Friday, August 31, 2007

For Those Who Don't Like the Truth!

Over at Slice of Laodicea a reader wrote in and commented about how she thought it was wrong for the writer of that blog to "call out what they see as false teaching in the church today". The commenter felt that the blog owner and those who comment on the site "seem so filled with hate and rage". I commented on the post and because I felt it pertained to people who have a problem with this site, and some of the topics I discuss, I thought I would post my comment here on my blog. So, here it is:

"When you talk about the people at CT, you are talking about people I know, people I love, people I respect and admire, people I’m guessing most of you have never met." (part of the reader's comment)

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that on Judgment day God will be looking to see if you were , "respected, "admired", or "loved". He is going to be looking at whether or not He knew you and you knew Him, whether or not you are Born Again. Lots of "wonderful" people have been deceived into going the way of ecumenicalism, and trying to be more like the world to "fit in". Lots of "good" people are not really Born Again. "Christian" is a term too widely used today, with too broad of a definition. Far too many pastors have been deceived into believing that they have to change their message to suit "the times".

"But isn’t it possible to do so with compassion and the love of God in your hearts?" (part of the reader's comment)

When Jesus went in to the temple and saw what the moneychangers were doing did He confront them in a quiet, somber way? No! But surely it was out of love because God is love!

As for having compassion, when you look up compassion at this is what it says..."COMPASSION implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare". This sure sounds like what Ingrid is doing and many others of us who point out the problems with the apostate church of today.
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great Quotes

"Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the meeting-place of all the waters in the world, so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet." -JOHN FLAVEL

"Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honour, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death. But God pays as he promises; all his payments are made in pure gold." -THOMAS BROOKS

"He that knows nothing will believe anything." -THOMAS FULLER

"Every thing that a man leans upon but God, will be a dart that will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life." -THOMAS BROOKS

"There are three things that earthly riches can never do; they can never satisfy divine justice, they can never pacify divine wrath, nor can they every quiet a guilty conscience. And till these things are done man is undone." -THOMAS BROOKS

"Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and to be able to put your meaning into appropriate and fitting expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin while you are actually confessing it; melted with free grace even while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the awareness of God's infinite holiness, and to keep your heart in this state not only in, but after these duties, will surely cost you some groans and travailing pain of soul." -JOHN FLAVEL

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Marriage Before Ministry

"It is tremendously hard to balance a relationship," said the Rev. Cynthia L. Hale, pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church. "If you happen to be more successful than your spouse or make more money or have greater prestige that is where the challenge comes in. There are many men who are secure in life, but there are also men who are insecure and they have struggled with having their wives [or girlfriends] excel in ways they don't."

This quote is taken from an article about Juanita Bynum being assaulted by her husband Bishop Thomas Weeks. First let me say that I hope and pray that Juanita Bynum and her husband can both repent, put God first and their marriage can be healed and restored. "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

"It is tremendously hard to balance a relationship," That is true, and that is why God wants us to always and in all things put Him first. Second should come your family; spouse and then children. Thirdly is your ministry, and last but not least, the community, including your home church. "Who answering, said to them, Have you all not read, for he that made humans at the beginning, made them male and female? and he said, for this cause a man will leave father and mother, and he will cleave to his wife: and they will be two in one flesh. And so they not two now, but one flesh: therefore a human separate not, that what God has joined." Matthew 19:4-6.

It is wrong to neglect your marriage to build your ministry. It is also wrong to neglect your marriage to raise your children. Children need to see a healthy relationship, with God put first. When women submit to their husbands and men love their wives as Christ loves the church it creates a beautiful thing, a God centered marriage. And in case you are wondering, this is tried and true because it worked for my husband and I. God can take a mess, and when you follow His principles and put Him first, He can make it beautiful!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Too Much Importance Placed On Church Membership Numbers

I just read a couple different articles about the "number crunching" of church membership rolls and the statistics games played by many churches today. The importance that is put on numbers and statistics by churches and pastors of many different denominations is very disheartening. Being on a church's membership rolls does not get you to heaven. The ONLY book I am concerned with having my name in is THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE! It doesn't matter what church membership roll you are on. If you are not in that book you are not getting in to heaven!

I am not saying that it is wrong to be on a church's membership roll, if that is what you want. I am saying that none of that will matter on Judgment Day.

