14 April, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

I've been doing a lot of thinking since receiving the news last night about the house church in Pakistan being raided and the leader killed and the rest put into prison.  This tragedy and countless events we read about and see just does not line up with our Americanized version of Christianity... does it? It seems that most American Christians think that being a Christian means we can pray and God is our genie in the sky to give us everything we ask for. Like it or not, sometimes God's answer to our prayer is "no."  I have absolutely no doubt that these precious believers have prayed for protecton from their enemies and persecutors. Does the fact that their worship service was raided (again) and believers beaten and cast into prison (again) and their leader killed before their eyes mean that God somehow failed them, or that they are "lessor" as Christians? Not at all!  

It is really hard for us to understand in this culture where we've had hundreds of years of freedom to worship as we pleased, but events like this have been the "norm" around the world the entire time that we've enjoyed this freedom. Personally, I believe that the church of America has become soft because we've misunderstood and abused the freedom of religion that we have. This freedom has created a fertile environment for false teaching and misunderstanding of what it means to serve Christ. We simply do not hear passages like 2 Timothy 3:10-17 preached and taught from the American pulpit. What does that passage say? Hold on to your seats... because it flies in the face of what you've most likely been taught all your life... 
"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

So, if ALL Scripture is given by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction and instruction... why are we failing to teach that if you desire to live a godly life then expect persecution. In other words... things are not always going to go your way. You may "lose" from the worlds perspective! It's rather ironic that we read in the Bible itself how that great persecution came up on the church when they (the Christians) did the work of Christ. And the more they were persecuted, the more the church grew and spread.  Yet, today in America we preach prosperity and blessings and a god that makes you feel good about yourself while you live as you please... and the church in America is shrinking in record numbers. 

I think it is high time the church in America takes a good look at itself and ask why we are not facing the persecution that we see in the Bible and we hear of in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many other places around the world. Could it be we are but a fading shadow of what the church used to be? Just thinking out loud today.

11 April, 2014

And What Do You Have to Say?

The following is from the "Forgotten Word Ministries" website. (http://www.forgottenword.org/joni.html) I thought this was well worth posting and throwing it open for discussion. 

On December 8, 1999, Joni Eareckson Tada was on the Bible Answer Man, and made the following devastating comments about Word-Faith teachings:
Kenneth Copeland or Kenneth Hagin or Benny Hinn - they've never called me and asked me to come on their program.
...I had read some portions of Scripture that seemed to indicate that if God's Word abided in me, and I abided in Him, I could ask whatever I wished and the request would be fulfilled and my joy would be brighter. 
I took that to mean that God wanted me healed. And my sister packed me into her station wagon and a couple of friends, and we drove down to the Washington DC arena and Kathryn Kuhlman swept on stage and praise choruses and testimonies and songs and all of us in the wheelchair section, we kind of like with baited breath were waiting and wondering, and nothing happened. In fact, the ushers came up to all of us in the wheelchair section, about 35 or 40 of us, and said, "Let's escort you all out early so as not to create a traffic jam, and so there I was, Hank, number 15 in line of 35 people in wheelchairs or on crutches, waiting at the stadium elevator to go up to the parking lot, and we could still hear the distant strains of the organ and piano - Kathryn Kuhlman's meeting was still going on - and I looked up and down this line of solemn-faced individuals and saw so much disappointment, and I thought "Something's wrong with this picture. 
Either I wasn't reading God right in His Word or God is not coming through on His promises." And I knew that wasn't true, and so Hank, it was that experience that drove me into God's Word so deep I started reading people like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and Jeremiah Burrows and John Owen and Jonathan Edwards and other contemporary authors - Dr. John MacArthur, there's so many. I really dove into God's Word with both sleeves rolled up to understand the Lord's perspective on healing and I can say now that I am so grateful for the wisdom of God.
...John 5 talks about where Jesus once visited the Pool of Bethesda, and among all these disabled people He touched and healed a man paralyzed on a straw mat for over 30 years. I remember I was in the dark at night. After my bible was closed I'd picture myself at that same pool. I would imagine me dressed in maybe a rough burlap coat lying on a straw mat, perhaps even near that man that Jesus healed, and I would plead with God in prayer, "Oh, Lord, do not pass me by." I would even sing to Him that hymn, "Jesus, Jesus, hear my humble cry. While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by." I would pray that, and yet I was never healed.
Well, as you know, years later, and I began to get my spiritual act together with the Lord Jesus and I realized He was using my affliction, my paralysis to push me up against a spiritual wall with my back, getting me to seriously consider His lordship in my life - years later - in fact, just last year my husband Ken and I had a chance to visit Jerusalem, and we chose to do the old city on a hot, dry, dusty day, midday, when we knew no tour buses would be around and we'd have the place pretty much to ourselves. 
And Ken was pushing me in my wheelchair down the cobblestone streets and we arrived at the sheepgate, made a lefthand turn, and there, a couple of hundred yards down the path, it opened up into this grand old ruins of - my goodness, it's the pool of Bethesda. Ken, I said, would you look at this. And although you could not make out the colonnades because the ruins were crumbling and tumbling, and there's no water in the pool yet, the place was empty, and as I leaned against the guardrail with my elbow, Ken hopped the guardrail to jog down to the bottom of the pool to see if there was any water in one of the cisterns.
And while he was gone and the wind was warm and dry and the sun was hot, tears began cascading down my cheeks as I looked over this pool of Bethesda and I said, "Oh, Lord Jesus, how good of You to wait 30 years, almost as many years as that man laid on his straw mat, You waited this long to bring me to this place, a place where I imagined myself so many years ago, and I'm so grateful that You did not pass me by, because a 'no' answer to a request for healing has meant purged sin from my life, and it strengthened my commitment to you, Lord Jesus. It has forced me to depend on Your grace. It has bound me with other believers. It has produced discernment. 
It has disciplined my mind. It has taught me to spend my time wisely. It has given me a hope of heaven. Lord Jesus, You were so good in not healing me." And I know there are many people listening now who wish to be free of their circumstances - they are looking for an escape hatch, or maybe a quick fix for their affliction, and they think they might find it in a divorce or they are pondering maybe with the idea of suicide, such as one caller mentioned earlier. Or they're thinking that they'll find it in pills or medication, or a healing service. But the 32 years that I've been in this wheelchair and being at the Pool of Bethesda last year, has taught me that suffering is that good sheepdog, always snapping at my heals and driving me into the arms of the Shepherd. For that, I am so grateful. I am so grateful.

