond; it is both philosophical and scientific and, ironically, anticipates 18th-century Deism, despite his clinging to the old order.

Cotton Mather wrote and published more than 400 works. His magnum opus was Magnalia Christi Americana (1702) [BOT], an ecclesiastical history of America from the founding of New England to his own time. His Manuductio ad Ministerium (1726) was a handbook of advice for young graduates to the ministry: on doing good, on college love affairs, on poetry and music, and on style. His ambitious 20-year work on biblical learning was interrupted by his death." (BCD)

Here is the link to the original article:
Cotton
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Balancing Wealth and Integrity

The first chapter of Job gives us two very important facts about Job.

1. His godly character: Verse 1

2. His wealth: Verse 3


For many people if they were to obtain great wealth it would negativly effect their spirtual walk.

Recently Back to the Bible did a program in which they talked about this:

That's quite a description of this man Job. Now, as I say, yesterday we learned all about his integrity. Today I want to focus on another aspect of Job, and that is his wealth. This is a man who had moral character and a great deal of wealth. And I know in the 21st century, we often think those two things don't go together--that money corrupts us, and as a result, we cannot possibly be moral and have money at the same time.

So when you look at the catalog of Job's wealth, you're not surprised that this man is the wealthiest man of all the Old Testament. Well, we're talking about Bill Gates' kind of wealth here, or Warren Buffet wealth, or John B. Rockefeller wealth, or your wealth--well, maybe not your wealth (laughter)--but we're talking about a lot of wealth here.

I want you to see the catalog of wealth. Verse 3 (Job 1:3), check it out again. This is a man who had 7,000 sheep. Sheep were generally used for food--lamb in the Middle East is beef in the United States and Canada. We tend toward beef.

The lamb that they do in Israel, they breed what they call fat-tailed sheep. And somehow they get the fat to go to the tail! But when they barbeque lamb, I'm telling you, every time I eat it, I think I've died and gone to heaven! In fact, I schedule when we take a tour (we do this every year to Israel and take folks like you along), when we go to Israel, I schedule lunch around where I can get barbequed lamb. Now don't tell anybody that (laughter) because that would destroy their image!

When you have 7,000 sheep, you are talking about a pretty good flock of sheep. He also has 3,000 camels. Now a camel was never used for food. A camel was always used--they got milk from camels, but they were used for transportation. Camels could go for miles without water. Camels are mentioned as early as the days of the patriarchs.

Later on, of course, the horse replaced the camel as a means of transportation, but a camel was just an incredible animal. And for Job to have 3,000 of them! And then notice also, he has 500 yoke of oxen. Now a yoke is two, so that means he has 1,000 oxen. These are the work horses, if I can use that term, for ancient Israelites and people of the ancient Near East.

So now he has 1,000 John Deeres®, or Massey Fergusons®, or Cases® in his garage because these are the ones who do the work. These are the plowing animals, you know. And the reason they could plow so good was, obviously, they were strong as an ox! (Laughter) Sorry, forgive me, I couldn't help myself!

Oxen--they were used for daily work and then, in addition to that, notice verse 3 says he had 500 she donkeys (female donkeys). These were the more humble means of transportation. This is generally what a person would ride in the ancient Near East. It's kind of like having a Ford® or a Chevy® or a Kia® or something in your garage as opposed to a Mercedes® or a Lexus®, whatever.

What you see here is: You see a man who has just this incredible catalog of wealth, but it kind of rounds out the catalog in verse 3 when it says he has a very large household. You would need a very large household. You need servants to care for these sheep and these donkeys and these camels.

Often in the Old Testament when you were a man of significance, a man of means, a man of wealth, a man of importance, you had personal servants to show the world how many servants you had and how important you were. Wasn't it Abraham that had 318 (was it?) trained servants at his command?

Well, all right, here's Job. Job has all these animals. He has a very great retinue of servants to help him with all these animals. In this country he's a sheik; he is not a Jewish sheik, he does not live in Israel. He's a sheik from the land of Uz. Sometime this week we'll discuss where Uz is, but what I want you to know is this is a man that, in all candor, was the wealthiest man in the ancient East.