Revelation Chapter 21
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them ,
4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said*[An * in the text marks verbs that are historical presents in the Greek which have been translated with an English past tense in order to conform to modern usage.], "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
6 Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
7 "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall.
16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.
17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.
18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;
20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;
26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;
27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Marriage and Divorce...The Real Truth

Matt.5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32. but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

1Cor.7:10 And unto the married, I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband.
11. But and if she depart, LET HER REMAIN UNMARRIED, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Mark.10:11 And He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
12. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and marrieth another, she committeth adultery.

Mark.10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Nothing could be plainer than these statements. Anyone who divorces and remarries committeth adultery by doing so, for Jesus DOES NOT authorize the DIVORCE. Once married, ALWAYS MARRIED: till death do you part. This is EXACTLY how Jesus Christ sees it, and describes it.

1Cor.7:12 But to the rest, speak I, not the Lord: if any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

Once again, there is NO PERMISSION to either get divorced AND remarried in any of this. Paul simply states that if the UNBELIEVER wants to go, you may let them go. The one who is left is still divorced, and whosoever shall marry her (or him) that is divorced COMMITTETH ADULTERY. Paul takes this fact; that marriage is BINDING as long as both partners shall live SO MUCH FOR GRANTED, that he uses it as an illustration of the permanency of the Law over a man until that man has realized and embraced the full significance of the death and resurrection of Christ:

Rom.7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2. For the woman that hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4. Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that ye should bring forth fruit unto God.

1Cor.7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; but only in the Lord.

Okay, I know that this is going to be a tough subject. Marriage and Divorce... This is something I never really dug real deep into the scriptures about until recently. I was raised in a Christian home, so I always knew in my heart that God does not take marriage lightly. I knew it was a covenant in His sight. I knew that when you marry someone you are making a vow, that it is supposed to be forever. These beliefs are what kept me from walking out on my marriage years ago when the going got tough. Of course "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". My husband and I "made it" through the rough spot because we turned to God. We let Him fix our marriage. He took what was a "mess" and has made it into something beautiful. Aside from "knowing" all of these things about the sacredness of marriage and its importance to God, I wanted to know what does the Bible really say. Not what does the preacher say or what does the "church" say, but what does God say?

The above scriptures say a lot. They say a lot more than what is being taught. After reading these scriptures one should ask, "Why are churches and pastors marrying people who have been previously divorced?" It plainly says, "Mark.10:11 And He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and marrieth another, she committeth adultery." I didn't make it up. That is what the Word of God says. If you are divorced and the person you divorced is still alive, to remarry is to commit adultery.

1Cor.7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; but only in the Lord.

How have WE foreshortened marriage? By not AGREEING WITH and TEACHING the SAME THINGS The Bible says about the conduct of marriage and sexual sin; we have UNDERMINED the PERMANENCE of marriage. We make EXCUSES for divorce that The Bible does not give; we make REASONS to justify both DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE in flat out contradiction to Jesus Christ, Who said: Whosoever shall marry her (or him) that is divorced, committeth ADULTERY (Matt. 5:32).

Who among you will now show me how I have misrepresented what the Bible says about these things?

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Transgender Pastor in the United Methodist Church

"Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors."

This is the slogan for the United Methodist Church. It has really bothered me for some time now. Now that the United Methodist Church has decided it needs to put transgender issues on its Judicial Council's fall docket, I decided it was time to blog about it.

Here is an excerpt from the article about the transgender Pastor.
At this year’s Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference in late May, Bishop John R. Schol reappointed the Rev. Drew Phoenix as pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Baltimore. Phoenix, 48, had been minister at St. John’s for five years as the Rev. Ann Gordon. After surgery and hormone therapy in the past year, the pastor changed his gender to male and adopted a new name.

So why are they even having to "consider" what to do about this situation? This is clearly perversion. Anyway, back to the "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." According to the Bible we are not called to have open minds, but rather to have "the mind of Christ".

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 COR 2:9-16

If we have the mind of Christ we do not have to be tolerant to the things of this world. God gave us a standard, and that standard is the Bible. If anything goes against that standard, we do not have to "like" or be tolerable of it. Yes, God loves the sinner, but He does not love the sin. It is His will that sinners come to the saving knowledge of Christ and repent and turn away from their sins. EVERYONE WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THE STANDARDS GOD SET. I urge anyone involved with the United Methodist Church to get away from such perversion, and to not be a part of it.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

More On Marriage

Here is more of the teaching on Marriage from Richard Baxter, a Puritan preacher.