10 April, 2014

Week 1: HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Last week I wrote about getting serious about my weight and needing to get not only my weight, but my eating habits and exercise under control. I set a goal to lose 16 pounds by the time we go to Cancun in June. This first week has been unbelievable as I've dropped 12 pounds in the first 7 days! I realize that this kind of pace is obviously not going to continue, but I'm amazed as I look in the mirror and see the difference in my face and neck in one week. Really gives me hope and encouragement that I can do this! I'm extremely happy that looking at this picture... stunned that in one week I've dropped more than TWO of those yellow blogs from my frame!

08 April, 2014

"You Can't Judge Me!"

Well, it's that time again. All over Facebook it's that "you can't judge me" junk. Tell someone they are being rude, out of sorts or whatever, and the response is, "you can't judge me... 'Judge not!"  Rather than rehash it yet again... I'll just re-post a couple of old entries to make my case. 


22 April, 2013

Judge Not?


I’m really disturbed by the number of people who use phrases, "Don’t Judge Me", or "Stop Judging and Love", "God's the only judge"  other similar ones these days. Somehow the world, even the church, has gotten and embraced the notion that judging is bad. I find it particularly interesting (and frustrating) that the people who do not believe in or follow Christ actually dare say that it’s a teaching of Jesus that we shouldn’t judge each other. But it is of even more concern that people who are in the Church, and especially those who call themselves a minister of the Gospel actually are proponents of this erroneous teaching as well. Let's call it what it is... the truth of the matter is that inasmuch as people say they don’t want to be judged or hear others being judged – what they are actually saying is that they don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.   What they are in essence saying is "Just accept my actions without holding me accountable for them." Furthermore, many of these "don't judge" folks within the Body of Christ do their best to teach others that we are not to judge because they know that eventually, the finger is going to point back at them and they themselves do not want to be held accountable for their sloppy and inconsistent walk with Christ.