When you see that expression there at the end of verse 3, "the greatest of all the people of the East," I don't think that's hyperbole. I think what the Bible is saying is, "This was the greatest person of integrity; this was the greatest person of wealth; this was the best known person in all the ancient East." "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job" (1:1).

This is a country that spawned sheiks like we in the West spawn lawyers (laughter)--they were everywhere. (Sorry about that, Tammy. I don't mean that in any sense other than that there were a lot of them!) There were a lot of sheiks, but if you take all the sheiks in the ancient Near East, and above all of them you find this man, Job.

So we're talking about a pretty significant character here. He's a man of wealth. The issue is: How do you balance wealth with integrity?



Any suggestions on how to balance that tension of having wealth and how much then should you give back, how much should you keep for yourself? That's a difficult decision.

In fact, I think Job provides some good examples here. Let's jump right into the second part of this study today. Think about getting that balance.

How do you get the balance? If there is a lesson for those of us who are less than tycoon-types like Job, what is it that we can learn from this man? When you look at the book, you see a book that bears the name of Job, and this book shows (I think) Job's relationship to God. The intent of the book is to show that throughout his life, whether he was being blessed with sheep or blessed with calamity, Job's relationship with God was never on hold. Job maintained that healthy relationship with God.

So let's notice some things here about how he maintained that relationship. What I want you to see here is that the very first relationship we learn about in the Book of Job is Job's relationship to God; verse 1, he was a man "who feared God and shunned evil."

The second relationship we learn in the Book of Job is verse 2. That's the relationship between Job and his family.

The third relationship we learn is in verse 3. That's the relationship between Job and his holdings (his possessions, his money).

Now here's the thing: I think we've gotten this all backwards today. I think in our 21st century society, we have placed the third relationship as the first one in our list of priorities. Isn't it interesting when you meet a new person and you ask their name, and they tell you their name, what's the next question you ask them? Yeah, "What do you do for a living?" Because we put value on what people do, and we don't ask what their relationship with God is--we don't even ask about their family--we ask, "What do you do that makes money for you?"

I've told you this before, but some time ago I was on an airplane, and I fly enough with the airlines that I got bumped up to Business Class in this particular plane, and I don't ever say no if they want to treat me well (laughter). So I didn't pay for it, but I was up there, and I sat next to a man in a suit, and he was obviously a businessman, and I sat down and the first question he asked me is, "Well, what do you do?"

Now I happened to be in a suit as well. I admit this to you: The flesh got a hold of me. I wanted to say, "I'm a preacher of the Gospel," (laughter) but the flesh got a hold of me, and I said, "Well, I'm the President of an international bi-lingual, inter-lingual, multinational, multilingual, multimillion-dollar corporation."

I want to tell you, I got his attention. (Laughter) Now all those things are true: Back to the Bible is multinational, you know, but he sat up and took notice because of who he thought I was, and I wasn't anything more than when I sat down in that seat, you see. But, you see, that's our problem.

We have our relationships topsy-turvy.
Now here's what I want you to see here: In Job's relationships, the very first thing Job introduces us to is his relationship with God, and I think when you and I have our relationship with God right, whether we have a lot of money or no money at all, we're going to be OK with the money that we have. It's when we don't have our relationship with God right that we're always greedy about getting more.

The second thing I learned about this balance is, after his relationship with God, we're going to learn a lot about his relationship to his family: his relationship to those kids. Now let's face it: Job is not just the wealthiest man in the ancient Near East, he's a daddy--he's got seven sons and three daughters--and he has family responsibilities.

So, his first relationship is his relationship with God (verse 1), his second relationship is his relationship with his family (verse 2), and then his third relationship is the relationship with all the things he had around him.

Now, Job didn't, of course, but it's almost like Job knew the words of the Lord Jesus: Mark 8, Jesus said, " Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and [for] the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:34-36, KJV)

Now, I think Job, even though he was not Jewish (he predates the Law; he didn't have the Old Testament Law to go by; he certainly didn't have any of the Law of Christ to go by; he didn't know anything about Christianity; he didn't know anything about godliness as you and I would define godliness today), this is nonetheless a man who clearly understood what it was like to be a man of God because he feared God and at the same time he shunned evil.