Direct. V. It is your solemn duty to live in quietness and peace. To avoid every occasion of fierce anger and discord.

[I. Directions showing the great necessity of avoiding dissension.]

1. The duty of your marriage ­union requires unity. Can you not agree with your own flesh?

2. Division with your spouse will pain and upset your whole life ... Just as you do not wish to hurt your own self and are quick to care for your own wounds; so you should take notice of any break in the peace of your marriage and quickly seek to heal it. 3. Fighting chills love, fighting makes your spouse undesirable to you in your mind. Wounding is separating; to be tied together through marital bonds while your hearts are estranged is to be tormented. To be inwardly adversaries, while outwardly husband and wife turns your home and delight into a prison. (11)

4. Dissension between the husband and the wife disrupts the whole family life; they are like oxen unequally yoked, no work can be accomplished for all the striving with one another.

5. It greatly makes you unfit for the worship of God; you are not able to pray together nor to discuss heavenly things together, nor can you be mutual helpers to each other's souls. (12)

6. Dissension makes it impossible to manage your family properly.(13)

7. Your dissension will expose you to the malice of Satan, and give him advantage for many, many temptations. (14)

[II. Directions for avoiding dissensions.]

1. Keep alive your love for one another. Love your spouse dearly and fervently. Love will suppress wrath; you cannot be bitter over little things with someone you dearly love; much less will you descend to harsh words, aloofness, or any form abuse. (15)

2. Both husband and wife must mortify their pride and strong self­ centered feelings. (16 ) These are the feelings which cause intolerance and insensitivity. You must pray and labour for a humble, meek, and quiet spirit. A proud heart is troubled and provoked by every word that seems to assault your self ­esteem.(17)

3.Do not forget that you are both diseased persons, full of infirmities; and therefore expect the fruit of those infirmities in each other; and do not act surprised about it, as if you had never known of it before. Decide to be patient with one another; remembering that you took one another as sinful, frail, imperfect persons, and not as angels, or as blameless and perfect. (18)

4. Remember still that your are one flesh; and therefore be no more offended with the words or failings of each other, than you would be if they were your own. Be angry with your wife for her faults no more than you are angry with yourself for your own. Have such an anger and displeasure against a fault, as will work to heal it; but not such as will cause festering and aggravation of the diseased part. This will turn anger into compassion, and will cause you to administer care for the cure. (19)

5. Agree together beforehand, that when one of you is sinfully angry and upset the other shall silently and gently bear it until you have come to your sanity. (20)

6. Have an eye to the future and remember that you must live together until death, and must be the companions of each other's lives, and the comforts of each other's lives, and then you will see how absurd it is for you to disagree and upset each other.(21)

7. As far as you are able, avoid all occasions of wrath and quarreling, about the matters of your families.(22)

8. If you are so angry that you cannot calm yourself at least control your tongue and do not speak hurtful and taunting words, talking it out hotly fans the fire, and increases the flame; (Do not ventilate your anger as you only feed your fleshly vengenance) Be silent, and you will much sooner return to your serenity and peace.(23)

9. Let the calm and rational spouse speak carefully and compellingly reason with the other (unless it be with a person so insolent as will make things worse). Usually a few sober, grave admonitions, will prove as water to the boiling pot. Say to your angry wife or husband, "You know this should not be between us; love must put it to rest, and it must be repented of. God does not approve of it, and we shall not approve of it when this heat is over. This frame of mind is contrary to a praying frame, and this language contrary to a praying language; we must pray together; let us do nothing contrary to prayer now: sweet water and bitter come not from one spring", etc. Some calm and condescending words of reason, may stop the torrent, and revive the reason which passion had overcome.(24)

10. When you have sinfully acted towards your spouse confess to one another; and ask for forgiveness of each other, and join in prayer to God for pardon; and this will act as a preventative in you the next time: you will surely be ashamed to do that which you have confessed and asked forgiveness for of God and man.(25)

Direct. VI. One of the most important duties of a husband to his wife and a wife to her husband is to carefully, skillfully, and diligently help each other in the knowledge and worship, and obedience of God that they might be saved and grow in their Christian Life.