Am I saying that I am perfect? Absolutely not! But the fact is, I actually have people in my life that I have made myself accountable to and I ask them to confront me when they see inconsistencies, short comings and failure in my life. I have those that will firmly but lovingly tell me, "Darrell, you need to check your attitude." (Or whatever area I may be failing in.) You see, the fact is that even though this teaching of "judge not" has become wide spread and common, it is in error. In reality, true love actually cares enough to confront! Yes, true love does judge. True love is not apathetic nor timid. True love does not allow sin to triumph over the person they love without a fight. True love does not turn a blind eye and deaf ear and walk away without trying to help one who is struggling or fallen. A person who really cares wants to see their friends, loved ones and fellow believers in Heaven and when they see someone straying off course, they will do whatever is needful to help that person right their course.  My point is that if you have people in your life who are not judging you, but are just letting you commit all types of immorality without telling you are wrong, and not encouraging you to do better, then what you have in your life are people who do not truly love you, or rather who do not know how to love you as they ought.

One of the problems is that we don't really understand what it means to "judge."  One of the best ways I know how to put it into an everyday working definition is to say that the type of judging that God wants and expects of us it to tell someone the truth about themselves.  It is to be done in love and compassion, not in an effort to condemn or tear someone down. To judge with love should actually build others up, not tear down.  This is the what Paul commanded of us in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 when he wrote, "We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all”. 
Using verses such as this leads me to the belief that I can confidently say that I firmly believe that to not judge is to not love.

So, what does the Bible say about judging? The following are just a few verses written concerning judging. I'm only using New Testament for this writing to cut short the argument of those who would say we should not use the Old Testament for anything pertaining the governing of the church:

*  “Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.” (John 7:24)  (Oops! It tells us to judge!)
*  “Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” [Jesus] said to him, “You have judged rightly.”” (Luke 7:43) 
* But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (1 Corinthians 2:15)
* “Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters?” (1 Cor 6:2-3)

Now... what about that ONE passage? You know... the one EVERYONE quotes (or misquotes) and thinks they know.
I'm talking about Matthew 7:1-5.
Mat 7:1-5
(1)  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
(2)  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
(3)  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
(4)  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
(5)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


Let's take a look at it and break it apart.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." 
Newsflash... this is NOT a command!  It is quite simple in saying that if you don't want to be judged, then don't judge.
The problem is, this is the only part people want to quote. But it goes on to say, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye met, it shall be measure to you again. Romans 2:1-5 helps us to clarify this. It says You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
Clearly, what Jesus and Paul are both saying is to stop being a hypocrite and being judgmental against people when you are doing the very same things!  Notice what Jesus says in verse 3 says in that Matthew: "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?"  Jesus is saying that you cannot judge others if you are also guilty of what you are judging them for!
He continues: "How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite..."  (Please note who Jesus is speaking to in this passage! He is talking to the Pharisees! His audience is a group of hypocrites!) He continues: "...remove the wooden beam from your eye first..." (In other words, we are to judge ourselves first! Clean up your own house before you go pointing out the dust in someone elses house.) He continues: "then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye."
Notice... he does not say to leave the splinter in your brothers eye, but to clean up your own house first so that you can help your brother with his!   
Not quite the way we heard this taught... is it? Certainly not by those screaming, "Only God can judge me!"

There is another verse I want to look at, probably the second most misquoted verse in all of scripture, certainly when referring to judging.  It is found in James 4:11-12.
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[a] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

This verse, in context clearly is speaking of speaking (or writing) slander of a fellow Christian. It is not related at all to the meaning given to it by so many today. It is simply speaking about how we make a mockery of the Word of God and the Body of Christ and even God himself when we slander one another. That's it. Nothing more.

I could go on, but I think I've made my case. So, let the arguing begin!

20 August, 2010

Judge Not...

In the past week, this topic has come up on Facebook a couple of times and become rather heated as people try to use the "Judge not lest you be judged" passage to defend their argument for inappropriate behavior. I'm sure it has always been so, but it seems to me in the last 10 years the use of this scripture has been twisted and abused more and more, as people seek to turn the tables on anyone who 
confronts sinful behavior. 


So, the question is, "What does the Bible mean? Is it saying that we are not to judge others?"


As I said, this is an issue that has confused many people, and abused by others. On one hand, we are commanded by Jesus, in Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."  While on the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. Well, here's a question for you to ponder. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them? 
When you come up with an answer for that one, make sure and let me know.


The sad fact is that Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity.  People sure love to use that passage. I'm of the mind that more sinners know that particular verse of scripture than any other Bible verse. "Judge not, lest ye be judged."  Now let me clue you in to something important: THAT is not the meaning of the scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." 


It is plainly obvious that there is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment.  John 7:24 says: "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."


Here it is in a nutshell... When Jesus told us not to judge, He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. 


Matthew 7:2-5 says to us, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." 