He was a man who had a blameless character and was upright. He knew what was right, innately, not by reading the Ten Commandments, or by taking the Alpha Course, or anything like that. This is a man who knew what was right because he had a relationship with God.

How then do we make the decisions--the tough decisions--that relate to our own wealth, or even our lack of wealth? I think we make those decisions by keeping the relationships intact and making a priority of our relationships.

The most important relationship you have is your relationship with God, and your second most important relationship is that relationship you men have with your wife and your family. And then business, office, the guys, Fantasy Football--all the other things you like to do--that has to come somewhere after that. And when that's right, we don't seem to have a problem balancing integrity and wealth.


I think the program brought up some very good points. I would love to hear what others think about this subject. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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Devotional Gem















THE CHRISTIAN'S PRESENT FOR ALL SEASONS
Containing Devotional Thoughts of Eminent Divines
Joseph Hall, Isaac Watts, John Owen, Richard Sibbes, John Flavel, Jonathan Edwards, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, William Jay and More

An Introductory Essay on "Devotion" by William B. Sprague sets the stage for a rich devotional journey from Joseph Hall to William Jay. This volume was published in 1866 by The American Tract Society and it contains dozens and dozens of brief devotional exercises to stimulate the brethren to love and good works. The contributors to this volume are a veritable who's who in evangelical circles from the Puritan era to the mid-nineteenth century.

W.B. Sprague concluded his Introductory Essay with these words: "Among the many excellent works adapted especially to help the Christian in his devotions, this book holds a prominent place. The Compiler seems to have ranged through almost the whole field of devotional literature, and to have gathered up all the brightest gems that came in his way; and so successful has he been that one may open the book at random, as often as he will, and will never find his eye resting upon anything that he can afford to pass over, or that does not supply the elements of rich devotional thought. It is difficult to say which is most to be admired, the Compiler's good judgment and taste, or his extraordinary patience in research, that has brought to us the heavenly thoughts of so many saints and sages. This is truly a beautiful compilation of DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS."


D.A. Harsha, the Editor, said the following in his Preface: "It is more than ten years since the preparation of the present volume was commenced. During all this time, the selection of these beautiful passages has been slowly but steadily carried on. The work was undertaken in connection with the editing of a Library of Christian Authors, embracing Memoirs of Eminent Divines, and their choice works--a series whose preparation is not yet completed. In performing this long and arduous labor, and while carefully perusing the works of our best authors, from the 17th century to the present time, passages in each author, which the editor regarded as among the finest specimens of devotional and practical writing, were selected for the present volume. In this manner have these 'calm and holy thoughts' of those who have shone as stars in the firmament of the Christian Church, been brought together; and it is believed that in the following pages will be found some of the choicest gems of English sacred literature--gems which 'within small compass, and in purest gold, will preserve their lustre for ages.'"

"Sweet food from savory writers. Perfect for the breakfast table, the bedside, the bathroom, red lights, or anywhere else where a minute or two can be redeemed for your soul's nourishment." - Dr. Robert Martin, Pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle and Editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review

"A quick scan of the table of contents makes clear that this book could be referred to as the hall of fame of devotional literature. Theological depth and practical application define the writings of men like John Flavel, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry and the rest of the authors of this book. This book would make a wonderful gift for any occasion of the year. The recipient of such a gift would have a library in one volume of some of the greatest minds in Christian history. This book would be useful in leading family worship because it would expose your family to classic reformed theology in a devotional format. Buy this book in bulk, keep a copy for yourself and pass down the truth by giving your remaining copies away." - Ray Rhodes, Jr. is President of Nourished in the Word Ministries and author of two Solid Ground Books, "Family Worship for the Reformation Season" and "Family Worship for the Christmas Season."

"In a day of time-sensitivity when every minute and hour seems to be at a premium, the leisure our forebears had for reading seems a pipe-dream for most of God's people. What is the solution? We need better stewardship of our time, for starters. But also we need books like this one that distill the riches of eminent divines from the past and give them to us in succinct packages that will stay with us through the day and week.I am glad to see this marvellous collection reprinted by Solid Ground Christian Books." - Dr. Michael Haykin

One book notice said, "A collection of the holiest aspirations of the holiest men."