1. This is not love, when you neglect each other's soul.(26 ) Do you believe that you have immortal souls, and an endless life of joy or misery to live? Then you MUST know that your great concern and business is, to care for those souls, and for the endless life. Therefore if your love does not help one another in this which is your main concern, it is of little worth, and of little use. Every thing in this world is as valuable as it is useful. A useless or unprofitable love, is a worthless love. It is a trifling, or a childish, or a beastly love, which helps you but in trifling, childish, or beastly things. Do you love your wife, and will leave her in the power of Satan, or will not help to save her soul? What! love her, and yet let her go to hell? and rather let her be damned than you will be at the pains to endeavor her salvation? Never say you love them, if you will not labour for their salvation.

What then shall we say of them that do not only deny their help, but are hinderers of the holiness and salvation of each other! [1Kings 11.4, Acts 5.2, Job 2.9] And yet (the Lord have mercy on the poor miserable world!) how common a thing is this among us! If the wife be ignorant and ungodly, she will do her worst to make or keep her husband in the same state as she is herself; and if God put any holy inclinations into his heart, she will be like water to the fire, to quench it or to keep it subdued; and if he will not be as sinful and miserable as herself, he shall have little rest. And if God open the eyes of the wife of a bad man, and show her the necessity of a holy life, and she resolves to obey the Lord, and save her soul, what an enemy and tyrant will her husband be to her ( if God does not restrain him); so that the devil himself will do no more to prevent the saving of their souls than ungodly husbands and wives do against each other.

2. Consider also that you are not living up to the design of marriage, if you are not helping each other's souls.(27)

3. Consider also, if you neglect each other's souls, what enemies you are to one another, and how you are preparing for your everlasting sorrows: when you should be preparing for your joyful meeting in heaven, you are laying up for yourselves everlasting horror.

11 Pro 19:13
12 Mat 5:23; 1Sam 15:22
13 Mat 12:25; Mar 3:25; Luk 11:17
14 Jam 1:13; 1Cor 7:5; Job 2:9
15 Lev 19:8; Psa 133:1; Pro 15:17; Rom 12:10; Rom 14:19; Rom 15:1; 1Cor 13:4­7
16 Luk 9:23; Psa 101:5; Prov 16:5; Prov 21:4; Prov 28:25; Mat 23:12; 1Pet 5:6
17 Psa 10:4; Hos 7:10; Prov 13:10; Prov 28:25
18 Jer 17:9; Rom 7:24; 1Joh 1:8
19 Eph 4:26; Eph 4:32; Jam 1:19
20 Eph 4:2; 1Cor 13:4
21 Ecc 9:9; Rom 7:2
22 Gen 2:24
23 Gal 5:15; Jam 3:5,6,8
24 Pro 15:18; Mat 5:9; Psa 85:8
25 Eph 4:32; Jam 5:16
26 2Cor 2:4; 2Cor 12:15; 1The 2:8
27 Gen 2:18 1The 5:11; Eph 4:16; Heb 12:15; 1cor 7:5; Col 2:19; Gen 35:2; Gen 35:4; Lev 19:17; Num 16:27; Num 16:32

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Christians Call God "Allah" ?

A Bishop from the Netherlands is urging Christians to call God "Allah" to ease religious tensions. How ludicrous is that? I find that name for God nowhere in my Bible. Muslims and Christians DO NOT WORSHIP THE SAME GOD! This is yet another example of a "Christian" wanting to compromise for the sake of unity. I put Christian in quotation marks because I would have to question whether or not someone willing to call Jehovah God, the God of the Bible, "Allah", is a true believer or not. I've said it many many times before and I will say it again, WHEN JESUS PRAYED FOR UNITY HE WANTED UNITY WITH THE FATHER FIRST. Those who are in unity with the Father are automatically in unity with each other! Someone who is willing to call the ONE true God, the God of the Bible, "Allah" is not in unity with the Father and the Son and I will not even attempt to be in unity with them!