What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.


In  this passage Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. 
THAT, my friends, is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. The truth, according to God's Word, is that if a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian DUTY to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin.
Matthew 18:15-17...  "If your brother sins against you,  go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 
16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 
17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.


This is not judging, but rather it is pointing out the truth in a hope of bringing the other person to a place of repentance and restoration to the fellowship of believers. 
Biblically, this is spelled out for us in James 5:20  “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”


Understand, this is not to but done harshly, but rather we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). 
Neither should this be about our "opinion," but based solely from the Word of God and what it says about sin. 
Paul instructs us in 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." 


We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences... and that solution is Jesus Christ alone.

03 April, 2014

Time to Get Serious About My Weight

I've had this off and on battle with my weight for years. A few years ago I was up to 238 pounds and fought to get myself down to 195. The problem has been that I just can't seem to keep it under 200 pounds. This winter has been extra hard. When I am in pain, I tend to crave sweets. Most people probably don't know that I really don't do a lot of sweet foods or candies, other than an occasional piece of chocolate or a pie at McDonalds.  But that is not all that common of an experience for me, except, as I said, when my pain level goes up. This year, I ate a lot more, and my weight slowly crept up from 202 to 216. I decided last week that it was time to get on it and get my weight down, but I knew it was not going to happen while we were traveling. So I set my sights on today... and today, I began to focus, not so much on a diet, but on eating more healthy and to increase my exercise. I've set my goals at modest levels. We leave for Cancun in June. By then I want to be at no more than 200 pounds. I know, people always tell me that this is too much too fast, but my body always responds well when I start exercising and eating healthy and if I hold true to form, I will most likely drop at least 5 pounds in the first week. So, it is not unrealistic for me to hope to drop 16 pounds in 10 weeks. I set my next goal at 190 by October 1.  I think I should be able to shed 22 pounds in 6 months. I really don't know if I will want to go lower than that just yet, so I'm not going to set any further goals as for weight loss until I get to that point. 

One of my problems is that people keep telling me that I'm not "fat" and that I look fine and don't need to lose weight. The thing is, I don't feel good. I'm not talking about feeling good about myself... I mean, physically, I don't feel well.  I am tired all the time and have very low energy levels on a consistent basis. My back and my knees ache and my doctors have told me that much of this is the excess weight. Beyond that, I've had heart issues and my cardiologist has said he would like to see me back to 195 as well because it is a strain on my heart to carry the extra weight. I'm going to post the following picture, not only to show all of you, but to remind myself what we are talking about. This pictures shows what 5 pounds of human fat looks like. I'm carrying at least 22 pounds of "extra" fat around... or more than 4 of those yellow blobs!  Yeah... it's time to cut loose of some of that. I have to!

27 March, 2014

Those Who Forget the Past...

The past few weeks I've sat and watched the events unfolding in Russia and the Ukraine with great interest. I find myself in utter amazement that our President has been so weak in his response to these events, but it is much more than a White House problem. This problem lies in the homes of every American. We are seeing the rise of a ruthless dictator that is eerily similar to that of another some 70 years ago... none other than Adolf Hitler. But what has me so greatly troubled is that the vast majority of Americans seem deaf and blind to what is happening in the Ukraine, just as they did as Hitler grew in strength and power. In the 1930's and early 40's America was pretty much silent and ignored what was unfolding in Europe, as if it did not effect us in any way... until it did. I fear we are seeing a repeat unfolding live on the world's stage and once again, America is asleep, more caught up in March Madness, the disappearance of a jet and what we are going to eat tonight for supper... and we don't realize that we are seeing something not only historic but down right prophetic unfolding. Meanwhile, the madman we have sitting at the helm of control of our nation is running all over Europe boasting that we are making ourselves weaker by cutting our military, destroying missiles and war heads, closing bases and asking the world to sit down and sing "kumbaya" with us. The world is laughing. Russia is flexing her muscles and right now building up forces that have already been picked up on satellite as they are readying to invade the Ukraine. Iran is mocking the US and our President as they rush toward nuclear capability. Our media here is absolutely silent while the media in the U.K. and Germany and other European countries are wondering out loud what is wrong with America and just how much we will tolerate. There is a saying, "What you tolerate will dominate." The people of America need to shake themselves and awaken from their slumber, because we are headed down a steep and slippery slope toward World War III.

22 March, 2014

Do you want to know the endings of fairy tales?