This is a 572 page Large Paperback Volume


You can order the book at this link:
book

While you are there be sure you order me a copy of the book as well!

Have a great Monday.
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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pilgrim's Progress- What a Great Movie!


Wow! I've been hopeful (no pun intended) that someday there would be a good and accurate presentation of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress out there in the DVD/cinema world. With so much junk masquerading as "Christian" (again, no pun intended!) it is sometimes hard to fully embrace just about anything on the screen.


Well...my days of hoping are finally fulfilled. Thanks to a friend in my church for letting me know about this modern adapatation of Bunyan's classic. I won't say much else other than, "Buy the DVD!" This is the link to the website: http://www.pilgrimsprogressthemovie.com/


You can buy it at a reasonable price. This might even be a great present for Christmas to lost loved ones...much Scripture quoted in it...and it is very clear in its gospel presentation. All I can say is wow! It is also a truly wonderful opportunity to sit down with your kids and hit the "Pause" button; "So...what did that scene mean? Why do you think they got in trouble when they went to Vanity Fair? Why do you think they called that man "Flatterer?"


A word of warning though...there are a couple brief scenes that have demonic characters that may scare young children...you should watch the movie first to make sure your kids won't be too scared in certain scenes.


I sure hope they come out with Christiana's Journey someday!
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Other Blogs To Read

There are millions of blogs to choose from but actually finding one you may be interested can be hard. So I want to mention two blogs that may be worth your time.

Worldview: This was the first blog I ever created and as of today I have had 18040 people visit the blog. The purpose of the blog is simply to report about what is going on in the world. I don't offer much of an opinion but I do provide a lot of information and cover stories that may not be covered elsewhere.

Here is the link:
Worldview

American Car: This is a brand new blog , in fact they have had only 141 people visit so far. I am not much into cars but it is always interesting to see a new blog be created and then watch how it changes and develops over time. When you visit make sure you take a few minutes and leave a comment. I remember when I fist started blogging and how excited I got when someone took the time to leave a comment.

Here is the link:
Cars
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Believer bitter over 'prosperity' preachings

The following story was found at CNN.COM


Believer bitter over 'prosperity' preachings

The message flickered into Cindy Fleenor's living room each night: Be faithful in how you live and how you give, the television preachers said, and God will shower you with material riches.

And so the 53-year-old accountant from the Tampa, Florida, area pledged $500 a year to Joyce Meyer, the evangelist whose frank talk about recovering from childhood sexual abuse was so inspirational. She wrote checks to flamboyant faith healer Benny Hinn and a local preacher-made-good, Paula White.

Only the blessings didn't come. Fleenor ended up borrowing money from friends and payday loan companies just to buy groceries. At first she believed the explanation given on television: Her faith wasn't strong enough.

"I wanted to believe God wanted to do something great with me like he was doing with them," she said. "I'm angry and bitter about it. Right now, I don't watch anyone on TV hardly."

To read the rest of the story follow this link:
prosperity
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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection

I just received an e-mail pointing me to the following story.

The New York Times:
Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection


JERUSALEM — A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

















If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.

The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.

It is written, not engraved, across two neat columns, similar to columns in a Torah. But the stone is broken, and some of the text is faded, meaning that much of what it says is open to debate.

Still, its authenticity has so far faced no challenge, so its role in helping to understand the roots of Christianity in the devastating political crisis faced by the Jews of the time seems likely to increase.

Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic culture at the University of California at Berkeley, said that the stone was part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that Jesus could be best understood through a close reading of the Jewish history of his day.

“Some Christians will find it shocking — a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology — while others will be comforted by the idea of it being a traditional part of Judaism,” Mr. Boyarin said.

Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding all Jesus-era artifacts and writings, both in the general public and in the fractured and fiercely competitive scholarly community, as well as the concern over forgery and charlatanism, it will probably be some time before the tablet’s contribution is fully assessed. It has been around 60 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered, and they continue to generate enormous controversy regarding their authors and meaning.