Unity obtained by compromise is not true unity!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free Speech Being Attacked By Liberals

Only a SINGLE VOTE halted a resolution condemning "hate speech" in San Francisco! This is a BIG problem. Thank God for that single vote, but this just shows the world we are living in today. This resolution was aimed at Michael Savage for his criticism of illegal aliens in the United States. A third generation San Franciscan Ed Jew turned in the veto vote, after getting up and affirming Savage's First Amendment right to express his opinion. It is important to understand that the next thing they will want to attack is Christians who speak out against such things as homosexuality.

For Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval to even suggest that Savage expressing his opinions about illegal immigrants is hate speech is absolutely absurd! There is a war against talk radio going on in America right now. The liberals are trying to put a stop to such talkers as Rush Limbaugh and Savage. You can read more about it here.

If Christians and other conservative Americans do not take a stand, the liberals are going to try to silence any and all speech that goes against their liberal beliefs. Michael Savage is merely exercising his First Amendment rights when he speaks out against illegal immigrants. Just as I am exercising my First Amendment rights when I say that homosexuality is wrong, or that gay marriage is wrong. I don't "hate" anyone.

I believe this is all just another chapter in the story of good vs. evil. We must take a stand for what we know is right, no matter what!

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Marriage...Keep God In It!

Over the next few days I am going to post some excerpts from a teaching on marriage by Richard Baxter. He was a Puritan preacher. I have been married for almost 17 years now and I can tell you that most of these things, for my husband and I are tried and true! God must be at the center of any marriage that is to be successful and full of life. We have went through some rough spots and it was putting God first that saw us through! After 17 years one thing I do know is that love is not ooey gooey and that tickly feeling in your stomach that you feel when you think you are first "in love". Love is an action word, not a feeling! Maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse requires work and self sacrifice. Worrying about yourself and not all of your spouses "problems" is another key for a successful marriage. God is much better at changing people than we are! He does it in His time and in His way.

Direct. I.
The first duty of husbands is to love their wives (and wives their husbands). Eph 5.25,28,29,33. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.­­So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies; he that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.­­Let every one of you in particular so love his wife, even as himself." See Gen 2.24.

Some directions for maintaining love are as follows:

1. Choose a good spouse in the first place. A spouse who is truly good and kind. Full of virtue and holiness to the Lord. (2)

2. Don't marry till you are sure that you can love entirely.

3. Be not too hasty, but know beforehand all the imperfections which may tempt you to despise your future mate. (3)

4. Remember that justice commands you to love one that has forsaken all the world for you. One who is contented to be the companion of your labours and sufferings, and be a sharer in all things with you, and that MUST be your companion until death. (4)

5. Remember that women are ordinarily affectionate, passionate creatures, and as they love much themselves, so they expect much love from you.

6. Remember that you are under God's command; and to deny marital love to your wives, is to deny a duty which God has urgently imposed on you. Obedience therefore should command your love.

7. Remember that you are "one flesh"; you have drawn her to forsake father and mother, and to cleave to you; (5)

8. Take more notice of the good, that is in your wives, than of her faults. Let not the observation of their faults make you forget or overlook their virtues. (6)

9. Don't magnify her imperfections until they drive you crazy.

Excuse them as far as is right in the Lord. Consider the frailty of the sex. Consider also your own infirmities, and how much your wives must bear with you. (7)

10. Don't stir up the evil of your spouse, but cause the best in them to be lived out. (8)

11. Overcome them with love; and then they will be loving to you, and consequently lovely. Love will cause love, as fire kindleth fire. A good husband is the best means to make a good and loving wife. (9)

12. Live before them the life of a prudent, lowly, loving, meek, self ­denying, patient, harmless, holy heavenly Christian. (10)

1 Luk 6:31­32; 1Cor 10:24; Gal 6:2; Phil 2:4; 2tim 3:2; Jam 2:15; 1Joh 3:17; Gen 4:9; 1 Sam 25:3­11; Esth 6:6; Isa 56:11; Joh 6:26
2 Pro 18:22; Pro 19:13­14
3 Pro 18:13
4 Mat 5:32; Mat 19:9; 1Cor 7:39; Col 3:19; Gen 2:24
5 Mat 19:5; Mar 10:7
6 1 Cor 13:7; Phil 2:3
7 Psa 103:14; 1Cor 13:7
8 Pro 10:12
9 Rom 12:21; 1Pet 3:9
10 Eph 4:1; Col 1:10; 1The 2:12; Pro 11:30; 1Tim 4:16; Jam 5:19­20; 1Pet 3:1­2