Do you want to know the endings of fairy tales?

Cinderella is divorced…
 22E87797E22544E88C6CF3D558824732@MireillePC
 Snow-white has not been so lucky…
866F194B01BE4179B694029455AA835C@MireillePC
Little-Red-Riding-Hood hasn’t seen the Wolf since…
553B09855A3E44CBABAD7305817B08BD@MireillePC

Sleeping Beauty is still asleep…

 98AE7B481AEF4A8A930393C74E257902@MireillePC

The Little Mermaid has met a sad fate   cid:5BA8A212760E4DA2B06E6E1A57AEFBC6@MireillePC Barbie celebrated her 50th Birthday, this year…
cid:55EC8B64DB1946AAA2227EA0EA879752@MireillePC
Little Tweety is 60 years old…
cid:BAAFA85F66424BE3B16E3B56D0966840@MireillePC
So is Superman…
cid:7A6368456C824B18A3C14CAE6DB29C32@MireillePC
Wonder Woman is menopausal…
cid:19BA22E3DBC84E3BAAA6551FA9FEBF5B@MireillePC
As for Batman and Robin they’re living it up at the Nursing Home…
cid:D06EC96908B047C19C73CBC441534CB9@MireillePC
 
And Spider-Man is attached to different threads…

 cid:0DDA127B9E71488099A775A10FB1901B@MireillePC


18 March, 2014

What Did God Ever Do Before Facebook?

I was out doing some yard work today and was thinking about some of the nonsensical stuff I had seen on Facebook this morning. Posts that said things like, "Like this post and God will do you a favor" or "Like and share this post if you love God. Keep scrolling if you don't."  If you are on Facebook, you've seen them. They make me want to puke. So anyway, I'm out digging in my muddy back yard today and I can't get these posts out of my mind; and a thought hit me: "I wonder how God managed before the invention of Facebook?"  I mean, isn't it wonderful that thousands of people click "like" to say that they love Jesus?  I can just see Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father and saying, "hey Dad, I got 5,000 new likes today! People are turning to me in droves!" (Before any pharisee attacks me... I'm saying this tongue in cheek!)  Come on... seriously? Does anyone believe that because you clicked "like" on a FB status that all of a sudden you and God are on good terms? Hate to be the bearer of bad news... but the Bible tells me that Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."  I really don't think God is keeping tally of how many facebook likes he gets. The thing is, God is not really so much interested in what you say, or what you post of Facebook about Jesus... what He cares about is, are you walking in obedience to His Word.  I know, I know... the hot "new" teaching is all about grace, and if you believe Jesus is the son of God and he died on the cross, you are saved. If that's it, then I've got a news flash for you. If all you have to do to be saved is believe those 2 things, then Satan himself HAS to be saved!  I'm sorry if I offend anyone. 

I know already some are reading this and screaming "legalist!" Say what you want, but I'll stick with the Word of God and my Bible tells me that there has to be more than a belief that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for our sin.  Just today I picked a man up walking down the street and gave him a ride. On the way I asked him if he went to church. He told me that he did not but that he was saved. Now, the man smelled like  a brewery and I could smell pot as well. So I asked, "how do you know you are saved?" He said, he was saved because when he was a kid, he'd gone to an altar and got saved. I asked him, "Do you live for Christ? Does he live in you? Do you obey his word?"  The man said, "I don't know about any of that, but I believe in Jesus, so I'm saved."  I asked him if he thought the devil was saved. He told me that was a dumb question. So I asked him if he thought the devil believed in Jesus. He said that he was sure the devil believed in Jesus. So I asked him if believing in Jesus meant he was saved, then wouldn't that mean that Satan was saved?  The looked at me for a minute and finally said, "something is not adding up here!"  So I explained that believing was not enough, that being saved means that we've considered the options, and decided to "change teams" and join God's team. So I asked him, "Do you think the way you are living would be what God expects of people on his team?"  He told me that I was messing up his beliefs and that he did not want to talk any more. I slipped him one of my cards and asked him to give me a call when he was ready to talk. I hope that time comes. But the fact is, there are thousands... maybe millions of people who are deceived into thinking that because they clicked "like" on the post that said, "Like if you believe in Jesus" that they are somehow in good standing with God. There are all these people who think that because they believe IN Jesus means they are saved, when the Bible is clear the we must believe ON Jesus and accept the gift of salvation and thereby change teams and live for him. Preachers are not preaching that "living for Christ" part any more. There is a watered down version of the gospel that makes us feel good about ourselves while we continue to live in the bondage of sin. But Christ came to set us free... not just from free from the threat of Hell, but free from a lifestyle that is defeated and full of bondage. 