The scrolls, documents found in the Qumran caves of the West Bank, contain some of the only known surviving copies of biblical writings from before the first century A.D. In addition to quoting from key books of the Bible, the scrolls describe a variety of practices and beliefs of a Jewish sect at the time of Jesus.

How representative the descriptions are and what they tell us about the era are still strongly debated. For example, a question that arises is whether the authors of the scrolls were members of a monastic sect or in fact mainstream. A conference marking 60 years since the discovery of the scrolls will begin on Sunday at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the stone, and the debate over whether it speaks of a resurrected messiah, as one iconoclastic scholar believes, also will be discussed.

Oddly, the stone is not really a new discovery. It was found about a decade ago and bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector who kept it in his Zurich home. When an Israeli scholar examined it closely a few years ago and wrote a paper on it last year, interest began to rise. There is now a spate of scholarly articles on the stone, with several due to be published in the coming months.

“I couldn’t make much out of it when I got it,” said David Jeselsohn, the owner, who is himself an expert in antiquities. “I didn’t realize how significant it was until I showed it to Ada Yardeni, who specializes in Hebrew writing, a few years ago. She was overwhelmed. ‘You have got a Dead Sea Scroll on stone,’ she told me.”

Much of the text, a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, draws on the Old Testament, especially the prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Haggai.

Ms. Yardeni, who analyzed the stone along with Binyamin Elitzur, is an expert on Hebrew script, especially of the era of King Herod, who died in 4 B.C. The two of them published a long analysis of the stone more than a year ago in Cathedra, a Hebrew-language quarterly devoted to the history and archaeology of Israel, and said that, based on the shape of the script and the language, the text dated from the late first century B.C.


To read the rest of the article follow this link:
Tablet



Here is one other source that is reporting the story:

Tablet Ignites Debate On Messiah, Resurrection
Free Internet Press, NY - 5 hours ago
A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir


If anyone else finds information about this story please post a comment or e-mail me at tsrk30@sbcglobal.net
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The Bible Challenge Quiz

How much do you know about the Bible?
Take the Bible Challenge and find out for yourself.

The Bible Challenge quiz for this week is called:

" James 1-3 "

Take the quiz now!
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50 Reason Why I Don’t Read the Bible













Talk to people today about the bible and you will soon realize that everyone has an opinion but in most cases people are biblically illiterate!

Very few have really taken the time to read the bible and even fewer have taken the time to study it. Back To the Bible a ministry which is located in Nebraska recently did a survey to find out who people don't read the bible. Here is what they found:

Apathy
Bad eyesight
Bad time management
Burnout
Children
Church-related activities
Crazy schedule
Earthly interests
Guilt
Have no idea where to start
I am overextended
I am selfish
I don’t know!
I don’t like to read
I don’t understand it
It’s boring
It’s full of contradictions
Lack of a meaningful plan
Lack of desire
Lack of effort
Lack of time
Money issues
Mood
My church activities
My own laziness
I don’t have any accountability
Opposition
Other obligations
Other priorities
Over commitment
Overwhelmed
Poor excuses
Poor health
Pressures from work
I read other Bible-related literature
Satan
Lack of self-discipline
Sinfulness
I need sleep
Sometimes depression
The busyness of raising a family
There are things to do
Time & family
Time & procrastination
Too many distractions
Too much TV
I’m too tired
Tyranny of the urgent!
Work exhaustion
I don’t want others to see me because I
don’t want them to think I am showing off


What jumps out to you? For me it was the following reasons:

Church-related activities
My church activities

Now I cannot be for sure what these two reasons mean but I have a very good idea. Many churches instead of spending time teaching the bible and teaching people how to study it, actually creates all kinds of activities and functions that have nothing to do with the bible!

Think about it, Churches are creating activities that are actually taking people away from the bible!

Are you reading the bible on a regular basis?

Is your church teaching the bible?

Has your church taken the time to teach you how to really study the bible?

Here is some help in reading your bible:

Bible Reading Guides





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