Direct. II. Husbands and wives must live together. 1 Cor 7:2­5

Direct III. Abhor not only adultery itself, but all that leads to unchasteness and the violation of your marriage­covenant. [Mat 5.31,32; 19:9; John 8,4­5, of adultery; Heb 13.4; Prov 22.14; Hos 4.2­3; Prov 2.17; 1 Cor 6.15,19; Mal. 2.15; Prov 6.32,35; Deu 23.2; Lev 21.9; 18:28; Num 25.9; Jer 5.7­9]

Direct. IV. Husband and wife must delight in the love and company, and lives of each other. When husband and wife take pleasure in each other, it unites them in duty, it helps them with ease to do their work, and bear their burdens; and is a major part of the comfort of marriage. [Prov 5.18,19]

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Monday, August 13, 2007

God is....a Just God!

God is jealous, and the LORD avenges;
The LORD avenges and is furious.
The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The LORD has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,
And dries up all the rivers.
Bashan and Carmel wither,
And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
The mountains quake before Him,
The hills melt,
And the earth heaves at His presence,
Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
But with an overflowing flood
He will make an utter end of its place,
And darkness will pursue His enemies.

------Nahum 1:2-8

God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.

------Psalms 7:11

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not
believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." --------John 3:36

in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are
treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of
the righteous judgment of God,
who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath,
tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For there is no partiality with God.

--------Romans 2:5-11

God is ______. Most people, if asked to fill in the blank, would say "LOVE". God is a God of love, but all too often pastors, teachers, etc... fail to mention the other side of God. God is a God of wrath and full of anger against those who are not His. He is a just God and He WILL pour out His wrath upon those that are not His. Everyone will stand before God one day and be judged. You will probably not hear these scriptures mentioned in most pulpits today, especially in America. After all, people want their ears tickled and may not come back if they don't leave "feeling good". The offering buckets may not be as full if such harsh words were spoken. The TRUTH is... Heaven is for those who are born again and trust in God, Hell and the anger and wrath of God are for EVERYONE else. I didn't make it up, I am not being judgmental, merely telling the WHOLE TRUTH.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heretic, False Messiah, Cult Leader, Satan's Servant...All of the Above

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is the founder and leader of Growing in Grace International Ministry, based in Miami, Florida. He has the number 666 tatooed on his arm. "The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth," de Jesus says. He says he is God. De Jesus preaches there is no devil and no sin. His followers, he says, literally can do no wrong in God's eyes. His followers are now also receiving 666 tattoos to declare their allegiance to him. The Bible tells us that in the last days many will come saying they are the Christ and that they will lead many astray. (Mathew 24:5)

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda also claims there is no hell. Yet Jesus taught more about hell than He did heaven. The reality of hell is all throughout the New Testament. He claims there is no devil, yet Peter—after the resurrection of Jesus—says that Satan goes about like a “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8). Finally, regarding Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda view of the futility of prayer, how can we regard prayer as futile when Jesus not only taught about it (Matthew 6:9-15; Luke 11:1-13; 18:1-8), but practiced it all throughout His ministry. Similarly, the Apostle Paul opens every one of his letters with prayer and thanksgiving, and frequently asked for his readers to pray for him. Far from being futile, prayer is vital to the Christian life.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is a false Messiah and a heretic. He claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ despite the preponderance of Biblical evidence that belies his claim of divinity. His teachings are heretical in the sense that, far from leading people into a life of greater holiness and righteousness, seem more likely to lead people to a life of licentiousness and debauchery (no sin + no law + no hell = no consequences for my actions). Finally, look at the life of the man. He is a former drug addict and convict. Now, anyone can be saved from their sin and become a Christian, but would Jesus Christ “integrate” Himself with one such as this? How about his lifestyle? He lives well beyond his means off of the “generosity” of his followers. Would Jesus do that? Jesus lived the life of a peasant with “no place to lay His head”—He took advantage of no one. The Bible tells us to “beware of false prophets.” Concerning them we “will recognize them by their fruits.”

This man is clearly a servant of Satan himself !!!

Jesus will return again to judge the living and the dead, and to establish a kingdom that will have no end. In Matthew 24:30-31 (NIV), Jesus is quoted as saying that He will return during the last days of man: "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

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