Go ahead and click "like."  There is nothing wrong with that. But I pray that people are quickened in their spirit man to the fact that they are dead in their sin and that Jesus came to do more than make them feel good about themselves... he came to set them free.

14 March, 2014

This Should Become Law In Every State!

You Gotta Love Texas

The City of Dallas , Texas passed an ordinance
stating that if a driver is pulled over by law enforcement and is not able to provide proof of insurancethe car is towed.

To retrieve the car after being impounded,they must show proof of insurance to have the car released.
This has made it easy for the City of Dallas to remove uninsured cars.

Shortly after the "No Insurance" ordinance was passed,
the Dallas impound lots began to fill up and were full
after only nine days. Over 80% of the impounded cars were driven by illegals.
Now, not only must they provide proof of insurance to
have their car released,they have to pay for the cost of the towa  $350 fine, and $20 for every day their car is kept in the impound lot.

Guess what?
Accident rates have gone down 47% and Dallas' solution gets uninsured drivers off the road  WITHOUT making them show proof of nationality.

I Wonder how 
Holder's US Justice Department
will get around this one?

Just brings tears to your eyes doesn't it?

13 March, 2014

You Can Now Opt Out of Obamacare (ACA)

Very quietly, there has been a change made (can you believe they would change anything about the Affordable Care Act?) and now just about anyone can choose to opt out of the ACA by claiming a hardship. Just a couple of days ago the Wall Street Journal ran an article detailing how they had discovered a new administrative rule whereby the HHS has slipped in a new ruling that makes it possible for almost anyone to claim a hardship and thereby opt out of the "Obamacare" individual mandate. In a subsequent interview with the Wallstreet Journal, Kathleen Sebelious  confirmed that this is accurate. (Read that story here)

To opt out, there is a requirement that you claim a hardship, however, they don't really actually require much "proof" of such hardship. To download the form to opt out Click Here.  It really appears that they have actually quietly slipped in this rule so that they could withstand the court challenges of those who fight claiming they were forced to purchase something they did not want nor afford. Because of this rule that was quietly slipped in, they could legally claim that anyone could opt out. However, they did not want this new ruling to be widely known, because they sure don't want many people taking advantage of it because they are already having a hard time getting enough to sign up for Obamacare by the deadline. (Which was supposed to be at the end of this month.)

Pass this on to others and let's make this news known to as many people as we possibly can. Get this knowledge and form to the masses and let the people speak up for themselves and tell them, "WE DON'T WANT OBAMACARE!" 

11 March, 2014

Repentance... Is it Necessary?

Acts 3:17-21

New King James Version (NKJV)
17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,[a] 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 

The whole misuse and misunderstanding of grace just continues to grow stronger and stronger, and many preachers are jumping on the bandwagon, because it sure sounds nice. (And it draws big crowds too!) God's grace is surely amazing. Without that grace, we are without hope. I have been accused of being "anti-grace."  Far from it. But grace without repentance leaves people trapped in sin and lost. Period. The Bible is abundantly clear to me, that we must TURN from our wicked ways. We must leave our sinful ways behind us. Some would say, "you're preaching salvation by works. I counter, "not at all." You are not saved because of your works, you do works because you are saved.  

I used this illustration this past Sunday in my message: Imagine you are a baseball player who is a free agent. You choose the offer made by another team and agree to play for that team for "X" amount of dollars. You sign a contract. You put on the new team uniform and announce to the world, "Today I am a member of the Saint Louis Cardinals and I'm thrilled to be a part of this winning team!"  The Cardinals begin paying you, you come to spring training and train with the Cards, but then on the opening day of the season you go back to your old team, put on their uniform and start playing for them again.  In essence, that is what many people are doing. They have announced they've changed teams (accepted Christ) begun to train (go to church) but they continue to play for the other team.  That's not salvation. And many people have been deceived. Jesus told the crowds that followed him to "count the cost."  He told them that to follow him they had to love the Lord with all their heart and soul and be willing to "pick up their cross" (die to their old way of life) and follow him no matter the cost.  

I hear people say "salvation is free." I disagree. It cost God his son. It cost Jesus great pain and his life. The Bible says we were bought with a price and that we are not our own.  There must be a change. No question. That's what repentance is all about.